Who is Catherine Cavendish?
Catherine Cavendish lives in North Wales with her husband and a slightly eccentric tortoiseshell cat. She has had a lifelong fascination with the paranormal which intensified when she herself saw a ghost. When not creating paranormal stories, Cat loves to visit haunted locations and surround herself with books (not necessarily at the same time). She is currently working on a new paranormal horror story.
Take a few minutes to get to know Catherine.
- What inspired you to write your current novel?
First of all, I love ghost stories – always have, ever since I frightened myself half to death by reading The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs. I think I was around eight or nine at the time and from there I moved onto Edgar Allen Poe, Dennis Wheatley, Stephen King, Anne Rice, M.R. James and more too numerous to mention. Then there’s the chair in the story. My husband’s late partner had one of those riser/recliner chairs to make her life more comfortable in her final days. It sits in our living room and I always feel really uncomfortable about sitting in it. The chair itself is well upholstered and comfy and I’m the only one who feels this way. It got me to thinking, what if… and before I knew it, a story was born.
- What inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always loved reading and making up stories and was probably the only kid in my class at school who relished essay writing – as long as it was a topic requiring imagination and creativity and not some boring old critique of Pride and Prejudice or something of that ilk. From there it was just a short hop to writing longer short stories, novellas and novels.
- What do you think reader will enjoy most about your novella?
My readers tell me they like the chills, twists and turns and also the surprise endings of my stories. I aim to please!
- What makes your novel unique? Why should I buy it?
Well, you don’t often find too many haunted chairs! Seriously, The Second Wife is all about a jealous deceased wife who won’t let go of her husband. She makes life hell for Chrissie – the second wife. I think a lot of women will identify with that, and may well have experienced problems with a husband’s very much alive ex who keeps interfering with her life, or with the impossibility of competing with a ‘ghost’ – a deceased wife who, with the rosy glasses of memory, seems to have been impossibly perfect.
- What piece of advice would you give a new author?
You’ve got to keep at it. You need to develop a thick skin to deal with all the rejections you are almost certain to get and remember not to take them personally. Also remember that an agent/publisher’s opinion is purely that. Their opinion. Author Richard Adams famously had 74 rejections before Watership Down was accepted. James Herriott got so fed up with rejection slips, he threw his manuscript in the waste basket. Fortunately, his wife retrieved it and sent it off again or else we would never have heard of All Creatures Great and Small. Even J.K. Rowling struggled to find a publisher. You’re in good company! Also, vitally important to keep learning your craft. Start with Stephen King’s On Writing and take it from there. Finally, be prepared for the marketing that goes along with being an author these days. Use social media and build a blog. Start to create your author platform now, even if you haven’t published anything yet. Publishers prefer authors who are prepared to do their bit to sell their books.
- What is your favorite quote?
I have two, both by the genius Oscar Wilde:
“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.’
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
The Second Wife by Catherine Cavendish
Short summary of your book: Emily Marchant died on Valentine’s Day. If only she’d stayed dead…
A short excerpt:
At some stage, a wall had been knocked down and two sizeable rooms had become one. Through a simple archway, the second half of the room was dominated by a framed photograph of a beautiful blonde woman, which hung above another marble fireplace. I was drawn to the photograph and moved closer, until I stood within a few feet. “Who is she?”
Joe sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “Emily. My late wife. I told you about her.”
I nodded. I had only known Joe for a short time, but I felt as if I had known Emily for years. I knew her nickname had been Willow, and could now see why. The face that stared back at me was undeniably beautiful, with high, aristocratic cheekbones and thick golden blonde hair that cascaded way below her shoulders. Her eyes were a vivid violet and her mouth, shaded a delicate pinky apricot, perfectly complemented her peaches-and-cream complexion. If the portrait had been full figure, I know I would have been looking at a slender, graceful woman with perfect poise.
Damn her! I thought to myself. I was keenly aware of what a contrast I must have been with my short dark hair, olive skin, and penchant for wearing jeans and T-shirts. After such perfection, what on earth did Joe see in me?
Maybe the photographer had used an airbrush, but I couldn’t see one blemish on that beautiful face. The shot had been taken from an angle so that she wasn’t quite full face. She was unsmiling. The set of her mouth and the way her eyes stared out at me gave her an enigmatic air. One hand was raised to her cheek, its long, perfectly manicured fingers clasping an exquisite cream-colored rose.
I stared long and hard at that photograph, taking in every detail, hardly aware of Joe telling me about the furniture and where Emily had found it all, who had decorated for them and the dinner parties she had hosted to raise money for all the worthy charities within a fifty mile radius.
Perfect Emily. Saint Emily, I thought, as she gazed lifelessly down at me.
I stared, unblinking, sure I must have imagined it. Had that been a flicker of recognition? But this was a photograph. Emily was in her coffin six feet under St Matthew’s churchyard. By now she was hardly more than a moldy skeleton. So why was I certain—just for a fleeting second—that she had looked back at me?
Buy the book:
The Second Wife is available from:
Publications by Catherine Cavendish:
The Second Wife
Miss Abigail’s Room
The Devil Inside Her
The Demons of Cambian Street
In My Lady’s Chamber (short story, also featured in the anthology ‘Touched by Darkness’)
Gypsy Shadow Publishing:
Say A Little Prayer
The Dust Storm
You can follow Catherine at:
#ghoststory #CatherineCavendish #TheSecondWife #haunting #paranormal #horror #amreading #etopiapress