Sam Ley

Fiction | Cleveland State University | Class of 2024

Dead Stars follows Lyssa, an 18-year-old girl who only exists in the real world. In the virtual world, she exists as Hana, the most beloved idol in the Labyrinth. At the peak of her career, she’s given an ultimatum: merge her identities to perform in the real world, or risk losing everything that she’s worked for. While struggling to make a choice, she meets Judith, an outgoing woman who fills her days with warmth—little does she know that her warmth will turn to fire, burning as bright as the stars in the sky.

About Sam

Sam earned her BA in Creative Writing from Cleveland State University, choosing to continue her education in the NEOMFA. She primarily writes short horror fiction, but also finds enjoyment in experimentation and genre exploration. Her biggest inspirations for writing are beautiful words, often framing an entire story around a single word.

Do you have any eccentric habits/strategies to get you started writing? What are they?

Starting is the hardest part for me, so I let myself get distracted by anything—which is why I can’t use my computer. I have to be far away from it, like sitting in a different room writing in a notebook. Out of sight out of mind, or something like that.

What are your favorite words? Why?

Lithe, Melancholy, Reverie, Lullaby. No particular reason. I just like to keep a list of words that I find beautiful, both in appearance and meaning.