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Alleria (Book #2)

(Cover Still in Progress) - Book Coming May 20th!

Novel: Alleria
Release Date: May 20th, 2024
Available for Preorder, or add it to your wishlist!
About the Author: Chantal Noordeloos has a deep appreciation for storytelling of any kind. Her love for myths and fairytales has only blossomed and grown since her childhood, and now she likes to use elements of them in her own writing.

As a writer, she enjoys dipping her toes into the speculative fiction pool, and she’s a self-proclaimed ‘genre-floozy’. Her ‘go to’ genre will always be dark fiction. “It helps being scared of everything; that gives me plenty of inspiration.” In 1999, Chantal graduated from the Norwich School of Art and Design, where she focused mostly on creative writing. Noordeloos says: “Reading should be an escape from everyday life, and I like to provide people with new places to escape to and new people to meet.” Nothing pleases her more than when she succeeds in surprising her readers or pulling at their heartstrings.

When she’s not writing, Chantal spends time with her supportive husband and supervillain-to-be daughter. They like to go on quirky adventures together, preferably in faraway lands. When faraway lands are not an option, they explore their home country, the Netherlands. If you look close enough, you can find fun anywhere.

From Childhood Tales to Dark Narratives: The Evolution of Chantal Noordeloos

In this enthralling interview, we sit down with Chantal Noordeloos, whose journey from imaginative child to dark fantasy connoisseur has culminated in the creation of the intriguing “Alleria” series. Chantal’s path has been anything but ordinary, marked by a transition from envisioned children’s book author to a master of the macabre and mystical. Her story is a testament to the power of embracing one’s true voice, no matter how dark or unconventional it may be.

Join us as Chantal shares the pivotal moments and inspirations that have shaped her into the prolific writer she is today, and gives us a glimpse into the rich, shadowy world of Alleria, where not everything is as it seems, and strength can be found in the most unlikely places.

Q & A
Can you share insights into your journey as an author, including key influences and milestones?

Looking back, it all makes perfect sense that I became an author. Ever since I was very young, I was a storyteller. As a bubbly extrovert, I started terrorizing people with my stories as soon as I was old enough to make them up.

A few years ago, my mom gave me some of my old holiday diaries. Back when I was a little girl mom would always make me write down everything that happened during our vacations. As a child, I found this incredibly tedious and would just end up writing little make-believe stories instead. The first ones were a little weird (mostly due to my limited writing skills as a six-year-old), but they got more and more intricate as I grew up. I remember this used to frustrate my mother quite a bit. Funnily enough, I didn’t realize I enjoyed writing until my early teens. It wasn’t until I was fifteen that I embraced my love for creative writing, thanks to my English teacher at the time.

One day in English class, we were given an assignment to write a short story about a photograph. The image was fascinating because it was a picture of two photos that accidentally had developed as one. It showed a small bedroom, and through it, you could see this beautiful field full of flowers.

Naturally, this delightful scene inspired me to write a post-apocalyptic horror story because… of… reasons… *clears throat*

Back when I decided I wanted to be a writer, I honestly thought I would write children’s books. I have no idea what gave me that idea because everything I wrote was a little… dark. I tried. I really did. In my college years, I wrote and illustrated two children’s books (I never tried to publish them). One of my teachers took me aside, and he said he was a little disappointed that I kept writing children’s stories. He found them too cute and childish. He told me that what I was doing wasn’t ‘Art.’ I was challenged to write something more ‘adult.’ I may have been feeling a bit spiteful (you want ‘adult, I will give you ‘adult’) when I wrote a very explicit story about Necrophilia in the first person present tense.

When I read it out in front of the class—expecting to shock and mortify my fellow students—I found I had captivated my audience. Never before had I gotten as many compliments as I did that day. I think it was then that I realized I was actually at my most comfortable writing things that were a little disturbing.

Eventually, I gave up on the children’s books—as much as I loved them, I had to admit they weren’t my true passion. Though I did make up a lot of stories for young children in my years as a school teacher. I even made up a few of my own fairytales, and at one point, I wanted to write an LGBTQ+ book of fairy stories. Never finished it, unfortunately.

When I decided to make a career out of writing, I dabbled in different genres. Sci-fi, (High) Fantasy, even erotica, but I would sell the most stories to horror anthologies. My first published full horror novel ‘Angel Manor’ was quite a milestone for me. Funny enough, it was the only other thing I wrote because I was challenged. During Women of Horror Month, some random man on the internet told me that women weren’t capable of writing real horror. We were just too ‘nice,’ and we couldn’t really commit to anything truly scary, according to Random Man. Needless to say, I took this as a challenge and wrote a very gory horror novel. It served me very well (who said misogyny never did anything for me? Oh wait, me… it was me who said that, and I stick to it). I came very close to the top 100 (I made it to #108 for a brief moment—a very brief moment). It ended up #3 on the Predators and Editors list of 2014, and it even made it to the final ten contenders for a Bram Stoker nomination (Unfortunately, I never made it to the actual nomination list.)

As much as I love writing horror, I could never fully commit to the genre. I wrote a different series of novels in the Steampunk genre (well, technically Dustpunk, since it was set in the Wild West) based on an old role-play character of mine, and I have several unfinished dark fantasy novels hidden away in the depths of my computer. Alleria is the first of them to see the light of day. I have always been deeply in love with the fantasy genre. Many of my stories are inspired by tabletop role-play (such as D&D and Pathfinder) and LARP (live-action role-play). But authors like Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman also have had an enormous impact on me as a writer. I spend a decent amount of my free time reading or listening to audiobooks and I love getting swept up in these amazing magical worlds, and I can’t help wanting to create some of my own.

Crafting the Unseen: Chantal’s Unique Twist on Dark Fantasy

What unique elements do you bring to the dark fantasy genre, and how do they manifest in Alleria?

I like to think that I’m capable of surprising my readers. One of the things I enjoy doing is playing with the ‘not everything is as it seems’ trope. It’s hard to call anything unique because it feels impossible to do something truly new. My work has a distinct voice, and think my strength lies in worldbuilding. The Alleria universe has a very rich fantasy world with different creatures, a distinct magic structure, and politics. My experience as a horror writer helps with the dark side of the fantasy.

The Heart of Darkness: Exploring the Thematic Core of Alleria

How would you describe the thematic essence of the Alleria trilogy?

Alleria is a dark fairytale, and like most fairytales, it tells something about real life in a way that is meant to tickle the imagination. I think the essence of Alleria would be best described as ‘coming into strength’. It’s a coming-of-age story, but one where the protagonist starts from a place of weakness. Despite this whole journey being part of a high fantasy world, I touched upon very contemporary topics such as ‘trust’ and dealing with bigotry and abuse.