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Featured Author: Selah J. Tay-Song

September 27, 2014


Selah J Tay-Song is living proof that if you persevere, you’ll catch your dreams. She decided to be an author at the age of 6, and started writing her first book at the age of 14. After twenty years of writing through self-doubt and insecurity, Selah published Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern, an epic fantasy novel described as brilliant, poetic and engrossing. When she’s not writing, she’s stalking the urban river otters that live less than a mile from her home in the Pacific Northwest.



Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern
(Dreams of QaiMaj, book 1)

The tale of QaiMaj begins here.

War tears apart Iskalon, a cavernous world of ice, when Dynat, the half-mad King of Chraun marshals his powerful fire warriors.

His orders: “Make Iskalon burn forever.”

In the aftermath of war, Princess Stasia of Iskalon tries to keep the remnants of her kingdom intact. Her only hope is in a prophetic Dream that may lead her to a new home for her people. When Stasia desperately searches for magic strength in the inferno of Chraun, she learns that she can do the impossible—draw magic from both lava and ice. Using the power of fire, she might just find the vast blue cavern of her Dreams, and change the destiny of both Chraun and Iskalon forever in . . .

Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern

Find it on Amazon!


Why did you choose to self-publish?

Self-publishing was a way for me to reach out to readers right away, without spending years in slush piles. It doesn’t preclude the possibility of eventually working with a traditional publisher, but for me right now, self-publishing makes the most sense. Instead of waiting to become an author, I am an author today. I am being read and I am getting feedback from readers, and I am lucky enough to be in a community of a lot of other authors at the same stage as me. The other thing I love about publishing my own books is the level of control I have. Writing is a very intimate, personal art for me and while I always listen carefully to feedback from editors and peers, indy publishing gives me the right to say “this is my story, I’m telling it my way.” And that level of control is in everything, from the genre to the cover art to the formatting. The flip side of that coin is of course responsibility. If I get it wrong, I’m the one responsible. I’ve had to make a lot of mistakes and try to learn from them. Luckily, the stakes are low when you’re starting out, and it’s easy to fix them when you’re self-publishing with ebooks and print on demand.

Which authors or books influenced your writing the most?

I grew up reading the Chronicles of Narnia and George MacDonald and fairy tales, among many other things. When I was older and started being able to digest epic fantasy, I fell in love with Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. He was my very favorite for a very long time and through most of my early writing career, I aspired to write like him. But as all things do, my tastes evolved. Just a few years ago I discovered Robin Hobb, and she unseated RJ. The development of the characters in her novels is exquisite, and as I started to realize that it is characters who carry the reader through story, I started trying to write deeper characterization. But honestly, I pick up a little bit from every writer I read. Cinematic brutality from GRR Martin. Conflict and tension between allies from Robert Jordan. World-building from Brandon Sanderson. How to convey otherworldly magical realms from Tad Williams. Character development from Hobb. It all goes into the pot, and comes out, I hope, into something uniquely me.

What are your current projects / What are you working on next?

Right now I’m deep into final revisions on Dreams of QaiMaj Book II: Dream of a City of Ruin. I’m getting so close I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there’s still a lot of work to do. My process is convoluted and so I end up re-writing a lot as I work my way sideways into the story, but the good news is I draft quickly, so once I have a breakthrough I usually move pretty fast toward completion. Stay tuned!

Anything else you would like to mention?

If anyone who sees this interview wants to read Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern risk free, sign up for my email newsletter here ( in the next thirty days and you’ll recieve a free ebook. Beware: it’s kind of like a free drug sample, and you will be hooked . . . muahahaha!

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 1, 2014 10:43 PM

    Nice interview! Dreams of a Vast Blue Cavern is a fantastic story. I’m excited to see more in the series and whatever else this author writes.

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