Welcoming Wicked Women Writer Leigh M. Lane!

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Here at A Diamond In The Dark, we’re THRILLED (and a little terrified) to welcome Wicked Women Writer Leigh M. Lane. I must say, and I mean this is in the nicest of ways, if she doesn’t scare you, no living thing will. Haven’t checked out her podcast yet? You need to. It’s all sorts of creepy-unsettling-psychological-terror like I like. It’s available at www.horroraddicts.net, so go there and read it and listen to it *shudders* You’ll thank me .. maybe … no, you will. Trust me… So now, without further ado, please welcome Leigh with a Guest Post!

Writing Wicked

I remember back when I was a teenager writing about vampires and diabolical villains, one day my dad took a look at my work and asked with a painfully sincere face, “Can’t you write about something … happy?”  I’d tried to explain my motivations to him, but back then even I wasn’t entirely sure what drew me to write such dark and twisted tales.

Since then, I’ve realized my reasons are as complicated as they are diverse.  My first impulse is to explain my desire to delve into the darkest reaches of the human psyche as being my own way of making sense of all the craziness that exists all around us.  I firmly believe that the more realistic the story, the greater the potential horror.  Imagined monsters might scare their audiences, but real-world evils have the potential to haunt them.

I must admit, I get a thrill in knowing I will leave at least some of my readers with psychological hitchhikers that have the capacity to linger and torment them long after they’ve finished a given story.  I’m a bit sadistic that way.  That’s my darker side.

Conversely, part of what motivates me stems from a more altruistic side.  Some of the wickedness I write comes from a need to address social evils I believe deserve the attention.  I feel that, if I can haunt my readers with what haunts me, perhaps some of them might feel motivated to effect some kind of change.  I can’t say I’ve made any notable difference, but gauged by some of my reviews, I can say with absolute certainty that a few of my stories have affected people.  One of my favorite reader responses was an expression of horror and discomfort for having read my dystopia World-Mart, that it was a difficult and painful read, one she would never want to revisit—but one she was grateful to have endured.

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In my Wicked Women Writers’ story, “Enter the Corruption,” I explore technology gone too far, posing the question, has our growing dependence on technology created a sense of disconnect throughout modern society?  The story prequels my novella, “The Corruption,” which compares this disconnect to a zombie apocalypse, suggesting that we are giving up a part of what makes us human by spending increasing amounts of time interacting in cyberspace instead of in person.  The “Corrupted” are the result of a technological breakthrough gone terribly wrong, their minds reduced to the equivalent of computer hardware—intelligent and functional, but devoid of all emotion.  Moreover, the nanotechnology that has made them that way is contagious, threatening the very essence of the human spirit.

Pretty wicked, at least from where I stand.

 About the author:

Leigh M. Lane has been writing for over twenty years.  She has ten published novels and twelve published short stories divided among different genre-specific pseudonyms.  She is married to editor Thomas B. Lane, Jr. and currently resides in the beautiful mountains of western Montana.

Her traditional Gothic horror novel, Finding Poe, was a 2013 EPIC Awards finalist in horror.  Her other novels include the supernatural thriller, The Hidden Valley Horror, inspired by Barker, Bradbury, and King; World-Mart, a tribute to Orwell, Serling, and Vonnegut; and the dark allegorical tale, Myths of Gods.

For more information, visit her website at http://www.cerebralwriter.com.  You can also find her on Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

Welcoming Wicked Women Writer Chantal Noordeloos!

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Chantal Noordeloos, Wicked Women Podcast Challenger from The Netherlands, joins A Diamond In The Dark today to talk about podcasting, the challenge, and her unique new book Coyote: The Outlander. Chantal’s entry in the contest saw her facing a fierce storm all alone in a haunted hotel with only a rope as her “helpful item.” Make sure you read and listen to Podcast #5 Out of the Storm over at www.horroraddicts.net and, once you’ve given all the contestants a read and a listen, don’t forget to vote for your favorite! Time is short ….

Welcome, Chantal Noordeloos, and thanks so much for joining us here!

Amy: How did you find out about the Wicked Women Writers Challenge?

Chantal: Facebook. Paula D. Ashe shared a link and the word ‘wicked’ drew me to this right away. (I am crazy about fairytales, and easily enthused… so there you have it… wicked women had my number) When I found out it was a pod cast I *had* to join. I’ve never done a podcast before, and it was on my ‘writing bucket list’.

Amy: Your story was set in a haunted hotel (and you did that beautifully, by the way). Have you ever been in a haunted place? Ever seen a ghost?

Chantal: Lol, thank you. I’m going to reveal something utterly boring about myself… ready?

I don’t believe in ghosts.

When I was younger I did, and my friends and I used to freak each other out by calling spirits on Quija boards… but somewhere when I grew up, that adventurous soul became boring, and I just don’t see the ‘logic’ (thanks doctor Spock) in spirits anymore. I love writing about them, love watching ghost movies… but the only time spirits move me at all is at 3 am, when it’s dark and I have to go to the bathroom. I think that’s the time of night where I suddenly believe in EVERYTHING.

Amy: Oh, my heck, that’s a brilliant insight there. I agree with the 3am thing! How did you like the podcasting experience? Is it something you’d like to try again?

It was a laugh, it really was. I sucked a little, but then I got to laugh at myself, which made it all even funnier. I wish I would have done something more exciting with sound effects etc, but to be honest, I was totally dependent on others with the recording. I’m a bit of a techno-ding-dong. Anything that runs on electricity baffles me and tends to commit harakiri in my presence.

Amy: Tell us a little about your background. Where are you from? What do you like to write? Any upcoming or newly released works you’d like to talk about?

Chantal: Well, I was born and raised in the Netherlands (no, am not from Amsterdam *grin*)where I lead an ‘interesting’ life. (nutshelling it, sorry) I’m married to my soulmate and we have diabolical 6 year old daughter, who is just too awesome for words. She wants to be a writer too when she grows up.

I like to write different things. I’m a bit of a genre floozy and can’t seem to stick to one type. My work tends to be very ‘slipstream’, which means I like to blend genres. My first published works were mostly horror. It’s something that comes naturally to me, and it’s my ‘go to genre’. I guess it’s because everything scares me (and if it doesn’t, I can always rely on the 3 am rule… wake up and be terrified).

My debut novel wasn’t horror at all, I decided to go for sci-fi / western/ fantasy/ steampunk… yup… that. *grin*

I wrote COYOTE: THE OUTLANDER because the main character has been pestering me for many, many years, and she needed her own story. Also I find her very inspirational to draw. (I do a little illustration here and there, but nothing professional)

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At the moment I’m working on my own short story collection: DEEPLY TWISTED, which I hope will be out by Halloween. It’s a blast. But then again, I always have a blast writing. I choose the title because I like to write stories with a bit of a twist here and there.

Amy: I love The Netherlands, I spent the summer of 1992 there digging up shipwrecks in Flevoland, so, now I have to be nosy and ask: do you write mostly in Nederlands or English? When you do write, do you translate it afterwards? I guess I’m just overawed at the process. I mean, wow — just WOW!

Chantal: I rarely write anything in Dutch, and to be honest: my Dutch isn’t very good. Well, my written Dutch isn’t. I tend to mess up the sentence structures a wee bit. Also, Dutch writing is very different from English. If you read a Dutch book it’s just not the same as reading an English one. Most literature here tends to be UK or US based and is just translated. I have NO affinity what so ever with Dutch literature. It just doesn’t suit me. I’m in love with the English language.

Amy: And now, the penultimate question (also, I’m finding, the most difficult): What is your favorite cookie?

