Monday, July 21, 2014

My Interview with Carole Gill

Author and Humanitarian


Carole Gill is more than just my colleague
and fellow author with the independent publisher, Creativia.
Carole is one of my dear friends!
Carole is a very kind and loving person.  She has a great sense of humor and a generous spirit!  She is very modest and as you can tell from her interview, she is rather shy, preferring to speak about her work more than herself.
Carole is a very talented and creative writer.  She is an inspiration and I wish her all the success in the world!

My Interview with Carole Gill
·         First off, I want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to interview you!  As I do in all my interviews, I will begin by asking you to describe yourself in your own words.
o   I am an idealist.  I wish I could make the world over.  I push myself sometimes too much, I think.  I work harder than I ever did and I’m much older!  Why didn’t I do it earlier, when I was younger?
·         You often describe your writing as “dark” and even your personal blog (http://carolegillauthor.blogspot.co.uk/) has a warning before you enter into the website.  Can you tell us more about your writing and why you feel this is necessary?
o   Yes! The warning! Well, goodness, I thought better safe than sorry! I often put excerpts up from my novels! Don’t want to be sent to my room by Google Blogger!
o   To answer your question, I have always been pretty serious by nature, even as a child. I started to write the most morbid poems and essays (remember Wynona Ryder in “Beetlejuice”? That’s what I was like).  But really, if you think about the world we live in—war, crime—the holocaust—and more recent ones as well—now known as ethnic cleansing atrocities. There’s animal abuse—child abuse, domestic abuse as well.  Hey! There’s evil and suffering in the world. You know it, I know it. I worry about it and wonder why there’s so much horror; that gets me writing.
o   And really, since I do write horror I tend to write dark stuff. I see the darkness.  My first marriage, I often say is the reason I write horror. To a great extent it’s true. This is a blog post I did about it.
o   You may have already seen this post, Julie, but I always show it because I remember the first short story I did (after years and years of not writing) was about a monstrous marriage.  I wrote it on Valentine’s Day 2008 btw.  It has been published.
·         You are known as a vampire specialist when it comes to your writing.  What do you think of that?  How did you get introduced to vampires and what makes you love them so much?  Why do you prefer them as the basis of your novels?
o   I actually only became interested in vampires through the Coppola film (1992); Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I knew I had to write about them one day and I have been. In fact The Fourth Bride (of Dracula), book 4 in the Blackstone Series was entirely inspired by Coppola’s film.
o   I read a lot of Anne Rice after it.  I was particularly impressed with her characterization. Her vampires have emotions, regret—they are thinking, intelligent beings.
o   That’s the basis of my vampires. They suffer through no fault of their own. Whether they are created or raised up—they subsist on blood. They vary from being to being. Some are more evil than others, some try not to be evil at all but they all feed on blood which doesn’t make them boy or girl scouts.
o   I have a four novel series out, The Blackstone Vampires. It is historically based horror.  My vampires exist throughout time. Their individual stories are recounted in the series.
o   I’ve started a new series and that book will appear shortly. Book 1 is entitled, “Justine into the Blood”.
Here’s a post I did about it recently
http://www.skelat.com/blog/book-news-and-historical-horror
o   I just want to see vampires portrayed as being capable of evil, but also, as complex beings – that’s my mission.
o   Ironically, although I am planning the second book in the new series (Blood and Passion series), I have already begun a novel not about vampires!  But about murderous miscreants traveling along in their circus bus.  I hope to have it finished before too long!
·         Horror is your preferred genre for writing.  Is this also your preferred genre when you are reading a book?  Does your successful writing career in horror and your extensive knowledge about vampires change how you read books in these topics and if so, why do you think that is or isn’t?
o   I’m open to any sort of book that looks interesting. I like reading horror, but I also love suspense—I think the most amazing villain of all time has to be Hannibal Lecter. The novels by Thomas Harris are brilliant!
o   I also love a good ghost story. I’m still (at heart) the youngster who wants to be scared.  Susan Hills’ “The Woman in Black” blew my socks off!
o   Most of all if a book can scare me—that’s the one I want to read!
·         Who most influenced you to as a writer?  How did you get started as an author? 
