Wicked Women Writers Challenge – Rebecca Snow

On September 7th the recordings and written versions of the Wicked Women Writers Challenge were released via the host HorrorAddicts.net. This year’s challenge to the ladies was “How Will You Survive?” and the Norns gave each of the brave women who tossed their pens into the ring 4 things they had to incorporate into their tales: an apocalyptic disaster, a location, a helpful item and a disability.

If you’d like to listen to the podcast which contains all thirteen of the stories, you can find it here.

If you’d also like to read the stories, you can find them here.

I’m pleased to present short interviews with the Wicked Women during the voting period. Next up is Rebecca Snow who wrote ‘Hazard’ for this year’s challenge!

What possessed you to sign up, knowing that your fate would be in the hands of the Norns?

I live on the edge…of a teacup.  A very small teacup.  Actually, the possession may have been a bit of boredom mixed with the fact that sometimes I like to push myself to do things that make me a bit uncomfortable.  And “public” speaking isn’t my strong suit.

Out of the 4 criteria you were given, what did you think would be the hardest to work into your creation?

The most difficult thing I had to do was decide on a biological weapon.  I was given free reign as to what it would do, so I had to pick something that would seem to work on a golf course.  I toyed with sand fleas, but every time I tried to write the story, I just started itching.

If you had to choose a Wicked Woman to vote for this year, who would you choose?

All of them.  They’re awesome.  Seriously though, I’m going to have a hard time picking one.  Every story had wicked elements and really creeped me out on some level.  And yes, this may seem like a cop out of an answer, but I haven’t chosen yet.

What would like listeners and readers to take away from your story?

THIEVES!!!!  Nothing!  Leave my stories alone!  Just kidding.  I’d like them to get a feeling that creeps up on them when they least expect it and makes their skin crawl just an eensy bit.  Or a lot.  I’m not picky.

Wicked Women Writers Challenge – Leigh Lane

On September 7th the recordings and written versions of the Wicked Women Writers Challenge were released via the host HorrorAddicts.net. This year’s challenge to the ladies was “How Will You Survive?” and the Norns gave each of the brave women who tossed their pens into the ring 4 things they had to incorporate into their tales: an apocalyptic disaster, a location, a helpful item and a disability.

If you’d like to listen to the podcast which contains all thirteen of the stories, you can find it here.

If you’s also like to read the stories, you can find them here.

I’m pleased to present short interviews with the Wicked Women during the voting period. First up is Leigh Lane who wrote ‘Enter the Corruption’ for this year’s challenge!

LMLaneWhat possessed you to sign up, knowing that your fate would be in the hands of the Norns?

I love pushing myself beyond my comfort zone with my writing, always striving to set the bar a little higher with each piece.  I knew the Norns would put me in a difficult spot, and I looked forward to finding creative ways to meet their challenge.  It looked like a lot of fun, and it definitely lived up to my expectations.

Out of the 4 criteria you were given, what did you think would be the hardest to work into your creation?

The “extreme itchiness” disability was a tough one because I knew it would take a moderate level of tact to pull off without making that aspect of the story campy or awkward.

If you had to choose a Wicked Woman to vote for this year, who would you choose?

I’m torn between Chantal Boudreau’s story “A Wing and A Prayer’ and Amy Marshall’s “Paternoster’.

What would like listeners and readers to take away from your story?

I’d like readers and listeners to walk away with an appreciation for new variations of old tropes.  “Enter the Corruption” follows the apocalyptic zombie pattern, but I cut the story’s pieces from an altogether different cloth.  The corrupted are far from traditional zombies, having lost their souls rather than their minds, and although zombies were one inspiration behind their development, equally so were elements of cyberpunk and hard sci-fi.

Wicked Women Writers Challenge – Rebekah Webb

On September 7th the recordings and written versions of the Wicked Women Writers Challenge were released via the host HorrorAddicts.net. This year’s challenge to the ladies was “How Will You Survive?” and the Norns gave each of the brave women who tossed their pens into the ring 4 things they had to incorporate into their tales: an apocalyptic disaster, a location, a helpful item and a disability.

If you’d like to listen to the podcast which contains all thirteen of the stories, you can find it here.

If you’s also like to read the stories, you can find them here.

