About Jessa

Author Portrait by Jessa Forest.

Official Bio

Jessa Forest writes poetry and weird fiction. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks and The Slaughter Chronicles, a grimdark, Lovecraftian-esque paranormal fantasy about werewolves. Besides being a self-published author, her short fiction and poetry have been published in several print and online magazines. Her stories question the definable borders of reality and indulge in the gritty, visceral aspects of contemporary fantasy. In 2011, she was nominated for the Pushcart Poetry Prize by the editors of The Camel Saloon. She was born in Arkansas, USA.

Extra Writing Stuff

Thoughts about poetry:

Sylvia Plath said poetry is the blood jet. Nick Mount, on Sylvia Plath’s Ariel, said the lyric poem is a frozen moment in time. Lynda Barry said an image is the formless thing which gives things form.

With poetry I try to freeze (or plasticine) specific moments that convey an image that I want to understand better. Sometimes those images are granular and visceral. Sometimes those images are surreal and oil-slick wavy.

I’m not a huge fan of form or rhyme but I love sestinas and haiku. Poet Hali Sofala-Jones said the villanelle was a way for her to play with her obsessions. I need to try that. And even though I hate writing sonnets, one of my goals is to create a crown of sonnets that obeys all the rules.

Thoughts about Fiction:

More specifically, my grimdark/shifter/dark fantasy/paranormal suspense book series. And a few other projects as well.

The Slaughter Chronicles is a grimdark paranormal fantasy about werewolves and other monsters. The main point of this story is that not all monsters are “bad” and most times the real monsters are the humans. But there are also not-human monsters that are really, really bad.

Extra not-Writing Stuff

Writing this now, I am almost 35 years old and I have never been stung by a bee. I’ve also never broken a bone. Please do not think that I am graceful, I’m just very, very lucky.

In 2015 I married my best friend, Mr. J, and sometimes I feature him in my Daily Life Blog. He also made a few of the illustrations for The Slaughter Chronicles.

I have three cats, Leela, Titain, and Tiny Rick. Titain is the oldest (and the most substantial). Tiny Rick has feline immunodeficiency virus. Mr. J and I adopted him in 2017, and the vet offered to put him down for us right away because, according to the vet, he would not last long. We got a second opinion. Now, it’s almost 2021, and he’s still very happy and healthy (aside from being FIV positive). Aside from a few mild respiratory issues every so often he’s a perfectly normal cat. And yes, we named him after Rick and Morty.

I also have a betta fish, which I adopted during quarantine. His name is Lucky and I send exclusive pictures of him to my End of the Month Newsletter subscribers.

You can see all of my cats on Instagram although lately I’ve been trying to up my Indie Author game and make more posts about my writing process and my books.

Besides writing, I have a few hobbies. I play Warhammer 40,000, which is a tabletop game that involves plastic miniatures and spending a lot of money.

I am also an amateur birder. You can check out my Life List here. And I am sort of teaching myself how to play the recorder. Thank you Sarah Jeffery and #TeamRecorder !!

I went to college and earned a BA in Sociology in 2008 and an MFA in Creative Writing in 2012. In the fall of 2019, I went back to college a third time. I’m taking lots of science classes so I can apply for a Laboratory Science program and work in the medical field. As I am writing all my books, I am also taking ALL the Chemistry classes and, yes; they hurt my brain.

To learn more about me as a person, you can read My Bucket List here.

Reading Bhanu Kapil’s Incubation: A Space for Monsters to vulture lunch.

Awards

Pushcart Nomination, The Camel Saloon, 2011.

Arkansas Writers’ Conference Rita Goodgame Award 2nd Place Prize, 2010.

North American Discworld Convention Creosote’s Poetry Contest 3rd Place Prize, 2009.

Hollins University Lex Allen Literary Festival 1st Place Poetry Prize, 2008.

Randolph College Margaret Raynal Fiction Award 2nd Place Prize, 2005.

Academy of American Poets Honorable Mention, 2005.

Knowing Our Past Foundation “Creative Response of the Human Spirit” 2nd Place Prize, 2003.

Thanks for stopping by!