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Roberta Lannes

from her website...

Roberta Lannes sold her first story, "Lorraine", to Stone River Review in 1966. Her high school creative writing teacher, Marjorie Bruce, encouraged her students to write towards publishing as well as to find their personal voice. It was on her sending the story out along with others from the class that brought about the sale of the story. Roberta believes that without Mrs. Bruce's encouragement and belief in her ability, she might never have gone on to publish! The power of a good teacher is equal to that of a good parent, which inspired Roberta not only to write, but to go on to teach.

During many of her early UCLA Extension writing courses, from 1983 through 1990, she received much experience and gained insight into her strengths as a writer. An assignment in her class on Horror Writing with Dennis Etchison, a master short story writer in the genre, caught the eye of the teacher who bought the story "Goodbye, Dark Love" for his award winning anthology Cutting Edge. With his encouragement and backing, she was able to meet and establish relationships with authors, publishers and editors in the field, two of whom remain her friends and most supportive editors, American Ellen Datlow, and Brit, Stephen Jones.

With Cutting Edge published in eleven languages, Roberta's work began to build a fan base in Italy, France, Japan, The Netherlands (where filmmaker Ian Kerkhof created Ten Monologues from the Lives of the Serial Killers using her work), and especially the United Kingdom. Her strong sci fi, dark fantasy and horror fiction is disturbing while it is considered powerful and effective work.

She was approached by Silver Salamander Press in 1995 to publish a collection of her short stories. John Pelan, a fan and publisher/writer, edited the collection which can be found in specialty bookstores, via, etc., though out of print.

Her stories approach the darkest of thoughts, passions and behaviors with pathos and convincing detail from a remarkable imagination. People who meet her after reading her work are surprised to find a personable, 'normal', 'Vanilla' person, nothing like expected. She asks her readers to relinquish their safe worlds and immerse themselves in the worlds of disturbed thinkers and brutal monsters. Extensive research into some of the darkest predilections and deviant minds has given Lannes fodder for the most chilling of tales.

When asked how such a 'nice person' could write such dark and disturbing fiction, Lannes has said, "I'm fascinated by things that are not in my reality and I believe others are fascinated, too. I don't want to live in the dark realms, in futuristic sci fi worlds, but I enjoy visiting from the safety of my armchair, and I hope many readers do, as well. I write from my research, meetings with some of the most discomforting, creepy people, and those who treat them. In understanding these people, their needs and perceptions, and how they got there, I can be their voices in the same way an actor might portray them. It doesn't change that I'm a good person. In fact, it fuels my desire to people my life with sane, sweet, and loving friends. At the end of the day, I want to come home to my wonderful husband and have good times with my friends. I guess that makes me an enigma."

Though she continues to publish in the sci fi, dark fantasy and horror genres, she writes mystery, poetry and articles as well.

Titles by Roberta Lannes

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