I love Lisa Greer's description of the Goth hero. It brings back memories of Dark Shadows, a television show I wish one of the channels would rerun again. All the plots, sub-plots and of course the brooding hero. What's not to love! Thank you, Lisa for sharing this with us and for helping me get in touch with a genre I used to read a lot and will be revisiting! Look forward to your book release in April.
To celebrate the release of Magnolian, Lisa would like to give a copy to one lucky winner. So leave your comments and make sure to include your email for easy contact if you are the one drawn!
Our Heroes, Ourselves: Loving Gothic Heroes
I've been walking around with a book in my hand since age five as my mother will tell you, but the first novel I ever fell in love with was Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. After reading about two households on the bleak moors and hopeless love affairs, I was hooked. I wanted to be Catherine, and I could see the huge appeal of a man like Heathcliff. Years later, I have read more Gothic Novels than I could ever count-- even with the help of Goodreads.
For years, I wondered what the major appeal of Gothics was for me. I have figured out some of those answers after blogging about much loved novels and unloved ones, too, in the Gothic genre. One of the major components of a successful gothic romance novel is a hero who would storm the gates of hell or at least get an invite to enjoy a brandy there. The popular current fiction marketers of romantic suspense novels that are rife with cops, military men, and wolves might call the hero an Alpha Male, but I think Byronic Hero is more appropriate. He is the dark, enigmatic, maybe disfigured, snarling figure at the heart of the Gothic. He doesn't have to be well muscled or traditionally handsome. In fact, he might be ugly and stoop shouldered, but he is that powerful and emotionally isolated man that many readers both love and fear meeting even on a sunny day in real life.
Perhaps so many readers love their Byronic Heroes because they see the dark sides of themselves reflected in these men. For a heroine with a flawed, brooding love interest, it's okay not to be a perfect size six, sashaying by with an impossibly tiny waist. In the real world, broken people abound, and surprisingly, gothic romance novels draw attention to that reality.
That type of not even close to perfect hero has hounded and haunted me as I write my own novels. I have to assume it is the same for many readers. The following for gothic romance novels of days gone by is surprisingly large and encompasses women from ages 17 and up and even men. One guy who frequents my Gothicked Blog is in retirement and enjoys these novels and their more innocent love stories.
In my first novel, Magnolian, one of the male characters vying for the heroine's heart is pensive but kind. The other is a man who has already driven one woman to her grave for love of him. The fun as I write is in letting the work decide which man wins the lady's heart. With gothic romance novels, the victor is often a surprise.
Lisa Greer is a college English instructor and online lead writing tutor. She holds a M.A. degree in Eighteenth-Century British Literature from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is am also the owner of Gothicked (http://gothicked.blogspot.com/ ), a blog that reviews gothic romance novels and other gothic novels. Her author website is
http://www.lisalgreer.com/. Her debut novel, Magnolian, will be available in April from Siren BookStrand. Find her on Twitter (Gothicked) and Facebook (Lisa Gay Greer) as well.