Q&A with Jennifer Anne Gordon
Q: When did you decide to become a gothic horror writer?
I don’t think I went into this thinking that I would be only Gothic Horror all the time, though Gothic fiction is my favorite to read. I think of myself not just as Gothic Horror, but also Literary Horror, or Grief Horror as well. I do think living through a pandemic does lend itself well to Gothic Fiction, which is so focused on the past as well as the oppressive environment.
Q: What inspired you to create your first novel, From Daylight to Madness?
From Daylight to Madness was originally going to be my first novel, but I felt very overwhelmed with the research and wanting to get the feeling right for life during the Victorian Era. I ended up publishing the novel Beautiful, Frightening and Silent first. By the time I got back to From Daylight to Madness I felt I was ready to write that book. The idea for that novel came from a past life hypnosis session I did many years ago. I saw the very first scene from that book, as well as the very last scene. I just had to make up what happened between those two moments.
Q: How many books do plan for this series?
I have written two so far, From Daylight to Madness and When the Sleeping Dead Still Talk. Those two books were written together as a duology. They complete the story of the main characters Francis and Isabelle. So, their story is done. There is one more character, a fan favorite, Agnes that I may eventually do a novel focused on her. I would say after that novel I believe the series would be done. That being said if I never get to the “Agnes novel” the story is already complete as is.
Q: How would describe your writing style?
Lyrical, poetic, dark, and visceral.
Q: What was the journey like for you as you were writing, editing, and publishing your works?
I think the journey is similar for most authors. There are so many ups and downs and you are really going it alone most of the time. A good writing day makes you feel inspired, you feel like your book will change the world and you are a genius. A bad writing day and suddenly you question your talent, you stop understanding how to make a sentence, you realize your book has no plot. I try to think of my first draft as my “vomit draft” I am just trying to get the words out. I am only telling the story to myself. The drafts after that are when it starts to become a book. As for the editing and publishing, I am lucky I have an incredible team of people I work with and rely on. My editor Pattyanne McCarthy, my publicist Mickey Mikkelson, the team at Books and Moods that help me with my launches, I also have a good support system of Beta Readers and writing friends. Everyone helps.
Q: Tell us, readers about your second novel, When The Sleeping Dead Still Talk.
When the Sleeping Dead Still Talk is the second novel in “The Hotel” series and it focusses on the character of Francis who was also in From Daylight to Madness in a supporting role. This novel focusses on his time at the Island, and the trauma in his past that has caused him to be there. There is a lot to Francis, to understanding him, who he really is. In From Daylight to Madness he was enigmatic and romantic but there was also a mystery about him. This book solves that mystery.
Q: When will your second book be released?
It was released in November of 2020.
Q: What themes will readers find in your books?
I like to use the ideas of past trauma to explore what makes a character who they are. The themes of the past still being alive in the present is a recurring theme. Also, the ideas and questions surrounding the idea of someone being haunted, what does that mean, could it be a ghost, could it be someone who is losing touch with reality due to mental illness, could it be a memory that they refuse to let go of? I also really love to explore the idea of love, and nonromantic love, of the connections we can form with people regardless of our sexuality.
Q: Which of your books were more difficult to create?
I feel like the book that I am currently finishing up edits on that will be released in summer of 2021 was my most difficult. The book “Pretty/Ugly” is on the surface about a virus. I also wrote it throughout the quarantine and lockdown. My idea for the book and the characters all came about pre-Covid 19, so it was a difficult book to write at times as in my novel the virus is almost secondary to the characters personal struggles. I was scared of minimizing the idea of a pandemic by having it really just be the inciting incident of a novel. Also, I think just writing during the quarantine felt so different, emotionally it was harder, though now that it is close to being done I am incredibly proud of it.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring writers in your genre?
I would say that they should read as much as humanly possible. Horror is a huge genre and there are so many subgenres out there. They should explore them all and then try to find a way to push the boundaries and change them.
Q: Do you think you will ever write in other genres completely different from the gothic horror that you write now?
Yes definitely. I have plans for more literary work, some that lean more into mystery. I would love to write crime fiction at some point, as well. I like my writing on the dark side, so I think whatever I write will always be serious.
Q: Where can readers find you and your books online?
The easiest place to find things is always Amazon, though is readers are interested I always send them to my website www.JenniferAnneGordon.com as that has links to get my novels from Bookshop.Org as well as BookDepository and Barnes and Noble.