Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Guest Post: Bo Briar

I am pleased to welcome Bo Briar, author of Morgan Hall, who is here today to discuss why it is important to include gothic fiction in one's reading repertoire.  I first discovered gothic fiction at a very young age and have been enthralled with it ever since, even preferring to read it on those dark and stormy nights in front of my fireplace, giving it that extra ambiance.  What can I say?  I'm a total sap for stuff like this. Take a look at the blurb for Morgan Hall:

Lady Christie Morgan is not the only occupant in this desolate English estate. A young apparition appears, sparking a chain of horrifying occurrences involving Christie and the two men closest to her: Anthony Longfield-Lothian and Tristan Ely. A saga of mystery and sordid family history weaves intrigue for the passionate love triangle. Past and present war as the secrets of three aristocratic families come to light.

Gothic Fiction - What is it and how did it come about?
And why it is a must-read genre…

Gothic fiction, also known as Gothic horror combines elements of both horror and romance. The first ever gothic novel is regarded to be The Castle of Otranto by the English author Horace Walpole back in 1764 – so he would have effectively pioneered the genre.

Gothic fiction feeds on a pleasing sort of terror mixed with elements of romance. It is dark, exciting, mysterious, melodramatic, full of deep and passionate feelings and oodles of atmosphere. It is intimately associated with the Gothic Revival architecture of that era and in the same way rejects clarity and rationalism preferring the joys of extreme emotion, the thrills of fearfulness and awe inherent in the sublime, as well as a quest for atmosphere. 

It is important to understand that the ruins of gothic buildings were very much linked to strong emotions as they represented the inevitable decay and collapse of human creations. English landscape parks of the time would even add fake ruins for this kind of effect and feeling. Medieval buildings were seen by English Gothic writers as representing a dark and terrifying period, of harsh laws enforced by heavy punishments including torture – an era steeped in mystery, fanaticism for example anti-Catholicism and the Inquisition, and superstitious rituals. 

There are a number of prominent features of Gothic fiction. These include both psychological and physical terror, mystery, secrets, darkness, decay, death, the supernatural, ghosts, haunted houses, elaborate but crumbling castles and Gothic architecture, hereditary curses and madness.

Gothic fiction characters often include Byronic heroes, tyrants, evil villains, maniacs and madmen, femmes fatales, persecuted maidens, insane women, magicians, paranormal characters for example vampires, werewolves and monsters, ghosts, the Devil and so forth.

All of this put together with clever twists in the storyline makes Gothic Fiction a fascinating read. Taking the reader out of reality and pushing them out of their comfort zone – into a world of decaying beauty, deep passions and dark secrets. Where love can be eternal and anything and everything can happen in the stormiest yet most breath-taking ways. It is a genre that guarantees that while reading, you will leave this everyday world behind and step into a whole new other – leagues away from everything you’d come to know.

My novel Morgan Hall is everything a Gothic novel should be – almost all of the above. In addition to this, I have also moved all of that as it is, literally, into our modern world, and you will be able to relate to the characters and what they are feeling but still be left with that very overwhelming Gothic rush and that sense of “wow”!

So come and have a go – experience “Morgan Hall” by Bo Briar.

Author Biography
Bo Briar nursed a love of art, music and architecture from childhood as well as all things ghostly. Her years at a British boarding school secluded in an ancient English county of majestic stately homes, historical towns and quaint medieval villages, nestled among mysterious forests and chocolate-box landscapes formed many of her lifelong impressions, beliefs and ideas.

Although having a natural affinity for the countryside Bo lived most of her life between the big cities of London and Hong Kong. Though widely travelled, she will always return to the two cities she calls home.

Her love for writing began at university where she would often diverge from composing dissertations to creating spooky stories. After taking a sabbatical from work in the hope of quality time with her two young children, she has also managed to complete and publish her first novel Morgan Hall. She is currently writing the sequel.

Bo welcomes you to her website at: www.bobriar.com