Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Elusive author information
#1
Have any of you noticed how difficult it can be to find information about authors in this genre? I don't mean the obvious famous names everyone knows, but the dozens of writers who penned a few Gothics in the 1960s and '70s, and the one-hit wonders, some of whom may have written in other genres, and about whom it is nearly impossible to find facts.

I realize that many of these novelists may have used pseudonyms, and their real identities, long after their books have gone out of print, have never seen the light of day. Perhaps some of them don't want to be found out. I recall reading an obituary for one American author -- I think it might have been Florence Hurd -- who kept her career as a romantic suspense author secret from her family until the end of her life. One wonders: was it fear of perceived snobbery, or the perception at the time that writing such sensational stuff was risqué? Hard to imagine nowadays, when publishing a book -- any book -- is considered cause for pride.

If I like a book, I become curious about its author. My natural inclination is to want to learn something about the person in whose mind I have lately been a guest, and where I enjoyed a pleasant stay. But almost invariably I am frustrated in my search for information, even of the most basic kind! With many authors it's quite impossible to discover simply whether they are alive or dead. The internet will turn up exhaustive minutiae on just about any subject, no matter how obscure, except, it seems, writers of Gothic Romance novels. Vexing and perplexing.
Reply
#2
In the case of Nancy Drew books the name of Carolyn Keene was used but many different people actually wrote the books. Do you suppose that some of the gothic authors were the same....a lot of people writing under one name?
Reply
#3
Check out the back issues of Gothic Journal. They contain comprehensive info about popular gothic romance authors. Each issue contains an author profile with a biographical sketch, a list of works by year written, and brief excerpts from several representative titles. Here's the link:
http://gothicjournal.com/gothback.html
Note that the site is undergoing a redesign this week, so the link may change. You can get to the info on the newly redesigned site by going to http://GothicJoural.com.
As to the use of pseudonyms, the 7-year index mentioned on the above link contains an author-pseudonym cross reference. You'll find many authors used several different pseudonyms.
Reply
#4
Hello Penfeather!
I, too, have searched fruitlessly for author information on some of the more obscure authors. It can be frustrating. They begin sometimes to seem like a friend that you would like to know better.
I wouldn't be surprised if there were some intriguing little mysteries surrounding some of them.

About a year ago, I found a book by one "Anne-Marie Sheridan" which was titled Summoned to Darkness. I was about ten pages into the book when I thought to myself, "If I didn't know better, I would think this was written by Carola Salisbury." (Sorry if I mention this writer ad nauseum!)
Well, anyway, in searching for more information, I found a review on Amazon that mentioned that it was, indeed, a pseudonym of Mr. Salisbury's.
Needless to say, I was rather proud of myself for guessing. But, really, the style was unmistakable!
Reply
#5
(09-12-2010, 11:40 AM)bronte Wrote: In the case of Nancy Drew books the name of Carolyn Keene was used but many different people actually wrote the books. Do you suppose that some of the gothic authors were the same....a lot of people writing under one name?

Probably not in the same sense. Nancy Drew (along with The Rover Boys, Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift, Hardy Boys, et al.) was a product of the Edward Stratemeyer fiction factory and the books were farmed out to various ghostwriters collectively called "Carolyn Keene". A strict formula was observed (it was always the "attractive, Titian-haired Nancy") and the writers wrote to outlines. The books were then edited for further conformity to the house style.

In the case of Gothics, I don't think any of the publishers ever had a real syndicate for churning out books under one pseudonym, but it wouldn't be inconceivable that they commissioned Gothics from their stables of capable writers on an ad hoc basis. I'd be very surprised, though, if multiple authors of Gothics worked under a single name, though.
(09-13-2010, 07:07 PM)AliceChell Wrote: Hello Penfeather!
I, too, have searched fruitlessly for author information on some of the more obscure authors. It can be frustrating. They begin sometimes to seem like a friend that you would like to know better.
I wouldn't be surprised if there were some intriguing little mysteries surrounding some of them.

About a year ago, I found a book by one "Anne-Marie Sheridan" which was titled Summoned to Darkness. I was about ten pages into the book when I thought to myself, "If I didn't know better, I would think this was written by Carola Salisbury." (Sorry if I mention this writer ad nauseum!)
Well, anyway, in searching for more information, I found a review on Amazon that mentioned that it was, indeed, a pseudonym of Mr. Salisbury's.
Needless to say, I was rather proud of myself for guessing. But, really, the style was unmistakable!

Salisbury (Butterworth) was a good writer and worth mentioning a lot, so mention away! (Even if his pseudonyms were a bit much. "Anne-Marie Sheridan" indeed! Big Grin )

I think Salisbury is a good example of a stylist in the field -- the author obviously had a thorough background in history and Gothic literature, and found a way of evoking the richness of 19th-century writing styles while keeping his words to a minimum and moving the story along at a crisp, 20th-century clip. The best modern Gothic writers did this, capturing the spirit of an older literary style without actually imitating it.

One author about whom I have been able to find almost no information is Ethel Gordon, who wrote (to my knowledge) only one novel, an excellent one at that, called Freer's Cove. It's an American Gothic set on the remote coast of Maine. Because the name Ethel Gordon is so common, search engines turn up haystacks of information.
(09-12-2010, 12:24 PM)GothicLover Wrote: Check out the back issues of Gothic Journal. They contain comprehensive info about popular gothic romance authors. Each issue contains an author profile with a biographical sketch, a list of works by year written, and brief excerpts from several representative titles. Here's the link:
http://gothicjournal.com/gothback.html
Note that the site is undergoing a redesign this week, so the link may change. You can get to the info on the newly redesigned site by going to http://GothicJoural.com.
As to the use of pseudonyms, the 7-year index mentioned on the above link contains an author-pseudonym cross reference. You'll find many authors used several different pseudonyms.

Thanks for this resource!
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  I cannot remember the title of the novel or the name of the author for the life of me LaVon 0 4,145 03-04-2013, 02:41 PM
Last Post: LaVon
  Does anyone know this title & author Pasche 2 11,774 10-28-2012, 11:57 PM
Last Post: madneccy
  Looking for an author coramunroe 2 5,042 05-15-2009, 12:43 PM
Last Post: coramunroe

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)