Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Interview with Kristen Selleck

Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

Sure.  I’m a senior medical scientist who also gave birth to two minions--though as scientists-in-training, they’re not really making the cut.  Every time I take them to the lab they just want to color on all my notes and use the microscope to look at boogers.

Deciding to write a novel in this genre was probably kismet.  When I wrote my first novel, I was working the night shift in a small hospital laboratory.  The hospital had downsized and closed a wing a few years before, and there were a lot of creepy stories about hauntings in that wing.  I used to go up there on lunch with some pals and ghost hunt.  When I started writing Asylum, I had been doing a lot of research on abandoned hospitals.  Originally the story was going to be strictly paranormal.  The plot involved two girls, who were roommates, and their weird adventures in a haunted dormitory.  After I threw in a male character to balance them out, it just sort of turned into a romance.

Please tell us about your latest release.

Abraham’s Men is the second book in the Birch Harbor Series.  Our two roommates, Sam and Chloe, are headed back to Birch Harbor College for their sophomore year.  Chloe’s still struggling with the realization that she was never really schizophrenic, and that the voices she’s heard have always been real.  She’s determined to follow through with her plans and head to London to find the secret society known as Abraham’s Men.  Unfortunately, her boyfriend Seth is just as determined to convince her to let it all go and live a normal life with him.  She has some major decisions to make, and she’s forced to weigh love against what she feels is her duty.  There are still some exciting plot twists, just like in the first book, but this one is much more character driven.

Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?

I LOVE Sam!  She doesn’t give a crap what people think and she never holds back.  She’s a hard-drinking, hard-partying, no excuses kind of girl with a mouth and an ego, and she’s funny.  Writing dialogue for her is so much fun.

What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?

Sure.  Like I said, I really enjoy writing back and forth dialogue between Sam and just about any other character.  In this scene, Chloe’s professor, Dr. Willard, has stopped by her house to drop off instructions for a trip she’s accompanying him on as a research assistant.  He’s a very awkward, formal, scholarly sort of man with a ridiculous waxed moustache.  Chloe’s best friends, Sam and Beth, are listening in on the conversation:
“Dr. Willard, there’s something I wanted to bring up, and I just wanted to make sure it was alright.  My boyfriend will be flying in to spend Christmas with me.  It won’t interfere with my work.  He’s just going to come for a week, and I hope that it won’t be a problem.”
“Oh!” Dr. Willard looked surprised.  “I do hope it’s not…not because of any… well, Ms. Adams, I don’t want there to be any misunderstanding.  No assumptions of impropriety, not by any means!  I…this is strictly a-a-a pursuit of information, and I-”
“Oh, no.  Do you have a problem with us staying together?  I didn’t realize that…I…I” Chloe stuttered.
“No!  Not at all.  I only meant that… oh, dear.  You see, Ms. Adams, I was trying to allude to the fact that I would hope that he isn’t coming because he thinks that I would…that my interests aren’t… scholarly ones,” Dr. Willard fumbled.
Awkward, Sam mouthed silently from behind Dr. Willard.
“OH!” Chloe’s face burned. “No!  Oh my God.  No, no.  Wow.  He just didn’t want me to spend Christmas alone, that’s all.”
“Very good.  Well…that’s just….that’s very well, then.  Good day, Ms. Adams…and Ms.Erickson.”  Dr. Willard nodded his head at each of them and turned to leave.
For a few seconds, after the door closed behind him, one could have heard a pin drop.
Then Sam wailed with laughter.
“Assumptions…of impropriety!” she gasped, her voice cracked as she wiped tears from her eyes.
“That’s Willard-speak for don’t think you’re going to be seeing his naked psyche,” Beth giggled.
“Shut…UP!” Chloe screeched, grabbing the roll of paper towels off the counter and flinging it at Sam.
“Can you…imagine?” Sam wheezed, ducking the paper towels.  “I wonder if his moustache tickles.”
“EW! EW!” Chloe cried.
“No!  With all that wax?  You would probably be able to see your reflection in anything it touched,” Beth dead-panned.
“Ohhhhhh” Sam groaned, “No! Sick!”
“I hate you both so much,” Chloe spat.
“I have the most horrifying mental image right now,” Beth admitted.
“Hey, hey, you think if they had an affair and Clo got pregnant, the baby would have his moustache?” Sam asked, trying to keep her face straight.
“I’m going to choke you,” Chloe warned.
“Well,” Sam straightened up, wiping her eyes again.  “that was disgustingly awful.  What’s for dinner?”

Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?

Definitely.  Both books contain a lot of factual information on the history of psychology and the development and decline of insane asylums.  One of the most interesting historical characters was Thomas Story Kirkbride, who developed the plan that was the inspiration for most insane asylums in America.  He was a tireless advocate for the mentally ill, even after he was shot in the head by a former patient.  Yeah…he lived.  Apparently, his hat stopped the bullet.

What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but breaking into abandoned asylums to walk around and take pictures.  Funny story—one asylum I ‘visited’ was being renovated, but since it was the weekend, I figured no one would be there.  I got in through a side door that had been kicked in.  As I was walking around, taking pictures, I just kept telling myself, ‘if anyone sees me, I’ll just play dumb’.  I’ll just say, ‘oh the door was open, I didn’t see the no trespassing sign.’ Unfortunately, a construction worker happened to walk out of a room and see me from down a hallway.  He yelled ‘HEY!’, and all my maturity and self-assurance vanished, and I reverted to my 16-year-old self.  I squealed “EEEEEEEE!” and took off running.  Luckily, he didn’t chase me, because I probably would have had a heart attack.

When did you consider yourself a writer?

I don’t know if I do.  It’s easy to say I’m a scientist, because I have a bunch of degrees hanging on the wall to assure me of it.  Saying I’m a writer is a lot harder for some reason.

Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?

Science, of course.  I won’t bore the crap out of anyone with the details, but I’m very passionate about many different fields of research, particularly genetics.

What was the last amazing book you read?

A book that’s kind of strangely appropriate for this blog.  It was called, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  In the laboratory, there’s a certain cell known as HeLa.  It was the first immortal cell line, and was used in countless research projects.  It was used to develop the polio vaccine and many other amazing things, but the cells were taken from a woman who never gave her consent and died of cancer, never knowing about it.  While her cells have contributed so much to the world, and to medical science in particular, (consequently generating billions of dollars) her children grew up without a mother and can’t even afford basic medical care.  It made me reexamine some of my own bioethical beliefs.  I would recommend it to anyone!

What can readers expect next from you?

I’m currently plugging away on the third book in the Birch Harbor Series, The Kirkbride Plan.  It’ll be out next year, and is, so far, the most action-packed book of the series!  Readers are going to get a lot of answers about Chloe’s family and their involvement with Abraham’s Men.

Where can readers find you on the web?

The Birch Harbor Series facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/BirchHarborSeries

November 5 Guest blog
Surveillance Report

November 6 Interview

Fang-tastic Books

November 7 Promo

November 8 Guest blog
For The Love Of Film And Novels

November 8 Promo
The Wormhole

November 9 Guest blog
Michelle  @ Mom With A Kindle

November 9 Promo
Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

Nov. 10 Promo
Sapphyria's Book Reviews: 

November 11 Guest blog
Lisa’s World of Books

November 12 Guest blog

Mama Knows Books

Abraham’s Men
Birch Harbor Series, Book 2
Kristen Selleck

Genre:  YA paranormal romance

ISBN:  9780615706122

Number of pages: 394
Word Count: 86,000

Cover Artist: Kristen Selleck

Book Description: 

College sophomore Chloe Adams returns to Birch Harbor determined to find the remnants of the secret society known as Abraham's Men.

Yet, the only clues she has are the words 'find Ian Rose' and a strange coded journal that once belonged to her father.

No longer able to hear the voices that have plagued her for most of her life, and finally having the loving home she has always dreamed of, Chloe struggles to define what she wants--

Until fate and her mentor conspire to offer her the chance to discover the truth.

Unfortunately, the truth might kill her.

About the Author:

Kristen Selleck is avidly evil. Until recently, she worked as a mad scientist. After several diabolical attempts at world domination proved unsuccessful (most notably, building an army of robots from used pipettes, empty reagent boxes, and other things left lying around the lab), she decided to pick up the pen. She used the pen to poke an annoying lady at the gas station in the eyeball. Then she decided to write.

She has been known to speak with a strong Russian accent. This is inexplicable due to the fact that she was born in Detroit. It has also been documented that she likes vodka, roller coasters, things which are purple, and blowing things up with dry ice. She abhors kittens, wood paneling popularized in the 1970's, and her arch-nemesis Jimmy (the Evil Overlord of Specimen Processing). She was last known to reside in Grand Rapids, and may be in the company of two evil apprentices, and her devoted henchman, Shad. If seen, please contact the FBI immediately (she owes someone in Accounting a sandwich).

No comments: