WELCOME TO BOOK OBSESSED CHICKS' SPOTLIGHT ON AUTHOR JENNA KERNAN. I WAS VERY FORTUNATE TO MEET JENNA AT THE LIBERTY STATES, CREATE SOMETHING MAGICAL CONFERENCE IN NEW JERSEY, A FEW YEARS AGO. THIS VERY TALENTED AND VERSATILE AUTHOR WRITES BOTH WESTERN HISTORICAL AND PARANORMAL SERIES AND SINGLE TITLES FOR HARLEQUIN. WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, PLEASE WELCOME JENNA KERNAN
Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I just had my 10th anniversary of receiving “The Call” and have authored over sixteen Western historical and paranormal romances published by Harlequin. I’ve been twice nominated for the RITA Award from Romance Writers of America.
In 2010, I won the Book Buyers Best Award for my debut paranormal in The Tracker Series.
When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I never really thought about being a writer or even that I wanted to write. What I wanted to be was a story teller. Writing is the best medium for me now but I began my story telling back when I was a counselor at summer camp. Rainy days were always a horror. Can you picture 80 kids trapped in a boat house or bath house. You can only play Simon Says for so long. So I started telling stories. These were not my own creations, but versions of fairy tales from The Blue Fairy Book. It was a powerful experience to captivate that many children with stories. I was hooked. I’ve been telling stories ever since.
Tell us about your upcoming work?
My next Harlequin Nocturne launches a new series. The heroes of these stories are all Marines who are also werewolves. In my world, vampires are the enemy, the most dangerous assassins, while my werewolves are their natural enemy.
My July release, THE VAMPIRE’S WOLF, is the first in this series.
My heroine is a fairy fleeing these vampires by seeking protection from a werewolf unaware that has sworn to hunt and kill her kind.
Brianna Vittori is the daughter of a Leana-Sidhe (deadly fairy) and is unaware that she has the abilities to drain the life-force of any human lover. When vampires try to capture her, she runs to the only being she knows can protect her —a werewolf.
Travis MacConnelly, a Marine Captain and a werewolf, is a member of a secret force sworn to protect human world leaders from paranormal mercenary assassins. When one runs into his arms and begs for his protection, he knows he should kill her. Instead he kisses her. If he’s immune to the powers of the female blood-suckers, then why is he thinking of saving her life?
He promises to keep her alive long enough for her to learn to use her gifts. In the meantime, he’ll have to keep her from discovery by his commander, keep his comrades from killing her and defend her from her enemies. Oh, and one more thing, he has to keep himself from falling in love with her.
For more about this release and for a short excerpt please visit me on my website www.jennakernan.com
Do you have any heroes?
My mother is my hero. A single mom, she put two daughters through college on a teacher’s pay. She also is a staunch supporter of my writing, though she prefers literary fiction to romance. It makes me so happy to know she is proud of me.
My husband is my hero, too. He does so many things to give me time to write and supports my efforts to attend conferences and reader events. I feel I can’t fail with him in my corner. I once watched him hand sell one of my romances to a stranger in a bookstore. Isn’t that romantic?
Can you tell us your favorite character from your books so far and why?
I do fall in love with all my heroes. But if you make me pick, I’d choose Thomas Nash, the hero of my first romance, and RITA nominee from WINTER WOMAN. He’s a trapper and carrying quite a lot of baggage with his fur traps. I’d also mention Sebastian, my first paranormal hero (DREAM STALKER) and a shape-shifting grizzly bear with Native American ancestry. Finally, I’d mention Johnny Lam, the hero of an upcoming Nocturne. He’s a werewolf who can’t change back to human form. How can you not fall in love with a hero with that kind of challenge?
Was it difficult for you to get published?
Yes. Like many writers, I had to learn the craft, market expectations, genre conventions, how to plot and what makes a character compelling. And I am still learning those things. It took me many complete manuscripts and a binder full of rejection letters (they used to come in the mail) before I received my first contract offer.
Who are your favorite authors/reads?
Lately, I love Ken Folliet, Kristen Higgins, Stephen King, JR Ward and Suzzanne Collins. For non-fiction, Bill Bryson. I’ll also read anything about the American West or Native Americans. I specifically love the Plains Indians. I also read period documents from the 1800s, books, diaries, journals and magazines. I even have a text book from the 1860s where some long ago student used a fountain pen to draw a mustache on George Washington.
Fossil hunting, rock hounding and gold prospecting. I’ve been to Alaska looking for gold with the use of a metal detector. I’ve dredged in rivers in the south for gold. I’ve also looked for diamonds, topaz, garnets and other precious and semi-precious stones all over the US. In addition, I’ve done some fossil hunting in the rivers in the Southeastern United States. My most recent find was a five-inch long fossilized shark’s tooth.
I also love beachcombing, scuba diving and snorkeling.
Tell us a bit about your workshop(s) at the conference?
The workshop is titled STORIES THAT SELL and I’ll be giving it with my friend and fellow author Laura Bradford.
This is an interactive workshop that will explore the important components of every story, Enticing Hook, Compelling Characters, Gripping Internal Conflict, Riveting Plot, Satisfying Payoffs and Engaging Author Voice.
We will be using video clips from The Devil Wears Prada films to help illustrate different selling components of story.
Do you have any favorite TV shows?
Dexter, True Blood, Project Runway, What Not To Wear, The Colbert Report
What’s next for you?
I’m currently doing my final edits for my July release, THE VAMPIRE’S WOLF from Harlequin Nocturne. I’m also finishing up revisions on my Christmas novella, A FAMILY FOR THE RANCHER which will appear in the WILD WEST CHRISTMAS anthology from Harlequin. Finally, I’m sending in a proposal this month for a new Western Historical. Can you say multi-tasking?
12. What would you like readers to know about you?
I collect Native American art and artifacts. Some are quite old and some modern. These objects surround me as I write and make my office look like it belongs to a disorganized museum curator. I have a small Inuit raven mask, a war shirt and drum on my walls, several Zuni fetishes on my desk and a tin of rattlesnake rattles and arrowheads in my desk drawer. Doesn’t everyone?
If you would like to hear more about my adventures readers can follow me on Facebook or on Twitter @jennakernan.
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