Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Lovestruck Novice Welcomes Kris Kennedy!!!!

Holy smokes! It's the weekend already?! I guess time flies when you're watching other people having fun. LOL I know I'm not the only one pining to be attending the RWA Nationals!

Well, there's no need to book a last minute flight. We've got an top shelf author here today and the best part is . . . there's no lines, you don't have to get gussied up, and it's F-R-E-E!!

Help me welcome the fun and vivacious KRIS KENNEDY!!

If you like your heroes mega hot and Medieval, then you're about to get your fancy tickled! Kris' latest release, THE IRISH WARRIOR, released last month to fantastic reviews from the likes of Jill Barnett, Veronica Wolf, and Roxanne St. Clair.

Kick your feet up and stay awhile. Our doors never close and the fun never stops!


1) If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

Darn, that’s hard. Can I do it more like a movie, as far as my writing path?

“Appearing to be no more than a bookish nerd, and in fact being little more than a bookish nerd, a mild-mannered psychotherapist working with suicidal women one day discovered an amazing power: the ability to create entire worlds.

Drunk on such creative juice, forgotten since childhood, this mild-manner therapist built and destroyed more kingdoms than Attila the Hun under the painful weapon of her of wildly-enthusiastic yet horribly-unskilled writing. Heroes, once great, grimaced as their sword hung helplessly by their sides, watching their heroines be made to do ‘feisty’ things. Gripping plots sagged midway through like old socks. Stirring motivations, heart-wrenching conflicts: everything feel before eager ignorance of this wanna-be storyteller.

But somewhere, deep inside, a Muse was stirring. A Muse unwilling to watch stories get trampled.

A Muse unwilling to stand by and allow capable heroines be destroyed by incompetence. A Muse bent on nothing less than crafting super hot, sweeping historical romances, with heroines to cheer for and heroes to die for.

The writer began honing her craft, ripping stories to shreds, writing before work, after work, every moment she could grab. Her husband would come home and it would take minutes for her to realize. Dinner had not been made, floors had not been cleaned. Worlds were being built; one must prioritize.

Now with 2 books on the shelves (Kensington), and two more on the way (Pocket Books), the therapist-turned-author has been awakened to the needs of Story, and is fueled by the excitement of telling the stories her Muse insists upon: super-hot, adventurous historical romances. She has committed to never perpetrating anything less.

But the Muse remains vigilant, although she sometimes must go on required deep-sea diving excursions to the bottom of the creative Well. (Full Disclosure: The author continues to write during the Muse’s absence, but they confer when she returns.)”

Hmm... How was that?




2) Using three words, describe your voice.

I can give you other people’s words: Sexy, lyrical, imaginative.

3) Tell us about how you got "The Call"? How long had you been working toward publication before it happened and was the call everything you expected it to be?

I have been writing since about 2000, although I took off for about 3 years after my child was born. I simply could not write in that sleep-deprived, creatively-deprived place. Then I landed an agent in Feb 2008, and had two manuscripts final in the 2008 Golden Heart® contest (one went on to win).

I know a lot of writers find the submission process difficult, sitting around waiting to hear, but I wasn’t too stressed about it. I was far too tired to be worried. :-) One time, my agent called to tell me a few Houses had passed on the manuscript. I was standing outside my child’s preschool at the time, and I replied distractedly, “Yeah, wow. Too bad, huh? Okay, gotta run, my kid’s about to put a frog in his mouth.” So, that’s my recommendation for all those waiting to hear about about submissions: get an active two- to five-year old. If you don’t have children of your own, perhaps you can rent one from a friend or family member. Promise: you won’t have time or energy to worry about submissions all that much.

As far as the ‘Call’ itself. . . I was holding a warm compress to my child’s pink eye when my agent called with the news. Very glamorous, right?


4) If you had to start all over again, what would be the one bit of advice or knowledge you'd want to take with you?

It’s the same thing I try to practice now: Be persistent, and be smart about it. In other words, don’t keep banging your head against a wall. ‘Intelligent persistence’ means flexing, paying attention to cues about what’s working and what’s not working, then adapting in response.

Oh, and if you want it to be a career, then treat it as such: respect, discipline, hard work.

And the last rule, like I always tell the kids: Have FUN!!!


5) What has been the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome in your writing?

Time. Specifically, the short-tern nature of writing when you have kids. Writing in 1-2 hour blocks of time (if I’m lucky), the long lapses between writing times means a lot of the heat from ‘writing hot’ seeps away.

Writing is a creative endeavor, and that means it’s a cumulative endeavor. For me, having 20 hours in 4 to 5-hour chunks is not as beneficial as 20 straight hours. It’s like putting ideas in an incubator and turning on the heat: the germs start multiplying. (Never thought of creativity as a germ before, did you? LOL) Me, I want that incubation.


6) How do you manage being a mama and a writer?

LOL—see above! I think I try to do 3 things:
1) Remind myself I CHOSE all these things (mommy, wife, writer).
2) Remind myself I LOVE all these things (child, hubby, storytelling)
3) Be fully present.

I’ve had to cultivate this last. It’s hard not to check email while talking with someone on the phone and making lunch for your kid. But forcing myself to be mentally and physically in the same place has paid off big-time. I notice less resentment and possessiveness about time, I feel less stressed, and my relationships with people are more fun, since I’m not just waiting to be done with them so I can get back to The Other Thing I could/should be doing.

