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Interview with Chantal Boudreau

1. Who are some of your Influences?
Theodore Sturgeon, Anne McCaffrey and Frederic Brown were some of my earlier influences - I read a lot of their work when I was younger.  More recently, I've been inspired by Scott Sigler and Ren Garcia.  They've shown me you can do things your own way and still create something wonderful.

2. What styles do you like to incorporate in your writing?
I have strange approaches to common genres and I like to straddle gaps between genres as well.  I think zombies are hilarious so I try to include some dark humour in all of my zombie stories.  I think fantasy should be gritty and realistic, so I steer clear of high fantasy and usually explore fantastic endeavours of ordinary folk like soldiers, teachers, entertainers and business people.  I like tragic tales, so even my happy endings aren't necessarily completely happy.  I think self-sacrifice is an important part of being a true hero.  And I tend to prefer past tense third person omniscient narrative style, although I've played with other styles in some of my short stories, when I felt the particular tale demanded it.

3. What are your favorite genre/subjects to write in and about?
I write a variety of speculative fiction, but I tend to gravitate towards darker genres, like horror and dark fantasy, and I prefer character driven stories that move you, not matter what the genre.  I'm still young at heart so I like angst-ridden stories with reluctant heroes.

4. Do you have any subjects you refuse to write about?
I avoid hard science fiction because I don't have the patience or desire to do the kind or research required to write it properly, but I wouldn't say I refuse to write about it.  No particular subject is anything I'd consider taboo, but you do have to approach some of them with an extra dose of sensitivity.  I try to use a journalistic presentation for any topics that might be controversial - present both sides and remain objective.  It's hard to do, though if you have any personal investment in the subject.

5. Who are some of your peer writers you would love to see more highly publicized? I don't know who I would categorize as my peers, but I'd love to see Ren Garcia and Arlene Radasky more highly publicize.  I listed both of them in my summer reading selections as a Hal-Con writer guest.

6. Do you have a place where you always write?  Gosh no - I'd never get any writing done if I was that exclusive.  Anywhere I have me, my laptop, and a few spare moments, I write.

7. What are some other creative endeavors you are working on writing or otherwise?  I play with genres, as I mentioned, so my current WIP, When You Whisper, is what I consider an urban fantasy romance although I think many romance readers might disagree with that label as I refuse to adhere to the standard romance formula.  It is a very different love story with many unexpected twists and turns, both supernatural and Christian overtones, and what I hope will be a startling ending. I'm always working on a variety of artwork as well.

8. What projects have you finished so we can acquire some of your work?  My dystopian science fantasy novel, Fervor, was released by May December Publications in March.  I also have a novelette, Shear Terror, in their e-lit catalogue and shorts in their zombie anthologies, First Time Dead, Volume 1 and Hell Hath No Fury.  My second novel, Magic University, is scheduled for release through MDP in September.  I have two digital shorts with Trestle Press, the award winning "The Ghost in the Mirror" and a humorous fantasy tale "It's All about the Tourists."  My first story sold, "Palliative" is in the digital anthology, Vampires, Zombies and Ghosts - Oh My! from Notreebooks and I also have a moralistic Arabian-style fable, "Dry Heat" in the Panic Press anthology, Soup of Souls.

9. What is your favorite piece of all time (by you or by another writer) and where can we find it?  My favourite story is Godbody by Theodore Sturgeon.  I bought my copy from Doubleday books many years ago.

10. What inspires you most? Visual patterns that spark ideas in my head (like in floor tiles or paneling), random comments from friends/family/co-workers that spawn something more, and music.  I love listening to music when I write - the more moving and emotional the better.

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