13 Questions with H.E. Roulo

I was lucky enough to interview a well known Horror Addict for this week’s episode 44: Death. So please welcome back Heather Roulo also known as H.E. Roulo. You might remember her name from the Horror Addicts website as the Most Wicked Women Writer of 2009. She has written two stories for H.A., her horror/sci-fi story Undergrowth. As well the story that won her the Most Wicked title, Graveyard Shift (and Reshift).

This week Heather’s story for Horror Addicts is titled Great Asp and Little Death. When I asked Roulo about her story she told me, “Death is an introspective theme, often quiet and full of double meaning on life and its ending. I thought about the many interpretations of death in literature, including Hades and the Grim Reaper. There are endless movie interpretations, like the famous chess game in The Seventh Seal or the endless Joe Black. Death appears in the middle of battles and of gatherings, such as in Poe’s Masque of the Red Death or Peter S. Beagle’s story about Death as a 16 year old girl. Death has no trouble getting invited to cocktail parties.”

Here’s a little information about Great Asp and Little Death: “Death stalks a woman-warrior of near mythic proportion fresh from battle and dealing with her husband’s death and her own imminent demise. Will she achieve hero status and be made immortal? Or will the wounds to her heart and body give her over to Death first?”

I asked Roulo what got her into horror and how she became a Horror Addict. Heather said that, “Rhonda R Carpenter and I were releasing our books at the same time on Podiobooks.com and became friends. She released a short story through Horror Addicts and ended up introducing me to the show and the host, Emerian Rich.”

Heather “was thrilled to win” the title Most Wicked which, “comes with the responsibility to organize the next year’s contest. The weight of the crown (Robe? Cauldron?) is heavy indeed.”

H.E. moved from one Podcast to another, her very own. She explained to me that, “[o]nce Rhonda and [her] finished releasing [their] books, [they] created Podioracket.com to support the authors and give fans somewhere to turn for more information. [They‘ve] settled into a nice pace where [they] release a 20 minute show every two weeks, with two interviews and a little news and contest information. Through Podioracket [they have] also added a live Blog Talk Radio show and released an anthology, Podioracket Presents-Visionaries.”

What got the website started was Roulo’s uncertainty of what to do after she released her book, Fractured Horizon. “I wasn’t sure what the next step was for promoting it and I wanted to hear other author’s approaches. All the writers were so interesting. I realized they just needed a way to connect immediately with their audience and a central place that listeners could go. Podioracket caught on instantly because it had that ready-made audience.”

Not only was Heather the winner of the Wicked Women Writers but she was also “a finalist for the 2009 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction Story (novel).” H.E. revealed to me that she thinks it’s “nice to be able to say that Fractured Horizon was recognized as, arguably, one of the top five podcast novels last year. It looks pretty on my query letter to publishers.”

“Actually, one short story that I wrote for Horror Addicts, Undergrowth, has been nominated for a Parsec this year, as well as Podioracket.com and the anthology I put together, so I’m currently preparing samples for the Parsec Committee’s consideration.”

Speaking of Fractured Horizon, Heather gave us a little more detail about her novel. “Fractured Horizon is about Kay Downs, a contemporary woman who discovers that her absent father guarded a rift in time, but her accidental conception broke all the rules. Kay must travel through time by living through it, correct the changes her existence has caused, and ultimately heal the rift and save her father. Much of the book is spent in the near future, where a divided world teeters between bio-engineered warriors and mystical rulers who sense the future. In a world built on utter predictability, Kay’s misplacement in time makes her a dangerous wildcard. As if traveling forward through time weren’t hard enough, she is pursued by an enemy with a simpler way to protect the sanctity of the timeline—her destruction.”

Heather decided to share a little of her writing background and how she got into writing in the first place. “I always liked making up stories. In the third grade I was selected for the Young Authors program and attended a convention where I met professional writers and read my work. That pretty much solidified it for me. I wrote every summer, for hours on end, but I didn’t consider it something that I needed to work on. My plan was to work, pay off college debt, and then stay with my children and pick up writing. I’ve stuck with the plan, and my life looks the way I always thought that it would, except that I didn’t realize how much I still had to learn about writing. It isn’t just putting in the hours but also about understanding the business, the market, and being willing to promote yourself. I have this small window to make my dream successful, and I’m grateful for it.”

I was wondered how writing about death compared to stories of the future? Was one more challenging than the other? Roulo had this to say, “Once you have a great idea, writing a story in a particular genre isn’t any more difficult. However, I do find that many of my ideas naturally turn to sci-fi. I always want to be growing and trying new things. I had already given Horror Addicts a sci-fi piece and a contemporary piece. I’d used sound effects. So for the new story I chose a historical fantasy setting and, for the first time, added another voice and a musical score.”

Look forward to “an audio drama from Necropolis Studio Productions in the works that [Roulo] think[s] Horror Addicts would really enjoy.” But she isn’t sure when it will be released it. Also, “Podioracket.com is going on summer hiatus so that [Heather will] have time for more writing. Perhaps another book?”


For more information about Heather Roulo be sure to visit these sites:

http://www.twitter.com/@hroulo

http://www.fracturedhorizonnovel.com

http://www.podioracket.com