Friday, August 9, 2013

Interview with Shirley Kennedy

Please welcome author Shirley Kennedy today. She's got a new release from Inkspell Publishing titled Deadly Gamble.

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
My life seems to run in pairs: two husbands, two children, two divorces. Born and raised in Fresno, California, I worked many years as a computer programmer/analyst until I totally burnt out and switched to what I always wanted to do—write novels. Currently I live with my older daughter in Las Vegas, Nevada, just 5 miles south of the famous Las Vegas Strip—very handy when I did my research for Deadly Gamble.

2. What genre do you write?
I’ve always had a fondness for history, so I started out writing Regency romances (Ballantine & Signet). Then I switched to the old west and wrote Heartbreak Trail, a novel about a wagon train.  I just completed another wagon train romance titled Wagon Train Cinderella, a title which is either wonderfully descriptive or, according to both my daughters, the worst title ever created on this planet and must be replaced.  (I’m undecided.)

3. Please tell us about your latest release, Deadly Gamble, and how you came up with the idea.
After producing a steady stream of historicals, a great idea for a haunted casino mystery/romance just popped into my head. Since it would not go away, I fast forwarded 200 years from the stately mansions, the stuffy manners and morals of Regency England to glitzy, cutting-edge Las Vegas, Nevada, 2013, and started writing.

4. Is it part of a series?
No, but I loved writing about Las Vegas and just might do it again.

5. A must have snack while you write.
Today it’s 106 ° (41 C) in Las Vegas. There’s a bottle of water on my desk at all times. That’s all. I learned long ago that eating while writing inevitably results in a disgustingly gunky keyboard.

6. A fact that someone might not know about you.
Back in the 1980’s I spent many days riding horseback through the rebel-infested jungles of both northern and southern Colombia. (My then-husband was in the oil business, and we were checking on seismic exploration sites. I still have the pictures which I intend to post on Facebook one of these days when I have the time.)

7. If you had to choose a favorite book that you’ve written, which would it be?
It’s a hard choice, but I think my favorite is Heartbreak Trail, my western romance about a wagon train. I love history and put a lot of research into that book. I received many great reviews for Heartbreak Trail but also got a few absolutely terrible, worst-book-I-ever-read reviews. It’s baffling. When I don’t like a book, I set it aside and don’t finish it. The funny thing is, those bad-review readers obviously read it to the very last page. So go figure!

8. Is there a genre you haven’t written yet that you want to?
Oh, no. I’ve written in three different genres and that’s enough.

9. Have you written a character that most resembles you?
Growing up, I was shy and quiet. Kristi, my heroine in Deadly Gamble, is confident, bold and spirited, just like most of my heroines. So there’s no resemblance there. But physically? All my heroines have been tall and willowy. Could that be because I’m 5’8”? (As for willowy, let’s not go there.)

10. What type of hero do you enjoy writing about?
Whether it’s Lord Dashmont from The London Belle or Clint Palance, the trapper and Indian scout from Heartbreak Trail, my heroes don’t have to be especially tall, but they’re all gruff on the outside, compassionate on the inside. Throw in a powerful, well-muscled body, good sense of humor and a quirky smile.

11. What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Two oldies but goodies are at the top of my TBR list: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco and American Psycho by Bret Ellis. Hmm…do you think I like mysteries?

12. What are you currently working on?
After finishing the afore-mentioned, horribly titled Wagon Train Cinderella, I am cleaning my house and washing out litter boxes. But I’ll be back to writing the next one soon.

13. Anything that you’d like to share.

Forgive a bit of a brag here, but I love a story that contains seemingly unrelated threads that all come together in the end. That’s true of Deadly Gamble. I hope I’ve kept the reader guessing almost to the very last.

About The Book:
When attractive Kristi Andrews is hired as Assistant Marketing Director at the Parthenon hotel/casino in Las Vegas, she’s focused on succeeding at her new job. But from the very first day, strange events occur: a deadly escalator accident—the strange death of a candle shop owner—a psychic’s warning that the Parthenon is doomed AND IT’S ALL KRISTI’S FAULT.

Shocked and baffled, Kristi must determine if she could be responsible for the mysterious, evil presence that seems to haunt the hotel. She’s aided by a man she’s just met—famous western historical author, Mike Garvey. Attracted to Kristi, Mike goes one hundred fifty years back in time to draw upon his knowledge of old Las Vegas and the Santa Fe Trail. They are the key to a puzzling mystery which Kristi must solve if she wants to save not only the Parthenon but the entire Las Vegas Strip from total disaster.


About the Author:
Shirley Kennedy wrote and published Regency romances for several years for both Ballantine and Signet. She switched genres to write a wagon train romance. When struck with what she called “a great idea” about a haunted casino in Las Vegas, she was compelled to abandon both Regency England and the Old West to write Deadly Gamble.

Born and raised in Fresno, California, Shirley has lived in such diverse places as Denver; Houston; Torrance, California; Bogota ,Colombia; and Calgary, Alberta, Canada where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Sciences at the University of Calgary. She worked as a computer programmer/systems analyst for several years before she went back to her first love, writing.

Shirley lives close to her two daughters in Las Vegas Nevada. Brutus and Sparky, her two editorial assistants on the furry side, love to nap in the sunshine next to her computer while she produces her next novel.

See Shirley’s web site at
Her published books include: 
Heartbreak Trail, Camel Press  
Three Wishes for Miss Winthrop,  Signet
Lady Flora's Fantasy, Signet
The Irish Upstart,  Signet
The Selfless Sister,  Signet
The Rebellious Twin, Signet
The London Belle, Signet
Lady Semple's Secret,  Ballantine

1 comment:

Shaz Goodwin said...

Great interview ladies.

Lacey, thank you for being a part of (and the last stop!) on Shirley's tour.