Tuesday, January 3, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, CATHERINE CAVENDISH

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, CATHERINE CAVENDISH

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Thank you for taking the time to interview with us Catherine, tell us about your latest novel.

Thank you for inviting me Kitty. ‘Cold Revenge’ is a paranormal horror novella. For no apparent reason, Nadine, Maggie, Gary, and Nick are invited to dinner by top fashion writer, Erin Dartford, who lives in a lavishly restored abbey. But why has she invited them? Why doesn't she want her guests to mingle? And just what is it about the mysterious Erin that makes them want to run for their lives?

Little do they know that as they prepare to eat their first course, an evil as old as mankind is about to be unleashed. And revenge really is a dish best served cold...

What was it that got you interested in the paranormal? Was there a certain something that triggered it?

I can’t remember any one specific incident that acted as a trigger. I’ve always been fascinated by it. I do remember being absolutely terrified by a story written by W.W. Jacobs which we read in school. It was called ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ and, once that had scared my socks off, I was ready for Edgar Allan Poe and Dennis Wheatley. Then along came James Herbert and Stephen King, swiftly followed by Anne Rice, and I’ve never looked back since!

If you had to choose only one of your books as your all time favorite, which one would it be and why?

I was really pleased with the way ‘Cold Revenge’ turned out. I think the idea of people getting their – shall we say – just desserts, is always appealing and I was pleased with the ending too.

Of course most foreign lands are rich with history though I've heard that Wales is a treasure trove of historical artifacts and stories, how much of where you live has an affect on your writing?

It has had a profound effect on my soon-to-be-published novella, ‘The Demons of Cambian Street’ as a rather scary, large walk-in cupboard in our apartment features heavily in it! You’re right about the history, myths and legends though. There is certainly a lot of material for someone writing in my genre to draw on and I will continue to do so. There is a large, derelict former mental hospital not far from here which is reputedly haunted by a number of ghosts. In the recesses of my mind, an idea is forming…

Tell us a bit about your writing style and how do you come up with your ideas and names for characters?

I tend to start with the germ of an idea and one or two central characters, make a few notes to outline the skeleton of the story and then I boot up my computer, open a Word document and start writing. Yes, I’m a ‘pantser’! Once the first draft is written, that’s when the hard work takes over and the final draft is usually very different, both in substance and detail, from the first.

Ideas can come from anywhere. The premise of ‘Cold Revenge’ started as a chance remark concerning the well known phrase, ‘revenge is a dish best served cold’. Suddenly I thought, ‘what if it really was served up cold?’ and it grew from there. ‘The Demons of Cambian Street’ came from the fascinating 18th century building in which we live, and the novella I am currently working on grew out of a series of recurring nightmares I had been having.

Names seem to pop into my head. In ‘Cold Revenge’, I started to get a feel of one of my key characters and the name Erin Dartford sprang into my mind. I thought it suited her and it stuck.

Who are some of your inspirations in the writing world?

Unsurprisingly Stephen King and Anne Rice, along with Dennis Wheatley and Edgar Allan Poe, but there are so many others, including authors writing outside my own genre. I love Armistead Maupin’s ‘Tales of The City’ books. His characters are quirky and exquisitely drawn and their stories are riveting. I can never put his books down!

A lot of writers say that their animals provide a certain amount of inspiration and of course company when they are working. I read in your bio that you have a tortoiseshell cat, tell us more about him/her.

Mimi is a 16 year old tortie who is a little chatterbox, has a loud, rumbling purr and loves her cuddles. She has me exactly where she wants me (under her paw) and I am her willing slave. I’ve always had cats. I love their beautiful spirit, independence and individuality, coupled with their loyalty and affection. Mimi embodies all of these qualities.

Does your husband ever critique your writing for you?

Yes. He finds all the typos! Seriously though, he is a great help and support to my writing.

If you were to ever write in another genre what would it be and why?

Historical. I have written historical novels and I love the research involved, plunging into another era and losing myself in a different life and time. I would like to combine the two (paranormal and historical) and may well do so in the near future

Do you have any advice you'd like to share with other aspiring authors?

Never give up and keep on learning about the craft of writing. There are plenty of books out there to help you. Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ is a famous one. There are also plenty of writers’ websites too, with published authors, editors and agents prepared to give of their time and expertise. I have been a member of Litopia www.litopia.com for nearly three years now and can honestly say I wouldn’t be a published author now if it wasn’t for lessons learned in that community. Also, I believe you need to read up to date bestsellers in your preferred genre to give you an idea of current styles of writing. It changes a lot over the years.

Thank you again Catherine for your time with this interview, I hope to have the pleasure again soon!

Thank you for having me Kitty

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