Please help me welcome Author Brandi Kennedy to my blog today! She has a new book coming out on August 20th (today!) so check out her info:
When Allie Jensen opens her door to let the new bodyguard in, the last face she expects to see is that of her high school crush, the boy who broke her heart. She tries to play it off, but the past is heavy on her mind. So when danger intrudes on her quiet little haven, will Allie be COURAGEOUS enough to leave the past behind her?
Also by Brandi:
The Kingsley Series
Fat Chance, Book One
Prescription For Love, Book Two
Wrestling Harmony, Book Three
The Selkie Trilogy
Selkie, Part One
The Freedom Series
Fighting For Freedom
What is your name? Do you use a pen name (if so, why?)?
- My name really is Brandi Kennedy – I’m proud of my writing, and I have no reason to write with anything other than my real name.
Tell me a bit about yourself:
- Well, I’m 31, and I think my largest accomplishment to date is mothering my kids. I’ve got two daughters, and there’s nothing I take as seriously as my responsibility to them as their mom. After mothering duties, my life revolves around building my career as a romance author, which has been my dream since I was a child. Other than that, I’m just mostly a regular girl. I love music, movies, and good TV. I love books of almost all kinds, crafting, and photography (I even took my own author photo!). I have BIG travel dreams, the sweetest dog on the planet, and a super varied personality – I can be introverted and shy, or totally outgoing, quiet or loud. Whichever me I’m being though, you can count on one thing: I’m unbelievably emotional, and I feel everything with complete passion. Maybe that’s why I write in the first place – to release “the feels.”
What type of genre do you write?
- I don’t write just one, actually. I mostly write romance, and all of my books so far have an element of romance running through them in some way. My Kingsley Series is contemporary romance, and they are largely what you’d imagine a crossover NA/A Contemporary Romance series to be. The Selkie Trilogy is fantasy/romance, and the Freedom Series is women’s fiction/romance. My new short story, Courageous, is a romantic suspense, which may or may not eventually be extended into a series as well.
What genre to you personally read?
- Mostly, I read romance. But I also enjoy fantasy, dystopian, mysteries and thrillers. I like comedies, too, and I really like sagas and long series’ because I get attached to the characters. Sometimes, I even like non-fiction – I’ll read biographies, memoirs, comedy, whatever strikes me in the moment.
Tell me about your latest?
- Courageous is a short romantic suspense that I wrote for the East Tennessee Creative Writer’s Alliance short story contest in April 2015 – it’s my very first contest entry, and also my first win! The story is about an actress named Allie Jensen, whose security guard is being temporarily replaced due to illness. But when she opens the door to meet the new guard, she is in for a major surprise, and that’s only the beginning of the most hectic night of her life. The official blurb says: “When Allie Jensen opens her door to let the new bodyguard in, the last face she expects to see is that of her high school crush, the boy who broke her heart. She tries to play it off, but the past is heavy on her mind. So when danger intrudes on her quiet little haven, will Allie be COURAGEOUS enough to leave the past behind her?”
What sparked your passion for books and the art of a good story? Is there a particular book that changed or affected your life in a big way?
- I’ve loved writing since I was a little girl – honestly, I’ve been writing for so long, I can’t remember a moment when I just became a writer. I always felt like I was just born with writing planted somewhere in my soul. It’s my “thing,” I guess. But I do remember one moment when I decided I wanted to be an author, and I remember the moment so vividly, if I close my eyes, I can still feel the embossed print on the front of my first drugstore paperback romance. It was Love Only Once by Johanna Lindsey; it had a yellow cover with print that stood up from the paper, and the story inside was unlike anything I had ever experienced at that time. I’ve read it probably a dozen times, and I’ve been in love with romance ever since the first. I’m not sure I’d have chosen writing as a career option if not for that pivotal moment.
Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
- Most of my books have an undercurrent of personal strength. It’s so important for people to nurture a sense of confidence and self-respect. I think there’s a wealth of books out there, especially in the romance genre, that focus on co-dependency and so many different aspects of unhealthy or abusive relationships – I want my books to be different. They have real-life characters, but they are also strong people that I hope will inspire the people who read them.
What has been your best moment as a writer?
- 1.) Holding my first book in my hands for the first time in print. I cried.
- 2.) Reaching a best seller list for the first time on Amazon. I cried.
