Author Spotlight: Jeffe Kennedy

  • author of fantasy romance and romance fantasy

Readers! Let’s give a good hearty welcome to Jeffe Kennedy.

Picture of Jeffe Kennedy - a brunette white woman in a blue top and a very wide rimmed, bright blue hat.

Background is blurred, but is clearly outside. Green and rock or dirt.

Jeffe Kennedy has won the prestigious RITA® Award from RWA, been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. She serves on the Board of Directors for SFWA. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

Definitely a dragon!

Classic choice! I’m partial to red dragons, but there are many lovely dragons out there.

What do you write and how did you get started?

I write mainly fantasy with strong romantic elements. I got started a long time ago when I was in graduate school to get my PhD in Neuroscience. I decided I’d rather be a writer instead, so I began writing essays and nonfiction, then later shifted to writing novels.

I love reading some fantasy with strong romantic elements. Plus, it’s always great to hear what sort of non-writing expertise authors can bring to their work.

What do you like to read?

I read pretty widely, in most genres. In nonfiction I love biographies. In fiction, I really like to read a wonderful SFF world with a rich romantic storyline.

I’m a huge fan of world building and sff, as well. Great taste.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.

Write what you know.

This doesn’t work at all if you write fantasy!

So true. Genre fiction is a horrible place to stick only to what you know.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.

Write every day.

I’m a huge fan of this advice because it helped me to build a reliable writing habit. Whenever I start having trouble getting words on the page, I go back to writing every day, at the same time every day.

That’s a lot of discipline and making sure you prioritize your writing. Great work.

Shameless Self-Promotion time!

The Fate Of The Tala:

The cover has a pale skinned red-headed woman facing the reader. With hawks and flying beasts. And a sailing ship in the background.

The Fate of the Tala

The exciting conclusion of the story begun in The Mark of the Tala

An Uneasy Marriage,
An Unholy Alliance.

The tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, conquered her inner demons to become the high queen. The youngest, and most beautiful outlived her Prince Charming and found a strength beyond surface loveliness.

And the other one, Andi? The introverted, awkward middle princess is now the Sorceress Queen, Andromeda—and she stands at the precipice of a devastating war.

As the undead powers of Deyrr gather their forces, their High Priestess focuses on Andi, undermining her at every turn. At the magical barrier that protects the Thirteen Kingdoms from annihilation, the massive Dasnarian navy assembles, ready to pounce the moment Andi’s strength fails. And, though her sisters and friends gather around her, Andi finds that her husband, Rayfe, plagued with fears over her pregnancy, has withdrawn, growing ever more distant.

Fighting battles on too many fronts, Andi can’t afford to weaken, as she’s all that stands between all that’s good in the world and purest evil.

For Andi, the time to grow into her true power has come. . .

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  1. “Write what you know”… does apply in fantasy and SF. For one, the real world matters. Ever seen a horror movie, with the scene of “there’s a homicidal maniac on the loose, I heard a noise in the basement, I’ll go look in my negligee”? Is there a reason for this piece of action in your story? If not, perhaps you should consult with the characters and see what they want to do (when that happens, the story’s getting to be worth reading).

    The other thing is this: my addendum to “write what you know” is “and if you don’t, do real research, preferably from primary sources.” Just yesterday, I started writing an interstellar intergovernmental conference, 11,000 years from now… and am exchanging emails with a friend who’s retired Foreign Service, because there will still be some kind of protocol in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course whatever you write draws authenticity from the parts of your own life that you can draw on it. But, fantasy requires stepping beyond anything that is knowable, and just creating.

      And? Some strict followers of “write what you know” end up stemmed by that.


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