Who are you? Where are you from? What are you working on these days?
I live in the Midwest and write in multiple genres. I’ve been writing primarily horror and literary fiction as of late, but do I have a killer idea for a crime short story.
What do you hope to accomplish as a writer?
Break genre barriers. Continue to improve my craft. Get better at writing longer works. Keep trying to sell stories to publications I love to read.
Who are some of your influences? How have they influenced your work?
Ara Hone, Gwendolyn Kiste, Andrea Johnson, Sarah Jilek, Rebecca Drake, Cindy Rosmus, Sarah M. Chen, E.F. Sweetman, Susan Kuchinskas, Kellye Garrett, and Jennifer Hillier to name a few. I love the way they innovate and have unique voices. They never fail to tell an outstanding story and make me care about their characters. They make me want to take risks with my fiction.
What are some writing tips you’ve received over the years you feel have helped you improve your writing?
Getting into flash fiction really helped my writing. I started a ton of novels that I never finished. With shorter works, I’ve been able to make it to the finish line more consistently, because it’s so much closer than with a novel-length work. Shorter works make it easier to play and experiment. I adore second person, but have yet to use that point of view for anything over 1000 words. These days I am really into micro fiction (400 words or less.) It’s amazing how taking a longer piece and whittling it down to micro length can really make it shine.
What are you currently reading? How’s it going—recommend, or no?
I’m currently doing a bunch of beta reading with a group of writers working on their debut novels. It’s going great. I’m hooked on each of the stories they’re telling. They’ve also given me amazing feedback on my horror novel in progress.
I’ve also been reading a ton of great online short fiction such as the stories at Pulp Modern Flash, Yellow Mama, Shotgun Honey, and Tough as well as works from number of literary fiction magazines. I highly recommend supporting small publishers.
If you had the chance to see one musician/group live in concert, living or dead, who would it be and at what point in their career would it be?
Nine Inch Nails. Now works for me. I miss live music so much.
What should we look for from you in the near future?
I have work forthcoming in Hoosier Noir 4:20, Yellow Mama, Handmade Horror (Frost Zone Press), Like Sunshine After Rain (Raw Dog Screaming Press), Cosmos (Ghost Orchid Press), Versification, and Flash Flood.
Serena Jayne has worked as a research scientist, a fish stick slinger, a chat wrangler, and a race horse narc. Born under the sun sign of Leo, she is naturally a cat person. Her crime fiction has appeared in Hoosier Noir, Pulp Modern, Switchblade Magazine, Shotgun Honey and is forthcoming in Yellow Mama.