Gothic Maven Catherine Cavendish [Women In Horror Month 2022]

Catherine Cavendish is a British author with a flair for gothic lit and a love for horror. 

Please introduce yourself.
I’m Catherine Cavendish – usually known as Cat. I’m British and write novels, novellas and short stories. These are generally Gothic, haunted house, ghostly tales in the horror tradition and may contain witchcraft, demons, the occult and supernatural elements. I am not generally known for too many flying body parts or dismembering but I have had my moments when the story calls for it. 

What is it that attracts you the horror genre for your chosen field of creative work?
I have always loved creepy stories since I was a young child and read W.W. Jacobs’ short story, The Monkey’s Paw. I was probably around eight at the time. I have been writing since I could hold a pencil, so it was natural to put the two together and start writing ghost stories. Everything grew from there. 

Who inspires you in your work and in life?
My husband, Colin, is highly supportive in all areas of my life. I also take inspiration from my fellow horror writers. Such a great and diverse group of people with incredible levels of creative talent.  

What are your passions, cinematic or otherwise?
I love a great story well told, well-performed (if on the screen or stage), usually with an unexpected twist at the end. I love that story to be spooky, maybe in a haunted building, complete with ghosts, a scary back story, people who are not who (or what) they seem. Outside of reading and cinema or theatre, I am passionate about history, visiting historic houses, ancient monuments such as the Neolithic stone circles in Wiltshire (Stonehenge, Avebury and others) and Orkney. I also adore Vienna, Austria and can’t wait to go back there. I am also a passionate cat person. My husband and I are currently owned by a beautiful black cat called Serafina. 

Considering this is 2022, why do you think we still need a movement like Women in Horror Month?
There are still a lot of women who feel and/or are being told that horror is for men. It’s a myth. Women in Horror month provides a spotlight on creatives who are also being Women in Horror the other 11 months of the year. It helps to demonstrate that the horror genre is inclusive and not merely a boys’ club. 

What would you tell an up-and-coming creative in the world of horror who sees that being a woman/identifying as a woman as something that makes it so much more difficult at times?
If you believe something is going to hold you back, it will. Dwell on the negativity and you will get nothing worthwhile done. Do it anyway. Do it your way and be the best you can be, possessed of your own unique talent. Take a good long look at those women who have achieved success. They refused to be pigeonholed and stereotyped. They went out there and did it. So can you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. 

What are your favorite bits of helpful advice that you have received about your work or your field?
That when you have finished writing your first draft you have only just begun to write the story. Also, that in order to get published, you have to have extreme tenacity, be prepared to learn, adapt, take constructive criticism on the chin and never, ever give up 

In honor of celebrating Women in Horror Month, who do you believe viewers should keep an eye on in terms of the creative ladies in horror?
In terms of writers, there are some amazing new (and relatively new)) names out there. V. Castro, Gaby Triana, Somer Canon, Priya Sharma, J.H. Moncrieff, P.D. Cacek, Faye Snowden… The list is growing almost daily. These are women who write across the spectrum of horror and show that our genre isn’t restricted to the few ‘greats’ everyone has heard of  

What do you have coming soon that you can talk to us about?
I have a collection of short stories coming out from Silver Shamrock in the summer. It’s the first of three and is called The Evil Lurking…In Darkened Hallways 

 Then, in September, I have a new novel coming out from Flame Tree Press. It’s called Dark Observation and here’s an idea of what to expect:  

Eligos is waiting…fulfil your destiny

1941. In the dark days of war-torn London, Violet works in Churchill’s subterranean top secret Cabinet War Rooms, where key decisions that will dictate Britain’s conduct of the war are made. Above, the people of London go about their daily business as best they can, unaware of the life that teems beneath their feet.

Night after night the bombs rain down, yet Violet has far more to fear than air raids. A mysterious man, a room only she can see, memories she can no longer trust, and a best friend who denies their shared past… Something or someone – is targeting her. 

What do you hope to leave behind in your legacy as an artist?
Stories that readers continue to enjoy for many years to come. 

Pop them links to follow your work here:
Catherine Cavendish: