Meet Jendia Gammon

Every Friday, we meet a member of the BFS and peer deep into their soul (or, at least, a form they filled out). Want to be featured? Email us:

Name, including preferred pronouns:
Jendia Gammon (she/her). I also previously wrote as J. Dianne Dotson.

Which region are you based in?
I am based in Los Angeles, California, currently.

If you write, which genre: 
Sci-fi, fantasy and horror

If you don’t write, what do you do?
I am also a science writer and an artist.

Are you drawn to any specific SFFH sub-genres?

  • Space Opera
  • Dark Fantasy
  • Cosmic Horror
  • Near-future thriller/sci-fi/horror
  • Cosy Fantasy
  • Cli-Fi/Eco Fiction

Your influences

Tell us about the book/film/thing that got you into SFFH: What was it? How old were you? What impact did it have on you?

I was three years old when I first saw Star Wars in 1977. Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica (original), and Flash Gordon (show) were early influences. I loved all the 1980s fantasy movies such as Legend, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, The Secret of Nimh. I also loved horror, reading Stephen King books too soon, and I am still obsessed with John Carpenter’s The Thing and of course the films Alien and Aliens, as well as Blade Runner. 

In terms of books, Ray Bradbury, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Robin McKinley loom large. But L. Frank Baum’s Oz books perhaps influenced me most of all.

How does that early influence show up in your work now?

I love dark fairy tales that can be told through the lenses of any genre. I think it’s evident, also, that I have a sort of folklore style of writing, and that’s probably because I grew up in East Tennessee, steeped in Southern Appalachia lore.

Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?

Often I’m inspired by nature, music, and science. 

Who do you look to as a genre hero? Why?

Ursula K. Le Guin. She was groundbreaking in many ways in women’s fiction and in fantasy, and she also dabbled both in long and short fiction.

Photo of Ursula K Le Guin  © William Anthony and taken from her website;

Your work

You’re stuck in an elevator for 60 seconds with that hero, and they want you to describe your work. Give us the pitch.

I’m taking you on a journey through shadow and light, through stars and under mountains, where the ordinary realize they’re extraordinary, and where the extraordinary just want to fit in. You’re going to shudder, and gasp, and cheer, and weep, and feel very much alive.

What are you working on right now?

I have four manuscripts in the works and several short stories. Genres range from space opera to speculative romance, dark fantasy, and climate fiction.

Thinking about all the stories/work you’ve done, what sticks out most in your mind? Why?

My collection The Shadow Galaxy is a good cross section of genre styles that I think showcases my ability to pivot among different forms of fiction.

Where and when do you create/are you at your most creative?

I prefer solitude and quiet, near to nature.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about creativity?

I take the advice I give, which is DON’T WRITE FOR FREE.

What’s your writing soundtrack?

I never listen to anything while writing. I am inspired by music, but it interferes with my writing process.

The quickfire round

Sci-fi, fantasy or horror?
Nope, I love all three!

Quiet or loud?

Dark or light?

Strict lines or genre blend?
Genre blend always.

Awards or bestseller?
Well…never had a bestseller but I’m happy for my awards nominations. Maybe I’ll win something! Still, though, I need to eat. 

Fiction or non-fiction?

Poetry or prose?

Plotter or pantser?

Reading or listening?

Notebook or computer?

Favourite SFFH book of all time?
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (really all 14 of his Oz books)

Last book you read?
As I write this, I’m currently reading Twelve Trees by Daniel Lewis.

Any SFFH author on auto-buy?
Stark Holborn

Favourite podcast?
Talkin’ Tauntauns

The home stretch

What’s the best thing about being a SFFH writer/agent/publisher/reader/fan?

Possibility: the imagining of horrors and wonders opens new avenues for us to explore.

Time to plug your stuff! Where can we find you and your work? What have you got coming up? Consider this your advertising space.

Find me at I was nominated for a Nebula Award, so you might’ve caught me at the Nebula Conference last week and book signings. 

Out in 2025:

Books as J. Dianne Dotson:

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