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The REAL Women Writers of Speculative Fiction #REALWomenWriters

Welcome back to the blog series #REALWomenWriters to explore #REALWomenWriters who toil in the day-to-day, soul-crushing, confidence-demolishing, existence that is the life of a REAL Woman Writer. We hope you enjoy this inside look and if you are a REAL Woman Writer, email us to share your story.

Name: Jennifer Rahn
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Favorite story you’ve written and why. Dark Corridor, because I’ve finally gotten past writing my own insecurities into my characters and I’m finding that it’s affecting positive change in my day-to-day life.
Favorite character you’ve ever written and why? Probably Maxal, from The Longevity Thesis. He’s been broken, and his mind warped, yet he accepts it all and what he has become. None of that impacts his moral core, and he doesn’t let the niceties stop him from fighting for the greater good.
What is one thing everyone thinks about you that isn’t true? Probably that I’m full Chinese. I’ve had people argue with me that I spell my last name wrong (it’s German, thus Rahn, not Ruan) and tell me that there is no way I can have a child without brown eyes (her eyes are green; I’m an F1 hybrid, and she’s an F2 backcross). I’ve also been told that my Dad can’t translate things into German (he most certainly can).
What is one thing about writing you didn’t know before you started? I suppose that would be how much easier planning a plot arc is once you get past the “hump” of the learning curve. It was much more difficult when I first started, and now it just seems obvious.
What is the hardest kind of scene for you to write? I don’t write sex scenes. My life experiences always creep into my writing, and that’s not something I’m willing to share.
Did you go to college? What was your major? Yes. Pharmacology (BSc Hons.), Pharmacology (MSc), and Medical Sciences (PhD).
What did you think you’d be “when you grew up?” A child psychologist. However, once I realized that running around in a lab coat doing science stuff that most people don’t understand was the closest I’d ever get to becoming a sorcerer, I changed my mind.
EVENTS
What is the best event you’ve ever been to? World Fantasy 2008. I’ve met Barbara Hambly, David Niven, Tad Williams and saw Guy Gavriel Kay from across the room.
What is something hurtful you’ve had to endure at an event? I had to remove myself from a publisher event, because one of my publishers had broken off a collaboration with the first publisher, and no one knew about it. I didn’t want to take sides, so when I was asked, I had to politely decline.
How did you recover from experiencing this hurtful thing? I just carried on, being friendly with both parties and not making a big deal out of it.
What is something hurtful you’ve witnessed another #WomanAuthor experience? (No names please.) I’ve seen a #WomanAuthor come forward about abuse she endured in the workplace. For a long time, she lashed out at everyone around her, and took offense where none was intended. Even when a comment had nothing to do with her, she heard it differently. A lot of people didn’t know what she’d been through and shied away from her, rather than show her compassion and give support. I think the worst part of it was that despite her bravery and the actions taken to remove the individual involved, nothing was really resolved for her internally, and her anger remained.
If you could give that woman or any other #WomanAuthor a pep talk, what would you say? I’m not sure I could say anything, not having been in her shoes. The best I could do is listen without judgment, and not take offense if she did lash out.
ONLINE PRESENCE
What is your favorite form of social media? Where can we follow you? Right now I’m loving Instagram @jjrahn70. I’m also on Twitter @jennrahn and Facebook @rahnbooks.
What is the biggest challenge of social media? Controlling my reactions and not responding to trolls and haters. I can’t tell the difference between people who truly believe some ridiculous statement they’ve made or are just trying to bait others into fighting.
Have you ever been abused or shamed on social media because of your sex, skin color, views, etc..? And how do you deal with that? Not directly, but one of my books was slammed for containing “casual racism and sexism”. Of course, it did. I put my personal feelings and life experiences into what I write. This person was so intent on scoring points for upholding current views of what should be socially acceptable that s/he didn’t bother to consider *why* I expressed such things. I dealt with it by writing another book and putting whatever I liked into it.
Have you ever seen another #WomanAuthor shamed? Were you able to help? The whole Amelie Zhao story really upset me. I don’t know her, so no, I couldn’t help.
What should readers know about your social media presence? It’s small, but friendly. That said, I ignore messages from lonely bachelors.
YOUR MESSAGE
What is the message you try to convey with your writing? Is there any keyword you want all of your work to convey? I walk between cultures, and it’s a wonderful thing. I was born into such an environment and am still living in it. My keyword is acceptance. Not tolerance but accepting “the other” to the point where it is incorporated into your being. I hate social conventions that put up walls between people.


Check in next time when Selah Janel

will tell us about her journey.

Thank you for joining us for
#REALWomenWriters!

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The REAL Women Writers of Speculative Fiction #REALWomenWriters

Welcome back to the blog series #REALWomenWriters to explore #REALWomenWriters who toil in the day-to-day, soul-crushing, confidence-demolishing, existence that is the life of a REAL Woman Writer. We hope you enjoy this inside look and if you are a REAL Woman Writer, email us to share your story.

