Books, Babes, and the Business: Leigh M. Lane

Celebrating Women in Fiction

blog header cwifLeigh M. Lane

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 consider myself a horror novelist above all else, although some of my dystopian work straddles the fence between sci-fi and horror and I do also write short stories and screenplays. I write both psychological and paranormal horror, but I must say I prefer psychological monsters over the paranormal ones. I also do some editing.

Do you/Would you ever write under a male pseudonym? Why or why not?

I’ve considered it, but I don’t think it’s something I’d actually ever do. In our current climate, with so many women striving to prove themselves as valuable contributors to the genre, it would be counterproductive to give in to the mindset that only men can sell good horror. I would rather suffer the setbacks that come with being female than succeed on the basis that readers believe my work was written by a man. I am who I am, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to prove I’m much more than just a pretty face.

Name a few of your favorite books/authors you’ve read recently:

The books I’ve enjoyed most recently are Deeply Twisted, a short story collection by Chantal Noordelos, Deathwatch, by Lisa Mannetti, and People Person, by Trent Zelazny. I recommend all three.

Who has been the most influential female in your personal life and how have they shaped your work?

Lisa Mannetti has by far been my greatest personal influence. She’s a neat woman and an exceptional horror writer. She has helped me to become more detail oriented in my writing, and she’s living proof that the glass ceiling that continues to hover over us is not shatterproof.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice relating to the business what would it be?

Go back to school sooner than later. Take some time to learn your craft before jumping head-first into those shark-infested waters. Don’t be too eager to make a sale; don’t be afraid to reject that contract on the grounds of some iffy clauses. Above all else, have confidence in yourself!

Do you have a current project or upcoming project you would like to tell us about?

I have one novel I’m currently shopping and another I’m in the process of editing, and I also have an episodic novella series I’m hoping will find a good home sometime soon. My short story “Mused” is set to be published through Calidum Magazine sometime this month.

Where can we find you? 

Website: http://www.cerebralwriter.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Leigh-M.-Lane/e/B0055DSE6Y

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLeighMLane

Twitter: @LeighMLane

llLeigh M. Lane has been writing for over twenty years. She has ten published novels and twelve published short stories divided among different genre-specific pseudonyms. She is married to editor Thomas B. Lane, Jr. and currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her traditional Gothic horror novel, Finding Poe, was a finalist in the 2013 EPIC Awards in horror.

Books, Babes, and the Business: Chantal Noordeloos

Celebrating Women in Fiction

blog header cwifChantal Noordeloos

Please tell us a little bit about yourself… (would you describe yourself primarily as a writer, publisher, editor, artist, radio talk show host…) 

Stories have always appealed to me, and I’ve been a Storyteller for as far as I can remember. Even before I could hold a pen, I would create make belief worlds, and entertain (or annoy, depending on who you ask) my friends and family with them. When I was 15 I realized I wanted to be a writer ‘when I grew up’, but it took me twenty one years to take the step to actually pursue my dream.

Do you focus on a specific genre with your work?

I’m what I call a ‘genre floozy’, which means I have troubles staying ‘faithful’ to one genre. My ‘go to genre’ is horror, and in a way it’s my biggest love. I guess I like to give people a bit of a scare. But I write all sorts of speculative fiction, and my latest ‘rump in the hay’ has been with Steampunk.

Do you/Would you ever write under a male pseudonym? Why or why not?

I don’t think I will, I’m proud to be a woman. (Not that I think there is anything wrong with men –au contraire- I love them, but I don’t feel the need to ‘be’ one.) I know it can really help in certain genres, but I am not a big fan of pennames.

Name a few of your favorite books/authors you’ve read recently:

I’m a very big fan of Neil Gaiman. Sometimes you find that writer that seems to be able to look into your very soul, and write the stories that you need to hear. Gaiman is that writer for me. I’ve recently read Ocean at the end of the Lane, and reread Good Omens, which he wrote with one of my other heroes ‘Terry Pratchett’. If we’re talking more specifically female, I’d say J.K. Rowling has a special place in my heart. I think she’s a great role model for women writers.

Who has been the most influential female in your personal life and how have they shaped your work?

Pffft, this is a tough one. I come from a line of very hard working females, so I guess I get my perseverance from them. To be honest I’ve shaped my work ethics and methods from trial and error. If I would name anyone who has shaped my work, and my vision on writing, I would have to give some credit to Apple Ardent Scott. She inspires me and always knows how to ask the right questions. Apple brings out the best in me.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice relating to the business what would it be?

