Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi my name is Catherine and I have an obsession with horror… Seriously though, I’m probably the happiest horror writer you’ll ever meet, being a total extrovert and loving to meet new people. I’m a writer combo illustrator with a deep love for all things that go bump in the night. I write mainly horror/dark fantasy and the fabulous Carrie Howland of Donadio and Olson, who shares my love of horror, is my agent. When not writing or illustrating, I can be found reading 15 books at once, making my own recipes, growing an herb garden, playing with my tiny son or eight (yes, eight) Rex rabbits, practicing yoga, and trying to reach tea nirvana. I work as a graphic design Brand Manager for a science company and am a self-proclaimed swiss army knife of design, doing print, web, and video. On top of all that, I’m the Young Adult Editor for the Horror Writers Association where we feature a weekly “Scary Out There” Q&A blog series with Jonathan Maberry interviewing authors like Holly Black, Tonya Hurley, Rick Yancey, and many many more!
Why NOT horror? For me, it began when I was seven years old and my teacher thought it would be a great idea to show us all Nightmare Before Christmas for Halloween. I’ve been obsessively hooked on it ever since (when asked, I can quote the whole movie and will also sing it for you with very bluesy vocals). From there, I got into BUNNICULA and SCARY STORIES… which spiraled into me trying to sneak every horror or scary thing I could find. In college, I watched a new horror movie every week, finding my love for scary growing and growing all the time. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to write it. Much like the quote in the WATCHMEN comics, I didn’t want to stare into the darkness and have it stare back into me. And then I found a book that really changed my life. It was ON WRITING HORROR published by the Horror Writers Association. I read some chapters and I knew I had to stop being afraid of writing dark. I started incorporating darker writing into my work and, as I was querying, I saw the position open for the YA Editor with the HWA. I took it as a sign and immediately applied. When I got it, I rejoiced and committed myself to making the YA horror scene as friendly a place for each other as possible, even if our work might be dark and bloody.
What horror scene stayed with you and why?
I have several and they will be very random. The things that scare me are often the cerebral or unexplainable horrors. With movies, the first scene to terrify me was the dark nightmare from Little Nemo in Slumberland. The second was the first time I watched Donnie Darko in college and I happened to watch it in a deserted library with head phones on and my back to the empty library. I’m pretty sure Frank the Bunny is what my nightmares are made of.
Are there any horror projects you’re looking forward to?
Can my answer be all of them? I mean really. There are so many killer stories coming out or just came out, some of which are featured over at horror.org/yahorror. I’m particularly excited about my fellow Scream Queen sisters books coming out including INSOMNIA, SHUTTER, MARY, and A MURDER OF MAGPIES.
Are you writing horror currently or will you be? If so, tell us about it!
YES! I’m going through the final touches of editing my YA horror WHITE HOLLOW, a series about a science-minded teenage Medium Jennifer Strange and her snarky Ghost Hunter Marcus Blackwell saving ghosts while trying to destroy deadly soul-eating wraiths. For generations, the Blackwell family has helped lost ghosts and destroyed wraiths. Fifteen-year-old Marcus is next in line to lead his family, but only if he can find a powerful enough Medium to join the ranks of his dwindling clan. While on assignment to help a mother find the ghost of her dead son, Marcus stumbles on Jennifer. Recruiting her proves more difficult than he realized because, despite seeing a ghost child tear apart her chemistry class, she still doesn’t believe in the supernatural. When Marcus discovers Jennifer can not only see ghosts but touch them, he must help Jennifer trust in her budding abilities to save the young ghost before a wraith eats their souls.
I’m also working on a dark fantasy series called LO so stay tuned for that!