Chantal: Ohhh I can’t choose just one… It would depend on my mood. I am no more loyal to cookies than I am to genres. I will be very Dutch on this occasion and say: “Stroopwafels”. But tomorrow it could be a different one.

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Now, because I didn’t know what a “Stroopwafel” was, I had to go find it. Now that I’ve seen one, I REALLY have to go find it!

AmyL Where can we find you?? (Not a stalker-y question, just a request for links)

Chantal: Lol, no stalkers? Awww? Just kidding (I had a bit of a stalker once, and it wasn’t as funny as I thought *eek*) Links, wellll, I have a few.

My facebook page is where you can find me most: https://www.facebook.com/ChantalNoordeloosStoryteller

Then there is the second screen to the Coyote story: www.coyotethebooks.com

And last, but not least, my personal page: www.chantalnoordeloos.info

Thank you!

Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me! This rocks!!

Welcoming Wicked Women Writer Anastasia Marie Robinson!

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Welcome Marie Robinson to A Diamond In The Dark! She is the author of Motherhood, one of the 13 Wicked Women Writers Podcasts available at www.horroraddicts.com. Her challenge? Well, survive a bug-induced disaster at a circus with only a backpack for defense whilst caring for a small child. Let’s just say she took the bugs and circus vibe to the nth degree with her storytelling, and you’ll just CRINGE if either of those things even get to you a little bit! Go listen! But, first, find out about Marie here! And if you love her podcast, you’re going to love her other projects, too!

Amy: Welcome to A Diamond In The Dark, Marie! First, a background! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Marie: I’m from St. Louis, Missouri, 21 years old. I write my blog, Fascination With Fear and for a local horror website called Destroy the Brain. My most recent publication was in an anthology put together by Blysster Press for this year’s Crypticon convention.

Amy: Epic! I’m thinking Marie is one of the youngest of the Wicked Women Writers this year, but trust me, she’s uber-creepy with her bug vibe, and, as I read her story, I wondered … Marie … how do you feel about bugs? I mean … really…

Marie: I like to think that I’m not afraid of bugs–I don’t scream when I see them but, well… they’re unpleasant. We have this disgusting specimen in my home state called the Missouri Cave Spider. Look it up if you don’t want to sleep tonight.

Amy: O__O Oookay … This kind of leads me to my next question: from where do you like to draw your inspiration?

Marie: I draw my inspiration heavily from folklore; it is a passion and obsession of mine. I love urban legends, ghost stories… for this reason one of my most beloved authors is Ambrose Bierce as he spins his yarns in such a way that it feels like someone is relating a personal experience of theirs to you. I love that.

Amy: Oooo, epic! I’m right there with you! Was this your first foray into podcasting? What did you think of it?

Marie: This was my first time in podcasting but I don’t at all think it will be my last. I love horror stories in audio form, for much of the same reason I mentioned above. It feels personal, it feels like someone is talking directly to you. Storytelling at its truest form.

Amy: I liked that feel to it, too. What are you working on now? Please feel free to shamelessly plug anything and everything!

Marie: I’m always writing. My blog is the most constant source of my writing you can get, although it isn’t fiction–it’s reviews and original columns. My next fiction piece will be released by Dark Hall Press in a forthcoming ghost story themed anthology–my favorite! You can get information on the release date and such by following my blog.

Amy: Here’s where I shamelessly plug Marie’s blog. Ready? Find it here: http://fascinationwithfear.blogspot.com/ . And now, probably the most important question you’ll answer this month: what is your favorite cookie?

Marie: It’s cruel of you to make me choose just one but I think I will have to settle with Thin Mints. The other day I had this Thin Mint/Crunch Bar hybrid… I’ve since ascended to a higher plane of existence.

Isn’t she AWESOME? Make sure you check out her blog and her podcast! Listen to all 13 Wicked Women Writers and then VOTE for your favorite from now until October 7th. Who will survive? Who will win? (you get to decide that last bit!)