I think that’s a hard thing for moms in any endeavor.

No matter what you’re doing, you kinda always think about what else you could or should be doing. But this is a no-win situation. Dishes don’t get done as a result, more time doesn’t magically appear. All that happens is less enjoyment of the people I love, and more tension inside.

So, I’m working on being present. If I’m playing ball with my child, I’m playing ball, not mentally revising character arcs. When I‘m chatting with hubby, I’m chatting with hubby, not plotting a story in my head. My body and my mind are in the same place.

This isn’t to say I don’t multi-task, but I try to be present, and go from one task to another, even if it’s second-to-second switches, rather than doing 4 things at the same time. First look at the rock my child is showing me, let the answering machine pick up, THEN tie the shoes, THEN make the sandwich, THEN call the person back, THEN check my email.

I admit, sometimes it does take a little more time this way, but I feel calmer, and more importantly, I’m not tallying up time. “Time to write” stops being something I’m earning because I’ve worked so hard at the other stuff. I feel less ‘owed’ ‘my time,’ and resentments go down.

7) What does the rest of 2010 hold in store for you? Give us the news!!

Writing more stories!!

My latest release came out in June—THE IRISH WARRIOR. This is the ‘08 Golden Heart® winner for Best Historical Romance. Super sexy, ‘good alpha’ hero with a strong, competent heroine, definitely an adventure story. You can check out a sexy excerpt at the website! :-) (
http://www.kriskennedy.net/)

My next book, DEFIANT, will be out May 2011.
Here’s a little off-the-cuff blurb:




On the eve of Magna Carta, the rebels’ army has seized the city of London. The countryside threatens to erupt into civil war. In the midst of this chaos, one audacious knight comes up against a quietly-determined heroine. She upends his world, but he quickly discovers she is on a mission that jeopardizes his own. As the kingdom disintegrates around them, these enemies bound by a common purpose uncover intrigues that turn them into targets, and soon it's clear the truth can destroy not only their explosive passion, but the very kingdom one of them is working to save.


Thanks so much for having me, Sarah!! I’m up for any questions anyone might have about stories, craft, the publishing process (anything a neophyte like me can offer ) or anything else folks would like!

WOWZA! Now, that was some awesome advice. LOL I was very eager to know how she balances being a mama and writer. *wink wink* That topic is always on my mind. :)

I'd like to thank Kris for letting me interview her. I appreciate her time and wonderful answers. If you'd like to know more about Kris Kennedy, please head on over to her lovely
website!

THANK YOU, TLN'ers!!! For those of you who have been stuck on the sidelines watching the play-by-play of the RWA Nationals and your fav authors toodling around Walt Disney World, here's
CINDERELLA and A DREAM IS A WISH YOUR HEART MAKES. After all ain't getting published a dream we can all appreciate?! Who knows maybe one day we'll get to the ball . . . er, RWA Nat'ls. LOL Have a princess of a weekend and we'll see you back on a Moanday!!


6 comments:

Miriam Newman said...

Kris, this book is making me drool. That doesn't happen often. Appreciate all your hard work in between attending to the ills of children! You go, lady.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Sarah and Kris--Enjoyed the interview.

Kris,

Having a family of my own, I'm always interested on how authors juggle family time and writing.

I love all things Irish, including hunky alpha heroes. lol I'll have to swing by and check out the seductive excerpt. Nice book cover by the way. Is it just as you imagined it would look like?

I wish you well in all you do--family time and writing.

Take Care,
Karen

Kris Kennedy said...

Miriam~
I'm so glad IRISH sounds good to you, Miriam! If you read it, I hope you love it. ;-) Let me know.

(btw, everyone can email at kris at kriskennedy.net)

And thank-you for the support on being mommy and writer!

Kris Kennedy said...

Karen,
You know the juggling act, then. :-) It's definitely a labor of love, huh?

I just did a 'farewell' post on the blog Sarah and I used to be a part of, Mamawriters, talking about focus. I've learned I can do a few things fabulously well, or a lot of things passably well. Forgettably well. I'm trying to focus on a few things fabulously.

So glad to meet another Irish-loving girl! I hope you love the excerpt, and if you get the book, I hope you love it even more.

And on the cover . . . yes, it's *perfect* for the book! I love it so much, in fact, I wish I could use it for every book I write from here on out, whether it fits or not. LOL. Just kidding ... sorta. :-)

Thanks for saying hi!

Sarah Simas said...

Thanks again, Kris for being here today!! :) I've been wanting to interview you for a while now. YAY!

Hi Miriam! I have to agree w/you on the book sounds tre delicious! That cover is just to die for. Nothing like a hot hunk to make a gal wanna closer look. LOL

KMN!!! Glad to see you! I love the concept of including the Irish in romance. Highlander heroes seem to get all the spotlight, ss it's refreshing to change things up a bit. :)

Just got home from the zoo. Once things settle down-aka NAPS- I'll check back in! :)

Sheri Humphreys said...

This was a great interview. I really enjoyed it. Sarah, I'm glad you got the benefit of how Kris has made mommiehood work with writing. I know that's a big frustration of yours. I briefly met Kris at the HHRW meeting at the 2008 conference, when she was nominated x2 for the GH and had just gotten an agent and (I think?) sold. She was so excited. It was really fun, and even more so when she won!
By the way, Kris, love both those covers. Sheri