Welcome Carole, and thank you for granting SAVN the opportunity for an interview.
Nadine: As an intro – tell our readers a bit more about yourself. Who is Carole the author and what makes her tick.
Carole: Hi! First of all, thanks so much for having me here. Now, what’s up with Carole? Well, I’d say Carole Gill is on a mission to put some real bite into gothic romance!
I want to re-invent the gothic romantic genre by adding real horror to my story lines. Books like Rebecca, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights gave me a love for the genre that I have never gotten over.
I don’t think there is any writing (for me) that compares to these timeless novels. Yet things change and our world changes too. I think were these works to be written now, they would be far darker and far more shocking.
In order to really illustrate what I mean, let us think of Coppola’s Dracula, that deeply dark but highly romantic film starring Gary Oldman.
The film makes my point as I feel that profoundly haunting romance CAN successfully be combined with darkest horror! Dracula is a demon in the film but he also has ‘crossed oceans of time’ to find his love!
Swoon, swoon! Right? See? That is precisely where Carole Gill is coming from. I am combining darkest horror with romance in my fiction and I am loving it.
Nadine: On your blog you start off by saying that you believe that in the darkest of moments, a rose can bloom, and its beauty can make people hope again. What inspired such a beautiful statement?
Carole: Thank you for that. Well, I’d say this. People fall in love at the most dire of times. How many love affairs have there been in wartime? Love is an emotion that will not be dictated to. It follows no agenda. It will not be reined in. It is not to be tamed. It will grow where it likes, when it likes and it will affect whomever it likes. And because it is a wildly unpredictable thing, it can bloom in the climate of utter hatred. Look at Romeo and Juliet! We see their love played out. They will not be parted, but sadly their story ends tragically.
Yet if there was no happy resolution while they lived, their families become united in grief as the old hatreds die. Whatever animosity they felt for one another is gone as their children are gone. And gone lasts forever.
To paraphrase the Prince of Verona:
All are most definitely punished!
There must be countless stories of such lovers throughout time; throughout the world. However, where there is love, there is hope. And in the light of hope and the goodness of love, a rose might indeed bloom.
Nadine: Satan’s Toy box Demonic Dolls reflects on 18 tales of haunted dollhouses to possessed porcelain dolls. I love reflecting on stuff that doesn’t bare essence to being Barbie. Tell our readers a bit more about what they can expect within these pages.
Carole: Yes! These are 18 diverse stories about evil dolls. They are each different.
Dolls are passive things, at least they look passive. But what are they capable of doing? Do they come alive when no one is around?
Angelic Knight Press thought so, hence the publication! By the way, I am very proud to have my story in the collection. My story tells of a doll that is made by a Satanist; part of a hellish travelling carnival–a man who gave up his soul in a pact with Satan centuries ago.
He is an expert craftsman and has fashioned many dolls. He is about his master’s business; happy to watch his dolls bring utter evil to as many people as possible.
Nadine: What are you currently working on?
Carole: I am currently working on The Blackstone Vampires Series. The first novel in the Series, The House on Blackstone Moor is already on sale. I joke and say it is Jane Eyre with vampires, which it is to a great extent. However, I’ve had really excellent reviews that actually have mentioned the Brontes among others with regard to my style.
I do feel it is more than vampire fiction. The theme of good vs. evil is at the core of the novel. There is romance and very dark horror woven within the plot.
Now about the work in progress!
I am just finishing up the second and third books in the Series, Unholy Testament: The Beginnings and Unholy Testament: Full Circle.
The unholy testament referred to is actually the confession of a demon to the woman he professes to love. This demon appears in The House on Blackstone Moor and has become pretty popular. Now Eco, the demon, has lived forever. And because he does he has a lot he has experienced. He recounts his existence and his many sins from the dawn of time onwards. He tells of his first love in Ancient Egypt with a Vampire Priestess, he recounts, his mad escapades in Ancient Rome. He goes on to write of Jerusalem and his encounter with Christ. This is his most memorable experience.
After that comes the Dark Ages and a meeting with Attila the Hun. There are also some interesting encounters with the pure breds: those first vampires who are descended from the great man cats that once roamed the earth.
Eco rode with the Crusaders, chatted with Death during the Black Death of 1348, and meets Gilles de Rais, former aide to Joan of Arc and notorious child killer.
