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I am slightly embarrassed to confess to loving something so mainstream and trendy at the moment, but fantasy was what originally made me fall in love with reading as a child.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: Kate J. Jenkins

Celebrating Women in Fiction

blog header cwifKate J. Jenkins

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I identify as a reader, and a very (very) early-stage writer. In the last year, through beta reading, I’ve become increasingly interested in working with authors on their work. By this, I mean editing and the exciting task of, hopefully, asking questions of and with authors that help them develop ideas and characters between first and final drafts. As I transition from my career as an attorney, I genuinely hope to engage in more of this work.

Do you focus on a certain genre with your work?

I read in several genres, but I find myself forever returning to horror, speculative, and, especially, crime fiction.  My girlfriend tells me, I’m not allowed to bring home any more crime fiction novels because piles of them already “decorate” the house adequately.  My own writing is horror / speculative fiction.  I remember reading a book of ghost stories when I was in kindergarten or first grade and getting a shiver at the end of a story.  I believe I’m still chasing that emotion when I read and when I write.  I love crime fiction because, when done well, it’s all about character and place.

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

I’ve loved all of Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, in particular The Likeness about a detective who looks so much like a murdered graduate student that she pretends to be her and not to have died, and moves back into the house the woman shared with three other graduate students who are the primary suspects. I also enjoyed Night Film by Marisha Pessl, about investigation into the apparent suicide of the young daughter of a cult film horror film director who may or may not have committed atrocities against the people who’ve worked for him in his films. I love and will read anything by indie writer Allison M. Dickson.  She has the ability to create worlds and internal character voice that make her stories undeniably compelling.

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

My mother.  She just returned from a two-year stint in rural Cambodia as a Peace Corps volunteer in July, 2013. She’s 65. This after a 25 year career as an attorney. She makes clear by her actions that honesty and commitment to the larger good are essential. I also think my girlfriend has helped me to become a much more at peace and, thus, kinder person by her own life example. In my writing, my dear friend Allison Dickson, who is always open to discussion about the craft.

If you could give yourself one piece of advice relating to the business, what would it be?

Start writing earlier, it truly is a craft that requires butt-in-chair hours. And, be less afraid, listen less to my own internal editor. Given that I’m at such an early stage of writing, I think I need to take this advice now, at 42 years old.

Do you have a current project coming up you would like to tell us about?

I’m working on a novel and on a couple of short stories.  My goal, as a writer, is to submit and/or self-publish a short story or two in 2014. I’m also looking seriously into offering editing services professionally, with the idea of perhaps creating my own micro-press.  Jennifer Greene has been incredibly generous in sharing her knowledge and experience as it relates to her respected press, Sekhmet Press, LLC. If I do it, I hope I can be as professional and encouraging as she and Sekhmet are for the authors they work with.

Where can we find you?

katejenkins1Right now, on Facebook.  I plan to have a website and Facebook page for writing and/or editing soon.