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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 21, 2018

Women in Horror Month #9: Claire C. Riley, Author of ODIUM

Hey everybody!  My favorite memory of today's guest comes from the first Summer of Zombie, organized by our good friend Armand Rosamilia.  I gather there must be another author with her same first and last name - hence she uses her middle initial as well.  (This is pretty common in the writing field.)  For some reason, every time Armand would release an updated list of participants, it would say just her first and last, so every time she would say, "Don't forget the C!  I need the C!" and then Armand would promptly drop it again on the next revision.  This finally culminated in Armand saying, "Oh, you'll get your C!"  Eh, maybe you had to be there.  In any case, it's been far too long to go without having her on the blog, so please allow me to introduce the very talented Claire C. Riley!  

About Claire C. Riley:

Claire C. Riley is a USA Today and international bestselling author. She is also a bestselling British horror writer and an Amazon Top 100 bestseller.

Claire writes on the darker side of fiction, dipping her pen into genres such as post-apocalyptic, dystopia, thrillers, and even some horror. She writes characters that are realistic, and kills them without mercy.

She also writes under the pen name of Cee Cee Riley, where she writes in the MC romance and post-apocalyptic romance genres.

Claire lives in the United Kingdom with her husband and three daughters. She believes that cupcakes, rum and bathroom rap battles are the solution to most of life’s problems.

Claire is represented by Michelle Johnson of Inklings Literary Agency.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and her website.

Author of:

ODIUM (DEAD SAGA Series - 5 part)
ODIUM ORIGINS Series - 3 part

Co-authored books with Madeline Sheehan:


And by Cee Cee Riley:


Coming soon!

The RED EYE series


SK: How are you involved in the world of horror?

CCR:  I’ve been writing in the zombie horror genre for several years now and have several bestselling series in it, including ODIUM the DEAD SAGA and a co-authored series THICKER THAN BLOOD. I’ve contributed to several horror themed charity anthologies too where I write some non-zombie themed horror stories. These books benefit survivors of PTSD, cancer research and more. I also have my first full length horror novel coming out around May time.

SK: Who or what terrifies you?

CCR:  I can’t tell you that or I’d have to kill you! But I will say that if it has eight legs and comes near me I’m not going to be happy…

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

CCR:  I think maybe at the start it was an issue, but other horror writers are very respectful of each other and being a woman in this industry isn’t as strange as it used to be. There are some amazing female authors out there now that are doing great things with moving the genre forwards, adapting it, and in turn adapting the reader into wanting something different.

I feel very lucky that I’ve had the privilege of working with some great authors in this industry, both male and female.

SK: Who are your favorite female horror icons?

CCR:  Growing up I used to watch the "Hellraiser" movies. They scared the shit out of me but I loved them. The Cenobite Princess used to freak me out because all I could think about was what if she shrugged and ripped the skin from her head! She stands out to me as a huge female horror icon. On the opposite end of the scale, at least in the form of appearance, Ms. Argentina from Beetlejuice kicked some serious ass too! Considering she had such a small amount of screen time, she made a huge impact on me.  :)

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

CCR:  I’m currently hard at work writing the sixth book in my ODIUM series - ODIUM VI The Dead Saga. I’m honoured that my readers took my heroine—who can be a grade A bitch at times—into their hearts so much. I get the biggest kick out of writing this series and developing the characters and storylines. I think I still manage to make the zompoc genre fresh and keep my readers on their toes!

I’m also getting ready to promote my latest horror novel – BLOOD CLAIM. I’m seriously psyched about this project as I wrote it over 18 months ago but wasn’t sure if I’d ever publish it. Now seems the right time though and I can’t wait to share it with my readers. It’s about a group of gold miners who decide to go to Ghana in West Africa to dig for their fortune, only they find much more than they bargained for.

About ODIUM:


From USA Today Bestselling Author Claire C. Riley comes the first book in the intense & deeply real post-apocalyptic series, ODIUM. Bringing life, love & survival together for one thrilling read.

Nina’s life was irrevocably changed when humanity’s dead began to rise.

Now, she lives in the barricaded city, erected by the government to protect the remnants of civilization. However, they have become a brutal dictatorship- causing the inhabitants within to starve, steal and claw for survival. Life behind the walls has become as terrifying as roaming the zombie-ridden landscape beyond.

Citizens trade what they can to gain food, water, and shelter. Nina has only one currency—her body and she is tired of submitting herself to the greedy hands of the self-proclaimed leaders.

An opportunity to escape presents itself in the fate of a young girl named Emily-Rose. For the price of a stale piece of bread, she is set for banishment from the city, and most likely a horrific death at the hands of the deaders. Nina tells herself that it is sympathy and not self-preservation that makes her follow the young girl out of the walled metropolis, and into the overgrown world beyond.

Unused to fighting the deaders, Nina tries to scrounge for her survival and against her better judgment, begins to care for Emily-Rose. However, when you have a bread-stealing liability providing your only back up, survival seems even tougher. Nina is forced to fight for their lives, and with every zombie slain, she becomes fiercer, faster – a grim reaper with her not-so-sharp butcher’s knife.

Along the path to a safe-haven that might not exist, Nina and Emily-Rose meet Mikey who introduces them to a new life they could not imagine, a life above the ground. However, this new world brings new dangers, and darker shadows than she knew.

Nina finds out that the deaders aren’t the only thing to fear beyond the wall.

And that fear will not be ignored, or Forgotten.

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