Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Return to Gothic Romance

Having just returned from a visit to the Northwest, which always inspires me to write, I got to thinking about why I enjoy writing romantic suspense. I was always captured as a young reader by the works of writers like Daphne DuMaurier, Victoria Holt and my all time favorite, Phyllis Whitney. Recently I was going through a box of old books and ran across some of my old copies of those Phyllis Whitney books.

I had to pull them out and I'm now re-reading Lost Island and enjoying it as much as I did back in the early 1970s. It's the story of a young heroine who returns to an island off the Georgia coast, with an old mansion where she once fell in love.

After reading so many of Whitney's books, I always wanted to write gothic romances. She set them all over the country, from Hawaii to New Mexico and Maine, and I always learned something about the location by reading her books. 

It was with a tip of my writing pen toward writers like Phyllis Whitney that I attempted my first gothic romance, Shadows from the Past, which I set in a mansion on a fictitious island in the Puget Sound. I admit my heroines are a little more worldly than those of Whitney, but the lure of the old mansion, Redfern Manor, in a lonely location with a touch of sinister evil lurking was what I was trying to accomplish. Here's a blurb:

Stacey Moreno is a cartoonist who would love to be as adventurous as the cartoon character she draws, and when she goes undercover to find out what really led to the death of a good friend, she runs into danger, secrets and a very sexy man.  

Last week as I visited the Northwest, I was again drawn by the lure of Redfern Manor. For a while I've been kicking around the idea for a return to Evergreen Island and after a few days with the sea wind blowing my hair and listening to the cry of the seagulls in the early morning mist, I knew I had to finish that story. 

Gothic romances are still a draw, and so are heroines searching out hidden truths and sexy heroes. That is why the gothic romance, like those of Whitney and new writers working in the genre today, will always be a draw for readers.

Shadows from the Past remains available in print and as an e-book at and

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