Interview with Cecilia Kennedy
Updated: Jun 2
Cecilia may be a self-proclaimed introvert, but her writing doesn't shy away from anything. Her understated prose often takes you in directions you weren't anticipating and reveals truths you didn't know you were ready to hear. Partial to CNF, Cecilia's stories are funny, honest and sometimes slip into sumptuous darkness.
My first introduction to Cecilia's work was reading "The Barracuda in the Pool" in Flash Fiction Magazine back in 2019 and it is a story I still think of now. Cecilia's handle on the uncanny is sublime!
Meet the author:
Cecilia Kennedy (she/her) earned graduate degrees in medieval and Golden Age literature from Spain and taught English and Spanish composition in Ohio for over 20 years before running away to the state of Washington in 2016 with hopes of seeing an orca. (She has not seen one yet, except as a mascot on a specific brand of bread in the grocery store.)
She is a full-time copywriter, a proofreader for Flash Fiction Magazine, and a concept editor for Running Wild Press.
In 2017, she worked up the nerve to try writing fiction and submitting to literary magazines for the first time. Since then, her short stories and flash-fiction pieces have appeared in literary journals and anthologies around the globe. Her short story collection, The Places We Haunt, was published in 2020 by Potter’s Grove Press. Other works have appeared in Maudlin House, Tiny Molecules, Flash Fiction Magazine, Headstuff.org, Rejection Lit, Streetcake Magazine, Open Minds Quarterly, Headway Quarterly, Ghost Orchid Press, Kandisha Press, and others. Mostly, she gravitates towards the horror genre but loves humor as well and is enjoying a gig as a volunteer monthly adult beverages columnist for The Daily Drunk.
Cecilia's picks were: 2-16-17-20-21-22-34-37-38-41-46
Which genre or style of writing are you most comfortable writing?
CK: CNF humor—the personal essay. The material comes easily, but if it’s published, I feel a little naked.
What makes you most nervous when it comes to writing?
CK: I have anxiety, so writing calms me down. It’s how I start my day. If the rest of my day falls apart, I can at least tell myself that I have ideas and that I’m working on something that brings me joy. I guess that’s why I also like the short story and flash-fiction form. I can get it done in a week, and there’s something so uplifting about finishing a project that I’ve set time aside for myself to do—even if the writing is crap. In that case, I tell myself that revisions can help shape even the crappiest of stories.
Where are you right now?
CK: I’m in my home office, which has all of my books, my computer, a collection of glass starfish, which I use as inspiration, and a growing collection of Funko Pops!
Are you part of a writer’s circle?
CK: I think a writing circle would be beneficial, but I find it terrifying for some reason. I like getting individual feedback from trusted friends and family. Too much feedback, for me, feels overwhelming.
What are your hobbies or what do you do for fun?
CK: In my spare time, I like to run 5Ks. I’m not a marathon person. The 5K is perfect for me—I can get it done in 30 minutes or so—it’s the flash fiction of running, I think. I also read and cook.
Do you keep track of your rejections and what’s this year’s tally?
CK: I do keep track of my rejections. January to February 2022, I had 11 rejections and 4 acceptances.
What do your first drafts look like?
CK: They are all handwritten, and I can barely read my handwriting when I go to type them out. So, as I type, I’m deciphering my handwriting and revising at the same time, which sounds annoying, but I find it fun.
What is a surprising fact not many people know about you?
CK: I love horror, the horror genre, and Halloween, but I don’t necessarily decorate my house for Halloween (other than a jack-o-lantern and some fall candles)—and I don’t get dressed up in a costume, either. I DO love candy, so I always hand out candy, and I savor it all the way up until Christmas.
Who is your first reader on a new story?
CK: It’s always my husband Nate. He is brutally honest, and he has a knack for what will sell. If he doesn’t like a piece, I’m never able to place it at a magazine. But he likes a lot of my writing and I love that he’s my biggest fan and supports what I do.
What TV show have you just binge watched?
CK: I’m in the middle of watching The Righteous Gemstones, and I cannot look away.
Tell me five items you have in your refrigerator right now.
CK: Some banana peppers that Nate pickled from our garden over the summer. They are fantastic on pizza! Pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, beer, and fancy sodas.
If you'd like to spend more time with Cecilia, you can follow her blog , Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks, where she chronicles her humorous (and perhaps scary?) attempts at cooking and home repair.
Cecilia is on Twitter @ckennedyhola .