Rhonda Carpenter is the winner of the 2010 Wicked Women’s Writer’s challenge. She is also the author of Mark of the Druid and works on podioracket.com with fellow Wicked Women Writer Heather Roulo. Rhonda is also a professional psychic, clinical hypnotherapist, a handwriting expert, dream analyst and the founder of lifefirst.com. Rhonda was nice enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to talk to horror addicts.net:
How did you come up with idea for Barring Lilith? After I was assigned the sin
of lust I was very excited about the prospects of where a lust story might go. I
jumped online and started researching the 7 deadly sins. When I got to Lust I
found it extremely interesting that Eve had not been the first wife of Adam. But
someone I had never heard of, Lilith, had. But when she would not take the
subservient position during sex God kicked her out of the garden of Eden and she
went out into the world and had an extremely fertile womb. God was angry with
her and killer all her children at which point she married the demon of lust
Asmodious. I thought after reading the story how it must have been for her and
the story flowed from the idea that after she married a demon what would she
have done for fun. As the mother of 3 boys all grown men know the thought of
teens slipped into the story. I had a great time with this Horror Addicts
project and am so proud I won the WWW for 2010-2011.
What research did you have to do for Barring Lilith? I researched online for all
of the 7 deadly sin works that had been done over the years. But I have to say
Wiki was a killer resource for this kind of story as it gave me a ton of my own
ideas and things I wanted to know more about.
Was it a hard story to write and what is you writing process like? It was tough
to do it in 30 days as when the story was due I had house guest for 3 weeks and
had a really hard time getting to my computer to write. I seriously watched them
pull out of the drive and locked myself in my office for 4 days. But once the
idea was formed the story flowed well and I made the deadline with seconds to
spare. UGH no more 30 day deadlines for this writer.
How long does it take you to record and edit a story? It depends on the story
this one was all my voice so it was shorter than the full cast productions I
have done in the past. I recorded and edited in one night. Total time about 7
hours for a 32 minute production.
Is writing a story for print different then writing for a podcast? Not for me. I
write the same whether it is for print of podcast. What is different is the
recording when you find out things don’t flow as you though they would in your
head. The he said she said is always different and this time I really enjoyed
doing the voices for the succubus. They were a kick. I tried to give the young
boys different personalities so they would be easier to tell them apart while
recording but honesty all the boys where fun to record. The problem with being a
woman is that doing men’s voices is an impossibility, you can never get them to
sound quit right. But the writing process was the same. Write the story and then
make it work as a podcast.
Could you tell us a little about Mark of the Druid and how you came up with the
idea? The Mark of a Druid was garnered from a dream I had some years ago. I sat
up in bed as the dream had awakened me and I said damn that would make a good
story. So I got up and started to write it. The Mark of a Druid is now available
in all forms including droid and Iphone for Horror Addicts here is your
Smashwords coupon code good till Dec 31, 2010 .99 cents KK77F
Could you tell us a little about Podioracket and what you do there? Podioracket
is a twofold promotional cornucopia for podiobooks.com authors. What Heather
Roulo, Brian Rathbone and I do there is interview the PB authors for both a
prerecorded short show and a longer live show on our
BlogTalkRadio.com/podioracket feed. We also cover Pod cast news and contests for
all the listeners so that you can go to one place to find out what is new and
now complete and what the scoop is from the Podiobooks.com Authors. The short
show is never longer than 25 minutes and often much shorter than that so you can
get what you need and still have time to subscribe on a lunch break. The long
show is a live radio show that I host with Brain Rathbone the author of The Call
of the Harold . During that show you get a real close up sit down with
Podiobooks.com authors, publishers and podcasters. We often give away books on
the live show to the callers and the chat participants.
What are some of your favorite books and what is your favorite genre to read and
write in? I love to read fantasy, and mysteries but my all time favorites type
of book is historical fiction I am a sucker for tales of Ireland and Wales as
will as the English and French. I dig a good horror story but am not into the
gore of horror. My favorite books. Hmmm there are so many. How about this: just
finished Philippa Ballantine’s Geist (LOVED IT) could not put it down! I am
reading Sharon Kay Penman’s historical welsh series now on book 2 book one was a
page turner or should I say button pusher I read on my Sony e-reader and it was
titled Here Be Dragons, currently reading The Fall of Shadows. If we are talking
podiobooks.com authors I really enjoyed this year Brain Rathbone’s Call of
the Harold series, The Fox by Arlene Radasky, Deadly Codes by J.P. O’Donnel and
the full cast audio drama of The Leviathan Chronicles by Christof Laputka.
