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Male vs. Female authors
#1
It seems that most gothic novels are written by women. However, i have realized that some men write under women's names - is it to appeal to an audience that consists mostly of women? (I am not discounting the fact that some members of this forum are men and that there are probably more men out there who enjoy gothic romances, but there seems to be a myth that only women would read those books.)

I read somewhere that men and women have different writing styles. Has anyone noticed this in their reading of gothic romances? Does anyone have a preference for male or female authors?

It seems to me that female authors tend to write "softer", appealing more to emotions. I have not read many male authors, probably due to an inate prejudice that women write better gothic romances. What do others think?
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#2
Have you read any of Jan Alexander's books? Jan Alexander was one of many pen names of Victor Banis, publishing at least twenty gothic paperbacks under that name (Shadows, The Glass Painting, The House at Rose Point to name a few).

We all know Marilyn Ross was actually Dan Ross who was short on quality but long on prolificness (?) but how would you rate the romance elements of his gothics as opposed to other novels of his calibur which were actually written by females?

I, personally, have not read enough romances written by either sex to make an informed opinion. I can say that in gothic romances of the type we refer to in this forum I prefer the "romance" to not overpower the mystery/suspense plot and other gothic trappings.
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#3
So far I've liked most of the male authors, though yes I do "see" subtle differences/nuances. Many of the fellows do write their female characters very well; I've twice been surprised the author wasn't a woman.

I'll admit that, for Gothics, I prefer a female author. In some respects that's because for the past 10+ years at least 99% of my reading (non-fiction) has been written by men. That's not a problem, btw; but I am definitely enjoying reconnecting with aspects and levels of my own femininity which had gone a bit dormant it seems, and reacquainting myself with what to me is often a representation of the feminine ideal these characters represent. Smile
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#4
I think the male gothic novelists wrote stronger heroines, and the plots were a bit more actiony (think Madeline Brent). But other than that, I see no difference.
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#5
I think I might have a vague irrational preference for female authors when it comes to Gothics, if only because it's easier for me to believe a first-person narrative if the gender of the narrator matches that of the author. Again, completely irrational, as it's all fiction anyway. I've read some first-rate Gothics by male authors.

It also may be that so many authors of Gothics (female and male alike) use pseudonyms that are chosen to evoke a certain kind of personality. At the moment I'm reading a book by Priscilla Dalton, a.k.a. Mike Avallone. Avallone was a prolific author in many genres, and like so many other authors in the 1960s he capitalized on the demand for Gothics by writing several of them. The absurdity of it is that I respond to the name "Priscilla Dalton" even though I know it's a phony name, simply because it evokes a persona that suits the genre and story. The part of my mind that believes the story also wants to believe that there was a refined lady called Priscilla Dalton who really wrote these books. Ridiculous! Yet the imagination often plays chess to the checkers of the intellect, and in this case wins.
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#6
I tend to like the male authors because there is more action and less, well, Romance. Smile I'm in it for the spooky old houses, insane relatives, hidden passages, and bizarre plot twists. I like Caroline Farr and Katheryn Kimbrough, for example.
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#7
(08-23-2011, 09:22 PM)RareMale Wrote: I tend to like the male authors because there is more action and less, well, Romance. Smile I'm in it for the spooky old houses, insane relatives, hidden passages, and bizarre plot twists. I like Caroline Farr and Katheryn Kimbrough, for example.

I also prefer more emphasis on the suspense/mystery than the romance. I suppose a minor distinction could be made between Gothic Suspense and Gothic Romance. If such a distinction exists, I prefer the former.
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#8
I always feel cheated when I find that the author of a book has used a pen name.
I will admit,however,that I enjoy fabricating pen names myself.(Winston Forrester,
Charles Alastair Green,and Elizabeth Haven) All of which sound completely fabricated.
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#9
Another one here who prefers gothic suspense (with an emphasis on the supernatural) to romance. I tend to avoid romance like the plague and few things can make me dump a book faster than heavy lashings of romance which I often skim over to get to the "ghosty" parts.
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#10
(12-21-2012, 02:21 AM)Kishmish Wrote: Another one here who prefers gothic suspense (with an emphasis on the supernatural) to romance. I tend to avoid romance like the plague and few things can make me dump a book faster than heavy lashings of romance which I often skim over to get to the "ghosty" parts.

Hi Kishmish, you might like my second novel, The Haunting at Blackwood Hall...a blood and thunder Gothic Romance with seances, ghosts, witchcraft, and a few other supernatural surprises. Ghostly parts predominate. Victoria Holt it's not.

In eBook and paperback at Amazon.
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