Welcome to the Deadline Dames!

We are nine writers of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, young adult fantasy, and plenty of other kinds of books, novellas, and stories with kick ass attitude. We hope you'll take a look around our online home, join in the conversation, and stay awhile.

On Planning Ahead and Breaking through Writer’s Block

IronKeyScreenshotOnce again, super fast because I’m about to get on the road to Easton, PA, for this year’s YAFest! I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately — both for the next book after To Bear An Iron Key and for my MFA project — and I’ve been planning ahead far more than ever. I’ve previously blogged about the joy of outlining. I have to stress just how helpful this has been for me, now that I’m juggling more than one writing project. I have a complete chapter outline for the book after Key, and I have what screenplay writers might call a Beat Sheet for my MFA project, in which I’ve hit 15 major points that must happen in that book — forming a very rough outline. While the chapter outline has almost everything spelled out, the Beat Sheet allows for a ton of flexibility. Very, very happy about this new skill of imagining the finished story before writing it.

And one quick tip, then I’m really out of here: If you haven’t figured out what writer’s block means for you, do so. I think it means something different for every writer. For me, when the words just stop after I’ve written a sentence, that tends to mean I’ve taken the story in the wrong direction and I need to backtrack, try something different. Like with the MFA project: I was stalled for a day until I decided to scrap the current chapter and try something else — and that moved me forward five pages (until I ran out of time today). So if the words have stopped, TRY SOMETHING ELSE. Change the POV character. Start the scene elsewhere. Skip ahead. Backtrack. Take a shower and imagine how the scene should flow. And then put fingers to the keyboard and write. :)

Hope to see you in PA!

Dame Books Out Now

circle of desire

The Dames had four books come out last week! Four!  Wow! Looking for some good reads?  Well, then...allow me to turn your attention to: FORETOLD - Rinda Elliott It is written that three Sisters of Fate have the power to change the world's … [Continue reading]

Giveaway – Winner!

Winner!!! We have a winner, picked randomly, for the TO BEAR AN IRON KEY giveaway! And the winner is... LOUISE WALKER Congratulations, Louise! Please email me (jax AT jackiekessler DOT com) with your postal address, and I'll send you a signed copy … [Continue reading]

Catching up with Dame Kaz…


Hi, lovely Dames readers! It's been a while since I updated, so here are a few of the things going on in my world right now. THE SILVER FEY The most exciting thing (well, I think so!) is that I finally finished the free short story set in the … [Continue reading]


Super quick, because I'm blogging from the House of Plague (one son has strep throat; the other has a horrific cold that is trying to morph into a sinus infection; I'm walking around axe-kicking germs and knocking on wood). Yesterday, I received my … [Continue reading]