Interview & Giveaway with Western Romance Author Joanne Kennedy

What an exciting day! Today it is my pleasure to host western romance author Joanne Kennedy! Joanne is joining us today to talk about her love of writing and her amazing books. Please join me in welcoming her:)

KL: Thanks so much for joining us today Joanne! When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?
JK: I always wanted to be a writer, but it wasn’t until my midlife crisis hit that I realized I was never going to fulfill my dreams if I didn’t go after them.
Discovering romance also made a big difference. I wanted to write literary novels, or mysteries, or thrillers, but every time I submitted anything agents said it was “too romancey.” Once I got the hint and focused on the kind of stories that come naturally to me, I was off and running.
KL: Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
JK: Inspiration can come from anywhere—a glimpse out a window, an overheard conversation, or an article in the newspaper. But the two things that inspire me most are my home state of Wyoming and my husband.  I try to show my readers that there’s a place in the world where they belong and a love that is waiting for them. If they’re true to themselves and open to the possibilities around them, they’ll find the life they’re meant to live.
KL: What do you enjoy most about writing western romances? Have you ever dabbled in writing any other types of romance or genre?
JK:I love the way history and tradition blend with the challenges of the modern world in the West. Ranching is a hard life to hang onto these days, and it takes a lot of determination and hard work. That’s what makes cowboys such great heroes.
I actually write in many genres. My agent originally signed me for a paranormal romance, but it didn’t sell and when the cowboy crazy hit, we switched gears. I also love thrillers and mysteries. I need more hours in the day so I can write all the books that are rattling around in my head!  
KL: Out of all of your novels, which female character would you say is your favorite and why? How about favorite male character?
JK: I have a real soft spot for Charlie and Nate from One Fine Cowboy. I get more e-mails about Nate than any of my characters, with readers often saying I’ve brought back someone they loved and lost. Charlie is simply the woman I’d like to be—brave, funny, passionate, and determined to create the life she wants. Both of these characters are so real to me that it wouldn’t surprise me to run into them on the street – I’m sure they’re out there somewhere!
KL: If you had to choose one, and only one, of your novels to be made into a movie, which one would it be and why?
JK: My first book, Cowboy Trouble, was under consideration by a producer for a while, and I would have loved to see Luke and Libby brought to life along with all the quirky residents of Lackaduck. Then again, I’d love to see Cowboy Fever as a movie because it focuses on therapy riding, which is one of my favorite causes, and a movie might get more people to understand how much horses can do for people with disabilities.
KL: Many people I know, including myself, love reading series. Any plans for possibly writing one?
JK: Yes! I have two series ideas in my head right now that I’m working up into proposals. I think writing a series is a real challenge, since you have to satisfy both new readers and faithful followers. You have to introduce new readers to your world without boring those who have followed the series from the start, and you have to find a satisfying ending that leaves room for a sequel. I really want to make sure that every book in the series is a complete and satisfying reading experience, no matter where in the series you start.
KL: As an accomplished romance author, what would be the best piece of advice you can give to other authors who are just starting out?
JK: I think the most essential skill a writer can have is the ability to take criticism. It can be very hard to hear negative things about your writing, but as the writer, you’re probably the least qualified person to judge the quality of your work. Every book is a collaboration between the writer, who lays the groundwork, and the reader, who fleshes out the details in their mind. You need to know how others will see your story, and while you don’t have to implement every suggestion, you do have to listen and be open to ideas that might make your good book even better!
KL: Your newest release, Cowboy Crazy, comes out on June 5th of this year. What can your readers expect to see from you in this novel?
JK: For starters, they can look forward to my hottest cowboy hero ever! Lane Carrigan is an oil company heir turned rodeo cowboy who’s trying to get back to his family’s ranching roots. Sarah Landon is a small-town girl who’s in a big hurry to kick the country dust off her boots and become a part of the wealthy world Lane takes for granted. They meet in the middle between the two world and the result is a wild ride. I loved writing this book because I got to do a lot of rodeo scenes. I’m a big fan of the sport and did my best to put the reader right in the arena!
KL: What would you say was your favorite part of writing Cowboy Crazy? Any scenes that you particularly enjoyed bringing to life?
JK: Without a doubt, researching the rodeo scenes! I spent a lot of time behind the chutes at Cheyenne Frontier Days, listening to the cowboys, watching them prepare for their rides, and seeing the action up close.
KL: What's next for you? I'm sure after we all get our cowboy fix with Cowboy Crazy we'll be itching for more…any new novels in the works?
JK: I’m just finishing up Cowboy Tough, which is about a rodeo cowboy who returns to the family homestead to help his family turn it into a dude ranch. Their first guest is an artist who’s bringing a group of students to learn to paint in the Wyoming backcountry.  He’s a pretty basic guy, and a big-city artist is the last woman he expects to fall for—but sometimes opposites really do attract. 

