J. Kathleen Cheney is my next “Five Photographs” guest. I chose her book, THE GOLDEN CITY, as one of my picks for a December 2013 Mind Meld I participated in. The third book in her series, THE SHORES OF SPAIN, is out next month. She’s here with a peek at her writing process, a pic of her pets, and sea monster art. Welcome, Kathleen! 🙂
Something that represents something unique about you
This is a photo of my filing system where I keep magazine/catalog clippings, and you can see on the wall what I do with them. Although other people do this as well, what probably makes this special is that I’ve been saving clippings since college. I have some clippings in these files that are 30 years old or older. If there was a fire in the house, I would grab these before trying to grab photographs.
Something that represents where you live
Storm Safe, a dank rusty hole in the ground. This one’s set into our garage floor and the plastic is usually over it because we park a car atop it. Supposedly, this can hold 5 people, but we’ve had 2 in there, and it heats up terribly quickly. But if you live in Oklahoma, you might end up thanking your luck stars you’ve got one of these.
Your pet or plant or thing you care for besides your human family/friends
Alwyn and Penelope. My fluffy masters, to whom the lion’s share of all revenues go in the form of dog food, treats, boarding, and fixing chewed-up furniture, wood trim, and blinds.
Something (not someone) that really frustrates you
See that? Right lane MUST TURN RIGHT. There are four signs before the intersection. 4! Do not cut into the right turn lane and try to zip around and cut off the people going straight. (This is at the large intersection nearest my house.)
Something that brings you joy (besides writing)
My husband really supports my writing, and that’s not the case for all writers. Not only did we use our first vacation in 5 years to visit the setting of my novels, he went as far as to get that sea monster tattooed onto his leg. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is ;o)
[Jill: Love the tattoo and its significance.]
What’s the elevator pitch for your latest published novel?
I’ve got a new novel coming out in July, and I’d describe it as…In a world where the events of the epic poem, Os Lusiades, were real….wait, I’ve probably lost you there. When Spain and Portugal find themselves trapped in a conspiracy of magic, it will take a few honest men…no, women…no, wait, sirens!…to straighten things out.
I stink at the elevator pitch.
[Jill: Sounds great! Elevator pitches are hard.]
What are you working on next?
I have a new series debuting next February (the Palace of Dreams Novels), and I’m actually working on the second book in that series (tentatively titled The Sins of the Fathers), although I expect to get edits to work on for the first book (Dreaming Death) any day now.
[Jill: Congrats! 🙂 ]
What are you currently reading?
Tex Thompson’s Medicine for the Dead, the second in her series set in a fantasy Old West with fishmen and a long-suffering fellow named Appaloosa Elim.
What are you currently watching (TV shows)?
It’s summer hiatus, so my husband and I are watching TV series on the Roku instead of live TV. We’ve just finished up Season 2 of Orphan Black, and started Season 1 of Vikings. Also, we pretty much watch any Mystery series on PBS, which currently means Father Brown Mysteries and Doctor Blake Mysteries. And American Ninja Warrior, because it’s fun.
Favorite fantasy creature, villain, or weapon not from your own work?
Bane. Not the one from Batman, but the one from P.C. Hodgell’s books of the Kencyrath. Bane is SO bad that I really want him to be reformed. Unfortunately, he’s dead. Well, mostly dead. His body is currently made of bugs. However, he does have the Book Bound in Pale Leather right now, so there’s no telling what he’ll learn from it.
(BTW, I haven’t read the most recent book yet, so don’t spoil it for me in comments!!!)
Biggest challenge facing writers today?
Trying to decide which path to take with which works. I think it would benefit most to try for both traditional publication and indie publication, but it’s tough to choose which works belong in which group. And there’s so much advice flowing in from all camps, that it’s difficult for a writer to stick to their guns and choose the best path for them.
How can we meet that challenge?
I think that it would be beneficial for both sides on the traditional publishing/indie publishing argument to quit vilifying the other. I’m very grateful to have the publisher that I do, and they can do things I can’t. But I also have self-published works, so I get to see both sides of this argument.
More about Kathleen
Kathleen Cheney is a former teacher and has taught mathematics ranging from 7th grade to Calculus, with a brief stint as a Gifted and Talented Specialist. Her short fiction has been published in Jim Baen’s Universe, Writers of the Future, and Fantasy Magazine, among others, and her novella “Iron Shoes” was a 2010 Nebula Award Finalist. Her novel, “The Golden City” was a Finalist for the 2014 Locus Awards (Best First Novel). The sequel, “The Seat of Magic” came out in 2014, and the final book in the series, “The Shores of Spain” will come out July 2015.
More about THE SHORES OF SPAIN
A brilliant new chapter in the Novels of the Golden City.
Even as the branches of peace are being offered, there are some who still believe those who are not human should be used as chattel. And they are willing to go to great lengths to retain their power.
Newlywed siren Oriana Paredes has been appointed Ambassador to her home islands now that communication between Northern Portugual and the magical races has been restored. But convincing her people that the new Portuguese Prince’s intentions are honorable after years of persecution is difficult. And her husband, Duilio, faces his own obstacles among the sirens where males are a rare and valuable commodity with few rights.
In addition to their diplomatic mission, the two hope to uncover the truth behind Oriana’s mother’s death. Evidence suggests that Spain—a country that has been known to enslave magical beings—may have infiltrated the siren authority. Unable to leave their post, Oriana and Duilio must call on Inspector Joaquim Tavares to root out the truth.
But even his seer’s gift cannot prepare him for what he will discover.
Thank you for the interview and for sharing your pictures with us today, Kathleen! Best wishes for THE SHORES OF SPAIN!