English Alum in the Spotlight: Kendra Hadnott

Kendra Hadnott
Kendra Hadnott

Recently, we here at the Jet Fuel Review hosted an Alumni Author Reading featuring three alumni from the university where we are based, Lewis University. We wanted to celebrate them not only in that space, but here on the blog, too. Two weeks ago we spotlighted former JFR Managing Editor Tim Fitzpatrick, last week we highlighted poet Susan Slaviero, and this week we finally have novelist Kendra Hadnott.

Kendra Hadnott is an author, freelance writer, educator, and blogger. In 2015, she was named the third place winner in the 2014 International 3-Day Novel Contest for her novella, Somebody’s Nobody. Her short stories have been published in various university magazine publications. She is the author of the 5-book LIVE series and children’s paranormal fantasy novel, Something Watching Me (an official 2016 Chicago Public School Battle of the Books title). Her science-fiction novel, Death Leaders, is the latest of her work to be published. Previously a writer/project manager for a well-known toy company, Kendra happily traded in her 9-to-5 gig for a rewarding career as an author. She holds a bachelors degree in English from Lewis University. You can visit her website here.

Below we have an interview with Kendra, and also feature the first chapter of her novella, Somebody’s Nobody.

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English Alum in the Spotlight: Susan Slaviero

Susan Slaviero
Susan Slaviero

Recently, we here at the Jet Fuel Review hosted an Alumni Author Reading featuring three alumni from the university where we are based, Lewis University. We wanted to celebrate them not only in that space, but here on the blog, too. Last week we spotlighted former JFR Managing Editor Tim Fitzpatrick, and this week we have poet Susan Slaviero.

Susan Slaviero’s full-length collection of poems, CYBORGIA, is available from Mayapple Press. Her chapbooks include An Introduction to the Archetypes (Shadowbox Press 2008), Apocrypha (Dancing Girl Press 2009), A Wicked Apple (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2011), and Selections From The Murder Book (Ghost Ocean, 2012).  For many years, she designed and edited the online literary journal Blossom Bones, and now she performs as her alter ego, August Rose, with The Chicago Poetry Brothel. She is the recipient of a 2014 Pushcart Prize, and she received her degree in English from Lewis University. You can visit Susan’s blog here 

Below we have both an interview with Susan, and we’re also featuring a poem by her, entitled “Coyote.”

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English Alum in the Spotlight: Tim Fitzpatrick

Tim Fitzpatrick
Tim Fitzpatrick

Recently, we here at the Jet Fuel Review hosted an Alumni Author Reading, featuring three alumni from the university where we are based, Lewis University. We wanted to celebrate them not only in that space, but here on the blog, too. First up on the docket is former Jet Fuel Review managing editor, Tim Fitzpatrick.

Tim Fitzpatrick served as Managing Editor of Jet Fuel Review from 2012-2014 and currently serves as JFR’s Head Consultant. He is an avid reader, writer, and Bulls fan. He joined the Jet Fuel Review after its second issue and has not been allowed to leave. He has run a videography company, worked for Jokes4miles doing video work, written as a professional blogger, and currently works as a chef for Wooden Paddle Pizza. He enjoys his coffee black, a good film, the occasional alcoholic beverage, and golfing. You can check out his previous JFR blog “Tim’s Storydome” where he pit novels against their film adaptations.

Below we have a Q&A with Tim:

So, what are you working on?

There are a few short stories that I am working on, but primarily I’m working with some friends to turn one of my shorts into a short film. I’ve already written the script, and we’re aiming to start shooting at the beginning of June.

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​​In Memoriam: JFR Editor Lucas Boelter (Sept 23, 1990-Sept 24, 2015)

Dear readers, Jet Fuel Review is establishing a memorial page for our editor Lucas Boelter with some of his poetry, which deserves to be read. This is a work-in-progress as we will continue to update the page with tribute comments about Lucas from students, faculty, and others. If you have anything you’d like to say about Lucas, please send it to our blog editor, Michael Lane, and we will post it on this page as we are able. You can also read an interview with Lucas here



Imagine I have a hook
and your body splayed above me,
hooked, and it is as if each cut
breathes, like a mouth, into my

We are kissing, darling,
how I have prayed for this.



Lucas Boelter’s intellect, imagination, and conscientiousness allowed him to be a striking writer and excellent editor. The qualities of his poetry, which you will see below, embrace the marvelous, contain an affinity for oddities, and involve dreaming and liminal states as they drift between levels of perception, invoking magical and dazzling tableaux with their lyrical complexities. They revel in the imagination, creating strange landscapes, refreshing tonal changes, and complicated sonic terrains as evidenced in his poem “Waterfall,” in which he creates sonic pulses, echoing the rhythms of falling water by building on the “w” and “l” sounds:IMG_2165

. . . It will be my
waterfall and we will have children who
will rest on my shoulders. I will be a
waterfall god of sorts. The children will
be called Cougar and Matthew and in the
parks we will stroll.

Although Lucas’s poems are quirky and whimsical, and often conversational, they are counterbalanced with gravitas as they investigate and pose questions about the nature of “being,” as in the closing lines of his sonnet with the loaded title “Rest Room”:

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Alumni Feature: “Gracefully Surrendering the Things of Youth” by Travis Conner

Today’s feature is a piece about alienation, transition, and growth. It describes the difficulties of reintegrating a soldier into a forgotten realm: civilian life. Veteran Travis Conner focuses on the importance of the relationships he forged during a time of extreme caution and hyper-real violence. The piece was submitted by Louis Revisky, a professor at Lewis and US veteran.

Gracefully Surrendering the Things of Youth
by Travis Conner

The title of this paper comes from my favorite poem, titled “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann; a poem that I consider to be full of wisdom, and is a tool that I use to slow down my life for a minute to perform an honest reality check on myself. I enjoy the feeling that I get every time that I read it, which is about once every six months. It gently reminds me to strive to be myself at all times, to be a good person, and to remember that I have a lot of life left to live. It reminds me to keep things slow and deliberate, and to stay consistent in the way that I make decisions; with a mindset looking to the future. And above all, to remember that time changes everything, in good ways and in bad, and to strive to not let time make a victim out of me; instead, using the time that I have to make sound decisions every day so I can look back on a life well-spent, and not regret too many of the decisions made in my youth.

It’s strange to go from being a soldier for four years, with a combat deployment to Afghanistan, to abandoning part of what makes me who I am to become a civilian again. I trusted my brothers with my life, and I knew they trusted me with theirs. We were a family, forged through war, and I was leaving them just like that. I was Specialist Conner, and I didn’t know how on earth I was going to become Travis again. I felt completely lost when I was driving the U-Haul out of the base, onto I-5, to go back to my home that I knew wouldn’t feel like home. I was excited though; it was an opportunity to do anything that I wanted. The sky was the limit, and I was happy about starting a new chapter in my life. I knew that I would miss my former life, though. It was the life that I knew and loved every minute of.

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