Books, Babes, and the Business: Kate J. Jenkins

Celebrating Women in Fiction

blog header cwifKate J. Jenkins

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I identify as a reader, and a very (very) early-stage writer. In the last year, through beta reading, I’ve become increasingly interested in working with authors on their work. By this, I mean editing and the exciting task of, hopefully, asking questions of and with authors that help them develop ideas and characters between first and final drafts. As I transition from my career as an attorney, I genuinely hope to engage in more of this work.

Do you focus on a certain genre with your work?

I read in several genres, but I find myself forever returning to horror, speculative, and, especially, crime fiction.  My girlfriend tells me, I’m not allowed to bring home any more crime fiction novels because piles of them already “decorate” the house adequately.  My own writing is horror / speculative fiction.  I remember reading a book of ghost stories when I was in kindergarten or first grade and getting a shiver at the end of a story.  I believe I’m still chasing that emotion when I read and when I write.  I love crime fiction because, when done well, it’s all about character and place.

Name a few of your favorite books/authors you’ve read recently.

I’ve loved all of Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, in particular The Likeness about a detective who looks so much like a murdered graduate student that she pretends to be her and not to have died, and moves back into the house the woman shared with three other graduate students who are the primary suspects. I also enjoyed Night Film by Marisha Pessl, about investigation into the apparent suicide of the young daughter of a cult film horror film director who may or may not have committed atrocities against the people who’ve worked for him in his films. I love and will read anything by indie writer Allison M. Dickson.  She has the ability to create worlds and internal character voice that make her stories undeniably compelling.

Who has been the most influential female in your personal life and how has she shaped your work?

My mother.  She just returned from a two-year stint in rural Cambodia as a Peace Corps volunteer in July, 2013. She’s 65. This after a 25 year career as an attorney. She makes clear by her actions that honesty and commitment to the larger good are essential. I also think my girlfriend has helped me to become a much more at peace and, thus, kinder person by her own life example. In my writing, my dear friend Allison Dickson, who is always open to discussion about the craft.

If you could give yourself one piece of advice relating to the business, what would it be?

Start writing earlier, it truly is a craft that requires butt-in-chair hours. And, be less afraid, listen less to my own internal editor. Given that I’m at such an early stage of writing, I think I need to take this advice now, at 42 years old.

Do you have a current project coming up you would like to tell us about?

I’m working on a novel and on a couple of short stories.  My goal, as a writer, is to submit and/or self-publish a short story or two in 2014. I’m also looking seriously into offering editing services professionally, with the idea of perhaps creating my own micro-press.  Jennifer Greene has been incredibly generous in sharing her knowledge and experience as it relates to her respected press, Sekhmet Press, LLC. If I do it, I hope I can be as professional and encouraging as she and Sekhmet are for the authors they work with.

Where can we find you?

katejenkins1Right now, on Facebook.  I plan to have a website and Facebook page for writing and/or editing soon.

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