Chic Writer Mom on the Street Selin Senol-Akin brings a spark of inspiration to those around her through her vibrant writing and welcoming personality. Through her novels, poetry, and social media, her storytelling has amassed a unique and diverse following, who all have a deep love for adventure, family, and a good book!
Read on to learn more about this creative Chic Writer Mom on the Street!
Selin Senol-Akin is a political scientist and adjunct language instructor, aside from her creative writing and featured spoken/published poetry.
The Catalyst, which reached the online new release chart at #1 during the pandemic, is now being re-released as a trilogy with The Penance and The Nestlings to follow, respectively.
Her acclaimed #1 release poetic collections, Write Out Your Drops and Set Free Your Flow (half poetry/half coming-of-age memoir), will also soon be followed by a third book, Earth Up Your Roots: all a part of the upcoming, multi-modal ‘Elemental’ collection.
She lives in New York with her young daughter and family.
Chic Writer Beginnings
When did you first fall in love with writing and the art of language?
At first, there were stories. I came to New York with my mother at the age of 7 without a word of English; I then literally taught myself English within a year. (Oh, the linguistic benefits of being a child and books borrowed from one’s local public library). Within the next year, I was chosen to represent my elementary school in the Districtwide Storytelling Contest. I realized, despite my accent, I could become a storyteller with enough practice and good memorization skills.
I eventually became inspired to write my own stories and poems, publishing a couple of them in school newspapers. I always like to share this biographical tidbit with my language students as well. If I can inspire any young person who may have come to this country lacking confidence in their future potential- my efforts will have been worth it.
Who are some people who have influenced your work and helped inspire you through the hard times of writing?
Regarding writing style, I’ve always admired the cultural stories relayed by authors like Paulo Coelho and Elif Shafak and the suspenseful writing style of the Scandinavian author Camilla Lackberg. I’d coincidentally begun her novel, ‘The Ice Princess,’ actually when I found myself subsequently becoming a newlywed in the same part of the world a year later. I’d always felt the urge to write a novel and had contemplated several ideas, but this ‘catalyzed’ me to start my first novel, ‘The Catalyst,’ in a romantic suspense tale format.
What are your tips for authors going through “writer’s block”?
Allow the story and characters to speak to you when they’re ready. Don’t force it through some daily routine as if it were a daily run. Sometimes ‘the call’ can literally come at 3 am as you can’t fall asleep or in the form of something someone says awakening your instincts. I believe that’s all a part of ‘the flow.’ Where our imaginations join our creativity and soul’s inclinations; to bring voice to and become a vessel for a human-collective story, begging to be ‘set free’ into the world. Quality over quantity and frequency.
Chic Writer Family Life
Do your family and friends support you in your writing endeavors? How So?
With regards to friends- honestly, it’s been mixed. A lot of them have been super supportive and genuine. Sometimes I’ve obtained more support, however, from total strangers or acquaintances rather than people I thought were closer friends. I learned a lot about people throughout my writing journey thus far, and I believe it’s helped mature me.
As for my family- they put up with it; God bless them. They sometimes complain it takes away from the relatively already-few free hours I have at home when I’m not working at my other part-time jobs to earn a living. But they all come around when they get to experience the thrilling moments of interacting with readers at book fairs or signings along with me.
How do you hope your love of writing and language will influence your daughter?
I see her sing and dance around the house, alongside a love of reading and creating mini ‘books’ of her own: already, I see a mini-me. Yet she’s also very much her own person- enjoying baking and being around groups of people in a way that I was never really into- and I love that as well. I have sections dedicated to her in all of my books, and I hope she will always know how loved she is and feel inspired to be strong and heed to her own ‘flow’ in life.
English Professor Life
You are also an English language professor; tell us a little more about this. When did you start teaching, and where and whom have you taught?
They say life is what happens when you’re busy planning other things. That describes how I became a teacher as well. To make a long story short, I graduated from NYU with a Master’s degree in International Relations in 2008, thinking various civil society and diplomatic doors would automatically open for me. But alas, the economic crisis at the time didn’t allow for that to happen.
By 2009, I decided to try something more meaningful for me – helping the younger generation- and I felt teaching would be a way to do that. And so, I obtained my certification in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), and the rest was history. It ended up being something I’ve been doing for over a decade now, starting from elementary school students abroad to college and even graduate students here in New York.
Chic Writer Rewards Challenges, and Goals
What are some of the most rewarding and challenging parts of being an author?
The pure joy of writing has been one of the biggest rewards, alongside lovely connections I’ve been able to make with readers who’ve reached out to me to express how much they were moved by and could relate to my writing. If I didn’t love doing this, I swear it would be absolute insanity; to be hunch-backed over a laptop until very late, sleepless hours just to complete a thought in your head begging to be typed.
No true writer or artist does this and actually keeps at it- for recognition or money. Those things are relatively small possibilities. The bigger promise is the pure satisfaction of having left your unique imprint in the world; it makes the soul smile.
What are some of your goals for the future, both generally and author-wise?
Despite the multi-faceted quality of my endeavors, I’ve realized lately they all have one thing in common: being a voice for the voiceless and/or infrequently voiced stories and inspiration in general to young people across all social categorizations. To know they can persevere through being true to themselves and keeping up the hard work- no matter what. (I’m also a human rights activist, especially in the fight against political and wrongful imprisonment- since that’s, unfortunately, something affecting my family.
