Salina Christmas was born in Mentakab, Pahang, Malaysia in 1972, where her father’s regiment was based. Together with her three siblings, including a twin, they attended some 10 schools as the family followed their father’s regiments all over the country during the Second Malayan Insurgency. The reassignments took the family to Sabah, Borneo and also to Johore, West Malaysia. For the first 15 years, Salina lived in military posts on the outskirt of jungles.

Her first interest, before Literature, was in drawing. At age nine, she won a drawing competition at state level in Sabah. Another relocation saw her and her twin attending Kluang High School, or the Kluang Government English School, from 1985 to 1987, in a Johorian town some 127 km away from Singapore.

Following their father’s retirement, the family lived briefly in Muar, north of Johore. Salina entered several writing competitions in English and pantun (poetry) competitions in Malay, winning a few prizes. She was selected to major in English Language and Literature, with a minor in Human Sciences, at IIUM Malaysia in 1991. After graduating in 1995, she worked as a newspaper reporter with the Sun Daily, a newspaper with a daily circulation of 250,000.

For the first 15 years, Salina lived in military posts on the outskirt of jungles.

During the 1998 East Asian economic meltdown, and the political turmoil that followed, Salina left Malaysia for the United Kingdom. She continued to work as a journalist for UK trade publications, mainly in travel, technology and life sciences. In 2009, whilst an online editor at Informa Lifesciences, she did a postgraduate study in Anthropology at University College London. The focus was material culture, digital anthropology and medical anthropology (Anthropology and Psychiatry). Her two-year fieldwork on the “anthropology of concealment” during a neighbourhood watch over crack-dealing activities in Brixton earned her a Merit for her dissertation.

Salina is a fan of horror, fantasy and romance genres. She had written several short stories in high school, had a few published whilst at university, and had written and directed several plays between 1992 and 1995. She writes frequently on pop culture and books, and loves collecting comic and photobooks by independent authors and artists.

In the footsteps of Malaysian journalists before her, she’s now writing a series of horror called the Constant Companion Tales. The series is written, designed and published in London. Her inspiration is the famous Malaysian journalist and publisher, Mohd Radzi Mahmud, also known as Tamar Jalis, author of Malaysia’s most famous serialised horror title, Bercakap Dengan Jin (A Conversation with the Demon). They both came from Perak, the northern Malaysian state that was once part of the ancient Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms of Siam and Malay Peninsula.

Salina is based in London, United Kingdom.

Salina is a fan of horror, fantasy and romance genres.

Author’s portraits by Zarina Holmes Photography.

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