My wish to write gothic (and, no, I don't mean while wearing black fingernail polish)

It's surprising to me how many people, when I mention some of my favorite authors (i.e. Joshilyn Jackson, Kate Morton, etc.) and their work, either have no idea who they are or, when in response to the inevitable "What do they write?" I say "Gothic stuff", say "Oh, I don't like horror". REALLY? What are high schools teaching these days? I mean, it's only been seven years since I attended, but we learned a bit about genres and gothic was certainly one of them (thanks Mrs. Sleek!) Granted, I was probably one of three actually paying attention in English class because I adored reading, but still...gothic literature does not mean wearing all black, trudging around with a scowl on your face and a chip on your shoulder. Gothic is long-buried secrets waiting to be discovered, family drama, ghosts (literal and metaphorical) and so much more. In recent years, it has become my absolute favorite and, with my long love for books, that is saying something.

Joshilyn Jackson is a Southern writer and her works include gods in Alabama, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming and Between, Georgia. Love love LOVE her! As a native Georgian, I have to admit that I have a bit of a greater fascination for Mrs. Jackson since she resides in Atlanta (me too!) and I met her at a signing at the Margaret Mitchell House in April. She is spirited, and sassy...a true Georgia peach. On top of all of that, her writing is humorous and dark and beautiful. I connect with it so much because of its references to kudzu, and "y'all", and sweet tea but, more importantly, because I see so much of myself in what she writes. She is the kind of writer who is deeply eloquent in a way that the average reader can find something in her words and hold on to it, no matter the subject, and I hope to do that as well.

Kate Morton is also a gothic writer, but she is from Australia and, all of her work stems from her knowledge of the Land Down Under and her time in England. All three of her novels, The House at Riverton (or The Shifting Fog for U.K. and Australia, I believe), The Forgotten Garden, and, her newest, The Distant Hours, involve an English estate with forbidden secrets, the love and trials between sisters, memories, letters and books...I could go on and on. She has mastered the art of history and intrigue with deep emotional connections to each character and their journeys. I am currently engrossed in The Distant Hours and I have a hard time moving slowly through the story because I want so badly to find out what happens in the end...I have to remember that it's all the stuff in the middle that makes the finish that much more enjoyable!

I hope everyone has a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving!

Love, Wendi

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