Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blogoversary Author Interview & Giveaway: Julie Kenner

Hi Everyone,
Make sure you check out all the other interviews and giveaways by checking out the Blogoversary Tab or Picture at the top of the page.

Today we welcome an author whose Lily Chronicles Series I have really loved and is not afraid to take risks with her characters and story lines.

Please Welcome JULIE KENNER to Blood Rose Books Today!!! 

You have known that you wanted to be a writer since you were a child. Why do you think that writing appealed to you even back then?
That’s a good question.  The easy answer is I just think that storytelling is in my blood, just like aeronautical engineering is in my dad’s (he was building airplanes as a kid with his uncle) and being a lawyer or an artist is in other people.  I was a strange combination of shy (would prefer to be home reading a book than in a big crowd of kids on a playground) and extroverted (would plot out and then act out stories with my best friend during classes—had some amazing English teachers who put up with that!).  Bottom line, I just love getting lost in an imaginary world and then telling folks the story!

You state that your inspiration to start writing again was after reading a novel by Julie Garwood. What book by Julie Garwood was it that led to this inspiration and what was is about her writing that inspired you to pick the pen up again? 
That story may have gotten lost a bit in translation because I never put down the pen—I wrote my whole life, though I certainly slowed down when I was practicing law.  Eighty hour work weeks will do that to you. And until I started writing romance after discovering Garwood, I never finished a novel (though I did have a gazillion newspaper articles, two screenplays, a stage play, and a buncha short stories and poems).  

But despite less hours for writing while I was practicing law, the craving to write didn’t go away; in fact, it came on stronger.  So I tried to write legal thrillers—but to be honest, I was getting a bit burned out by the discovery process and I felt like that was coming through in the book.  I was at a crossroads regarding what to write.  Also, I had no time, and a 400 page manuscript is daunting.

One day, I was in the break-room with a friend, and she wanted to read instead of talk as she was at the end of a book.  I was bored, and she passed me the one she’d just finished—a Julie Garwood historical.  I devoured it, thought it was incredibly fun, and set off to write an historical romance.  And failed miserably!  I did not have the time to research (this was pre-Google!) and kept tripping myself up on details.  But I had discovered romance.  The same friend told me about the shorter Harlequins, which I had read before, but never really though of them (or of romance) as a separate genre.  I bought some, was hooked – especially on Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Temptations—and was excited by the length.  Somehow, 220 manuscript pages seemed much more manageable than 400.  I wrote one, which is in a drawer, then wrote another.  And since 220 + 220 is 400 I also started a full-length one.  The second short one became my first book, NOBODY DOES IT BETTER, and the first long one became my second book, THE CAT’S FANCY. 

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
I think that entirely depends on the author.  To be honest, I don’t really think in terms of genre, but in characters and stories.  For example, though I tend to write actiony/paranormally things, I have an idea I love for a mainstream family drama.  I’m hoping to find the time to write it.

You have a law degree, why did you choose the harlequin romance genre to start out instead of a Legal Thriller?
Hey!  Look at me!  I anticipated a question, LOL!  See question 2, above.   :)

When and why did you decide to try something different and enter into the paranormal genre?
Oh, it wasn’t different at all.  All my short stories were paranormal; I consider Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie to be in my blood.  But there was no paranormal market to speak of when I started, except for time travel.  It was a big deal when CAT sold—I was told by a gobzillion people that it didn’t have a chance.  And when Aphrodite’s Kiss hit the USA Today list, I know that publishers took notice and even had a few focus groups/internal discussions about paranormal romance.

The paranormal genre has grown within the past 5 years, what do you think it is about your books that have helped them stand out from other authors?
I think that all authors strive to set their books apart from other writers—it’s a crowded field out there, and readers don’t want to feel like they’re reading the same book over and over again.  I like to focus in particular on the action; I like books that get going and never stop rolling, with really strong heroines.

The main paranormal aspect within your books is Demons. What is it about the Demon World that attracted you to base quite a few of your novels around them, where there are so many other monsters and creatures out there?
Nothing so thought out as all that!  For the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series, I just wanted something other than vampires or werewolves, and the mythology of the demons inhabiting the bodies of the dead really appealed to me.  With the Blood Lily Chronicles, the use of demons fit more with the overarching good v. evil context.  Demons, to me, are “larger” than vampires, which resonate to me as more of a species than an otherworldly creature with heaven/hell implications.
That said, I happily write vamps and werewolves, etc.  In my Good Ghouls series, Beth is a reluctant vampire.  Similarly, in my J.K. Beck books, vampires and werewolves are major players! 

If you could have one power that Lily has been able to acquire throughout the series which would it be and why?
Hmm!  Lily has some issues; not sure I want to be her.  But it sure would be nice to have some upper body strength.  I’m working on that one, LOL!

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
The next three Shadow Keepers books are coming out in summer of 2012 (bumped back, but I think summer is a great release time).  I’m working on the next Kate Connor book and on the third Ghoul book.  I’m going to get my website updated with details soon!

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite).
I’ve been dying to reread Gone With The Wind!  Going to take that with me on the plane in a few weeks when I head off for a short vacation!

Thanks for the great interview!

I want to say Thank You to Julie for being a part of my Blogoversary. To find out more about Julie's books you can read my reviews of Tainted and Torn as well as visit Julie's Website, and J.K. Beck's Website. Julie has also donated a book for a giveaway, though  this one has a twist, the Winner can choose 1 book from Julie's back list (either written as Julie Kenner or J. K. Beck, she just has to have the book in stock.)

1.  Please leave a comment and/or question as well as a way to CONTACT YOU (you do not need to be a follower to participate, but it is always nice for you to join)
2. Post my Blogoversay Button on your website, for 1 extra entry (please leave a link)
3. This Giveaway is Open USA only
4. The Giveaway ENDS on October 7, 2011
5. The winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hrs to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen
6. Book provided by Julie Kenner


  1. Loved the Blood Lily Chronicles. Thanks for the contest

  2. Thanks for having me here today! KYAttorney, thanks! So glad you enjoyed!

  3. Great interview, very interesting! I have heard of Ms. Kenner, of course, but have yet to read one of her books. If I am chosen, I would love to win Carpe Demon and start that series off right! Rae

  4. Hi Rae! Hope you check out some of my books :)

    Off to run a few errands, but taking my iPad and will check in!

  5. I loved Lily and can't wait for the Demon movie.

  6. Love the Demon books and can't wait to read the Lily Chronicles!


  7. Love the Demon books, can't wait for more

  8. I would love to read some of her books, they sound great!

  9. I haven't read this author yet but her books definitely look like ones that I would enjoy! Thanks for the chance to win one :)
    jwitt33 at live dot com