J. Kathleen Cheney

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J. Kathleen Cheney

Goodreads Author


Born
in The United States
October 19

Website

Twitter

Genre

Influences

Member Since
June 2008

URL


J. Kathleen Cheney is nothing if not versatile in her story telling. But, weaving through her work is a common thread, that of the improbable heroine. From worlds set in humanity’s distant post-apocalyptic future to alternate worlds of today or of the near past, Kathleen’s heroines include a siren who with help from a gentleman of the city must stop a regicidal plot, the neglected daughter of an absent king coming to terms with her shapeshifting ancestors, a blind teenager who dreams of others’ deaths and who uses her gift of touch to find their killers, and the widow of a trainer who with a most unusual horse must save her farm and way of life. All use their unusual gifts and talents to overcome obstacles and find their place in the world. ...more

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J. Kathleen Cheney To be perfectly honest, it was a bit of an accident.

The original version of the novel was a short story. I set the very first draft in Venice, but ve…more
To be perfectly honest, it was a bit of an accident.

The original version of the novel was a short story. I set the very first draft in Venice, but very quickly decided that I wanted somewhere else for the setting. I glanced down at a map and said to myself, "Hmmm....Portugal has a lot of coastline."

And that was how I picked Portugal. When you're writing a short story, there's not a huge committment to setting, so it didn't call for tons of research. Just enough.

What I didn't know was that this would turn into 3 novels...and that meant tons and tons of research on Portugal.

It was an interesting conincidence, but as I was researching, trying to read the sort of books that my main character, Duilio, would have read, I ran across the epic poem, "The Lusiads", which is about the voyages of Vasco da Gama, as reimagined by Camões. The mythology of "The Lusiads" worked well with my sereia, and gave me a starting place for their culture. Portuguese history is actually fascinating, and I found myself wishing that we'd studied it when we were kids. (I grew up on the Mexican border, so if we studied Iberia at all, it was Spain.)

And it turns out that not a lot of people are familiar with Portugal, so I felt like I was given a change to introduce them to the country (which is a great place to visit, also)--even if it was the slightly-alternate version that I was working in. (less)
J. Kathleen Cheney I would suggest that you try prompt of some kind. Force yourself to write a story that includes an object that someone else picks out. I've done this …moreI would suggest that you try prompt of some kind. Force yourself to write a story that includes an object that someone else picks out. I've done this before, and 24 hours later had my story "Fleurs du Mal." (KD Wentworth had given me a glass globe with flowers in it. The actual object wasn't in the story, but it inspired something similar.)

The idea is that writers can write about anything, but sometimes if it's too close to their heart, they struggle with it more. Pick out something you don't have an emotional investment in, and write about that. That will force you to use your craft. And because writers often have to produce on a schedule, they often have to push past writing what they want or writing when they have no inspiration. So it has to be learned eventually...(less)
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Entangled Secrets by Pat Esden
Entangled Secrets
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I love seeing families in fiction, so that was one of the reasons I was excited to read Chandler's entry in this series. I thought the story was easy to follow, and Chandler's emotional life made sense. Nicely done.
J. and 1 other person liked K. Lincoln's review of Entangled Secrets:
Entangled Secrets by Pat Esden
"I have been rabidly curious about the tattooed welder & artist we met in the first book of this series (and whose metal flying monkey creations were turned against her!) And because I'm a nosy busybuddy, I also wanted to know why she was a single par" Read more of this review »
A Curse of Ash and Embers by Jo Spurrier
"This is the main character that I didn’t know that I was desperate for. Elodie is SENSIBLE. She’s also not a princess, possessed of once in a lifetime mystical power, in the midst of a love triangle, or in anyway The Chosen One. She doesn’t even fall" Read more of this review »
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First time in a long time that I picked up a book and had trouble putting it down (even to sleep). I really enjoyed this one and, as soon as I was done, purchased the sequel.
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Conditional Probability of Attraction by Tina Gower
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The second book in the series is as fun as the first, with our characters stumbling through a romance that any lover of the OTP will want to follow!
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Romancing the Null by Tina Gower
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I'm in the middle of rereading this series, and was surprised to discover that I forgot to rate some of these books. EEP!

I love the author's light and charming story with a werewolf and... an actuary. This first book in the series is a fun read, fil
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J. and 19 other people liked Jeremy Szal's review of Stormblood (The Common, #1):
Stormblood by Jeremy Szal
"STORMBLOOD is my first book, and I'm probably a little biased, but I think it's pretty good. STORMBLOOD is a space opera noir adventure that combines the rain-soaked cynicism of Blade Runner, the galaxy-spanning exuberance and aliens of Mass Effect 2" Read more of this review »
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I'm not enough of a zombie fan to give this five stars, but let's say 4.5. There was an amazing amount worldbuilding here, and sadly, all of that felt possible to me (re: the systemic racism and the people trying to turn back the clock on the civil w ...more
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The Queen's Necklace by Teresa Edgerton
The Queen's Necklace
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I enjoyed this story, and the one thing lacking was that we haven't gotten a follow-up book yet.
More of J.'s books…
“His eyes narrowed. “Is this where the elephants come in? Because there was something about elephants in that French book.”
J. Kathleen Cheney, The Seat of Magic

Polls

What should our September 2018 pick be?

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (YA High Fantasy)
 
  32 votes 21.3%

Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells (Urban Fantasy)
 
  21 votes 14.0%

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong (Urban Fantasy)
 
  20 votes 13.3%

Ferromancer by Becca Andre (Steampunk with magic)
 
  15 votes 10.0%

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova (YA High Fantasy)
 
  13 votes 8.7%

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (Historical Fantasy)
 
  10 votes 6.7%

Moonshadow by Thea Harrison (Paranormal Romance)
 
  9 votes 6.0%

A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter (Paranormal Romance)
 
  8 votes 5.3%

Trickery by Jaymin Eve (NA High Fantasy)
 
  7 votes 4.7%

 
  7 votes 4.7%

Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland (High Fantasy)
 
  5 votes 3.3%

The Golden City by J. Kathleen Cheney (Historical Fantasy)
 
  3 votes 2.0%

150 total votes
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“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody not greatly in fault themselves to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest.”
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

“His eyes narrowed. “Is this where the elephants come in? Because there was something about elephants in that French book.”
J. Kathleen Cheney, The Seat of Magic

“Courage is knowing what not to fear.”
Plato

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