Friday, July 9, 2010

Candrah Hope, Welcome Aboard!

CJ: Hello, Candra. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. We’re excited to have you here today!

Q: So, first of all, we want to know about your latest short stories. What can you tell us about them?

A: They’re mostly in the horror and SF genres, set in post-apocalyptic worlds where pretty much anything is possible, but a couple of them might be what some call dark fantasy. Personally I don’t think they fit well enough to warrant the label. I tend to take elements of various genres and make them work for me rather than the other way round.

Q: I think everyone would love to know what inspired you to write these particular works. Can you tell us about that?

A: A difficult one. I guess I’ve always had a fascination for the dark half. I’m curious about what makes people tick and why some of us act or react differently in certain situations. What it is that makes us humane or monstrous and what lies behind our current conceptions of what is monstrous. I also love anything to do with monsters and myths, legends and things outside our normal comprehension. I try to incorporate some of those thoughts and ideas into my stories.

Q: I’m dying to know more about some of your characters. Can you give us a brief description of your favorites?

A: I have a couple though I like all my characters for different reasons. One is a lonely girl growing up different and strange in an uncaring world. She has to go through some horrific experiences before she finds and accepts who she really is. Another is an ordinary guy caught up in extraordinary circumstances who has to make some difficult decisions in order to survive.

Q: Okay, I’m a huge fan of quotes. Would you tell us one of your favorites quotes from your work?

A: I don’t have a favourite quote, not that I can post in public. Here’s one line that I like though. Sounds a bit odd out of context but it makes sense in the story; “…like those wolf cubs that can’t help but howl when they hear their parents doing it…”.

Q: A little about you. When did you decide to write your first short story?

A: Not that long ago. I’m an artist first and only got into writing as a secondary thing about three years ago. I’d been playing with the idea of doing some graphic work, novels or shorts, but the minute I started writing that first story, I was hooked. I haven’t looked back since.

Q: Do you have a system or particular ritual you do before/ during writing to keep the words flowing?

A: Not really. I don’t get much time for writing or art so what I do is set aside an hour or two at some point during the day. When I sit down, I put down what needs putting down and I don’t go beyond my time limit. When my time is up it’s up and I move on to other things.

Q: What do you find the easiest part about writing? The hardest?

A: The easiest part is getting the ideas down, brainstorming the initial skeleton of the story. I like to write longhand and when the initial inspiration hits and the ideas are flowing fast and furious, it’s difficult to keep up with my pen. The hardest part for me is editing. I struggle to see what needs fixing and always have to ask for outside help in order to sift through the chaff for the wheat.

Q: Are you a “night owl” or an “early bird” (or neither)? What time of day is the best time to write for you?

A: Neither. Though some of my best work was done early in the morning. Guess it helps to catch my brain unawares whiles it’s still fresh.

Q: We all know writers spend a great deal of time researching. Can you tell us one of the most interesting things you’ve discovered while doing research for your writing?

A: I did some digging into the details of life in a WW1 type bunker once. The soldiers would glue a gobbet of wet clay to the wall and stick a candle in it. When the clay dried it worked as a handy candle holder and saved the men having to carry hot candles with them everywhere they went.

Q: If you could physically visit the world in any book, which book would it be and why?

It’s a toss-up between the world of the Watchmen and Stephen King’s altworld in his Dark Tower books. It would be interesting to see how long I’d last amongst a bunch of mentally unstable superheroes or out on the desert plain with no water and no horse.

Q: What one work of fiction do you think has made the biggest impact on your life? How?

A: Has to be Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons Watchmen. It’s the first real graphic novel I’ve read and it blew me away. The art is good but it’s neat and quiet, albeit colourful, and doesn’t get in the way of the story, which is what grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go. I don’t think I’ve been surprised enough to say “No way! I didn’t see that coming” so often about plots twists for a long time. If I can write and draw a story as complex and tight as Watchmen once in my lifetime I’ll be a happy chappy.

Q: Last question before we wrap this interview up. Please finish this sentence in a way that best describes you, for us. “People would be surprised to know that....

A: “...I’ve learned more about people and how they work in these last three years as a budding writer than I have in my entire life.”

CJ: Thank you, again for visiting with us, Candra. I would invite all our guests to check out Monster by Candra Hope on sale now at For an excerpt of her story and to see her other work, check out her website at


  1. Great blog, candra. I like to learn more about other authors. Lots of luck with your book.

  2. Thanks, Margaret. I'm not exactly an author yet, and its not my book, more a collection of stories written by various people that I managed to get included in.

    Thank you though, for commenting and for the luck. I wish you well in your own authorly endeavours :)

  3. An anthology of dark short stories should sell well for you. So many readers like this type of reading.
    Good luck with the book and to the contributing authors.

  4. I enjoyed the post. Thanks for sharing gals.

    Sometimes a short story is all I have time for.
    I wish you the best, Candra!

    CJ, lovely blog. Sure like all the pictures! :)