What gives you the Heevie Jeevies?


Friday, June 1, 2012

Interview with Lori R. Lopez

Lori R. Lopez dips her quill into the ink of many genres, but Horror has been in her heart since she was a child enraptured by the frantic flight on horseback of a terrified Ichabod Crane, or the spooky Gothic atmosphere of Victor Frankenstein's manic body-building. She is also a humorous and dark poet with a monthly online column titled "Poetic Reflections":


 In addition, she is a songwriter, artist, musician, actress, conservationist, wildlife and abuse advocate. Lori's titles include OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES, CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES, DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS, and AN ILL WIND BLOWS.

Her stories and verse appear in anthologies such as MASTERS OF HORROR: DAMNED IF YOU DON'T(Triskaideka Books), I BELIEVE IN WEREWOLVES (Netbound Publishing), SOUP OF SOULS (Panic Press), THIRSTY ARE THE DAMNED (Rainstorm Press), THE EPOCALYPSE: EMAILS AT THE END (Pill Hill Press), DEADICATION (Panic Press), and magazines (THE HORROR ZINE ISSUE "GHOSTS AND HAUNTS"; WOMEN EMPOWERMENT). Fifteen of Lori's poems were published for an anthology titled IN DARKNESS WE PLAY (Triskaideka Books). She is a renegade indie author who believes creative writing should not be standardized or conventional. Lori and her sons are establishing an entertainment website for their many creative pursuits at

Q: What compelled you to write your first book?

I don't think I wrote the book; I think the book wrote me. But, as I usually do now, I had more than one project underway simultaneously: my first novel, DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS, and my first story collection, OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES. I finished the thirteen short stories first, though I had been working on the novel for more than a decade. It began as a screenplay, which I turned into a book. I heard about the Chupacabras myth in the news and based the two main heroic characters on my sons.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Writing is something I love and believe I was born to do. It is as much a part of me as my heart. In fact, it feels like I have a writing organ from which the stardust of stories is produced. Maybe that's my brain. But I think my heart has something to do with the process as well. I had wanted to write books since I was a kid and did a lot of practicing along with artwork while growing up. I was always reading too. And, since Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, I have loved verse. It manifested in numerous songs, but since I started a monthly "Poetic Reflections" column a few years ago, I've been writing a fair amount of poems as well, often humorous, usually with wordplay. Even my prose tends to be poetic since I write with a poet's ear for cadence and flow. I love words, and it's evident in my style.

 Q. How did you come up with your title?

I'll tell you how the title for CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES came about. A fellow author, Jerry W. McKinney, encouraged me to release an E-book last Fall. I only had a few print books out at that time. He suggested I do a short collection of six stories. This made me think of a sampler like the boxes of Whitman Chocolates. But it would be a sampler of my horror stories from two of my collections, one published (OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES) and one not (THE MACABRE). The image of chocolate-covered eyes just popped into my head. So that's what I called it. Then I wrote a darkly amusing poem as the title piece to accompany the stories. I released it last October for Halloween.

Q: Tell us briefly about your latest book.

Besides individual short stories, my last E-book release was for my novel DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS. This is an adventure tale about two brothers lost in a desert where strange things occur and a winged creature has kidnapped a young girl. The book blends mythology and history and humor with horror and epic-fantasy elements. It sounds simple, but it has various subplots and a wealth of characters. There's also verse and a very unusual style. It might not be for everyone, but those who read the book believe it to be creative and fun. I'm pleased from the feedback that readers are appreciating it. When you do something unique, you're never certain how people will react.

Q: What are you working on at the moment?

I'm releasing the E-book version of my humorous horror dark-fantasy novel AN ILL WIND BLOWS. A fully illustrated print version should be out by the end of Summer. Despite being illustrated, like most of my works, the book is aimed at a general adult audience while also being suitable for teens. In this novel, a woman and some other offbeat characters are swallowed by a storm with an attitude. It is another quirky tale.

Q: Do you have a favorite character? Why is s/he your favorite?

Wow, that's tough! I'm terrible at deciding favorites because I love so many books and films and songs and characters . . . Many characters are dear to me, both in my work and that of others. The heroic brothers in DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS are loosely based on my sons. So those are certainly special. I like a ghoul that I created called The Bone Man for a tale titled "Fossil", which will be a short-story series and eventually published together in one book. I'm fond of the homicidal feline character in "Unleashed", loosely based on an adopted alley cat named Midnight. That is a story series as well.

Q: How did you feel the day you held the copy of your first book in your hands?

It was monumental! I had actually waited most of my life for that experience. I released the print version of my story collection OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES four years ago this month. I turned the pages with delight, wearing a huge grin. It had been a dream for so long, and my words looked so beautiful in print, my artwork so cool on the cover. It was a very gratifying feeling.

Q: The main characters of your stories – do you find that you put a little of yourself into each of them or do you create them to be completely different from you?

I do tend to put a bit of myself into some characters. Even if just a mood or thought, a detail or some little thing that happened. Of course, authors must place themselves in the roles like actors to convey what is going on inside of them and capture their speech, their mannerisms. Some characters do not have anything directly taken from me. But they might be a bit like somebody else I know. Or they could be a complete fabrication.

Q: When growing up, did you have a favorite author, book series, or book?

My first favorite book was WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak. I adored it. Another tome that made a huge impact was Mary Shelley's masterpiece FRANKENSTEIN, OR THE MODERN PROMETHEUS. There are so many books I loved, including Lewis Carroll's brilliant ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS. And I was always thrilled to find a volume of a mystery series entitled ALFRED HITCHCOCK AND THE THREE INVESTIGATORS. I loved those books!!! They often had creepy settings, but there was a good deal of humor in the stories too. Books are among my most cherished memories from childhood.

Lori is a very beautiful, creative lady. Her creativity shows not only in her writing but her book covers as well. I look forward to hearing more from this writer. now grab a good book and enjoy! 8-)

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