I'm delighted to introduce a fellow Gypsy Shadow author today--Catherine Cavendish, author of the wonderfully musical, whimsical and intriguing tale, Say a Little Prayer (read my review here). While Catherine interviews me on http://www.catherinecavendish.com/2011/10/flower-child-interview-with-sheila.html I get to ask her some questions of my own, but first, let me introduce her book:
Say A Little Prayer – the blurb:
Every night, Jane Furnival prays for the souls of the dead celebrities she most admires. Somewhere, in a parallel dimension, those she prays for must gather and it’s an odd assortment of stars – from Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Marilyn Monroe to Agatha Christie who’s still writing plotlines in her notebook. But can they help her resolve the biggest crisis in her life? Her formidable, long-dead Aunt Margaret decides if anyone can, Jim Morrison’s her man, so accompanied by Marilyn Monroe in a skin-tight gown, the two set off on a mission to find $5000 before breakfast.
And now the interview:
I’m so glad you’re going to let me interview you.
1. I love John Lennon’s voice in your story Say a Little Prayer and I notice you say you live in the North of England. Do you live near Liverpool? Have you been to any of the Beatles sites?
I lived in Liverpool for a number of years and it’s a fascinating, vibrant city. It’s not all that big as cities go but punches well above its weight and was recently European City of Culture – a title it well deserved. The Beatles are only part of its rich heritage but I have done some sightseeing. I have been to Mathew Street a number of time; the original Cavern is long gone but there is a ‘replacement’. I’ve traveled along Menlove Avenue, seen Strawberry Field (well the gates anyway!). I used to park my car a short distance from the house in which George Harrison grew up, in Wavertree .
2. Your website says you have a novella coming out soon with Etopia Press. Can you tell us anything about it?
It’s a horror called ‘Cold Revenge’. Four couples are invited to a dinner party at the opulent home of leading fashion writer, Erin Dartford. You’ve heard the expression ’revenge is a dish best served cold’? Well that will give you a hint of what is to come...
3. Are your stories connected to each other? D’you think you’ll use the gang from Say a Little Prayer again sometime?
No, so far, my stories have been ‘standalones’ but I had so much fun with Jim and Marilyn, they may just go on another mission together one of these days.
4. I’m guessing you used your own favorite characters in Say a Little Prayer. Is that right? How did you choose them, and how much did you need to research them to make them seem so real (albeit dead)?
I have collected books and been fascinated by the stories of both Jim Morrison and Marilyn Monroe for years now so I have learned quite a bit about them and you’re right, t hey are two of my all-time favorites. They are both so much more than the public perception of them. John Lennon is another favorite and there are books on my shelf and DVDs in my collection about him too. His wit and accent, while distinctive, are echoed in characters I have met in Liverpool on many occasions. Liverpudlians (or ‘Scousers’) have a unique sense of humor. I always imagined Agatha Christie to share characteristics with her sleuth, Miss Marple, so I just tapped into that
5. Do you think your own experience feeds into your stories? I guess the usual question is how much of yourself do you put into your characters, but I don’t imagine there’s room for anyone else in the characters of Say a Little Prayer, except in Jane perhaps.
I don’t think I’m in ‘Say A Little Prayer’ at all but it is true to say that I have recognized bits of myself in other stories I have written. Sometimes, I will give a character a job I once had or a situation that I have experienced. On other occasions, I find they react to a situation in much the same way I would
6. Does your cat see ghosts?
Quite possibly, although I have a theory that, if she does, she just thinks of them as part of the world around her and accepts them. She no doubt sees me as some sort of two-legged creature who never got the hang of using all four paws simultaneously and who is responsible for catering to her every need. Maybe she sees ghosts as a slightly fuzzier version of that!
7. On your website you mention seeing an apparition which no-one else could rationally explain. Is that something you’d be willing to elaborate on? (No problem if it’s not.)
Some three or four years after she died, I saw the cat I grew up with jump out of a cupboard she used to try and get in at every opportunity. In life she was jet black but in this momentary experience, she was grey - as if on a photographic negative. It was at my parent’s house and there were no other cats there. I can still recall it now. It was on a Sunday, just after lunch and I was clearing plates away
8. You say you wander round Litopia and Facebook. I don’t know Litopia, but are there other sites besides Facebook that you would recommend to an aspiring writer trying to network?
Litopia (www.litopia.com) is an amazing writers’ community and I would recommend anyone who is serious about their writing to join it. I know I wouldn’t be published now if I hadn’t become a ‘Litopian’!
9. What’s the most impossible predicament you’ve put a heroine into in one of your stories to date?
Ah, that would be telling! All I will say is that the answer lies in ‘Cold Revenge’!
10. Is there a question you’d love to answer that no one’s thought to ask you yet? If so, would you like to answer it here?
Do you know, Sheila? I cannot think of one except I would love a publisher to ask me if I would be happy to accept a $500,000 advance for a three book deal! Do I need to tell you my answer?
Catherine Cavendish lives in the North of England and in Wales, with her longsuffering husband and a slightly eccentric tortoiseshell cat. She has had a lifelong fascination with the paranormal which intensified when she saw an apparition which no-one has ever been able to rationally explain. She is currently working on a number of new projects, including short stories, a novella and a novel featuring a circle of ancient standing stones.
You can find Catherine at:
www.goodreads.com as Catherine Cavendish
You can purchase ‘Say A Little Prayer’ from the publishers:
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/say-a-little-prayer-catherine-cavendish/1105937785?ean=2940013414914&itm=1&usri=catherine%2bcavendish
And other online booksellers