The Second Wife
When Chrissie Marchant first sets eyes on Barton Grove, she feels as if the house doesn’t want her. But it’s her new husband’s home, so now it’s her home as well. Sumptuous and exquisitely appointed, the house is filled with treasures that had belonged to Joe’s first wife, the perfect Emily, whom the villagers still consider the real mistress of Barton Grove.
A stunning photograph of the first Mrs. Marchant hangs in the living room, an unblemished rose in her hand. There’s something unnerving and impossibly alive about that portrait, but it’s not the only piece of Emily still in the house. And as Chrissie’s marriage unravels around her, she learns that Emily never intended for Joe to take a second wife…
Hi Cat, I'm so glad you could stop by and answer a few questions today!
I live in North Wales and have been writing stories since I was a child. In addition to my current preferred genre of paranormal horror, I’ve written humorous tales featuring cats, historical fiction, crime and even an adult-friendly children’s book called, “The Adventures of Henry The Toad and All His Friends”! I tried many times to write a novel and then I contracted glandular fever some years ago. While I was recovering, I put pen to paper (literally) and wrote my first full length novel. Sadly, it never achieved publication but I had proved to myself I could sustain a story for 80,000 words and that was the main thing.
2. What is your novel about and what inspired you to write it?
My latest is a novella called “The Second Wife” and is a scary ghost story. Poor Chrissie Marchant doesn’t know what she’s letting herself in for when she marries her handsome doctor, Joe. His first wife died tragically young but is certainly not resting in peace. She has no intention of relinquishing her husband and soon Chrissie is left in no doubt of this.
Oddly enough, this story was inspired by a lift and tilt orthopaedic chair which belonged to my husband’s later partner. He bought it for her when she was suffering from cancer, not long before she died. For some reason, I feel most uncomfortable about sitting in it and, as a result, I don’t. The chair is incorporated into The Second Wife
3. Describe a typical day in your life.
These days, after the usual domestic chores, I tend to start by catching up with – and responding to – emails which have accumulated during the night. This leads me into the business of writing – marketing , promotion and so forth – which we all have to actively involve ourselves in as writers these days. Then it’s time to settle down to some actual writing and, if I’m lucky, I may get to read as well!
4. Plotter or pantser? What is your writing process?
Definitely a pantser. Big time! I start with the germ of an idea and it may be quite sketchy. I’ll then spend a few days thinking about the main characters and the storyline. I usually make a few notes regarding personalities, back story etc of the characters and their world and source pictures of people who resemble my mental image of them. I also tend to find pictures of locations where most of the action takes place. I have even been known to sketch out an entire village! Mostly it will be the apartment or house where my main character lives and any other significant places. Then I start writing. Needless to say, I do a lot of editing!
5. Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
I’m part Welsh (but I’m not telling you which part!)
6. Who is your favorite character in your novel and why?
Chrissie. She’s the second wife and tells the story. She really doesn’t deserve what happens to her.
This is a difficult one as I tend to read a lot of paranormal horror and not many stories with happy endings. As a result, most of the characters have really tough time of it. I do love the character of Anna Madrigal in Armistead Maupin’s quirky “Tales of the City” series but I’m not at all sure I would want to be her! Hermione in the Harry Potter series might be quite fun. I could cast spells on duplicitous, self-serving politicians and the like!
8. What is your favorite line in your book?
The very first line: Emily died on Valentine's Day - if only she’d stayed dead
10. What are you working on now?
A paranormal horror novella about a murdered girl. It’s tentatively called, “Saving Grace Devine”