Welcome everyone, I’m The Li-Bury-An, and today we have a spotlight on Catherine McCarthy
Catherine McCarthy is an author I am so proud to have as part of our Women of Horror series. She is not only one of the most genuinely talented, creative and unique writers I have come across, but she is also a wonderful soul and a free spirit. She has appeared in two volumes of our books now. I met Catherine when I was looking for stories with a graveyard theme for, of course, our Graveyard Smash anthology. Catherine obliged my request for humor with “Two’s Company, Three’s A Shroud.” The story is based on a real-life news article she read about the ‘reclamation of graves’ in her home country of Wales. Due to overpopulation, graves in a certain cemetery are being re-opened, and the dead are forced to share their resting places with strangers. In Catherine’s story, the dead are none to happy about this occurrence, and this is where the humor comes in. The setting, dialogue, and even the characters add such a unique flavor to the story, and it is one of the most enjoyable tales in the book. In Volume three, Catherine’s latest story is titled, “Lure,” and is about a young man with an obsession for fishing at a secluded, mysterious lake. He begins finding pieces of a lure each day, which are a reminder of his hideous past. It is a beautifully written story that will leave you staring open-mouthed at the page when you’ve finished reading.
“You lay her down on the hooking mat, caressing her damp curves, and she calms. She’s stopped fighting, her gill slits pulsate: open, close, open, close. Left hand firm on her flesh and with the index finger of your right hand reach inside her mouth, prodding, poking until you manage to release the hook. And all the time her saffron eye watches, pupil dilated in fear. “You’re free to go,” you say, slipping her into the water. Then, under your breath, “Not a word to anyone, mind.” Perhaps, you think, perhaps you can make up for it. And in that instant, make a solemn vow. Set them free—every single one. Redeem yourself.”From “Lure” by Catherine McCarthy
Today, Catherine talks about how she came up with her story “Lure” for THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY : Women of Horror Anthology Volume 3. Out now from Kandisha Press!
I’ve never fished (mainly because of my maggot phobia), yet I find fishing lures and flies fascinating. So life-like, and yet inanimate. Hair, fur, feathers: yet devoid of life. And those colours!This fascination was the inspiration behind Lure. Set on a remote fishing lake named Pant-Y-Llyn (the lake’s hollow), some 1400 feet above sea level in the mountains of Mid Wales, the unfathomable thing about this lake is how it came to be stocked in the first place. Conjecture and rumour are rife, but no-one knows the true answer.
Lure was my first dip into writing a story in second person, and even though it was challenging I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wanted to play with the concept of lure as both noun and verb. The discovery of part of a lure is what initiates the protagonist’s obsessive journey. But might he also fall victim to its curse?
CATHERINE McCARTHY is a spinner of dark tales, often set in her native Wales, U.K. She has published two novels and a collection of stories, and is soon to publish her new novel, The Wolf and the Favor. Her short stories and flash fiction have been published both online and in several anthologies including those by Flame Tree Press, Crystal Lake Publishing, and The British Fantasy Society. In 2020 she won the Aberystwyth University Imagining Utopias prize for creative writing for her magical realism story, The Queen’s Attendant.
Catherine lives in an old farmhouse with her illustrator husband and its ghosts, and when she is not writing she may be found hiking the rugged coast-path or photographing ancient churchyards for story inspiration.