Monday, April 25, 2011

Q&A and Giveaway with Author Kris Kennedy

The sizzling new medieval romance DEFIANT (Pocket Books; April 26, 2011) by award-winning author Kris Kennedy will take readers on an exciting journey where a rogue knight and an enchanting renegade join forces to right old wrongs.

Jamie Lost is the kin’s most renowned commander, a fearless lieutenant ordered to kidnap an exiled priest before rebel forces close in. The mission is simple—until he meets a mysterious thief who will steal his quarry and then his heart. Beautiful Eva is also seeking Father Peter, but she intends to protect him for a secret that could cost him his life. When a band of mercenaries abducts the priest, Jamie and Eva must form a volatile alliance. As civil war unfolds around them, they embark on an epic journey that betrays the truth about their hidden identities, their unexpected loyalties, and the simmering attraction that could seal their fates forever. DEFIANT by Kris Kennedy is a page-turner that will have readers intrigued and undoubtedly wanting to read on late into the night.


Kris Kennedy is also the author of The Conqueror and The Irish Warrior. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. She welcomes readers to visit her at her website.

Welcome Kris Kennedy, to Romance Author Buzz. Is there a behind the book story for Defiant?

LOL—you mean one fit for public consumption? J  The story-behind-the-story actually started as much more of a Robin Hood story, and morphed as it went-radically.  J

The first kernel of an idea about this story came to me back in 2006 or 2007. I had an idea about a woman being taken somewhere she did not want to go. That story had a rather Robin Hood-esque feel, except for a few small details: the hero was the one taking her where she didn’t want to go, and the heroine was the Robin Hood-esque character. :-)

Defiant today bears very little resemblance to this, but I still see that story down there in the creative ‘well,’ so to speak. :-)

Are you a plotter or pantser? What is your writing routine?

I definitely write by the seat of my pants—my muse is a fickle thing, and comes in strong gusts like a wind, so I really like to grab those times when I can. Which is all fine and good, until you get the fabulous opportunity of having deadlines.

Deadlines and seat-of-the-pants writing are mortal enemies in my home, with a young child and little time to write.

What works best for me is to write and write and write, sometimes for 20 out of 24 hours, maybe for days straight. Then I crash.

Nowadays, I write for whatever time I can get during the day, which, depending on illnesses, school vacations, school activities, carpools, and related, is anywhere from 0 - 4 hours/day.

How did you start your career? Who was your first publisher?

My first book (THE CONQUEROR) was bought in 2008, and published by Kensington in 2009.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on another sexy medieval adventure, of course! J   This one involves con men and bankrupt silk merchants…if all goes according to plan, that is. Which it never does. J

What news would you like to share with your readers?

I’m so excited about DEFIANT releasing! It just got a starred Publishers Weekly review, and I’m hoping readers everywhere love it.

How did you build the relationship between hero and heroine so that it felt real?

The heroine of the story, Eva, came fully formed. Like in my previous book, THE IRISH WARRIOR, where the hero Finian came fully formed. There’s sometimes some tweaking to clarify and intensify, but when character comes fist, it’s no effort at all to make their relationship feel deep and real.

Do you identify with the characters you write about?

Well, I’ve never been hunted by kings and barons, so there’s a certain ignorance that I simply have to guess my way through.  J But I hope that at their core, the emotional experiences of the characters are the kind of thing anyone can relate to.

The central emotions are pretty similar to what we experience in daily life. Loneliness, a sense of your own broken nature, fear of being rejected, unloved, of not belonging, of not being ‘Enough’ (good enough, strong enough, etc), and the deep-down knowledge that fear is stopping you from being amazing: these can be pretty universal experiences, and they certainly plague my characters.  In that way, J  I hope they are familiar to my readers.

Tell us a little about your favorite “hero” type guy.

Oh, I have a very clear sense of that guy! J  I call him the ‘good’ alpha.

The man who’s supremely confident in himself and his capabilities, so much so that he has no problem letting the heroine shine. He can be impressed by her, intrigued by her, and royally pissed off by her, without it ever making him feel threatened as a man. He’s the kind of guy who leads because everyone around wants to follow him.

Would you please describe the heroines you love to write?

I love fish out of water. I love the strong, competent heroine forced into situations that are totally unexpected, for which (she thinks) she’s totally unprepared.

I love the determined heroine with a sense of humor who does NOT get pushed around, even in a world where women are constantly pushed around.

How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

Sweet, loving, quiet, simple, family-focused. With a dog. J

What is your motto or maxim?

Hmmm… I’ll get a motto one day, swear! J

How would you describe perfect happiness?

Holy cow, this is tough! I guess the ability to know yourself and accept what you find, and be willing to change. The ability to find magnificence in the small things of life. The deep-down knowledge that you are blessed.

What’s your greatest fear?

Perhaps that’s not quite interview material. J

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

It’s two-fold, and they’re both equally important.

1) Focus on being a great storyteller, not a great fancy writer.

2) Be persistent. Do not stop writing, and do not stop improving.

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

I think I’d take my family to Ireland. In the summer.

What do you regret most?

Every time I let fear stop me.

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

Ohh, tough. There’s so many things I’m not good at but want to be. But there’s 2 that are at the top of my list.

A musical talent. My brother is astonishing at this—he can pick up a comb and make music out of it. I’d give up (small) body parts for that.

Design—the ability to see what’s needed in a space, and to know how to make it happen.

If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

Hmmm…Lasagne! Or…key lime pie….

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Do it for love. It’s a craft, not a career. You can make a career out of it, but never forget you are a craftsman.

What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

I find I get three comments most frequently:

They love the Sexy in my books.

They love the heroes, how they’ve got that ‘good alpha’ thing going on.

They love the strong heroines.

Where can readers find you?


Kris, thanks for allowing me to interview you at Romance Author Buzz

This contest is for US residents only.  To win an autographed copy of Defiant, simply follow Kris on Facebook, leave her a comment about the interview and come back here and leave your email address.  Winner will be announced May 26th.


Steph-anne said...

I like Kris on facebook and wrote on her wall: Kris, I just finished reading your Q&A at romance author fun! I will admit you are a new author for me but I really look forward to reading DEFIANT -- sounds like my kind of book =)

footfootballpsu at yahoo dot com

mbreakfield said...

I like Kris on FB and wrote on her wall. Great interview and the book looks really good.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giveaway! Liked Kris on FB (under Rosie Nguy) and left her a message about the interview.

abbydillon16 AT yahoo DOT com

June M. said...

Thank you both for the giveaway. I liked her fb page and left her a message (June Manning). I also follow here under June M.

manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I really enjoyed the interview. I liked her Facebook page as Linda Henderson and left her a message about the interview.

seriousreader at live dot com

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Kris,congratulations on Defiant finaling in RomCon's Reader's Choice Awards.

Johanna R Jochum said...

I've like Kris K. on Facebook for awhile now! Great interview and thanks for the chance to win!


Chrisbails said...

i would love to win this book it looks great. looks like a great read. thanks for the giveaway and hope to win.

Chrisbails said...

the book looks great and would love to read it. have not read anything by kris yet and would love to read this book. thanks for the giveaway and would love to win.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Jule M, you're the winner. Thanks all for entering.


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