Kris Kennedy

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Interview By: Tamazon

Date: April 26, 2011

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Defiant | Pocket Books | Historical Romance | April 26, 2011

England, 1215, the eve of Magna Carta

Jamie Lost is the king's most renowned commander, an audacious knight ordered to kidnap an exiled priest before rebel forces close in. The mission is simple--until he comes up against a mysterious woman on a mission, a thief who will first steal his quarry and then his heart.

Eva is also seeking Father Peter, but she intends to protect him from a secret that endangers his life, even if it costs her own. She is well aware danger lies everywhere, especially in the knight showing too much interest in her activities. But deep inside, Eva knows the danger lies not in Jamie, but in her, in the desire he awakens in her body and her heart.

When a mysterious band of armed mercenaries upends both their plans and abducts the priest, Jamie and Eva must form an uneasy alliance, and as civil war unfolds around them, they embark on an epic journey that betrays the truth about their identities, their unexpected loyalties, and the dangerous attraction that could seal their fates forever.


Please tell us your latest news!

DEFIANT, which releases April 26, just received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly, which is very exciting!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Persistence. 100% it's a game of persistence. Talent is not sufficient. It's the person who works at it, honing her craft, and keeps on keeping on, who succeeds.

Don't worry so much about being a great writer: worry about being a great storyteller.

What main genre do you write in?


Please describe your writing environment.

Gah--my writing 'environment.' It's more like 'writing weather,' and it's generally a tornado. :)

For years, I've written in the front room of our house, using a seated at a dining room chair, surrounded by kids and toys and people running in and out. I'm blessed to have space and an active, loving family, but wow, it's hard to write with constant interruptions.

Very recently (as in a few months ago) we rearranged things, and now I have our one small extra bedroom for an office. It has a new desk and a real chair and...wait for it...a treadmill! I set up a thick cardboard sheet across the arms and write while I walk.

What's been the most challenging part of writing for you?

Time. Finding time, and then turning on the writing cells while I've got it.

It's all about the balance of family & writing. My usual, natural 'process' of writing is to write like a crazy woman while I'm 'hot,' maybe 20 out of 24 hours, sometimes for days on end. Then, when it's done, I've got tons of raw, boiling material to edit for the next few weeks or months, until I get 'hot' again.

But when you have small kids, that's kinda hard to sustain. "Gee, sweetie, I don't know who's picking you up from school/making dinner/helping you read/giving you the love and attention you need--I have to write."

And anyhow, I love spending time with my family, so it's not a hardship. We play baseball and hockey (in the house, yes) and read and run errands and we laugh a lot. It's just finding the time, and somehow making my usual process of 'hot' writing work in those 1-3hour time chunks, a few days a week.

Who has been your best supporter? How have they been there for you?

100%, my husband. When I first started writing, I was burning out on my for-pay career (psychotherapist & consultant for treatment programs.) I loved my clients, but the work was hard, and I think it was just time to morph.

Hubby saw how much I loved writing, and 'let' me cut back my work hours, bringing in less money, so I could spend more time writing. (I say 'let me' only because I actually did ask, since we had the implicit agreement when we got married, that we'd both contribute to the household. I kinda changed the rules mid-stream.)

And then, after I cut wa-a-a-ay back, I'd write all day, and he'd come home from a full day of work. It'd be dark outside, and I'd be sitting there (in the front room of the house ) writing, and I'd spin around in my chair, shocked to see him because, of course, I'd lost track of time.

Me: "Oh, sweetie, I'm so sorry, I didn't make dinner" (or clean, or shop, or really, well, anything).

Hubby: "That's okay."

Me: "But you worked all day!"

And you know what he'd say? "So did you."

Me, not making a dime for years, and he knew I was 'working.' He realized writing was my job. My responsibility. The thing I had to do. A beloved job, yes, but still. And he saw it for what it was: a craftsman developing her craft, and he knew that took time. He 'got it.'

So,yes, my husband, always, every time.

Do you like to mix genres?

I have a variety of other stories in various stages of completion, and yes, some of them set outside the middle ages. I have maybe 3 contemporaries vaguely sketched out, and a few stories set in the 17th & 18th century, both in England, Ireland, and the US (or colonies, depending). :)

Tell us all about "The Call" or "The Email"!

Oh, the Call. That was fun.

My agent called and told me Kensington was making a two-book offer. At the time, I was sitting on the couch nursing my somewhat irritable son's pink eye. Yes, pink eye and The Call: what two things go better together?

So there I was, ohh-ing and ahh-ing and discussion things with my agent, while in the back of mine mind, all I could think was, "Am I spreading pink eye germs on the phone?"


Do you have any cool promo tricks you can share with other writers?

Network with honor. :-) By that, I mean get to know people, but don't use them.

Help other people out. Share squees, introduce people you think will like/help one another, share your strengths without expectation of reward, and above all, be GENUINELY happy for others' successes.

Spend some time focusing away from yourself and your books and your career. Help someone else get a leg up, or the word out, or their craft honed. Do it with genuine good energy, and it'll repay 100-fold.

Do you have any animals? Do they influence your writing?

I have a dog and used ot have a cat, and there is something indescribably ... peaceful and reassuring about having my dog curled up at (or on) my feet for those 1-3 hr/ day when I'm writing. She's a huge, 70+ lb furry doll, and she sticks by me, and we love each other a great deal.

Our kitties were equally lovable, but as they didn't sit on my feet, but instead chose the keyboard, it became slightly more inconvenient.

Who's your agent? Please tell us about them.

The fabulous Barbara Poelle, of Irene Goodman Agency. She's beautiful and funny and sharp as anything and more than a little scary, which is why I signed with her. I thought, "Well, jeez, if I'm this scared to say 'no' to her, I definitely need her on my team." :-)

Her icon on blogs and such used to be a shark, which was perfect, but now on Twitter, she's changed it to this pretty little egg. Don't be fooled. Shark fits; eggs get eaten.

Thanks so much for having me by!

Kris Kennedy

Kris writes hot, sweeping historical romance for Pocket Books. Her last release, THE IRISH WARRIOR, won RWA'sr 2008 Golden Heart Award for Best Unpublished Historical Romance. Her next release, DEFIANT, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Stop by the website for news, exclusive excerpts, and to sign up for the newsletter!