Name: Nicole Kurtz
Genres: Science Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Weird Westerns

Favorite story you’ve written and why. My favorite short story is “The Trader.” It’s a horror story that’s rooted in the Southwest’s business of trading Native American goods for cash and supplies. It is a weird western, and it has a great twist.
Favorite character you’ve ever written and why?
Cybil Lewis is my favorite character because she is true to herself, always. She follows her own moral compass. She’s fearless, and even when she is a bit nervous, she pushes through anyway.
What is one thing everyone thinks about you that isn’t true? Everyone thinks that I am younger than I am. It surprises people when I reveal my true age.
What is one thing about writing you didn’t know before you started? The editing! I didn’t quite understand the value of a good editor and a good copy editor. Over the last 20 years, those two pieces have become invaluable to me as a writer.
What is the hardest kind of scene for you to write? The hardest scene for me to write was in “Belly Speaker.” I was going through a tremendously difficult time in my life, and there was one scene where the heroine must face the thing she’s relied on and abhorred. Tough. Scene. There was lots of crying.
Did you go to college? What was your major? I have a Bachelor of Science in Rhetorical Writing, a Master of Arts in Secondary Education, and a Post Master’s certificate in School Administration.
What did you think you’d be “when you grew up?” I thought I would be a corporate businesswoman, living in Chicago, downtown in an expensive condo.
EVENTS
What is the best event you’ve ever been to? The best event I have ever attended Blacktasticon 2018. It was the absolute best science fiction convention I’ve ever attended—and I attend a lot of them.
What is something hurtful you’ve had to endure at an event? One of the most hurtful things that I have to endure at events is the perception that because I’m a black woman, that my stories and novels are: 1. Subpar, 2. Only for black people, and 3. Are worthless.

I’ve had people say these things to me, explicitly, over the last 20 years, and it is always hurtful.

How did you recover from experiencing this hurtful thing? One of the things I try to do is present the humanity of each story when I’m talking to someone about my works. For those who are not open to even listening to the pitch because “that’s not for me,” then I have more energy for the next customer/reader.
What is something hurtful you’ve witnessed another #WomanAuthor experience? (No names please.) I have witnessed another woman who was selling books like I was in the Author’s Alley of an event. One of the customers, a man, was berating her about the cost of her book. She wasn’t self-published, and she couldn’t change the price. It was horrible. That customer didn’t react that way to the male authors, who had equally priced books. Again, the idea that she was a woman, her work was somehow thought to be less worthy.
If you could give that woman or any other #WomanAuthor a pep talk, what would you say? You are not responsible for the way other people act. Clearly, your publisher priced your book because they believe your book is worth every cent. Screw him. Now, tell me what your book’s about.
ONLINE PRESENCE
What is your favorite form of social media? Where can we follow you? I’m old, so Facebook is still my primary social media location.

You can find me at:
http://www.facebooks.com/NGKurtz

I am also on Twitter at @nicolegkurtz

What is the biggest challenge of social media? Visibility. It often feels like I am screaming into a chorus of a 7 billion voices and I can’t be heard.
Have you ever been abused or shamed on social media because of your sex, skin color, views, etc..? And how do you deal with that? I don’t post many pictures of myself on social media. I have not been shamed by others on social media, but I am very self-conscious.

I have been the victim of an ex-boyfriend dumping photos of me on the web that I didn’t give him permission to do. That has been a harrowing experience that involved police, restraining orders, and other not to fun things. I handled with the support of my friends and my fiancé. It still affects me to this day.

Have you ever seen another #WomanAuthor shamed? Were you able to help? When I am moderating panels at conventions, there is at least one time a woman is shamed, either for her opinion, her work, or her participation in the fandom. It’s ridiculous, but often, I offer verbal support, a verbal rebuke of the shaming and moving on to the next discussion point.
What should readers know about your social media presence? My social media presence is mine. It’s who I am. I’m a real person. Despite some celebrities’ social media presences being maintained by a hired hand, it is me on the other end of that message, tweet, or comment.

Me. A living breathing person.

*That is not to say the hired hand isn’t human.*

YOUR MESSAGE
What is the message you try to convey with your writing? Is there any keyword you want all of your work to convey? When I write, I try to convey the humanity of protagonists. So often black women and girls, are dehumanized. When I tell stories, I try to give that humanity back, to show the reader that too. So often in popular media, our identity and humanity are erased for entertainment or humor. My goal when I write, is to illustrate the authenticity and humanity of women, black women in particular, and POC overall.

Check in next time when Jennifer Rahn
will tell us about her journey.

Thank you for joining us for
#REALWomenWriters!

