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Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Women in Horror Month #16: C.A. Hoaks, Author of TERROR IN TEXAS

Welcome back, everyone, to the Manuscripts Burns Women in Horror Month Interview Series.  Today we have a special treat: serialist C.A. Hoaks, author of the hugely popular TORN APART horror web serial.  Let's jump right in and meet the author.

About C.A. Hoaks:

I spent the last twenty years working as a Technical Writer for some of the largest technology and energy companies in Houston, Texas.  Now retired, I am devoting my writing skills and time to my passion, fiction writing. Being creative in a variety of ways has always been a part of my life.

I studied art at Glassell Contemporary Art School a few years ago since being creative included visual art as well as my interest in the writing fiction.  I work in a variety of mediums including Krylon, pastels, oil, acrylic and fabric.  I can stitch up a traditional quilt in no time…and design a book cover as well. I create new and interesting art through original paintings and image manipulation using and Picasa.

A life-long love of the written word and reading voraciously has provided a solid foundation for my fiction writing.   I have been involved in Houston area writer’s groups for over 30 years. I have been published in a number of on-line articles, editorials, and special interest newsletter.  As a founding member of the Houston Writer’s League, I organized and coordinated their first national writer’s conference.

Reading THE STAND by Stephen King was a life-changing read for me.  It really initiated my interest in the “end of the world as we know it” and “monsters in the dark”.  What better way to explore that genre than with the undead rising up to prey on the living?  I love writing about people caught up in a terrible situation and how they face the good, bad, and ugliness of a world gone wrong.

My latest efforts have been on a horror series set in Texas.  The TORN APART series explores the end of life as we know it after a terrorist attack that went terribly wrong.  Book 1 TERROR IN TEXAS will be released in April 2016. I am currently editing the second book in the series.

You can find her on her website and Facebook.


SK:  What are your horror bona fides?

CH:  I worked as a technical writer for years documenting Information Technology Systems, Development Projects and creating a variety of procedural and process documents.  I am now working full time writing fiction.  I created a website nine months ago to use as a point of exposure for my latest project and have developed quite a following. In less than a year, I have followers asking when the next chapter and/or books will be published.

SK:  Who or what terrifies you?

CH:  Snakes and rats are the things that really terrify me.  They haven’t come up in my novels yet, but they could appear in the TORN APART series at some point. Take away man and the cities will quickly become overrun with rats.  As for snakes…in Texas we have a rattlesnake roundup once a year.

SK:  Are there unique challenges to being a woman in horror or do you feel like gender is irrelevant?

CH:  I think being a woman writing horror provides a slightly different slant.  Men tend to focus on the destruction, blood and gore. I think women tend to bring in more of the human interaction into the writing.  It’s not so much the mayhem or the gore but how people deal with whatever it is.  Women naturally focus more on survival and protecting the young.  Men tend to go for the shock value while women focus on how the victims, bystanders, or observers handle the horror. Women want a solution and I think it comes out in the stories.

SK:  Who are your favorite female horror icons?

CH:  Mary Shelley.  She wrote FRANKENSTEIN when women were not ever considered writers much less horror writers. My modern day female favorite author is Anne Rice.  Who can ever forget a vampire that was so terrifyingly appealing? And then there are witches…oh my!

SK:  What are you working on/promoting currently? Why should folks check it out?

CH:  I am offering my 1st book in the TORN APART series online for free.  An updated TERROR IN TEXAS will be released as an e-book and in print in April 2016. 

The TORN APART series provides readers with a tale about what happens when a biological attack on US soil spreads anarchy and death. Adding to the confusion, the dead reanimate and attack the living.  Unlikely heroes amid the chaos are a young mother, a disabled veteran, and a hopeless alcoholic. Who will escape San Antonio to see friends and loved ones again? Will the infection sweep over the entire nation? It’s a race for safety and not all will survive.


TERROR IN TEXAS is the first part of the online serial TORN APART.  An army of reanimated dead prey on the survivors of a terrorist attack.  Check it out now for free!


  1. An excellent and intelligent interview. I look forward to reading mor of Ms Hoaks work. I'm a big fan!

    1. That's great! Thanks for stopping by, Valerie!


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