Wicked Women Writers and Masters Of Macabre

For Episode 130 of the Horror Addict podcast we will be highlighting the past winners of our Wicked Women Writer’s challenge and the Masters Of Macabre contest. The Wicked Women Writer’s Challenge started in 2008 by Michele Roger as a distraction to the monotony that can be writing as a woman in a genre dominated by men. It was also meant to bring attention to female horror writers and podcasters.  In 2011 Horroraddicts.net started the Master’s Of The Macabre contest to give male horror writers/podcasters a chance to compete. In each contest the participants are given a theme, a place and object with the goal of writing and reading the scariest story. In celebration of both contests here is a little information on each winner and what they are up to now:

www98012010497226_786392101430051_367125154057381978_o In 2009 the first winner of WWW was Heather Roulo the theme was doing away with your spouse. Heather’s story was called Graveyard Shift and was published in The Wickeds: A Wicked Women Writers Anthology (Volume 1). Heather is a writer of science-fiction, horror, and fantasy and has  a BA in English from the University of Idaho. Recently she released a new book called Plague Master: Sanctuary Dome.


TMOADOur 2010 winner was Rhonda Carpenter. The theme was seven Deadly Sins and Rhonda’s story called Barring Lilith. The Sin in question was lust and gets into what it is like if you are married to the demon of lust Asmodius. Rhonda is the author of the book Mark Of The Druid and was co-host of the podcast Podioracket.


2969162The winner in 2011 was Laurel Anne Hill for her story Flight Of Destiny. Her story stirs steampunk, infidelity, jealously, and a radioactive poison into a delicious hot-pot of horror. Laurel Anne Hill has been published in several anthologies including How Beer Saved the WorldShe also has a novel available called Heroes Arise



Obfuscate-Final-CoverIn 2012 Killion Slade won the Wicked Women Writer’s Challenge. Killion was assigned a holiday: Passover, a location: A Seashore and an object: A Garden Rake, she submitted Children of Angels. Killion Slade is a loyal reader of dystopian urban fantasy and has written two books in the World Of Blood series: Exsanguinate and Obfuscate


2013’s  winner was Maggie Fiske. In her story called A Quarrel for Jimmy Kills Crow,  the theme was the apocalypse and she had to write about solar flares while hunting in the mountains with a crossbow. Maggie had a lot of fun doing the sound effects for her story and made it sound like a professional radio play. Maggie has also written a novella called The Last Man to Die in the Nebraska Electric Chair. 

15838245DM Slate won 2014’s contest with her story Photo Finish . Her challenge items were a Dragon, Japanese Night Club, Hairspray and Hallucinations. D.M resides in Colorado and has a business degree from the University Of Northern Colorado.  She writes Horror, comedy and mystery. One of her novels is Roots Of Deceit.

3841772015’s contest got a lot more difficult with each contestant having to do an audio production with more than one voice involved. Jaq Hawkins won with her story The Sun Child. Jaq is a British author in the genres of Steampunk, Fantasy and the occult. She wrote The Goblin Series along with several other books on magic.




2011 was the first year that horroraddicts.net hosted the Masters Of Macabre challenge and the first winner was Shaunessy Ashdown for his story Spectrophobia. Shaunessy is a fan of the Wicked Women Writers Challenge and was happy that he had a chance to compete in a challenge for the men and when he won he compared it to being kissed by Elvira. Shaunessy  is an editor for a German school book publisher.

23261059Philip Carroll won in 2012 , the theme was curses and Phillip’s story was The Curse Of The Lottery. Phillip likes to write urban fantasy but took a trip to the darkside with this one. Phillip is an Army trained Certified Orthotist and a master storyteller that has worked on several podcasts. He is also author of the book Flypaper Boy.


The theme for 2013 was haunted houses. Rick Kitagawa included a double wide mobile home and a black and white television for his story Uncle Neal’s House and won the challenge. Rick is a San Francisco-based fine art painter, illustrator, and storyteller who creates paintings, short stories, and illustrations in the horror genre.


205492262014’s winner was Solomon Archer for his story Surface Tension. The Theme was creature feature and Soloman’s story included New York City, a teddy bear and an Oceanic trench. Solomon is a criminal psychologist by day and writer by night. His short stories have appeared in several anthologies and he is the writer of PsyKu.

51Rhbl0zlNL._AA300_In 2015 Rish Outfield won for his story Miss Fortune. Rish is a writer and a podcaster whose main goal is to scare their children into behaving, into going to sleep, or keeping their mouths shut about what they saw take place in the woodshed.



David’s Haunted Library: Obfuscate

David's Haunted Library



You might think that Cheyenne O’ Cuinn has an easy life but nothing can be further from the truth. She may be beautiful, have a successful career as a computer programmer and her own virtual reality game that she designed but she is also a vampire. Not too long ago she found out that mythological creatures were real and many of them were playing her game, ExsanguiNation. Since she found this out, her life has changed drastically and now she has three tasks ahead of her.

She has to Rescue her sister from cannibalistic vampires, eliminate the villain who threatens her family and hunt down the man who tried to kill her. You think you have it rough? Think again.   Luckily she’s not alone, she has a vampire, a werewolf and a dragon along to help her. This may seem like a situation out of her video game but the threat is real and she can’t get a do over if she fails.

Obfuscate by Killion Slade is like a supernatural pulp fiction monster mash-up on steroids. Dragons, vampires, werewolves, wendigos, black-eyed children and merfolk, Obfuscate has all these and more. This is the second book in the World Of Blood series but it does work as a stand alone novel. When you start to read this book, the best thing to do is to just sit back and enjoy the ride. The story moves along at a frantic pace and goes back and forth from being scary and serious to being ridiculous and bizarre. Which is a good combination to have in an action packed story. One scene towards the beginning of the book was a total surprise to me.

What I liked most about the book is the amount of mythical creatures that are in it and are presented as real. There is one scene in a hospital where a character describes the island where a rescue attempt took place as Lord Of The Rings because of all the trolls and elves on it. The fact that you know that anything is possible in Obfuscate makes it a more entertaining read. Another thing I liked was that all the main characters were a different creature, they all take on human forms at different times and they all work well together. I think it would be fun to see a stand alone story with Torchy the dragon. World Of Blood is a universe where lots of good stories can be told. Also on a smaller note I liked that this book has a reference section at the end that lists songs, videos, movies and places that inspired the book.

Obfuscate has a little bit of everything: “Romance, action and more mythological creatures then I’ve seen in any other novel, this is one fun thrill ride. I loved how it opens on an island of cannibalistic vampires and goes to several other locations before it’s done. Obfuscate is like a video game in book form. This book isn’t meant to make you think, its meant to be a fun read and it is just that.It’s a lot of fun with some memorable characters thrown in and I’m already looking forward to the next installment in this series.

HorrorAddicts.net 111, Horror Addicts Guide to Life

Horror Addicts Episode# 111

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe


horror addicts guide to life | xy beautiful | the twilight zone

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net


216 days till halloween

valentine wolfe, catch up, new staff, lillian, don, jesse, other contributors, crystal connor, killion slade, voodoo lynn, what are you watching, dead filed, z nation,citynewsnetpodcast.com, artistic license, zombie cruise, wicked women writers challenge, master of macabre contest, tarot, books, somnalia, sumiko saulson, horror addicts guide to cats, david watson, it came from the library, dean farnell, kings of horror, touched by death, forbidden fiction, voodoo lynn, nightbreed, phillip tomasso2, madness, mimielle, stephen king, the golden notebook, emilie autumn, morbid meals, dan shaurette, carne adovada, serpentine delights, lillian csernica, nightmare fuel, d.j. pitsiladis, rawhead, old betty, xy beautiful, dawn wood, jesse orr, black jack, dead mail, advice from marc, marc vale, kbatz, twilight zone, horror tv shows, the munsters, twilight zone, alfred hitchcock, horror addicts guide to life, david watson, killion slade, j. malcolm stewart, ron vitale, h.e. roulo, james newman, eden royce, chris ringler, sumiko saulson


Horror Addicts Guide to Life

Horror Addicts Guide to LifeDo you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle?

Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre?


Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written

by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is

your guide to living a horrifying existence. Featuring interviews with

Midnight Syndicate, Valentine Wolfe, and The Gothic Tea Society.


Authors: Kristin Battestella, Mimielle, Emerian Rich, Dan Shaurette,

Steven Rose Jr., Garth von Buchholz, H.E. Roulo, Sparky Lee

Anderson, Mary Abshire, Chantal Boudreau, Jeff Carlson, Catt

Dahman, Dean Farnell, Sandra Harris, Willo Hausman, Laurel

Anne Hill, Sapphire Neal, James Newman, Loren Rhoads, Chris

Ringler, Jessica Robinson, Eden Royce, Sumiko Saulson, Patricia

Santos Marcantonio, J. Malcolm Stewart, Stoneslide Corrective, Mimi

A.Williams, and Ron Vitale. With art by Carmen Masloski and Lnoir.




Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…



h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Dawn Wood, Lillian Csernica, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr.

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email horroraddicts@gmail.com

b l o g  / c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s


Editor Interview – David Watson on Horror Addicts Guide to Life

It’s an honour today to have the editor for the Horror Addicts Guide to Life in Killion’s Kave.  Please welcome to the spotlight, David Watson, the nicest, horrific bloke I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing.  

Let’s learn more about how the guide came to fruition, shall we?

So tell me about the concept “Horror Addicts Guide to Life” where did it originate? Why the guide, what is it’s purpose?

Horror Addicts Guide to Life
When I first came on staff five plus years ago, I had heard of a book that was a goth guide to life. I liked the concept of a group of people who see the world the same having a lifestyle manual. Right away I thought: “I’m a writer for horroraddicts.net, this is a website/podcast that looks at horror as a lifestyle so why not have The Horror Addicts Guide to Life.”

I brought up the idea to Emerian Rich four times and on my fourth try she decided it was a good idea and we should work on it. I wanted this guide to show people who make horror part of their everyday life by watching movies, listening to music, reading and dressing up. There are a lot of different aspects to the horror lifestyle, and hopefully we did a good job touching on all of them.

This book has a horror almanac, horror-themed recipes, articles on horror writing, party planning, healthy eating, advice on surviving the zombie apocalypse and so much more.

It’s amazing how much horror affects the everyday lives of so many people. When did you decide horror was a major part of your life?

I can’t remember a time I didn’t like horror. When I was a kid, I can remember seeing Universal monster movies and thinking they were great. I remember any time I made up a game as a kid there was always a monster in it. One thing that really inspired me to love horror was seeing the 1979 version of The Amityville Horror as a kid with some younger cousins.  They screamed through the whole movie, and I thought it was the most awesome thing ever.

Me too! I am a huge fan of creature feature and B horror movies.

I’m anxious to learn more about topics such as The Gothic Tea Society and Horror Party Planning. What inspired the topics of this guide?

Emerian Rich and I did some brainstorming on what we thought were important topics to have in a book about the horror lifestyle. We felt you had to have things like horror viewing, horror writing, horror reading, fashion, art, party planning and lifestyle. The Gothic Tea Society is an article by Kristin Battestella about a group of Goths who have interesting and eccentric personalities, they look at the Odd, Mis-Matched, Bizarre and Unusual and also share their views about goth culture.

We also included a lot on party planning here because what horror addict doesn’t want to have a horror themed party. There are several pumpkin recipes by Dan Shaurette.  A creepy crawly party planner by Chantal Boudreau, and some bloody good party games by Emerian Rich.

Would you say that the “Horror Addicts Guide to Life” is a culmination of the many years of stories, podcasts, contests, and interviews they have entertained us with over the years?

Yes, we get into the history of the show quite a bit in this book and we talk about our favorite interviews, stories and moments from the show. So if you were a fan of the podcast this is a must read.

Definitely, a Must Read!

What is the name of cool font used in the table of contents?

The fonts were done by our publisher and Horror Addicts hostess Emerian Rich, she used two fonts, the funky one is rock show whiplash and the other pretty font is called A Charming Font. We we’re trying to give the book an artistic independent feel, so we didn’t want to use just a plain font.

What is your favorite part of the book? Was there a section where you would like to have seen more of content expanded?

There are so many excellent articles in The Horror Addicts Guide To Life that its hard to just pick one, I like the almanac quite a bit because I like the fact that there is so much horror trivia in one place and I like that it gives horror themed activities and movies to watch for each month.

Another Article that I really liked was Practicing Safe Satisfaction by Laurel Anne Hill, the title alone really sticks out and it talks about how you can get a horror fix when your in a situation like a meeting at work. I look at horror fans as having a good sense of humor and this was a good funny article.

One article that we don’t have that I wish we did was something on how a horror addict would date a non horror addict. Even though we don’t have that we do have a story by James Newman called: More To Offer Than Blood And Boobs (Not That There Is Anything Wrong With That) Or Seven First Class Fright Films To Show The Uninitiated. It may not be about dating but it shows how we can share are passion with non horror lovers.

I should have written that one since I have to bribe my spouse to watch scary movies with me!  LOL

Is there a possibility of this guide rolling out to become an annual event?

I’m not sure if it will be an annual event but we might have the occasional blog post on the horror addicts blog that will expand on the idea of horror as a lifestyle. One idea that I’ve been kicking around is based on an article in The Horror Addicts Guide To Life called The Horror Addicts Guide To Good Health by SparkyLee Anderson. In this article she talks about how important it is for a horror addict to stay healthy. This got me thinking: Would it be possible to create a horror themed workout and healthy eating plan? This is something I want to write about in the future.

Tell us what is a day in the life of a horror editor like for horror addicts?

David Watson - Editor for the Horror Addicts Guide to LifeEditing The Horror Addicts Guide To Life was a big task, I had never done anything like this, so I was lucky to get a lot of help from Emerian on it. I loved working with all the different authors on the project and hearing about all the different ideas they had. One thing I got out of this project was a deeper respect for how hard writers and editors work. Its not easy to get your ideas down on paper and make them sound good to an audience.

I’m a constant reader and have always loved writers but now that I’ve worked on a book myself I see writers and editors in a different light. Writing is an art form and its something you have to practice at if you want to find your voice and an audience. Writers deserve more respect then they get and I’m hoping in the future I can get better at helping writers promote themselves.





Killion Slade is comprised of a married writing team who met in the virtual realms of Second Life and virtually enjoy everything. Mrs. Slade crafts & writes their stories, while Mr. Slade concentrates on publishing. Members of the Horrors Writers Association and the Paranormal Romance Guild, they storyboard their characters inside Second Life as their avatars reveal their stories. Killion’s published short stories can be found in Sirens Call, The Danse Macabre, Cynic Magazine, Bewildering Stories, Midwest Literary Magazine and in the anthologies Bite from the Heart, Death Sparkles and the upcoming anthologies The Ghoul Saloon from Static Movement and Roms, Bombs, and Zoms from Evil Girlfriend Media. Mrs. Slade was the winner of the 2012 Wicked Women Writers Award for “Children of Angels” short story podcast from Horror Addicts. Killion has found a new love of turning the written word into an audio podcast auralgasm.

Jaime Johnesee – Celebrating Women in Horror 2015

Women In Horror 2015


Jaime Johnesee - Horror Comedy AuthorPlease welcome one of the kindest ladies I have ever had the pleasure to meet, Ms. Jaime Johnesee!  There’s a lot to be said about friends in the digital world and many of us can relate to having cherished pals that we have not met in real life yet.  I am proud to call Jaime one of those friends.  

Even though I haven’t met her yet, she is one of those folks I know when I finally get to meet, it will be as if I’ve known her for years! Her heart is sincere and even within the depths of the most challenging personal times, she is still a light that shines for others.  She is a beacon of happiness and I am so very excited to interview her today!

There are some people who can be classified as genre snobs, or purists if you will, and they prefer to not have horror and comedy lines crossed. How do you feel about this topic and where does Bob stand on it?

JJ: Well, I think that they suck. I think if they were to step out of their stuffy ways they’d soon realize that horror comedy is more popular and loved by readers than ever before. A good friend once told me that horror isn’t a genre, it’s an emotion. That’s why you can have horror in sci-fi, in westerns, in romance, and in detective stories. So, why can’t you have a little horror in comedy (or vice versa)?

Misadventures of Bob  the Zombie by Jaime JohneseeThe reality behind people who write horror comedy is simply that we enjoy making people laugh at the darkness in life. Let’s be honest here, there is nothing wrong with taking a terrifying situation and making it amusing. It’s what many people do to deal with the dark side of life. I know it’s how I cope. *Shrugs*

I completely agree how horror is an emotion and it affects every person differently.

