Please tell us a little bit about yourself… (would you describe yourself primarily as a writer, publisher, editor, artist, radio talk show host…) Do you focus on a specific genre with your work?
I think of myself as an “artist” in the broad sense of the term. I do a number of creative things, including artwork for my covers, illustrations for some of my books and stories, but above all I consider myself a writer and a poet. That’s where I find peace and the deepest creative compulsion. In particular, I write Horror — both in verse and prose. I mix in other elements such as humor and fantasy, suspense, whatever the story demands. I listen to my stories, and they can be very demanding. I write for children, too. Mostly I write for adults, but I don’t incorporate bad language or explicit content, and I seldom get too graphic and gory, so it’s usually suitable for age twelve to fourteen and up.
Do you/Would you ever write under a male pseudonym? Why or why not?
I can understand why females have used male pseudonyms. I’m certain I would have more readers if I did, as there are still so many people who think men are superior writers when it comes to the Horror genre (and Science Fiction, Crime, Speculative Fiction, on and on . . .). But that would defeat the purpose. I have wanted to be an author since I was a little girl. As a woman, a wife and mother, I made a lot of detours and sacrifices, put others before my dreams . . . but I am finally here. I am finally, belatedly, standing where that little girl wanted to be. I did change my last name for marriage then kept it after divorce. But I am female, and I’m determined to help change those perceptions. The best way to do that, in my opinion, is to publish as a woman. I feel we are on the brink of making significant change — thanks to everyone (male or female, publisher, reviewer, blogger, fan, reader, writer) who supports recognizing women in Horror and all types of Fiction. I like to dabble in different genres and write for different ages. I don’t feel I need to change my name to do that either. We’re in a new age of publishing. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s here. Because of it, I’m here. I find it difficult to go the normal route with things, including my writing style. You’ll find me out on a limb, taking risks, doing things my way. Which usually means the hard or least popular way. I’m a bit of a rebel.
Name a few of your favorite books/authors you’ve read recently:
I remember the days when I could read, back when I had “spare” time. Increasingly, I have been very busy between new projects and older projects. I’m in a period where I have far more goals than hours in the day. I feel the pressures of age and other factors. My focus is being eroded by the online necessities. I do read a lot: my work, messages and mail, news and so forth. Reading strictly for pleasure is sadly and severely limited. I skim the occasional article and blog, samples of poetry, a rare story if it’s pretty short. I really need to balance my time more efficiently. Marketing, promotion, networking can take up the majority of one’s day. Creative work should come first, then time to relax and spend with others. Being an indie author is a very demanding job. I wear a lot of hats, both professionally and as part of who I am. I juggle a lot — writing, editing, artwork. I still have to fit in music, acting and filmmaking with my sons. I need a slower clock. Or a bigger one, with more hours.
Who has been the most influential female in your personal life and how have they shaped your work?
Life is what it is. You have to take the good out of it, hang on to that. I would have liked to be closer to my mother, but it’s a long story. It never happened. I was close to her sister and mother, and the few summers spent in Northern Wisconsin, The Northwoods, with them are some of my best memories from childhood. They were influential, although not any more supportive than my parents of my talents. I do recall my mother telling me on the phone before she died of cancer that she hoped I would do as well as J. K. Rowling (she had just heard about the long lines waiting for one of the Harry Potter books to be released). Those words astonished me. I hadn’t had much encouragement. She had been an artist and was going to study with a painter, then he died. She never realized her dream. My dad would tell me that writers (artists and actors too) are a dime a dozen. The main support I had growing up was from teachers and a female librarian. They believed in me. A few friends believed in me. My sons have believed in me. I always believed in myself since quite small. Now I actually have some fans and a number of friends, both female and male, who believe in me. That means more than I can ever express. I have come a long way. I still have a long way to go.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice relating to the business what would it be?
Write more, do more artwork. Don’t wait for the chance. Time passes too quickly to push things aside.
Do you have a current project or upcoming project you would like to tell us about?
Ha ha, there are so many. Where to begin? I just released a ghost story called “Spooked”, available on Amazon and other sites. A story was published as the February STORY OF THE MONTH at Servante Of Darkness, “The Blame Game”. I have a story and poem in a new anthology, BONES II from James Ward Kirk Publishing. Another story and poem will be published this month in the WOMEN IN HORROR issue (Thirteen) of THE SIREN’S CALL E-Zine. My story “Sleep Of Fools” will appear in an upcoming charity anthology to benefit authors in need, HEARTCORE (there will be two simultaneous volumes and I believe it is in the second). I have a new poetry column out, “Havoc”, with dark verse and humorous prose on my website. I am currently working on artwork for print versions of two stories, one co-written with Blaze McRob called “Tides Of Chaos” and another for my story “Jar Baby” (already released as an E-book). I hope to release my next collection of horror stories very soon, ODDS AND ENDS, as well as a Halloween-themed novel titled TRICK OR TREAT: THE REAPER, one of the older projects I need to finish. I also plan to work on sequels of books and stories this year, release a collection of my artwork and two more poetry collections. I’m writing some additional new stories and novels that I hope to find time for. Then I need to start working on music and films with my sons this month. We’ll be combining our talents and skills on some fun projects. They amaze me, and I love that we can work together. We formed a creative company called Fairy Fly Entertainment. See what I mean by more goals than hours in a day? I’m basically an optimist whose eyes are bigger than her plate.
Where can we find you?
Lori R. Lopez is the author of CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES, AN ILL WIND BLOWS, THE MACABRE MIND OF LORI R. LOPEZ, DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS, OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES, THE FAIRY FLY, MONSTROSITIES, JUGULAR and more. A resident of Southern California, she is an author, poet, artist, columnist, actress, songwriter, musician and activist for conservation, children and animal rights. Stories and verse appear in anthologies such as MIRAGES: TALES FROM AUTHORS OF THE MACABRE, MASTERS OF HORROR: DAMNED IF YOU DON’T, BONES II, SPLATTERPUNK SAINTS, DARLINGS OF DECAY, I BELIEVE IN WEREWOLVES, SOUP OF SOULS, THIRSTY ARE THE DAMNED, and SCARE PACKAGE: 14 TALES OF TERROR. Fifteen of Lori’s poems were published for an anthology titled IN DARKNESS WE PLAY. She unapologetically takes pride in bending and reshaping the rules of writing when it suits her style.