What will you be working on next? You mean what am I working on. Currently I am
working on the sequel to The Mark of a Druid titled When Ethers Descend and I am
also dabbling in a historical fiction murder mystery titled Truth Slithers that
takes place in the 1890’s in a small Southeastern town in Missouri based on a
true life event of my great great grandmother. I have been slow getting back to
writing after my cross country move this summer. I had so much to do to get the
ranch into shape including raising baby chicks and being the cow whisperer for
15 heifers and a bull this summer.
Super big thank you to all the Horror Addicts for voting me the Most Wicked
Woman Writer this year and I am so looking forward to hosting next year’s
competition. The gals just have no clue what we have in mind for them and the
listeners should love the spin we will put on the competition this coming
This week’s Horror Addicts interview is a special one, with interviews from several wicked ladies. That’s right, it’s time for the Wicked Women Writers Challenge!
The theme for this season’s challenge is 7 Deadly Sins. The contestants had a month to prepare their short story and interpret their sin. The women participating in the challenge are ones you’re sure to recognize: Michele Roger, R.E. Chambliss, Laurel Anne Hill, Rhonda Carpenter, Kimberly Steele, and Hollie Snider.
As last year’s winner Heather Roulo (H.E. Roulo) was the one to organize the contest this time around. And of course, our very own Emerian Rich will be working with Heather on the commentary for each story.
Here’s what Emz had to say about the contest, “I’m excited to see what the ladies come up with. They are all very talented. We’ve got Michele Roger, the one who created the Wicked Women Writers and the mastermind behind making Santa a werewolf! Laurel Anne Hill, who helped judge last year is an awesome writer and very involved with helping women in the writing community. Renee has been in our group for some time, but this will be her first story for Horror Addicts so I’m excited to see her step into the horror box. Rhonda Carpenter is a veteran of Horror Addicts and the Wicked Women’s Challenge. She’s also helped host Horror Addicts and has done little cameos here and there when I need her. Last Season, Kimberly Steele was our first woman to win the Best in Blood award for HorrorAddicts.net. Hollie is a newcomer to our group but has been writing for years and has been involved with writing groups as a mentor. These are all awesome writing women with strong voices. This contest will be rad to hear. I am especially eager to see how the fans react. Last time it was just 4 ladies. Now it’s harder with 6.”
Heather explained to me a little about the voting process. “The voters will decide how well each of the ladies have interpreted their theme. We suggested that the entries be quicker, since we were lucky enough to have so many people participate and we want to make sure that listeners have time to hear all the stories, but really they were encouraged to try whatever they wanted. And it’s great that we get to air in the Halloween episode!” Emz, also added that, “[i]t’s really too tough to judge. That’s why I’m making the listeners do it. With such awesome women involved, the competition is steep.”
I was able to have several “mini” interviews, including one with WWW creator Michele Roger (who, as mentioned above is a contestant as well). Michele’s theme this year is “Gluttony.”
“Last year, I participated in the challenge as well, but my story was the longest. It was as if I’d forgotten how to write short fiction. I had just come off of writing my first long novel, “Dark Matter” and I think I was still stuck in the very serious mode. This year, “Gluttony” is much lighter, faster paced and tongue and cheek. I grew up attending a Catholic school in the suburbs of north Detroit as a kid. I couldn’t resist going back to those memories and basing a horror story based on a deadly sin in my old alma matre.”
Be sure to note that Roger’s new novel, “The Conservatory” is due to be released this November. For more info checkout http://www.micheleroger.com/.
R.E. (Renée) Chambliss is a writer and podcaster who lives in northern California. Her highly-rated podcast novel, Dreaming of Deliverance, can be found on itunes and at podiobooks.com. To learn more about her writing, podcasting, and voice work, visit REChambliss.com. Renée’s theme this year is “Pride.” Her inspiration, surprisingly comes from a well known tv show.
“Years ago, I watched Survivor Amazon on t.v. Each episode, the losing tribe has to vote someone out of the game. Well, this time the tribes were divided by gender: there was an all-male tribe and an all-female tribe. One thing that really interested me (and kind of horrified me, to be honest) was that in the all-female tribe a couple of the younger women were very proud of their youth and beauty and were also certain that the older women must be extremely threatened by them because of it. Whenever there was a negative interaction with one of the older women, the young women always assumed it was because the older women were jealous. That seemed incredibly ridiculous to me. And it popped back into my head when I learned my sin would be pride. I decided to model a character after one of those young, pretty girls, and see where the story would go!”