My daughter and I have been staying with my parents since 2017 due to my daughter’s politically-incarcerated father’s situation abroad. For anyone who may be interested in learning more about that particular struggle, they can read about it in my poetic memoir, ‘Set Free Your Flow,’ as well as look up my YouTube documentary entitled ‘Alnim Ak’ on my channel: Write Out Your Drops)
Where can people find you on social media as well as your website?
I’d love it if people could visit my IG handle @writeoutyourdrops and website www.SelinSenolAkin.com for a general overview of who I am and of links to purchase my books, as well as some reviews and book trailers. My mystery novel ‘The Catalyst’ and its sequel ‘The Penance’ (available very soon) are on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever else books are sold online.
I also have an acclaimed half poetry/ half coming-of-age memoir entitled ‘Set Free Your Flow’ and an exclusively-poetry book ‘Write Out Your Drops’ available in all formats, including audiobook format. The third upcoming poetry book, including short stories and an original play/script, is entitled ‘Earth Up Your Roots.’
Chic Writer Style
Which three words best describe your style?
Comfortable, classical, individualistic
What are your favorite places to shop?
Lately, it’s become skincare and self-care places such as Ulta Beauty, whereas before, when I used to live in NYC, it tended to be mainstream affordable fashion: Express, H&M, and- forever Macy’s. (I now reside in the suburbs, in Long Island)
And of course, Barnes & Noble- I may be partial to it as an author who not only was fortunate to have had a book signing event there but also because as a teen, I’d often visit it after school, reading books which I’d then buy to support the authors. I was thinking of the ’cause’ even back then.
Who’s your favorite style icon (or two)?
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle.
What’s your best style advice?
Don’t follow trends. Wear what works best for your body type, with trendy accessories or hair updates only to satisfy any urge for an ‘update.’
What article of clothing/accessory would you not want to live without?
Crossbody bags. Throughout my day, I literally find myself doing so much requiring the use of my hands that these have been lifesavers. I have many casual ones for daily runs to the market and designer ones for work or special events.
Which trend would you want to see make a comeback?
Voluminous Cindy Crawford hair.
What should NEVER make a comeback?
Discriminatory immigration policies. And pencil-thin eyebrows.
What fashion/style did you love at the time but now cringe when you see old photos?
I know many women swear by them, but somehow I truly despise fake nails. I only tried them in the 8th grade, and never again (I cringe at the thought that I used to think I was so mature then, but now realize I was a child and should have dressed more as such).
What’s your best style secret?
Undereye concealer– as pretty much the only makeup I wear a lot of times, it’s been a lifesaver. And Oil of Olay face lotion. I’ve sworn by it since I was a teenager.
Stilettos or flats?
Wedges all the way; as with many things I enjoy, I believe they too represent a happy ‘medium’/balance.
Chic Writer Family
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family?
Drinking hot chocolate by the fireplace in the winter and having brunch outdoors in the summer- preferably by a body of water and some greenery. Oh, and random mall and IKEA runs, even if just to walk around and eat something sometimes.
Best parenting advice:
We tend to talk or react to our children as if they’re our age, expecting them to know what we know- just because we may have told them once or twice. If we put ourselves in their little shoes and gauge their intentions- many times, we can remain calm and smile. Also- a hug and apology go a long way after a misunderstanding or dispute of any kind.
Parenting true confession:
I let my daughter go to sleep when she’s ready and have not been strict about bedtime. I’m not very proud of that and am still working on at least making it an hour earlier. I feel a lot of parent-friends may have been judging me for it- but honestly, she’s a really active child who just cannot wind down easily, no matter how ‘tired’ she gets in the day or how much of a ‘bedtime routine‘ I’ve been replicating each night. It’s easy to judge others when we’re not in their situations.
What’s your go-to family dinner?
Salmon in the oven: easy prep, healthy, and delicious for all.
What’s your favorite family restaurant?
Places like The Cheesecake Factory, only when there isn’t a wait-time of over 20 minutes.
Chic Writer Life
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch?
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
If you could pick anyone to star as you in a movie based on your life, who would it be?
Any actress who’s actually read my works.
What’s your favorite beach read?
Anything suspenseful, or a good magazine
What song would you dance to when nobody’s watching?
I can literally dance to anything, even if people are watching- music has always helped me overcome my social shyness.
If you could go shopping with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be?
J.Lo. She’s a fellow Leo, New Yorker, and a pear-shaped woman whom I’d be curious to know how she chooses what to wear and in what sizes. Shakira as well. I’ve found, for example, that I’ve often had to buy tops and bottoms in different sizes.
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list?
My husband was a NATO officer in Norway, and we traveled extensively throughout Europe for his meetings. Although I’ve been to Iceland with him, we weren’t able to see the Northern Lights due to heavy cloud coverage. I’d love to be able to go there and see them- with my daughter this time.
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day?
Soft pop or classical music, low lights, candles, or essential oils. And lotions and a massage machine for the back and feet- I don’t think I could function without self-care daily. It’s a must- especially for working moms always on the run.
Author and Family Life
We love how Selin stays grounded with her daughter and family while still pursuing her writing dreams. Her creative, hardworking approach to life and work brings joy to many people and her readers. Be sure to check her out on Instagram and visit her website to learn more about what she has published.
For more interesting and inspiring moms, be sure to check out FamilyApp’s Mom on the Street page!