I’m pleased to present short interviews with the Wicked Women during the voting period. First up is Rebekah Webb who wrote ‘Prey’ for this year’s challenge!

RebekahWebbWhat possessed you to sign up, knowing that your fate would be in the hands of the Norns?

I was possessed by the ghost of Writeovia, a demon who roams the land, tricking writers into challenging situations. I got off rather light, seeing as some writers Writeovia has gone after end up trying to write a hundred thousand word fantasy epic while chained underwater.

Out of the 4 criteria you were given, what did you think would be the hardest to work into your creation?

The allergy part. If I had gone with one of the people having an allergy, then it would have seemed to convenient to have both what they were allergic to present and have them come in contact with it. So, I had to come up with a way for it to fit naturally into the story.

If you had to choose a Wicked Woman to vote for this year, who would you choose?

Whoever scared me the most.

What would like listeners and readers to take away from your story?

A little bug of a thought, something that nags at them for days after they read the story, bringing new fears and psychological twists that keep them up at night.

Wicked Women Writers Challenge – Sumiko Saulson

On September 7th the recordings and written versions of the Wicked Women Writers Challenge were released via the host HorrorAddicts.net. This year’s challenge to the ladies was “How Will You Survive?” and the Norns gave each of the brave women who tossed their pens into the ring 4 things they had to incorporate into their tales: an apocalyptic disaster, a location, a helpful item and a disability.

If you’d like to listen to the podcast which contains all thirteen of the stories, you can find it here.

If you’s also like to read the stories, you can find them here.

I’m pleased to present short interviews with the Wicked Women during the voting period. First up is Sumiko Saulson who wrote ‘A Birthday Present’ for this year’s challenge!

sumikoManulFestWhat possessed you to sign up, knowing that your fate would be in the hands of the Norns?

I thought it sounded like fun. As an English major, I am quite used to writing with prompts, and some of my best writing has come from assignments that involved writing prompts. I enjoy the creative challenge that incorporating specific elements into a story involves. I thought it would spark my imagination and perhaps even lead me to write about things I would not ordinarily think of if I were coming up with all elements of the story on my own. I guess the bottom line is: I like a challenge, and I have a love of language that makes me particularly enjoy writing and word games. They make you think.

Out of the 4 criteria you were given, what did you think would be the hardest to work into your creation?

I was given a pool cue as my helpful item, but my locale was a bowling alley, so my initial reaction was to think I would have trouble integrating the pool cue into a bowling alley: I mean, people don’t usually play pool in bowling alleys. I decided to make it a Rock n Bowl, which is a bowling alley with a bar in it. I’ve been in Rock n Bowls before, although never one with a pool table: yet pool tables are frequent fixtures in bars, and some bowling alleys have bars, so it made sense to me. Besides, it was a fun idea. I could totally visualize it.

If you had to choose a Wicked Woman to vote for this year, who would you choose?

I haven’t had a chance to listen to all 13 stories yet, and I intend to: I intend to listen to them all and I do intend to vote for someone (other than myself, of course). I’m about halfway through reading the stories, and let me tell you I am impressed with and more than a little intimidated by the competition. I would have to say it’s anybody’s game this year, and I am really honored to be counted among such a talented group of women.

What would like listeners and readers to take away from your story?

The story really plays around a lot with body image; the central protagonist is an overweight, nearsighted, acne-plagued African American teen girl who finds herself suddenly forced to cope with the dangers inherent in this freaky showdown with demonic creatures crawling out of the Norn-fated sinkholes emerging throughout the ill-fated Rock n Bowl. The take-away should be that a girl doesn’t need to look like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any of your other traditional leading-lady types to take names, kick ass, and reach out and grab that coveted bubblegum pink bowling ball with the glitter in it.

Wicked Women Writers Challenge – Chantal Boudreau

On September 7th the recordings and written versions of the Wicked Women Writers Challenge were released via the host HorrorAddicts.net. This year’s challenge to the ladies was “How Will You Survive?” and the Norns gave each of the brave women who tossed their pens into the ring 4 things they had to incorporate into their tales: an apocalyptic disaster, a location, a helpful item and a disability.

If you’d like to listen to the podcast which contains all thirteen of the stories, you can find it here.

If you’s also like to read the stories, you can find them here.

I’m pleased to present short interviews with the Wicked Women during the voting period. First up is Chantal Boudreau who wrote ‘A Wing and A Prayer’ for this year’s challenge!