The REAL Women Writers of Speculative Fiction #REALWomenWriters

Welcome back to the blog series #REALWomenWriters to explore #REALWomenWriters who toil in the day-to-day, soul-crushing, confidence-demolishing, existence that is the life of a REAL Woman Writer. We hope you enjoy this inside look and if you are a REAL Woman Writer, email us to share your story.

Name: Laurel Anne Hill
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Steampunk, and Horror

Favorite story you’ve written and why. The Engine Woman’s Light, the spirits-meet-steampunk heroic journey of a young Latina in an alternate 19th Century California. This novel took me 20 years to write and contains part of my soul.
Favorite character you’ve ever written and why? Juanita Elise Jame-Navarro in The Engine Woman’s Light. 20 years of working together on her story cemented our author-character friendship. Besides, the novel has brought me a total of 13 honors and awards.
What is one thing everyone thinks about you that isn’t true? I came to a total blank on this one. The best I can manage is to state: Some people who don’t know me think I’m younger than I really am, especially in a dimly lit bar.
What is one thing about writing you didn’t know before you started? I had no clue about the concept of a story arc until I’d had seven or eight short stories published.
What is the hardest kind of scene for you to write? Any scene is difficult to write when I haven’t yet connected with my characters. Therefore, scenes in first drafts are the worst.
Did you go to college? What was your major? I graduated from a four-year college, with a major in the biological sciences, concentration in microbiology. I later earned my Master of Science degree, also in the biological sciences.
What did you think you’d be “when you grew up?” As a child, I wanted to train horses or become a full-time author. Instead, I ended up working in the health care industry for 40 years.
EVENTS
What is the best event you’ve ever been to? It’s a tie between the launch of my first novel, “Heroes Arise” (which took less than a year to write) and the launch of my second novel, “The Engine Woman’s Light” (which took 20 years to write). Pure exhilaration fueled me during the launch of “Heroes Arise.” During the launch of “The Engine Woman’s Light,” however, I knew that my husband (viewing my presentation from home via Facetime) would die from cancer before the end of the month. Yet I also knew he was witnessing the completion of our joint effort of many years. Joy surfaced from the well of sorrow.
What is something hurtful you’ve had to endure at an event? I was moderating a panel at a science fiction/fantasy con. The writer guest of honor was one of my panelists. During opening remarks, he stated the official description of the panel was not worthy of discussion. Essentially, he insinuated he would walk out if we didn’t obey his orders to change the focus of the presentation. I didn’t want to start a fight with a guest of honor, so I dropped 75% of the topics of discussion I’d planned and managed the best I could.
How did you recover from experiencing this hurtful thing? The experience reflected his ill manners, not mine. I shrugged it off and likely had an extra glass of wine with my husband at dinner that night. I have no intention of serving on a panel with that individual again.
What is something hurtful you’ve witnessed another #WomanAuthor experience? (No names please.) I’ve witnessed another male panelist put the female moderator in the same sort of uncomfortable predicament I mentioned above. The man, in this case, was not a guest of honor. The moderator politely declined his request to shift the topic of her panel.
If you could give that woman or any other #WomanAuthor a pep talk, what would you say? Evaluate the situation and however you choose to respond, maintain your own dignity. Let your antagonist play the role of the insensitive, self-centered clod.
ONLINE PRESENCE
What is your favorite form of social media? Where can we follow you? I use Facebook more than any other. https://www.facebook.com/LaurelAnneHill/
What is the biggest challenge of social media? Finding the time to use it.
Have you ever been abused or shamed on social media because of your sex, skin color, views, etc..? And how do you deal with that? On a couple of occasions, people I’d friended made some insensitive remarks. I unfriended one of them and ignored the other, which took care of the problem.
Have you ever seen another #WomanAuthor shamed? Were you able to help? Yes, in a Facebook group I belong to. I believe the group’s joint responses provided helpful assistance and moral support.
What should readers know about your social media presence? I can be slow to post or otherwise respond to a post. At this mid-seventies point in my life, even simple demands on my time can pull me in too many directions.
YOUR MESSAGE
What is the message you try to convey with your writing? Is there any keyword you want all of your work to convey? Love, honor, and forgiveness can change one’s life. Unfortunately, so can anger, dishonor and hate. Redemption—or lack of it—serve as keywords for much of my work.

Thank you for joining us for #REALWomenWriters!

Check in next time when Nicole Kurtz
will tell us about her journey.

The REAL Women Writers of Speculative Fiction #REALWomenWriters

Welcome back to the blog series #REALWomenWriters to explore #REALWomenWriters who toil in the day-to-day, soul-crushing, confidence-demolishing, existence that is the life of a REAL Woman Writer. We hope you enjoy this inside look and if you are a REAL Woman Writer, email us to share your story.

