Laura Callender: Publisher, Writer, Champion of Collaborative Fiction

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Based on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, Laura Callender is a remarkable and talented young author. In addition to her short story for Hearts Asunder, she has a number of different writing-related concerns that add a great deal of positivity to the writing community.
As the founder of CWC (Collaborative Writing Challenge), and the newly launched publishing company, CW Publishing House, Laura has mainly been focused on developing her concept of bringing writers together to produce full-length fiction novels. She gets very little time to write at the moment but can’t resist contributing to some fun anthologies. Laura has published one children’s book and has two more on the way. She also has 2 short stories published in anthologies along with Chapters in ‘The Concierge’, the first CWC novel. You can connect with Laura using the following links:
Twitter: @CollaborativeWC

 

 

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Here’s an excerpt from her story:
 
Natalie’s phone rang numerous times before it caught her attention. She grabbed her purse from the floor in front of the passenger seat and blinked at the dancing screen. Shania was calling her, and Natalie realized she’d already missed eight calls. Her phone read eight o’clock.
“Shit, shit, shit, I’m sorry,” Natalie whispered into the phone. “I felt a bit funny and stopped for a rest. Shit. I’m on my way. Okay!”
“I’m already at the bar,” Shania said. “I just assumed you got stuck at work and would come straight here.”
“No, damn. I’m not ready at all. I’ll just have to get ready in the car. Is Joe there yet?” 
Shania giggled. “He’s here. He’s been watching the door a lot, too, so you better make an entrance.”
“Copy that,” Natalie said playfully before hanging up.
She pulled down the visor and checked her face in the tiny mirror. She noticed the few tiny, reds dots on her forehead and tried to scan the rest of herself in the dark, desperately willing the broken interior light to come on. Her hands smelled like pumpkin spice soap—something she didn’t use and would never buy. 
Rummaging through her overnight bag, she pulled out a hair brush and some makeup. Her dress hung on the tiny hook behind her, so she quickly slipped out of her clothes and wiggled into it in the tiniest space possible. Considering how disorientated and confused she felt, Natalie looked down at her perfectly manicured, crimson nails and felt good. She felt strong and refreshed, like she had a new source of energy coursing through her.
 
Laura took the time to answer our anthology interview questions, as well.
1. Do you have a real life horror story of love gone wrong in your life? 
 
I have too many, I’m one of those sad cases that was unlucky in love until I met my husband in 2011. I’ve come to think of love as the original horror story. We give another person our blood, sweat and tears and it’s a gamble. I sometimes think humans were not meant to have relationships, just procreate and surround ourselves with good honest people. Family as we now know it is a very scary thing indeed. But, I personally love being in a marriage, and growing everyday with someone. I truly hope I never get to the point of wanting to cut out my husbands heart like my MC would do!
 
2. What do you find makes the mix of love and horror such a potent combination?
 
Love is scary. You have to make yourself vulnerable and you have to be willing to receive the affection and attention offered. I could draw the obvious comparison, of hearts and blood, which undoubtedly does make it easier to find a good bloody angle to write from–but I would say it’s ultimately the tragedy of love that makes it such an inviting horror story.
3. What was the source of your inspiration for your Valentines Day horror story?
It started with the idea that a psychic would predict a horrifying future for someone. The story really just flowed from there. The killer became a female, which I didn’t expect, and then she became the victim herself. As the story developed I was really pleased with the concept. I wish I found it easier to write gore, but in this story, it’s the subtle meaning behind everything that makes it chilling.

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