Joel V. Kela
Land of the Beast, flash fiction, Issue 18, March 1, 2012
When did you start writing? One summer night in 2003, I was in a bad mood and couldn't sleep. Without any premeditation I got out of bed, sat down at my computer, and started writing a fantasy novel. It was cliche and hackneyed, but it was a start.
When and what and where did you first get published? My first published story, "Brightmoor Confessions," was published online by Fear and Trembling Magazine in January, 2012.
What themes do you like to write about? I like writing about human responses to the most dire and unusual circumstances. I'm fond of post-apocalyptic settings, and enjoy exploring religious themes--especially as envisioned in vastly different worlds.
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? I love George RR Martin's works, especially his A Song of Ice and Fire and "Manrealm" science fiction stories. I admire both his characterization and the vast history which he weaves into the backdrop of both worlds. I try to emulate the way he hints at these histories and allows readers to piece it all together. Another book that stands out in terms of emotional impact and significance is C. S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces, a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche. While Lewis is most famous for his Narnia series, he himself considered Till We Have Faces his finest work. It only grows richer with each re-read, and I would love to someday write a story with so much depth.
Joel V. Kela is a PhD student studying New Testament in Dallas, TX. He is married to a better girl than he deserves, has three surprising kids, and goes kiteboarding whenever he can. He has stories published in Fear and Trembling Magazine, forthcoming in Big Pulp, and forthcoming in Mytherium: Tales of Mythical and Magical Creatures, by Indigo Mosaic Publishing. You can visit Joel’s home on the web at acrosseyesky.com.