Natasha: Tell me about yourself. How long have you been writing? When you are not writing, how do you like to spend your spare time?
Lenora: I like to indulge my dark side. I was born on Halloween and that has molded my entire life. Every birthday was somehow conjoined with all things Halloween: ghosts, skeletons, pumpkins, black-n-orange, and witches, witches, witches! It was natural for me to gravitate to the Goth sub-culture. Early on I began collecting classic horror movies and television shows. Posters of Morticia Addams and Linda Blair adorned my walls. Then I began reading horror and after Poe and Lovecraft, I knew I wanted to write. At about the same time I also fell in love with gothic horror literature – with that I gravitated towards Vampire: The Masquerade and that, of course, led to more cosplay type stuff. My vampire persona was Lenora Mordant and I adopted that as my pen name when I began to write. I’ve been writing seriously for about five years, even though I started earlier just dabbling in poetry and short stories. I like to spend my spare time doing cosplay with Goth and Steampunk fashion
Natasha: Tell us a little about your current project. What was your favorite scene to write? What was your least favorite scene?
Lenora: I’ve just completed and released a Cthulhu Mythos novella called “Dark Tentacles of Cthulhu”. It’s a project I’ve been working on for, literally, years. I began with a simple draft and joined a writers’ group. They tore it to pieces – but in a helpful way. Then, the thing took on a life of its own. What started out as a short story grew into a document of 26,000 words. By joining a writers’ group, I feel like I’ve grown and learned so much as a writer. My favorite scene in the novella takes place in an insane asylum. Cthulhu is using the frail sanity of the inmates in an institution for the criminally insane to exert his influence. The one character I focus on allows me to explore his mad ravings and that gave me more freedom to just write crazy stuff without too much concern for the rules of writing. I think it’s good to give yourself a creative way to let that kind of stuff out in your writing. My least favorite scene was not so much a scene, but was a technical write-up by Professor Charles Browne of Miskatonic University. For those readers who don’t know or can’t remember, he was the scientist who evaluated the mysterious metal in the story “The Colour Out of Space” by Lovecraft. I had to do a whole lot of research into a bunch of sciency, geek-speaky stuff just to write that one or two pages. But it was worth it in the end.
Natasha: Do you have any other exciting projects coming out?
Lenora: I haven’t completely decided on a grand project to follow up with. I’m really just resting and finding my bearings after working so long on Dark Tentacles. One thing I have been working on to exercise my writing chops is a short story that I’m having fun with. I recently re-read Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and was just amazed at the atmosphere she creates in that story. It’s sad and creepy and so weird. So, I came up with a similar, yet different, and more modern approach to that kind of story. I’ve toyed around with trying to get several female writers to write short stories that pay tribute to Charlotte and her story, but who knows? I wouldn’t even know how to go about putting a project like that together. If there’s anyone out there who likes the idea, let me know.
Natasha: Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?
Lenora: Ha ha, I’m so new to it that I don’t think my advice would be all that valuable. For me, joining a writers’ group helped tremendously. And I don’t mean an online group; I’m talking about a flesh-and-blood group that meets on a regular basis. Our group meets at the local B&N in their coffee shop every week and we have all types of writers with all types of experiences. It’s very supportive and uplifting while also being educational and critical.
Natasha: What is the best way for readers to reach you?
Lenora: I just created a Facebook page in conjunction with my novella’s release. Just look for Lenora Mordant. Or you can use your Ouija board!
Dark Tentacles of Cthulhu can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014VE9PT2