Name: Sandra Saidak
Genres: Alternate History and Prehistoric Fiction

Favorite story you’ve written and why. From the Ashes, mostly because it grew with me (or I grew with it) for over 30 years. And because the main character did most of the work; I just wrote down what he said.
Favorite character you’ve ever written and why? I have a lot of favorite characters. Since I’m thinking of From the Ashes (see above) I’ll go with Adolf Goebbels. I enjoyed making the fictitious grandson of Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda into a kind, humble, compassionate Jewish rabbi who helps overthrow the Nazi empire.
What is one thing everyone thinks about you that isn’t true? I have no idea.
What is one thing about writing you didn’t know before you started? That I would have to learn to do my own marketing.
What is the hardest kind of scene for you to write? Battle scenes.
Did you go to college? What was your major? Yes. English.  I later went back for my teaching credential.
What did you think you’d be “when you grew up?” A storyteller.  I just wasn’t sure which medium.

EVENTS

What is the best event you’ve ever been to? BayCon 2013 when I sold my books at a table for the first time.  Sharing the table with my writer’s group—especially more experienced members—really helped
What is something hurtful you’ve had to endure at an event? Most of my bad experiences at events had to do with people I’ve worked with at those events, and since they are still running things at cons, I’d prefer not to say.
What is something hurtful you’ve witnessed another #WomanAuthor experience? (No names please.) While I didn’t witness it directly, the social media firestorm over Amelie Zhao’s book Blood Heir got me pretty riled on her behalf. 
If you could give that woman or any other #WomanAuthor a pep talk, what would you say? I’d tell her to do just what she did: stay true to your vision and don’t let the haters stop you.  I’d tell her (and any other #WomanAuthor) what Steven Barnes told me: “No matter who you are or what you write, someone will hate it.  Never let that stop you.”

ONLINE PRESENCE

What is your favorite form of social media? Where can we follow you? I like Facebook, but my author’s page is getting no traction. I tried a website, but gave up. Now I’m working on a mailing list.  In about three weeks, the ml should be up and running. I might try a blog, also.
What is the biggest challenge of social media? It’s a difficult time for me.  I’m still learning to navigate social media, and most of what I’ve tried over the last 7 years hasn’t worked, or isn’t working now.  Tech has never been my strong suit, but it seems like it needs to be.
Have you ever been abused or shamed on social media because of your sex, skin color, views, etc..? And how do you deal with that? Mostly in a casual way, like “only a white person could say something like that.” Or, when I mentioned not reading all of someone’s long and detailed report of sexual abuse because it triggered my anxiety, someone posted that because of people like me, nothing would be done to fix things.  I dealt with it by posting a rant that garnered a lot of support. I haven’t experienced any abuse since then, nor have I felt the need for further rants.
Have you ever seen another #WomanAuthor shamed? Were you able to help? I probably have, but sad to say, I never did anything about it.
What should readers know about your social media presence? It’s a work in progress.

YOUR MESSAGE

What is the message you try to convey with your writing? Is there any keyword you want all of your work to convey? We’re stronger together than apart (the human race). Key phrase: Tolerance and compassion, with a heavy dose of humor, will fix most of our problems.

Thank you for joining us for #REALWomenWriters!

Check in next time when Laurel Anne Hill will tell us about her journey.

The REAL Women Writers of Horror #REALWomenWriters

Welcome back to the blog series #REALWomenWriters to explore #REALWomenWriters who toil in the day-to-day, soul-crushing, confidence-demolishing, existence that is the life of a REAL Woman Writer. We hope you enjoy this inside look and if you are a REAL Woman Writer, email us to share your story.

