Author Interview - CAT CAVENDISH
Today on the Witch Haunt, I’m excited to have on author of ghostly Gothic novels, CATHERINE CAVENDISH! Cat, as she is known to her super close friends, like me, :) divides her time between Liverpool and Wales in a 260-year-old haunted apartment. She’s the author of many paranormal novels, novellas, and short stories.
WH: Welcome to the blog, Cat! Please give us a brief introduction of your fabulous self:
Happy to. I’m a horror writer who tends towards the ghostly, gothic and supernatural. I love writing about haunted houses, shadows, demons and people with dark secrets… In addition, many of my stories are set in the past because I love history. I’m British and live north of Liverpool with my husband and our adorable, mischievous black cat, Serafina. Or should I say, she graciously allows us to share her home.
WH: I think the latter is probably correct. What other career would you have if not writing/publishing?
I would probably be doing what I did before – helping people from all sorts of backgrounds to improve their employability skills and get the job they want.
WH: I think ghost hunter would suit you well, too. :) Cat, what is your writing process like?
I aim to write every day and when I am starting a new project, I make notes, do careful research to get the details right and once I start writing, I need peace and quiet so I can really get into the atmosphere of my story. I am not a great plotter. I prefer to start with a basic idea, some central characters that I develop, and then let them loose in the location I have determined for them. Every day is a revelation as I never know where they are going to take me until I get there.
WH: I also need peace and quiet, which is difficult since my kids all still live with me. Headphones are my friend. :) Which of your written works are you most proud of?
That’s a difficult one to answer. I think the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy because it is the first time I have ever written a series, so for me, that was a big achievement.
WH: I’ll have to check that one out! If you could interview any horror author, gone or alive, who would it be?
Alive – Ramsey Campbell. He is a great inspiration. I have also been fortunate enough to meet him on a few occasions and he is so knowledgeable about the whole world of horror literature. He is also hilarious. Wicked sense of humour. Dead – M.R. James. His ghostly stories are perfectly pitched and he has again been a major influence on me.
WH: I met Mr. Campbell at StokerCon in Providence earlier this year, and he is everything you describe. I’m excited to be interviewing him in the coming weeks. How have you changed as a person from your early life until now?
Sometimes I look back on my younger self and cringe! Like most people of my age, I have had my share of ups and downs, emotionally, physically, medically and financially. As a result, I have become much better equipped to deal with major problems, although I do still have a tendency to allow trivial annoyances to assume too much importance and get in the way. In that area I continue to be a work in progress. My writing has benefited from the experiences I have encountered and I am a much more mature author than I used to be.
WH: I’m the same, although I’ve been getting better at letting those trivial things go. And now comes the food portion of the interview. How do you like your coffee? Do you have a favorite libation? What’s your favorite dessert?
Coffee – hot and strong, although I do enjoy a Mocha in cold weather. Champagne is my tipple of choice, but clearly that is for special occasions. Otherwise a good red burgundy or claret and, for a lighthearted fizz, a dry prosecco works well in summer. I am more of a savoury than a sweet lover, so I’ll have the cheeseboard please – Brie, Stilton. Emmental, Gorgonzola and a mature cheddar with a tasty glass of port.
WH: You’re making me hungry, Cat. Now I’m thinking slices of roast beef and Brie for lunch. Back to the interview. What’s your favorite Halloween tradition?
I have this little Halloween house I put up. It is black, looks like the Addams Family home, has lights inside and lots of silver sparkles. I add my little witch’s cauldron and bookcase…It’s a real Halloween tableau.
WH: That sounds lovely. I would love to see a photo of it sometime. What is the witchiest thing about you (we’re all a little witchy)?
I have been known to cast the odd spell…
WH: Ha, Mrs. Cavendish prefers to keep herself mysterious on this one. :) Who would be your favorite Addams Family character?
Morticia, although how on earth she could walk anywhere in that narrow dress I’ll never know. I think of her every time I am dead-heading the roses – only, of course, she would be snapping off the ones in full bloom!
WH: Of course, she would! I did dress as Morticia for Halloween once, loooong ago. Back when I could fit into her dress. So, Cat, how difficult do you feel the horror industry is for women to break into? Do you have any advice for aspiring female writers looking to enter the genre?
I think I have been lucky because I have not found any overt discrimination against me as a female in the horror world. Trying to get published at all is a nightmare and I spent many years attempting to do so as a historical novelist. All I would say to anyone – of whatever gender – is don’t give up. Make sure you read extensively and that you listen to those who have made a success of it. Ramsey Campbell advises people to read, read, read and not merely in their own genre, but outside of it as well. Also read work of authors whom you admire and who are well regarded. Such extensive reading rubs off on us. Unconsciously we absorb at least some of it and use it to improve our own writing. Keep writing, keep striving to produce the best work of which you are capable and keep knocking on those publishers’ and agents’ doors.
WH: Indeed, words to live by. I find it so difficult to read extensively, only because I am a slow reader. I actually write way faster than I read. I still try, though it’ll take me a month to read through what it takes some people a day. What do you feel makes a horror novel scary?
Frequently it is what is hinted at. What you don’t see. You know it’s there and you know it’s really scary but you don’t know when it’s going to get you. Hitchcock did this in his films so well. It’s the old principle of the ticking bomb. You hear it tick, tick, ticking but you can’t see it. You don’t know exactly where it is. The minute the bomb goes off, the tension is broken.
WH: I agree it’s what you cannot see that makes a story scary for me. I’m more about the empty space ahead of me than monsters. What is the most awesome thing happening in your life right now that you’d like to share with us?
I am working on a new novel, with edits for another arriving any day now. Five of my earlier books are about to be reissued by Crossroad Press AND we’re going to be moving house so we need to clear out two homes (long story!). All this in the midst of a heatwave. Phew!
WH: I feel your pain after having moved earlier this year. So, what’s next for you? We can’t wait to see what you have coming up!
Kensington-Lyrical are releasing the third in the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy on October 23rd. Damned by the Ancients takes us back to Vienna where Quintillus is about to release his evil on a new generation of owners of the ill-starred Villa Dürnstein. As I mentioned, five of my earlier titles – Cold Revenge, The Demons of Cambian Street, The Devil Inside Her, Miss Abigail’s Room and The Second Wife– are all coming soon from Crossroad Press. Early next year, Flame Tree Press are releasing The Haunting of Henderson Close. So, we have ghosts, demons of various kinds of evil, haunted houses and revenge!
Ghosts, demons, and evil…OH, MY! Well, thank you for being on the blog with me today, Cat! Good luck on the move and we can’t wait to read all your re-releases coming soon! To check out more about Cat Cavendish, follow the links below:
Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendishis now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. Cat’s novels include the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy- Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plusThe Devil’s Serenade,The Pendle Curseand Saving Grace Devine. Her novellas include Linden Manor, Dark Avenging Angel, and the soon to be re-released Cold Revenge, The Demons of Cambian Street, The Devil Inside Her, Miss Abigail’s Room and The Second Wife. She lives with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. Cat and her family currently divide their time between Liverpool and a 260-year-old haunted apartment in North Wales.
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🔮 GABY TRIANA ☠️