Sneak Peek at The Saga of Pandora Zwieback

So, as you may have seen me mention on twitter, I attended the Brooklyn Book Festival last weekend. It was my first time attending this event, and even though I went all by myself, I had a ton of fun! Not only did I pick up a bunch of new books to add to my immense to-read list, I also got to meet some really cool people—like the representatives of the delightfully goth-y publishing house StarWarp Concepts.

StarWarp Concepts booth

Steven A. Roman, publisher and writer at SWC, directed me to his new dark urban fantasy series, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback. Are you a fan of vampires, werewolves, demons, goblins and other creepy creatures? Do you like reading about teenage goth girls kicking some monster butt? If this description intrigues you, but you’re still not sure you want to commit yourself to a new series—not to worry!  You can check out a sneak peak of Pandora’s story and see how you like it. Just head on over to www.pandorazwieback.com and click the link on the sidebar to download a free introductory comic! Continue reading Sneak Peek at The Saga of Pandora Zwieback

Five Foundational Female Writers of Gothic Lit

Women have been pivotal influencers of the gothic genre from the very beginning. At a time when women’s opinions were largely dismissed and many doors were barred to them in other literary pursuits, writing Gothic novels was one of the few ways in which women could become prolific and popular writers. One reason for this was that the original Gothic genre was closely associated with women, as women made up the majority of its readers. Gothic novels were often regarded much like “chick lit” is today—as sentimental fluff good for entertaining women’s simple minds but completely lacking in literary value. Despite being devalued by critics (and by the members of the general public not yet under the genre’s sway), the works of these female authors have had a profound influence on our perception of the gothic today. Let’s take a moment to celebrate some of these awesome queens of terror! Continue reading Five Foundational Female Writers of Gothic Lit

Winner of the Nightfall Giveaway!

Nightfall prize edited copyCongratulations to Emily on winning The Gothic Library’s very first giveaway! Emily, who has been contacted by email, will be the proud new owner of an advanced reader’s copy of the lovely new horror/fantasy novel Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski.

For those of you that missed the giveaway, you can still check out my review of Nightfall and then head out to buy your own copy online or at your local bookstore on September 22nd.

Thank you to everyone who entered! And of course, keep an eye out for future giveaways on the site!

 

 

Lucifer, a Lover of Literature in Alleluia: The Devil’s Carnival

Me with actor Marc Senter who plays The Scorpion
Me with actor Marc Senter who plays The Scorpion

*Contains only vague and minor spoilers*

Some of you may have heard of the latest series of cult classic films to lure the dark and morbid out of their caves and into movie theaters around America. If you haven’t, I highly suggest that you check out The Devil’s Carnival. This project is the brainchild of Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich—the producer and writer behind the beloved gothic musical, Repo: The Genetic Opera. Bousman is also well known to horror-lovers as the director of several of the Saw movies. This new project, however, is not horror in the traditional sense. Much like Repo, The Devil’s Carnival is a musical with dark themes and aesthetics. The first movie, The Devil’s Carnival: Episode One was released in 2012, with Terrance, Darren, and several of the actors touring around various movie theaters with the film to drum up support for this independent project. After a long wait, the sequel had finally arrived and is currently touring around the country. I went to see the show not once, but twice in the past couple weeks and I was not disappointed. Alleluia: The Devil’s Carnival is the perfect film for dark-minded book lovers. Continue reading Lucifer, a Lover of Literature in Alleluia: The Devil’s Carnival

Nightfall Review and Giveaway!

You know the drill–whispered tales of dark creatures that live in the forest and only come out at night. Only in this world, night lasts for 14 years…

Nightfall coverNightfall, a young adult novel blending horror and fantasy, is a joint effort written by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski, best known for their epic fantasy Dormia series. Nightfall comes out in just over two weeks, on September 22, but I managed to pick up a couple of Advanced Reader Copies at Book Expo America this year so I could give you a sneak peek of the harrowing horror that is headed your way. You can preorder the book now from Peter Kujawinski’s website or Amazon–OR you can ENTER A GIVEAWAY to win a FREE ADVANCED READER’S COPY by the end of this week! Read through to the bottom for instructions on how to enter the giveaway. Continue reading Nightfall Review and Giveaway!

Gothic Children’s Books

It’s never too early to start exploring the beauty that can be found in darkness. Some may find death and other macabre topics inappropriate for children, but I feel that being able to talk openly about these subjects is important. Things like death, darkness, and monsters don’t need to be scary, and in fact can be part of fun, interesting, and thoughtful stories for kids. Now I’m not saying to take your four year old to a slasher film, but you don’t need to shield them from everything but rainbows and unicorns either. I’ve compiled a list of children’s books on the darker side that are appropriate for a variety of ages. Check out my list below and let me know if you have any to add! Continue reading Gothic Children’s Books

Gothic Tropes: The Unreliable Narrator

This is one of my favorite gothic tropes. Often used in horror or mystery, an unreliable narrator is a first-person narrator of a story whose words the reader is not meant to take at face value. The narrator may be deliberately lying or their words may be influenced by unconscious bias or delusions. In the case of gothic fiction, it is most often this last reason that causes many narrators to be considered unreliable. Continue reading Gothic Tropes: The Unreliable Narrator

Picking Your Next Gothic Read

My bookshelf--aka where I go to find my next gothic read
My bookshelf–aka where I go to find my next gothic read.

Summer is winding down, but you’ve still got time to squeeze in a few more summer reads! The only question is what to choose. If you don’t already have a stack of TBRs piled next to your bed like I do, finding your next book can be a daunting task. But not to worry, that’s what librarians are for! As your virtual Gothic Librarian, I’ve compiled some tips for helping you find your next dark and decadent read: Continue reading Picking Your Next Gothic Read

The Roots of Gothic Literature

The term “Gothic” (with a capital G) refers to an era of literature and its accompanying trend in architecture during the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century. Both the literary and architectural movements were characterized by a return to medieval aesthetics. Fashionable English aristocrats, such as Horace Walpole, began to fill their estates with highly ornamented turrets and towers reminiscent of medieval churches.

Gothic church photo 1
Cathedral of St. John the Divine–a church with Gothic elements

Meanwhile, many authors began to abandon the Enlightenment principles of rationality and reason in favor of exploring the pleasure that can be found in emotions like terror. The original Gothic stories featured Gothic castles, abbeys, and ruins of the sort that were now being recreated and were often set in a vaguely medieval past. They generally included elements of the supernatural in reaction against the recent trend of realism and were characterized by melodrama, mystery, and suspense. Listed below are some of the seminal works of early Gothic fiction. Continue reading The Roots of Gothic Literature

The Graveyard Book Review–A Ghost Story for All Ages

The Graveyard Book CoverNeil Gaiman is known and respected in the gothic community for many reasons. His comic book series The Sandman, which revolutionized the world of comics, stars a character called Death who became a fashion icon for goths for decades to come. His book Coraline brought creepy children’s tales to the public eye when it was made into a movie in 2009. My favorite work of his that I’ve read so far, however, is another kid’s book—The Graveyard Book.

This book is a tale for practically any age (the back recommends 10 and up, it does contain some mentions of violence). While certainly accessible to children, I found it perfectly enjoyable to read for the first time as an adult. There are many subtleties that might be missed by young readers (as they are often missed by the character Bod) that enrich the story for adults.  Continue reading The Graveyard Book Review–A Ghost Story for All Ages