Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Writers Wednesday: It's Gothic for Gloria Marlow

Today I’m happy to welcome Gloria Davidson Marlow, whose book When Swallows Fall was released in November. Hi Gloria. So glad you’re here. Would you please tell us a little about your newest?

Although Ophelia Garrett loved Cade Scott first, it was her sister he married and took home to his plantation. When Ophelia receives word of her sister's murder and Cade's arrest, she travels there on a mission to learn the truth. She soon finds the halls of Almenara are haunted by secrets, peril, and quite possibly her sister's ghost.

Despite the cold, angry man Cade has become, Ophelia's heart refuses to believe he is a murderer. Vowing to do everything she can to prove his innocence, Ophelia must open wounds she’d hoped were long healed and face the feelings that still burn between her and Cade.  As everyone looks to Cade as the suspect, evil haunts the dunes and halls of Almenara, bringing death to two more young women and forcing Ophelia to confront the danger.

Goodness, that sounds so intriguing. I got chills just reading the blurb. What drew you to this story?

I always loved gothic romances by Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney and other authors. I wrote the first sentence of the manuscript and just knew that’s what this was going to be. I absolutely loved writing it!

I loved reading Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney, too. They couldn’t be beat for gripping stories. Would you share an excerpt of yours?

Here you are:

“How did Desi die, Cade?”

He lifted his head, his face mere inches from mine. Emotion clouded his gaze, and he opened his mouth as if he meant to answer me. Instead, a low moan escaped him and he caught my mouth in the hungry kiss I had dreamed of for six years’ worth of lonely nights. For just a moment, the reason for that loneliness was completely forgotten.

A cry rent the air, and I jerked away from Cade, guilt and alarm whipping through me in equal measures as I turned to stare at the maid who had finally returned with the broom and dustpan.

“Oh, Mr. Scott, forgive me, please.”

“No need for apologies, Susan,” Cade said, bringing the woman’s stammering apology to an end.

He looked at me, his eyes shadowed with pain. “I am the one who should be sorry. I’ll see you at supper, Ophelia.”

I was left standing in the hall with the maid, who stared at me with open disdain. Her voice was sharp and cold when she spoke.

“I thought you were Mrs. Scott, you know. Kissing her husband like that. It made me think Kathleen was right and she had come back from the grave after all.”

“People don’t come back from the grave, Susan,” I retorted, hoping my haughtiness hid my shame. If Desi were to come back to haunt the halls of the home where she’d died, I was fairly certain what I’d just done would be reason enough for me to be her target.

What’s your next project?

I’m working on another gothic romance, as well as a contemporary romantic suspense. My backlist is being re-released by Salt Run Publishing, so I’m working on editing those as well. As a matter of fact, Shades of Silence, which was my third book, was re-released in December and my second book, The Butterfly Game, will be re-released in March.

Goodness, you have quite a lineup for re-release. Looks like you’ll be a busy lady. What one tip would you offer writers?

Learn the rules, abide by the rules, and write from your heart. It is possible to do both. It took me a while to come to grip with the rules after I wrote my first book without any clue they existed. Once I started learning them, I was so worried about breaking them, I could barely write. They did eventually become ingrained enough that I can write without thinking about them constantly. Especially the first draft – I’m not sending that draft out, so I can fix what I miss when I go back in.

Excellent point, especially about worrying too much about breaking the rules. It takes time to find our own way. How do your stories ‘come to you’ at first--through characters, setting, story line? 

My stories usually come to me with a single scene and then build from there. When Swallows Fall started out with two names: Ophelia and Desdemona, and a woman having her newborn twin daughters placed in her arms.

Intriguing heroine names! All sorts of possibilities with both of them. Do you have a special place you like to write?

I like to write using a desktop computer. Until the last few years, I’ve always had a certain place I wrote, even if it was only in a corner of a room. The past few years, I’ve only had a laptop so I have to admit I haven’t written as much as I should. I’m currently in the process of carving out a writing space.  

Do you have challenges with finding writing time? 

The last few years, I’ve worked full-time and I have three grandsons I can’t resist, so I spend as much of my weekends as possible enjoying them. Finding writing time is difficult, but I try to do find a few minutes every day.

Writing every day is so important. And the working along with enjoying grandchildren in So understandable. Thanks so much for being here today, and best of luck with the release. I hope you’ll come back again.

Find Gloria online at:
Twitter: @gloria_marlow


  1. Hi Gloria,
    So glad you're here today to share your new gothic romance. It sounds great. I know it's one I'm getting right away.

  2. Hi, Gloria. Ah, the rules... you learn them, you follow them, then you give yourself the right to consider them guidelines -- or at least I do when I want to break one, LOL.

    Enjoyed the excerpt. I love Gothics.:)

    1. Barbara, I like your attitude about the rules :) And when you break one, break it with style! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Hi, Gloria, I went through my teens reading Gothic Romances too. My favorite was "Master of Blacktower" by Barbara Michaels ... before she was famous. Can't beat that combination of romance and pure, superstitious terror! "The Swallow's Tail" looks like a winner! Best wishes with it.

    1. Oh, Laura, I remember Barbara Michaels' books. So enjoy gothics, and I'm glad to see some now. I can't wait to get into my copy of The Swallow's Tail. Glad you're here.

  4. Great excerpt! Your writing grabbed me and held my attention, along with sending a chill down my spine. Good luck with all your releases!

    1. Hi Ashantay. I agree. I wouldn't have been surprised to see Desi's ghost standing there ;) Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Great post, Gloria. My biggest challenge in writing is finding enough time. I also have terrific grandchildren. Good luck and great sales!

  6. Ah, grandchildren, they're young for such a short time--i hate to miss any time with them, too, Sandra. Good to see you here.

  7. Sorry, I'm a day late. Just wanted to say I enjoyed the interview ladies. Gloria, I love how you mentioned not worrying about the rules so much in your first draft. It took me a long time to get to that point. Now, I just get the first draft down on paper and then fix all any broken rule issues during revisions. It makes writing the initial draft much easier.

  8. I read - and re-read - every book Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt wrote. I still own most of them, and now and again revisit them. They were the best at Gothic in their day.
    I know just what you mean about following the rules and your heart, Gloria. That's so true.
    I haven't read a good Gothic in a long time, so I just bought When Swallows Fall (love the title).
    Good luck on future sales.

  9. What a wonderful excerpt! And great advice to learn the rules of writing and try to stick to them while writing from your heart. Very nice interview!

  10. Great interview! Love how you manage to fit in writing despite your busy life! Really enjoyed the excerpt!

  11. Thank you to everyone for your comments! I enjoyed hearing from everyone and if you read When Swallows Fall or any of my books, I really hope you enjoy them!

  12. By the way, both Sweet Sacrifices and Shades of Silence have some Gothic elements as well.