I love doing interviews with authors. I do it as much for myself as I do for you, the readers. There is this connection that I get when I read how others feel about the business of writing, the voices, the time constraints, the highs and the low. This month’s author of the month is Keena Kincaid.
Dyanne: Kenna, tell me about yourself, personal, married, pets, hobbies, school and past job.
Keena: I am a traveler to the depths of my soul. I love going to new places, meeting new people, seeing new things. I originally became a journalist because I thought it would give me an opportunity to move from job to job (read new place to new place) while I honed my writing skills. When I left reporting, I moved into Public Relations, another carpetbagger's industry.
Dyanne: Tell me about your path to publication, everything you can think of.
Keena: Let's just say I learn by doing--or the "hard way" as my mother would say. Once I believed I had a sellable story, I threw myself into learning how to write a query that garnered interest. I knew that if I could get someone to read the story, it would likely sell. Fortunately, thanks to my years working at a newspaper, I already had a thick skin, so the rejections, while painful, weren’t as crippling as they could have been. Still, it’s a tough process, and I applaud anyone willing to put her work out there.
Dyanne: Tell me about each of your stories even the one under the bed but no spoilers. Save your March book for last
Keena: Thanks, Dyanne.
- The first book I wrote was a space romance aptly named SEX IN SPACE, a love story set against the early days of the Martian revolution for independence. I still like those characters and will one day rewrite that puppy from the ground up so it's worthy.
- BEYOND ALL ELSE, my first historical romance, was about a noblewoman turned thief and the sheriff who loved her. Alais keeps a terrible secret, one that destroyed her family—and one she’ll die to keep—but Grym is determined to uncover it because it just might tell him who murdered his brother. It’s under the bed, but could be overhauled and made ready.
- PROMISES, PROMISES is the first in my DRUIDS of DUNCARNOCH series. P2 (I tend to abbreviate all my stories during the writing process) tells the story of Richard, cousin to King Henry II, and Kathryn, a druid out of place in the modern world. A flirtation that went to far turns into the love of a lifetime when Richard finds himself protecting Kathryn and his illegitimate son from an enemy who would use her magic for his own gain. But the king has plans for Richard that don’t include happily ever after. I got an agent with this story, and P2 made the rounds among publishers but didn’t sell.
- But I did sell my next book AMAN CARA. It's available now through bookstores, on Amazon.com and as an ebook. It tells the story of Bran and Liza, soul mates separated by betrayal in a past life and this one. It earned a five-star review from Dark Angel Reviews and was named Best of the Books, 2008 by the Specusphere website.
- Coming March 27, ART OF LOVE is an historical romance set in 12th century Paris and tells the story of Abelard and Heloise the way it should have been. Abigail d’Alene has been sinfully in love with learning all her life. As a widow, she now has the means and freedom to indulge in her passion. Pretending to be Abelard, a fifteen-year-old boy from an outlying village, she heads to the Latin Quarter of Paris and the abbey schools that will one day change the world. Shocked by her ineptitude at masquerading as a boy, Alain, in Paris as a spy for Henry II, takes the young “Abelard” under his protection. He intends to keep her safe just long enough for her to recover her sense and go home. But when he discovers Abigail’s uncle, confessor to King Louis VII of France, plots against the English king, his act of compassion takes a dark turn, and Alain must choose between his king and the woman he loves beyond all reason.
- I don't have a publishing date or cover for my sixth novel, TIES THAT BIND, another in the DRUIDS OF DUNCARNOCH series. It tells the story of Aedan ap Owen, a druid who doesn't believe in destiny or second chances but is face with the choice: relinquish is magic or the lady he loves.
Dyanne: Wow, Keena, you’ve been extremely busy. Tell me your immediate goals for 2009
Keena: One of my goals for 2009 is to find an agent. I’m also working on several proposals that I’d like to begin circulating, and finally, I need to revamp my website—but that’s a job and a half.
Dyanne: What are you doing to advance your career?
Keena: I’m trying to find the best way to connect with readers and potential readers. Self-promotion, while a necessary part of the process, can burn a lot of hours on loops, chats, blogs, etc. So I’m testing what works but still leaves me time to write.
Dyanne: What's been the most fun in your writing life so far?
Keena: I’ve enjoyed the interviews, oddly enough. As a former reporter, I really thought I’d be uncomfortable and find it challenging, but I love it.
Dyanne: Your opinion of reviews both good and bad and can you share just a bit of a good review?
Keena: I think good reviews can tip a person toward buying your book if she is interested but not quite sure. A bad one might tip her in the other direction. I don’t anyone will buy a book based on reviews alone—if you have, please let me know! Mostly, I think it’s the author’s reputation, the cover and the back-cover copy that sell the book.
Dyanne: Keena, If you had your life to do over what changes would you make?
Keena: Nothing. I like my life, so I don’t want to do anything to mess up the space-time continuum.
Dyanne: What is your advice to aspiring authors?
Keena: Become the best storyteller you can and strive for success, but never forget that you have no control of the process. So relax and enjoy the journey as much as you can.
Dyanne: Keena, I'm aware you're hoping to be a presenter at RWA conference in Washington. Can you tell us about the process and what you will present?
Keena: Well, you have to write a proposal and make it sound as interesting as you possible can while at the same time showing how it will benefits writers. Then you sit back and wait to see if it’s accepted.
Dyanne: Keena, do you have any last words, and where you can be reached?
ANAM CARA--Available now from Amazon
ART OF LOVE--coming March 2009
Keena Kincaid has written a masterful historical/paranormal romance in her debut novel, ANAM CARA.” – Katherine, Dark Angel Reviews
LATE BREAKING GOOD NEWS FROM KEENA KINCAID
I just learned that I will be a presenter at National this summer. I'll be giving a media training career workshop, "Meet the Press on Common Ground: Media Tips, Tricks and Traps for Romance Authors." Through the workshop, authors will learn how to craft key messages (so they don't accidentally say the wrong thing) as well as how to answer The trick is going to be compressing a half-day workshop into one
Dyanne: Congratulations Keena!! It’s a really big deal to be chosen to present a workshop at RWA National.
Keena: Thanks Dyanne, and thank your readers, for making it this far into the interview. I welcome questions, so feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.