"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Making Romance Magic!
Update: Julie Kenner
According to Publishers Weekly, USA Today and Waldenbooks bestselling Author Julie Kenner's "star is on the ascent." She writes for multiple publishers across a range of women's fiction. Her 2001 paranormal, APHRODITE'S KISS was a RITA finalist and won the Romantic Times' Reviewer's Choice Award for best contemporary paranormal. Julie is known for her "flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations" (Publisher's Weekly).
Julie began her storytelling career at the tender age of three when she would pass the time regaling her parents with such thrilling and original tales as The Lion Who Lost His Breath and The Mouse That Flew Planes. Following on the heels of this grand oral tradition, Julie moved on to the written word, penning her first novel, Kitty Claus, at age seven. A huge success, the short novel about a Christmas Santa cat sold out its exclusive limited edition press run of one.
As a child, Julie sought out stories in all formats. She spent summers curled up on her grandmother's couch reading everything from Judy Blume to Agatha Christie while her grandmother tried everything (including bribery) to get Julie to go outside. Being a cooperative kid, Julie would ... with her book in tow. Television and movies were equally fascinating, and Julie credits her mother with introducing her to romantic comedy -- in junior high, she took Julie to a revival house to see Bringing Up Baby on the big screen and, after that, Julie was hooked. As for television, to this day Julie is convinced that if she wiggles her nose or blinks her eyes hard enough, she can make magic happen (she's had no luck so far, but she keeps trying).
Growing up being what it is, breathless animals, genie's and Judy Blume eventually gave way to other pursuits. Julie finished film school, but ended up in law school instead of Hollywood (go figure). After that, she practiced law in California and later Texas, but kept coming back to her love of storytelling. Eventually, she quit the practice of law to write full time.
Julie still hasn't had any success making things happen by wiggling her nose or blinking her eyes, but she has discovered that tapping out stories on the computer is a little bit like magic, and she likes nothing better than to get lost in the quirky worlds she creates.
RITA finalist APHRODITE'S KISS won the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Contemporary Paranormal for 2001 as well at the P.E.A.R.L. Honorable Mention for Best Fantasy/Magical Romance.
PNR: You and your husband, Don, share your home with the cats who you say own you. You also have a beautiful 1-year-old daughter to shine in your life and, in addition to your writing, you are a full-time attorney. How has juggling responsibilities effected your writing and your perspective of romance and Happily-Ever-After?
Julie K: Hmmm. Good question! I'd have to say it hasn't affected my perspective of HEA at all. I'm a total hopeless romantic; always have been. And life is just that much more special with my kiddo around, you know? As for the romancey part of romance ... Well, after chasing a seventeen month old around the house, a romantic evening might as easily consist of vegging on the couch, where it used to involve candlelight and roses,
LOL! And, really, what's more romantic than your husband digging the mushy bananas out of the booster seat and wiping down the table after dinner? (I have a feeling you have to have had a toddler to fully understand <G>)
PNR: SILENT CONFESSIONS, a very steamy romantic suspense, is new on store shelves. APHRODITE'S SECRET will be available May 6, 2003, and humor is a major factor in your super-hero books. The balance of wit and suspense in your writing is a pleasure to read. Do you feel a different perspective when you write focused on each genre?
Julie K: I suppose if I sat back and really analyzed it while I was writing the answer would be yes. But the truth is that I just get "into" whatever book I'm writing and the "tone" of the book comes organically from the story and the characters (how's that for a touchy-feely answer?) So, though I know that SECRET is a funnier book than SILENT with a lot more quirkiness, I didn't really "plan" it that way.
Do you have any stories of your nervous excitement waiting
and receiving announcement of the various awards you have won?
Finalling (and winning!) contests is such a great feeling! It's such an honor just to be nominated or final in a contest. I mean, look at the books that are out there! Such wonderful books, that it's really humbling to have someone select *my* book, you know? As for nervous excitement, fortunately (since I don't do nervousness well) I usually have no clue when winners will be announced. So unless I'm physically there, I usually don't get too jittery! I was waaaaaay jittery during the Rita's ... but I got to wear a really nice dress, so that was a cool trade-off <bg>
PNR: Your books have had really interesting cover art - Which of the Olympians do you think handles being 'cover god'?
Julie K: JulieHaha!! I better not answer lest I pick the wrong one and doom the rest of my covers!!!
PNR: Do you have any input or is it all up to the understanding of the publisher/art department?
Julie K: It depends on the house, actually. I suggested the concept for the cover of APHRODITE'S KISS, and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. APRODITE'S PASSION was much harder (how do you draw a hero who can turn invisible?) and my editor and I bounced ideas for the cover of APRODITE'S SECRET (which I think is darling). I had a lot of input with my Pocket cover (NOBODY BUT YOU); I emailed my editor various old pulp-fictioney posters and books, and the art department ran with it ... and did an excellent job. At Harlequin, the authors fill out "art fact sheets" about the books, and the art department uses those to come up w/ the covers. You're right. ... so far I've had wonderful covers all around (knock on wood ...)
PNR: Jason Murphy, the Protector hero of APRHODITE'S SECRET, can shape-shift into a dolphin. How is this compared to Selkie or other sea shifter lore, and what else can you tell us about him and his parents?
Julie K: Well, my ignorance is going to show because I know nothing about Selkies.... maybe a fan who reads those books can educate me!!
As for Jason's parentage ... ah, there's bits and pieces about his mom that will dribble out in Mordi's book in 2004. Sorry, but I'm going to make folks wait!! (I will say though that Hieronymous is Jason's father!!)
Deena and Hoop (CAT'S FANCY) stop in to help and Elmer the ferret, Zoë and cousin Mordi (APHRODITE'S KISS) are part of APHRODITE'S SECRET.
PNR: Can you tell us a little more about APHRODITE'S SECRET?
Julie K: SECRET was an absolute blast to write, and it was fun pulling in the characters from the other books. This is really Lane and Jason's story, though it does move Mordi's story along, too (and, yes, Mordi's getting his very own book!!). Jason's had a tough time of it, because he's been put out of commission for the last seven years -- trapped by Hieronymous, his very own father. Even worse, he was trapped the night he found out that his girlfriend, Lane, was pregnant. Now he's vowed to win back his family ... but it turns out that Hieronymous has designs on his son Davy. So Jason has to rescue his son ... and his relationship!
PNR: Are you going to be doing more with http://www.superherocentral.com?
Julie K: Ah, now there's a good question. The short answer is yes. The long answer is I don't know when or what. I'm hoping to put a little something up before SECRET comes out. The problem, frankly, is a lack of time. Between writing, my day job and the baby, life is nutso!!!
PNR: Will there be other books in this series and what of your plans for future writing endeavors?
Julie K: Mordi's book (which we expect will be out next spring) was recently contracted, and I'm really excited about jumping in and writing it. As for other books, I've got a lot of irons in the fire. I've got a Blaze in August (SILENT DESIRES) that is the follow up to my current romantic suspense, SILENT CONFESSIONS. (I'll be signing it at Book Expo in L.A. next month). In January, I've got THE SPY WHO LOVES ME coming out, featuring Finn from NOBODY BUT YOU. Also in January, I have a gothicy novella (DANGEROUS DESIRES) that will be published with a reprint of Suzanne Forester's THE MAN AT IVY BRIDGE (a really excellent read!). In April of 2004 I have a Temptation (the working title is Thief of Hearts, but I have a feeling that will change) that's a fun, sexy caper book. And in July 2004, I've got a paranormal Blaze anthology with Julie Elizabeth Leto and Sue Kearney. It promises to be hot, hot, hot!!!
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