From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

J. Kathleen Cheney, author of Masks of War

J. Kathleen Cheney, author of Masks of War, is a former Mathematics teacher (currently taking a sabbatical), and has taught everything from 7th grade math to Calculus. She currently lives in Oklahoma, although she was born and raised in
Texas. You can find her stories in Shimmer (the Pirate Issue), The Best of Jim Baen’s Universe 2, and Writers of the Future XXIV.


Where do you get your ideas from?

Goodness only knows. Masks of War was inspired by an article that ran in
Smithsonian Magazine last year called ‘Faces of War‘. It took several months for me to come up with the story I wanted, and I spent that whole time worried that someone else was going to write my story before I figured it out.

If not yourself, who would you be?

Can I be Jennifer Connelly? She has really good hair!

What author do you admire and hope to be compared to someday?

Martha Wells

What is your favorite occupation?

Writing, of course, but I suppose Mike Rowe’s job would be pretty cool, too. (Disgusting, but cool)

What are your favorite words?

Defenestration, penultimate, and lugubrious. Although tenebrous is really nice, too. And I’ve always wanted an excuse to use ‘antimacassar’.

Your favorite names?

Elizabeth, because it’s four syllables yet no one ever complains that the author/parent is using names that are ‘too long’. It’s a stealth long name.

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