Selena Chambers

I imbibe words and consume past minds. As a result, I often awake next to strange sentences and forgotten meanings. I am the Bas Bleu Zombie.

KWAHS

Source: Hemingway in Key West online exhibit of The Key West Art & Historical Society. http://www.kwahs.org/exhibitions/ernest-in-key-west

Next week, I’m heading down to the Southernmost part of the US to participate in the 37th annual Hemingway Days!

There are a lot of events throughout the week, and I am excited to be part of Wednesday’s evening readings alongside some of Florida’s best! Because speculative fiction isn’t exactly associated with Hemingway, I will be doing a mini-presentation on how his interest in pulp, crime, and action, alongside other aspects of craft, inspired some facets of my fiction. If you are in the Keys for vacation or for Papa festivities, please come by and say hi!

Here are the details, and you can find out about the rest of the events here:

7:30-10 p.m. “Voices, Places, Inspirations.” This evening of readings features authors Chuck Ball, Selena Chambers, Mandy Miles and Terry Schmida — plus a highlight appearance by Ted Geltner, author of “Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews.” Presented by Literacy Volunteers of America-Monroe County, the event also includes a “meet the authors” reception. Key West Woman’s Club, 319 Duval St.

I am also excited to be near water. I haven’t traveled too much this year, and so I am ready to take it all in:  the Symposiums, the literary pilgrimages, the Daiquiris, and of course the beauty of the Straits.

Some other great stuff has been going on in #CFSBOOK land in addition to the great event I had at Midtown Reader in Tallahassee.

 

June, Lovecraft eZine Review

EZine

Selena Chambers Delivers Sharp Prose in Calls for Submission” was written by Acep Hale, and ran on Lovecraft eZine on June 8.

In June, Calls for Submission received another glowing review from Lovecraft eZine’s Acep Hale, who calls it: “the showcase of a writer with a deliberate and considered world view, intensely honed craft, and a calculated message. My only hope is the next work I read by her is of novel length.” I hope so, too!

This review is very thorough, touching on all of the stories, and hits on many points and intentions I had hoped readers would enjoy. It’s also the first time I’ve ever been compared to anyone in hip-hop, which is unexpected and also really fucking cool. I’ve always been humbled to find myself compared to a lot of awesome people in the past, but Ghost Face Killah alongside Gabrielle Wittkop, Leonora Carrington, and Francesca Woodman all in one swoop blows my mind!

Many thanks to Mr. Hale, Mike Davis, and Lovecraft eZine for giving Calls for Submission the attention and space!

 

July, Electric Lit Interview

Electric Lit

The Weird World of Selena Chambers” was written by Adrian Van Young, and ran on Electric Literature on July 6th.

Last week, an interview with Adrian Van Young went live at Electric Lit! In its introduction he calls Calls for Submission “a creepy-sad, smart and courageous collection that stimulates the intellect while inexorably pulling and pulling the heartstrings.” In addition to the collection, we discuss “reclaiming literary territory, “the female glance,” being a hot-weather Goth, Florida weirdness, and the non-intersectionality of literary circles.”

This is sort of a first. I did plenty of interviews in the past when I was promoting The Steampunk Bible, but they always focused on the artists and makers we featured in that book. I’ve never really had to discuss myself or my own work up until this past few months and I have to say it is way different and more difficult to do that than to discuss the work of others. In the few instances I have been interviewed about my own work, usually the person has never read me, and that is even harder…BUT, in the case of Adrian Van Young, not only did he come prepared, he put the screws to me in the best of ways. When we finished the interview, conducted via email, I was left empowered by more knowledge of myself and my work than going in. That’s testament to an excellent interviewer, and I am very grateful to Mr. Van Young for his thorough questioning and conversation, and for Electric Lit for the space and support!

 

UPCOMING APPEARANCE:  July 18 through July 23rd, Hemingway Days (reading and rumming)

KWAHS

Source: Hemingway in Key West online exhibit of The Key West Art & Historical Society. http://www.kwahs.org/exhibitions/ernest-in-key-west

Next week, I’m heading down to the Southernmost part of the US to participate in the 37th annual Hemingway Days!

There are a lot of events throughout the week, and I am excited to be part of Wednesday’s evening readings alongside some of Florida’s best! Because speculative fiction isn’t exactly associated with Hemingway, I will be doing a mini-presentation on how his interest in pulp, crime, and action, alongside other aspects of craft, inspired some facets of my fiction. If you are in the Keys for vacation or for Papa festivities, please come by and say hi!

Here are the details, and you can find out about the rest of the events here:

7:30-10 p.m. “Voices, Places, Inspirations.” This evening of readings features authors Chuck Ball, Selena Chambers, Mandy Miles and Terry Schmida — plus a highlight appearance by Ted Geltner, author of “Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews.” Presented by Literacy Volunteers of America-Monroe County, the event also includes a “meet the authors” reception. Key West Woman’s Club, 319 Duval St.

I am also excited to be near water. I haven’t traveled too much this year, and so I am ready to take it all in:  the Symposiums, the literary pilgrimages, the Daiquiris, and of course the beauty of the Straits.

SignTwo weeks ago was my book release party for Calls for Submission. And, as usual, I’m blogging about it in a totally timely manner. The delay in posting doesn’t diminish how amazing of a night it was! My book had been out for exactly a month by the evening of the reading, but it didn’t feel REAL until I arrived at Midtown Reader and found my books on the New Arrivals table.

 

IMG_5173That was when it finally hit me:  Holy crap, I made a thing. This thing. This beautiful, weird little thing.

And that was just the first of many pleasant surprises. Friends I hadn’t seen since high school were there, and since we were all the types to forget about going to reunions, it was lovely to get to see everyone’s faces and catch up (albeit way too briefly!) on the past 17 years. My mother and brother were there, too, and I think Mom especially enjoyed seeing how all of us kids had grown up.

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After some cupcakes and wine, owner Sally Bradshaw gave a wonderfully warm welcome and introduction, and I babbled way too much about the Florida Gothic before diving into “Dive in Me,” a Gothic tale set basically in Tallahassee, and co-written with my small times bud, Jesse Bullington, whose mother was also in the audience!

Book book

My friend was really kind enough to take pictures for me, and she did a pretty excellent job documenting the night. But there is one photo that never was taken, and it was what I saw after I read the concluding line.

“Dive” is almost too long for a reading, and every other time I’ve read from it, I have usually had to stop right when the getting was good, or jumble a lot of stuff together. But I read it from start to finish that night, about 20 to 25 minutes total, and when I began I was already intimidated that all the seats were mostly full. But when I finished reading and looked up, all seats were taken, and the store was full of standing friendly faces I hadn’t seen come in while performing! I’m glad I didn’t noticed, or else I might have froze and blown the whole thing. Heh.

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I signed ALL the books and we pretty much cleaned house. While signing, many people told me they hadn’t visited Midtown Reader yet, and they had fallen in love with the store as much as I had. This, probably, more than anything else really felt great because after having gone without an independent bookstore for, well, basically, ever, I really want Tallahassee to come out and appreciate what Sally and her wonderful staff are creating for us. This is the lodestone of a strong literary community, and since it’s opening in November, I have already noticed the difference Midtown Reader is making here.

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Check out that banner in the back! My publisher, Pelekenisis, sent it special delivery from California and it really was a special touch and showcased the cover art well, which was a real hit.

I received many compliments on Joan Horne‘s cover, which was really cool because Joan is also a Tallahassee-native and long-time bud. While she is doing her kick-ass thing in L. A., it felt like having her there with me. I felt that way about Molly Tanzer, too, who wrote the Intro for Calls for Submission, and of course, my “Dive in Me” co-author, Jesse. I realized that night that I was carrying around a lot more of Tallahassee in my little book than I realized, given not only the material of some of the stories, but just the love and involvement it got from close childhood friends. And the fact that even more family and friends, like Lisa, Jesse’s mom, came out to help me celebrate this crazy achievement was one of life’s rare joyous feelings that I am grateful to get to experience!

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Because most of the time you feel like you are doing this in a vacuum. It’s easy to think no one takes you seriously or cares about what you do in the shadows, but thanks to Midtown Reader, my beautiful friends and family, and the new friends I made that night, including staffers Darrell and Reid, I realize that I had that all wrong. And I am humbled and grateful for the love and this community!

THANK YOU all for coming out, buying books, and helping me launch this bizarre baby into the world! THANK YOU Midtown Reader for throwing one heck of a shindig! XoXo

And if you are reading this from Tallahassee and haven’t been to Midtown Reader, yet. Get thee to the bookstore! (They may still have a signed copy or two of Calls for Submission, left, you never know).

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It has been raining for three weeks semi-straight here and I’m going nuts! So, after moping about all morning, I’ve decided to amp it up a bit with this Spotify Playlist:

I included the link in case the embedding stuff doesn’t work. Blrgh. Stay dry,  I guess?

Hey Tallahassee! Wanna party? Then come join me this Friday, June 16th at Midtown Reader to celebrate the release of my debut collection Calls For Submission!

Midtown Reader.jpg

Midtown Reader is delighted to be hosting Selena Chambers to read from, discuss. and sign copies of her debut collection, Calls for Submission, this Friday, June 16th, from 5:30 to 7 pm. Details here.

From 5:30 pm to 7 pm, I will be reading from and discussing the book, as well as signing copies. There will be some fun Selena/Pelekinesis swag-bag giveaways, cupcakes and other refreshments, and the glorious atmosphere of one my favorite places in Tally.

This event is Free and open to the public.

It’s a real honor to get to celebrate this occasion at Midtown Reader and in my hometown. Thank you all for the support, and I hope you all will come by! It should be a pretty great weird time.

Calls for Submission Book Release Party is Friday, June 16th, from 5:30 to 7 pm at Midtown Reader. Midtown Reader is located at 1123 Thomasville Rd., Tallahassee, FL 32303. For further details, please check out the event page here.

 

IMG_4001 (1)Publishing is basically like a wet noodle. If you throw it against the wall at the right time, it sticks. If you take it out of the pot too soon, it splats on the floor. That’s what happened with Nasty Writers.

Due to a lack of submissions, lack of funding, and an editor already over-worked by her own need of paid freelance writing, Nasty Writers is closed to submissions and closed for good.

Believe me, this is a decision that should have been made months ago, but I broke my cardinal rule about projects–don’t discuss them before they are ready–so many times that I felt kind of shamed into hoping it’d eventually work out. It isn’t, and I need to move on.

I want to thank those who were excited by this idea, to the few who did submit and query and shared their great work and vision with me, and to those who advised me on the joys and perils of this kind of endeavor.

Perhaps I can use the notion of Nasty Writers in a productive context down the road, although it won’t be in a literary magazine format. Who knows. But as it stands now, it’s dead in the water.

However, since November, several amazing publications have risen that share a similar mission, and I encourage everyone to seek them out. A few of my favorites are:

ROAR

100,000 Poets for Change (actually begun in 2011, but I became acquainted with them in 2016)

Writer’s Resist

Lady/Liberty/Lit

Spoila (also been around for a few years, but more important now than ever)

About two weeks ago, Calls for Submission was released by Pelekinesis. I made a nifty comic, did some guests posts, and have enjoyed some really nice reviews at Goodreads, Amazon, and This Is Horror. Here’s a recap of what all has happened:

Friday, May 5, Calls for Submission received its first review at Goodreads (and at 5 stars, to boot), courtesy of Plant X Publications founder Michael Adams (Thank you, Michael!).

He writes: “A nearly flawless debut collection. Evocative, lyrical prose combines with realistically flawed and complex characters in a pleasing variety of settings, historical and modern, to become a book that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

You can read the rest of the review here or at Amazon.

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