Introducing A Fabulous Scribbler of YA Fantasy Tales

J. (Jenny) Keller Ford is a quirky mother of four, grand-mother and scribbler of young adult fantasy tales. She has an insatiable appetite for magic, dragons, knights and faeries, and tries to weave at least one into every story she conceives. Her muse follows her everywhere and talks incessantly, feeding her ideas for stories 24/7.

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When she’s not torturing her characters mercilessly, J. Keller enjoys living in sunny Florida, listening to smooth jazz, collecting seashells, swimming, bowling, riding roller coasters and reading. Her most loyal fans (beside her family) consist of two Australian Shepherds, a mixed-breed hippy dog, and a precocious orange cat, all of whom believe J. Keller is their slave. She thinks they might be right.

Tell us about what you write.

I write YA fantasy, mostly, though I do stray into the fantasy New Adult genre. I love fantasy because I enjoy the freedom the genre provides. I can make up any kind of world I want, create my own rules, laws, limitations, settings, and no one can say it can’t happen like that. Sure there are some standards like unicorns and gnomes and dragons, werewolves, vampires, pixies, etc. As an author, though, I can elaborate or change any of the standard ideas, so long as I can make the audience suspend belief. I mean, whoever heard of glittering vampires but Stephanie Meyer did it with her Twilight series and her fans didn’t mind at all that Edward glittered, appeared in photographs, and didn’t sleep in a coffin.

Can you give us a sneak peek into your typical day?

My day starts pretty early. I’m up with my youngest son at 6:00 a.m. He’s a senior in high school and it’s our quiet time together to chat before he heads off for school. After he leaves and I get back from my 30-minute walk, I hop in the shower, get some coffee and food in me, then sit down at the computer. As I’m currently (and desperately) looking for a job, I hit up all the job sites as well as send e-mails to all the employment agencies I’ve signed with. I spend about 2 – 3 hours popping out resumes and job networking before I settle into a day of writing. And yes, I write every day. Hours upon hours I tap away at my keyboard on any one of the multiple projects I have going. I exercise throughout the day to keep my mind active. I make dinner almost every night. Sadly, I don’t have much of a life outside of walking or riding my bike (a lack of money tends to put a damper on other activities). My hubby is disabled so I tend to write and read all day. When my sons are up to it, we’ll play games like Taboo, Scrabble, Backgammon, Othello, or Pictionary, but they are usually off in their own world as a teen and 20ish year old should be. I usually go to bed around midnight.

What’s your favorite craft book? Favorite fiction book?

I have several excellent books I keep around me all the time. I would be lost with my dictionary and massive thesaurus, but I also have The Copy-editor’s Handbook, Writing Fiction, by Janet Burroway, and Characters & Viewpoint, a Writer’s Digest book. I need to get the 2013 copy of Writer’s Market. It’s a MUST HAVE for every writer.

As for a favorite fiction book? Lordy, you might as well ask me to pick a favorite star in the sky. There are so many I love. I have to say the ones I cling to the most are usually fantasy-related in some way, Young Adult, and the story sucks me in like metal to a magnet.

Describe your personality in 5 words or less.

Loving, faithful, stubborn, prideful, passionate

Tell us anything fun about yourself, related or unrelated to writing.

I LOVE collecting seashells. I could spend hours searching the sand for that ‘perfect’ shell. When I say perfect, I don’t mean without flaws, but it has to have character. Sometimes I look for color. Other times I look for unusual. Sometimes I look for broken. My favorite shells are olives. I love their polished shine from being tumbled in the surf and they always appear as if they have hieroglyphics written on them. I would love to travel around the globe to different beaches and collect seashells. Right now I have Ziploc bags full of all kinds of shells and when the mood strikes me, I make things out of them (picture frames, jewelry boxes, mirror frames, etc.) and give them away. I love making gifts for people from my personal collection of hand-picked shells.

