Published O ctober 18, 2022 by Weird House Press A s the nights draw in and the temperature plummets, beware the witch's curse. And stay...

Author Spotlight || Catherine Cavendish, Author of The Crow Witch and Other Conjurings

Published October 18, 2022 by Weird House Press

As the nights draw in and the temperature plummets, beware the witch's curse. And stay out of the shadows, for far more lurks there than you could ever imagine...

Two witches, burned for their evil centuries earlier, now hellbent on revenge. A woman who seems to step out of an old Hollywood movie, and a castle with a murderous past. A seer whose lost and deadly prediction was hidden away for a future generation. A mysterious portrait that is far more deadly than mere paint and canvas. An old woman only the foolish would ridicule, for she knows the secrets of the land and how to harness its power.

All these and more abound, and you would do well to remember…
When the seeds of revenge are sown, beware the harvest.

What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?

As a child, I always enjoyed reading scary stories - starting with The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs. I love the tingling feeling of being watched from dark shadows, of knowing there is something strange and sinister in that old, Gothic house and of seeing something indeterminate flit past the corner of my eye... Atmosphere. I love it. The dark and more brooding the better. As a result, I am compelled to write about it.

What's your favorite "bad review" that you've gotten?  

One person said they 'didn't order this book' and gave it one star! I found that rather amusing.

What comes first for you - the plot or the characters?

It can be either but it's usually the plot. Sometimes the location takes precedence, as with The Malan Witch (in this collection) where I had this urge to write a story based in South West England. Given that there is a wonderful Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall, it had to be a story about witches. Everything else fell into place after that.

Do you have any writing superstitions?


Is there a word you find yourself using too often when writing?

The usual suspects I'm afraid - 'just', 'now' are two major culprits. Luckily these are generally edited out so they don't make the final cut

A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there songs you had on repeat?

I rarely listen to music when I'm writing as I find it a distraction. I prefer to transport myself wherever I am in the story. I have made a couple of exceptions though - one for The Malan Witch where I played a soundtrack of waves crashing on the shore, while seabirds called overhead. Another exception was for a short story called 'Grandfather's Clock' where I played a track of a ticking longcase clock.

Do you have a favorite line that you've written? What is it and why do you like it?

One is from a short story in this collection, called The Oubliette of Elie Loyd: 'She came out of nowhere. Didn’t belong. Not to the time and place where I met her. Maybe that should have warned me.' 
I like it because, as the first line of the story, I feel compelled to read on. I believe first lines are a critical hook to any story. I am always reminded of the famous first line in Daphne du Maurier's 'Rebecca' - 'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again'. Irresistible.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don't listen to people who tell you that you can't be a writer, work hard and just do it.

What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring writers that is unconventional but true?

We all know that in order to grow and improve their craft, writers need to pack in a lot of reading but don't simply read your own genre, read widely. Learn from writers in other fields. You'll be surprised at what you pick up once you take off your blinkers!

Do you have a WIP? If so, can you tell us anything about it?

I have a new collection of original short fiction coming out from Weird House Press next spring and a new novel from Flame Tree Press in the summer. The short fiction collection (title to be announced) contains stories of a ghostly and sinister nature. The novel is called The After Death of Caroline Rand and takes place in the Sixties and the present day. It centres around a legendary folk-rock singer (Caroline Rand) and the strange, ghostly and scary events that surround her life...and death

Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?

In The Crow Witch and Other Conjurings, one of my favourites was Miss Constantine - the main character in Daft Old Bat. She seems like a frail old woman but she has hidden depths and some people are really scared of her. Another was the main character in Sour Grapes - Charlotte. I love her feistiness.

You've watched a movie 50 times and you still aren't tired of it. What movie is it?

Murder by Death - it's a hilarious parody of fictional crime detectives and I have watched it countless times.

Which animal (real or fictional) would you say is your spirit animal and why?

No doubt about it. A cat. Any cat really. There has almost always been a cat in my life since the day I was born.  I appreciate their independence, their loyalty and their air of superiority coupled with their compassion. My cats have always known when I most need a hug and they supply it in the form of purrs, licks and snuggles. I feel akin to them

Would you rather live in a haunted mansion or a cottage surrounded by fairytale creatures?

Haunted mansion please, complete with interesting ghosts. I am not a pink unicorn-type person.

What is in your internet search history (researching for your book) that you would want someone to wipe if you were under suspicion from the police?

Methods of poisoning people, perfect murders, dark arts rituals... the usual sort of thing - oh and 

You wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare. What was it?

Being chased by some nameless, faceless, indeterminate creature. I immediately have to write about it, of course.

What movie completely scarred you as a child?

Bambi. Enough said.

If animals could talk, which one would be the rudest?

Camels. They do their best anyhow. They spit at people.

Which of the Golden Girls is your personality most like?

Charlotte in Sour Grapes is probably most like Sophia Petrillo 

What are your SM links? Can we follow you and pretend we're besties? 

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. 

Her first fiction collection – The Crow Witch and Other Conjurings – is out now from Weird House Press, and a new collection will be coming out in 2023

Cat’s novels include Dark Observation, In Darkness, Shadows Breathe, The Garden of Bewitchment. The Haunting of Henderson Close, The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine. 

Her novellas include 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 

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.