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C.J. Leede Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

C.J. Leede
CJ Leede is a Trekkie, horror writer, and hiker. CJ grew up in New York, NY and Austin, Texas. She has her MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia, and a BA from NYU’s Gallatin School, where she studied Mythology and the Middle Ages.

When CJ is not busy driving around the country, she can be found in LA with her four rescue dogs and her boyfriend.

Other jobs CJ has had include: nanny, spin instructor, actor, yoga teacher, preschool teacher, volunteer aquarist, animal shelter volunteer, very briefly a tech recruiter, and her last (non-writer job) was working at this incredibly groovy comic book store in LA. She wanted to be a career academic for such a long time, however writing took its hold on her before she could return back to school.

CJ has always been somebody that has struggled with fear. As a kid she could never sleep because of nightmares, and that’s never fully left her. It’s just how she came into the world. However the beautiful thing about writing horror is that she can put it to use. She’ll ask herself what the worst thing that could happen at that moment, and allowing it play out in her mind.

For most of her life she has fought against it or tried to shove it away somewhere, however writing it out, leaning all the way in, and allowing herself to really live it, has not just been freeing but exhilarating as well. The most frightening idea, for her, is always hurting somebody else, so Maeve certainly pushed her to her very limits at times, and taught her about various aspects of human anatomy.

While CJ was writing “Maeve Fly”, she was having a tough time and facing a bunch of loss in her life, and was feeling pretty helpless in the world. The book was very cathartic in a time that she needed a release. She feels that it was the book she needed to write. So she put this character in a similar position to her, however she made this character much more powerful than she felt at the time. She gave this character the permission not just to feel rage and grief and all of the emotions that we shut off inside ourselves, however CJ encouraged her darker impulses. Then she gave her this world to act on them to the craziest degree.

Maeve is a monster, simply because of the fact she is. It was fun, empowering, sexy, and thrilling, and she hopes that it will be the same for anybody that reads this book.

With that said, she never thought too much about what parts would be scary. It was more that she wanted the story to flow and for every scene to contribute something to her narrative. Maeve is not this morally upstanding character, there is this moment in the novel where her actions begin looking like she is. So she has this other scene that reminds us she is not, and it is a pretty bloody one. She thinks (and hopes) that the horror of this novel is just the idea that somebody like Maeve may exist, and more than that, the mere idea that we may find things in her that we feel reflect some part of ourselves, even while she is committing these atrocities.

CJ’s inspiration for the novel were “Notes from Underground”, “American Psycho”, and “Story of the Eye” all factor in heavily, as do “My Heart is a Chainsaw”, “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, “The Final Girl Support Group”, “Fight Club”, “Faust”, and she is always reading Stephen King, so that has to have worked its way in too. But also just LA and all of its history. All of the shiny and gritty dive bars, the Sunset Strip, the *huge theme park located in Anaheim*. It’s a story that never could have come to be if she never moved there from New York. She did her best to include everything that she could that she felt was crucial to this town.

“Maeve Fly” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2023. An unforgettable and provocative debut novel that is both a blood soaked love letter to LA and a gleeful send-up to iconic horror villains, this will thrill fans of the macabre and slashers.

By day, Maeve Fly works at the happiest place in the entire world as every kid’s favorite ice princess. Maeve, by the neon night glow of the Sunset Strip, haunts the dive bars with a book in one hand and a book in the other, imitating her misanthropic literary heroes.

However once Gideon Green, her best friend’s brother, moves to town, he awakens something dangerous inside her, and the world that she knows shifts suddenly beneath her feet.

Untethered, she ditches her discontented act and tries a new persona on. A bloodier and bolder one, inspired by the pages of American Psycho. Step aside Patrick Bateman, because it is Maeve’s turn with the knife.

“Maeve Fly” won the Golden Poppy Octavia E. Butler Award. It was also nominated for Splatterpunk and Bram Stoker awards. It was an Indie Next Pick and was one of Esquire’s Best Horror Books of the Year.

It’s a brutal, terrifying, gory, painful, and beautiful total delight of a read. It’s not for the faint of heart, as the pages are dripping in gore, and some readers will never be able to look at an egg the same way ever again.

“American Rapture” is the second stand alone novel and was released in 2024. A scorching new apocalyptic novel, and a sweeping and epic story about the end of the world as we know it.

There is a virus that is spreading across America, transforming the infected and turning them feral with lust.

A good Catholic girl, named Sophie, has to traverse the hellscape of the Midwest in order to find her family as the world all around her burns. Along the way she finds that there are much worse fates than to die a virgin. The end times are coming.

Book Series In Order » Authors » C.J. Leede

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