Books, Babes, and the Business: Jaime Johnesee

Celebrating Women in Fiction

blog header cwifJaime Johnesee

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

JJ: I’m an author who was a zookeeper and has the luck of a cursed zombie accidentally shambling into a necrophiliac convention.

Do you focus on a specific genre with your work?

JJ: Nope. I don’t think I could limit my muse if I wanted to, she has some brilliant ideas.

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

JJ: Nope. I never really thought about it. I guess just because I am who I am and if someone doesn’t like my work just because of my uterus… well, then I wouldn’t want them to have it anyway.

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

JJ: Bill Naylor’s The Misadventures of a Zoo Keeper is one that was absolutely brilliant. It’s the best zoo keeper memoir I’ve read yet, and I’ve read a lot of them. As for horror, you can’t beat Strings by Allison M Dickson and Ricky Cooper’s Designated: Infected was extremely well done. I also loved The Murdered Metatron by James Glass and Colt Coltrane: The Lotus Killer by Allison M. Dickson. Laurie Ricard’s Rowan’s End is one I am reading now. Of course you can’t go wrong with anything by Lori R Lopez or Leigh M Lane.

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

JJ: Honestly it has to be Lisa Lane who writes horror as Leigh M Lane. She read my novella Shifters and messaged me that she loved it but it needed a lot of editing. She said she didn’t want to review it until I had a chance to clean it up. She’s been a godsend ever since teaching me grammar and helping me clean my work.

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

JJ: Don’t ever even think of giving up. You are good enough and you will make it. I’d also tell me to have more confidence in myself. (People didn’t start taking me seriously until I started realizing I am good at this and I’m only going to get better.)

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

JJ: Well I am working on rewrites for a novel called Holly Andrews. I’m really excited about this one as it does contain my favorite zombie, Bob.

Where can we find you?

bob cover jj


jj picJaime Johnesee worked as a zookeeper for fourteen years before deciding to focus on her passion of writing. Her decision has proven to be a good one, as her books have been received with critical acclaim. Although her initial foray into the literary world has been marked by success, Jaime has just begun and is a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.

Books, Babes, and the Business: Lori R. Lopez

Celebrating Women in Fiction

blog header cwifLORI R. LOPEZ

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?

Spooked smallHa 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? 





DSC01168 ContrastLori 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.

Books, Babes, and the Business: The Fluffy Fox

Celebrating Women in Fiction

blog header cwifVix Kirkpatrick

I am a BritGirl who loves reading. I am fortunate enough to be able to say I beta read for some awesome authors and am passionate about their work. I strongly believe in supporting all their hard work and try to promote them as much as I can on my little blog.

My favourite genre is horror and the huge areas it covers which often spill over into sci-fi, the bizarre and comedy in many instances.

Influential females…..oh my, far too many! I am thankfully now surrounded by so many wonderful ladies it would be unfair to even contemplate a list! Social media is often derided for its flapping, nasty or inane comments or food pictures, but it has allowed me to “meet” some of my best friends and expand on my gang/stable/horde of authors.

List a few authors and my favourite books by them! Ok, lets limit it to my top eight, those ladies whom I would probably read their shopping lists if they published them; with these amazing ladies you are ALWAYS promised a great read.

Kat Yares – has a multitude of brilliant short stories and my pick of the bunch would be Cleanliness Is Next Too….as it made me leap from my bed on a Saturday morning and start hovering! Who is afraid of the odd dust bunny? ME! But from her novels I loved Beneath The Tor, so much I bought a hard copy and have passed it around my local friends. It is a wonderful narrative of what could have happened in the Christ story, KY is delicate, respectful and clever in her ability to weave all the important aspects of Christ into this fictional story with a twist.

Lori R. Lopez – Jar Baby and The Fairy Fly are my favourites. LRL always throws in words and phrases that I have to run off and look up, she expands my vocabulary every time I read her and Jar Baby is one of my favourites as she manages to make mummy & zombie killing so eloquent sounding as you would think you were at a tea party with Earl Grey tea and cucumber sandwiches. The Fairy Fly is not a horror book, unless you are afraid of creepy crawlies and up until this book I was morbidly afraid of spiders, now I can even sit in the same room as them and not have panic attacks, I will forever be in LRLs debt for that.

Billie Sue Mosimen – with such a huge repertoire can anyone have a favourite BSM novel/short story? I can read White Skulls over and over though as it has the gore, back story, interesting characters, plot twists and humour that I love so much in all my reads.

Suzi M – The Immortal War series for me was almost perfection, a brilliant mix of Vamps, Demons and all sorts of other critters mixed over time, space and a 3 way love story, do you need anymore?

Jaime Johnesse – well apart from her famous Bob (The Zombie) Series, her best story was Shifters (which I believe is having an overhaul to make it even more awesome!) and even now 3 years later I still think of the characters from this book.

Eden Crowne – Fall From Grace; Angels, Demons, marks of death and lots of sex! how could you go wrong with that mix! Her stories are complex and intricate and really give a sense of being in the story with all the fantastic descriptions of people and places.

Allison M. Dickson – The Wicked Brew collection for me had the best short story “A Concealed Hand” this one really touched me; made me gasp, hold my breath and laugh. Her debut novel “Strings “ was grotesque in that wonderful horror way that makes you want more, just not after dinner.

Christine Sutton – her Kayla Burkhart series was brilliant, CS took all your usual fairie tales and turned them on their head! Humour and gore combined are my favourite elements in a horror story, the giggle then the slap in the face – not to mention the amazing writing style that CS has.

Current projects? Well, as I am NOT a writer it’s more like an ongoing blog of reviews; although I am trying to bully everyone into answering a few silly questions, nothing like the sensible ones you have me answering! Unless you would like to know what my favourite sandwich is?

foxVix loves the horror genre, but it must be well written even if Bmovie style! She also enjoys sci-fi, comedy, thrillers, biographies and some weird stuff.
Vix enjoys leaving reviews and supporting Indie authors. You can find Vix here: