1) Why Romance? Did you choose this genre or were you ‘chosen’ by it?
I’m pretty sure it chose me. 🙂 I used to be one of those people who disdained the romance genre, made a lot of assumptions based on nothing but what I’d heard from other people who probably had never read one either.
So, I worked my way through the library, grabbing whatever books caught my attention, always bypassing the romances. But never blithely. At some level, I knew every time I passed one by.
Finally I reached the level of maturity that allowed me to read whatever seemed right to me rather than the invisible audience, and I checked out my first historical romance. I finished it the following night, and was up until 3am. Writing a romance. 🙂
2) Is there a romance author, living or dead, who inspires you particularly?
I love a great many writers, but I wouldn’t say there’s any one author who particularly inspires me. But I studymany. I feel like a field researcher at times, mentally noting, “Ah, yes, I see how this worked for me as the reader.”
3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can, about your future projects.
My most recent release is DEFIANT (2011), a sexy adventure-y story set on the eve of Magna Carta. It’s received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and many Best Of/Top Pick designations.
My previous release, THE IRISH WARRIOR, was the winner of Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart Award for Best Unpublished Historical Romance, and was released in 2010, earning Top Pick/Best Of status at many sites, and was the inspiration for the Hero To Die For designation at one popular romance review site, The Season.
As far as future projects . . . I have a single-title releasing from Pocket Books in August, DECEPTION. It’s another sexy medieval, set in the late 13th century, about a con man and a desperate silk merchant.
I’m also at work on a few novella-length stories, super sexy stories that I plan to release myself over the spring and summer.
4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get published?
At first I wasn’t so much trying to sell, as I was immersed in the craft of storytelling. Not very businesslike of me, but there you have it.
I took a couple writing classes, but mostly I wrote and wrote, and read and read, and began sending my work into contests. I was quite terrible at first, so never finalled, but I got something far more valuable: feedback. This fed me quite well for awhile, and I didn’t pursue publication. I simply wrote.
Then an editor-judge in one of those contests requested the full manuscript. I asked a critique partner, “Do you think I should also be submitting to agents?” She whacked me on the side of my head and said, “Yes.” So I did. 🙂
5) What’s your opinion about this Ebook revolution? Would you consider the indie route?
You bet I’d consider it! In fact, I already have a plan.
My first self-published work should be coming out in April or May. I’m also joining forces with some other NY published authors who are bringing out their own self-published stories to help readers find high quality, self-published romance fiction.
6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use Social media a lot to promote their books. Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to write only, without being distracted by digital trivialities: what are your thoughts?
I admit, self-promo is not my strong suit. In fact, it’s my weakest, most flimsy suit. I presume one day I’ll be standing there, doing something vaguely self-promotional, and it will fall off entirely. 🙂
That said, I understand the need for authors to be part of their own cheering section, but the affect of one author’s Facebook page or tweet stream or blog tour is probably going to be somewhat minimal, while the effort required can be great. You need a wide enough sphere of visibility, and sufficient repetition of the ‘brand message’ (i.e. yourself and your books) to have an impact.
But to think about social networking (less so blogs) as some sort of ad stream is very distasteful. One must balance the business with the personal/non-business. That can be a real challenge sometimes, and no matter what, well-done or poorly-done, promotion takes time away from writing.
But even more than the time self-promotion takes, is the change in mental process it requires. We use fundamentally different cognitive processes when we engage in online activities (blogs, news stories, Facebook, Twitter, etc) vs. when we write. There’s little quiet time, and minimal internally-regulated reflection, i.e. a wandering mind. And thatis an essential for creativity, especially over the long haul. Online, you’re constantly being inputted. And that, I think, is a concern for creativity, not just for storytellers.
In the end, I’m a true believer that writing another great story is the best self-promo authors can do.
Info about the author:
Wife, mom and former psychotherapist & consultant, Kris Kennedy left behind the office for the wilds of medieval England and Ireland. She believes every reader deserves wonderful books that will “take her away,” and writes smart, sexy, adventure-filled historical romances designed to do just that. Her website, with the latest news, excerpts, and newsletter sign-up, is: http://kriskennedy.net
To buy her latest book, simply click on the cover below: