10:23am

Wed October 12, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Part Horror, Part Fantasy, All A Good Read for Breathitt Native

Much like her first novel, The Veil, Selina Fugate's life has been a roller coaster since she recently began touring across the region to promote the book.  She says it's been interesting and fun to visit bookstores filled with her fans who enjoy The Veil's combination of part horror and part fantasy. The book, aimed at young adults and ages 12 and up, has also placed high in honor by this year's Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort – being chosen as one of about 150 books that were selected for this year's bookfest in Frankfort, coming up in November.

But before that, Selina will be a part of a special book signing, hosted by the Lees College Campus Bookstore, next Wednesday, Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Jackson Hall on the Lees-HCTC campus in Jackson. Two days later, she'll also be signing books at the Perry County Library in Hazard on Friday, Oct. 21, starting at noon.

“This book tour started with 'Fandomfest' in Louisville, and I did 'Scarefest' in Lexington, so it's been a busy time...Although I'm trained as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), I'm a stay-at-home mother with two wonderful kids, a four-and-a-half year old son, Jayden, and a two-and-a-half year old daughter, Cherish,” Selina said during a telephone interview on Monday from her Hazard home. “And because I've been on tour and being a mother, it's harder to write when I want to. So I work at night, and I make myself do it. But once I get into the rhythm of writing, it's all fine.”

Fine enough to receive a good review of The Veil from the website Gettingitwrite.com, who said of Selina's book, “A roller coaster ride from the first few pages right to the very last chapter. Fugate paints a brilliant storyline that captivates. I couldn't wait to finish the book, but never wanted it to end...Spectacular!”

The Veil tells the story about a 17-year-old woman named Grace, who's awakened in the morning to find out she's in a time warp, living life the same way but seeing it in a more freakish way nowadays. What she thought was a gift from an angel is actually a curse, and to make matters worse, Grace is pulled into a cat-and-mouse game that made her fight for her sanity – and hopes to finish her senior year in high school, too.

“It's my first attempt ever at writing a book. I just sat down one night, and I started writing on the computer. In a few minutes I came up with a story. I just let my fingers do the typing,”Selina told the Times-Voice. “My mom read what I had, and she liked my work. And all I was doing was writing for fun. But she got me to submit the story to some publishers. Now they want it to become part of a series.”

Her mother is Sherry Spencer, and together she and Selina are Breathitt County natives, raised in the Haddix community. At a time when daughters are young enough to enjoy playing with toys, Selina said the interest in imagination and the written word always got the upper hand. “My mother would read me books, with me sitting on her lap. And when I was 10, 11 years old, I'd sneak off to the bathroom, or my mom's clothes closet, or to my room. I'd get some of her old Harlequin Romance novels, or some old horror stories, and find a comfortable place to read.”

As for “the publisher” that took a chance on Selina, it's Black Wyrm Publishing. It's been heavily requested at their website, and is selling for $11.95. The Veil is also being sold by bookstores such as Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million and Amazon.com, among others. A Kindle e-book version of The Veil is also being offered by Amazon.com, and you can find out more by going to Selina's official website at www.authorselinafugate.com.

For someone who got away from writing just a few years ago, Selina has now returned to what she says she's best at doing – telling a story and using her imagination. And those days of her mom reading to her? Selina's passing that tradition on to her own youngsters.

“I liked writing when I was younger, but when I had children, I began to slack off from writing. But when I got divorced, I needed an outlet to help me bounce back. The writing was therapy for me. I've always loved stories about vampires, werewolves, and the early Stephen King classics. I like good fiction and good fantasy, and because of that, I pass that along to Cherish and Jayden,” Selina noted. “I love to read to my kids, at least once a day. I want to instill a love of reading, because my mom did it to me. But I like to make up the story as I go along. So they get one interesting story at times, before they go to sleep.”