All Sorts of Stories with Kelly Jensen – Post + Giveaway

July 27, 2016

All Sorts of Stories

Liquorice Allsorts are one of my favourite candies. I adore the combination of flavours and textures. Strong aniseed layered with fruit and coconut; chewy liquorice and soft gelatine. My reading tastes are similar. I read widely, across most genres. I will follow space opera with contemporary romance, then pick up a supernatural thriller, follow that with some epic fantasy, read something kinky, then settle in with a lush historical. So it comes as no surprise that as a writer, I also like to cross genres and mix things up.

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My first published book was a post-apocalyptic love story with aliens. I kinda knew at the time it wouldn’t be a bestseller—that it would be too weird for most folks. But I loved writing it! I followed that one up with a story about, um, kinky robots. Then some more science fiction romance (the Chaos Station series co-written with Jenn Burke). Next up was contemporary romance—and even there, I had to mix it up. I wrote about a forty-five year old, then a pair of college students. Then an established couple.

Last week saw the release of my first story featuring a questioning character—Marc, a twenty-something accountant who has been so focused on his career, he’s found it easy to ignore the fact women just don’t do it for him. Then he meets Henry and it’s as if the sun has peeked between the clouds. It’s revelation time and Counting Fence Posts presents him with a chance to form a new plan. The story is told from Henry’s point of view, because I like to look at some characters a little sideways. Also, Henry’s perspective is as important as Marc’s—as their relationship will be made up of not one, but two people.

Writing Henry and Marc gave me a chance to talk about sexuality, which is something I don’t often do in my stories. Happily, most of my LGBT characters live in worlds (and neighbourhoods) where their sexuality is nothing but their own business. It would be naïve and perhaps neglectful for me to assume every character exists in such a state of bliss. The most important aspect of writing Counting Fence Posts for me, however, was staying true to my characters. To present their thoughts, feelings and questions. To explore their anxieties, as if they were real people, while keeping in mind that everyone is a different allsort. Our layers and flavours unique.

Today sees the release of my first paranormal tale, Best in Show. This one was so much fun to write, and a completely new field for me. I’d long wanted to write a story about a cat who was actually an alien in disguise. When I saw the Dreamspinner Press call for stories about unusual shifters, my cat character locked himself up in an animal shelter and said, “Write me out of this situation.” So I created a mystery writer who didn’t really want a pet, but ended up with one anyway.

For all my varied reading tastes, I don’t often pick up dark, angst-ridden stories. When I read paranormal, I look for books that take a lighter view. I also really enjoy writing humour. So Best in Show is paranormal “lite”. There are shifters and magic, but essentially, it’s the story of how fun-loving prankster Mac sweeps into the life of lonely mystery writer Julian and shakes things up. Mac plays the part of the sun peeking through clouds, because I love stories like that—where one character shows the other a new way of seeing things. Doing things. Mac has his own issues, of course. He’s human—mostly. But for Julian, he’s that absolutely necessary ray of sunshine.

I have plans to continue both of these stories, which means I’ll be writing a little more questioning and a lot more magic and mayhem. Then I might write Indiana Jones in space, or the post-apocalyptic Christmas love story with magic I’ve been fiddling with. Or maybe another contemporary. Or the dragon shifter book I almost have plotted.

I’d love to hear about your reading choices. Do you mix it up, or stick to a couple of favourite genres? Comment below for a chance to win a title from my Dreamspinner Press backlist.

(Follow the rest of my tour for character interviews, behind the book posts, playlists, excerpts and another giveaway.)

 

CountingFencePosts_postcard_front_DSP

Check out Counting Fence Posts!

There are over two hundred thousand fence posts between Syracuse and Boston. Henry Auttenberg likes numbers—it’s his job—but he isn’t going to count them all, even if the view outside the rental car is less confounding than the driver, his attractive but oh so obnoxious colleague, Marcus Winnamore. It’s Christmas Eve and Henry would much rather be home with his family. When the blizzard that grounded their flight forces them off the road, however, he’s stuck with Marc until the storm passes—or a plow digs them out.

As the temperature outside plummets, the atmosphere inside the car slowly heats up. Henry learns the true reason for Marc’s chilly distance—he’s not exactly straight…maybe…and he’s been fantasizing about Henry’s mouth, among other things. Confession laid out, Marc is all for sharing body heat…and more. Henry isn’t interested in being an experiment, but as the night and cold deepen, he could be convinced to balance certain risk against uncertain reward.

 

BestInShow_postcard_front_DSP

Check out Best in Show!

