Wicked Women Wednesday #1

ImageIn celebration of the month long voting period for the Wicked Women Writers Challenge (go to http://www.horroraddicts.net to listen to the stories…then, vote for your favorite by emailing horroraddicts@gmail.com  …  end shameless plug), I’ve got a series of interviews with the other participants.  Since there are 4 weeks to vote and there were 13 women taking part in the contest, there will be more than one interview each Wednesday until the first week of October.

This week we have Leigh Lane, Shauna Klein, and Chantal Boudreau in the spotlight.  Keep reading to find out tidbits about these interesting women.  How did they get here?  What do they have in common?  Can there be happy endings?

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Leigh Lane

LMLaneWhat brought you to the Wicked Women Writers Challenge?

Killion Slade advertised it on a Facebook group we both belong to, and it looked like a fun and interesting challenge.  I followed a link to her 2012-winning podcast, which reminded me of the old radio dramas that have become all but extinct, and I found the prospect of attempting to create one of my own exciting.

What did you find most challenging in the recording of your story?

The most challenging aspect was reading the story without tripping up.  I have a medical problem that has left me with a handful of blind spots in my vision.  I can still read, but much slower than I used to.  Getting through an 1800-word story without sounding absolutely terrible was, for me, a huge feat.

How do you create your villains?

Nearly all of my villains are extensions of evils I’ve encountered in my own life, amalgamations of people, injustices, or personal fears that have had some kind of personal impact.

What’s your worst experience with killing a character?

A little boy died in one of my novels, and writing that was very emotional for me.  His death was both necessary to the story and symbolic of a real-life event, but the death of a child is never easy, even if it’s only fiction.  I cried through the entire scene.

What are your thoughts on happy endings in horror stories?

It really depends on the story structure.  For example, if it’s survival horror, the ending’s typically going to be unsatisfying if no one gets out in one piece.  If it’s dystopian, it absolutely should not have a happy ending if the author wants to follow the traditional structure of the genre.  If it follows the hero’s journey, the hero must prevail.  With that said, an ending should always have a point.  Good or bad, it should be with purpose.

If you could have any animal as a pet or familiar, what would you choose?

Hands down, I’d choose a domestic house cat.  I know it’s clichéd, but domestic cats fit the bill.  They’re independent but loyal, intelligent and observant, and carry a mystique no other animal can match.  Plus, I just adore cats….

Like her on Facebook.  Follow her on Twitter.  Check out her blog.

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Shauna Klein

meppsWhat brought you to the Wicked Women Writers Challenge?

I remember hearing about it and was intrigued to see if it was something I can do. I tend to procrastinate and having not only a deadline but a specific thing to do I figured would challenge me.

What did you find most challenging in the recording of your story?

Coming up with the story itself. Once I started writing though, it all came to me.

How do you create your villains?

I created them around my story and since mine is really “out there” it involved a little research.

What’s your worst experience with killing a character? 

That’s hard to say but perhaps the fact that I get attached somewhat to some characters in my short stories.

What are your thoughts on happy endings in horror stories?

It depends. If it involves characters I’m invested in, then I’d like a happy ending. If I’m more involved in the story than the characters, then I’m okay with a sad ending.

If you could have any animal as a pet or familiar, what would you choose?

A wolf; I love dogs and wolves are pretty darn awesome.

Like her on Facebook.  Follow her on Twitter.  Check out her blog.

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Chantal Boudreau

halloweenCBWhat brought you to the Wicked Women Writers Challenge?

It’s a long and convoluted story.  I like to listen to podcast novels on podiobooks.com and came across a wonderful historical fantasy called “The Fox” by Arlene Radasky.  I wanted to let her know how much I liked her story so I tracked her down on Facebook to send her a message.  We got to chatting, and when she found out I wrote horror short stories, she invited me to participate in that year’s WWW Challenge.  I came up with “Rats!” one of the stranger pieces of fiction I’ve written to date.  But it was a lot of fun, and I’ve stuck with the challenge, which has gotten easier with time.  This will be my third year competing.

What did you find most challenging in the recording of your story?

I’m still quite inept at trying to put the audio together.  I searched high and low for the background sound of the wind blowing I could use to accentuate the story, but I came up empty-handed.  For the third year running my entry is just a bare bones story without any bells and whistles.  I don’t think I have much chance of winning that way, but that’s okay.  The fun for me is in the podcast and not the win per say.

How do you create your villains?

All my characters are created by what I call the “Athena method” and by that I mean my literary children spring fully formed from my head.  I’m not the type to mess around with character bios or complex development processes.  The creative juices stew along with my real life experiences in my head, sometimes with a dose of inspiration from folks who have done me wrong, and out crawls a villain.  They seem as real to me in some ways as someone I’ve known all my life, with strengths, flaws, a full history, ambitions and fears.  Sometimes it amazes how cruel they can be, because I’m not like that at all.

What’s your worst experience with killing a character?

I’ve killed off many characters whose deaths have pained me.  I don’t want to put out any spoilers, but one character I killed off early in my fantasy series (Masters & Renegades) was a favourite amongst readers.  I took a lot of flack for that – including my dear friend and co-worker, Barb, calling me “murderer” every time she saw me for two weeks straight.  The hardest for me, personally, was a character I killed off in the fifth book of my fantasy series, which has yet to see print (the publisher is currently working on the release of book #3). I loved this character and tried desperately to find another way out of his circumstances but I just couldn’t make the story work any other way.  I cried the whole way through writing the chapter where I killed him off, and I’m not much of a crier.

What are your thoughts on happy endings in horror stories?

I’ve written a couple of them that way, but more often not – I prefer my endings to be gristly and or lethal.  The ones I have written with a “happy ending” usually have a weird twist to them and/or the suggestion of possible worse things to come.  “Waking the Dead” is a good example of this.

If you could have any animal as a pet or familiar, what would you choose?

In my younger, hipper days, I would have said “a cheetah” but I’ve mellowed since then.  Now I’d rather have something cool, but slower, smaller and easy to care for…like a gecko. Or maybe a meerkat.  They aren’t slow, but they are very cool.  Give them enough leeway and they could take over the world.

Like her on Facebook.  Follow her on Twitter.  Check out her blog.

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Thank you, ladies.  It’s been a pleasure.  And as an afterthought, here’s a link to Shauna Klein’s interview of yours truly.

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