Catherine Cavendish, Dracula, Edgar Allan Poe, Halloween, Horror, Horror fiction, Horror writing, Linden Manor, Night of the Demon, Samnhain Publishing, Saving Grace Devine, Stephen King, The fog, The Monkey's Paw, What Waits in the Shadows
I’m thrilled to welcome a real, live horror writer. AND, not just any old one but
——cos I do. And I also get to welcome a lady who has been on a roll this year, the super talented Catherine Cavendish who writes it the finest horror tradition.
What she drew in the Spooktacular was the seven questions. And since she writes horror, what else would they be about BUT horror.
1 Why do you write horror?
When I was a child, we read The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs at school.
I could have only been about nine
I loved the way it scared me – deliciously. Then, when I was around twelve or thirteen, I started reading Dennis Wheatley – The Devil Rides Out, To The Devil A Daughter,
Edgar Allan Poe, Daphne Du Maurier, Anne Rice, Stephen King and James Herbert were added to my authors of choice. Horror became one of my two favourite genres (along with historical fiction). So, when it came to my own writing, it is probably only natural I should want to attempt to reproduce on paper what I most enjoyed reading myself.
2 Ignoring the hamstahs, how would you describe your blend of horror?
My horror tends to be of the ‘creep up behind and scare you’ variety. While there can be violent scenes in my books, you won’t find many mutilated body parts or excessive gore. I think that’s because I tend towards the more traditional Gothic horror style. You will often find a creepy, haunted house or bleak, ancient landscape in my stories, but rarely (never so far) someone going on the rampage with a chainsaw!
3 Where do your ideas come from?
Anywhere or everywhere. A chance remark led to the title, and then plot of Cold Revenge; a spooky walk-in cupboard in our flat inspired The Demons of Cambian Street. A nightmare provided the basic storyline for Saving Grace Devin, and the inspiration for Linden Manor came from the competition brief supplied by Samhain Horror Publishing’s Executive Editor, Don D’Auria. When he announced that he was looking for entries for the Gothic Horror competition last year, he wrote, “Come with me into a world of isolated mansions, ruined castles, guttering candles, dark shadows, and of course…creeping horror…” I immediately thought of a house.
A dark, forbidding, Gothic pile of a house, set at the end of a broad avenue of lime (linden) trees. Then, an image of a mature student, researching ancient local nursery rhymes for her dissertation came into my mind, swiftly flowed by the opening lines of an odd little ditty, “Run and hide, Far and wide, Run and hide from the Scottish Bride…” A story was born.
If you look at the other winning novellas in the What Waits In The Shadows anthology– Blood Red Roses by Russell James, Castle By The Sea by JG Faherty and Bootleg Cove by Devin Govaere, you can see we all stuck to the brief!
4 Fav horror film?
Now, this is a tough one. I usually prefer the old films – frequently in black and white – so atmospheric. One I never tire of is Night of the Demon, adapted from a short story by M.R. James,
but I also loved the John Carpenter classic, The Fog and…it’s a pretty long list actually!
5 Fav horror story?
This is even harder! Pretty much anything by the authors I listed earlier, but I also love Susan Hill’s The Woman In Black among many, many others.
6 Fav interpretation of Dracula onscreen?
7 Halloween plans?
Well, I’ve just had my broomstick serviced (it flew through its M.O.T.), my pointy black hat is back from the dry cleaners, and I’ve told all the spiders to build tidy cobwebs (you should see what happened when I gave them a cup of coffee!). So, let’s party! Bring your own cauldrons of course…
Four original novellas of Gothic horror! Enter if you dare four worlds of chilling Gothic horror. Feel the oppressive heat on a plantation in the Old South, where the spirits of the dead do not rest easy. Smell the salt air in a dilapidated coastal restaurant on the Chesapeake Bay, a restaurant with a very deadly past. Explore a British manor house, but remember, what you find may have been looking for you. Hear the pounding surf beyond the stone walls of a looming castle that shouldn’t even exist. But regardless of the setting, no matter what you may think you hear or see, the truly terrifying thing is…
You can connect with Cat here: