We are continuing our celebration of Women in Horror Month with our next feature author, Claire C. Riley. We asked a few questions to get a better insight into the author of the Odium books. Without further delay, check out today’s feature.
Charon Coin Press: What drew you to the horror genre?
Claire C. Riley: It wasn’t the horror genre that necessarily drew me, if I’m honest. I’ve always had a love of reading and writing, whatever the genre. However, I found that my love of old school horror – Bram Stoker style vampires and George Romero style zombies and such, seeped into most of my work. I guess you could say, horror was drawn to me.
CCP: Do you have a favorite monster/horror character?
CR: As long as it’s old school, I like it. I’m not into zombies that can think or are fast, or vegetarian vampires and the like. And I despise horror that is just gore and guts for the sake of horror. That to me isn’t true horror. Horror is something that makes you think, that makes you fear that noise in the dark. Horror is imagining that you are within that story, because the characters and plots are relatable.
CCP: Do you have any advice for other female writers who want to write horror?
CR: The horror genre is fast expanding with both women and men, and I don’t think that it’s as male orientated as it used to be, so don’t be put off by thinking this is a massively male dominated section of literature. I mean, it is, but don’t let that put you off. In that regards, I don’t believe in the whole ‘girl power’ thing. As writers, we should be all supporting one another no matter what the genre. Cross promotion is the key to success. That and a great cover and amazing story of course ;-)
CCP: What do you look for in a good horror story?
CR: Realistic characters and realistic plots. Stay away from clichés, ie. ‘must have a dog’ ‘must have romance’ ‘must have army dude in it’ It drives me nuts with some books I read, like they’ve gone down a checklist on what should be in a good apocalypse book. You know what should be in a good apocalypse book? A good freaking story no matter what it consists of!
CCP: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
CR: From being a kid I used to read and write and come up with creepy stories that used to make my family look at me kinda’ wonky. It was just always there inside me, like my heart and my lungs, or my hands or my feet. From learning to read, I wanted to write, and from wanting to write, I wanted people to read my stories.
CCP: Who is your favorite horror author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
CR: I don’t have favourites. There’s a lot I like, but life’s too short to pick favourites. I love Mark Tufo’s books because he has a twisted sense of humor like myself, and any book that can make me laugh is a win. I love Jack Wallen’s books because of his amazing character work, and I love Eli Constant for the twisted emotional feels her scary words give me.
CCP: What are your favorite horror films? What book would you love to see on the big screen?
CR: I’m not a big horror film fan if I’m honest. I find most of them are just blood and gore, and that’s not scary to me. Some of the films that scared me though are –
Silent Hill, it scared the actual crap out of me!
28 Weeks Later – creepy as hell fast and clever zombies!
Drag me to Hell – totally not scary, but there were scenes that made me laugh so much and then in the next scene it would catch me off guard and make me jump!
I’ve not watched any new ones though. Weirdly the Poltergeist movies never scared me when I was younger, or any ‘ghost’ movies, yet as I’ve got older I’ve found they have become scary than other films. I think as a kid I was more in the mind to not be scared of something I couldn’t see, where as I’ve gotten older, not being able to see something that’s trying to possibly kill you, is waaaaay scarier than anything else!
CCP: What are three “Good to Know” facts about you? Be creative. Tell us about your first job, the inspiration for your writing, any fun details.
CR: I have a phobia of getting lost. Like for real. I start freaking out and sweating if I think I’m lost, and can’t travel on my own because of it. Thank god my husband is like a freaking compass and can find his way anywhere. Backpacking around the world would never be an option for me!
My first job was working in an Indian takeaway haha, I used to make the mango chutney and such. It was awful! But I got a free naan bread after every shift, so that was a bonus.
My favourite ever film is ‘So I Married an Axe Murderer’
CCP: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
CR: Not really. Other than finding the time to write, I’m good with everything else. I’m always open to learning new skills and taking suggestions and advice from people. I don’t offend easily. It’s mainly a time thing with me. I have three young children and work a day job, run a house etc so most of my writing is currently done in the evenings when my kids are in bed and goes on well past 1am It’s tough, and I suffer from horrendous migraines which are much worse when I’m tired. But it is what it is, and it won’t always be this hard.
Thanks to our feature, Claire C. Riley. She makes an appearance with her story, “Out Come the Wolves” in State of Horror: Illinois. You can pick up a copy today or listen to is on audiobook voiced by Jack Wallen. Come back for more feature authors as Charon Coin Press celebrates the Women in Horror Month. Now, we will leave you with a little more about author Claire C. Riley.
Claire C. Riley’s Bio
Claire C Riley is a Best Selling British Horror Author, whose work includes: Odium The Dead Saga, Limerence (The Obsession Series) and several other full length novels including Thicker Than Blood co-authored with USA Today Best Selling author Madeline Sheehan.
She writes dark twisty words, is a lover of epic romances, and an eater of cake!
She writes characters that are realistic and kills them without mercy.
She lives in the UK with her three young daughters, husband, and scruffy dog.