Welcome to the creepy castle. We don’t get many visitors. We’re completely isolated here – nothing but barren landscape for miles around. I hope you were careful out there on the sea cliff. The rocks get very slippery with this perpetual mist, and it’s a 100-foot drop. We’ve already lost someone that way, but we try not to dwell.
Come right this way, but be mindful of the creaking staircases. You never know what evil might be lurking in the shadows. That third-floor banister is loose, so be sure not to lean. It’s already led to more than one tragedy, but it’s probably best not to think too much about it. Let’s go into the drawing room, shall we? There’s a cozy fire in the hearth, and I’ll make us a nice pot of tea. When I come back, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself and the books I write.
Here you are. I hope you like Earl Grey. I usually drink decapitated… Oh goodness…I meant, decaffeinated, in the evening. It’s particularly good when not laced with arsenic or some other odorless, non-detectable poison. But that’s not important.
I guess by now you know that I’m Renee Ross and I write Gothic Romance like it used to be. My books have no shape-shifters, no vampires, and no steamy scenes that make your curls fall flat. I write Gothic Romance the way you remember it, if you’re my age. If you’re not – and there are plenty Gothic lovers of all generations – I write it the way your mother or your grandmother remembers it.
The mass-marketed Gothic romance paperback novels were at the peak of popularity. I must have read thousands of them. I still remember the excitement of going to the dime store to buy them brand-new off the rack. Those books are now relegated to dusty attics and antique book shops. But I don’t believe the genre will ever lose its appeal. Look at Crimson Peak, My Cousin Rachel, and Beguiled. These recent films are an indication to me that the Gothic Romance is making a long-awaited resurgence. It is filled with nostalgia for some and new discovery for others. I mean, who doesn’t love creepy castles, stormy skies, ghostly apparitions, and endless foreboding?
If you’re finished with your tea, I’ll take you to the library so you can choose one of my books to read. I’ll even have the housekeeper make up the nicest guestroom for you. There’s a wicked rainstorm coming, so you’re welcome to stay and read by candlelight for as long as you wish. Nothing would make me happier.