Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Picking the Brain of Romance Fantasy Author Jeffe Kennedy

I am very excited today to have my first interview and it is with a fellow author that I love to read and also admire! I was so excited that Jeffe Kennedy accepted my offer to "pick her brain"!

Welcome to the Speculative Salon, Jeffe!

Book One in A Covenant of Thorns
Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?

JK: Rogue’s Pawn is about a neuroscientist who accidentally winds up in Faerie. Once there, she discovers she is a sorceress and, to save her own life, gets herself into a series of bargains – one of which is to give a manipulative Fae lord her firstborn child, which he intends to sire.

Yes – this novel took me a long time to sell because it crosses the genres of romance, fantasy and urban fantasy. For a long time I called it an urban fantasy that takes place in a non-urban landscape – but all the industry people would get really annoyed with me for saying that! I’ve also heard it described as classic sword and sorcery fantasy, but from a completely female point of view.

How do you come up with ideas?

JK: Rogue’s Pawn came from a dream, which a lot of my stories do. Those are the free gifts. Otherwise, my stories always start with characters or feelings. I know who my heroine is first (so far it’s always the heroine first) and I have an idea of how she feels and what she’s facing. I discover the rest from there. That’s actually true of the dream stories too – I know a scene or a snippet, a fragment from a dream and I build from there.

Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?

JK: Or none of the above? I start with thinking about the character and her feelings. I kind of daydream a lot before I ever start writing, but it’s all just feelings and images. Maybe I get fragments of dialogue. I always start at the beginning of a story and write through to the end, even if the scene or moment I have in mind is farther down in the story. I just ride along in my characters’ heads and discover things as they do. If I need to do research, I flag it as I write and do that at other non-writing times, so as not to get distracted from drafting.

What did you learn from writing your first book?

JK: Technically Rogue’s Pawn is my first book – my first novel, anyway. I have written other novels and novellas since, some of which were published before Rogue’s Pawn. In writing this novel, I learned to write long. Before that I had always written short – essays, short stories and poems. Short is a natural form for me and it took me a long time to learn how to hold a whole novel in my head and parse out the writing of it. I could write an essay or story in a day, at the longest. Sadly this does not work with a novel.

Are your stories driven by plot or character?

JK: Absolutely by character. I always feel lucky if a plot appears.

How do you balance a life outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses?

JK: For me it takes a lot of discipline and adherence to ritual. I’m kind of demonic on the topic. I have a full-time career at an environmental consulting firm, which keeps me on the road a lot. (In fact, I’m doing this interview on an airplane.) I believe strongly in writing every day, even if for only a short time, to keep the novel or story alive in my head. I also believe that inspiration only shows up if I’m already writing. If I waited to write until I felt excited or inspired, I wouldn’t get much done. Outside of writing and the day job, I keep my life pretty simple. It’s just my husband and I, and we both like a quiet home, a peaceful life. That’s key for me – a lot of peace and quiet.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?

JK: I think just a sense of pleasure and excitement, that sense of having traveled in another world and seen through someone else’s eyes. That’s how I feel after reading a really good book.

List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.

JK: Well, let’s go with the two authors I’m reading on this airplane. That seems like a fair sample. On my Kindle, I’m reading Deanna Rayburn’s Lady Julia Grey bundle of three books and, for when they make me turn my Kindle off, Sarah Monette’s collection “Somewhere Beneath These Waves.”

Thanks so much for answering these questions for us. Best of luck!

Thank you for hosting me – this was a fun interview to do!

RJ Garside for The Speculative Salon
Happy writing!

Here's a sneak peak at Jeffe's Rogue's Pawn that was released mid-July 2012.

This is no fairy tale… 
Haunted by nightmares of a black dog, sick to death of my mind-numbing career and heart-numbing fiancé, I impulsively walked out of my life—and fell into Faerie. Terrified, fascinated, I discover I possess a power I can’t control: my wishes come true. After an all-too-real attack by the animal from my dreams, I wake to find myself the captive of the seductive and ruthless fae lord Rogue. In return for my rescue, he demands an extravagant price—my firstborn child, which he intends to sire himself…
With no hope of escaping this world, I must learn to harness my magic and build a new life despite the perils—including my own inexplicable and debilitating desire for Rogue. I swear I will never submit to his demands, no matter what erotic torment he subjects me to…
About the Author:
Jeffe Kennedy took the crooked road to writing, stopping off at neurobiology, religious studies and environmental consulting before her creative writing began appearing in places like Redbook, Puerto del Sol, Wyoming Wildlife, Under the Sun and Aeon. An erotic novella, Petals and Thorns, came out under her pen name of Jennifer Paris in 2010, heralding yet another branch of her path, into erotica and romantic fantasy fiction. Since then, an erotic short, Feeding the Vampire, and another erotic novella, Sapphire, have hit the shelves. 

Her contemporary fantasy novel, Rogue’s Pawn, book one in A Covenant of Thorns, will be published in July, 2012. Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and frequently serves as a guinea pig for an acupuncturist-in-training. Find her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Author.Jeffe.Kennedy) and Twitter (@jeffekennedy) or visit her at her website http://jeffekennedy.com/.

1 comment:

Jeffe Kennedy said...

Thanks for hosting me today!

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