Solitary mystery writer Julian Wilkes doesn’t want a pet, but his sister persuades him to visit Lingwood Animal Rescue, where he is immediately taken with a large ginger tabby cat. Before he can settle into the joys of cat ownership, however, he discovers something very unusual about his new companion.

Macavity Birch is cursed. By day he is a large tabby cat. At night he can be himself—a human male with ginger hair and oddly yellow eyes. He didn’t mean to end up in the animal rescue, but he never meant any harm when playing the prank that resulted in his curse, either. Happily, Julian adopts him. But while exploring his host’s home, he discovers the diary of a long-dead relative.

Unfortunately, not all of Mac’s ancestors are dead and buried. His great-great-great-grandmother is very much alive, and she’s a powerful witch who doesn’t take kindly to the sharing of family secrets. When Mac reveals himself to Julian in order to save him from bigger trouble, he achieves just the opposite, plunging Julian deeper into a magical mystery with him.

 

Bio

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. A lot of what she writes is speculative in nature, but sometimes it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.

Connect with Kelly: Twitter | Facebook | Website

13 Responses to “All Sorts of Stories with Kelly Jensen – Post + Giveaway”

  1. Didi says:

    I’m a mix-them-all kind of guy; historical, contemporary, paranormal, urban fantasy, mystery, M/M and M/F… whatever! Sometimes I even read two or more of them all at once! ;-) Sure, I have preferred genres, but I try not to limit myself to them. I keep my options open, who knows what treasure I might find. :)

  2. Susan says:

    I too like a variety in my reading: sci-fi, fantasy of all stripes, mystery, contemporary, nonfiction. I never cared for historicals until I read M/M historicals and now I’m hooked on that too! I have my favorites, but I’ll try anything.

  3. Carolyn says:

    Hi Kelly! I haven’t read anything by you…YET, but I love the sound of Best in Show and Counting Fence Posts. Even though the Allsorts don’t appeal to me, I loved how it illustrated your reading tastes. I’m definitely the same, jumping from one type of story to another. I want a good story, and I don’t really care whether it’s delivered to me on a space station, a small town during the 1800s where dragons live, or a modern-day metropolis. Of course, that’s probably why my TBR is so large. But what’s one or two more added to the list right now. It’s strong enough to handle it. Thanks so much for sharing with us, and I hope readers love your latest!

  4. H.B. says:

    Congratulations on the new book releases! The both sound wonderful :-)

    I like to mix it up. I can’t imagine just sticking to a select few genres and missing out on a good story.

  5. Trix says:

    Even though I love m/m, I read a lot of nonfiction, especially hockey, music, art, and food books! I love graphic novels, too…

  6. Kelly Jensen says:

    Thank you all for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    @Didi – Same! I usually have two or three books going at once, one on audio, two in print or ebook, and all three are usually different genres.

    @Susan – there’s just something about m/m historicals. I think it’s because you know going in that it’s going to be an impossible relationship, so you want to see how it all works out. :)

    @Carolyn – Story is so important, right? Regardless of where it’s set you want to be swept and away.

    @H.B. – Exactly! That’s why I mix it up too.

    @Trix – I like art books too, and graphic novels. East of West is my current favourite!

  7. Jen says:

    I like to mix it up, too. I like the contrast…so if I just read some science fiction or fantasy, then I will read a contemporary next. Or, if I just read something heavy or dark, I will read something light next.

    Thanks for the post! Looking forward to reading your two new stories.

  8. Kelly Jensen says:

    @Jen – This is me exactly!

  9. Toni says:

    Congratulations on your new releases! They sound great and the Best in Show cover is adorable! I like to mix it up – fantasy, paranormal, historical, sci-fi, contemporary, m/m, m/f, f/f. I do require a happily ever after, though!

  10. Kelly Jensen says:

    @Toni – It’s a really cute cover. I’m so happy with it. Also glad to hear so many other readers like to mix it up!

  11. Ami says:

    I tend to have most favorite and least favorite genre. And when it comes to least favorite genre, it means that I rarely look it up or pay attention to new releases in that particular genre. So yeah, I VERY RARELY read anything related to sci-fi, high fantasy, YA/NA, or MF historical. I prefer to mix and match in my favorite genres: contemporary romance, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and mystery/thriller.

  12. susana says:

    Although I have my favourite genres, like paranormal and historical, I do like to mix and read different things, even non-fiction like Essay or Biography. I do enjoy them from time to time
    Congratulations on the new books. They sound great

  13. Kelly Jensen says:

    @Ami – Same! There are a few genres I don’t really read, but there are plenty left over. :)

    @Susana – I really need to read more non-fiction. And thanks!

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