Book 1 ends with his lusty affair with the Blood Countess herself, Elizabeth Bathory.
Book 2 has him meet the evil and demonic Eve Darton who appears in the first novel. Eve is a pretty popular evil vampire and possibly more than a match for Eco.
There are satanic cults and human sacrifices with Eve as Satan’s mistress (as well as Eco’s). But there is much more as Book 2 does indeed come full circle as all questions and mysteries raised in The House on Blackstone Moor are resolved.
There is a fourth book planned as well. Just a note, Book 1 of Unholy Testament will be out very shortly.
Nadine: How do religion and the general perception of society impact your writing?
I’m very conscious of the evil that exists and always has existed in the world. Look at that movie massacre recently in Colorado. If that isn’t a prime example of evil among us I don’t know what is. Evil is out there and I think many of us seek religion for comfort and to explain how and why these things can happen.
I recently read The Devils of Loudon by Aldous Huxley and I was most impressed with it. If you have ever wondered about mass hysteria, about witch trials and if you wonder how tyrants become heroes that are worshipped—how an entire people can be won over to the side of what seems to be utter evil, this book is for you.
And really, I had read a great deal about Gilles de Rais. That’s why I wrote about him. Here was a man who was a child murderer, sought a pact with Satan in order to acquire more wealth only he didn’t want to give up his soul!
The study of evil throughout history and the effects it has had on mankind is what interests me; because despite all the horrific evil that has existed there really is goodness and mercy and wisdom. And there really are heroes among us. I guess you could say there really is light in the darkness if we look for it.
Nadine: From all my research it is very clear that you have a love for your own created vampire Louis Darton, a strong vampire with a dark and tortured past. Tell our readers what they can expect from his character. Where can they find his stories?
Carole: He first appeared in this collection of stories: I Vampire: The Louis Darton Stories. Now the stories follow Louis as he meets characters as diverse as DaVinci, Bram Stoker and Jack the Ripper. Louis will take you from Revolutionary France to disease ravaged Naples of the 1800’s to the blood-soaked streets of Whitechapel. Oh and by the way, Jack the Ripper’s identity is revealed!
Monsieur Louis will tell you about himself, his outlook on his world and you will meet his immortal enemy, Eco, demon spawn in his first appearance ever!
With regard to Louis, this is what one reviewer; DK Trellis had to say about Louis’ character:
‘Before The HOUSE ON BLACKSTONE MOOR, we experienced the wicked, self-involved albeit charming vampire and his polar opposite – the long-suffering, brooding wimp with a conscience. Carole Gill’s Louis Darton is neither. In fact, he is the perfect balance between the two – a Byronic hero with substance. He
endures, as the author writes, no matter what. He does so with great courage, inner strength and compassion. Now that’s seductive!’
I have, I hope, created an unforgettable hero in Louis Darton, this immortal being, born of a fallen angel and human mother. Louis, a demonic being who is vampiric, yet is not evil.
“We must seek to do less evil than ourselves…” ~Louis Darton, The House on Blackstone Moor
As Louis says, he was damned before he drew breath. He committed no outrage, no sin—yet he was damned for his father’s actions: his choice of Lucifer over God, an act by the way that Louis’ father immediately regretted.
In The House on Blackstone Moor when he sees Rose for the first time, he finds it hurts to look her because he has been surrounded by sin and corruption for too long.
But he does look at her!
Nadine: What attracts you to the vampire in general?
Carole: What doesn’t! I’m attracted by so much, by the possibility of making them different. Also I am fascinated by their destiny.
Are they all evil? Can they be capable of good and evil?
Are they intentionally evil or are they cursed by fate.
Would they change if they could?
Do they long for their living lives?
Do they court their own destruction?
Would they destroy themselves if they could?
Can they love or are they sorry they can or don’t they care?
They are, to my mind, the most interesting, enigmatic fictional creatures to ever exist. They are amazing!
Nadine: Are you aware of self-proclaimed vampires within our society?
Carole: Yes, and I find it interesting. I think also our fascination with vampires stems from our obsession with death.
In fact, Death is a character in my series. Death is there, he’s the one winner. He’s the absolute certainty. Whatever we say, we are going to one day die. Vampires are seen to give Death a good kick in the pants. And why not, too?
Nadine: Have you ever known any sanguine, psychic and omnivorous (hybrid) Vampyres?
