Patricia Kennealy-Morrison

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Patricia Kennealy-Morrison
Born (1946-03-04) March 4, 1946 (age 71)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Residence United States
Occupation Journalist, writer

Patricia Kennealy-Morrison (born Patricia Kennely; March 4, 1946) is an American author and journalist. Her published works include rock criticism, a memoir, and two series of science fiction/fantasy and murder mystery novels. Her books are evenly divided between the series The Keltiad and The Rock&Roll Murders: The Rennie Stride Mysteries.

As first a writer and then the editor-in-chief of Jazz & Pop magazine in the late 1960s, she was one of the first women rock critics. Kennealy-Morrison has worked as an advertising copywriter, receiving two Clio nominations. She claims to be a Dame of the Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani, a High Priestess in a Celtic Pagan tradition and a member of Mensa.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

Kennealy-Morrison was born in Brooklyn, New York, and reared on Long Island in the hamlet of North Babylon.[2]

She attended St. Bonaventure University for two years, majoring in Journalism. She later transferred to Harpur College (now Binghamton University) where she graduated with a B.A. in English Literature in 1967. She has also studied at NYU, Parsons School of Design, and Christ Church, University of Oxford.

After her college graduation at age 21, she then moved to New York City, where she worked first as a lexicographer for Macmillan Publishing, then as an editorial assistant and, from 1968 to 1971, editor-in-chief of Jazz & Pop magazine. She was one of the first female rock critics, leaving the field in 1972.[2]

As editor-in-chief of Jazz & Pop she first interviewed Jim Morrison of the rock band The Doors in January 1969. After the interview, they began a correspondence, became friends and later lovers. She and Morrison exchanged marriage vows in a Celtic handfasting ceremony in June 1970.[2] Before witnesses, one of them a Presbyterian minister,[3] - according to her memoir - the couple signed a document declaring themselves wed.[4] Although handfasting, like other purely religious ceremonies, is not legal unless the appropriate State paperwork is filed, she later changed her legal name to include Morrison's name, and Morrison addressed letters and poems to her as "Patricia Morrison"[citation needed] and "my wife, Patricia".[5]

Kennealy-Morrison served as an advisor on Oliver Stone's 1991 movie The Doors, and played a small role in the film as the High Priestess who marries the Jim and Patricia characters (portrayed by Val Kilmer and Kathleen Quinlan). However, in subsequent interviews and writings, she was scathingly critical of Stone's portrayal of Morrison, herself, and other people who were the basis for the film's fictional characters, saying Stone's fiction bore little to no resemblance to the people she had known or the events they lived through; Stone admitted that the character named after her was a composite of several of Morrison's girlfriends and regretted not giving her a fictional name.[6][7] In the film her character is referred to as a "Wicca Priestess", but Kennealy-Morrison identifies as a Celtic Pagan, not a Wiccan.[1]

Kennealy-Morrison has gone on record that she wrote and had published her memoir Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison as a reaction and rejoinder to Stone's movie, among other reasons.[citation needed]

In 2000, Robin Ventura, third baseman for the pennant-winning New York Mets, took the phrase "Mojo Risin" from The Doors' "L.A. Woman" and made it the rallying cry for the team that year. Ventura and the Mets invited Kennealy-Morrison to a game just before the playoffs, where she met with them and became a Mets fan.[8]

The author's legal name is "Patricia Kennealy Morrison".[2] As a rock critic and editor, she published under her birth name, "Patricia Kennely", and later as "Patricia Kennealy". From 1994 - 2007 her books were published as "Patricia Kennealy-Morrison", with the hyphen.[1][2] Ungrateful Dead and the subsequent Rennie Stride novels are her first books to be published as simply "Patricia Morrison". The author has said that she wished to make a distinction between her Celtic fantasy novels and the murder mysteries, so decided to use different versions of her name rather than an invented pen name.

Lizard Queen Press, the Rennie Stride Mysteries and more recent work[edit]

Following a 1999 split with her publisher HarperCollins, on May 19, 2007, Kennealy-Morrison announced via her blog that she planned to start her own publishing house, Lizard Queen Press, and to self-publish novels and non-fiction. The next Keltiad novel was to be The Beltane Queen,[9][10] but she turned to mystery writing instead.

The first book to carry the Lizard Queen Press imprint is Ungrateful Dead: Murder at the Fillmore, published in 2007, first in the Rennie Stride series, which to date consists of six published books, all released on Lizard Queen Press. Additionally on LQP are Rock Chick: A Girl and Her Music (2013), a collection of PKM's writings originally published in Jazz & Pop magazine, Tales of Spiral Castle: Stories of the Keltiad (August 2014), a short-story collection set in her Keltiad world, and the forthcoming Son of the Northern Star, a fictional account of the great conflict between the Viking king Guthrum and Alfred the Great.

Ungrateful Dead: Murder at the Fillmore is the first in a series of murder mysteries set in the turbulent world of 1960s rock & roll. Ungrateful Dead introduces the protagonist, Rennie Stride, rock reporter/detective, and her boyfriend (later husband) Turk Wayland, superstar English lead guitarist. Kennealy-Morrison has described the series as:

Seamlessly blending the fictional with the real: the stars, the bands, the music, all the excitement of the most incredible decade of the last century... Full of rockworld dish and attitude, created by someone who was not only there for it but made some of it happen herself, and who took just enough drugs to get into it and not so many that she can't remember it...[10]

Ungrateful Dead was published on November 1, 2007, to coincide with both the Day of the Dead and The Celtic New Year.[10] Further novels in the Rennie Stride series are California Screamin': Murder at Monterey Pop (May 2009), Love Him Madly: Murder at the Whisky (March 2010), A Hard Slay's Night: Murder at the Royal Albert Hall (January 2011), Go Ask Malice: Murder at Woodstock (November 2012), and Scareway to Heaven: Murder at the Fillmore East (December 2014). The next in the series will be Daydream Bereaver: Murder on the Good Ship Rock&Roll (2015).



The Keltiad[edit]

  • Blackmantle: A Triumph (1997)
  • Tales of Spiral Castle: Stories of the Keltiad (2014) short stories

Tales of Aeron

  • The Copper Crown (1984)
  • The Throne of Scone (1986)
  • The Silver Branch (1988)

Tales of Arthur

  • The Hawk's Gray Feather (1990)
  • The Oak Above the Kings (1994)
  • The Hedge of Mist (1996)

Colloquies of the Ancients

  • The Deer's Cry (1998)

The Rennie Stride Mysteries[edit]

The Rock & Roll Murders

  • Ungrateful Dead: Murder at the Fillmore (2007)
  • California Screamin': Murder at Monterey Pop (2009)
  • Love Him Madly: Murder at the Whisky (2010)
  • A Hard Slay's Night: Murder at the Royal Albert Hall (2011)
  • Go Ask Malice: Murder at Woodstock (2012)
  • Scareway to Heaven: Murder at the Fillmore East (2014)
  • Daydream Bereaver: Murder on the Good Ship Rock&Roll (2015)


  • Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison (1992)
  • Rock Chick: A Girl and Her Music (2013)



  1. ^ a b c Kennealy-Morrison, Patricia (1998) Blackmantle - A Book of The Keltiad. New York, HarperPrism ISBN 0-06-105610-3
  2. ^ a b c d e f Kennealy, Patricia (1992). Strange Days: My Life With And Without Jim Morrison. New York: Dutton/Penguin. ISBN 0-525-93419-7. 
  3. ^ Kennealy, Patricia (1992). Strange Days: My Life With And Without Jim Morrison. New York: Dutton/Penguin. p. 63. ISBN 0-525-93419-7. 
  4. ^ Kennealy (1992) p.175, plate 7.
  5. ^ Facsimiles of poems and notes, photo of engraving at the Wayback Machine (archived September 3, 2000), "written by Jim for Patricia, June 1970." from Jim and Patricia -- 1968 - 1971 on the website (Internet Archive, accessed 2007-04-16)
  6. ^ Kiselyak, Charles (1997). The Road of Excess (documentary). 
  7. ^ Kennealy (1992) pp.378-381, 416-420.
  8. ^ Berardino, Mike. (September 7, 2002) "Mets have only themselves to blame after trading Ventura" in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Access date June 8, 2007
  9. ^ Kennealy-Morrison, Patricia (May 19th, 2007) "Return to Keltia and Other Places" (accessed May 21, 2007)
  10. ^ a b c Kennealy-Morrison, Patricia (June 21, 2007) Blog post: "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Dead - The Rennie Stride Mysteries" (accessed July 3, 2007)

External links[edit]