- 3.) Talking to Marie Force one day about writing and publishing. For her, it was probably just a regular thing, but for me, that was huge. I’m sure you can imagine how I reacted to having “met” her …
Who is your author idol?
- Diana Gabaldon, no contest.
Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
- Sure. I think there’s a little of me in all of them. But there’s a little of a lot of other people, too. I think that’s the nature of writing. Art imitates life, or so they say.
Do you feel like your dream has come true or is there much more to do?
- Well, I’ve come a long way, and I have a career that I’m proud of. But am I finished? No. Not by a long shot. I like to think I’ll be doing this for the rest of my life – it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, and I still have so many goals to reach.
What does your workspace look like?
- That depends on when and where I’m working. If I’m at home, I’m usually in the living room with my laptop. If I’m in my room at night and trying to be quiet because my girls are sleeping, or if I’ve run away from home to write in peace, then I’m handwriting on my tablet. If I’m on the go and for some reason my tablet isn’t charged, then I’ll even write on my phone. In an emergency, I’ll have pen and paper handy – really all that matters to me is that it’s quiet and I can think. The medium and the actual setting don’t really matter as much.
Have you ever had a day when you just wanted to quit?
- Yes, but not because of reviews or word counts or any of the things that are hard about being a writer. For me, it was a challenge to go from being a stay at home mom to a work at home mom. It’s hard to find the right balance when your work and your home are in the same place, and one is always intruding on the other. When I realized that my kids were deliberately sabotaging my writing time because they wanted their mommy back, I almost just gave it up right then. But no, this is my dream. I’m just working on balancing work-a-holic and mom-a-holic, learning that I can do both.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
- Mom duties. Cook, clean, play, teach, drive to appointments and play dates and school. When I’m not being mom or writer, then I read. I listen to music almost every minute that I’m awake, I surf the web, I watch TV. I’m a very serious WWE fanatic. You know, the usual.
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
- Balance, for sure. You need to be able to balance writing and living, and balance being in the real world with being in the worlds you create. And having a thick skin is valuable, too. You need to be really secure in yourself and your writing, otherwise you can’t maintain your own voice. And while you need to keep reader feedback in mind, you can be made or broken by one person’s opinion – but that isn’t always easy to remember.
Did you have a moment when you realized you were meant to be a writer?
- Not really. I’ve been doing it off and on all my life … I was writing stories by hand as a kid, and then I was still writing when I had an old-school DOS computer, back when floppy disks were actually floppy. It’s more high-tech now, sure … but writing is writing. I think I need to write almost as much as I need to breathe.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- 1.) If you don’t love it enough to be willing to work at being good at it, then don’t do it. Sometimes you have to work to develop a talent, no matter how present it is. If you don’t care enough to make the effort, don’t waste other peoples’ time and money.
- 2.) If you do care enough to work at it and be serious, then be serious. Work on your writing. Polish it. Proof it. Edit it. Edit it again. And again. After that, let some other people read it. See if they like it. If they do (and it’s not just because your mom thinks you’re the next best thing), then get a serious editor. Have them go over your work and re-check all of your editing, lots of times. You don’t have to be perfect, but please, be serious. Don’t crowd the waters if you don’t actually want to swim.
After this book, what is next?
- More books, of course.
- I try to post at least once a week on my blog site, which is also where I keep pages of all my book information. Buy links are there, blurbs, cover images, my official bio. And I talk about everything there, from writing to reading, to what’s been going on in my life. It’s a great place to get to know me, both as a writer, and as a person.
- These are my five go-to sites that I use most often:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrandiKennedy
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/authorbrandikennedy
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrandiKennedy84
- Google+: https://www.google.com/+AuthorbrandikennedyBlogspot
- Tsu.co: http://Tsu.co/authorbrandikennedy
- There's my blog & website: authorbrandikennedy.blogspot.com
- And my subscription newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bu_GGT
- And then there's Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/brandikennedy84/
- And YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AuthorBrandiKennedy
Where can your book be found?
- Purchase links can be found on my website, where I have links to all of my books and all their available markets. But if you like things simple, just head on over to amazon.com/author/BrandiKennedy. You can find all six of my books there, in e-book and paperback formats.
- Thanks so much for having me! It was great to be featured here today, and I hope to see you again on social media!
Please thank Brandi for joining us today! Please check out her books and her links! Thanks Brandi!