Bob: Well, as the product of a horror comedy I suppose I stand firmly on the side of them sucking. Although I should probably be a little kinder and simply say that if they don’t like it then they don’t have to read it. And, also, they suck. Sure, I may be offending them right now but –and let’s be honest– they already dislike my author for writing me.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

JJ: Make sure this is something you are passionate about and surround yourself with people who will be honest with you and will help you grow. Most importantly, be sure to treasure those who will tell you the raw, honest truth. They’ll be the ones who will truly help your career. I can’t agree with this enough.

Having a trusted set of betas who aren’t afraid to tell you the cold hard truth is more valuable than anything!

What about the horror genre interests you? Disgusts you?

Bob the Spy - Jaime JohneseeJJ: I have always been a big fan of creature features. I love horror movies, books, and TV series. I grew up on shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Night Gallery. As far as books go, I love reading gothic horror best. I wish I could write in that style, but it’s not meant for me.

As for what sort of horrors disgust me, I find real horror far more nauseating than anything an author can come up with. The things we humans do to each other for real is worse than any book or movie because it’s real.

Human monsters are truly the scariest!

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? How’d that work out for ya? I wanted to twirl fire batons and dance with the Rockettes.

JJ: I actually wanted to be a zookeeper. I can remember that it was all I ever wanted from the age of seven. Truth be told, it worked out great for me. I had a nearly fourteen year long career at it. My only other career choice as a kid was being an author. I’m working on that one right now. *Grin* By the way, I could totally see you as a professional fire dancer!

NICE!  Now I have to create that character 😉

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?

JJ: There have been many times in my life where I was terrified. I’ve been unfortunate enough to have quite a bit of horror in my life and that’s probably why I like horror comedy. Making fun of what scares me helps me deal.

I’m totally there with ya! Making fun of life and moments which are horrific is truly my coping mechanism.  Right, wrong or indifferent it’s the only way I know how to breathe through it.

Do you look to your own phobias to find subject matter? Are your stories the products of nightmares, childhood experiences, fantasies?

JJ: I did write one short based on a very real fear of mine, but for the most part I tend to create a character first and let them have at it. Occasionally the characters deal with something that happened to me in real life. Like with Bob. There is one real bad luck story of my own in each novella.

What is one stereotype about horror writers that is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?

JJ: There is this stereotype that people who write horror (especially women) are horribly evil people. In truth, most of the authors I have met have been the most loving and caring people in the world. As far as what stereotype is dead on I don’t think there really is one, every horror author is so different from the next.

Tell me how you feel being a woman has either enhanced or hindered your writing in the Horror genre.

JJ: Well, we all know (or at least we all SHOULD) there is a serious gender gap in the genre. I’ve seen a friend have her story rejected with her name on it but when resubmitted under a male pen name I watched the exact same story not only go to print but be called brilliant and innovative by the same soul who originally rejected it. I’ve seen women get paid less per story in anthologies than their male counterparts. I’ve overheard guys talking about keeping “the bitches” out of open calls. As far as my own writing goes, I can say that I’ve honestly never encountered any enhancement, bias, or hindrance that I know of. I’ve been lucky though, the fellows I know are decent folks who want to smash that gap as much as we women do.

Shifters by Jaime JohneseeTell me more about Jaime!  What’s on deck for 2015?

JJ: I’m looking forward to this year. I’m hoping to have two novels out this year as well as more Bob novellas. I really want to focus more on my Bob as well as my Shifters series this year.

I’d love to finish some more of the construction projects we have going on to restore our home. I’m hoping 2015 is a year of growth for me both professionally and personally.

Remodeling the never ending horror nightmare! LOL 🙂

And of course … my signature question – What is something that truly frightens you and how do you deal with it?

JJ: My biggest fear is living through another Michigan winter. I hate the cold. I deal with it through the loving guidance of fleece PJ pants and hooded sweatshirts –the kind that zip up.

Now … I want a picture of that!

Okay, truthfully, I used to be afraid of heights until my best friend at the time got me on a roof to help him with a job. Then I was afraid of cockroaches until I had to deal with them in my professional life. I deal with my fears by confronting and conquering them. There truly is nothing to fear but fear itself, and penguins.

Penguins are evil bastages!