o   I wrote my first short story when I was eight. Yup, sci-fi. My parents were huge sci-fi fans and it was only natural!
o   I wrote a lot from then into my twenties and then one tragedy after another struck and that disastrous marriage took me away from it. After that marriage, I cared for my mother, who was totally disabled by that time. I cared for her, on my own, for the last 12 years of her life. When she died—I went back to writing.
o   I was fortunate enough to attend a local writer’s workshop near where I lived in Lancaster. It was run by a most amazing and talented man, Clive Hopwood, who is an author and playwright himself.  He encouraged me to try everything. I did.
o   I wrote a radio play for the BBC, which wasn’t aired, but I wrote it!
o   I was selected by North West Playwrights of England for further development, which was very exciting and worthwhile. Dialogue is my favorite thing to write as a result.
o   I wrote short stories and a couple of books, which I know now were awful! I had loads of rejections, but just plodded on.
o   I met my husband a few years later. John gave me the opportunity, in 2008, to write full time; to go for it!  It was very hard financially, but I had the time at last, and had my first novel published in 2011. Since then, I have written four more.  I honestly don’t know how people write that work full time.  They are amazing!
·         Is there anything you would have done differently in your writing career, if given the chance?
o   Not really. You learn as you go. I did, I learned so much. I have a far more realistic attitude about success and failure—I am more relaxed about everything than I was and it’s better!
·         If I’m not mistaken, you have had various publishers in the past, correct?  What did you like and dislike about them?  How did you come to the decision to sign on with the independent publisher, Creativia?  How do they differ from the other publishers you’ve been with?
o   The first novel, The House on Blackstone Moor, was published by another publisher, who has since closed (just as well, too). I was pleased at first, as I felt my work was genuinely appreciated.  But then there were issues—like our work was not marketed on Amazon - I have no idea why, but when I got to understand things, I wasn’t happy about it.  Reports didn’t come in either. In fact, at one point, there was no communication at all!  This publisher could not be reached anywhere!  I had enough, sought legal advice, which turned out to be costly. I wanted to get away and I wanted to do it legally.
o   I did. I self-published for one year, then I had the good luck to hear from Miika Hannila of Creativia. Creativia was fairly new and what he had to say sounded great. What a difference. There wasn’t anything I found off putting or worrying.  It wasn’t long before I signed. And I am happy I did. Very happy!
o   Just a note here: The House on Blackstone Moor was completely revised and published by Creativia, the other novels, as well.
·         What can your readers expect to see from you next?
o   Well, these lunatic circus folk in a full-length novel. My murderous midgets are back, and joining them are a fat lady and demon clowns. You might not want to turn your back on the midgets or the clowns,--especially the clowns and the fat lady because they are cannibals.
o   After that comes book 2 in The Blood and Passion Series.  The venue will take the reader to the 1920’s and beyond. There’s darkness, but a lot of romance as well. I’m lining up some great characters—vampires and sorcerers among them! Just stay tuned.
·         Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
o   Next five, hmm—more books, more writing. Hopefully people will be wanting to read them. I don’t have huge expectations. I just try to focus on what I’m doing and make certain I keep enjoying it.
·         Do you have other passions in life outside of your love for literature? 
o   Animals! I think everyone on Facebook knows that! If I won the lottery, I would buy a farm, and have a sanctuary, and a huge dog and cat rescue. I’d employ staff, too. We don’t have hi-kill shelters in the UK, but sadly, not every animal makes it out of the pound—I’d like to see that stop.
o   I support a rescue locally that board dogs out of their own pocket when their stay is over at their rescue. They run out of room all the time, but they pay to keep those animals alive. I wish I could give more, but I do what I can.
·         Thank you so much for your time today!  I wish you much success, my friend – you deserve it!  Also, congratulations on your bestselling accomplishment with your horror anthology, HOUSE OF HORRORS!
o   Fingers crossed, it lasts at bit. That gave me the idea for the book I just started!
o   Maybe I’ll have a contest about a title!

Julie, I thank you so much for interviewing me. You are a very talented writer and I am so pleased you wanted to do this with me. Thank you!


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so very much, Julie. I am honored you wished to interview me.
    Truly!

    ReplyDelete