I’d first tell myself off for several other things –one being the clothes I used to wear- and then I’d sit myself down, and do the ‘grave motherly face’ thing. I would clear my throat and tell that naïve, wide-eyed version of me: “Trust your own instinct a little more, and don’t just go along with what someone else says, just because they sound like they know what they’re talking about.” And then I’d box me around the ears for that time I got very drunk and passed out in my friend’s bathroom.

Do you have a current project or upcoming project you would like to tell us about?

*eye twinkles* Yes, I have many, recently I’ve felt like a bit of a mad scientist concocting all these different plots and plans. I love it, keeps me busy and I like being busy. The first thing that should come out should be the first story in the ‘Even Hell Has Standards’ series. It’s called ‘Pride’. I’m going to tell seven stories –each named after a sin- that all revolve around my version of ‘Hell’. They will deal with the darkness of humanity. It’s an ambitious project, and a little scary.

I’m also working on a YA Dark Fantasy novel, and the second novel in my Coyote series. A lot of projects surround the latter, like a comic book that I’m working on with Paul Chapman, and even a ‘hidden objects game’.

Where can we find you? 

CLICK TO BUY COYOTE

CLICK TO BUY COYOTE

Well, I live on Facebook, so you can always find me here: https://www.facebook.com/ChantalNoordeloosStoryteller

I try to Tweet (though I feel like a voice screaming in a room filled with voices): @C_Noordeloos

Am an Amazonian too (no not the female tribe…): http://www.amazon.com/Chantal-Noordeloos/e/B009XUB50W/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

And of course Goodreads should be in this mix: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6564843.Chantal_Noordeloos

IMG_6178Chantal Noordeloos lives in the Netherlands, where she spends her time with her wacky, supportive husband, and outrageously cunning daughter, who is growing up to be a supervillain. When she is not busy exploring interesting new realities, or arguing with characters (aka writing), she likes to dabble in drawing. In 1999 she graduated from the Norwich School of Art and Design, where she focused mostly on creative writing. There are many genres that Chantal likes to explore in her writing. Currently Sci-fi Steampunk is one of her favourites, but her ‘go to’ genre will always be horror. “It helps being scared of everything; that gives me plenty of inspiration,” she says. Chantal likes to write for all ages, and storytelling is the element of writing that she enjoys most. “Writing should be an escape from everyday life, and I like to provide people with new places to escape to, and new people to meet.”

Books, Babes, and the Business: Malina Roos

Celebrating Women in Fiction

blog header cwifMalina Roos

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 describe myself as a storyteller. I tell stories. I make stuff up that is almost plausible, throw in some weird character flaw for my protagonist and antagonist, send them on a journey into a ‘what if’ situation and see what happens. Inevitably, I have an idea, and it will come from something as simple as walking into a room and seeing something out of the ordinary and my mind wanders automatically in to….what if someone became so obsessed with her boyfriend that she thought he was cheating on her, and she killed a complete stranger in the process. The caveat in this piece is the MC was in grade nine.

I write horror. That’s what I classify it. It’s psychological horror, crime horror, the type of stuff that makes a reader go ‘huh’ at the end. It’s about people, damaged, broken, hurt people, who do messed up things, either because they have to, or because they want to. I have always been obsessed with why people do the things they do and I try to get into their heads and figure that out. I write from the broken perspective. Not to garner sympathy, just to play around in their sandbox for a while, mess with their toys, and then I go home to my warm bed and cuddle my dogs.

I do edit for others and my main goal is to write and edit fulltime after my I am finished with career number 8. I change jobs and careers like people change underwear. Well, hopefully people change their underwear more often than eight times in a lifetime……I have fixed airplanes in the military, hung upside down like a bat inside the cockpit of a Tutor; studied psychiatric nursing; managed a hair salon; was a live-in help aide to disabled people, and now I am in law enforcement. I have always wanted to be a writer, though. Wrote my first story when I was six about Dracula and a Duck. Yeah I don’t get it either. But the teacher thought it was great and had me read it to the class, then to the school during an assembly. By the time I was in Grade 6, I was in a Grade 12 English class.

I also review books for other authors and promote them whenever I can. As an industry, we are here to help each other. Being a writer is a tough job, and there are so many great ones out there, that are falling by the wayside. I started writing book reviews to help people get noticed. I read a lot, on the average, probably 200 to 300 hundred books a year. Insomnia is a gift. So when I read something that I think deserves credit, I review it and recommend it for the Bram Stoker awards.