Want to learn more about how to get in touch with Jaime and where her books are available? Connect with her and your life will change with her light!

Website: http://www.JaimeJohnesee.com

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Jaime-Johnesee/e/B007P5CLDW/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jaime-Johnesee/e/B007P5CLDW/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JaimeJohneseeLLC

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jaime-johnesee


Lori R. Lopez – Celebrating Women in Horror 2015

Women In Horror 2015

Welcome to Killion’s Kave!  Today I have a very special treat for you.  We’re interviewing Lori Lopez who knows how to scare the heck out of you and isn’t afraid of spiders!  I first met Lori in a Women of Horror group and have grown to love the kind generosity of her posts and the ever-lasting smile in all her photos.  But what I love the most are her HATS!  She stole my heart when she featured a video book trailer that her family helped her create.  She is an inspiration to me that a lady in horror can have it all!

I love how you integrate your family into your whole book marketing. Tell me how did that start and where do you see it continuing?

Lori R. Lopez - Horror AuthorWriting was always something I did, and my sons were around it as they were growing up. They have been very supportive, though they are not big “horror fans” like me. They believe in me, as I believe in them. The respect and admiration is mutual between the three of us. I did my best to encourage and bolster their interests when they were kids.

We share the same talents, yet each of us has our main passion. Mine is for writing. Noél is focused on music, Rafael on acting and filmmaking. But we love doing all of that, and it seemed a good idea to form a creative company. That is now called Fairy Fly Entertainment. We voted, and it meant a lot to me that my sons chose the name from one of my novels, THE FAIRY FLY.

The three of us have many projects and plans . . . for literature, films, and music. I started writing songs in the early Eighties. I’ve always wanted to act and be a musician, and that is possible at last. We started filming some things, such as author readings for my books, with Rafael behind the camera and Noél recording audio plus composing original scores.

We initially released a book trailer several years ago for my first novel, DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS. Rafael did the animation, Noél the creepy organ music, and we all sang my lyrics. It was a lot of fun. You can find two versions linked to our Fairy Fly Entertainment channel on You Tube.

In a more recent book trailer for my second poetry collection, THE QUEEN OF HATS, we played characters and filmed an improv scene. I’m a famous reclusive hat model, and my sons are trying to interview me. It’s funny, and the ending was a surprise! We were winging it, but I think the whole thing worked out pretty well. We filmed a couple of other single-take continuous-shot improv films the same night and may release them soon, along with more author readings that we filmed last year.

Rafael has a poetry collection published. He’s working on an author reading for that, an animated film, and more book projects, while his brother is working on musical projects. We hope to release songs this year. There is so much to do, so much going on, it’s difficult to keep up with. I love working with them and couldn’t be prouder that they chose to do this with me! They’re incredibly talented and supportive.

That is so exciting that your children are very involved in your marketing!  How fun is that!!  I bet they think they have the coolest mom 🙂

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? How’d that work out for you? 😀 I Also wanted to ride my bike across the United States … but I gave that up after an hour at the state park!

Odd And Ends Cover by Lori R. LopezHonestly, in Kindergarten I knew I wanted to be an artist. I illustrate most of my books and do my own cover art, so I guess that came true. Next (by Second or Third Grade) I wanted to be a poet and songwriter too. I’m both of these. I’ve built a small following for my poetry column “Poetic Reflections” on our website, Fairy Fly Entertainment.com. We plan to record some of my ballads. I also wanted to write stories, which I am doing.

So far I have four collections of short fiction: OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES; CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES; THE MACABRE MIND OF LORI R. LOPEZ; and my latest, ODDS AND ENDS: A DARK COLLECTION. Further collections are in progress. I have stories and poems published in a number of anthologies with other authors as well.

By age fifteen I knew I wanted to write novels. I have a few out so far: the eccentric Chupacabras horror-fantasy-adventure; AN ILL WIND BLOWS; THE FAIRY FLY. Some were written around seventeen or more years ago, but ILL WIND was written in one month for a challenge between a group of writers.

Since I can remember I’ve wanted to act. I was in school plays growing up and received First Place for a two-person Forensic Playacting competition in Ninth Grade. In Fourth and Fifth Grade, I would write comedy skits and perform them on the stage at my Middle School. It’s something I loved, but I had to bury it for many years. I supported my sons as dancers and actors, along with soccer and science fairs. Rafael was cast as a dancing Jack Junior for a Jack In The Box commercial when he was a child.