Carole: Well the vampires in my fiction vary. They are omnivorous some of them, and others are not.
It depends on the lifestyle; their choice because I do give them choice. There again is the point that vampires differ.
From my point of view, I think the sanguine vampires are the most fun to write about. That is why they are featured quite a bit in my fiction, in short story collections and in my novels.
I write about hellish vampire brothels down through the ages in my Blackstone Vampires Series. I depict their violent sexuality from Ancient Rome and Ancient Egypt to medieval times and beyond.
The clients of these vampire brothels (among them many aristocrats) seek the sexual pleasure vampiric feeding gives them. In fact, many a client has been created in this way.
But it’s not all fun. The point is made that feeding on blood can be hazardous in times of plague as tainted blood causes madness (the effects seen almost immediately). And those who become mad are set upon and destroyed.
This of course is the greatest fear the vampires have that of vampire destroyers rising up periodically to destroy them.
Nadine: How would you –as a vampire lover treat such a person?
Carole: Vampires vary and I think how we depict them may depend on what sort of being they are. Some are strictly sexual beings that exist for pleasure and feeding and little else, others are far more complex.
Their differences are also depicted in how they act to one another: enemy and lover alike. And really there is so much scope for this to develop that even more interesting situations may arise.
The possibilities of different vampires is endless. That’s why I love writing about them!
Nadine: How have the likes of modern movies and television series influenced interest on your sites and in your writing?
With regard to writing: Well it’s all about lessons and learning. We see vampires depicted in so many situations and settings that we are inspired.
I love the vampires depicted in the Lost Boys in particular because that touches upon my own views that these are creatures that are damned and no matter what they do they always shall be.
I love that modern TV and film has explored other avenues and has placed vampires among us, in schools and towns—in amusement parks, in the past and in the present.
We have them fighting werewolves – and vampire slayers, too. The slayers are different though! However, Buffy is just as committed and determined as Van Helsing was! She’s just come along later to deal with the timeless evil. You see, the slayers may change but not the evil. The evil only looks as though it’s changed!
One more point: there are two books in my opinion that defined the entire genre, one was Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the other is Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. These are the benchmarks and the films that were made based on these novels are superb. Coppola’s Dracula and Interview with the Vampire are tops. It is from these two films that I have derived the most inspiration.
With regard to site interest: Whenever I write about Dracula and Mina from Coppola’s Dracula, I get a huge response. People want to see this dark love that I speak of and write about.
My own love of the film and those characters and storyline are the most important reasons I carry on writing. And when I see the huge interest my blog posts draw I know I am on the right course.
If Dracula is an immortal being, we the writers of vampire fiction are determined to not only see him carry on forever but we are dedicated to populating the world of the undead with more and more vampires, each and every one of them unique and deserving of their own immortality!
Nadine: Are you aware of the difference between the identification – Vampire and Vampyre? How do you interpret the difference?
Carole: Well, bearing in mind The Vampyre was written by John Polidori in the early 1800’s I would say that ‘vampyre’ is the older version of the word, ‘vampire.’
It just seems to me to conjure up earlier references; stories and legends about ‘vampyres.’ I mean I just think John Carpenter’s Vampires sounds so much better than John Carpenter’s Vampyres!
Nadine: How do you as a writer create your fictional characters for your novels?
Carole: I feel them. I think them and once they are inside my head, they write themselves. There are two things that are crucial to my writing. One is feeling the character, having the fullest sense of what they are about.
I don’t use character notes. It’s not important to me to know what my character has for breakfast. I am far more concerned with what my character wants. Are they good, bad, murderous or peace-loving? Do they want to tear society apart or mend it? Are they capable of loving, have they been hurt in the past? What kind of past did they have? Were their parents nice or insane? Was their upbringing harsh or loving?
These sorts of questions are what helps me draw up my characters and really my characters will give me the story. I may have an idea but they will show me which way that idea should evolve.
Also, I had studied acting and I learned The Method. I find that when I become the character I really get the truth down and my story is very real to me.
Nadine: Do you ever hope to go to screen?
Carole: Sure! I’d love it. I think The Blackstone Vampires Series would transfer
well to the screen. There is madness, obsession, devil worship, good vs. evil, love and hate—desire: holy and unholy, sin, corruption, death, murder, suicide and ghosts! There’s something for everyone!
Nadine: Where can people follow your work?