From my various tattoos to my partially shaved hairstyle, you could say I’ve come out of my shell a lot since college. One of the first things people notice about me is my red hair, but I always leave a lasting impression of someone who’s hardworking, courageous and who overall loves life. I graduated just last May from Stonehill College with a degree in English literature, but my college days feel like light-years behind me.
I can talk your ear off about books—no question about it. I am a tried and true, typical book nerd, which explains why I excelled as an English lit major at Stonehill. I have read—and continue to read—any and all genres of literature: from postmodern fiction to early modern drama to Romantic poetry. I have several different futures in mind for myself; in one, I see myself back at a university as a professor in English, boasting a tweed jacket, complete with elbow patches.
The “What do you want to do with your life?” question has never come easy. My interests are so various that I can never seem to concentrate them into one career path. I currently work for a nonprofit environmental organization, the Watershed Action Alliance, as their head social media manager. I can easily see myself working long-term in environmental advocacy. Before college, I also worked for three years as a karate instructor after earning the rank of second-degree black belt. Unfortunately, I had to leave my dojo for college, but I long to get back into the martial arts, and within the year, I plan to join a new dojo.
How did I find myself at PSG? In the wake of my postgrad confusion, I felt the pressure to immediately have a job, plan a future and figure out my life on the spot. But I woke up one day and decided to stop chasing after opportunities I did not want and rather to invest in the ones I did. The next week, I applied to and interviewed at PSG, and was eager to accept the internship! So far at PSG, I’ve enjoyed blogging and writing about industry trends and current events, as well as working on editorial assignments, fact-checking and managing their social media accounts. I’ve loved working on several long-term projects that make me feel I am truly a part of a publishing team. Feeling like a cohesive member of the team at PSG is empowering. I’ve always known I wanted to work in publishing in some capacity, whether as editor or copyeditor, or in writing content.
My biggest dream is to realize my full-time writing career, and I have every intention of achieving that ambition. My writing often involves environmental undertones, explorations of gender and sexuality, and an odd combination of harsh realism and magical fantasy. In a similar fashion, my favorite TV shows and genres are ones that work with environmental themes. One such show is The 100, a dystopian drama featured on The CW.
My writing style sounds pretty eclectic, but I see it as different and multi-faceted . . . just like me!
Little-Known Facts About Shalen
Shalen’s newest tattoo is of a muted post horn from Thomas Pynchon’s novel The Crying of Lot 49. Shalen wants many more literary tattoos, including Shakespeare’s signature and a quote from another of her favorite book collections, the Johannes Cabal series.
Another little-known fact: One of Shalen’s favorite pastimes is attending anime conventions such as Anime Boston. She enjoys dressing up in costumes as various fictional characters, an activity known as cosplay, which is a portmanteau of costume play.