This year’s Vampire month is opened by Catherine Green, who I met last year at the Sandbach signing event and shared a panel with. Coincidentally (or not), our other participant this year was also on the same panel.
Here is Catherine’s interview. Her blog post will follow before the end of the week…
- What is the earliest memory you have of writing? What did you write about?
My earliest memory of writing would be when I used to copy the text from my favourite story books into notebooks. I remember lying on my bed, happily scribbling away as I practised my handwriting and dreamed about being a real author like my heroes! I probably copied The Famous Five and Mallory Towers by Enid Blyton, although I can’t remember exactly.
- When did you decide to become a professional writer? Why did you take this step?
I decided to take the leap into the professional writing world at around the time I got my first novel published back in 2011. I got all caught up in the excitement and thrill of finally being a published author, and I naively thought that my fortune was made. I needed time to write, so I quit the day job. But I forgot the fact that I had a young baby to care for at the same time!
- What would you consider to be your greatest strength as a writer? What about your greatest weakness? How do you overcome this weakness?
My greatest strength as a writer is my resilience. I never give up. Even though I have had many knockbacks and my fair share of publisher and agent rejections, I keep on going. I suppose you could say that determination is my greatest weakness as well, because I refuse to give up on my dream, and I will focus all of my attention on it when my children allow.
- Tell us about the place where you live. Have you ever derived any inspiration from your home or from anywhere you have visited?
Oh yes! All of my novels and short stories are inspired by places that I have both lived in and visited. I currently live in mid Cheshire, and while I have not yet published a novel set in my local area, I am working on a collection of vampire hunter novels that are set in and around Middlewich, Winsford, Knutsford and up into Manchester.
The Redcliffe novels are set in Cornwall, and my fictional town of Redcliffe was inspired by visits to the real tourist town of Looe and the fishing village Polperro. I spent many happy days wandering around the area on various visits when our friends owned a hotel in Looe, and the inspiration stayed with me all these years later.
- Which book, if any, would you consider to be your greatest influence and inspiration?
Which book? Oh, that’s a tough question! I have been largely influenced by the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series of novels by Laurell K Hamilton. They showed me that what lurked in my imagination could actually be received by a reading audience, if I dared to write it down.
- What drove you to write about Vampires?
I honestly don’t know! All my life I have been fascinated by the supernatural world. I would devour any and all story books with a paranormal theme as I grew up, and always jumped to attention when somebody spoke about ghosts and monsters. Vampires have a certain charm about them. They are both incredibly attractive, and incredibly dangerous. And yet, they look just like the rest of us, mostly…
- What do you think is the attraction for Vampire fiction? Why is it such a popular topic?
I think because it always seems relevant to the collective fears and desires of the culture. For example, back when Bram Stoker’s Dracula was first published, we had a world that was evolving and developing at a fast rate, and the older generation were frightened of the change. Today we are more relaxed about vampires, we can use them in jokes, and yet still they represent a fear of something unknown, something dangerous, something attractive.
- In a fight between all the greatest Vampires of fiction, who do you think would come out on top?
I think Lestat would always win, from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. He is a survivor.
- What about in some other contest such as sexiness or dress sense? Who would win that one?
Hmm, maybe Eric from the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris? I rather enjoyed reading those!
- How well do you think one of your characters would fare against the winner(s) of the above?
Oh, my vampires would win every time, no contest! Jack Mason has the support of his identical twin brother, the werewolf alpha, Danny Mason. Their combined supernatural power is a force to be reckoned with. And there is my secret love affair with Marcus Scott. He is a bit like Lestat in that he is a survivor, and he can talk himself out of (or into) almost any tricky situation.
- Tell us the basic premise behind your latest novel.
My latest novel is slightly different to what I published before. It pretty much does what it says in the name: The Vampire of Blackpool. It is a contemporary Gothic story about a female vampire who is pursued by a lone male vampire hunter. She is old, powerful, and bored, so she relishes the opportunity for a fight. But then she doesn’t reckon on the charms of a young, female witch that moves into the area and accidentally seduces her… not quite a love story, but very passionate.