Joanne's new book Cowboy Crazy is out on June 5th!

From stable to boardroom...

Sarah Landon's Ivy League scholarship transforms her from a wide–eyed country girl into a poised professional. Until she's assigned to do damage control with the boss's rebellious brother Lane, who's the burr in everybody's saddle. 

He's determined to save his community from oil drilling, and she's not going back to the ranch she left forever. Spurs will shine in this saucy romp about ranchers and roots, redemption and second chances. - from

Joanne will be giving away one free copy of her novel Cowboy Fever to one random lucky person who leaves a comment on this post today. Trust me folks, this novel is so good and super sexy with characters you will just fall in love with. Don't miss out on your chance to own a copy of it:)

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MK said…
Hottest cowboy hero every - yummy! Great interview ladies!
Joanne Kennedy said…
Kimberly, thank you so much for inviting me for a visit! You ask great questions, and I'll be happy to answer any others readers would like to pose. I'll be checking in all day from up here in Montana, where I'm visiting my family - and my new granddaughter!
Joanne Kennedy said…
Hi, MK! Yes, Lane is just about my favorite cowboy. He's tough on the outside, tender on the inside, and good at what he does.
Kimberly Lewis said…
Thank you very much for visiting today Joanne! The interview was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to reading Cowboy Crazy...and about Lane:)
And I'm gonna have to agree with you MK...that is one hot cowboy:)
Carolyn Brown said…
Hey, Joanne! I can't wait to get my hands on Cowboy Crazy. Loved the interview and I'll be the first in line to buy tickets when any of your books hit the movie industry!
Angie Adair said…
This book sounds favorite genre too...Great article!
Tracey Devlyn said…
Hi Joanne! Congrats on your new release!! Love your books and loved hearing about where your inspiration comes from. :)
Joanne Kennedy said…
Thanks, Carolyn! I'm waiting for the Mistletoe Cowboy Hallmark movie... now that I've finished the book! I LOVED it:)
Joanne Kennedy said…
Angie, thanks for visiting! You'd probably like Carolyn Brown's cowboy books, too:)
Joanne Kennedy said…
Thanks for checking in , Tracey:) Right now I'm being inspired by a couple of Montana cowboys, aged 3 and 5, plus one brand-new little cowgirl granddaughter!
Samantha Grace said…

What a great interview! I love the way you talk about your characters and your insider knowledge of cowboys. Your personal story sounds similar to mine. I too had a midlife crisis that propelled me into writing. It was one of the best things to happen to me. :)
cinful1121 said…
I just saw FB post about this interview and had to stop by even day late because like Carolyn Brown said I can't wait to get my hands on Cowboy Crazy!! I just love your sexy cowboys ;D I'm still waiting for you to use the word "scooters" in one of your stories lol.
Grace Burrowes said…
Lots of authors are asked what advice they'd give to up and coming writers, but your advice--learn to handle criticism--applies to any author at any point on the curve. Thanks for the reminder.
Joanne Kennedy said…
Samantha, where would we be without our midlife crises? Mine was the best thing that ever happened to me! Sometimes you just have to let go of the past and take a leap of faith to get where you need to go:)
Joanne Kennedy said…
Grace, I think the advice about criticism applies to almost anything we do; it's good to listen to feedback. That said, I certainly can't criticize your books. I just love your writing!
Joanne Kennedy said…
cinful, you're right! I'd better scoot up and write another cowboy book:) Thanks for the support!
Joanne Kennedy said…
Thank you to Kimberly for having me, and thanks so much to everyone who stopped by and commented! I really appreciate the support from readers and from the writing community. You're all the best!