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I am slightly embarrassed to confess to loving something so mainstream and trendy at the moment, but fantasy was what originally made me fall in love with reading as a child.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