Name: Stephanie Ellis
Genres: Horror, Dark Fiction, Poetry

Favorite story you’ve written and why. Favourites change over time as you develop. At present it is The Way of the Mother, a folk horror story (in Nosetouch Press, Fiends in the Furrows anthology) which finally allowed me to join the HWA. A few years back I wrote a story called The Dance (published in Horror in Bloom) which, because I loved the characters in it so much, I turned into a novel, The Five Turns of the Wheel, now currently seeking representation. And again, because I couldn’t leave that fictional place, I wrote this story. The folk horror aspect has allowed me to bring back memories of my rural childhood, a country pub in the middle of nowhere.
Favorite character you’ve ever written and why? Betty. He is a creature from another world, Umbra, who returns to a rural area of England known as the Weald. A giant of a man, he travels with his brothers, Tommy and Fiddler, as part of a troupe who lead the rituals in the Weald. In traditional rapper (sword) dances, Betty is always a man dressed as a woman and bringing in a comedic element to the performance. In my stories, he is a grotesque, a hairy giant who leads the slaughter. His behavior and appearance, his animalistic tendencies, just keep coming back to haunt me. A monster already I have yet to see how far he will go, I want to see how far he will go. Since I’ve created him, it’s as if I need to know his story.
What is one thing about writing you didn’t know before you started? How much it takes over your life, becomes an almost physical need.
What is the hardest kind of scene for you to write? Anything involving the loss of a child. I have 3 children, all adults now but I lost one through miscarriage and I also have friends and who’ve lost children, whether during pregnancy or later on in their lives. The pain is hard to bear, or even contemplate,  so I have to make sure what I’m doing warrants ripping such a horrible wound open for a reader.
Did you go to college? What was your major? Mine was a roundabout education. A-levels didn’t turn out as planned so jumped at the first thing that came along – computing. Dropped out after a year (although did well) and went on a weird and wonderful career path. Ended up taking my degree with the Open University whilst I was working as a Technical Author and starting a family. Ended up with BA(Hons) Humanities, First Class. It is mainly a history degree but they didn’t name them back then, although the OU does do named degrees now.
What did you think you’d be “when you grew up?” Oh, I changed every now and then, from Vet to historian to geneticist but in the end I just followed the path life seemed to hand out. I certainly never considered writing even though I read non-stop.
EVENTS
What is the best event you’ve ever been to? I’ve only recently started going to events but I will say Edge Lit – which I am going to again this year. It’s an event for writers of speculative fiction and is so welcoming. I’ve been able to meet up with online friends to become friends in real life.
What is something hurtful you’ve had to endure at an event? Nothing.

I would make an observation though. Author tables at events can be male dominated …

What is something hurtful you’ve witnessed another #WomanAuthor experience? (No names please.) Haven’t witnessed anything.
ONLINE PRESENCE
What is your favorite form of social media? Where can we follow you? I’m generally to be found on twitter (although I am on Facebook but not as an author page or anything) and I have my own website, https://stephanieellis.org. I prefer twitter where you’ll find me as @el_Stevie.
What is the biggest challenge of social media? Being inclusive and respectful to women.

I also know that when women comment and others disagree, the language howled at them is vitriolic and disgusting in a way it rarely is towards a male, and often it is women themselves! I think social media needs to find a way back from the extremes it allows to be posted and people should relearn tolerance and respect for another’s point of view (provided they are not promoting hate and violence). I also think people should never type something they wouldn’t say to that person’s face. A lot of the abuse is bullying and cowardice.

And can we stop calling women a minority group?

Have you ever been abused or shamed on social media because of your sex, skin color, views, etc..? And how do you deal with that? Not too much. I have commented occasionally on Brexit (I am pro Brexit) but tend to not say too much as a vocal group immediately start chucking the ‘racist, ignorant, etc etc’ comments towards those like me. The language can be vile. And now, as then, I feel I have to justify my view and say I voted Brexit for reasons of sovereignty and independence from EU laws and I’m not stupid. I also tend to keep quiet about my views on the whole as my feeds are full of Remainers and I’m fed up with the intolerance. But I do speak up occasionally when I get really annoyed.
Have you ever seen another #WomanAuthor shamed? Were you able to help? Not seen anything.
What should readers know about your social media presence? As I mentioned, I am on twitter – slightly less lately as other things have taken my time. BUT I can be found as co-editor for Trembling With Fear at HorrorTree.com and in my editorial I am more than happy to promote or comment on things I come across. One thing I will say about TWF – we never discriminate on grounds of sex or gender. I don’t mind people just emailing me via TWF either, whether to ask a question or just establish contact.
YOUR MESSAGE
What is the message you try to convey with your writing? Is there any keyword you want all of your work to convey? Some themes and messages are seeping through into my longer works these days, particularly the view of the female or the mother as the ‘scapegoat’ for so much of whatever has gone wrong. They pay in so many invisible ways, often on an emotional level no one considers, that their suffering is ignored. This continues as they get older and become isolated and invisible. I am intending to bring older women into my writing, probably because of my own age. As a female writer of 55, all I see around me are the ‘bright young things’. I think it’s time to develop ‘menopausal horror’ as a subgenre! I think the keyword would be ‘strength’. The strength my female characters show when confronted with difficult situations, the morality of decisions they have to make.

Thank you for joining us for #REALWomenWriters!

Check in next time when Sandy Sadiak will tell us about her journey.

The REAL Women Writers of Horror #REALWomenWriters

Welcome back to the blog series #REALWomenWriters to explore #REALWomenWriters who toil in the day-to-day, soul-crushing, confidence-demolishing, existence that is the life of a REAL Woman Writer. We hope you enjoy this inside look and if you are a REAL Woman Writer, email us to share your story.

Name: Sarah Gribble
Genres: Horror, Dark Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Favorite story you’ve written and why. “Red Alert.” It’s about an old rebel woman who’s sticking it to the man in a dystopian society. I love that she’s older and still has that rebel spirit, despite being scared out of her mind. I also love the dystopian atmosphere and technology that runs through the story and the warning of what’s to come if our society continues down this path.
Favorite character you’ve ever written and why? My favorite character is Death in my soon-to-be-published novel SURVIVING DEATH. He’s not the main character, but does have some chapters written from his POV. I had a lot of fun getting into his head and making him sympathetic and three-dimensional.
What is one thing everyone thinks about you that isn’t true? Everyone thinks I’m some sort of badass, which is an image I don’t mind having. In truth, I’m not really. I don’t take pain well, I’m not actually mean, and deep down I still like to believe in the good of humans.
What is one thing about writing you didn’t know before you started? How long it takes for books or stories to come out. It’s a long, long waiting process after something’s been accepted.
What is the hardest kind of scene for you to write? Romantic scenes. I’m not a romantic at heart, and it’s hard to write any romance without sounding completely cheesy.
Did you go to college? What was your major? Yep. I have a History B.A. and a Masters in City and Regional Planning.
What did you think you’d be “when you grew up?” Other than my fantasy of being a rock star (though I can’t sing) or an actor (though I hate people looking at me), a writer or a librarian. Mostly a librarian. Ended up being a writer.
EVENTS
What is the best event you’ve ever been to? I was a panelist on a publishing panel for a The Write Practice retreat.
What is something hurtful you’ve had to endure at an event? I’ve yet to have anything hurtful happen at any writing event, that I can think of anyway.
How did you recover from experiencing this hurtful thing? N/A
What is something hurtful you’ve witness another #REALWomenWriter experience? (No names please.) I don’t know if this is considered ‘hurtful’, but it’s stupid. I know a ton of female writers in the horror/crime/thriller, etc. genres (aka the ‘man’ genres) who have to use their initials instead of their name so they can actually sell books. People won’t buy books in those ‘man’ genres if a woman has written it. Using initials was something I thought about for a while as well, and then decided everyone can just deal with Sarah and get over it.
If you could give that woman or any other #REALWomenWriter a pep talk, what would you say? Do it anyway. Women are constantly being told what we can and cannot do, no matter what career path we’ve chosen. Ignore the naysayers and do what you want.
ONLINE PRESENCE
What is your favorite form of social media? Where can we follow you? I just started an Instagram account after years of refusing. I’m kind of in love with it. It’s so much nicer than Twitter and Facebook. I have all three though:

Twitter: @sarahstypos
Facebook: sarahgribbleauthor
IG:@sarahgribblewriter

What is the biggest challenge of social media? Getting attention. But the right kind of attention, not creeps sneaking into my DMs.
Have you ever been abused or shamed on social media because of your sex, skin color, views, etc..? And how do you deal with that? I don’t think I’ve ever been shamed, though it’s possible I just ignored it.

I have experienced what would be considered abuse. The reason I loathe Twitter is the amount of creeps I get DM-ing me saying nasty things or asking when we can meet up or (heaven forbid) sending pics.

I deal with it by blocking them and not really looking at my DMs. Blocking on any social media platform is the best thing invented.

Have you ever seen another #WomanAuthor shamed? Were you able to help? I don’t think so. The creepy messages from guys is universal, but that’s more abuse than shame. There’s not much to help with there than to let her know she’s not the only one and where to find the block button.
What should readers know about your social media presence? I try to stay away from posting anything about politics or current hot topics.
YOUR MESSAGE
What is the message you try to convey with your writing? Is there any keyword you want all of your work to convey? Horror traditionally points to problems in our society, and I hope my work does that (as well as scare the pants off my readers).

Thank you for joining us for #REALWomenWriters!

Check in next time when Stephanie Ellis will tell us about her journey.

The REAL Women Writers of Horror #REALWomenWriters

Greetings readers! Recently I was thinking about writers and how we are depicted in movies. You know what I mean, the writer who submits their book to a publisher who accepts it, assigns them their very own full-time editor who’s really invested in their work. Then–in about a week–their book is launched into the public eye with champagne brunches, red carpet openings, and public readings with hundreds of eager readers in the now-extinct thing called a book store. Don’t you love those movies? Yeah, me too. Thing is… It’s not real. The real life of a writer is about hours upon hours of writing, editing, rewriting, and editing again. Most of us have had to toil for years (and sometimes decades) before having anything published. Even then, the opportunity for champagne brunches and public praise are so few and far between, that you start feeling the dream of being a writer is a mythological unicorn that doesn’t really exist.

And the life of a WOMAN writer is even tougher. Despite the success of J.K. Rowling, Anne Rice, and Suzanne Collins, most of us will never get that movie deal and while we’re waiting it out, we’ve got such an up-hill battle, most writers end up giving up. You see, in the public eye, Anne Rice’s career might be an achievable goal, but if you take away the name and say WOMAN WRITER, the general consensus is, “Women can write Romance and that’s about it.” And it’s not just from readers. It’s from the media, publishers, and worst of all, our peers. Which is so wrong. Can we write Romance? Yes, because we have hearts. But can we also write Horror, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and other branches of Speculative Fiction? Hell yeah!

This blog series is to explore #REALWomenWriters who toil in the day-to-day, soul-crushing, confidence-demolishing, existence that is the life of a REAL Woman Writer. We hope you enjoy this inside look and if you are a REAL Woman Writer, email us to share your story.

Name: Emerian Rich
Genres: Horror, Romance, some Sci-Fi and Non-fiction

Favorite story you’ve written and why. “Hammersmith House,” which takes place during the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. It was published in Horrible Disasters a few years ago and is an alternate history story with a Jekyll and Hyde theme. I had a lot of fun researching letters from the 1906 earthquake before I wrote this and I really enjoy a story told in letters.
Favorite character you’ve ever written and why? Jespa from Night’s Knights. She is the tough chick I always wanted to be. Even though she’s been treated badly and beat down, she always rises back up.
What is one thing everyone thinks about you that isn’t true? That I’m scary. I may like scary things and write scary things. I’m actually quite nice and giggly.
What is one thing about writing you didn’t know before you started? How much work I would have to do on marketing, social media, and networking.
What is the hardest kind of scene for you to write? Fight scenes. I usually skip them and go back to them later. My husband always makes fun of me because I write ~slap, fight~ in place of where the fight scenes go.
Did you go to college? What was your major? Yes, I went to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco. I majored in Visual Presentation and Space Design.
What did you think you’d be “when you grew up?” When I was really young, I wanted to be a “Sec-a-tary.” Then I was going to be a singer. I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until I was about twenty-five. 

EVENTS

What is the best event you’ve ever been to? Sinister Creature Con in Sacramento. Tons of great horror fans and I got to meet Ray Wise. Close second would be my first panel at the Jane Austen Society. I also love attending the local con, BayCon.
What is something hurtful you’ve had to endure at an event? I’ve had several situations were men peers have told audience members to ignore what I’ve said on panel, as if my opinion was not valid or true.
How did you recover from experiencing this hurtful thing? Several times audience members have come to my rescue and called them on it before I even had a chance to respond. The first time it happened, though, I was stunned into silence. I had to recount it several times to myself to understand it and realize it really happened.
What is something hurtful you’ve witnessed another #REALWomenWriters experience? I have witnessed the same kind of dismissal and man-splaining that has happened to me. 
If you could give that woman or any other #REALWomenWriters a pep talk, what would you say? Whenever this happens, I try to help by pointing out the situation to the male peer in a calm but sarcastic way. This will sometimes pop him out of his tunnel view. If not, and they are beyond help, at least the woman will know she is not alone and has some support in her corner.

ONLINE PRESENCE

What is your favorite form of social media? Where can we follow you? I am most active on Facebook.
http://www.facebook.com/emzbox
What is the biggest challenge of social media? Keeping active, because it takes so much time away from writing time.
Have you ever been abused or shamed on social media because of your sex, skin color, views, etc..? And how do you deal with that? Yes, but on social media, there is a plus… The UNFOLLOW or BLOCK options. If someone is being abusive to me, I can just block or unfollow. Much easier than in person.
Have you ever seen another #WomanAuthor shamed? Were you able to help? Yes. I definitely step in whenever I see this.
What should readers know about your social media presence? I am happy to chat and geek-out on a lot of things with you. Just don’t bring up sports or politics because I immediately lose interest.
YOUR MESSAGE
What is the message you try to convey with your writing? Is there any keyword you want all of your work to convey? With every story, I try to give the message that my characters have real feelings and demons but they can conquer them with perseverance. 

Thank you for joining us for #REALWomenWriters!

Check in next time when Sarah Gribble will tell us about her journey.

Celebrity Sunday Welcomes Emerian Rich, Sunday July 1st, 7pm EST

Celebrity Sunday Welcomes Emerian Rich

Sunday, July 1st, 7pm EST

HorrorAddicts.net is a podcast, blog, and publisher that promotes and investigates the Horror Addict lifestyle.

h o r r o r . a d d i c t s: people who are physiologically or psychologically dependent on items depicting macabre events.

My name is Emerian Rich, the Horror Hostess, Publisher, and ghoul in charge.

Music has the power to soothe the soul, drive people to obsession, and soundtrack evil plots. Is
music the instigator of madness, or the key that unhinges the psychosis within? From guitar lessons
in a graveyard and a baby allergic to music, to an infectious homicidal demo and melancholy tunes in
a haunted lighthouse, Crescendo of Darkness will quench your thirst for horrifying audio fiction.

HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present fourteen tales of murderous music, demonic performers, and
cursed audiophiles.

Crescendo of Darkness includes:

Audition” by Naching T. Kassa
This could be a guitarist’s ticket to the big time, if he survives auditioning in a ghoul-protected
graveyard.

