Blog Tour: In The Red (Guest Post)

Monday, October 15, 2012

I'm so excited, today I have the amazing author Selah Janel with us on the blog.  First off we have a great guest post from her, we also will have a give away and a review of her great book In The Red, these things will be posted later today.  

All of us have it. None of us are immune. No matter how strong we pretend to be, no matter how good we pretend to be, we’re human. We have a breaking point, a weak spot, something that we want so badly that we’d do absolutely anything for it...even if we don’t realize it. It could be something that’s based on good intentions – protecting family or a loved one, obtaining something that you’ve been working for for a long, long time, security, safety, or health. It could be something like wanting to be noticed, wanting to be acknowledged, wanting the dream that you’ve longed for since you first discovered you were good at something. Despite the beginning, despite the good intentions, we all have that one thing…that thing we’d do anything to have. 

When I first started turning a short story into the novel In the Red, I considered Jeremiah Kensington to be a pretty basic guy with a dream that a million other people have. He wanted to be a rock star. I couldn’t fault him for it; I love music, I love my rock n’ roll as much as anyone (and probably a little more than most. As I wrote on, though, I discovered that he was willing to be pretty selfish to get what he wanted – and pretty naïve in his decisions, as well. Most of him is my polar opposite, especially given his behavior when he does get what he wants. He isn’t grateful; he isn’t happy. He only wants more and becomes paranoid trying to make sure no one takes it from him. 

I can’t fault Jeremiah for being human – and he definitely pays for his shortcomings. In some ways, he has to go through the entire journey of the book to learn to be a better person, the person that he wasn’t to begin with. His choices (usually outrageous and decadent) continually surprised me, but they were human. Who wouldn’t grab for what you want most if it’s dangled right in front of your nose? Who wouldn’t live it up if given the chance?

You would think that that kind of behavior would’ve made it hard to continue writing (and at times it did), but it also intrigued me. I could empathize with his fears – don’t we all get scared about not being good enough, not being seen for what we’re really capable of?  Don’t we all want to make the most of what we can get at times? Sure, Jeremiah could hide behind his alter ego J.K. Asmodeus, he can hide behind a mysterious contract, he can hide behind a pair of legendary boots, but at the end of the day a soul lurked somewhere. You can’t make music without a soul. You can’t worry or fight for what you want without a soul. And shadowy creatures in human skin that make big promises aren’t interested in beings without a soul.

At the end of the day Jeremiah (and others in the book, too), isn’t just at the mercy of his own desires. There are others who are interested in him…others that are willing to give him a chance – at a price. It’s a price he won’t see coming, a price that’s ever-changing depending on what’s needed from him, but there are always consequences to taking the easy path. There are consequences to getting what you want, period. After all, he has his fans, but do they like Jeremiah for his music or for what they want him to be? He has a band, but are they really on his side or are they interested in dragging him down with them? He has admirers; he has women, but are they there for him or the fame? He has a manager who gets things done in record time…but why? What’s he really after? Does he have Jeremiah’s interests at heart, or is he merely looking to collect talent for another purpose? And why is it that once he becomes J.K. Asmodeus, everyone in Jeremiah’s life is suddenly unable to look him in the eye? Why can they only look at the boots on his feet?

It must be hell to be torn between having what you want and living with the repercussions, to be alone and struggling without a support system. Yet even as he struggles to come back to himself, it’s hard for him to let people in. It’s hard for him to turn to people who really do care. It’s harder still for him to let go of the fame and stardom he had. It’s hard for him to admit that some things just aren’t worth it, at least not in the way he was trying to go about it. Can he balance it all? Can he decide who he’s really supposed to be? Can he escape the clutches of those who threaten to use him until there’s nothing left of him, or will he willingly let it happen? Is there a way to have some of what he wants and still be true to himself?

You’ll have to read to find out, but in the meantime, do me a favor. Before you dismiss this all as plot devices or a tried-and-true plot, take a moment. Get quiet, get still, and think about something that you really, really want. Something that you don’t have, something that you may never have. Something that you long for. It doesn’t matter if it’s selfish or something for someone else. Just think of that one thing that you really, really want…that thing that would fix all your problems, that thing that would change your life. Think about that thing that would finally make you happy.

What would you give for it? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get it? Are you willing to live with what it means to get what you want?

Are you in?


Author Info 


Selah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination since she was little and convinced that fairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town. Her appreciation for a good story was enhanced by a love of reading, the many talented storytellers that surrounded her, and a healthy curiosity for everything. A talent for warping everything she learned didn’t hurt, either. She gravitates to writing fantasy and horror, but can be convinced to pursue any genre if the idea is good enough. Often her stories feature the unknown creeping into the “real” world and she loves to find the magical in the mundane.

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