Featuring Selena


I recently read Selena Haskin’s book called A River Moves Forward. It is set in Chicago and when we corresponded, she said that she had never been to Chicago.

She researched it and I had vicarious experiences as I traveled through her characters’ stories in the this novel.  She agreed to do the following interview. I currently live in Chicago and it brought back a lot of memories for me in both place and song.

Here goes:

Q. 1. How did you research the Chicago landscape since you have never been there?

I work with a group of Historians and Curators full-time, so I have lots of books and online databases at my disposal. I have also interviewed several people who are from Chicago between the ages of 40-60.

Q. 2. What helps you visualize your characters as you get into their personalities?

Selena: Once I have an idea in my mind of what they may look like. I search online images and try to find pictures that closely fit what they may look like, and I saved them into a folder. This also helps me to describe them better.

Q. 3. Why did you choose to write about life in the housing projects?

Selena: I wanted to show people that no matter where you live we are all humans who face the same problems everyday. I also wanted to show that just because someone is financially poor doesn’t mean they lack morals or intelligence. In fact, many of my friends growing up were from the projects and they were some of the brightest students in the class. Lastly, I wanted to show that if you’re a person living in a low-income environment with high crime, it doesn’t mean you’re hopeless or helpless. My main character was able to rise above her circumstances.

Q. 4. Do you write in longhand or on a computer?

Computer. I used to write both ways, but that was too much work. LOL.

Q.  5. How do you get into the mood or zone as you put words on the page?

I write whenever the mood captures me or if an idea comes to my head.


Thanks Selena,


3 thoughts on “Featuring Selena

  1. Hi Lynn, I’ve just found my way to your blog and am delighted to see you have my twitter and Facebook friend, Chris Hill here as well. Selena’s interview was very inspiring and I will take a look at her book when I can get some free time away from the dissertation I am having to write at the moment. So nice to see you on your personal space, and great that you are giving room in that space to great writers!

  2. I have read a few of the interviews, and they make for interesting reading. I’m especially interested in books about Chicago so I’ll have to had this one to my never ending list of titles to read.

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