Image courtesy of Karolina Novitska
We’re excited to kick off our week by introducing a debut author you are going to want to get to know. Catherine Lowell’s The Madwoman Upstairs earned an RT Top Pick!, and our reviewer said Lowell “hit it out of the ballpark” with her modern-day Brontë tale. Samantha Whipple is the last Brontë desecendant, puzzling over rumors of a mysterious family estate no one has ever seen. Good, right?! Readers, meet Catherine Lowell.
Name: Catherine Lowell
Book: The Madwoman Upstairs
Genre: Literary Mystery
Current Home: New York City
Author Icon: Homer
Favorite Word: Muffin
Was this the first full-length novel you ever wrote?
Yes! At least the first finished one …
Tell us about your day job (current or former).
I run the educational programming national curriculum for a company called IVY.
How did you start writing?
I don’t really remember when or how I started writing, except that it was very early on — I just remember it was always the most fun thing to do on weekends and after school!
What was it like when you got “The Call”?
Oh it was lovely! I remember I was traveling for work in Texas, and we were all sharing this cute little AirBnb that had paper thin walls. I took the call from my agent in a separate room but I’m sure I disrupted the whole house with loud exclamations of enthusiasm.
What’s your favorite paragraph in The Madwoman Upstairs?
At this thought, I closed the book, feeling a resentment that I hadn’t felt in years. There was no denying the parallels between Anne Brontë’s time at Thorp Green and Jane Eyre’s time at Thornfield Hall. Jane Eyre told the story of a lonely woman who becomes a governess at a lonely manor, uncovers a horrible mystery, and then runs away without telling anyone what really happened to her. If it sounded like Anne Brontë’s life, it was because it was Anne Brontë’s life. It left me with one nagging question. How, exactly, had Charlotte Brontë gotten away with stealing her sister’s story?