Author Interview: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” set in glamorous 1950s Mexico. We spoke with author Silvia Moreno-Garcia about the inspiration for Mexican Gothic, the importance of the Gothic genre, and more.

“Creepy and romantic, Mexican Gothic is easily one of my favorite books of 2020! Upon receiving a strange letter from her cousin, Noemi Taboada goes to investigate the happenings of High Place, a decaying manor filled with secrets, and is plagued by terrifying dreams and visions. Moreno-Garcia delivers a fresh take on a classic gothic novel that will grab your attention from the very first chapter!”

Tyrinne Lewis, Rakestraw Books

Please tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write this book and how this story took shape for you.

Many things inspired Mexican Gothic. Obviously, Gothic novels and stories, from Poe and Quiroga to the Gothic revival in paperback form in the 1960s. But also the horror films of Carlos Enrique Taboada, the aesthetic of Hammer films, giallo movies, Mexico’s mining history and postcolonial history. And a bad dream. My teachers didn’t think reading horror was a good idea. They were wrong.

In two sentences or less, what’s something that might surprise listeners about your audiobook?

It’s inspired by a real British settlement in the middle of Mexico, Real del Monte. And there’s an English cemetery there.

Have you listened to your own audiobook? If so, what struck you about the narration?

Yes. I was very happy with the narrator because she is a Latina performer and was able to give the book both the slow, syrupy tone it needed and also had an understanding of its cultural background.

What have independent bookstores and/or booksellers meant to you personally and professionally?

I think everyone predicted the demise of the bookstore, but bookstores have been flourishing in the past few years and really interacting with their communities, which is exciting to see.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Gothic novels have a really long history and serve as a sort of liminal category. They can have elements of suspense, but also of outright horror. Supernatural or non-supernatural elements. They can have romance. That is why books as different as Dracula, The Monk, and Jane Eyre are all considered Gothics. And they have all diverged. Gothic novels are the grandparents of modern domestic noir, but also of romances and horror novels. We basically owe them a big thanks.

Find more audiobooks by Silvia Moreno-Garcia:

Header photo by Martin Dee

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