I sit here today to write this blog about my new book The House of Balestrom. I want to share with you my inner thoughts about the construction of this novel. What inspired me to write it and what it represents in noir fiction.
I had always wanted to write a gothic novel. Gothic you say! You want to write about fucking vampires and ghosts?! That’s not you! I have to agree…Ghosts and vampires are not me. If I ever wrote anything dealing with the supernatural you would think I was mad! A lot of people think Vampires and Ghosts when the word Gothic is brought up. But those tales are just a small part of what Gothic fiction really is.
Have you ever heard of the author Daphne Du Maurier? A fantastic woman. She wrote the novel Rebecca…which was made into the movie of the same name by Alfred Hitchcock. She also wrote Birds and My Cousin Rachel. Daphne Du Maurier wrote Gothic fiction or how she saw it, she wrote Noir Fiction. She didn’t ever want to be categorized into Romance, which is what happened. And if you ever read her books, they were pretty racy and daring for the time she wrote them.
Gothic Fiction and Noir Fiction share a common hand into all things dark. Lets talk about that. Gothic fiction combines horror and romance. It is associated with Gothic revival…ancient old churches, castles, darkness. You can see large gothic statues, gargoyles. In Noir Fiction you get crime, a loser and a woman who wants more than what she has or a way out (Femme Fatale). Both can be melodramatic and even romantic.
The elements of Gothic Fiction as seen in The House of Balestrom (this is what you should expect when reading my new novel) mystery, darkness, death, madness, crime, melodrama, secrets, and hereditary curses.
Usually in a Gothic novel there is a character who moves into or visits a new place that takes her or him out of their familiar environment. Take Sara for instance…Her and David got to Balestrom Island to visit her sister Susan. Susan is in mourning because her husband Victor Balestrom has died. I might add he died under mysterious circumstances…circumstances that place Susan as being suspected of murdering him! And thus starts the mystery…and Sara’s torment as a man who hides in the shadows stalks and terrorizes her. Camille Balestrom tortures Susan as she manipulates the family to have her removed from the household. All this and more as Sara struggles to find out the truth of what happened that night Victor died.
A journey Sara isn’t willing to go on, but anything to protect Susan, right? Which asks the question: How far would you go for someone you love or relative? It’s something to think about. Family is blood or is that an over statement?
The House of Balestrom is a dark tale of Gothic Suspense with a deep dedication to Daphne Du Maurier and her love of writing. Her ability to foreshadow tragedy. It wasn’t the fact that you knew how her novels were going to end, but how she foreshadowed what was lying ahead for the reader. So with that, I hope that I achieved the same with The House of Balestrom.