Q&A with Catt Dahman

Horror author talks about life in writing


Hollan Reed

Author Catt Dahman speaks to library club students about her career as an author. Dahman has authored many successful horror novels.

Story by Andrea Loredo, staff writer

The Library Club had the opportunity to meet native Texan and published author Catt Dahman. Dahman is a horror writer whose books range from extreme and mainstream horror to historical horror. Dahman talked to club members about what it takes to be a writer and how it’s not as easy as it seems.

She is the author of  “Alice and Friends,” a story of a girl who is kidnapped and tortured both physically and emotionally along with her new basement friends; and “Time of Grace,” the story of David who puts together a string of murders happening in his town and can’t tell anybody because they will think that the murders being connected to a haunting is insane.

Q: What inspired you to start writing?
A: I think I was interested in it and enjoyed it like anybody else. When this boy named Robert laughed at me in junior high and thought [it was silly] that I wanted to be a writer, I think I was determined that I would be a writer.

Q:  Why did you choose to write horror novels?
A: Because it’s broader than what people realize. Because it allows me to go into science fiction and science and history. Because I do a lot of historical horror and there are things in history that are literally horrific. Horror isn’t [just] that alien or that monster under the bed. It can be the abusive parent; it can be the drugs. Horror can be anything that unsettles us and terrifies us, so I think that’s why I went with it, because there were just so many directions I could go with it. I could explore more.

Q: If you were to go back in time, and you wanted to really motivate yourself, what would you say?
A: I would say, every bad experience you have, every trial, every tribulation will end up in a book, and it will be OK. This is how you become a writer. You have to experience everything.

Q:  What would you say to young students who want to become writers?
A: It’s not easy. It’s lonely. There’s no money in it. You have to check your ego. My name is written with all lowercase letters. I did that because I wanted to remind myself to keep my ego in check and to never think I was a big fish. I will tell young people, “Don’t let your ego get ahead of you. As soon as you have something great happen, don’t let it get to your head. Also, you’re gonna have to believe in yourself. You’re not gonna have cheerleaders. There’s plenty of people that want to tear you down.” I mean, that’s the number one thing that people say to new writers. I don’t cry over bad reviews anymore and all of that, but I never want to get to where it’s like, “I don’t care what you think.” Who cares? I’m better than that. You have to get that balance. There’s no money, no glory and no fame. It’s the most unglamorous job that there is. People think it’s glamorous. It’s not.

Q: Why continue pursuing writing?
A: It’s like Gwen Stefani can sing; she can really sing. I can’t. There are people who can dance. I can’t dance. [Writing] is my one talent. It’s all I’ve got. I would love to be able to sing, but you don’t get to pick [your talent]. If you’re an artist and you don’t draw, it’s just like you’re denying your whole existence.