Interview with Elle Kennedy

Posted by Goodreads on July 18, 2016
The men and women of Elle Kennedy's books are used to action. From assassins to Navy SEALs, from hockey stars to MMA brawlers, her characters are always on the move and always drop-dead sexy. Her newest action-packed series, Outlaws, sweeps readers into a deadly apocalyptic world where ferocious "Enforcers" prey on the weak. The wild dystopian ride began in Claimed, which featured a hot and heavy romance between outlaw leader Connor Mackenzie and beautiful runaway Hudson Lane, and continues in Kennedy's latest book, Addicted. Here passionate and impulsive Jamie fights for survival alongside a rowdy gang of outlaws. With civilization collapsing around her, the only man she can trust is Lennox, a devastatingly handsome hunk who will do anything to protect her heart—and win it.

Kennedy answers your questions about how to find love in the real world, what sort of romance heroine she would be ("the prim girl who's got a secret wild side"), and which one of her Off-Campus hockey hotties she'd like to date.

Sara: I'm such a fan! I adored Claimed, and now I can't wait to get my hands on Addicted. The postapocalyptic setting was super sexy and fun! Have you always loved end-of-the-world-type stories or is that a recent interest?

Elle Kennedy: I've always been a huge fan of those types of stories. Young adult dystopian is one of my go-to genres for reading, and I binge-watch TV shows like The Walking Dead and The 100. I love the concept behind stories that take place in their own world, where you can create your own universe from the bottom up.

Jo: Was your experience at university anything like the events in The Deal? (If so, I'm jealous!)

EK: I wish it was! Sadly, there was no hot hockey hunk for me—though I'm sure it would have been a lot more fun if I had a Garrett Graham in my life!

M: I love how there isn't "insta-love" in your books! Can you recommend some books for readers who want more of that type of romance?

EK: Sarina Bowen's Ivy Years books are gradual falling-in-love stories—I adore those!

Chhaya: I read romance books a lot, but sometimes that leads to unrealistic hopes and expectations. Any advice on finding love in the real world?

EK: Oh gosh. This is a hard one. I kind of think love just finds you, usually when you're not looking for it at all. I think the most important thing, though, is to remember that real relationships aren't always going to be like romance novel relationships. You really do need to be willing to compromise!

Alexa: What writer or writers inspired you the most when you were growing up?

EK: I'm a huge fan of Stephen King and his ability to create the most unique universes and story lines with characters who come alive for you. And I love Danielle Steel—her romances are so epic! I have pretty much all of her books on my shelf.

Diana: I loved your recent collaboration (as Erin Watt) with Jen FrederickThe Royals series is amazing! I've always wondered how authors write books with another person. Do you write every other chapter? Or do you get together to write?

EK: We plot out the story before we write, and then we take turns. Generally one of us will write however many words, alternating back and forth. There are certain scenes that one of us will call dibs on, but for the most part it's a very give-and-take process. But honestly, even with us passing the book back and forth, after all the tweaking, editing, and idea bouncing, we couldn't really tell you anymore who wrote what.

Tabitha: For me, no words could ever describe how fantastic and amazing your stories are! I'm very much an amateur writer. What are your tips for hooking readers right from the beginning?

EK: I think it's a combination of things. Stories need a solid foundation but also a fun, interesting hook. As a reader, I can usually tell within the first handful of pages if it's going to be a book I'll enjoy. I guess the key is to start the book at the right place and then make it engaging enough that readers will want to keep turning the page.

Lea: If you could write yourself into a romance book, what would be the title? Where's it taking place and who's your love interest?

EK: Oh my gosh, this is a tough question! I'd probably write myself into a historical romance—I'd be the prim girl who's got a secret wild side, and my hero would be a rogue duke or something who brings out my wicked side. Titles…no idea! I'm terrible at coming up with titles.

Kelly: Elle, your books are laugh-out-loud funny. What inspires your sense of humor? Who makes you laugh the most in your life?

EK: My friends and family really help when it comes to the funny stuff. A lot of the funny exchanges in books are inspired by actual events or conversations. And in general, I'm super sarcastic, so my sarcasm often comes out through my characters.

Marcie: OK, you must date one of the hockey players from your Off-Campus series. Who would you choose?

EK: I always used to say I was #TeamGarrett, but I think Dean's taken the top spot. There's something about his cocky vulnerability mixed with his humor that just takes the cake. Plus, it never hurts to have a little eye candy on your arm.

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