Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Conversation with Sela Carsen

It's Day 3 of my Interview Party, and today we're chatting with Sela Carsen.

Amanda: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Sela: I'm a wife, a mom and a writer. That keeps me pretty busy, most days! I grew up all over the world as the daughter of an oil company engineer. Then I was fortunate enough to marry an Air Force officer so I could continue my gypsy ways. Now that he's retired, though, I have to settle down for the first time in my life. Thank goodness writing provides my imagination with all the travel I require.

Amanda: Your story in the anthology is "The Christmas Prize." What is it about?

Sela: "The Christmas Prize" is about Julie Corrigan, who has just gotten out of a bad marriage. Her husband verbally abused her until he finally left her for another woman. Now she's learning to stand up for herself again and sing out loud.

Amanda: How did you get involved with the anthology project?

Sela: It was really the most fortuitous thing. Someone *ahem* had seen some of my writing and very graciously asked me to submit a story for the anthology. I had "The Christmas Prize" just sitting on my hard drive and it seemed like a perfect match for the theme of the book. It's a story about taking those first shaky steps back into the world and rebuilding a life, so it seemed like it would be a great fit.

In addition, once I heard about the impetus behind the anthology, there was no way I could say no. I think it's easier than many people realize to slide into an abusive relationship and it takes an immense amount of courage to leave one. I want to do all I can to support the women who have found that courage and help them and their children move on.

Amanda: Who are your favorite authors?

Sela: Favorite authors? Why don't you just ask me to pick my favorite child? LOL I admit, there are a few authors whose books I can pick up and know I'm going to get a great story -- MaryJanice Davidson, Angela Knight, Laura Kinsale, Sherrilyn Kenyon. I've also enjoyed Marjorie M. Liu, Lynn Viehl and Elizabeth Vaughn. Lois McMaster-Bujold is a classic storyteller, as are Robin McKinley and Anne McCaffrey. Lately, I've also enjoyed stories from Jim Butcher and L.A. Banks. It seems that most of my favorite books have some paranormal elements to them. And humor. Lots of humor.

My favorite book, though, hands down, is To Kill A Mockingbird. Nothing paranormal about it -- just some of the best storytelling I've ever seen and ever hope to see.

Amanda: I definitely agree on To Kill A Mockingbird. Ah, to write like Harper Lee...and I also agree that humor is a necessary ingredient. And while your story in this anthology is serious, you're quite adept at humor, as is evidenced by your Samhain novella. Can you tell my readers about it?

Sela: NOT QUITE DEAD is a para-rom-zom-com-nov, as one of my friends called it. Paranormal Romantic Zombie Comedy Novella. *gg* Sabine Harper just wants to find a nice, normal, steady guy. What she gets is a Dead Man Walking who is sent by the Fates to avenge his own murder. Throw in a vampire and a vicious ghost, all set in a tiny town in Louisiana, and it's a recipe for true love and a lot of humor!

Amanda: What's next for Sela Carsen?

Sela: Right now, I'm furiously finishing up a historical short story set in 16th century Venice. Tentatively titled THE VIRGIN COURTESAN, it should be arriving from Forbidden Publications on Jan 29. Hence, the furious writing. As always, a little humor finds its way into the story, as well as a heartwarming romance.

Nerina Morinelo tried being a courtesan like her mother but failed at the first hurdle. Now she's gained an implacable enemy and she has no one to turn to except Domenico Venieri, scion of a wealthy and noble merchant family. They share the same adversary. To lure him out, Domenico needs a mistress, but he doesn't expect a virgin courtesan or the courage she displays to help him.

After I finish the short story, I need to work on an article I'm writing for Spinetingler Magazine on Perceptions of Romance, then I want to get back to my fantasy novella, DAUGHTER OF PRIVILEGE. It's going to be a very busy spring for me!

Thanks for coming Sela! Stay tuned tomorrow, for an interview with Rachelle Chase.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 7:32 PM :: 3 comments

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