Jason chats with Elisabeth Thomas, whose debut novel Catherine House from HarperCollins was called "spellbinding" by Publishers Weekly… it's a sort of contemporary gothic about a young woman, Ines, who is invited to attend a very selective school, the titular Catherine House. The school cuts Ines her off from the outside world but promises access to all the power one can hope for.
Says the publisher:
Catherine House is a university like no other. Into its celebrated world steps Ines, a young woman who welcomes the school's isolation rather than its illustrious past. As the gates close and Ines finds herself start to be inevitably seduced by its magnetic power, she also begins to realize the question isn't why she chose to come to Catherine House; but why Catherine House chose her.
In the chat, Thomas talks about the curious mini-genre of "haunted schools" a la novels like Down a Dark Hall, and how Thomas concentrated in her writing of the book on two main research areas: elite colleges and cults. Both employ, to some degree, isolation, overwork, and particular, specialized language. Thomas also talks about her process of writing, and how sometimes a writer finds themselves sitting on several books they don't even publish.
Listen on YouTube:
Jason Henderson is the host of the Castle of Horror and Castle Talk Podcasts, the editor of the Castle of Horror Anthology series, and the author of Quest for the Nautilus: Young Captain Nemo from Macmillan Children's Books. His new horror series Surf Mystic, under the pseudonym Peyton Douglas, debuted with the novel Night of the Book Man this summer.