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Kathleen Jennings Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Flyaway (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Some Ways to Retell a Fairy Tale (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Heart of Owl Abbas (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wonderful Stag, or The Courtship of Red Elsie (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Travelogues: Vignettes from Trains in Motion (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Kindling: Stories (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Insert Title Here(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hear Me Roar(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bloodlines(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2015(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bitter Distillations(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Kathleen Jennings
Kathleen Jennings is a writer and illustrator that is based in Brisbane, Australia. She grew up on a cattle property in western Queensland.

Growing up she learned far more about American and European legends than she did Australian ones, it was a long time before she learned too much about the real history of the area that she knew the best. So “Flyaway” comes from this experience, the overlay of introduced stories, which can be just as beautiful and destructive as any introduced species.

However it’s also about learning to read the Australian landscape through the lens of such stories, taking all of her visual fairy tale vocabulary from the grass, trees, and flowers that she knew. And always getting rather puzzled and hurt when she’d read Australian books which seemed to believe the landscape of Australia was hideous and horrifying, apart from some things that happen in them.

So there are some traces of a great deal of fairy tales and folklore in the novel, often indirectly: a fear, a logic, a beauty, and a sort of consequence. However there’s an awful lot of the region that she grew up in. Some buildings: a missing step, the sawmill, specific doors, a particular ceiling, all are very certainly lifted from places that Kathleen knew, and there are allusions and hints to local legends and events. Not the least of which are the eternal glimpses of huge black cats in the Australian bush.

Bettina’s emotions in “Flyaway” are tricky things, and Kathleen had to work on them while editing the novel. To begin with, she likes characters that are buttoned down emotionally, which meant in her early drafts, she pretty much left emotions out of it. Then she had to slowly add them back in.

Kathleen has a Master of Philosophy, which is a research higher degree, basically a half-size Doctor of Philosophy. These can be in any field, and hers was in Communication and Arts (Creative Writing). Hers was practice led, meaning that she wrote a book to figure a question out, along with a huge research paper all about it. She did an MPhil since she knew that it was the right size for her research question, and because she didn’t believe that “Flyaway” needed to be a long book.

Her question was “how do writers of beautiful Australian Gothic tales manage to make them Gothic and beautiful?” A bunch of Australian Gothic tradition is ugly, violent, and hot, however there are also some gorgeous and gentle books which still use this sense of sublime to create such Gothic terror. This is what she wanted to do.

As an illustrator she’s won a World Fantasy Award (and been a finalist on three other occasions), and she’s been shortlisted once for the Locus Awards, once for the Hugos, and won a number of Ditmars.

As a writer, Kathleen has won a British Fantasy Award (the Sydney J Bounds Award) and two Ditmars. She’s been shortlisted for World Fantasy Awards, the Courier-Mail People’s Choice Book of the Year Award, the Crawford Award, the Eugie Foster Memorial, the Australian Shadows Award, and several Aurealis Awards.

Sometimes she’ll have an idea and know right off that it is a drawing or a story, since they have different content and lengths. However other times she will scribbling and a mood, aesthetic, or movement will emerge. Then she will either play around with it until a thumbnail sketch or phrase “clicks” and she knows she wants to do it a certain way. But at other times, she will not have a direction for her idea. Then she will often pick a sort of story or art she feels like playing with yet did not have an idea for, and she’ll try shoehorning the idea into that. At that point, the format begins shaping the inspiration to fit into that.

“Flyaway” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2020. Enchantment, transformation, and the emotional truths of family history teem in this stunning debut by Kathleen Jennings.

In a tiny Western Queensland town, one reserved young woman gets a note from one of her brothers that disappeared. It’s a note that makes her question the memories of them vanishing and her dad’s departure.

This is a beguiling story which proves that uncanny family horror and gothic delights can live (and even thrive) under a burning sun, and this introduces the reader to Bettina Scott, whose search to find the truth throws her right into stories of vanished schools, eerie dogs, cursed monsters, and enchanted battles. This novel enchants you with the beautiful and sly darkness of Karen Russell and world that is utterly its own.

“Flyaway” was a 2020 Crawford Award Finalist, a 2021 World Fantasy Award Finalist, an Indie Next Pick, and named a Best of 2020 Pick for NPR.

“Travelogues: Vignettes from Trains in Motion” is a collection of vignettes and was released in 2020. How can people possibly work on trains? Or read on trains? There’s so much that happens outside.

With these words, Kathleen opens the door to a more graceful and nuanced world of travel vignettes. With this affinity for words which is equal to her celebrated artwork, she captures the passing landscape with this illustrator’s eye for detail and a poet’s command of startling metaphors and rich language.

Originally published over a three year span as she traveled across England, New York State, and Massachusetts, this collects the travel vignettes from Kathleen for the first time.

Each of her nine journeys is infused with wonder and unfamiliar and rich landscapes, and anybody that climb aboard is forever going to look at train travel with fresh eyes.

“The Wonderful Stag, or The Courtship of Red Elsie” is a short story and was released in 2021. This is a fairy tale equal parts gruesome and gorgeous.

In this dark fantasy short story, some village couples look for approval for marriage from a stag with golden rings that adorn its horns. That is up until a suitor, who is determined to convince a woman to fall in love with him, makes a rather rash choice.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kathleen Jennings

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