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Chantal Beaulne

The King of Dogs or Dog Days and Wolf Nights, fiction, Issue 22, March 1, 2013

Chantal Beaulne, Ask anyone of her family members or friends and they will tell you that that Chantal Beaulne grew up in a small town in southern Alberta, Canada. Ask Chantal herself and she will tell you she grew up in Neverland, Narnia, Middle Earth, Camelot and Wonderland. She is currently studying Animation at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. 


 
Get to know Chantal...
Birthdate? I’m a Rooster in the Chinese Zodiac, my birth month is named after the goddess of peacocks, and the day is the atomic number of cobalt. 
 
When did you start writing? I was telling stories long before I’d memorized even half the alphabet. Not very good ones, but learning to read eventually helped me to embrace subject matter beyond puppies, kittens and kangaroos that turned into butterflies. 

When and what and where did you first get published? In the Abstract Quill, with "Household Gods for 20 Occasions," the September 2012 issue. 
 
What themes do you like to write about? Unclean Godliness, the average monster next door, reality gone-out-to-lunch and people who  have to deal with that and their more pedestrian problems. I like to put normal people in abnormal situations or abnormal people in normal situations, as its a good way to question what is normal anyway. ‘King of Dogs’ is a good example of this, as what starts as a boy-and-his-dog story is interrupted by a creature who doesn’t belong on Earth, let alone in a seemingly peaceful small town. Rex is a monster even before he turns into a gigantic wolf, an unwelcome personality in a place that doesn’t approve of a single inch of him. He's both the disagreeable modern punk and a figure from an ancient religion that’s fallen out of favour. I like dichotomy and the coming together of past and present, especially as expressed by violent, ignored characters like Rex who have to find a reason for their being in a world that increasingly doubts the existence of a script.

What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? Television was a banned substance in my childhood, so I naturally turned to other mediums for a growing girl’s daily amount of adventure, violence, love, murder and sex--that is, the big ol’ book of Mythology. It was the protagonists of the stories that influenced my future writing. Well, them and the monsters. And people turning into monsters. That was definitely rooted there but it was also some of my earliest examples of the imperfect hero. They had more than single fatal flaws, they made mistakes at every turn and their mistakes cost lives and and friendships. Yet they were somehow charismatic enough to keep you reading until their next horrible error and so on and so forth until they died unhappily. The bleached-of-anything-even-remotely-offensive protagonists of many modern novels bored me after that.  Now I usually set out to create characters who are so human they make the page smell funny. 

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