Dark Word #022: Catriona Ward
Stephen King calls her writing ‘authentically terrifying’
Catriona Ward was born in Washington, DC and grew up in the United States, Kenya, Madagascar, Yemen, and Morocco. Her fourth novel, the gothic thriller Sundial was Observer Thriller of the Month and a USA Today, CNN and Apple Books selection for best new fiction. Stephen King called it ‘Authentically terrifying.’
Ward’s third breakout novel The Last House on Needless Street won the August Derleth Prize, and Esquire magazine listed it as one of the 25 best horror novels of all time.
Ward’s second novel Little Eve won the 2019 Shirley Jackson Award and the August Derleth Prize. It was a Barnes and Noble best Horror Book of 2022 and a Guardian best book of 2018. Ward’s debut The Girl from Rawblood took her “eight years to write,” she reveals on this podcast, likening the experience to a seance. And it also won the 2016 August Derleth, making her the only woman to have won the prize three times.
She also talks about the curse of the second novel (hers was Little Eve) and cautions, “Don’t miss your deadline, kids.” Hashtag Helpful Advice. The book bombed but the descriptions of why are fascinating and helped set the stage for Needless Street to explode.
Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and have been shortlisted for various prizes. She lives in London and Devon.
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