I started the Solstice List two years ago, and a few Stoker recommendations appear on both lists. I love great writing, and want to do my part to promote it. The Solstice List is simple. If I read a book that is edited, blows me away or I can get lost in the dream of it, regardless of the year it is published, it makes it on the list. So out 200 books, 20 make the cut. I started this because I wanted to promote writers but also because I was reading all these great books I could not recommend for a Stoker because they were published in the wrong year. I thought, wow. You people are missing out, readers and writers alike. Penelope Crowe was my inspiration for this when I read 100 Unfortunate Days. What an amazing, terrifying and utterly page-turning book. I read that in one sitting then had nightmares and weird experiences for months. And I could not recommend it for a Stoker because she published it the previous year.

Not all horror writers are members of the Horror Writers Association. If you don’t know about it, how do you get your work noticed?

Right now, I work full time and I take courses in editing to get my certification as a professional editor. I sleep. A lot. I am recovering from the great Brain Splatter Incident of 2009 as I call it, when my brain decided, you know, you think way too damn much, and blew up. Had two ruptured brain aneurysms, who I have named Esmeralda and Esperanza, my conjoined twins. I was terrified I would not be able to write afterwards, but I did. And I take life way less seriously now.

Do you/Would you ever write under a male pseudonym? Why or why not?

I write under M.L. Roos because of the stigma there is against females in writing horror. Everyone expects men to be the horror writers, not the women, and, if you are a female horror writer, then it must be paranormal romance….and I am so far from that. I want people to read my work. I think I have a better shot at it if they don’t know I’m female. Is this reality? I think so. Some would agree, others would say, that’s BS and that’s a cop out. I don’t know. I am not here change the world, just to grab a tiny, crazy little piece of it. So if writing under my initials makes that happen, so be it.

Name a few of your favorite books/authors you’ve read recently:

One of my favourites was The Missing Years of Thomas Pritchard from Matt Shaw. Beautiful, intense, lovely piece of work that made me cry, damn him. Just outstanding. Made my novel of the year for my Solstice List: The Best Books and Stories of the Year, that I publish every December 21st.

Deeply Twisted by Chantal Noordeloos was a great compilation of a deeply twisted mind. That girl can write.

And then of course anything by Michealbrent Collings, Craig Saunders, Billie Sue Mosiman or Penelope Crow. For shock value, I read Matt Shaw and that’s why he surprised the heck out of me with The Missing Years.

Who has been the most influential female in your personal life and how have they shaped your work?

Hands down, without a doubt, Billie Sue Mosiman. When I read Interview with a Psycho, I was hooked. She writes so clean, so to the point, without pretention and claptrap, and superfluous fluff. I loved her from the moment I read her and thought, dammit, that’s who I want to be when I grow up.

The one book that stands out is Widow. I wrote her and wanted her to change the ending. I loved the MC. She was doing horrible things, but she was so broken. I could totally understand why she was doing what she was doing and I was cheering her on. Loved her.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice relating to the business what would it be?

Be yourself. Do not give up. Keep writing. Keep eating cake for breakfast. Push the send button. One, you asked for one.…..ADD is a gift, dammit.

Do you have a current project or upcoming project you would like to tell us about?

I have several……as I am sure we all do. Do all writers have ADD? I think we have to be, or have some mental illness that sets us apart from the rest of the regulars.

Sever, Slice and Serve will be a collection of short stories, if it ever gets finished.

Talia is part one of a three part series about the origins of Vampirism, Sleeping Beauty and where fairy tales really come from.

Circle of Survivors is a compilation of research in to brain aneurysms and the treatment, care of, and survival guide for survivors and the people in their life.

The Wolfing is about a community of werewolves who share more with the human race than we care to think about.

Where can we find you? 

Author Site

Book Review Site on FB

Editorial Services                                                                                                                               

Blog

Amazon

Death to the Brothers Grimm

 Zippered Flesh 2

 malina roosMalina Roos tells stories, runs with scissors, and makes things up all the time. The best part is, a lot of people believe the things she says. He loves her husband and family, including her fur babies and that’s what keeps her grounded. Especially her husband. Without his support, none of this would be possible.

Creating fiction in a non-fiction world keeps her sane and makes her less stabby. And yes, people in her life, do appear in her work……..

