Jessica Halsey is the author of The Slaughter Chronicles and The Heart of the Forest Cycle. She lives in the Arkansas and writes urban fantasy, paranormal horror, and experimental poetry (and sometimes science fiction). She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, a BA in Sociology from Randolph College, and has a day job where she pokes people with needles.
Who are your favorite authors?
Laini Taylor, Catherine M. Valente, Francesca Lia Block, Gabrielle Zevin, Laurell K. Hamilton, Lynda Barry, Kathy Boles-Turner, Janet Fitch, Margaret Atwood.
Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert, Robert E. Howard, Patrick Rothfuss, Chuck Wendig, John Scalzi, Philip Pullman, Alexander Gordon Smith.
Sylvia Plath, Wislawa Szymborska, Langston Hughes, e. e. cummings.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working. As a self-publishing author, I do everything for my books including buying them nice things like book covers and copyright registration. I also really, really like giving my books out for free. I also have a lot of bills.
Financial stability is important for my writing because 1. I can do all the writing things without worrying about book sales or marketing campaigns and 2. when I’m not stressed out about money I write more.
Right now I am enrolled in a Medical Assistant Certification program, last year and until very recently I was working as a phlebotomist in a plasma donation center. None of my degrees are in the medical field and if I could have a do-over I would not have gone to college at all but continued my education in a trade school or similar certification program. Then I wouldn’t have student loans and my life would be very different, but I also wouldn’t be the person I am today and probably wouldn’t have written these same stories and poems that I love so much.
I’ve previously worked as an English and Creative Writing teacher, a library technician, a truck driver, and a market research data processor. The one thing I love to do more than anything in the world and the thing that I am the best at is writing. But writing doesn’t pay the bills, at least not my bills, so I’ve dabbled all over the place to find the right fit, which is financial support without drama or insanity. So far, working in the medical field has been the most enjoyable and has given me the most financial stability in my entire life. And sticking people with needles is actually pretty cool. And I’m good at it. So win, win.
An inventory of ghosts, explorations of grief and loss, the effects of oppression on a body existing in a landscape of hostility; Lupercalia contains snapshots of surreal realities, these speculative and fantastical poems represent the search for identity and purpose in a world that challenges the endurance of the human spirit.