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New England Science Fiction Association
February 8, 2021

B58 Mini Interview with S.B. Divya, Dr. Stephen P. Kelner Jr., and Cat Scully

Welcome back to the Boskone 58 Mini Interview Series! Get to know some of the top authors, scientists, artists, and creators in the science fiction, fantasy and horror industry, why they’re looking forward to Boskone, and perhaps a sneak peek at what they’re working on next.

Today on the Boskone 58 Mini Interview Series we are with S.B. Divya, Dr. Stephen P. Kelner Jr., and Cat Scully!

S.B. Divya

S.B. Divya is a lover of science, math, fiction, and the Oxford comma. She enjoys subverting expectations and breaking stereotypes whenever she can. Divya is the Hugo and Nebula nominated author of Runtime and co-editor of Escape Pod, with Mur Lafferty. Her short stories have been published at various magazines including Analog, Uncanny, and tor.com. Her collection, Contingency Plans For the Apocalypse and Other Situations, is out now from Hachette India, and her debut novel MACHINEHOOD is forthcoming from Saga Press in March, 2021. She holds degrees in Computational Neuroscience and Signal Processing, and she worked for twenty years as an electrical engineer before becoming an author. Find out more about her at www.sbdivya.com or on Twitter as @divyastweets.

Visit S.B. Divya on their Twitter, and Website!

What you most looking forward to at virtual Boskone 58?

Getting to attend a convention that I’ve heard good things about for many years now! Boston is far from Southern California, but thanks to the virtual format, I’m able to participate. I like smaller conventions as a way to get to know people without being overwhelmed.

If you were planning a holiday or vacation and could visit any location, whether in the real world or fictional worlds, where would you go? Why? 

For the real world, I want to visit Antarctica and the Himalayas on Earth. Off planet, I’d love to see Europa, and pretty much any other star system than ours. For the fictional, Arrakis (from Dune), and Tiamat (from The Snow Queen). I guess I like extreme environments! Also, I love to travel so whittling this list down to five places was hard. Getting it down to one would be impossible.

Authors, artists, and creators often listen to music while they work. If you have a playlist you’d like to share or an album to recommend, please add it here. We’ll be compiling a list of lists to help Boskone attendees get their creative juices flowing. 

One of my favorites on Spotify

What are you currently working on? Any new releases that fans should know about?

My first science fiction novel, Machinehood, is about to come out on March 2. I’m excited about it, especially because it’s my artificial intelligence story, and that’s a space I’ve occupied as an engineer. I’m currently working on a far future epic science fiction novel. It’s a big departure from Machinehood, which takes place in 2095, and Runtime, my novella that’s set a few decades in the future. I’d also like to mention the Escape Pod Anthology, which came out in Fall 2020. It’s a collection of 15 stories that I co-edited with Mur Lafferty to commemorate our podcast’s fifteenth anniversary.

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Dr. Stephen P. Kelner Jr.

Dr. Stephen P. Kelner Jr. (“Steve”) is a motivational psychologist, a writer, and an assessor and developer of leaders, in no particular order. He is President and Co-Founder of Ascent Leadership Networks, which develops executive leaders in ways that matter, in unique and measurable ways. He is published in nonfiction (numerous articles on leadership, capability, and motivation plus the book Motivate Your Writing now in its second edition) and short fiction, and is working on a book on how leadership is assessed and developed based on his 30 years doing so with business and nonprofit leaders. He is married to his favorite editor, award-winning and bestselling mystery and urban fantasy writer Toni L. P. Kelner/Leigh Perry. They are parents to two highly artistic children (animation and music) and live on the North Shore.

Visit Dr. Stephen P. Kelner Jr. on their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Website!

What you most looking forward to at virtual Boskone 58?

The interactions on the panels – not only with the participants, but the audience as well, I hope!

If you were planning a holiday or vacation and could visit any location, whether in the real world or fictional worlds, where would you go? Why? 

Concilium Orb, from Julian May’s Milieu Trilogy. It’s a massive and diverse artificial planetoid, with various settings duplicating that of the worlds of the species of the Milieu. I couldn’t get in, given that I am not metapsychic (as far as I know), but perhaps I could sneak in for a bit!

