Shelly Jones

Those Halcyon Days, flash fiction, issue 49, December 2019

Shelly Jones, PhD is an Associate Professor of English at SUNY Delhi, where she teaches classes in mythology, fairy tales, literature, and writing. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from SUNY Binghamton. Outside of academia she is an active nerd who enjoys board games, Dungeons and Dragons, being outdoorsy, and knitting. Her speculative fiction has been published in Podcastle, Luna Station Quarterly , and is forthcoming in The Future Fire 

Get to know Shelly...


December 21 - Being born on the solstice, I am particularly drawn to mythologies dealing with this time of year. Both the myth of Alcyone and Sedna have associations with the solstice. 

When did you start writing?

I began writing stories as a child and always wanted to be a writer. My desk was lined with marble composition books filled with stories. I have a form rejection from Dell publishing for a story I wrote when I was eight. I was so thrilled to receive any kind of response for my work. If only receiving rejections were still as inspiring! 

When and what and where did you first get published?

I did not pursue creative writing while I was in grad school working on my PhD. It was after I graduated that I began to think about returning to writing. I wrote here and there, but didn't really dive back in until 2015. I was working at a job that I found unrewarding and spent hours instead lost in a story about bees. After a dozen rejections, "The Watchers" was published in 2017 by Luna Station Quarterly. This success encouraged me to continue my writing. 

Why do you write?

I don't know any other way to live. 

Why do you write Science Fiction and/or Fantasy?

I got into Fantasy later than I care to admit. As a child and teenager, I was much more conservative in my views of Literature (with a capital L). It wasn't until grad school and after when I got into gaming that I realized there was an entire world of fantastical literature available to me. 

Who is your favorite author? Your favorite story?

I'm not sure that I have a single favorite, but I love stories that effortlessly combine fantastical elements into the mundane everyday world. A text that does this for me is Helene Wecker's The Golem and the Jinni

What are you trying to say with your fiction?

I don't know that there is any one take away from my work, but I often try to illuminate the small, the everyday in a new way and make them more impactful. I want to give the little things a life of their own. 

If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say?

My epitaph would be a play on Ovid's story of Echo as I wander the woods writing snatchets of stories: 
"She lies concealed in the wild woods, nor is she ever seen on lonely mountain range; for, though we hear her calling in the hills, 'tis but a voice, a voice that lives, that lives among the hills." Ovid's Metamorphoses  Book 3 - Story of Echo and Narcissus 

Do you blog?

Sadly no. Between grading, my scholarship, and creative writing I haven't found the time to blog on a regular basis. 

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