Kathleen has been busy putting the final touches on a new gothic thriller. Its working title is The Inheritance, and the first fifty pages are currently entered in the Claymore Awards through the Killer Nashville International Writing Conference, happening in August of 2023. Kat is preparing to query this gothic thriller.
The only thing that ends a family curse is when there’s no more family left.
27yo mom and reluctant heir Kate flees with 9yo Sophie to a place she swore she’d never return to: the eerie Lockwood Manor. Surely it’ll be a safe haven from her dangerous ex, Josh, who’s out of prison and hunting them down. But the manor’s vengeful grip is deadly, filled with secrets, whispers, and the souls of her ancestors’ victims. Kate must face her family’s shameful, gruesome past—and her own reprehensible decisions—before the manor swallows the last of the Lockwoods for good.
27yo single mom Kate is a reluctant heir to an abandoned English estate. She scrapes by, keeps a low profile, and hesitates to let her sometimes-boyfriend Travis into her heart. When her dangerous ex, Josh, is released from prison and tracks Kate down, she and 9yo Sophie flee Toronto and travel overseas to the place she promised her dying mother she’d never return to. Surely, it’s safer than being found by Josh—the one person who knows the unspeakable things Kate did. She’d do anything to protect Sophie from him. But the old, eerily familiar Lockwood Manor has a worse fate in store. It has lured Kate there under false pretences, and its vengeful grip is deadly. Kate thinks she’s losing her mind and wonders if her nightmares, Sophie’s ominous drawings, and both of their hair-raising hallucinations are messages from the other side. She must determine what happened in the forbidden and grotesque basement decades ago and how it’s woven into her present precarious familial circumstances, then figure out how to escape before she ends up trapped there forever, destined to pay for the ancestral sins still running rampant in her DNA.
What It’s About:
At its core, it’s about rationalizing bad decisions; doing bad things for what we think are good reasons. It’s about wanting something so desperately, so whole-heartedly, that rash choices are made, and about the ripple effect that the subsequent lies and cover-ups can have on generations to come.
There is a theme of mental health present as well; undiagnosed, untreated mental health issues. Enablement can also have drastic consequences; doing the wrong things things for the people we love can be detrimental not only for our loved one, but for ourselves and our families.
It’s about being strong and standing up for yourself. There is a theme of domestic abuse, of narcissistic sociopathy, and of getting out of that vicious circle and recognizing your worth—and the worth of others. It shows the damaging effects that abuse has on one’s mental health.
It’s also about how fear blooms out of festering guilt, and how guilt can haunt you quite literally. It’s about learning to face your fears and guilt and owning your past mistakes; righting the wrongs.