Message From The Author

Author's Message

Are you a fan of gothic romance? I started my romance-reading career in the 1970s when bookshops were jammed with dark and stormy covers featuring barefoot girls wandering rugged English cliffs in their nighties, generally white and flowing. Brrr! What’s the story with that? If I’m dashing out into the chilly British weather in the middle of the night, I’m going to put on a sweater and some shoes at the very least. 

Out of the shadows on these rugged English cliffs looms a rugged English hero. Although in a gothic romance, the word ‘hero’ is often a misnomer, at least at the start. These books specialized in heroes who were dark and dangerous and might just be the baddie. Ooh, delicious. Will he kiss her? Will he kill her? You needed to rush to the last page to find out (although pretty much as a rule, he ended up kissing her, and the villain was revealed as the most innocuous-looking person on the sinister stately home block). 

I loved these books to death and read them by the hundreds. As a result, many elements of the gothic romance soaked into my bones and emerge in my own work. In fact, I just realized that having made fun of the scene of the girl scooting across the unkempt ocean real estate in scanty clothing, one of those very scenes makes an appearance in my latest book Seven Nights in A Rogue's Bed (out from Grand Central Publishing on the 25th of September). 

In true gothic romance style, innocent heroine Sidonie Forsyth presents herself at ruined Castle Craven on the wild Devon Coast to save her sister from wicked Jonas Merrick. Sidonie expects to meet a monster. Instead, scarred and reclusive Jonas Merrick calls to her heart as nobody ever has before. It takes a while for genuine trust to grow between these two wary people, and at one stage, Jonas terrifies Sidonie into braving the elements rather than his arms (and of course there’s thunder and lightning – those are de rigeur in a gothic!). Not only that, she’s barefoot and in her nightie as our hero pursues her doggedly through the darkness. Ah, the good old days are still with us! 

I had huge fun with the gothic elements of  Seven Nights in A Rogue's Bed and I’m hoping the reader will too. I loved playing with the brooding atmosphere and dramatic setting of Castle Craven and using landscape and weather to mirror the characters’ stormy emotions in best Bronte style. As an added bonus, there are lots of steamy scenes in Rogue that you won’t find in a trad gothic. There are those seven nights to get through, after all! 

So are you a gothic fan? Have any favorites in the genre? Do you have any fashion tips for the nightie-challenged heroine who finds herself pursued by a wicked hero and just has nothing to wear? 

- Anna Campbell


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