He also acted in an indie film, THE HUNGRY WOMAN. Noél went to the International Science And Engineering Fair in Ninth Grade after winning a lot of awards at the regional level. He went to a few State Science Fairs. I homeschooled them from Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade, putting them ahead of my ambitions. My parents had signed me up for the military while I was in Eleventh Grade, so I went straight into the Navy after graduation, then married and wound up doing court papers for my husband another five years for a lawsuit. When that ended, the homeschooling began.

My life has taken detours, yet I never stopped believing that I would pursue my dreams. I have always been writing to some extent, and I would submit it when I could. I received the usual rejections. We self-published my first book in 2008, followed by a series of hardships and setbacks including divorce, financial struggles, one of my sons being ill for two and a half years . . . I continued to write and publish, meeting other authors online. Beginning in 2013, my sons and I could finally start attending events — festivals and book fairs, conventions — and working toward our goals. It has been an amazing period in my life. Finally, finally, I am doing author things! Signing books, producing them, working with my sons. I’ve never been happier.

You can easily tell how happy you are 🙂 Keep it up, Lady!

Is there a message in your stories/novel that you want readers to grasp?

I usually have a message . . . although I write some crazy poems that really don’t have much of a point other than harmless humor. The environment is a recurrent theme. The human struggle. War and peace, poverty. Respect. Animal and child abuse. I don’t have one area that I focus on. There are many concerns that I need to express. I put a lot of depth, emotion, and substance. It will make you think, hopefully make you wonder and question. Or feel, react . . . I take risks — inventing the occasional protagonist you might not like a lot, for example, and may even need to dig deeper to find compassion for.+

I like to challenge readers and push beyond conventions. I write my own way, by my own rules, so you can expect an unorthodox style rather than one that goes according to the way they now say everyone should write. I know the basics, the standards. I simply do not agree with all of the rules or lists on writing, and I do not use formulas. There is no single “right way” to write.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Find your voice, not anyone else’s. That is the most important possession a writer has. The second is to practice. Write and rewrite. Be patient. Be persistent. Do not give up if it is burning inside you. If it is not, go do something else. Don’t clutter the world with something you’re only lukewarm about. Don’t pretend you’re a writer. Find your true calling, your true passion. I think there currently could be more writers than just readers.

What about the horror genre interests you? Disgusts you?

I have loved horror since I was very small. Watching the FRANKENSTEIN and WOLFMAN movies, THE MUMMY, Alfred Hitchcock; THE ADDAMS FAMILY and MUNSTERS. Reading Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving and so many others. Later, Stephen King and Dean Koontz, Peter Straub. Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman are wonderful. I just love dark things. I love the nighttime and find it tough to stay on a daytime schedule. I enjoyed hanging out in cemeteries as a kid. This is who I am. My sons adjusted to their mom being into Horror. Not everyone understands.

What disgusts me? I worry that things can go too far. Horror without a conscience, a message or meaning. That worries me. That kind of sick and twisted gore, purely for entertainment, isn’t my thing. And I do worry how the choices and decisions of today, artistic or otherwise, will affect our next generations. My generation was influenced by the classics of Horror. I think we turned out okay, for the most part. But what about the future? I think about that as a writer. I worry a great deal about Tomorrow. I feel we have to consider the impact, our footprint, because there have to be some limits. With everything. It’s a delicate balance. Just as there have to be standards for quality. You can’t throw it all out, or you will create garbage. That’s my belief, anyway.

I was raised watching Dr. Paul Bearer.  My father LOVED old “horrible old B-movies.”  I have amazing memories of huge spiders chasing little itty bitty people across the screen in black and white!

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?

I tend to be a nervous person, despite loving Horror. I get anxious. I’m working on it, but there were things in my childhood that affected me deeply. I can get really scared just riding on a freeway. I don’t drive. I have been terrified at times, sometimes over nothing.

One time as a kid I heard water dripping and was convinced there was a bomb in my room. I woke my mother. I remember being afraid of Ed Gein. I grew up in Wisconsin and heard stories. I knew he was locked up about fifteen miles from my house, so I would hear sounds at night and be sure he was coming for me. I think I worried about that instead of monsters in the closet or under my bed. My monsters were real. I recall seeing headlines and news about the Manson murders. That shook me up. To this day, human monsters are far more frightening to me than any make-believe creatures.

