About the Author:
Chantal Noordeloos (born in the Hague, and not found in a cabbage as some people may suggest) lives in the Netherlands, where she spends her time with her wacky, supportive husband, and outrageously cunning daughter, who is growing up to be a supervillain. When she is not busy exploring interesting new realities, or arguing with characters (aka writing), she likes to dabble in drawing.
In 1999 she graduated from the Norwich School of Art and Design, where she focused mostly on creative writing.
There are many genres that Chantal likes to explore in her writing. Currently Sci-fi Steampunk is one of her favourites, but her ‘go to’ genre will always be horror. “It helps being scared of everything; that gives me plenty of inspiration,” she says.
Chantal likes to write for all ages, and storytelling is the element of writing that she enjoys most. “Writing should be an escape from everyday life, and I like to provide people with new places to escape to, and new people to meet.”
Chantal started her career writing short stories for various anthologies, and in 2012 she won an award for ‘Best Original Story’ for her short ‘the Deal’. Coyote is her first big project.
As part of a neat little twist to my Women in Horror Month coverage this year, I’m going to feature fun little interviews with a few women horror writers and I think readers will get a kick out of them.
The second such feature is for Chantal Noordeloos, author of Angel Manor, which recently made it to the preliminary ballot (longlist) of the Bram Stoker Award in the Superior Achievement in a First Novel category.
Chantal’s answers for the fun Q&A are fifty shades of awesome. Let’s get this show on the road, shall we?
1. First scary movie you watched
CN: Hmm, that’s a tricky one. *wrinkles nose in obvious concentration*
You see, I’m a big scaredy cat, so a lot of things frighten me. Yes… I am aware of the irony. I am also aware that I write some pretty extreme horror. My peers find this little fact about me hilarious. Anyway… back to the question.
As a child I was frightened by any movie that even had a hint of scary in them. I’m talking proper ‘hide under the covers’ terrified. I’m not proud to admit that even Gremlins gave me nightmares. *lowers head in shame*
If I dig deep into the cobwebs of my mind, (and it’s dusty in here) two movies stand out as ‘my first scary movie’. I honestly don’t remember which one I watched first. One of them is ‘The Torture Garden’ (1967). I remember watching it around the time I was eight, maybe nine or ten, but let’s go with eight, it’s more dramatic (mind you, this wasn’t actually in 1967. I wasn’t born until years later.) This movie scared the heck out of me. I was afraid of cats for months after, and of scissors… oh the scissors *shudders*. I still love the scary fortune telling dummy from that film, she really tickles my dark imagination.
The other movie I was on about is a horror comedy called Saturday the 14th. The comedy part was utterly lost on the eight (or nine or ten) year-ld me, and I just remember an irrational fear of bathtubs afterwards.
2. First scary book you read
CN: John Saul’s… erm…. *sneakily visits Google*… I think it was ‘Suffer the Children’. All I remember is the little girl dragging a dismembered arm around, and some sort of tea party with a decapitated cat. Very creepy stuff when I was a little Tween. I didn’t dare read it in the dark, so I read it in the bus and train to school. It helped having people around me, that made me more brave. Soon after I discovered Edgar Allen Poe, and I fell in love with his writing. Before I started reading scary novels, I read dark fairytales and ghost stories as a child, but Saul introduced me to the world of horror writing.
3. First scary Halloween costume you wore
CN: Eh… Well, it’s not terribly exciting, to be honest, since we didn’t celebrate Halloween in my country (the Netherlands) when I was a child. It’s starting to make more of a rise now *does a little happy dance* and we (my family and I) celebrate it (mainly because I force everyone.) So, I didn’t wear my first Halloween costume until I was twenty. And even then I just made it up as I went along. My costume was made from white dress I happened to have. I managed to get my grubby little paws on some fake blood and a curtain that kind of resembled a veil.
Presto, I had turned myself into an undead bride. With purple and blue makeup I managed to make myself look pretty scary, with a cut throat and a cleavage full of blood. Now, the funny part of it all was that we celebrated Halloween a day late. So, I was dressed up when we took a taxi, and at the red light we stopped next to a police car. I was in a silly mood, so I leaned against the window, making my most disgusting dead face. Apparently, or so my friend told me, the police officer was giving me a very critical look. I thought it was hilarious, but I seemed to have been the only one.
4. First scary thing you wrote
CN: Aside from making up ghost stories when I was a child, the first scary tale I actually put on paper was a post apocalyptic short story I wrote at fifteen. It was based on a picture my English teacher brought to class. Something had gone wrong with the developing (this was before everything was digital. Don’t judge me for my age) and it was a mixture of two pictures in one.
The assignment was open: write a story about this strange photograph. The picture depicted an attic bedroom crossed with a field of flowers. Everyone wrote beautiful hopeful pieces, except me. I wrote something about a woman surviving the apocalypse, who was slowly going insane. She died in the end… got shot by the people who wanted to rescue her. The radiation had mutated her over the years, and her rescuers mistook her for a monster. Needless to say, I was a cheerful fifteen year old. *grin*
5. First scary character you had a crush on
CN: Not sure if he counts as scary, but my first book crush was a black (as in evil) mage called Raistlin Majere, from the Dragonlance Chronicles. Despite the colors of his robe, he was never a real bad guy, more an anti-hero. There was something redeemable about his character. I’m not even sure what exactly drew me to him, I think it was the darkness. A lot of us like a bit of a bad boy, I like mine clever and different.
I later had a similar character crush on Harry Potter’s Severus Snape. There’s something about men in black dresses –I mean robes—that turns me on. *awkward grin* Erm… enough about that. *mutters* Too much information.
Let’s say the black mage doesn’t count, and we’re looking for actual monsters… then I would have to go with Spike from Buffy as my first proper scary crush. Again, I’m quite drawn to the anti-hero. Spike was a good combination of rebellious and wicked, mixed with a strange flair for romance.
There are plenty of tasty vampires nowadays, enough to ehm… stimulate the imagination shall we say? Alexander [Skarsgård] puts down a fine Eric Northman, btw. I am not averse to that at all.
Here’s a description:
A beautiful house – with a dark and deadly secret.
When Freya inherits her mother’s childhood home, she sees it as an opportunity. A chance for a new life with her best friends, as they convert the crumbling mansion into an exclusive hotel.
Instead, they’ll be lucky to escape with their lives.
As the first hammers tear through the bricked up entrances, a dark, terrible and ancient evil stirs beneath the house. An evil that has already laid claim to Freya and her companions’ souls.
Chantal has done some interviews for Women in Horror month, some of which are as follows:
- Dirge Magazine interview
- Dark Media Online roundtable discussion
- A Taste of Terror multi-author spotlight (scroll down to about halfway down the page for Chantal’s featurette)
I hope you’ve all enjoyed this chat with the amazing Chantal. If you have yet to pick up some of her work, what are you waiting for? 🙂