Thursday, March 14, 2013

Seven Questions with Selah Janel!

Hi there, MMP-heads! Selah Janel here! I'd like to give a shout out to Nicole Kurtz who urged me to blog for MMP and who are all-around awesome people!

So the fourteenth is my little day of the month to spread joy and terrorize the masses. I know everyone is starting out and feeling their way through what they want to do, and I'm no different. I love writing, especially speculative-based fiction: fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, sci-fi, fairy tales, and everything in between. So far, I have one title with Mocha Memoirs Press, the Christmas fantasy story Holly and Ivy. Other than that, I'm pretty quirky and like a lot of geeky things. I've also done work in costume design and construction, puppeteering, acting, singing, and other stuff like that. As a blogger, I really dig exploring the nitty gritty of genres and talking to authors and getting inside their pointy little heads. While I love asking writing-oriented questions, I thought it would be fun to do a mix of questions on my posts here, so that everyone can get a feel for not only our awesome writing, but our horrible personalities that come with it, heh, heh, heh.

I'll be my own victim this month, and the  questions will mostly change each month. One other thing I'd like to do is give every person I interview the chance to give me a word, a genre, or topic, and I have to write about 500-1000 words on the subject, fiction or nonfiction. So here are seven random things about me to kick off this thing:

1. If you could be a fictional animal, what would you be?

I would be a were-velociraptor. (I may have gotten the idea of were-dinos from a friend of mine but dude...WERE-DINOSAURS!!) Seriously, think of how cool it would be? Every time the moon is full I could climb into people's houses, hide in their kitchens, and re-enact scenes from Jurassic Park! Think of the fun to be had in state parks! Better yet, think of how amazing it would be to hide out in a museum with an animatronic dino exibit, change, and then scare all the late-night security workers!!!

2. Favorite guilty pleasure food?

Chocolate chips. I have a huge thing for chocolate chips, and if there's a bag around, they're lucky to make it into a cookie. I eat them plain, with coconut, with peanut butter, in oatmeal...yeah, I have to watch myself sometimes because I can eat a whole bag very easily.

3. What character of yours that you want to hang out with?

I'd love to have a day with Ivy from Holly and Ivy. She's such a free spirit and so childlike, and I'd love to spend an afternoon acting like a kid and going nuts in the great outdoors. It'd be fun to play pretend and run around down a hill, through a pine forest, and around a lake. I can be a little anxious at times and it would be fun to let that all go. I'm sure Ivy could keep me laughing and keep me forgetting about the outside world for a while. Plus, I'd love to know what it's really like to be a faerie and what she really can and can't do, that kind of thing.

4. Favorite thing to listen to while writing?

David Bowie is my favorite and my go-to, but I also love instrumentalists like David Garrett, and other stuff like Zeppelin, Motley Crue, AC/DC, G Tom Mac, and a lot of classic and hard rock.

5. Genre you're scared to death to write?

Probably romance since I'm a horribly hardened cynic, but don't totally count me out. If an idea is there, I'll go for it. So far I just haven't really thought of a great idea I could turn into a really good romantic story.

6. Weirdest thing you've ever made?

Probably either the synthetic human skin dress with matching "hand" bag or the giant demon that straps to my bag...I get a lot of design ideas and I like horror conventions, so things like that are bound to happen.

7.Favorite thing about Mocha Memoirs Press?

The community! Every author is so talented, and everyone is really positive and supportive. It's great to be around people like that, and exciting to be around so many different types of creative people.


And now, Siobhan Kinkade has given me the topic of Obsolete Words. Since she foolishly didn't specify, I'll write a short bit of fiction with the prompt. Ahem.

Karyn started to open the giant, antique volume laid out on her bed, but Gavin stopped her. “Don’t,” he warned.

“Why? It’s just an old book,” she pointed out, shrugging slim shoulders as her fingers stroked the scroll work on the leather cover.

“That’s just the point,” he hissed, dark eyes fiery and intense. He was only five years older, but his status as mage in their secret community made him seem ancient in times like these. It also gave him a chance to throw his ego around. “You have no idea what these things contain. If you crack that cover, read what’s inside…if those words hit the air, hell, even if they don’t,” he babbled, running a hand in his dark hair.

“It shouldn’t matter,” she sniffed and pulled the volume closer to her. “It was in Gram’s closet and no one claimed it. I’m the only one she has left. Ownership goes to me.”

“That doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing!” he practically shouted. “One glance at the wrong kind of phrase…you could unleash all the powers of the unknown without even trying, "Karynia.”

She grimaced at the use of her full name; at least he hadn’t mentioned her title and made it worse. “Aren’t you curious? Or maybe you just want it all for yourself.” He’d been getting cocky lately. For all his knowledge and wisdom, his arrogance very nearly got their little suburb found out by the rest of the Woodhaven population.

His face tightened. She’d either ticked him off or hurt him, it was hard to tell. “You come from an old line. 

"I’m just trying—”

“To look out for me. Whatever,” Karyn sniffed.

“Words have power, Karynia,” he whispered, leaning towards her across the mattress. That close, she could smell a delicate mixture of cologne and sweat; he’d gone running that morning, of course. “Especially old words,” he whispered, glancing down at the cover. “Especially obsolete ones.”

“It’s not like I’d know what I was reading,” she pointed out.

“It doesn’t matter,” he insisted. “Words like that…they slip through your eyes and ears, slip into your mind, yank your soul and have their way with you. You’re merely the vessel to give them what they want. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t crack the cover.”

 Up close it was impossible to ignore the sharp planes of his face, the furrow between his brows when he was stern and focused. It was so different from the few times that he laughed and his face lit up like fireworks, dancing over his face and otherwise serious demeanor. She bit her lip and sat upright, twisting her fingers. When Gavin glanced down at her hands she quickly moved one  to her hair and twirled an auburn strand around her right forefinger, the finger that wore her grandmother’s ring that designated her as ruler of the little band of outcasts in a modern world.  The silver with its carved knots and runes glittered under the lamplight in the small room. Gavin reached for her hand and she quickly pulled it away.

“You’re so skittish. You can’t be that skittish if you’re going to be a leader. Not about anything,” he rebuked, but there was a sly, teasing glitter in his eyes. Suddenly, she’d had enough. Enough of his know-it-all attitude, enough of his always being around but never really establishing if he was there to help or harass her, enough of the way her stomach tightened and danced every time he came into view. Her stubbornness reared and she lifted her chin in defiance.

“Oh yeah? I’ll show you skittish,” she snapped and slapped the book cover open.

“Wait—“ Gavin gasped and lunged forward, grabbing her wrist. In that moment his eyes inadvertently flicked down, down to the mattress covered by the polka-dot bedspread, down to their joined hands…down to the ancient, slithering script on the page.

And then it happened. His body tensed and he shook fiercely. His mouth snapped shut in a thin line, spittle leaking out the edges as white foam.  His beautiful chocolate-brown eyes rolled back in his head, his hair falling across his face. A low whine came from him and his head tossed from side to side.

“Gavin?” Karyn whispered and tried to take her hand back.

The mage’s hand tightened on her thin wrist as his body snapped and relaxed. Slowly, his head raised up. Eyes darker than chocolate, dark as ink, burned up at her through the long tendrils of his hair. The smile that curled his lips was not arrogant so much as triumphant and cruel.

“You should have listened, little priestess,” he laughed. The voice was not his, but the ancient sound of words that hadn’t been whispered, viewed, or even thought about for thousands of years. His face morphed into something unfamiliar and dangerous as he slowly tugged the gasping woman across the bed, right over the book’s pages, which were mysteriously blank.

Find out more about Selah at....


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