A scientist/writer/mom's thoughts on family, getting published, space monkeys, and everything in between. You know it's epic...so subscribe minions!
|Posted on November 3, 2012 at 4:15 AM||comments (1)|
I'm going on tour this week to promote the latest book in the Birch Harbor Series, Abraham's Men. You can find me at these blogs!
November 5 Guest blog
as part of Paranormal Perceptions
November 6 Interview
November 7 PromoCover
November 8 Guest blog
For The Love Of Film And Novels
November 8 Promo
November 9 Guest blog
Michelle @ Mom With A Kindle
https://momwithakindle.blogspot.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://momwithakindle.blogspot.com
November 9 Promo
Nomi’s Paranormal Palace
Nov. 10 Promo
Sapphyria's Book Reviews
November 11 Guest blog
Lisa’s World of Book
November 12 Guest blog
Mama Knows Books
|Posted on October 21, 2012 at 1:50 AM||comments (1)|
This is a repost of the interview from Immortal Storm author Heather Bserani's website at: http://heatherbserani.webs.com/authorinterviews.htm
Just in case any of you all missed it (and yes, I AM amazing and dynamic, thanks for noticing, Heather!)
Kristen Selleck - Best Selling Author of the Birch Harbor Series
I was lucky enough to squeeze into Ms. Selleck's busy schedule. She has been tremendously busy working on a multitude of things and I am honored to say that she found the time to squeeze in a little Q & A right before the release of her second novel in the Birch Harbor Series (Abraham's Men). She has confirmed the release date as 10/28/12 so mark that on your calendars and get ready to head over to amazon! For now, you can tide yourself over with her debut novel, Asylum. You can get that one at this link!
For those of you who haven't read Ms. Selleck's blog (I highly suggest you do!) let me fill you in a bit. She is a modern day evil scientist who is beyond brilliant and hysterical to boot. If you mosey on over to her page, you could easily spend hours there lol-ing...don't believe me, check it out!
Now that you have finished cyber-meeting one of the coolest people I know, sit back and relax while I pick her brain a little for you! Here are some of the cool things she shared with me while we chatted:
1. Why ghost stories? I would have imagined a mad-scientist such as yourself would have chosen sci-fi, so what is it about ghosts that inspires you?
I think it's that ghost stories were such a big part of my childhood. My brothers and I loved hearing them, and my Dad and my uncles could sure tell them. They told us stories about their childhood home in Flint, Michigan which they all claimed was haunted. It seemed like when they'd get together, they'd all try to out-do each other with how much they could scare us kids. They'd tell us stories about how the house was built on an indian graveyard, how there were bones mixed in with the concrete in the basement, ghosts that talked to them and ordered them to pull pranks on their sister, how my grandpa used convict labor to build the place, how one of the prisoners died there-- I mean, the kind of stuff that would probably make other adults laugh but gave us the chills.
I had one uncle in particular that could REALLY tell a story, make you feel like you were living it. He seemed to know the theatrics of story-telling innately. His voice would get quieter when he told you the scariest parts, so that you'd lean in on the edge of your seat. And he appeared so deadly in earnest that you'd never think to doubt him for a minute. One of my favorite stories he ever told was about an old, old abandoned warehouse down near Atlanta that he'd rented to throw a Halloween Party. The place, he told us, had been used during the civil war by the confederate army. As he told this story, he described the costumes of the people who came, and how he had first started to notice strange things as they were setting up for the party. It was so good! So real because of all the small details he 'remembered'. He built it and built it, and by the time the end of the story came, when he was leaving the building and he glanced over his shoulder and saw the face of a young confederate soldier in the window...I physically got chills. I didn't want that to be the end. I wanted a part two, I wanted him to make up a story about how he went back there and saw something else. I'm an adult and he told that story so well, I still think it might have been at least a little bit true, I'll never know for sure. I wanted to make people feel that way someday!
But don't count me out of writing a sci-fi just yet. I have a sci-fi story arc that I someday plan on getting to, probably after I get the Birch Harbor Series done.
