Thursday Thirteen--Jackie Kessler

Kessler is the first writer I'm featuring whose work I haven't read (Hell's Belles is on order). I also haven't really interacted with her online. So why am I promoting this stranger with books I don't know?

I like the book excerpts. I appreciated her style when she visits Doug's place, Bam's place, and maybe dearauthor and a couple of other spots. . . yes, she's a writer who promotes her work with panache, dammit. That's really hard to do, almost impossible for some of us.

Also a whole lot of people--whose writing and/or opinions I admire--are crazy about her books. In other words, she's an Up and Coming Writer, a Fresh New Voice**, etc, except we don't mind because she's apparently funny and pleasant and writes good books. Hot good books (it's so often the cute, innocent-looking ones who write teh excellent smut).

Jackie writes about Jackie:

1. “Jackie” is short for “Jacqueline.” I opted not to have my author name be “Jacqueline Kessler,” because whenever someone calls me by my full first name I automatically think I’m in trouble. (I blame my mother.)

2. Jackie is short, period. Five feet on a tall day. Back in the 1980s, I was at least three inches taller, thanks to Big Hair and Aqua Net.

3. I fell in love with my Loving Husband back when I was fifteen and he was sixteen. We were both members of a youth organization as teens, and years later we both became advisors for the same organization—and got reacquainted. Love at first sight...nine years later.

4. Loving Husband’s support for me and my writing knows no bounds. He even gallantly offered to accompany me to a strip club when I had to go for research purposes for HELL’S BELLES. (Isn’t he a sweetie? I even offered to buy him a lap dance. Strictly for research purposes, I swear! But he very graciously declined. So instead I paid a feature dancer $10 to chat with me about her job. Wait, am I sharing too much?)

5. I wrote HELL’S BELLES in two months. It was like I was possessed. No wonder I write about demons...

6. I gave up caffeine 17 days ago. Apparently, this is supposed to make me healthier. I’m waiting for all the health to kick in.

7. Speaking of me being short, when I was in sixth grade, I was a kindergarten monitor. One of the kindergarten kids was taller than me. Seriously.

8. When I was 12, I read Judy Blume’s WIFEY. (Come on, it was Judy Blume! ARE YOU THERE, GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET Judy Blume! Just because the back cover blurb mentioned that “Wifey is tired of chicken on Wednesdays and sex on Saturdays,” that doesn’t mean I should have had a clue the book was not intended for kids.) I think that scarred me for life. That’s why, should the YA urban fantasy novel I have on submission ever get sold, it would be published under my maiden name: Jackie Morse. I don’t want a twelve year old to go to a bookstore looking for the latest Jackie Kessler novel and accidentally pick up any of the HELL series.

9. Neil Gaiman is my god of writing. And I’m going to meet him at Fantasy Matters this November. (I’m terrified I’m going to vomit out of nerves. That’d go over real well. “Hi, I’m Jackie, I’m a huge fan, BARF!!!!! Oops. Sorry about the shoes...”)

10. I am secretly thrilled that my two sons—my Precious Little Tax Deductions—are into Justice League Unlimited. Gawd, I love watching those cartoons! Um, because a parent should be fully aware of what her children are watching. Right. (Sadly, this argument can be applied to the Power Rangers—from Mighty Morphing to Dino Thunder to SPD. Ack.)

11. I used to collect comic books, and I still have 8,000 of them. (Superhero comics. My grandmother tried to get me to read an Archie comic once. Once.) The number used to be 9,000, but thanks to a flood in my basement, I had to pitch a boatload of them. Alas...

12. No, it’s not my leg on the cover of HELL’S BELLES, and no, I didn’t work my way through college by stripping. But I am willing to lie about both.

13. Yes, I’m really giving away a 14-karat gold bracelet, an Apple iPod Nano and three Apple iPod Shuffles for my Hit the ROAD campaign. Yes, I’m seriously broke.

Go on, take the cool stuff away from Jackie here:


** If you are a writer who's been around for more than a couple of years or who goes to any writers' conferences, this phrase "Fresh New Voice" will make you break out in hives and/or truly vicious snark mode. This is true even if you've been labeled "FNV." It's just one of those things.

"Up and coming" isn't as bad because editors and agents don't use it as often in their talks about "What We're Looking For." When I hear "FNV," I look around the room to see who's turning red or biting their lips off to hold back the screams and who's still scribbling notes. This is how one can sort the veterans from the new writers.


  1. She's a huge Neil Gaiman fan? Well, then, I must check her out, as she obviously has great taste. :)

  2. Oh c'mon Kate, I'm a fresh new voice :)

    Come to my place... see trailers for movies I'll never have time to watch...

  3. What fun!

    Let us all know how you like HB, Kate.

  4. Uh.

    That's pronounced, "Doh!"

  5. Loving Husband4:38 PM

    Based on number 9 on the list, maybe you should introduce yourself to Neil as “Stan from South Park!” ;-)


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