Gather round, gather round my lovely and odorous Swamp Followers for today we are being honored by the RITA-award nominated, ELLE KENNEDY for our questioning delight. Normally, we’d waylay her on her way past the Swamp, but I had to tread a bit more carefully, she has some very dangerously wicked friends. Take a peek after our questions and check our her newly released third book in her Killer Instinct series, MIDNIGHT GAMES. I highly, highly recommend this read as it’s carving its way through my Kindle as we speak. We have to work fast, because she’s slippery, is our Elle, so before she escapes, come join the fun!
Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere? Inquiring minds want to know: what was your first attempt at writing and how old were you?
I have many unpublished novels stashed somewhere, but I think I have three official “first” attempts. Sounds strange, but since they were all written at drastically different points of my life, I consider them all first attempts. I wrote my first book when I was twelve—it was a middle-school somewhat-romance title, like the Sweet Valley Twins series. It was 90 pages, and pretty damn good for a twelve-year-old, if I say so myself. Clearly it never sold, because at twelve, I had no clue that you needed to submit books to a publisher. I figured they just magically appeared on bookshelves.
My second first book was written when I was seventeen. I had other random books written between 12-17, but I consider this one a first because it was the one I started submitting to agents (this one was more like Sweet Valley High as opposed to Twins lol). Unfortunately, it didn’t land me an agent, but I did get some wonderful feedback from everyone who read the first three chapters.
And my official first book, I wrote when I was twenty. It was a submission to the Harlequin Temptation line, and the editor actually requested to read the full manuscript. The book didn’t end up selling, but I still think fondly of it when I’m remembering my early writing days.
–I have one of those, more along the lines of 125 pages handwritten sounding a great deal like THE DARK IS RISING meets TRIXIE BELDEN…ahh, being young, when writer’s cramp wasn’t a consideration!
What’s some of the funniest/sweetest/strangest things you’ve heard from your readers?
I get a lot of sweet emails from readers, usually letting me know how much they’ve enjoyed a particular book, or demanding to know when a certain title will be released. I can’t think of any standout funny ones, but there have definitely been some strange ones. A male reader wrote to tell me about his sex life with his wife, and then asked for “tips.” Oh, and one time, a female reader wanted to know what I had against “double penetration” (??? I’m pretty sure that at least two of my erotic titles have featured DP scenes LOL) So, yes, sometimes the messages that show up in my inbox are total head-scratchers!
–kudos to you for, umm…handling?…such requests, I think I would spend a lot of time just blinking and trying think of helpful tips…
What’s the one genre you won’t ever try and why?
Paranormal romance, specifically shapeshifter romances. I read some paranormal—JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series is in my top 3 of all-time favorite romance series. So I’m okay with vampires. But shapeshifters…Gosh, I don’t know. I just don’t see the appeal. Maybe it’s because I’m both a dog and cat owner, so I can’t imagine one of them transforming into a really sexy man, or finding a man sexy knowing that sometimes he turns into a wolf or something.
If my publisher asked me to write a shapeshifter romance, I wouldn’t be able to do it. My confusion and dislike for the genre would come across in my writing, and I don’t think anyone would enjoy the final product.
–it’s okay, Elle, I really like your alpha heroes, they don’t always have to turn furry!
What is some of the best advice you were ever given?
Don’t let one rejection stop you from trying again, and make sure to develop a thick skin. Trust me, that thick skin is a MUST if you want a career in writing, and you don’t just need it for the submission/rejection process. Because even after you sell, you’re still going to face obstacles, whether it’s editors making you cut scenes you slaved over, or critique partners telling you they didn’t like something, or readers and reviewers announcing that they hated, hated, hated your book!
–Thick skin…yep, I’ve been trying out this new lotion that’s suppose to toughen you up, but man, it takes time to develop!
Before she runs off into another hair raising adventure, let’s shoot Elle some of our favorite questions….ready? Go!
Blades, guns, fists or feet?
Guns (says the girl who’s never even held one!)
Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?
Beauty and the Beast
Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?
Inferno by Dan Brown, What Doesn’t Kill You by Iris Johansen, and Fantasy Life by Matthew Berry.
Greatest one liner of all time?
That’s what she said
Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?
Sarcastic witticism. Duh.
Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?
The weirdest puppy on the planet, who decided to fall asleep on my computer and phone chargers. (see pic!)
–I have a floor rug that sometimes resembles a Hellhound he can hang with!
Favorite supernatural creature?
Um, mermaids, I guess? Actually, no, can I just say psychics? Normal humans who can see the future. I’m not into creatures!
Much love and thanks to Elle for her visit! Check out her latest release: MIDNIGHT GAMES, the third book in her Killer Instincts series (August 6th, 2013, Signet Eclipse)!
She wears a thousand deadly identities.
He sees through them all.
A master of disguise, Isabel Roma spends her life pretending to be other women. Normally, her emotions are reined in tight—but sexy mercenary Trevor Callaghan has a knack for getting under her skin. The elite operative’s quiet strength and raw magnetism affect her in ways she’s never felt before, a distraction that can quickly turn deadly in their dangerous line of work.
After putting his tragic past behind him, Trevor is ready to focus on his future—and he damn well intends for Isabel to be in it. When their entire operation is thrown into chaos, Trevor enlists Isabel’s talent for deception. And as they attempt to save their team in a world where the stakes are high and the danger is grave, Trevor must convince Isabel that the woman beneath all the disguises is the one worth having…
Grab your Copy NOW:
Want to hang out with Elle some more, you can…
Elle Kennedy currently publishes with Signet Eclipse, Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and Samhain Publishing. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting! Her latest release, MIDNIGHT GAMES, is the third book in a new romantic suspense series Killer Instincts, featuring a team of male mercenaries and female assassins. MIDNIGHT GAMES is available now! Check out Elle’s website www.ellekennedy.com, like her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter (@ElleKennedy).