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.

EZine

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

I am excited to be on tonight’s Lovecraft Ezine Chat where I’ll be joining Mike Davis, Acep Hale, and crew to discuss my short story collection, Calls for Submission, and all the dark, sundry things within.

If you’d like to tune in LIVE you can do so here at 6 pm EST:  https://youtu.be/9GtcQ-Vsw14. But if you can’t catch it (because like, you are at HPLFF), you can always catch it later on in the week. There will be a podcast version available too, which I will post once I have the relevant linky links.

Mixed Up

I know this may look familiar, but while bookstores and contributors have been receiving copies early, today is the official release date for MIXED UP: COCKTAIL RECIPES (and Flash Fiction) FOR THE DISCERNING DRINKER (and Reader).

Mixologists and Fabulists are going to be thrilled with this new anthology from Nick Mamatas and Molly Tanzer. Published by Skyhorse Publishing, MIXED UP is a lovely new gift book that pairs fantastic fiction with annotated and updated recipes.

My story, “Arrangement in Juniper and Champagne,” riffs on the French 75. It’s about Hannah Höch, friendships strained by adulthood, and of course, public drinking.

And, man, in addition to having an excuse to write about all of that, I am honored to be sloshing about with these other amazing contributors:

• Maurice Broaddus
• Nick Mamatas
• Jim Nisbet
• Jarret Kobek
• Benjamin Percy
• Libby Cudmore
• Dominica Phetteplace
• Gina Marie Guadignino
• Tim Pratt
• Elizabeth Hand
• Robert Swartwood
• Cara Hoffman
• Jeff VanderMeer
• Carrie Laben
• Will Viharo
• Carmen Machado

If you enjoy pouring over great stories while decadent booze pours into you, order your copy here now.

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Image Source:  By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons.

I’m trying something new. Or, new to me anyway.

I now have a TinyLetter called Gentle Gasps of Enlightenment .

This is my newsletter, of sort, where I go beyond latest update bits and publishing announcements to send you exclusive looks at forthcoming works, resurrections of many a dead bluestocking, and the odd reflection on my so-called writing life.

So why a newsletter now? Well, after banging my head against this blog for several years (and social media) I have realized that I’m kind of shy online. Its rapid, flight of ideas format is hard for me to process, not because there is anything wrong with speed or wit or whatever, but I’m a brooder. I like to go away and think a thing to death before I come to a conclusion about it. And by the time I realize I have something to say, another discussion wave has rolled in, and my chance to catch the last oscillation has passed.

For a long time I thought this was a deficiency in me. But I realized it isn’t me, it’s the form. So I’m trying something a little more forgiving of time… They say Twitter is like a marathon cocktail party–well, then, consider this my occasional Afternoon Tea, where every few weeks, you and I get to sit down, sip, and have a nice little tête-a-tête. I do hope you’ll join me!

You can subscribe here.

Mixed Up

Mixologists and Fabulists are going to be thrilled with this new anthology from Nick Mamatas and Molly Tanzer. MIXED UP: COCKTAIL RECIPES (and Flash Fiction) FOR THE DISCERNING DRINKER (and Reader), published by Skyhorse Publishing, is a lovely new gift book that pairs fantastic fiction with annotated and updated recipes. Even better, it’s now shipping out WAY early from Amazon.

My story, “Arrangement in Juniper and Champagne,” riffs on the French 75. It’s about Hannah Höch, friendships strained by adulthood, and of course, public drinking.

And, man, in addition to having an excuse to write about all of that, I am honored to be sloshing about with these other amazing contributors:

• Maurice Broaddus
• Nick Mamatas
• Jim Nisbet
• Jarret Kobek
• Benjamin Percy
• Libby Cudmore
• Dominica Phetteplace
• Gina Marie Guadignino
• Tim Pratt
• Elizabeth Hand
• Robert Swartwood
• Cara Hoffman
• Jeff VanderMeer
• Carrie Laben
• Will Viharo
• Carmen Machado

If you enjoy pouring over great stories while decadent booze pours into you, order your copy here now.

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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