CB B&WWhat possessed you to sign up, knowing that your fate would be in the hands of the Norns?

I’m a masochist at heart and a sucker for chaos – what can I say?

Out of the 4 criteria you were given, what did you think would be the hardest to work into your creation?

The rubber tubing – but the cruel streak in me won out and it proved to be a handy weapon.

If you had to choose a Wicked Woman to vote for this year, who would you choose?

All of them – seriously, I haven’t made my mind up yet.  I’ll vote when I do.

What would like listeners and readers to take away from your story?

I don’t like the fact that women are often portrayed as screaming, cowering victims in horror/thriller tales.  Some of us out there are tough cookies willing to spit in the face of disaster.  The question was “How Will You Survive?” so I wrote in a survivor rather than a victim.

Book Tour: Hobbes Family by Dan O’Brien

Welcome to the third day of the Hobbes Family blog tour. It will run until September 2nd and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:

The world had ended abruptly and without warning. How will a family navigate a world that seems bent on destroying them? Follow them in this exciting new serial adventure.

A few questions for the author:

What’s the thing you’re most satisfied with?

I am most satisfied with continuing to move forward in pursuit of my dreams. I love writing and I love helping people see their work in print (or digitally) and I could not be happier with the way it makes me feel.

When was the last time you laughed and what did you laugh at?

It was probably some comedy on TV. I am easily amused, though I don’t always laugh until I cry. Honestly, I can’t recall.

Are you doing anything which makes you and people around you happy?

Pursuing what I love makes me happier, and therefore makes the people who love me happy. Starting a consulting business and putting together an anthology have really helped other writers feel happy about their dream to be published.
Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:
As Michael looked out the broken window of the convenience store, he recalled the last remnants of humanity that been flushed from him like so much waste that day.
Winter had set in.
The tall blue oaks that surrounded the building on two sides were dusted with frost; the ground was an amalgam of crystal sheets broken only by brave stalks of undergrowth that dared the frigid touch of the gales.
The interior of the building would not serve as a long-term solution. However, it would be useful until the weather broke.
The trek out of the suburban areas, even ones as small as those in the Sacramento Valley, had begun in the family Subaru. Highway 99 had been so congested, so overrun with smoldering and abandoned vehicles that the Hobbes family was forced to make the remainder of the trek on foot. Winter had not been as absurd as it had been during the past month. Often the snow levels came down into the valley for a day, sprinkling unsuspecting areas with brief, beautiful moments of frozen precipitation.
This was different.
A storm had settled in the valley, trapped and angry.
When the sun managed to peek through the clouds above, there was a moment when it almost felt bearable. But the great star was soon obfuscated behind a gray wall once more, bloated and teeming with fury as a fresh zephyr of snow and blinding particulates dragged the valley.
Before the fall of civilization, Susanna had begun to gain a little weight; the difference now was drastic. Her high cheekbones were prominent and the sallowness of her cheeks from periodic starvation saddened Michael as much as he was capable.
He had not fared much better.
His beard had grown in with dark clumps and gray patches that had no doubt taken residence from the stress that had become everyday life. His neat hair had become bedraggled and curly in places despite its length. Had it been on purpose, he could have imagined Susanna running her long fingers through it and calling it cute.
The store had weathered the apocalypse.
Shelves remained intact for the most part, though they were barren fields. The coolers had been left open and the power had long since faded. Overturned cans, smashed and left for dead, littered the floor.
It had served as a last stand for someone.
The doors and windows were adorned with long wooden planks cast in random patterns. A length of coiled chain looped through the front doors––chime removed. The open register was a dusty beach before the sunglasses tree, broken lenses covering the counter.
Susanna approached slowly.
Clara walked beside her mother in silence.
As they neared Michael, the young girl reached out her arms and wrapped them around her father’s neck. Patting her back, he felt emotion surge in for just a brief moment. He pushed it down and looked at the wide eyes of his wife––the distance there saddened him.
She had been vibrant before the world went to shit.
Susanna had what could modestly be called a sunny disposition. She was always laughing and hugging people, a bright smile painted on her simple features. That beauty made her perfect in a way that Michael could never properly articulate, especially now that such simple joy was gray-washed by despair.
 
 

Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.

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