Have you always been a storyteller? What’s the first story you made up on your own?
For as long as I can remember, way back to when I was a small child, I have always made up stories. I was an only child and always craved siblings, so I created them in my head, gave them names, physical characteristics, personalities, likes, dislikes and we had imaginary adventures together. I suppose that would count as the first story I made up on my own. I was probably around five years old at the time.
If you could live in any world, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?
I have often thought I would like to live in Narnia – but only if I could still see the fur coats at the back of that wardrobe so I would have an escape route if I needed it! I always wanted to meet Aslan and stroke his fur. I love cats – of all sizes.
And on that note, I think we’ve all wanted to dive into some piece of literature. Is there some character you would like to try living as for just a little while?
I’m not just a fan of horror, I read a wide range of genres, including crime. Phryne Fisher is a character created by Australian author, Kerry Greenwood. In the 1920s, Phryne has inherited a fortune and is able to live a life of luxury. Her personality leads her to ignore the usual rules of society of that time and she lives by her own standards. She cares little for anyone else’s opinion of her, although she is popular and the people around her would do anything for her. She has lots of adventures, is actually a decent, caring person, and out-thinks the local police in case after case. Clever, witty, rich, beautiful and daring. Yes, I’ll live her life for a while, thank you!
Would you talk about your upcoming books and their production schedule?
My next book – Dark Avenging Angel – is a novella, coming out from Samhain on August 4th. Here’s the cover blurb:
Don’t hurt Jane. You may live to regret it.
Bullied by her abusive father, Jane always felt different. Then the lonely child found a friend in a mysterious dark lady who offers her protection—a lady she calls her “angel”. But that protection carries a terrible price, one to be paid with the souls of those Jane chooses to suffer a hideous and eternal fate.
When Jane refuses to name another victim, the angel reveals her most terrifying side. Payment must be made in full—one way or the other.
My next is a novel is The Devil’s Serenade – and Samhain will be publishing this one in April 2016. Here’s a flavour of it:
Maddie had forgotten that cursed summer. Now she’s about to remember…
When Maddie Chambers inherits her Aunt Charlotte’s gothic mansion, old memories stir of the long-forgotten summer she turned sixteen. She has barely moved in before a series of bizarre events drives her to question her sanity.
The strains of her aunt’s favourite song echo through the house, the roots of a faraway willow creep through the cellar, a child who cannot exist skips from room to room, and Maddie discovers Charlotte kept many deadly secrets.
Gradually, the barriers in her mind fall away, and Maddie begins to recall that summer when she looked into the face of evil. Now, the long dead builder of the house has unfinished business and an ancient demon is hungry. Soon it is not only Maddie’s life that is in danger, but her soul itself, as the ghosts of her past shed their cover of darkness.
How important are character names and how do you come up with them?
I think character names are critical. My main characters are frequently normal women to whom something extraordinary happens, so they usually have quite regular names. These names just seem to develop, as their personalities emerge. I have been known to change the name of a character if they grow out of – or away from – the one I’ve originally given them. One exception to all of this is my current work in progress, Wrath of the Ancients. I have a male character who is anything but ordinary. He has a shadowy, mysterious past. No one knows where he originates from – not even what his true nationality is. For this, I needed an unusual name that could have had its roots in any number of cultures and countries. With this in mind, Dr. Emeryk Quintillus was born.
Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?
M.R. James, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Susan Hill, James Herbert, Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe, Daphne du Maurier, Emily Bronte, to name but a few.
If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?
J.K. Rowling. I would love to know how it feels to be the world’s bestselling author and also get an insight into how her creative mind works. Maybe I’ll learn a few valuable lessons!
What are the next three books you’re planning to read?
Little Girls – the new one from Ronald Malfi, which I have heard is excellent, Goblins – David Bernstein’s latest; he writes great horror, as does Brian Moreland whose soon-to-be-released Darkness Rising is also on my Kindle ready to read. I’m in for some real treats this summer!
What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?
British comic actors Stephen Fry and Julian Clary – I love camp humour and witty banter. Oscar Wilde who never seemed to open his mouth without saying something wonderfully witty and memorable would be a fabulous guest. It would also be interesting to discover what Oscar thought of Stephen Fry’s portrayal of him and to talk about his inspiration for The Picture of Dorian Gray. My fourth guest would be Mae West – she has always fascinated me. Brilliant, witty and totally unflappable. The exchanges between her, Stephen Fry and Julian Clary would be hilarious. Oscar Wilde’s face would probably be a picture! To complete my dinner party, Bette Midler. Can you imagine Mae West and Bette at the same dinner table? Amazing!
If you could claim one book as your own – think fame not fortune – what would it be?
Tough one. I think probably Wuthering Heights. I first read it when I was about nine years old, and it is still the one book I have read the most times. I know that part of Yorkshire – around Haworth – pretty well, as I grew up in Halifax, Yorkshire. Emily Bronte managed to conjure up the howling, whistling wind, driving rain, the predominance of blacks, greys and dark greens of the landscape. The plot is masterfully handled and the characters are compulsive. The dark, Gothic atmosphere of the entire story is perfect.
If you were able to bring back any author from the dead to write another book, who would it be?
I have narrowed it down to either Emily Bronte or Daphne du Maurier. On balance, we do at least have a number of titles to read and re-read from Daphne du Maurier, but tragically only one novel from Emily Bronte, so I shall choose her.
How do you want the world to remember you?
As a storyteller and cat lover.
Thank you for inviting me onto your blog today, Mommacat. I had a great time!
You can find Dark Avenging Angel here:
You can connect with Cat here:
I loved learning more about you today, Cat! Scroll down for a peek at DARK AVENGING ANGEL!