Women in Horror Spotlight Blog: Chantal Noordeloos
Chantal Noordeloos hails from the Netherlands, where she crafts novels, novellas, and short stories that range from dark and nasty horror to supernatural thrillers to weird steampunk westerns and everything in-between. According to her official bio, she “spends her time with her wacky, supportive husband, and outrageously cunning daughter, who is growing up to be a supervillain. When she is not busy exploring interesting new realities, or arguing with characters (aka writing), she likes to dabble in drawing.”
(To give her credit, she does more than dabble. She’s a pretty decent artist with pencil and inks.)
As to her inspiration for writing horror, she’s fond of saying that “It helps being scared of everything.”
I’ve been a fan of Chantal’s since reading her collection of short stories, Deeply Twisted, which lives up to its title. From quiet, suspenseful chills to bold-and-bloody horror—and some dark science fiction that would make Rod Serling gasp—this collection really knocked me for a loop.
Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to read some of Chantal’s work before it hit the presses, including her debut novel, Angel Manor, which really helped her make a mark in the horror world. How could it not, when it features deadly nuns, a haunted house, and a terrible secret that goes back centuries?
But it’s not all dark and gruesome with Chantal. She also has an ongoing series of steampunk westerns centered around a badass, gunslinging heroine named Coyote. Coyote travels the west as a bounty hunter, bringing in (and down!) creatures that slip into our world through portals from other places. Aliens? Demons? I’m not letting on—you’ll have to read the 2 books in the series so far, Coyote: Outlander and Coyote: The Clockwork Dragonfly. I recommend them for any reader above the age of 12. They’re fun, fast, entertaining reads with just the right mix of humor, gunplay, and mystery.
On her reason for writing, Chantal says, “Writing should be an escape from everyday life, and I like to provide people with new places to escape to, and new people to meet.”
She’s also got another series (Even Hell Has Standards) going, based on the seven deadly sins. Pride and Wrath are the first two books, and the most interesting thing about them is even though they all deal with sin and hell in some fashion, they are very different in tone and voice. They’re also very stark and brutal, giving lie to the idea that women can’t write scary or bloody.
Several of Chantal’s short stories have appeared in anthologies, including:
“A Taste of Darkness” in Dark Bits
“Omens” in Easter Eggs and Bunny Boilers: A Horror Anthology
“The Door” in Fresh Fear: Contemporary Horror
“The Methodical Man” in Serial Killers Iterum
“The Blood Runs Strong” in Wrapped in Red: 13 Tales of Vampiric Horror
“Mirror Mirror” in Someone Wicked: A Written Remains Anthology
“Fit for a King” in Grave Robbers
“Soulman” in Songs for the Raven
Currently, she’s working on a sequel to Angel Manor and the third book in the Even Hell Has Standards series.
Here are some fun facts about Chantal:
1. She is a huge Firefly fan. (Just don’t bring up Wash’s death scene, or you might end up dying horribly in her next book!)
2. Her favorite actress is Drew Barrymore.
3. She veers between outlining and off-the-cuff when she’s writing a novel, beginning with a structure but letting the characters choose their own paths through the story.
4. Her favorite book is Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
5. Several times a month she has gatherings at her house for marathon board games sessions.
6. Despite writing some very scary books and short stories, she doesn’t consider herself strictly a horror writer.
7. She relaxes by making her own meeples for her board games (for those who don’t know, meeples are tiny characters of wood or clay used as game pieces).
8. Her Facebook book release parties are amazing affairs filled with games, prizes, trivia questions, and even photo contests where people photoshop themselves as characters from her books.
9. Chantal is a big fan of Larping (Live Action Role Playing).
10. Chantal had a true fairy tale wedding – she and her husband did a Princess and Prince theme!
To buy her books, visit her Amazon page.