KUBR Author Interview | Kennedy Ryan

Heya, Kubbies! Welcome back to our new monthly feature where we interview some of our favorite authors. Each posted interview will be followed up by a Live Q&A in KUbbies’ Korner, where you’ll have a chance to ask your questions!

{Kennedy will be LIVE in the Korner TONIGHT, Tuesday, September 13, at 9pm ET}

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We’re thrilled to welcome Kennedy Ryan as our September KUBR Featured Author. Kennedy is the author of two fabulous series – The Soul Series (available on KU!), which features My Soul to Keep, Down to My Soul and Refrain, and The Bennett Series, which includes When You Are Mine, Loving You Always, Be Mine Forever and Until I’m Yours.

 

 

The Writing Stuff:

Have you always been a writer? If not, when did you start writing?

I’ve been writing a long time. I started writing poetry really early, in the 5th grade or so when I found some poetry my father had written. By the time I was in high school, I was writing an editorial column for our local paper. That really whet my appetite, and I went on to journalism school. My journalism degree focused on public relations, and I worked with non-profit organizations for years. I focused on non-fiction articles and pieces. I’ve written for CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL and other non-fiction outlets, and am still a contributing writer for MOM Magazine. It was only about 4 years ago that I got my book deal with Grand Central for the BENNETT series. I self-published the first of the SOUL series, MY SOUL TO KEEP, last year, November of 2017.

What is your writing process like?

I put a lot of time into Pinterest boards and music playlists before I start actually writing. I’m not a really visual person, and those things bring the story to life for me. I actually act out the scenes to help create dialogue. Literally – arguing, weeping, whatever emotion the scenes call for between characters. I sometimes voice record it. And that becomes the basis for a lot of the dialogue. My husband has walked in on me “acting” several times, and it totally freaks him out. By the time we get to actual writing, I have the sights and sounds and a lot of dialogue, and a rough shell of the book. From there it’s just crafting and refining the story.

Do you have one book that you’re most proud of or that you like the best?

Yes. Of course you love them all, but UNTIL I’M YOURS from the BENNETT series. I love that it is a lushly romantic story, but sill tackles serious issues like rape culture; how we as a society tend to vilify the victim. It also addresses female genital mutilation. It’s a really layered story with mature characters. THE SOUL SERIES is probably the most popular, and I love it so much; love Rhys + Kai, the hero and heroine, but UIY makes me proudest. I hate that it’s not in KU! It’s one of my traditionally published books, and my publisher doesn’t do KU. 😦

Is there an author who inspired your writing?

Several. Not as much my style of writing as a desire to write well; to be distinct and true to my voice. People like Zora Neale Hurston, Jane Austen, Emily and Charlotte Bronte, too many to name. In the more commercial realm, Tiffanie DeBartolo, Judith McNaught, Candice Proctor.

The KU Stuff:

Are you a Kindle Unlimited member?

I’m not! All my self-published books are in KU, but I don’t actually have a membership.

What are your thoughts on the KU program?

I love that it gives so many readers an opportunity to discover new voices. That’s awesome for us newer authors, too, because it provides a lower risk way for readers to take a chance on us! I’ve had so many readers tell me they discovered my SOUL series through KU. The greatest compliment comes when they tell me they read through KU, but then bought it because they knew they would want it forever. Be still my heart! 🙂 

The Personal Stuff:

Where are you from?

I spent the last 20 years in Atlanta, but am originally from North Carolina. I lived there until I graduated from college. My family and I relocated to San Diego for my husband’s job last year, and we love it!

Are you a full-time writer or do you have another job? If so, what?

I’m a full-time wrier AND I have another job! LOL! My son was diagnosed with Autism 13 years ago. About 11 years ago, I started a foundation for families living with Autism in Georgia. Even though I’ve moved to California, I’m still the executive director for the foundation. It takes up a lot of my “free time,” whatever that is! Hahaha! My son requires round-the-clock care, and managing his doctors, therapists, and services is a job in itself. I’m really focused on him, my writing and my Autism foundation. That’s pretty much my whole life.

Are you married? Kids? Any pets?

I am married. To the same guy for 20 years. We have one son and no pets.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

That I’m a trained musician and came THIS close to pursuing singing full-time. I’m actually on a few CDs doing background vocals. All of those experiences really informed the SOUL series stories, since Rhys and Kai are both musicians.

The Fun Stuff:

Top three places you’d like to visit:

London, New Zealand, Paris!

Favorite cuisine & drink:

Pizza and diet coke. Easy to please! And I’m doing Whole 30 right now, so I’d give my right arm for either! Hahaha!

Favorite book(s) you’ve read in the past month:

I actually haven’t been reading much lately. I’m writing, and tend to binge between books, but not read much while I’m writing my own story. But faves this year include DARK NOTES by Pam Godwin, CROW & REAPER by A. Zavarelli, SPARROW by LJ Shen. THE VEILED HEART by Elsa Holland.

Favorite hobby not related to reading:

It’s sad how hard I’m having to search for a hobby other than reading! LOL! Between writing, running my foundation, reading is pretty much all I make time for. I can make up one. Basket weaving! How’s that? 😉

All of the lovely places to stalk Kennedy online:

Web • Facebook • Amazon • Twitter • Pinterest

Instagram • YouTube • Spotify • Google+ • BookBub

 

 

About Mila Grayson | KUBR

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