Our featured author for episode 120 of the Horror Addicts podcast is Chantal Noordeloos. Chantal is a member of the Horror Writers Association and one of her hobbies is board games which you can read about here. Recently Chantal answerd a few questions about her writing:
When did you start writing?
That’s one of those ‘tricksy hobbitses’ questions. I can’t tell you when exactly I started. I’ve been making up stories since I was a kid, and even wrote some of them down when I was six or seven (much to the frustration of my mother, who was trying to get me to keep a journal of our holidays) I was also partial to essay writing at school, but I remember in my teens that I thought writing was a bother. I didn’t realize I wanted to be a writer until I turned fifteen, and my English teacher, Bob Harrison, made us do a lot of creative writing. That’s when I knew that this was my passion above all others.
Now, had you asked me “When did you start getting your work published?” I would have had a more straight forward answer *cheeky grin*. My first short story was published in 2012 (unless you count the stories I used to write for my school newspaper) My first novella came out in 2013, and my first novel in 2014.
What do you like to write about?
I like to write about ALL THE THINGS *insert little comic meme here* Sorry, I couldn’t control myself there for a second. Ehm… I’m a genre floozy (I don’t just write one genre) and a slipstream Sally (I mix genres) to boot, so I could go in very many directions with this question. I do have some preferences, I guess. I am a big fan of ‘epic stories’. I like to write about angels and demons and the apocalypse. Go big or go home… (not really because I enjoy small stories too, it just felt appropriate to randomly write that) Most of the time I incorporate some sort of mythology or fairytale into my work. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s very subtle. That’s just a little thing I do.
In truth, it sometimes feels like the story finds me, rather than me finding the story. Sometimes a thought just hits me out of the blue, and if it clicks… it’ll become a novel. For me it’s important that I have some sort of connection with my characters. If that works, I enjoy writing.
Who are some of your influences?
My main influences are the brothers Grimm, Hans Christiaan Andersen, and all those people who have written down old myths. That’s where my passion started. More contemporary influences are Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and Joss Whedon, though I am more influenced by my environment than I am by other writers. I think writers are more of a stimulant to each other, than they are an influence. I could never write like any of my heroes, their voices are their own… as is mine.
What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?
Horror has a macabre beauty to it. Death is the biggest mystery of them all, because no-one ever lived to tell the tale *grin*. There’s something elegant about horror, even about the gory part of it (though I believe horror is so much more than just gore). To me, as a writer, it’s a challenge to find out what frightens people. There’s something very intriguing about fear. There are also a lot of taboos in the world that are broken by the horror genre, which in a way feels very liberating.
What will you be reading for episode 120 of the podcast?
I’m going to read a story called ‘Little Death’. It’s a story I wrote after I saw a real item on the news about a mysterious illness.
Where can you we find you online?
*whispers* I’m everywhere…
*serious face* I’m really not, though I do spend a lot of time on facebook, and I’m trying to figure out how to do this twitter thing (does that make me a twit?). So you can find me: https://www.facebook.com/ChantalNoordeloosStoryteller
Or on twitter: https://twitter.com/C_Noordeloos
My website can be found here: www.chantalnoordeloos.info
And of course my favorite hang out is here: http://amzn.to/1NLVtZt
Thanks for having me on your show! It’s been a hoot!