Friday, 2 May 2014

Staying Undead: Gothic Fiction - Mari Biella

It seems like yesterday that I was bemoaning the onset of winter. Now, summer is almost upon us (or at least it is here in Italy, where 25°C is considered a perfectly reasonable May temperature). And summer is, in my mind, associated with one thing above all else: the Edinburgh eBook Festival, masterminded by the unflagging Cally Phillips.

Calling all Goths...
This year I’ve been booked to write some contribution pieces about Gothic fiction. Since the Festival is concerned to a large extent with eBooks and self-publishing, I’d like to shine a light on some examples of good self-published Gothic fiction (ironically, I suppose, given the Gothic preference for murk and mystery). I’ve a few ideas already, but of course the sheer number of books out there is bewildering, so once again I’m sending out a plea for help: if anyone out there knows of any great self-published Gothic fiction, please get in touch. You can leave a comment, contact me via Twitter or Facebook, or email me: mari.biella@gmail.com.

I suppose it’s quite funny, in a way. Shouldn’t Gothic novels be lurking in the internet’s darkest corners, fangs bared, waiting for their chance to leap out at unsuspecting passersby? And of course, like all genres, Gothic fiction is a bit nebulous: where exactly do we draw the line that demarcates the Gothic from the non-Gothic? But one of the points I’m hoping to make during the Festival is that Gothic fiction is a vital, living – or perhaps undead – variety of literature, that will continue to develop and remain relevant. Nobody’s going to drive a stake through this genre’s heart just yet.

So, if anyone out there knows of any self-pubbed Gothic fiction that deserves to rub icy shoulders with Frankenstein or share coffin space with Dracula (all right, I’m setting the bar high there, I grant you), please don’t hesitate to get in touch. In the unlikely event that I’m deluged with suggestions, I may not be able to include them all, though I will consider them all. And those that I do include probably won’t shoot to the top of the book charts as a result, though given the Gothic taste for the highly unlikely I suppose you never know...

5 comments:

Lydia Bennet said...

Hi Mari, this sounds great, is that you in the pic? I'm not sure where you draw the line, but would Linda Gillard's new book Cauldstane qualify? ghosts, dark secrets and deaths, castles... and her 'The Glass Guardian' which is perhaps more of a supernatural romance. Linda is a huge advocate for, and example of, a self-published author who is both excellent and very successful.

Lydia Bennet said...

there is also Serena Mackesy, who's just won an Edgar for her book The Wicked Girls as Alex Marwood, but has put out some of her backlist as Serena, on kindle, having regained the rights - Hold My Hand is very gothic though very much a thriller too. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hold-My-Hand-Serena-Mackesy-ebook/dp/B004TSCFNE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399030779&sr=8-1&keywords=hold+my+hand+serena+mackesy

Mari Biella said...

Excellent, thanks for these suggestions - I'll look into them! (That's not me in the photo, though - I actually look most un-Gothic...:-))

Chris Longmuir said...

I've just left a suggestion for a gothic thriller for you on the Facebook page. No wonder I couldn't find the post on FB it was here on the blog. The book is The Frankenstein Inheritance, by Simon Cheshire - originally reviewed on the Indie ebook Review site.

julia jones said...

Somewhere back in the recesses of the AE guest posts was a brilliant post by a C of E vicar who writes vampire novels.