Character interview with Olivia Hampton on Patty G. Henderson’s Castle of Dark Shadows.

I have a treat for you today. While tooling around town I happened upon Patty G. Henderson having tea with her heroine, Miss Olivia Hampton. I took Olivia aside and she gave me the scoop on her time at the…Castle of Dark Shadows.  Here’s how it went.

Hi, Miss Olivia, thanks for taking time out of your day to speak with me. I know you’ve had a heck of a time recently, so I appreciate it.

Miss Olivia Hampton: It is entirely my pleasure, Ms. Revezzo. It is I who must thank you for your invitation to spend time with you and talk about my experience at Dunraven Castle.

 Why don’t you tell us how it all started. You were heading to Castle Dunraven to catalog Julian Dunraven’s library when you found out about….?

Olivia: Everything that transpired at the Dunraven estate unraveled within a short period of time. Instead of a simple job of cataloging Mr. Julian Dunraven’s immense library, I found out that my job had led me to a house where the secrets were deep and the evil dense and deadly. I also found true and eternal love with the true mistress of Dunraven, Miss Marion Dunraven. It was her love and strong determination that gave me the strength I needed to fight the madness and evil that her sister and her minion threatened.

What did you really think of Marion when she first showed up in that corridor? My goodness! Who would’ve expected that…that…Well, you tell them.

Olivia: Oh, my, Ms. Revezzo, that is a bit of a personal recollection to relay for the public, but since the story has been told, and told quite elegantly by Miss Patty G. Henderson, why not?

Oops! I’m sorry. Yes, pretty please, would you tell us a bit?

Olivia: I thought Marion Dunraven a goddess when I first met her in Cambridge. I struggled with my feelings for I had never quite felt that way inside….all tingly and excited. I could not wait to see her again and I thought about her constantly, no matter what I was doing. I wondered if it was proper feeling such things for another woman. I imagined myself doing things to her…with her…that most girls spoke about doing with men. I dared never think of her responding to the same feelings as burned within me and she was my employer, so I was at a loss.

Well, when she met me in that darkened hallway on my way to my room, I was at first alarmed. I had barely made myself comfortable in the immense place and to be confronted in the darkness by Marion Dunraven, especially after a harrowing experience that caused me to be soaking wet from being stranded outside on a ledge, was the last thing I ever expected. But when she pressed herself so close and then backed me into the wall, her body tight against me, and began speaking in delicate but hot whispers and then kissed me, I must admit, I was nothing but a bundle of jellied confusion. I felt heat, passion, fear, confusion and euphoria in one searing moment.  I never dared imagine Marion felt the same as I did and I could not believe it was real. But I had the scent of lavender on my lips when she left. And I knew I was in love and that the Mistress of Dunraven felt the same.

Q: Cora and Jack are quite a set of characters. When did you first suspect something was off about them?

I had misgivings about Mr. Jack Griffen since my first meeting with him in the darkness of the train station. And the harrowing ride through Seffenwich to Dunraven only fueled my dark but yet unfounded fears of him. There was an almost palpable evil that seemed to seep from his pores. Perhaps I carried my fantasies with me because of all the readings of Poe and other fantasy writers, but Jack Griffen left little for my overactive imagination to fill. Cora at first was a tragic figure to my eyes. I felt genuinely sorry for her. That she was mad there was no doubt but that she was evil before she went mad is something I found out in the dark halls of Dunraven Castle.

Tell us a little about Castle Dunraven. One of my biggest questions is why didn’t you mention any of this to the authorities?

Olivia: Authorities, Ms. Revezzo? Pray tell, what authorities? Castle Dunraven was quite a distance from anywhere, Seffenwich being the closet town. I certainly did not feel that Jack Griffen was going to take me to whatever police might be in Seffenwich without stopping me in my tracks. I was, to all intent and purposes, totally cut off. The only other recourse would have been to attempt to steal the coach and horses, but with Jack Griffen around, it would have been a slim chance.

I see. Didn’t know that. I figured there were constables in the next town over or something like them.Perils of time traveling I guess. (whoops. You won’t tell my secret, will you, dear?)  Finally, the papers have been buzzing about you and Marion lately, care to divulge any future plans between you  two?

Olivia: After what transpired in Dunraven, both Marion and I crave only peace and quiet. Marion is quite content with her gardening and the both of us have become quite active with some of the more prominent women’s suffrage movements. Marion is shy about any limelight but I do have an occasion to accept some speaking engagements when here in Cambridge or Boston. We keep our lives as quiet as possible for we do not wish to draw untoward attention to ourselves.

Your creatrix, Patty G. Henderson’s getting a bit curious about our conversation I see, so let’s give this one to her: Patty dear what are we really looking forward to in your future? And for those who haven’t read Castle of Dark Shadows, care to give us a little taste?

Patty: Juli, first, thank you so much for offering this interview and a chance to have fun with Olivia and the chance to speak about CASTLE OF DARK SHADOWS. I have published two other Gothic Historical Romances, THE SECRET OF LIGHTHOUSE POINTE and PASSION FOR VENGEANCE. CASTLE OF DARK SHADOWS is my second Gothic Historical Romance and my very biggest best seller. As we speak, the book is being narrated and will be available as an audio book sometime in late August or most probably, September some time. Here is the back cover blurb for CASTLE OF DARK SHADOWS:

Castle of Dark Shadows by Patty G. HendersonOlivia Hampton’s lifelong love of dark literature led her to accept a job as a cataloger for Julian Dunraven’s extensive but extremely disorderly library. The only problem is that the position requires her to work at Dunraven Castle, the remote and mysterious home of the Dunraven family. In Victorian America, a young lady had to either earn her keep or be married off to the best man for her hand. Olivia accepted the position at Dunraven Castle.

Olivia could not have guessed the dangers that awaited her in the exotic but darkly menacing castle. When there is an accident on the road to Dunraven, she wonders: Are the broken carriage wheels mere random misfortune or a sign foretelling doom? Olivia’s fears soon turn to mortal terror after a subsequent encounter with a terrifying faceless phantom disabuses her of the ‘random misfortune’ theory. Frightened but undaunted, she decides to put the nightmare behind her and throw herself into cataloging the enormous Dunraven library.

What Olivia could not have foreseen was the devastatingly beautiful Marion Dunraven’s effect on her heart. But the madness that seemed to curse the rest of the Dunraven family makes Olivia realize she must find a way to escape Dunraven Castle with her life and the woman she loves before they both become victims.

That sounds really interesting, Patty! Thanks so much and good luck with all the stories. Can you say what my readers can expect from you next.

Thanks, Juli, for asking about my future projects. Gothics. More Gothic Historical Romances are on the way. I am having so much fun writing them, why not keep going. It brings back memories of all those Gothic paperbacks I read in the late 60s and early 70s, except I can make my heroines fall in love with a dark menacing woman instead of a guy. There is a good lesbian fiction market and I enjoy writing lesbian Gothics. Am currently working on my newest Gothic Historical Romance, WHERE EVIL DWELLS. Hopefully, it will be ready for publication in 2014.

Best of luck with them, Patty and once again, thanks for being here, ladies! Folks, you can find out more about Patty G. Henderson’s works at her main site:

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7 thoughts on “Character interview with Olivia Hampton on Patty G. Henderson’s Castle of Dark Shadows.

  1. This was a great interview to read. Is it dorky to love character interviews? I love character interviews. Thank you for this, all three of you. :)

    1. Thanks, Jolene. I had great fun with this too and must thank Juli for thinking of a unique way to do an interview. Olivia is a proper but spirited young woman and it was fun “hearing” her speak.

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