Circe’s Music Shop” by A. Craig Newman
A music store owner, who won’t be bullied into submission, teaches two hitmen the meaning of
pain.

Last Lullaby” by Emerian Rich
An opera diva is haunted by a dangerous secret which threatens to end her career and her life.

Loved to Death” by Sam Morgan Phillips
Death explores his dream of being a rock star, but can’t avoid his purpose when a young woman
forces him to live up to his destiny.

The Music Box” by Daphne Strasert
When a mom finds her childhood music box, she unleashes a tragic horror on her family, dooming
them to repeat history.

While My Guitar Gently Bleeds” by Benjamin Langley
A rock musician is visited by an undead band member and forced to pay for his crimes against rock
‘n’ roll.

Six String Bullets” by Cara Fox
The pull of a busker’s song becomes too much for a young woman to resist.

Lighthouse Lamentation” by R.A. Goli
A lighthouse keeper helps a mysterious guest, but the stranger’s haunting sea shanty might drive him
mad.

Solomon’s Piano” by Jeremy Megargee
A grieving husband builds an unnatural piano, but can his music raise the dead?

They Don’t Make Music Like That Anymore” by Kahramanah
A musician’s obsession with creating a masterpiece leads to him discover why they don’t make music
like that anymore.

Become the Music” by H.E. Roulo
A cellist would do anything for her child, even give up music, but that might not be enough to stop
a curse from consuming her baby.

Keep the Beat” by Calvin Demmer
A young girl questions why her tribe plays the djembe drums every night and finds it may be more
than just a tradition

The Legend of Crimson Ivory” by Sarah Gribble
An audiophile finds a legendarily sinister demo at a used record store and decides to play it, despite
his friends’ warnings.

A Whisper in the Air” by Jeremiah Donaldson
Employees at a job find solace in playing music on break, but a haunted melody draws in more than
just new musicians.

Crescendo of Darkness

Direct link: https://www.amazon.com/Crescendo-Darkness-Jeremiah-Donaldson/dp/1987708156
Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson
Cover by Carmen Masloski
HorrorAddicts.net Press

Let music unlock your fear within.

BayCon! Come meet Emz :)

May 25 – 28, 2018

San Mateo Marriott San Francisco Airport


One week from today, Emerian will be attending BayCon,
the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Writer’s Convention in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Saturday May 26th
10:00am-4:00pm
Imagination Fair
Free to the public

Join us at the Imagination Fair. Take selfies with Inkjet, the incredible cepholopod, chat with authors, get freebies, enjoy face painting, and answer trivia questions to get awesome swag from CometTV, like Tank Girl T-shirts, The Craft protection sachets, and alien gifts.
Authors present will be: Laurel Anne Hill, Sumiko Saulson, J. Malcolm Stewart, Loren Rhoads, Emerian Rich, Mercy Hollow, E.M. Markoff, Trinity Adler, and more!

This is a free event with swag to spare!

Saturday May 26th
5:30pm
A Dramatic Reading with Steve Mix and Mark Gelineau


Sunday May 27th
2:30pm
HorrorAddicts.net Panel

HorrorAddicts.net: Come discuss musical influence on horror and dark fantasy literature, movies, and lifestyle. Hear authors read their horror stories and enter to win door prizes. Musically inspired horror favors free until they run out!
Authors present will be: Laurel Anne Hill, Sumiko Saulson, Jonathan Fortin, J. Malcolm Stewart, Loren Rhoads, Emerian Rich

Sunday May 27th
5:30pm
Master Class: Getting Out of the Slush Pile
With Loren Rhoads and Emerian Rich

Author Reading, Come Meet Emz! April 21st

Come Meet Emz!

Friends of the Palo Alto Library’s

80th Anniversary Local Authors Event!

FOPAL invites the community to meet published authors of
different genres as they take the microphone &
read selections from their work!

Saturday April 21, 2018 1:00 – 5:00 PM

Mitchell Park Community Center – Adobe Room

3700 Middlefield Road Palo Alto, CA 94303

Award Winning Podcaster – Emmy Z. Madrigal aka Emerian Rich will be reading from her Regency Novella, Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe.

Other featured Authors:

Legendary Hip-Hop Artist, Entrepreneur, MA – Suga-T
Poet Laureate of the City of East Palo Alto – Poetess Kalamu Chaché
Award Winning Journalist – Minu Dave
FOPAL Event Organizer – Tina Gibson
Prized Poet, Actress, Author and Educator – Venus Jones
President of the California Writers Club, SF Peninsula Branch – Lisa Meltzer Penn
Award Winning Writer – Patty Somlo
Award Winning ‘Hall of Fame’ Journalist – Doug Sovern
Audio Fiction Prize Winner – Dave M. Strom

All ages welcome! Refreshments will be served!

For more info on the Palo Alto Library, got to: https://www.fopal.org