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Patricia Kennealy-Morrison (born Patricia Kennely; March 4, 1946) is an American author and journalist. Her published works include rock criticism, a memoir, and a series of science fiction/fantasy and murder mystery novels. Most of her books are part of her series, The Keltiad.
As first a writer and then the editor-in-chief of Jazz and Pop magazine in the late sixties, she was one of the first women rock critics. Kennealy-Morrison has worked as an advertising copywriter, receiving two Clio nominations. She is a Dame of the Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani, a High Priestess in a Celtic Pagan tradition and a member of Mensa.
Life and career
Kennealy-Morrison was born in Brooklyn, New York and reared on Long Island in the hamlet of North Babylon.
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 then moved to New York City, where she worked first as a lexicographer for Macmillan Publishing, then as an editorial assistant at and, from 1968–1971, editor-in-chief of Jazz and Pop magazine. She was one of the first female rock critics, leaving the field in 1971.
As editor-in-chief of Jazz and 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 Pagan handfasting ceremony in June 1970. Before witnesses, one of them a Presbyterian minister, the couple signed a document declaring themselves wed. In 1992, Kennealy-Morrison published a memoir about her months with Jim Morrison, Strange Days: My Life With And Without Jim Morrison. Her book places great emphasis on the hand-fasting ceremony, even though she told Virginia Balfour, the author of "Rock Wives: The Hard Lives and Good Times of the Wives, Girlfriends, and Groupies of Rock and Roll," published in 1986, that Morrison took their ceremony "probably not too seriously." Jim Morrison's will stated that "I declare that I am a resident of Los Angeles County, California; that I am unmarried and have no children." There are no known witnesses to the hand-fasting ceremony. In the photo section of her book, Kenneally-Morrison includes a picture of a document in her own hand-writing, with her own signature and the signature "J Morrison" at the bottom of the document. The picture's caption states: "Signatures of the witnesses have been obscured to protect their privacy."
Although handfasting, like other 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 allegedly addressed letters and poems to her as "Patricia Morrison" and "my wife, Patricia". Jim Morrison's will, however, left everything to his long-time companion Pamela Courson.
Keneally-Morrison served as an advisor on Oliver Stone's 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. In the film her character is referred to as a "Wicca Priestess", but Kennealy-Morrison identifies as a Celtic Pagan, not a Wiccan.
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.
Lizard Queen Press
On May 19, 2007, Kennealy-Morrison announced via her blog that she will be starting her own publishing house, Lizard Queen Press, and self-publishing more novels and non-fiction. The next Keltiad novel will be The Beltane Queen, and another memoir is in the works, as well.
In June 2007 the author posted that she was in the midst of final preparations to publish Ungrateful Dead: Murder at the Fillmore, the first in a series of murder mysteries set in the turbulent world of Sixties rock & roll. Ungrateful Dead introduces the character of 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…
Ungrateful Dead was published on November 1, 2007, to coincide with both the Day of the Dead and The Celtic New Year.
The author's legal name is "Patricia Kennealy Morrison". 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. Ungrateful Dead is her first book to be published as simply "Patricia Morrison".