Author and Scriptwriter

'Among the most important writers of contemporary British horror.' -Ramsey Campbell

Monday, 17 August 2020

The Lockdown with... Catherine Cavendish

Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. Cat’s novels include The Garden of Bewitchment. The Haunting of Henderson Close, the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy - Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plus The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine.
Her novellas include The Malan Witch (to be published in Summer 2020), The Darkest Veil, Linden Manor, Cold Revenge, Miss Abigail’s Room, The Demons of Cambian Street, Dark Avenging Angel, The Devil Inside Her, and The Second Wife.
Her short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies including Silver Shamrock’s Midnight in the Graveyard and her story The Oubliette of Élie Loyd will appear in their forthcoming Midnight in the Pentagram, to be published later this year.
She lives by the sea in Southport, England with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat called Serafina who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue.
You can connect with Cat here:
  1. Tell us three things about yourself
I was born in Hereford and for the first two years of my life we lived in the same village as serial killer Fred West. Fortunately, our paths never crossed.
I used to work in advertising – for a number of newspapers, including The Yorkshire Post
The last time I saw my natural hair colour was in 1972!
  1. Many writers have said the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown have made it harder for them to create. Have you found this? Has the outbreak affected you as a writer and if so, how?
When the lockdown began, I was working on my new novel and was in the process of redrafting it. I carried on. I think the continuity of it helped. I have been one of the lucky ones because I have heard and read of people who have been badly affected and haven’t been able to create anything much since this all started. One thing I have been determined to do though – I am not writing a novel about lockdown!
  1. What was the first thing you published?

A short ghost story set on the Yorkshire moors near where I grew up. It was called In My Lady’s Chamber.
  1. Which piece of writing are your proudest of?
Always a tough question to answer because it’s usually whatever I’m currently working on or whatever has been most recently published but, taking a step back, I would say one of my personal favourites is The Pendle Curse, which is a novel centred around the infamous Lancashire Witch trials of 1612. It has witches, a time slip, ghosts, haunted buildings, demonic possession and evil children – all my favourites.
  1. and which make you cringe?
Fortunately, nothing that is currently in print. However, I do cringe whenever I read the outpourings of teenage angst I wrote many years ago and had the nerve to call poetry
  1. What’s a normal writing day like?
It starts with the ‘business of writing’ as I call it – responding to emails, writing emails, blogs, social media and so on, and then, in the afternoon, I settle down to work on whatever is in progress at the time. This may involve more reading and note-taking than actual writing if I am at the embryonic, research stage. A lot of my stories have a historical setting and I need to get the details right and the atmosphere as authentic as possible. If I am working on a first draft, I like to try and get around 2000 words down per day but sometimes it’s more, sometimes a little less. Sometimes of course, yesterday’s 2000 may hit the dust the following day, when I read over it and find I have made about as much sense as a politician on lockdown.
  1. What work of yours would you recommend for people on lockdown?
Now that depends on their particular preference. The Pendle Curse I have already mentioned for fans of all things witchy, The Haunting of Henderson Close if you like scary, haunted places, Edinburgh and dark shadows. Then there’s The Garden of Bewitchment – the wild and rugged moors of the West Riding of Yorkshire, two sisters with a passion for the Brontës, ghosts and a really scary toy that no one in their right minds should play with.
  1. What are you working on now?
A novel set mainly in 1941 in the middle of the London Blitz. This one features the occult, Churchill, and a young woman who has become an unwitting target…


Catherine Cavendish said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today, Simon!

Chris Ryan said...

Great interview. Ms. Cavendish has a new reader.
Christopher Ryan

Catherine Cavendish said...

Thank you, Chris!

Ratraco Solutions said...

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