2. Are your characters based on real people? Do you find it helps or hinders your writing to base fiction on reality?
Eh. I guess you could kind of say they're based on real people. I take little things I notice from many different people and piece them together in a character. They're very Frankensteined,
Does it help to base fiction on reality? Absolutely it makes the characters a lot realer to you, you have reference points, you know how people with these traits really react in situations. I think it kind of works against you with readers right now though. You start assigning a person flaws and faults, odd habits, etc.-- they might seem more real to you, but the pool of readers that can connect to them grows a little smaller. YA takes a lot of flack for churning out stock cookie cutter characters without too much identity. I'm not bashing the genre, you've still got some great writers in it putting out quality characters, but if you look at what's selling the best, it's not generally about original people inhabiting the stories. I get that. If you take a look at a book like Wuthering Heights, Catherine and Heathcliff weren't people you related to really, were they? They were both a couple of bastards that you wouldn't really want to hang out with. If it was told from one of their viewpoints, how much would it have resonated with readers? Not as much as it did being told from the viewpoint of the housekeeper who one very much likes and feels comfortable with. But I'm pretty new, I'm still learning the craft. I'm getting closer to striking a good balance.
3. How do you manage to write a sequel in under a year? Do you write every day, or do you write in fits and spurts when inspiration hits?
I don't sleep much. I'm a senior medical scientist all day long, and sometimes part of the evenings and weekends as well. When I come home, I've got two little boys to feed, wash, teach, listen to and generally try to build into thoughtful, noble, and productive men. That takes a lot of time and energy. When I write, it's after everyone is asleep. I generally set aside the hours between ten and two for that, and then get up at seven and start again. So I do write just about every night. Sometimes I get a lot done, sometimes I just research, and sometimes I listen to music and spend way too much time surfing the web.
4. Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming novel, Abraham's Men and does it have a release date?
Abraham's Men is a bit different stylistically then Asylum, much more character-driven. I really wanted to spot-light the growth of the relationship between Chloe and Seth, and the growth Chloe undergoes in particular. I think It's important to lay this kind of groundwork in a series so that readers become more invested in the characters, they've got history with them. Most readers can emphasize with Chloe as she's building this new home and discovering how to balance her life goals and build a strong relationship with the guy she loves. Because they have this history with the character, it's a lot easier to stay empathetic when she's being tormented by evil spirits and attacked by members of a secret cult later on.
5. Since we are such adoring fans, can you give us a hint of what's to come in the third installment to the Birch Harbor Series?
Absolutely. You can look forward to the most action-packed opening of a book that I've ever written. You're going to see Chloe's mom a lot more in the third book, and the plot-line will return to the characters investigating the American history of Abraham's Men. In particular, the details of a fictional rendition of Thomas Story Kirkbride. Keep reading! It's going to get even better.
Like I said, one of the coolest people I know. Her books are as amazing and dynamic as she is, so head on over to amazon and download her book Asylum and reserve your copy of Abraham's Men today!
|Posted on August 26, 2012 at 6:10 PM||comments (21)|
(Okay this is NOT the actual cover of the book-- we're still working on that, this is just a non-artist's rendering of it?)
The votes have been tallyed for choosing the cover of Abraham's Men. Thanks so much to everyone who voted on the site, on my facebook page, and sent emails!! The winning photo was shot # 22, and I can't wait to see it on the paperbacks, it's going to look great! I've taken down the photo gallery on this site, but you can still see all of the most voted on images here: Asylum Series Photos.
Now... some more BIG news. I am officially announcing the start of the "WIN AN ARC COPY OF ABRAHAM'S MEN!" contest today. That's right, if you win one of ten copies it will be sent to you at the end of September, meaning that you can get your hands on it a full month before anyone else.
How do you enter? Simple, all you have to do is to write and post a review of ASYLUM on either www.amazon.com or www.goodreads.com, and then send an email to me through either the 'contact me' tab on this website, or directly to [email protected] You can either send me a link to your review or just let me know which one is yours by title. Have you already written a review for ASYLUM? Then you're awesome, and you can still enter just by letting me know which one is yours.
Winners will be selected at random on Monday September 24, 2012 and will be notified by email and posted on this blog. ARC copies of Abraham's Men will be mailed out September 25th.
|Posted on July 26, 2012 at 1:35 AM||comments (0)|
I've just posted an arrangement of shots from the old Northern Michigan Insane Asylum-- and I'm looking for the cover shot for the newest book in the Birch Harbor Series: Abraham's Men. Let's hear what YOU think. Which one for the cover? (because I can't decide!)
Just follow the link below, and click on the pictures to comment. Let's hear it!
|Posted on July 14, 2012 at 1:50 AM||comments (0)|
Hellooooooooooo... she said, in her best Mrs. Doubtfire voice.
Just a quick note to let you all know that the first chapter of Abraham's Men is up on this site, and you can read it anytime. In other news, I'm done with the KDP select program, so Asylum will be available on Nook very soon! Keep watching for it, as well as checking back with this site. We'll soon be releasing details on how you can win an advanced reader copy of Abraham's Men in September-- and maybe even some merch. Merch is good, right?
And one last thing- we'll be doing a little 'urban exploring' at an unamed asylum next week to get some shots for the cover of Abraham's Men-- we might throw the shots up on the site to get some reader feedback-- (I LOVE abandoned asylum photos, don't you??)
|Posted on March 8, 2012 at 10:50 PM||comments (1)|
Yup, I finally got it up over at Barnes and Noble--but here's the deal:
Amazon's KDP select program has been really great for me. During the alloted free promo days in December, Asylum was downloaded over 5,000 times. I then went on to sell hundreds of books during December and January, keeping me on the best seller lists for about six weeks.
Now I have a feeling that as great as that turned out, a lot of that had to do with the free promo days running right after Christmas, you know what I mean, all those people with brand new kindles and all.
My three months with the KDP select program have now expired, and rather than automatically re-enroll Asylum, I've decided to make it available for Nook readers for two weeks and then go back to Amazon. This is in large part due to a very nice stranger who read about my book on goodreads and then sent me a message asking if I could make it available for Nook. Yes, just for you...and anyone else who might be interested. (Your email was that awesome...I now have nine fan emails. I've printed them out, and keep them in a stack on the lab bench, just so when a minion starts pestering me for benefits, or a husband tries to tell me that the baby's diaper needs changing, I can ruslte them importantly and declare, 'Not now! I'm reading my fan mail!')
At any rate, it will be available there until March 23rd, and it's still only .99 cents. Here's the link:
|Posted on February 27, 2012 at 1:15 AM||comments (1)|
During the past weekend, I've been on a writing jag. Now please understand that prolifc wordsmithery like this does not often occur for evil scientists preoccupied with world domination. We have a lot on our electromagnetic plates you know.
And in the process of writing, I do a lot of researching...okay I confess, a little on-topic internet surfing and a whole lot of following completely unrelated links through wikipedia. Not important--the point is, I'm writing some creepy stuff over here. A lot of it has to do with a very old cemetary that I've spent hours pouring over maps, pictures, reading through stories, etc.
Now when I finally hit the hay, it's usually in the wee hours of morning, a very dark and silent time in the house. Everyone's asleep, you can hear breathing and the faint buzz of the kitchen light, so you can picture it, very eerie and quiet like.
The past couple of nights, I'll turn out the lights and head upstairs. I do my usual routine, poke my head in and check each of the boys and then tiptoe into the absolute blackout of my room, trying to be as stealthy as possible, because Shad normally wakes up if a spider scratches its ass in the next room. The problem is this evil balloon the boys brought home a few days back:
Yes, that's the one. It keeps scaring the crap out of me. It's got a weight on one end and seems to move about the house on it's own--never in the same place twice. The first night, I walked up the stairs in the dark poked my head into Liam's room, saw he was sleeping, turned around...and saw a dark shape floating in mid-air.
I squeaked, jumped backwards into Liam's room, flipped on the light, and realized that it was the stupid balloon.
Now you think I'd have to be pretty dim to make the same mistake twice.
But the next night, I'm about to go upstairs, when I glance down into the pitch black living room and see this glint of light reflect and vanish, like something had just moved. So I take a deep breath, and walk down to the lower level, my hand on the wall ready to flick on the light, and as I'm squinting to see what it could be, I see this solid black shadow, floating, moving. I gasp, flip on the light and....it's the damn stupid awful balloon, again. Just floating there, turning very slowly because a heater turned on or something.
Won't make that mistake again, right?
Last night, I'm again walking up the stairs. I check on both of the boys, and then walk in to the bathroom, deciding not to turn the light on. Again I'm confronted with the dark, floating apparation, and for a half of a second, maybe less, my heartbeat speeds up. Then I remember, ahhhh, the stupid balloon, you won't get me this time buddy.
At the exact moment, the dark shape plunges downward and then pops up right in front of me, and I shriek and stumble backwards and as I'm trying not to fall on my rear, something attacks my foot viciously, and while whining, EEE! EEE! EEE! and trying to shake the evil attacker off my foot, I reach down to swat it off, and my hand hits...fur.
God, I hate that cat. Just hate that cat. She was hiding out in the dark bathroom, probably waiting for me. She went after the balloon first and then my foot. The only thing that saved her from being kicked into a wall was that I was still thinking logically enough to assume that the thing might turn around and attack me somwhere else, and in the dark, I wouldn't be able to see it coming.
Loving and wonderful cat available to a good home.
The balloon has since lost it's string and is now stuck up on the kitchen ceiling, but the cat is still lurking somewhere...plotting, biding it's time. I really wish I could sell the kids on the virtues of dog ownership.
Oh and by the way...Shad...mighty man, protector of the household and self-proclaimed light sleeper? Yeah... didn't even stir. I'm being attacked by a balloon with bad intentions and a possesed cat and struggling and shrieking and he hears nothing. Definitely thinking about getting a dog.
|Posted on January 5, 2012 at 11:05 PM||comments (4)|
Greetings to my Labrats, Minions, and Asylumites!
Well, what can I say? December was a good month for evil scientists...who also write. Thousands upon thousands of copies of Asylum were downloaded during the free promotion around Christmas. If that doesn't start the old word-of-mouth machine, then I'm back to kidnapping and read-by-force tactics...
"Oh my sodding glazzies! I can't viddy no more of this strack, oh my brother!"
So I've had the question put to me a couple of times lately...when's the next one coming out? Well, right now we're aiming for an early October release for the next book in the series...Abraham's Men. Yes, the Birch Harbor series will continue this year. (I'll even tell you that I'm three chapters in and loving every minute of it. You won't believe what Seth's been up to over summer break!)
Anyhow--I also wanted to thank everyone for the kind encouragement I've gotten through emails, reviews, and facebook. It's such an amazing feeling to hear how much someone likes your story...as opposed to how terrified people are of your death-ray or cyborg army.
So anyhow...in the meantime...here's a little something to keep you occupied until October:
|Posted on December 12, 2011 at 1:05 AM||comments (7)|
Well, here it is, my first interview, thanks to Courtnie Dotson for asking important questions that might have otherwise remained unanswered:
Where are you from?
I was born in Detroit, and lived in a lot of places after that. Currently, I call Grand Rapids home.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m an evil scientist committed to taking over the world. So no, I really can’t.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Okay, you twisted my arm. I’m a medical scientist that does a lot of work in the environmental field. I’m currently trying to get a grant to fund some new research. It’s a study of how graveyard seepage affects ground and pond water in urban areas. It’s really interesting stuff where there hasn’t been a lot of work done. Most people don’t know that the polio virus can migrate through soil and be drawn into plants and trees. Alright, I confess, it’s a fancy way of saying, ‘please give me money for zombie research’.
How long does it take you to write a book?
About a year. Most of the time is spent in editing and reworking it.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I had the misfortune of stumbling upon the book ‘The Gashlycrumb Tinies’ when I was very young. It’s basically a very macabre ABC book with illustrations depicting children dying in strange ways. I found it hilarious. I still remember my favorite letter, it was ‘Bis for Basil who was mauled by bears.’ In fact, the first book I ever wrote, when I was six or seven, was basically a rip-off of that and Dr. Suess. My first page depicted a well with a stick figure girl on fire beneath it. The caption read: ‘There was a girl named Belle, who tripped and fell, right into a well. It went all the way to hell’. My parents thought there was something wrong with me for a long time.
Do you ever research real events, legends, ormyths to get ideas?
Absolutely. The fodder for Asylum was living close to an abandoned sanitarium called Waverly Hills when I was in high school. It was an absolutely creepy place. It sparked a fascination in me for abandoned asylums, and I’ve done a great deal of research about the history of asylums and psychology. All the historical facts in the book are true.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Sure, quite a few things are based on what I’ll term, ‘embroidered truth’. I really did have too much to drink one night in college and at three in the morning, broke into an old dormitory that wasbeing used as offices to do a Ouija session. I now feel compelled to say that I do not condone breaking and entering, or Ouija…or drinking until these things sound like good ideas.
What scares you?
Spiders. Big, hairy spiders with vendettas
Beyond your own work (of course), what is yourall-time favorite horror book and why? And what is your favorite book outsideof the horror genre?
Definitely ‘TheTurn of the Screw’ by Henry James. You only see what the governess does, and what’s really horrible is what you don’t see--what you have to guess. It’s a book that will give you goosebumps even when it’s back on the shelf. Outside of the horror genre, I’d have to say,‘The Master and Margartia’. I love that book. It’s one of very few books I can read over and over.
What do you think makes a good story?
Good characters. You can’t be horrified, or curious, or even interested if you don’t give a crap about the characters.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
That’s a hard one. I guess it would have to go to Anthony Burgess. I loved ‘A Clockwork Orange’, but I think my favorite right now is ‘the Wanting Seed’. My favorite Burgess book changes all the time though, and I guess that’s what makes him my favorite author--consistent awesomeness so that it’s hard to pick a favorite.
What does your family think of your writing?
My husband is tolerant of it, and my kids are somewhat less than enthusiastic. In fact, when I got my proof for Asylum, my oldest, who’s five, opened it and saw his name in the dedication and got pretty angry. He thought I had written a book about him. It took a long time to explain what a dedication was, and I think he’s still suspicious. My two-year-old has ripped seven pages out of the proof so far. He’s a very tough editor.
What book are you reading now?
I hate admitting this,but the only thing I’m reading right now is ‘Grant Writing for Dummies’.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Sure. Now that I am an indie author, I’ve been reading a lot of other indie books. So far, I’ve really liked ‘What Would Satan Do’ by Anthony Miller (pretty funny) and a short I’ve been reading in installments called ‘Nathaniel’s Window’ by Peazy Monellon.
What are your current projects?
I’ve got two in the works. The sequel to Asylum which is called ‘Abraham’s Men’, and another piece which is based on the early years of Vlad the Impaler’s second reign—tentatively entitled, ‘The Dragon’s Wife’. That one has been slow going as there’s still a lot I’ve got to learn about 15th century Wallachia.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
No. I’m kind of a perfectionist and I edit my work severely before a beta reader even sets eyes upon it.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Define soon. No, since Asylum came out in October, I’m hoping to release Abraham’s Men in October of 2012. We’ll see…
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Two things I have learned on my own that might help you:
1. Do not drop out of medical school because you are absolutely certain that you can write a best-selling novel in a few months. What the dream-crushers tell you is correct: very, very, very few writers support themselves on words alone. Get a good day job and write in your off hours. The experiences and people you meet from your normal life will be what enriches your writing, I promise.
2. Do not use your mom and your best pals as beta readers. Your best friend will never tell you that she was tempted to clean her eyeballs with bleach after exposing them to the awfulness of your work. She’ll tell you that she ‘couldn’t put it down’ (or maybe couldn’t look away…like a car accident.). Go online, join a writer’s group or website and get some critique from strangers. If it hurts a bit, you’re doing the right thing.
|Posted on October 18, 2011 at 11:45 PM||comments (1)|
I know I shouldn't unveil my top-secret marketing strategies...but trust me this is awesome:
KRIS'S (marketing-savy) PLAN TO GET PEOPLE TO BUY ASYLUM!!!
Okay, but other than that? Right now, we are running a giveaway. What's the prize? A free copy of Asylum!! And all you have to do is 'like' us on Facebook to enter! In fact, I made it super easy. Look at the sidebar...no, the one to your right...see that? It says: "Please like Asylum on Facebook" Click that, that's all you gotta do, and you are automatically entered to win a copy of Asylum. We have ten copies to give away, contest ends November 26th. Click away!