Author Spotlight – Chantal Noordeloos

vampires, Wrapped Authors, Wrapped In Red

Chantal Noordeloos is the author of the short story

THE BLOOD RUNS STRONG

in the

NEW Vampire Anthology

WRAPPED IN RED

She is also the author of COYOTE: The Outlander and DEEPLY TWISTED

chantal pic 2Excerpt from:

THE BLOOD RUNS STRONG

“It is all about blood,” the Master preached to his followers, who kneeled around a stone casket, dressed in grey hooded robes. Their heads bowed in reverence.
“The blood gives us strength, it gives us power. The blood runs strong.”
“The blood runs strong.” The followers hummed in agreement, their voices echoed slightly through the damp cold tomb.
One of the robed figures moved towards him and kneeled, head still bowed. Delicate white hands presented the Master an ornate silver ceremonial knife. He took the slender blade from her hand, and touched it to his lips, the cold silver a stark contrast with the warmth of his skin; then he returned the knife to her hands.
“Master. My blood is your blood,” a husky female voice said. One dainty hand took the knife and cut into the soft white flesh of the opposite palm. Her blood welled up from the cut, gathering in a dark pool in the center of the palm. Several drops escaped, trailed down the pale arm and disappeared in the wide sleeve of the robe. She offered him the blood covered hand, and with a cruel smile he bit into her flesh, sinking his sharp teeth further into the skin. He could hear a slight hiss as she inhaled from the pain, but she was brave and loyal. When he was done, he licked the blood off with his rough tongue. He released her hand, the blood still specked on his lips, and she recoiled slightly. The Master licked his lips, and the hooded girl handed the knife to another of the followers. The ritual repeated itself. Each time a new subject would offer a bleeding hand.
He spoke to them, his words filled with fire, his message was about blood and death. As he spoke he directed his face towards the light of the many candles, so that the sharp canines in his mouth glistened. He was aware of his body, and every move he made, every word he said, was deliberate. The followers chanted the words of the ritual in his name, chanted praise for the blood, and – he imagined – dreamt of immortality.
The ritual ended in darkness, the many candles that illuminated the tomb were extinguished, casting the interior of the stone building in pitch black. Only the musty smell of ancient stone and death remained, and a vague odor of the extinguished candles.
The Master made his exit from the tomb with two females, one clung to each of his arms. The air outside was fresh and cold. A million bright stars greeted them from a velvet sky.
“Draco,” said one of the girls. “Will you take us home with you tonight?”
He looked down on her. His eyes glanced over the vivid red hair with dark roots showing underneath. She was a short girl with small breasts; her body was lithe and thin, resembling that of a young boy.
“I will take you home with me.” He spoke with an accent, which he hoped was Transylvanian. READ MORE

Chantal Noordeloos (born in the Hague, and not found in a cabbage as some people may suggest) lives in the Netherlands, where she spends her time with her wacky, supportive husband, and outrageously cunning daughter, who is growing up to be a supervillain. When she is not busy exploring interesting new realities, or arguing with characters (aka writing), she likes to dabble in drawing.

In 1999 she graduated from the Norwich School of Art and Design, where she focused mostly on creative writing.

There are many genres that Chantal likes to explore in her writing. Currently Sci-fi Steampunk is one of her favourites, but her ‘go to’ genre will always be horror. “It helps being scared of everything; that gives me plenty of inspiration,” she says.

Chantal likes to write for all ages, and storytelling is the element of writing that she enjoys most. “Writing should be an escape from everyday life, and I like to provide people with new places to escape to, and new people to meet.”

The INTERVIEW with Fiona

Name

Chanti: My name is Chantal Noordeloos (try to pronounce, that one, hahaha. –Nor-duh-lows- ) *throws hands in the air* say it with me now… lol, sorry, just kidding.

Age

Chanti: Never ask a lady her age… good thing I’m not too ladylike. I’m 37. I was born in 76.

Where are you from:

Chanti: I was born in The Hague, which is one of the bigger cities in the Netherlands. I live in a suburb there now, but I’ve moved around. I even lived in the UK (Norwich) for three years during my time as a student.

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc

Chanti: I don’t know why it’s always so difficult to tell things about myself. I struggle to find the words (that really doesn’t do me credit as a writer, now does it… in my defence I write fiction) So let’s see. First and foremost, I’m a mom. My daughter, Elora (6) is amazing, and I try to keep her on the path of good, because I think she has the makings of a diabolical genius. My husband and I have been very happily married for 9 years. We met each other at this LARP (live action role play) event I used to organise. I think I need to warn you that I’m a bit of a nerd (or geek, or whatever). I always loved comic books, role play and games. And of course, books are my passion. Besides writing I do a little bit of drawing. I even draw for some of my projects too.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Chanti: Hmmm latest news, I have so much. I think my most exciting news is that the first novel in my COYOTE series, called “COYOTE: THE OUTLANDER” is now out on most platforms. I loved working on this project because it has a second screen. Basically that means it has its own website with extra content, and even music, to make reading the book a more engaging experience.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Chanti: I’ve been writing since I knew how, but always for a bit of fun. As a small kid I made up a lot of stories, and when I became a teen, I decided writing sucked, until I met my English teacher Mr. Harrison at age 15. He gave me a picture to write about and I knew then that I loved it above all other things. It took me a while to grab the courage to really start writing for an audience. I wrote just for me. In June 2012, I had a novel finished (it was terrible, really terrible) and I met another writer (Mike Jansen) who said I had potential. He urged me to get out there, get myself published, and I did. It went really fast after that. I’ve been very spoiled with getting most of my work accepted.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Chanti: I don’t remember, it sort of happened gradually. It took some time though, even when I was holding a copy of the first anthology I was published in, it didn’t sink in. But I know I feel like a writer now.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Chanti: Let’s ignore the crap books I wrote, and only acknowledge the first one I published. Coyote was an actual role play character of mine, about 15 years ago. It’s a character I’ve always loved and wanted to write a story about. There was an anthology I wanted to write for and it asked for a science fiction story. I thought: This would be a great opportunity to write a Coyote story. And so I did… only, what I wanted to say didn’t fit in a short story. So I wrote something else (in the same setting) for that anthology, and kept Coyote to myself.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Chanti: I think I do, but I’m not sure. I’m too close to my own writing to tell. However, I know I tend to write stories with a bit of a twist. So, I guess that’s my style ;)

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Chanti: Confession time: I am terrible with titles. I mean: DREADFUL. The choice to call the whole series “COYOTE” was easy; it’s the name of the main character. The Outlander… well, there is a good reason for it, and it’s in the book. I should explain: Outlanders are creatures from other worlds in my novels.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Chanti: I’m not sure I have a clear message, but I do work with ‘tolerance’ in my novel. Coyote is a female bounty hunter, which isn’t a common thing. Her partner, Caesar, is a freed slave. I liked working with characters that are meant to be ‘the underdog’ yet rise above that. Coyote demands a lot of respect and I liked writing about a strong woman.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

I did research to make it as realistic as I could. There is some guess work in there too, because I could only work with what Google provided me with. I have made up a lot as well, because that’s part of the charm. Don’t worry, there will be no Rips in Indiana, and no Outlanders will come tumbling out! ;)

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Chanti: I might use reactions of people in my novels. I didn’t use real life experiences, but I would use examples of friends (or myself) in my head when characters would respond to certain situations.

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?

Chanti: I am a very big fan of Neil Gaiman, and almost all his books have influenced me greatly. His book Neverwhere is still my favorite book.

Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Chanti: If I got to choose any writer? Because you’ll see this one coming: I’d get Neil Gaiman, lol. But if you mean who do I consider a mentor? That would be Apple Ardent Scott. She’s my editor (and a very dear friend), but she’s taught me so much about writing. Working with her has been amazing.

Read more HERE

WRAPPED IN RED: Thirteen Tales of Vampiric Horror

anthology, horror, New Release, Reviews, Sekhmet Press LLC, vampires, Wrapped In Red

Wrapped In Red Master PromoThirteen crimson concoctions sure to tempt your teeth,

from the ancient to the modern,

from the Carpathian Mountains

to the Atlantic Ocean

to the Wild West,

you are sure to find your… type –

Wrapped In Red.

13 Authors.

13 Stories.

Unlimited Vampire Nightmares.

Sekhmet Press Logo 2013

Presents

MASTER eBook Cover

“Wrapped in Red is an anthology that includes not one or two great stories, but all thirteen stories in this collection are strong and well written. These vampires are old school, without a bit of sparkling in sight, for which I was truly grateful. From authors I love (i.e., Billie Sue Mosiman, Patrick Green, Suzi M and Chantal Noordeloos) to authors I’ve never read before, I enjoyed every story in this book.

Just plain good old fashioned horror, well written, well edited and worth a read. When I was asked to review this by the publisher, I wasn’t really sure. But in the end, I sat down and read the entire collection in a day, so if that isn’t a collection worth a 5 star rating, I’m not sure what is.” Kat Yares Vine™ Voice reviewer.