21 October 2019

Go #Gothic

The East Riding of Yorkshire’s Festival of Words, just finished, covered a multitude of delightful literary sins, from Hitler’s British Isles with Duncan Barrett to The Age of Elegance: from Downton to the Mitfords with Jessica Fellowes, which culminated in that most English of preoccupations, indulging in tea and cakes.

For me, though, the event which hit the spot was the Gothic Thrillers panel on ‘Murder Day’.  Jess Kidd (Things in Jars), Chris Simms (Sing Me To Sleep) and Amanda Mason (Wayward Girls), ably facilitated by crime-writing host Nick Quantrill, kept the 100+ attendees entranced with their insights and discussion.

As the distinction between genres continues to blur, the Gothic, beloved of Victorian melodrama, has reinvented itself for the 21st Century. It flows darkly between Horror and Historical, Psychological Thriller and Contemporary Crime, often acting as a thread in itself or facilitating a sub-plot. It’s twin foundations are a setting both immersive and atmospheric, and a central character or characters haunted by themselves, the past, by whatever catalyst intrigues the novelist. Yet it is the character or characters, who lead the storyline to its compelling, often unsettling, denouement, which may, or may not, be an actual ending. There’s a lot of scope.

As I listened I realised my Torc of Moonlight trilogy, which has never fitted neatly into either Fantasy or Paranormal, joins all the dots. 

 
Mmm… a re-brand may well be on the cards. Tarot cards, obviously.

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