Peeps can stalk Jenny here:
 
 
Links to where they can purchase Make Believe MakeBelieve-eBook-Cover-web-500px
 
 
Blurb about The Amulet of Ormisez, my story in Make Believe:
 
The Amulet of Ormisez by J. Keller FordThere is only one way to save Elton Fletcher’s brother from an insanity-ridden death.After years away from home, fighting for his people, Elton returns to discover his only sibling, Cayden, possessed by greed and malice, and responsible for malicious, unthinkable deeds. Cayden, though, isn’t the only one afflicted by the Amulet of Ormisez, and Elton finds himself in yet another battle, where the price of failure could be his own life.
 
*Don’t you just LOVE that cover? Okay, so have you purchased Make Believe yet? Read it? If not, it makes a wonderful Christmas gift . . . just saying:-) It’s sitting on my Kindle right now and I can’t wait to read it over Christmas Break . . . only 2 more days. Thank God! The same alien who sucked out my students brains this week stole mine as well ~Cheers!
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CHEERS!!!

cheers, Alex
 
 
Here’s the scoop:
 
Have you ever attended a holiday party where you bump into the one person who’s always been there for you throughout the last year? You’d want to thank them for being incredibly stellar, right? If there’s one person in the Blogosphere who you would want to say cheers to, who would it be?
 
For us, it was a no-brainer – Alex “no hyperlink needed” Cavanaugh!
 
Without being asked, Alex has become a blogging enigma, always helping hundreds of his fellow authors by announcing book releases, hosting guest posts, guest interviews and always leaving positive comments. We can’t have a live party for the Ninja Captain, but we can host a yuletide BlogFest!
 
Hosted by Mark Koopmans, Morgan Shamy, David Powers King and Stephen Tremp, this blogfest will run from December 10 – 12!
 
On those days, answer these four questions as creatively as you’d like:
 
1) What does Alex look like?
 
I’ve always pictured him as a middle-aged man with a high forehead, a strong jaw line, thick sideburns, a scruffy look because he’s too busy visiting everyone’s blogs to shave regularly, brown hair, and an average height of 5’10 and average build. (So has anyone EVER seen a picture of Alex, or is he all smoke and mirrors?)
 
2) Who could play Alex in a documentary?
 
Sean Astin from The Goonies (one of the BEST movies ever! Just the mention of it makes you want to watch it again, right!?)
 
3) Who does Alex remind you of?
 
Easily Chuck Norris because he is bad-ass. (Can’t put that without typing a joke: When Chuck was in middle school, his English teacher assigned an essay: “What is courage?” Chuck received an A+ for turning in a blank page with only his name at the top. Hahaha)
 
4) Flash fiction using the key words Cavanaugh, Ninja, IWSG, Cosbolt, Guitar:
 
Mrs. Cavanaugh kept her face carefully neutral as the Star Gazer ship landed, returning from another trip to Mars. A middle-aged male shuffled off the ship, head down, wearing all black. A Ninja? She hadn’t seen one of those since they were shipped to the asteroid fifteen years ago for ‘violating the law.’ Who would’ve ever dreamed the day when America included artsy-fartsy things like playing the guitar and writing fiction novels as an act of terrorism. She still visited her husband once every five years, all the government would allow. Those effin’ cosbolts! She pasted a fake smile on her face and studied the man now standing before her. Her eyes met his chest first and immediately she noticed the red IWSG letters faintly engraved in the upper right front of his black uniform.
 
“Alex?”
 
His mouth enveloped hers, absorbing all questions. Maybe he had stolen the ship, maybe he’d be banished from the planet again any minute now, but none of that mattered. Life seemed to consist of only the reality of their lips meeting. When she finally opened her eyes, she saw the army marching off the ship behind him. She guessed it was probably all seventeen hundred of them, all sent to the asteroid so many moons ago.
 
“Alex, what on earth are you doing?”
 
The wide curve of his mouth turned upward in a smile, almost reaching those piercing hazel eyes. “Ready to start a revolution, doll?”
 
*****
Thank you, Alex, for being our fearless leader!! *holds up coffee mug and shouts Cheers!*