“[Laurel Anne Hill is] looking forward to pouring a glass of wine, curling up in [her] favorite overstuffed chair and listening to the submitted stories. Oh, and [she’ll] also dim the lights to create the appropriate spooky atmosphere.”
Her theme turned out to be “Sloth,” which she told me was “a challenge in itself. After all, exciting main characters take action and overcome obstacles. How would I write from a couch potato’s point-of-narration and still maintain forward momentum? Then I came across a true “medical horror” case and the fuzzy pieces of my story puzzle sharpened at the edges…I started writing, and the result was Beyond Her Reach, a tale of sloth.”
And just a little FYI for all you Hill fans out there: “My award-winning novel, Heroes Arise (KOMENAR Publishing, 2007), is available in hard cover, trade paper and electronically through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Thar be Magic, my pirates and magic short story, appears in the Rum and Runestones anthology (Dragon Moon Press, 2010), also available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In 2010, I’ve had two additional short stories accepted for anthologies, and also had an op-ed (Support your Local Hero Rat) published by AOL News in August. To reach my blog and podcast, go to http://www.laurelannehill.com/.”
“Lust” was given to author Rhonda Carpenter, which found out some pretty interesting things while researching. “While researching the sin lust I found a very cool story about how god created Adam’s partner but that first partner was not Eve it was a woman named Lilith. She did not accept the subservient position of Adam being on top during sex. She refused to be on the bottom. I found this fascinating. She was rejected by Adam because she would not accept his dominance. God threw her out and she then had hundreds of babies in defiance. Then God created Eve she was the perfect subservient partner for Adam, Well I guess until she gave her partner an apple.”
For more information on Rhonda, go to: http://www.rhondacarpenter.com
For Kimberly Steele and her sin, “Greed,” things got off with a rough start. “I completely messed up this challenge. I was assigned to do a story on Greed, so I began to write a character who is pretty much the male archetype of everything I hate about American society: a hard-drinking, wife-cheating, money-obsessed salesman in that loathsome bland herd of executives who lunch (and golf). Then there was the demon tongue that ruins the aforementioned character’s life. The tongue was even more fun to write then the slimy salesman! The spigot flowed free and fast–only problem was that I wrote 10,000 words or roughly one hour of audio story! Only once the audio was recorded did I realize I was supposed to keep it to a pithy 10 minutes of audio. I had no choice but to write another story, so I spun a yarn that was heavily influenced by EC Comics; a Tales From the Crypt sort of thing about a doofus idiot who burns a volume of Shakespeare and gets owned for his stupidity by his recently deceased grandmother. I only entered the shorter story in the contest, but audiences will be the winners here as I will release both audio stories free from ForeverFifteen.com.”
Steele’s story for the contest is “about a greedy person has no appreciation of what he has, even though he lives a life of privilege and luxury compared to most. He abuses everyone around him, wastes every opportunity by being listless or lazy, takes everything for granted, then has the gall to blame others for his own ineffectualness.”
For more information on Kimberly check out her website at http://kimberlysteelemusic.com/.
“Good writing and lots of fun.” That’s what Hollie Snider is looking forward to for this challenge. “Since I’ve never really been part of the Wicked Women Writers, I am looking forward to getting to know everyone. That’s the big thing for me this year.”
Her plans for the challenge, “[t]o win, of course. Seriously, I didn’t even plan to be part of the challenge but Emz mentioned it to me and it sounded like fun. This is the first one I’ve done for Wicked Women Writers.”
Snider’s story for the challenge is titled, “Mirror, Mirror and was inspired by Snow White.”
“[It’s] definitely more toward the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales rather than Disney. The sin I wrote it for is “Envy.” It’s been called “gruesome” by those who proofed it for me. I hope it’s gruesome enough to get under people’s skin.” For more information on Hollie, go to: http://www.holliesnider.com/
To quote Michele, “It just seemed to me that the sci fi and horror genres are a bit of a “boy’s club”. There are real marketing reasons why many female writers publish under their initials or a pen name in this area of literature.” Or as Emerian put it, “[O]ur community is more about being a woman in a writing genre that is dominated by men. We support each other, share tips, and even help each other. It’s kind of like a secret society. We don’t have a strange handshake, but if another WWW asks for help, we all chip in.”
Everyone I interviewed had their own opinion of what they believe a Wicked Women Writer truly is. But, they all had one thing in common: she will “leave the listener with a satisfying chill in the bones.”
All I know is this Wicked Women Writers Challenge is going to be Horrific!
Happy Haunting Horror Addicts!