eSpec Books interviews Kelly A. Harmon, contributor to The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, currently funding on Kickstarter as a part of the #Make100 campaign.

eSB: Can you tell us a little about your story, “Selkskin Deep”, that was selected for The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries?

baf3front-smKAH: In Selkskin Deep, you’ll meet Cade Owen, a selkie who is also a Navy SEAL. He’s deployed on the aircraft carrier USS Livingstone during the Vietnam War. During a routine delivery of munitions to the carrier, Cade notices the bombs they’re taking on board date back to the 1930s. It’s a recipe for disaster.

sealThe selkie bit is pure fiction, but the situation — old and degrading munitions delivered to an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War is history. The Livingstone, and the fire emergency onboard, is modeled after the 1967 USS Forrestal tragedy.

eSB: What would your fae character’s signature drink be and why?

KAH: As a seal, Cade definitely prefers a good single-malt scotch. But as a SEAL, he’s stuck drinking cup after cup of badly-brewed government coffee—probably from a tin mug. Poor guy…

eSB: What do you like most about The Bad-Ass Faeries series, and why?

 KAH:  I like the variety of fairies included in the series. I’m always surprised when I turn the page and start a new story—and with so many volumes in the series, I’m never at a loss to find a good tale to curl up with.

eSB: What kind of challenges did you find writing for this series?

 KAH:  The selkie bits were easy, but marrying the myth to American history created a small roadblock. I knew I had to have a Navy story, since the selkie is a water creature, but my knowledge of Naval history is sketchy. I had to do a lot of research.

eSB: What interested you in writing for this series?

KAH: I never bought into the “sweetness and light,” version of faeries as a kid. It might have been my dark nature, but it just seemed too Pollyanna. Faeries, in my opinion, were nothing more than little demons. So, when I heard about a series of books that was going to highlight bad faeries – the true nature of faeries – I knew I wanted to contribute.

eSB: What are some of your own works readers can look for?

kelly-a-harmon-stoned-in-charm-cityKAH: I write the Charm City Darkness series—an urban fantasy that takes place in Baltimore. 

You know that old saying, ‘No good deed goes unpunished.’?

Case in point for Assumpta Mary-Margaret O’Connor.  Her good deed gets her demon-marked, making her fair game for any passing demon (and a few specific ones). But she’s managed to survive—kelly-a-harmon-hides-a-dark-towerwith help from angels, ghosts, and witches—through three books so far: Stoned in Charm City, A Favor for a Fiend, and A Blue Collar Proposition.  A fourth book in the series about Assumpta’s best friend Jo, should be available in May.

For folks who love short stories, I’ve co-edited two dark fiction anthologies with Vonnie Winslow Crist:  Hides the Dark Tower and In a Cat’s Eye.  We’ll be reading for a third anthology in March, Dark Luminous Wings, which should be available in October.


Kelly A. Harmon used to write truthful, honest stories about authors and thespians, senators and statesmen, movie stars and murderers. Now she writes lies, which is infinitely more satisfying, but lacks the convenience of doorstep delivery. She is an award-winning journalist and author, and a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. A Baltimore native, she writes the Charm City Darkness series, which includes the novels Stoned in Charm City, A Favor for a Fiend, and the soon to be published, A Blue Collar Proposition. Her science fiction and fantasy stories can be found in Triangulation: Dark Glass, Hellebore and Rue, and Deep Cuts: Mayhem, Menace and Misery.  

Ms. Harmon is a former newspaper reporter and editor, and now edits for Pole to Pole Publishing, a small Baltimore publisher. She is co-editor of Hides the Dark Tower along with Vonnie Winslow Crist. For more information, visit her blog at, or, find her on Facebook and Twitter:,  


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