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Kelly Jensen, critically acclaimed and award winning Author, will join us at the GLVWG Write Stuff Writers Conference™, “2020 Vision”, on Saturday, March 14, at the Best Western Lehigh Valley Hotel & Conference Center.

Kelly will facilitate 3 sessions:

 Grab the Reader in the First Chapter

 Outlining is for Everyone



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If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly Jensen 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 twelve novels, including the critically acclaimed Chaos Station series and the award-winning novel, Block and Strike. She has also published eight novellas and too many short stories to count. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly 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. 


An Interview with Kelly Jensen

By Conference CoChair—Umber Rana

Q: Do you have a disciplined writing routine?  If so, what does it include? Do you have any pre-writing rituals or habits before you sit down?

Kelly: I do have a routine! I write Monday through Friday from 6 am to 9 am. I aim for 2000 words or a chapter every day. After getting my words down, I edit or work on administrative tasks. But words always come first.

I don’t really have any pre-writing rituals except to eat breakfast. I’m pretty focused on breakfast. I think about it the night before and cook something hot most days. It’s my writing fuel!

Q: Share the strangest source of inspiration for your writing that you can remember.

Kelly: One of my favorite books (To See the Sun) was inspired by a Harlequin Historical Romance set in Montana during the 1800s. It wasn’t a book I’d normally pick up on my own, but part of a judging packet for the RWA’s RITA contest. I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would. Marriages of convenience (arranged, mail-order-spouse) have long been one of my favorite romantic tropes, but it’s not one that works well for gay romance. So I decided to try writing one. I set my story on another planet, and as a nod to this unexpectedly good read, gave my planet a wild west sort of theme: a new colony at the far edge of the galaxy, populated by former miners and terraformers who’d like a companion to share their new lives with. It was a fun book to write, and an idea that might never have occurred to me without that great little historical!

Q: What advice can you give beginning authors in establishing their brand and media presence?

Kelly: Be your most authentic self. I agonized for years over my social media presence and my author brand, only to realize that my blog, my IG feed, and my Twitter and Facebook posts all said the same thing: I was a science fiction nerd who played too many video games, bought too many books, and liked to go hiking. For me, the best part was that I tend to write characters with the same hobbies as mine. So it all fit. I aim to be upbeat and personable without getting too personal.

Q: How do you find the stories and lives that become the subject of your books? How do you research?

Kelly: My stories nearly always start with a single character. I want to write a certain sort of person in a certain situation, and my plot (including the other main character(s)) flows from there. For example, my current WIP is about two men who have recently become empty nesters (like me!). I obviously got this idea while packing my daughter up for college and wondering what I was going to do with all my spare time. And thinking about how much I’d miss her.

For my novel Block and Strike, I wanted to share the experience of how studying a martial art helped me find my voice and become a more assertive person.

The Chaos Station series explores the effects of war on former soldiers, their families, and society.

But each of these books started with a single character. Oliver for my current WIP, who is now home alone wondering who he’ll share breakfast with (told you breakfast was important). In Block and Strike, Max learns to embrace his differences and to rise above the bullying he’s endured all his life. In the Chaos Station series, Felix finally figures out how to leave the war behind, and how to embrace the love of the man he never forgot.

Q: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Kelly: Slow down and take a break. You won’t forget how to write if you take a few weeks or even a few months off. Remember to recharge between books. And, most importantly, remember your process but don’t be a slave to it. Use what works, discard what doesn’t.


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Grab the Reader in the First Chapter

First impressions last. Hook your reader with a compelling first chapter by learning how to introduce your characters, setting, and plot without giving away every secret in the book. We’ll discuss how to include just enough backstory (not too much), and how to tease your readers into turning to the next page.

Outlining is for Everyone

Don’t let the idea of an outline hold you back. Planning what you need to write every day doesn’t necessarily mean a long list of detail. What it can mean is writing faster and to the point with just a few minutes of planning ahead–before you start the book or a few minutes before you start writing!


Worldbuilding isn’t just for fantasy and science fiction. Readers want to know where they are, when they are, and how your story relates to the world it’s set in. Learn how to represent the familiar and create the unfamiliar in a way that won’t overwhelm your story or your characters. This workshop will include an exercise that may be shared with the class.


Kelly Jensen Books Collage crop

“Moving and well written, Building Forever will leave you with a mansion-sized smile.”

—Sarina Bowen, USA Today bestselling author of Goodbye Paradise

“Jensen’s talent for world-building and memorable, unique secondary characters are on full display here in this fabulous series starter. Deeply felt emotions and a lovely romance have me eager for more in this world!”

—Annabeth Albert, author of Out of Uniform series

Kelly Jensen Book Sale

“Love is an adventure”


You can find all of Kelly’s books on Amazon


Learn more about Kelly on her website: kellyjensenwrites.com

Follow her blog: kmkjensen.wordpress.com

And her social media links:

Facebook: /kellyjensenwrites

Twitter: @kmkjensen

Instagram: @kellyjensenwrites

Linktree: linktr.ee/kmkjensen


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