Without a doubt!

Do you look to your own phobias to find subject matter? Are your stories the products of nightmares, childhood experiences, fantasies?

Yes, I tend to mix in my own fears and history from time to time. I think all of my writing is personal in some way or other, no matter how far I reach into my imagination. I will find myself tossing in a detail here or there that is about me, from my life.

What one stereotype about horror writers is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?

People think horror authors are odd, tortured, wacko. I completely agree. I certainly am! Which stereotype is wrong? That we’re odd tortured wackos. I don’t think this is true for most of them. It’s just me. (Wink.)

Tell me how you feel being a woman has either enhanced or hindered your writing in the Horror genre.

Well, I hear there has been a lot of doubt and disinterest toward female horror authors. I cannot say whether it affected my career so far. It is possible, since I do not yet have a lot of readers other than downloads for my free stories. And there are no thousands lining up for those. But I do have a number of male fans. I don’t feel I have more female fans than male. Nor do I write with female protagonists more than male protagonists.

I bring my own particular style to horror, my own individual sensitivity and perspectives. Whether that is a female aspect or just a unique one, I cannot say for sure. I do know that women write Horror as well as the guys do, and we are changing that type of negative attitude by putting our work out there for the world to see.

Tell me more about what’s on deck for Lori in 2015!

Thank you, Killion. I’m excited about my latest books and will be trying to spread the word for them. As I mentioned, I have a new horror collection titled ODDS AND ENDS and a collection of dark and humorous verse called POETIC REFLECTIONS: THE QUEEN OF HATS. (I recommend the print editions, which I did quirky artwork for.) I anticipate doing more filmwork and music with my sons. We plan to be at events. I have a Local Authors Exhibit coming up in San Diego soon. I’m thrilled that one of the anthologies I have a story in, JOURNALS OF HORROR: FOUND FICTION, made it onto the Preliminary Ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards. It isn’t nominated, merely in a preliminary round, but it’s the first time I have anything on the ballot.

I have received honors for my work before, yet being a horror author, the Stoker Award is iconic. It’s very meaningful. JOURNALS is a terrific book that was put together by Terry M. West. I’m just so excited to be part of it and to have the chance to be recognized at that level.

And of course … my signature question – What is something that truly frightens you and how do you deal with it?

Fear of failure is up there. What if I never build a larger audience? Or what if the one-star reviews outweigh the positive ones? If you think about it, readers are busy and somehow find the time to read! They don’t often take time to write a good review. Writing a bad review is appealing to some, on the other hand, as it can be a way to hurt somebody else. It gives them the power to take out frustrations on another person safely, without any repercussions, whether it’s an honest opinion or an insulting one.

They can intentionally give away critical information, spoil the twist or ending. An unfair review can have a serious effect, not just on an author’s emotions. It can cause readers not to read something that might be good — it simply wasn’t what certain readers liked. I’ve had all of this happen. So negative reviews, especially one-star, can be pretty terrifying. Just like trolls attacking others online in comments. The whole attitude of pulling out daggers really concerns me. There are a lot of nice people in the world. But there is a lot of cruelty and injustice out there also, and it scares me.

Something else that frightens me is asteroids. One is passing us tomorrow as I write this. A rock the size of a mountain! There are so many things to be afraid of. I could go on and on. I deal with it by writing about horrors in the hopes that people will want to change it, maybe change their lives, possibly change the world.

Want to learn more about Lori – you can connect with her here!

Website: www.fairyflyentertainment.com

Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/lorirlopez

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LoriRLopez

Fairy Fly Entertainment Channel on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO8H3bHfH1WmzJ-3nDo9Krw

ODDS AND ENDS: A DARK COLLECTION: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RLYNC76

POETIC REFLECTIONS: THE QUEEN OF HATS: http://www.amazon.com/Poetic-Reflections-Lori-R-Lopez-ebook/dp/B00N7CS0ZA

JOURNALS OF HORROR: http://www.amazon.com/Journals-Horror-Fiction-Todd-Keisling-ebook/dp/B00MTB67GY