Monday, October 28th, 2013

What Do You Know About Selkies?

cover=selkskin-optimized-250If you’ve ever wondered where selkies come from, I’ve got answers for you!

Melissa over at My World…In Words and Pages asked me to talk a bit about them for her “Mythical Monday,” post today.

A selkie features prominently in my story, Selk Skin Deep, so it was a natural fit.

Go on over and take a look.

Even if you’re not interested in my tale, I highly recommend Melissa’s Web site. She’s an ardent book blogger and discusses all things fantasy. Her reviews are spot on, and she almost always has a book giveaway running.

So, I say again, go take a look!

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

New Short Story Available!

Cover of Short Story: Selk Skin Deep by Kelly A. HarmonI have a new story available via Kindle!

Selk Skin Deep is an alternate-history — military history, too — about a Selkie who is also a Navy SEAL.

Selkies hail from Scottish folklore. They are mythical creatures that live as seals in the ocean, but can come ashore — shedding their skins — and become human.

Most selkie stories are about women selkies who come to sun on the beach, and whose sealskin is stolen by a man. Without her skin, she’s forced to remain in human form until she gets it back. The man generally forces her to be his wife/maid/servant (sometimes mother to his kids) until the story ends when she finds where he’s hidden her skin and she returns to the sea.

You can read more about selkies at Wikipedia.

My story is a bit off the traditional beaten path. Here’s the description:

Kennedy never envisioned a Navy SEAL like him.

1967. Vietnam. Fat-boys and comp-B bombs explode aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Livingstone killing thousands. Everyone dies if the carrier sinks, unless one SEAL – one selkie – puts the lives of humans ahead of his need to keep his secret.

Inspired by the true story of the U.S.S. Forrestal fire of 1967, award-winning author Kelly A. Harmon weaves alternate-history and fairytale into this action-packed and emotionally charged story.

This review is from when the story was published in the Bad Ass Fairies 3 Anthology: In all Their Glory:

“Selk-Skin Deep” by Kelly A. Harmon is a very well-written, harrowing story of an accident that didn’t have to happen aboard an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam war. The selkie uses his advantage to try and save the ship and its crew. Ms. Harmon has written an action packed, suspenseful account of a naval battle with a poignant ending.” ~ Tangent Magazine

You can buy Selk Skin Deep on Kindle now. It should be available for Nook and via Smashwords very soon.

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

New Podcast Available – Hear Me Read

Cover of Bad Ass Fairies 3: In All Their GloryThe new Broad Universe podcast is available, this one focusing on “changelings and transformations.”

BroadPod “Rapid Fire Readings” feature five or six authors reading for five or six minutes each from their work.

Authors included in this month’s podcast are Carol Berg, E.F. Watkins, Daniele Ackley-McPhail and Anne Wilkes, and of course, me. I’ll be reading from Selk Skin Deep.

Selk Skin Deep was published in Bad Ass Fairies 3: In All Their Glory (an anthology of stories about fairies, which harkens back to their roots. You’ll find no Tinkerbelles in the bunch).

Selk Skin Deep was inspired by the true-live tragedy of the explosion on board the U.S.S. Forrestal, an aircraft carrier which exploded off the coast of Vietnam in 1967. My story is about Cade Owen, who joined the U.S. Navy trying to alleviate the boredom from his nearly immortal life. Cade is a selkie – a shape shifter who is both man and seal. In Selk Skin Deep he learns about sacrifice, and what it means to be human. It’s my tribute to U.S. Service Men and Women.

Listen to the Broad Universe Podcast here.

If you’re not into podcasts, I’ve made the first five pages of the story available via PDF. Here’s a link to the Selk Skin Deep excerpt.

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Bad Ass Faeries 3: In All Their Glory won the 2011 EPIC Award!

EPIC Award Winner 2011I heard the news a few days ago, but it’s now been officially announced, and I can do a public happy dance.

Bad Ass Faeries 3: In All Their Glory won the 2011 EPIC Award for Best Anthology.Cover of Bad Ass Faeries 3: In All Their Glory

My story, Selk-Skin Deep appears within its covers.

It’s an alternate history that takes place during the Vietnam War, when President Kennedy first created the Navy SEALs program. In my story, Cade Owen is not only a SEAL, but a Selkie, who’s been assigned duty on the aircraft carrier USS Livingstone in the Gulf of Tonkin.

(Tangent gave my story a nice review, for which I was pleased. I mentioned it in this post previously. You can still read the first five pages of Selk Skin Deep if you’re interested.)

Congrats to editors Danielle Ackley-McPhail, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Lee C. Hillman, and Jeffrey Lyman; and, congrats to all the authors: D.C. Wilson, Hildy Silverman, Chris Pisano & Brian Koscienski, Trisha Wooldridge & Christy Tohara, Lee C. Hillman, Robert E. Waters, Bernie Mojzes, C.J. Henderson, James Daniel Ross, Darren W. Pearce & Neal Levin, Jeffrey Lyman, L. Jagi Lamplighter, me (!), Jason Franks, Patrick Thomas, David Lee Summers, David Sherman, Elaine Corvidae, James Chambers, John L. French, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Navy SEAL Spoke at the MD Writers’ Meeting Last Night

Own the Night by Paul Evancoe - CoverAuthor Paul Evancoe spoke at at the Maryland Writer’s Association meeting last night. Paul’s a retired Navy SEAL with extensive combat experience as well as an former Director for Special Operations in the Office of the Coordinator for Counter-terrorism at the U.S. Department of State.

(Aren’t those awesome credentials? He’s also a very nice guy.)

Much of Paul’s SEAL experience is in Vietnam.

Sound familiar?

My character Cade Owen, Navy SEAL and Selkie aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Livingstone, in Selk-Skin Deep, served his time in Vietnam, too.

Nothing was going to keep me from the meeting last night.

Paul talked about the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the rebuilding of our military after World War II, Communism, the Cold War, Terrorists… He drew maps on the white board, penciled in bombing missions, showed us how to guard territories, etc. I was fascinated by his descriptions of how the shores of Korea are guarded.

I recommend his books based solely on hearing him speak. I haven’t read anything by Paul, but if his books are anything like his presentation, I can guarantee they’re fabulous. If you like military or historical fiction…if you want to learn about Navy SEALS…check out his stuff.

(Of course, I had another moratorium #fail. I’m now the proud owner of “Own the Night.” It’s sitting right here beside me, tempting me to pick it up…)

We had little time to talk about Paul’s writing process. But he did mention two interesting things:

1) he writes his books like a Hollywood movie “treatment.” That is, he writes the entire story, beginning to end, in about 40 pages, roughing in chapter breaks, but hitting all the major scenes. Once this is done, he goes back to flesh it out. If I can make it through my current “pantsing” style novel, I might give it a try.

2) He talked about the “subliminal” plot in writing: while building your major plot and storyline, be cognizant of the underlying layer of relationships among the players which denotes a subliminal message or story. Every story should have one, he said. This bears looking into, I’m certain.

I couldn’t find any info on “subliminal plots in writing” via web search, no matter how I twisted the phrase. If you’ve got info on subliminal plots, please pass it along.

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Great Review for ‘Selk-Skin Deep’

Tangent posted an in-depth review of Bad Ass Fairies 3: In all Their Glory, and had some really nice things to say about my story, Selk-Skin Deep:

“Selk-Skin Deep” by Kelly A. Harmon is a very well-written, harrowing story of an accident that didn’t have to happen aboard an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam war. The selkie uses his advantage to try and save the ship and its crew. Ms. Harmon has written an action packed, suspenseful account of a naval battle with a poignant ending.

Bad Ass Fairies 3: In All Their Glory - CoverI’m pleased to hear it. There have been a few other reviews, and they’ve been good, but no one’s singled out my story. Of course, the Tangent reviewer mentioned all the stories, but I can’t help feeling a happy glow from what she said.

If you’re interested, I’ve got permission to post the first five pages of the story. You can read it here. Warning: it ends abruptly in the middle of the scene!

Epic Award WinnerYou can read the entire story in the anthology, which just happens to be an EPIC Finalist. (Winners will be announced in March. With a little luck, I’ll be changing this “finalist” icon to a “winner” icon some time in the next few months.)

If you’re at all curious about the Bad Ass Faeries™ series, you need to check out the new Bad Ass Fairies Web site. There’s an associated blog as well.

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Odds and Ends and More Touring Today

The Dragon's Clause
It’s rainy and wet and I’m home from work today ostensibly trying to cut through some of the email in my mailbox and submit a few short stories for publication, but I’ve been too busy reading. Rainy days are made for that, right?

I did get some good news:

I learned that I’ll be reading at the Launch Party for Bad Ass Fairies 3 at Balticon. I need to go through the my story in the anthology — Selk-Skin Deep — and find a suitable passage to read. I’ll probably choose a scene where Cade either sheds his seal skin and becomes human, or dons it and becomes a seal. Do you have a preference?

The blog tour continues, too! (Only a few more stops left!)

Today I’m at Jacqueline Paige’s blog Normal, Paranormal and Everything in Between talking about writing, my favorite story that I  wrote and Christmas cookies. I’d love it if you dropped by and left a comment.