Books, Babes, and the Business: Audrey Lynn Brennan

Calliope Fading, Celebrating Women in Fiction, Sekhmet Press LLC

blog header cwifAudrey Lynn Brennan

Describe yo’self.

I’ve had a passion for reading, writing, and art, ever since I can remember. Although I’m still very new to the business, I would describe myself primarily as an illustrator/artist. I work a little bit behind the scenes for Sekhmet Press, also doing some editing, which I find strangely satisfying – possibly because I can never seem to stop compulsively editing everything I hear or read in my head. In the future I would like to also someday publish some of my writing.

Specific genre?

So far I’ve been drawn to working on strange, dark, and surreal pieces. I love anything that lingers in my mind, especially in that twilight between consciousness and dreams. That’s the feeling I want to try to capture in my work. That being said, as I mentioned, I am still very new to the fiction world, so there are still many genres I would like to explore. I think romance illustration could be scandalously fun, for example.

Do you moonlight as a man? Why/why not?

I never have used a male pseudonym, and currently have no plans to do so in the future. It’s possible I may decide to give it a try as an experiment one day, to see what kind of different audience my work would attract based on a difference as small as a name.

Favorite/recent books or authors?

Neil Gaiman is my hero. Especially for his novel American Gods, and his graphic novel series The Sandman – which is also worth checking out for the stunning artwork by Dave McKean and a host of others. I can’t even begin to explain why and how much I love this stuff without dissolving into a rambling mess of rabid enthusiasm. If you haven’t read them, please do.

Recently I’ve also been enjoying George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy saga, A Song of Ice and Fire. I have to admit I am slightly embarrassed to confess to loving something so mainstream and trendy at the moment, but fantasy was what originally made me fall in love with reading as a child. I remember spending hours and hours on end as a little girl curled up with C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, Brian Jaques Redwall series, and later on the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling and J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. As an adult, I don’t think I’ve ever fallen into a fantasy world the way I remember being affected by those books as a child, until I started reading ASOIF when I was suffering withdrawal after the second season of HBO’s A Game of Thrones ended.

 Advise yo’ baby self.

The biggest piece of advice I would give my younger self is not to get intimidated by perfectionism before even starting a project. This is still something I struggle with – I have a hard time even starting anything without feeling completely sure that I have enough time, all at once, to complete it to my standards. There have also been so many times I’ve completely scrapped something I’m working on because it doesn’t look perfect when it’s only 10% complete. When I can listen to the rational part of my mind, I know that work evolves on the page. Nothing starts out perfect. Unrealistic expectations just hold you back.

Current projects and shit.

I’m really excited about the upcoming horror novella I’m illustrating, A Piece of Miracle by Patrick C. Greene. (you can see a test cover below) Look for it this Fall. In addition, I’m currently growing a real live human being in my guts – coming out in early May!

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Find Audrey

CalliopeFading.com

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audrey1I’ve had a love affair with all things creative throughout my whole life. As a kid, I was a total bookworm. I’ve always had a passion for painting and drawing as well, and in high school I attended a magnet school for visual and performing arts, where I became heavily involved in theater and dance. I studied fine art and illustration in college, and now work as an editor and illustrator for Sekhmet Press with the amazing Jennifer L. Greene. I hope to transition to that being my full time job, but presently I must confess to still bartending part time to pay the bills.

Books, Babes, and the Business: Jennifer Wilson

Celebrating Women in Fiction

blog header cwifJennifer Wilson

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 am co-owner of Nightscape Press. I’m an avid reader – and it’s been phenomenal being able to be part of putting out amazing works into the world for people to read. We classify ourselves as a horror press, but we are open to all works with a dark element, be they dark fantasy, dark science fiction, et cetera.

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

I love the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

I’m a little late to the game, but I’ve recently been checking out Peter Straub’s works.

And since we’re examining women in fiction this month, some of my favorite female authors are Rena Mason, Lisa Mannetti, Katharine Kerr, Anne Bishop, and Juliet Marillier.

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

The most influential female in my personal life is my grandmother, Ninette Troxell. Even though she is no longer with us, she taught me so much about what it means to be a strong woman.  I learned so much from her growing up about life and love.  She is by far the measurement by which I live my life and try to do all in by personal and work life to make her proud.

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

The one piece of advice I would give my younger self is to speak up and not be worried about what others think — No one else has experienced the unique world I have lived in quite the same and others may be able to gain something from what I have to say.  This is not to say that it isn’t important to be mindful of what I am putting out there, but to trust that I have a valid opinion to share with the world.

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

We have several books that will be out this year (some announced and some not) that I’m really excited about. One I would like everyone to check out, even though it’s not specifically horror, is Fantasy For Good: A Charitable Anthology. This book, while not technically part of a series, is the next book in what I’ll call the movement that started with Horror For Good. HFG continues to raise money for amfAR (an international AIDS research charity) and FFG will be donating all proceeds to the Colon Cancer Alliance, a charity doing amazing things in education and research for colon cancer. We are fortunate enough to have stories from some huge names in the fantasy world such as George RR Martin, Neil Gaiman, Piers Anthony, and many, many more.

(You can find out more at http://www.richardsalter.com/fantasyforgood/ and http://www.facebook.com/fantasyforgood)

Where can we find you? 

Nightscape Press’s website is http://www.nightscapepress.com,

we can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nightscapepress,

we’re on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nightscapepress,

and our Amazon storefront is http://www.amazon.com/nightscape-press

Jennifer WilsonJennifer M. Wilson is Co-Owner and Director of Proofreading for Nightscape Press. Having been through eight years of Advanced/Honors English coursework, she has a sharp eye for grammatical detail and takes a solid critical approach to style and the mechanics of prose when proofreading.

Jennifer is a lover of music and a voracious reader across many genres with a high standard of taste. She works as a transcriptionist and has nearly completed her undergraduate degree in Biology, with the ambition of pursing work in genetic research. She lives in Middle Tennessee with her husband, two kids, and German Shepherd.