Authors, artists, and creators often listen to music while they work. If you have a playlist you’d like to share or an album to recommend, please add it here. We’ll be compiling a list of lists to help Boskone attendees get their creative juices flowing. 

Harlan Ellison liked to write to Ennio Morricone’s movie soundtracks.

What are you currently working on? Any new releases that fans should know about?

My big news is that I am releasing MOTIVATE YOUR WRITING 2.0 in ebook form – the updated, revised, and expanded version of my original book to help writers motivate their creativity and writing productivity. In the past fifteen years since it came out, I’ve had the opportunity to continue my initial research, speaking to numerous writers about how they approach their work and analyzing it for patterns. I’ve incorporated answers to questions people have asked over that time, and I’ve also added content reflecting the the massive changes in the publishing world since 2005. In addition to the revisions throughout, it’s over 10% longer – including new chapters – and you can see the approach I used to track myself through the process there as well!

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Cat Scully

Cat Scully is the writer and illustrator of the LGBTQA+ YA horror series JENNIFER STRANGE from Haverhill House Publishing. Cat is best known for her world maps, which have been featured in Brooklyn Brujas trilogy by Zoraida Cordova, Winterspell by Claire Legrand, and Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis. She works as a User Interface Designer for the Deep End Games on their next title. She is represented by Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency and Debbie Deuble Hill at APA for film and television.

Visit Cat Scully on their Facebook, Twitter, and Website!

What you most looking forward to at virtual Boskone 58?

I’m really looking forward to connecting with my author and artist friends at Boskone, especially after a year spent apart from them during the pandemic. When I first moved from Atlanta to Boston two years ago, everyone told me I just had to attend Boskone and I absolutely loved it. This year I’m especially looking forward to meeting new readers! I love talking to people who love books and anyone who is passionate about stories. The best feeling is finding a great new reading recommendation and sharing that joy with someone. My favorite part about being on the panels at Boskone is I always leave with new books, games, or movies I need to check out. I love getting the chance to meet authors and artists in person to learn more about craft and also spend time gushing about books. I am really excited about what new authors I’m going to discover from Boskone that may be my next favorite book.

If you were planning a holiday or vacation and could visit any location, whether in the real world or fictional worlds, where would you go? Why? 

Doesn’t going anywhere sound wonderful? Traveling is definitely high on my list of priorities when the pandemic is over and it’s safe to travel again. I think if I could have a traveling wish granted, it would be to have a magical map with all my favorite places and if I pointed to it, it could take me there in a flash. I’d love to suddenly head off to the Scottish highlands one day and Paris the next. In real life, my aspirations are actually a little closer to home. The pandemic made me realize how little of New England I’ve seen so far. I can’t wait to explore Maine, Vermont, the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and see what upstate New York is like. I’ve lived in the South my whole life so everything here is new and unexplored, especially because I’ve never lived this close to the ocean. I want to see all of New England next, which is almost as good as having a magical map that will take you anywhere.

Authors, artists, and creators often listen to music while they work. If you have a playlist you’d like to share or an album to recommend, please add it here. We’ll be compiling a list of lists to help Boskone attendees get their creative juices flowing. 

What are you currently working on? Any new releases that fans should know about?

My debut Jennifer Strange released last year, and it’s a very campy romp about two sisters fighting demons in Savannah, Georgia often with messy results. It’s perfect for fans of Buffy and Supernatural, but it does get bloodier than those shows do. I illustrated the book in two styles, which I’m going to continue in book two: Jennifer Strange and the Red Gate. I’m incredibly excited for that book because it explores more of Jennifer’s ghost hunting family on her father’s side, as well as the past of some important characters introduced in book one. The world is going to blow wide open in book two, and so much I hinted at will be finally explained. I’m writing it now along with a standalone historical dark fantasy Mercy Park, which is my urban legend YA book. I’m also going to be working on video games at the Deep End Games, focusing on UI Design, concept art, and writing. Our game Romancelvania just got funded on Kickstarter and our team is so excited to spend the next year or so working on it.

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Curious about who else is coming to Boskone 58? With 3 days of over 100 top-notch items paired with top authors, scientists, artists, and creators in the science fiction, fantasy and horror industry, you won’t want to miss out. Join your fellow fans and writers by registering today!

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