Monday, November 14, 2011

Interview: Joanne Kennedy

Welcome to Beck’s Book Picks. I am very excited to have Joanne Kennedy here today.

1.       Tell us a little about yourself?
JK: I live in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the cowboy capitol of the West.  I write contemporary Western romances filled with humor and heart plus a dash of suspense and some spice to keep things interesting.

2.       Tell us a little about your latest release and how you came up with the idea?
JK: Tall, Dark and Cowboy is the story of Lacey Bradford, a runaway trophy wife who flees her crooked ex-husband and ends up in Wyoming with nothing but a beat-up muscle car and an ugly dog. She’s hoping for some help from her old friend Chase Caldwell, but Chase has changed—mostly because Lacey broke his heart years ago without even realizing it. When Chase won’t help her, she has to create her own place in his small-town community—and he can’t help admiring the way she goes about doing it. It’s a book about forgiveness and love that lasts in spite of all the roadblocks we throw in its way.

The idea came from Lacey herself, who has been hovering in my subconscious for years and refused to go away until I found her a story—and a cowboy of her own. She’s not the kind of character I normally write about, but she ended up being my favorite heroine ever. Lacey grew up rich and privileged, but she has a conscience that never lets her take the easy way out.

3.       Do you only write this one genre or have you branched out?
JK: Western romance is my first love, and I intend to stick with it. But I write other things too. I have projects in progress in romantic suspense, and I’ve written a couple of paranormals. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of YA and I’d love to write in that genre.

4.       What are you currently working on?
JK: I just finished Cowboy Crazy, which features a rodeo cowboy and will come out in June 2012. Now I’m working on my sixth cowboy romance, tentatively titled Cowboy Tough. It’s about an artist who comes to a dude ranch to lead a painting workshop in the Wyoming backcountry. It’s a fun book because the ranch is a community all its own, and there are lots of quirky secondary characters among the ranch hands and art students. Plus there’s a hot, hot cowboy leading the way!

5.       Do you have any writing quirks?
JK: In some ways, writing is a quirk. My stories and characters are almost always on my mind. Half the time my husband can’t tell if I’m talking about real people or fictional ones.

6.       What gets you into the mood to write?
JK: Reading. Reading fiction puts the rhythms of narrative and dialogue into my head and helps me start seeing the story in the right terms.

7.       Favorite snack or drink while you write?
JK: It used to be Diet Coke, but now I’m trying to drink more water. I don’t eat while I’m writing; I take a break for lunch so I don’t get crumbs all over the keyboard. Kinda dull, I know – but when I’m writing I tend to forget about physical needs like food and, sadly, exercise!

8.       Any words of advice to aspiring authors?
JK: Don’t give up! If you are reasonably talented and willing to work hard both at writing and the business of writing, you will eventually succeed. I think the ease of electronic publishing has caused a lot of people to give up too quickly on the goal of getting a New York-style publishing deal.  The rejection process is an ordeal, but it forces you to write your very best book. Professional agents and editors are partners in making sure you’re putting out the best possible product—one that readers will love and you will be proud of. It’s worth the wait and the work and the heartbreak of rejections to be the best you can be.

9.       What are you currently reading?
JK: I just finished The Comforts of Home by Jodi Thomas. I love her small-town romances and was happy to return to Harmony, Texas and visit with the friends I made in the first two books in the series. Next I’m reading Sandra Kring’s The Book of Bright Ideas.

10.   And finally, is there anything you would like to share?
JK: Yes! I’d like to say how grateful I am to all my readers for their support, and also thank all you bloggers and reviewers for working so hard to promote the romance genre. It takes a lot of dedication to create websites like this one where readers and writers can connect.

Tall, Dark and Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy—In Stores November 2011

She’s looking for an old friend…
In the wake of a nasty divorce, Lacey Bradford heads for Wyoming where she’s sure her old friend will take her in. But her high school pal Chase Caldwell is no longer the gangly boy who would follow her anywhere. For one thing, he’s now incredibly buff and handsome, but that’s not all that’s changed…

What she finds is one hot cowboy…
Chase has been through tough times and is less than thrilled to see the girl who once broke his heart. But try as he might to resist her, while Lacey’s putting her life back together, he’s finding new ways to be part of it.

About the Author
Joanne Kennedy is the author of three previous contemporary Western romances for Sourcebooks. She brings a wide variety of experience, ranging from chicken farming to horse training, to her sexy, spicy cowboy stories. She is a 2011 finalist in the prestigious Romance Writers of American RITA© Awards, for One Fine Cowboy. Joanne lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where she is working on her next book, Cowboy Crazy (June 2012). For more information, please visit



Maria D. said...

Great post Beck! Tall, Dark and Cowboy looks like a fun book to read, can't wait to get my copy.

Joanne Kennedy said...

Beck, thanks again for the interview! And hello to readers - I'll be stopping by all day to check out the comments and answer any questions you might have.