Catherine Cavendish has been writing pretty much all her life but has only in recent years been able to turn to it full time. She and her husband divide their week between Liverpool and North Wales, where they live in a "haunted" 18th century building with a friendly ghost who visits from time to time.
It’s been a busy year for you. Tell us what has been happening.
It certainly has! It all started when Samhain Publishing announced they were closing the horror line and I faced the prospect of all five of my titles with them being orphaned. In addition to that, I had recently signed a contract with them for a new book that would not now be published. Scary times for a writer. I wasn’t alone, of course. All my fellow Samhain horror authors were in precisely the same boat – some even more badly affected than me. Fortunately we are an incredibly supportive bunch and we all shared experiences and suggestions with each other.
As a result of recommendations, I found CrossroadPress who have been amazing. I signed with them to reissue all five of my previously published titles and within days of them disappearing from Samhain, they were back out there, with gorgeous new covers.
That’s great news. What about the other book – the one you had just signed the contract for? Does that have a new home yet?
I’m delighted to say it does. I am so fortunate to have achieved a contract with Kensington-Lyrical. Wrath of the Ancients will be out in the autumn and is now the first in a trilogy. I am excited about it because I have set it in two of my favourite haunts – Vienna and Egypt – and it also combines my love of Egyptology (and history in general) with Gothic horror.
Busy times ahead then. Tell us a little about each of the five titles that have just been reissued.
Linden Manor is a ghostly tale involving a house built on land that was cursed many centuries earlier. Lesley Carpenter is drawn to it because she is writing a thesis on local folk tales and a rhyme called ‘The Scottish Bride’ derives from the manor. Little does she know what is lurking in the shadows of that house or what significance it has for her.
The Pendle Curse is loosely based on the infamous Lancashire witch trials of 1612. Ten people were convicted of witchcraft and hanged in that year. Now they are back – for vengeance.
Saving Grace Devine involves a young girl who is drowned with a curse on her lips. She reaches out from the past and it falls to Alex Fletcher to help her, but in doing so, she puts her very soul in peril.
Dark Avenging Angel is a dark and chilling tale about a lonely young girl who grows up with a secret. She is protected by a mysterious entity who allows her to avenge herself on three people who have badly hurt her. But when Jane can only name two, the angel shows her darkest side. Payment must be made in full – one way or the other.
The Devil’s Serenade is a Gothic novel set in an imposing mansion into which its former owner – Nathaniel Hargest – has interwoven evil. Maddie inherits this house she used to stay in during long summer holidays years ago. She can’t remember the last summer she was there, but she is about to, along with all the horror that comes with it.
Why do you write horror?
I love the suspense, the dark shadows and unexpected twists and turns. As you can see from my own books, I am heavily into the ghostly, scary, creepy and Gothic which is probably why I love visiting haunted locations whenever I get the chance. I also think that horror is the best form of escapism. With everything that is going on in the world, sometimes you just want to turn away from it, grab a book and become completely absorbed in a world of fictional terrors.
Do you have groaning bookshelves or a packed e-reader?
Both. There is nothing like the look and feel of a real book but, for travel and when you have to wait somewhere for anything more than a few minutes, you can’t beat a Kindle (or similar). It’s so easy to carry around.
Any other plans for 2017?
I am currently polishing the second book in my Wrath of the Ancients trilogy and I shall be writing the third in the series during the course of this year. I also have a novella – The Darkest Veil – which I hope will come out before too long and have also completed the first draft of a possible trilogy set in Edinburgh, one of my favourite places.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Don’t say you want to write a book – just do it. It may not be the greatest story in the English language but it will be yours. Keep at it.
What would you say to your 21 year old self?
Be bolder. Turn your dreams into reality and make them happen.
What were your favourite horror films of 2016?
10 Cloverfield Lane, Don’t Breathe, The Witch, The Forgotten, The Unseen, What We Become, The Tag-Along. There have been some great films and these are only a few of them.
And favourite horror stories of 2016?
Loch Ness Revenge by Hunter Shea and also his riveting The Jersey Devil. The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi. Gene O’Neill’s Lethal Birds. Gene Lazuta’s Vyrmin , Glenn Rolfe’s Chasing Ghosts, Vicki Beautiful by Somer Canon, Children of the Dark by Jonathan Janz…I’d better stop now. There’s some great new horror out there. Our favourite genre is alive and well I’m delighted to say
You can find Cat’s books here:
And you can connect with her here: