Author Introduction

My name is Sarah Euphemia Seeley.

That’s how I like to open my grad school application essays and emails to professors asking if they’d like to take me on as a student. I’m a geologist, a writer, a musician, and someday I’d like to be a traditionally published author, a hominin expert, a wife, and a mother. Most recently, I’ve been trying to get some fiction pieces published while scrounging through part-time jobs and otherwise trying to figure out what to do with myself while in post-undergrad-pre-grad-school limbo.

I’ve had mixed feelings about blogging for some time. You see, now that I’m trying to be a writer, I really need to blog about something regularly. I have a blog already: a writing blog that started out only hosting short stories of mine; then hosting “announcements” about my “writing career;” then hosting topics in the writing life where I tried to puff myself up to sound like I knew something about being a writer or I thought someone out there was expecting me to comment on my experience with something; and now I put up weekly writing prompts as a means of keeping the site active. It’s awkward. It’s gotten a little messy, and I want to start over with a blog theme I’m passionate about. The plan is to motivate myself to journal on a regular basis as well as chronicle my creative writing exploits to let people get to know me better.

Inspiration for Slithers

Three distinct things popped into my head when I was thinking up the theme for “Slithers of Thought.” The first, of course, is snakes. In particular, the Adam and Eve story where the Devil disguises himself as a snake and tempts Eve to think she won’t really die if she partakes of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (as a devout Mormon, the Creation scriptures are some of my favorites). The second is evolutionary biology, psychology and the primal, survival, or “reptilian brain” (I have a BS in geology with a passion for psychology and human evolution topics, so naturally I have to throw hominins and dinosaurs into the fray somewhere). The third is some kind of creepy detail I might put into one of my stories to evoke a visceral effect. “Slither” is simply a great word.

Because writing, and art in general, is about exploring what it means to be human, the stories we tell and the messages we send have an important place in our lives and our society. On one facet, I want this blog to highlight my passion for understanding human nature and how writing lets me explore it in ways I otherwise might not. On another facet, I want to include a vein of “writing responsibly,” or writing fiction that explores the darkness but still achieves an uplifting or otherwise worthwhile focus. Words are powerful, and though when we begin writing we’re not all that good at wielding the power of our words, I think we have an intrinsic responsibility to use our words wisely that comes with the freedom of self-expression.

The Bright Side of Writing Darkly

When I initially began my writing journey, I didn’t know right away what niche my writing was going to fall into. I tried a little bit of realistic, non-speculative writing that felt too much like I might as well be writing in my or my fictional character’s journal, or else writing an alternate history textbook (boring). I wrote one romancy, love-triangle-centered story for a writing community contest (blech) and decided that while I loved exploring relationships between young, mostly married couples in pretty much all of my stories (must be my age group or something), I probably wasn’t going to be a mushy-gushy romance writer by overarching mentality.

At first I didn’t think I was going to like dark fiction. It was too easy, I thought, for dark fiction to go places or make points I didn’t agree with, not to mention sinking those points in really deep and disturbing ways at times. But as I began to  explore darker themes in my writing, I ventured beyond my typical non-fiction comfort zone to search out the types of fiction stories I might actually like reading. I came to discover that I really enjoyed darker speculative fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, etc). I started reading YA dystopias about a year and a half ago, beginning with the Maze Runner series by James Dashner, then moving on to the Hunger Games trilogy and eventually to Dan Well’s I Am Not A Serial Killer series (YA horror). These stories were dark, but the characters and their goals were generally noble and warm-blooded. I picked up the Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells and was astounded by how well the psychology in the piece resonated from over a hundred years ago, though I was laughing quite a bit at the outdated speculative scientific perspectives or “special effects” as I like to think of them of how the tortured sub-human creatures on the island came to be.

I love writing dark fiction now, and how writing in gerenral allows me to explore topics that typically scare me (like *cough* sensuality, swearing, and dysfunctional relationships). I’ve completed a psychological thriller now, a self-published piece that I’ve recently expanded (I’m looking for representation!) that involves a woman who’s turning into a vampire after surviving an encounter with a serial killer. My first completed project was a 60k dystopian novel about a pregnant woman who is turned into a mutant by eco-terrorists (though, being my first novel, I may rewrite and re-work the premise of this story again someday before trying to get it published). While I’m not confident that YA is going to be my general audience, I’m working on a dark YA/New Adult fantasy about a teenage princess who likes to skin unicorns. I’ve also written several short speculative stories with dark themes, and I have to say I’ve gotten pretty comfortable labeling myself a “dark” speculative fiction writer.

In Sum

I’ve experimented with dystopian, thriller, and horror genres and I enjoy writing darker fiction. I call myself a speculative fiction writer because I love writing creepy stories with a lot of science and psychology to make the unreal details in my stories feel as real as possible. One major goal I have with this blog is to make blogging a regular habit. I figure the only way I’m going to get better at it is if I go in with a roar and practice, practice, practice. I want to re-brand myself and my writing, and I’m giving myself a clean slate by setting up this new blog with a specific theme in mind besides my name. In sum, this blog is going to be a blend of me, my writing, and my passion for exploring human nature.

And there you have it: Slithers of Though has officially been born.

Welcome to Slithers! I hope you enjoy!

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Sarah E. Seeley is a fantasy and horror author, and an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association.
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