Saturday, December 20, 2014

History and Horror, Oh My: Chantal Boudreau

Chantal Boudreau is an accountant by day and an author/illustrator during evenings and weekends, who lives by the ocean in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband and two children. In addition to being a CMA-MBA, she has a BA with a major in English from Dalhousie University. An affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association, she writes and illustrates horror, dark fantasy and fantasy and has had several of her stories published in a variety of horror anthologies, online journals and magazines. She has also published ten novels to date.

When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I've been wanting to be a writer since I was six and wrote a handful of bad short stories as a child. I wrote my first novel (my trunk novel) when I was fourteen, and got incredibly helpful feedback from the rare person who took the time to read it. I entered a few writing contests and won a couple of prizes in my teens and young adult years but I never really aspired to being a published writer until I met my dear friend Barb MacQueen, who wouldn't stop pushing until I got my work out there. She had faith in me and my writing talent in a way no one else has had.

How did you pick the genre/setting/era you (usually) write in?
I feel more like it picked me. I was drawn to fairy tales and mythology as soon as I started reading, and I always was inclined to tales with a fantasy element, but I found myself most intrigued by the darkest of these stories. It makes sense to write what you like to read, so that's what I do. Whenever I'm inspired it usually carries me back to familiar places.

How did you come up with the idea for your story in History and Horror, Oh My?
I've played around with a variety of mythologies in several of my short stories and novels, and while I had written a short story set in Egypt, "Dry Heat," I had never dabbled in Egyptian mythology before. I figured it was time I tried my hand there.

Did you encounter any obstacles in researching the setting?
Not at all. Research is one of my favourite parts of writing and there is plenty of information available on Egyptian mythology. I had much more difficulty digging up information on obscure mythologies like Sami, Siberian and Thracian mythologies, for other projects.

Do you have a favorite historical period you enjoy reading or writing about?
The older the better. I love any stories centered on ancient civilizations, especially the ones with tribal mythologies involving shamans and having a strong connection with nature. I love the primitive aspect.

Who is your favorite author, and what really strikes you about their work?
That's difficult to answer because I have different favourites in different genres. My favourite in dark fantasy, for example, is Tanith Lee, and my favourite in sci-fi is Robert J. Sawyer. And I'm more of a "well-loved book" kind of reader rather than a "favourite author" type - I don't necessarily love everything written by my preferred authors. For me, the appeal comes from well-developed, flawed, multi-dimensional characters. To earn my favour, the characters in a story have to feel like real people.

What are you working on now?
I'm in the middle of a dystopian novel and I just finished one steampunk and three Lovecraftian horror short stories. Steampunk is a new endeavour for me so I'm going to have to test it out and probably rework it based on feedback. I like to experiment with new things from time to time.

Learn more about Chantal Boudreau's stories!
Check out Chantal's blog at You can also learn about her other writings on her Amazon Author page. To see some of her illustrations, visit her Facebook page.

History and Horror, Oh My! is now available in ebook formats on Smashwords and in print and Kindle formats on Amazon.

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