World's Most Dangerous Interview with Selah Janel
Greetings rock 'n' rollers! If you're new to the Rock 'n' Romance Blog, Welcome! If you've been here a while and have been wondering where the heck I've been...I'm baaaaack! And I'm here today to introduce horror author Selah Janel, who was brave enough to tackle the World's Most Dangerous Interview to help us celebrate the publication of Horror Addicts Guide To Life 2. It's a super fun workbook of sorts with all sorts of goodies about the creepy and awesome!. Actually, it's not that dangerous, as far as I know. Someday I'll find a way to make it actually death-defying and life-threatening, but for now, let's see what Selah has to say to my harrowing questionnaire!
World’s Most Dangerous Interview with Selah
First, thanks so much for having me today! I love talking about books and creepy things, so this is a lot of fun!
Hmmm She says that now, let's see if she's still thankful when she's finished with the interview mwahahahaha...
Name a childhood fear and tell us whether or not it still scares you.
As far as childhood fears go, sharks was a big one. For some reason, I had recurring nightmares of sharks showing up in random places as a kid, and was somehow convinced the shark from Jaws lived in the Mississippi River and might eat us every time we crossed the bridge going to visit my grandparents. If I actually lived near places where sharks lived maybe it might bother me, and sometimes I have shark dreams when I’m super stressed, but at least as an adult I get that sharks aren’t going to pop out of random locations and get me.
Name the first book you read as a young person that has stayed with you.
The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks. It haunted my memory for ages until I finally found it again. My memory had definitely built up parts, though at the time I was captured by the fact that it was very different from things I had been reading. There was an element of real world danger and repercussions with the fantasy, and it made me terrified of wasps. It also got me realizing that characters don’t necessarily have to be likable all the time if they’re the protagonists. While it’s written for kids, there’s also some heavy real world subtext that was nice to see when I recently reread it.
Okay, I'm afraid of wasps, so you get the nice cartoony one.
What is the most fascinating, creepy, and/or disgusting thing you’ve discovered because of writing?
Years ago one of my first novels (now out of print) involved a wannabe rockstar caught up in some questionable magic and zoning in and out of reality in the second half of the book. During an emergency surgery, I played with the idea of him flatlining as a springboard into this other plane, and discovered that there’s an ongoing debate as to whether the pitch of the flatline beep is a b or b flat. It was perfect for the character, but still creeps me out every time I see a scene of someone flatlining in a show or movie.
Which characters from books do you most admire, adore, or abhor?
I tend to be drawn to the crumbled cookies. I love characters that may not be the typical protagonists, but are still trying their best to grow. They may really screw up, but there’s they still embody hope and work to be better. I like when likeable characters are allowed to be a little dark, a little prickly, because people don’t tend to fall into one box or another. I love a well-developed antagonist that makes you realize they may have a point. And, of course, really well-conceived creatures and monsters are a bonus. I’m a big fan of folklore, urban legends, myths, and old stories in general, so any time I recognize pieces of those in a story’s foundation makes me really happy.
Name a book that made you say, “Yes, I want to be a writer.”
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. His language is gorgeous, his descriptions are beautiful and they romanticize so many small parts of everyday life. He’s brilliant at capturing emotion and all the little moments that tend to get overlooked. He wrote a wonderful balance between darkness and hope and how they could both be reflected in the same moments.
In several short story collections, he also published chapters of the book that had alternate, much darker endings, so it’s really fascinating to see what could have been. It’s almost like there are a few versions of the book, not fully formed, and it’s intriguing to think of how those would have come together.
If you had to choose a movie or book to live in, what would it be?
Probably Labyrinth or Jim Henson’s The Storyteller. Both have that blend of fantasy with tinges of darkness and hope that I love, and both entranced and terrified me growing up. Both wedged hard into my subconscious and definitely affected the type of writer I grew up to be.
Though let’s face it, I absolutely would find a way to sucker the goblins into taking me away so I could stage a coup, rule the labyrinth, wield magic, attend elegant balls with Jareth and throw dance parties with the Fireys. I am nothing if not a simple creature with simple tastes. Or something.
Name your author superpower and how does it come out in your writing?
I feel like I’m good at incorporating little details through my stories so when plot points are revealed you can backtrack and find little clues. I love things like that, and because I also love referencing lore and pop culture, it’s fun for me to sprinkle those in. I also love world building, and using pieces of things to also push the plot forward in ways no one sees coming.
Which book do you wish you’d written?
American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It’s very much a book only he could write, but I’m always impressed by the complexity of the story, the use of myths, and all the hidden details. It could have easily gone off the rails, but he juggles all the components so well.
Ever get caught reading or writing sexy times in an awkward place?
I’m kind of amazed I haven’t been caught at it more, but I usually guard my notebooks and reading materials pretty well. My other superpower is that people assume my introverted, quiet self is my total personality, so there have been many hilarious conversations when people start to see below the surface. I can’t really think of any specific times, but I’ve had some close calls, mostly because I usually have a notebook with me, though I’ve learned to stop bringing them to family gatherings. Holidays are already fun enough when they stumble on some of my published work!
Where can we find your work?
I’m easily found at www.selahjanel.com on Facebook as authorSJ, Twitter @SelahJanel, and Instagram @selahjanel99
For direct links to my work, check me out on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/Selah-Janel/e/B0074DKC9K%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share
Thank you for joining us Selah! Check out Horror Addicts Guide To Life 2 and get your creepy on!