Kennealy-Morrison, Patricia 1946–
Kennealy-Morrison, Patricia 1946–
PERSONAL: Original name Patricia Kennely; name legally changed to Kennealy-Morrison in 1979; born March 4, 1946, in Brooklyn, NY; daughter of Joseph Gerard and Genevieve Mary (McDonald) Kennely; married James Douglas Morrison (singer and songwriter for rock band, the Doors), June 24, 1970 (died July 3, 1971). Ethnicity: "Irish-American" Education: Attended St. Bonaventure University, 1963–65; State University of New York at Binghamton, B.A., 1967.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, HarperCollins Publishers, 10 E. 53rd St., New York, NY 10022.
CAREER: Jazz and Pop, New York, NY, editor-in-chief, 1968–71; RCA Records, New York, advertising copywriter, 1971–73; CBS Records, New York, copy director and copywriter, 1973–79; New School, New York, copy director, 1979–81; writer, 1979–; Lizard Queen Productions, Inc., New York, president and CEO, 1984–. The Doors (film), 1991, technical advisor and cameo appearance.
MEMBER: Science Fiction Writers of America, Mensa, Richard III Society, Society for Creative Anachronism, Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (dame, preceptor, and knight protector, 1995–).
AWARDS, HONORS: Clios and Art Directors Club awards, 1976, 1977, and 1978, for advertising work at CBS Records.
Strange Days: My Life with and without Jim Morrison (memoir), Dutton (New York, NY), 1992.
The Copper Crown, Bluejay Books (New York, NY), 1984.
The Throne of Scone, Bluejay Books (New York, NY), 1986.
The Silver Branch, Bluejay Books (New York, NY), 1987.
The Hawk's Gray Feather (Book 1: "Tales of Arthur" trilogy), ROC (New York, NY), 1990.
The Oak above the Kings (Book 2: "Tales of Arthur" trilogy), ROC (New York, NY), 1994.
The Hedge of Mist (Book 3: "Tales of Arthur" trilogy), HarperPrism (New York, NY), 1996.
Blackmantle: A Triumph, HarperPrism (New York, NY), 1997.
The Deer's Cry, HarperPrism (New York, NY), 1998.
Work represented in anthologies, including Rock She Wrote: Women Write about Rock, Pop, and Rap, edited by Evelyn McDonnell and Ann Powers, Delta Books, 1995; contributor to magazines and newspapers.
SIDELIGHTS: Patricia Kennealy-Morrison was born Patricia Kennely. In 1979, she changed her name to reflect her 1970 marriage in a Celtic "hand-fasting" ceremony to rock star James Douglas (Jim) Morrison, who had died in 1971 at the age of twenty-seven, and at the same time chose to change her birth surname Kennely to its present form. Kennealy-Morrison is a successful fantasy writer, primarily through her "Keltiad" series, in which her interest and extensive knowledge of Celtic and pagan history and mythology moves her plots. Her stories incorporate references to Morrison, and she fashions one of her heroic characters, Morric Douglas, after him.
Kennealy-Morrison's marriage and the career of Morrison were portrayed in the film The Doors, which was directed by Oliver Stone. Kennealy-Morrison was played by Kathleen Quinlan, and Val Kilmer played Morrison. Kennealy-Morrison told CA: "I wrote my memoir Strange Days in direct and furious response to Oliver Stone's alleged biopic; if he had made a movie that had honestly and fairly depicted Jim, me, the Doors, and the Sixties, I would never have written the book." Kennealy-Morrison felt that Stone "made a trivializing, soulless, malicious, mean-spirited piece of rubbish. He ignored everything that I and others who knew Jim tried to tell him, preferring to substitute his own sensationalized delusional construct—and even out-and-out falsehoods—for the dramatic poignancy of truth…. The Jim Morrison I knew, the Jim I love, the Jim I married, was the most beautiful creature that has ever walked this planet since the dawn of time, a man of grace and brilliance, a man in love and a man in pain, and he has been vilely served by not only idolators but by many who have claimed to be his friend." Kennealy-Morrison said that "we who know and love Jim do what we can to destroy the pernicious mythology…. Our story was pure Greek tragedy; Oliver Stone turned it into a tawdry farce. What he did to me in that movie was cruel and hurtful and terrible; but what he did to Jim was a sin and a crime…. But I do know that there are millions of people out there who admire him for all the right reasons; they'll never know how grateful I am for that."
Kennealy-Morrison took a break from writing her fantasy novels to complete the biography. Two decades had passed since Jim's death, during which time Kennealy-Morrison had spoken of him publicly only twice. In Strange Days: My Life with and without Jim Morrison, she writes of their meeting and early days of love and peace, beginning in 1969, but also of the darker side of their lives, including his alcoholism, which was a factor in his not accompanying her to the hospital when she aborted their child. She also writes of his relationship with Pamela Courson, who was with him when he died of a drug overdose in Paris, and who she feels drew him into the heroin use that killed him. Courson herself died of an overdose in 1974.
Morrison's and Courson's families hold the rights to Morrison's estate, Morrison having named Courson in his will in 1968. Kennealy-Morrison thought she could not legally publish her own collection of his poems, songs, drawings, and letters until fifty years after his death, in 2021. She learned, however, that she already had that right, since the current laws that went into effect in 1978 allow that they could have been placed in the public domain in 2003. Kennealy-Morrison decided, however, to follow her original plan to publish in 2021, at which time she will be seventy-five. The projected title of the collection is Fireheart, the name Morrison gave himself in one of his poems to her. In a 1971 letter written just before he died, Morrison told Kennealy-Morrison he planned to end the relationship with Courson, return to the United States, and legally marry her. When he died, Kennealy-Morrison went to Paris to perform Wicca rituals to help his spirit find peace. Library Journal contributor Barry X. Miller called the memoir "a beautiful tapestry of their short but seemingly eternal spiritual bond."
Kennealy-Morrison began writing her "Keltiad" series in the early 1980s. The seventh book, The Deer's Cry, is chronologically the first in the saga and, therefore, a good place to begin for readers unfamiliar with the other volumes. She recounts the history of how more than 20,000 years earlier, the Danaans came to Earth from outer space and settled in the city of Atlantis, then in Ireland (Eruinn) after their city was destroyed. There they lived in peace until the Gaels arrived. After some conflict, the two races lived in harmony and the central character, Brendan Aoibhell, was born of a human father and Danaan mother. As with the other books in the series, this one contains a glossary of people, places, and terms, as well as pronunciations of difficult words. Three of the books in the series form a trilogy based on the legends of King Arthur.
Patricia Kennealy-Morrison told CA: "My fantasy books are part of an eighteen-book cycle called 'The Keltiad,' based on ancient Irish, Welsh, and Scottish legend and myth, set in outer space in our distant future (and past). The series enables me self-indulgently to combine two lifelong interests: Celtic mythology (everything from Cuchulainn and the Mabinogion to King Arthur and Fionn mac Cumhaill) and space science. Although for purposes of research I could not manage to get off the planet, I did extensive travel in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England. I also accumulated a working knowledge of Celtic languages and linguistics, plus history, anthropology, sociology, and political structures. The Celtic mythos is an exceptionally rich one, as has been shown by its influence and durability down the centuries, and it will assuredly survive my own revisionist use of it for a space fantasy—which even King Arthur might have enjoyed. As an Irish-American (whose surname means 'wolf's head'), I feel both the need and the obligation to update these glorious, too-much-forgotten tales; perhaps, having read 'The Keltiad,' some might be inspired to seek out its mighty sources, and the legends will go on anew.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Balfour, Victoria, Rock Wives, Beech Tree Books, 1986.
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1993.
Hopkins, Jerry, and Danny Sugerman, No One Here Gets out Alive, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1980.
Kennealy-Morrison, Patricia, Strange Days: My Life with and without Jim Morrison, Dutton (New York, NY), 1992.
Boston Herald, May 24, 1992, Julie Romandetta, review of Strange Days,.
Daily Mail (London, England), September 25, 1992, Corinna Honan, review of Strange Days, p. 36.
Library Journal, March 15, 1992, Barry X. Miller, review of Strange Days, p. 89; September 15, 1997, Susan Hamburger, review of Blackmantle: A Triumph, p. 106; November 15, 1998, Jackie Cassada, review of The Deer's Cry, p. 94.
Los Angeles Times, January 28, 1996, Steve Hochman, "2021: A Jim Morrison Spaced-Out Odyssey," p. 58.
Publishers Weekly, March 16, 1990, Sybil Steinberg, review of The Hawk's Gray Feather, p. 64; March 30, 1992, review of Strange Days, pp. 96-97; April 4, 1994, review of The Oak above the Kings, p. 61; March 4, 1996, review of The Hedge of Mist, p. 58; August 25, 1997, review of Blackmantle, p. 50; October 19, 1998, review of The Deer's Cry, p. 60.
San Francisco Chronicle, May 16, 1992, Joel Selvin, review of Strange Days.
Saturday, June, 1996, Adrianne Pielou, "Bewitched" (interview with Kennealy-Morrison), p. 9.
Green Man Review, http://www.greenmanreview.com/ (December 17, 2005), Laurie Thayer, review of The Deer's Cry.
The Doors (film), directed by Oliver Stone, 1991.