Thursday, July 1, 2010

Interview -- Jenna Kernan

I have known Jenna since she arrived at HVRWA to join this group of writers both published and unpublished. She writes some neat historicals but my favorites oh her stories are the paranormal romances.

1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?

I was first published in Western historical romance for Harlequin in 2003 and have nine books set in unusual settings. My heroes tend to be trappers, trackers and explorers, rather than cowboys. More recently I sold a trilogy, based on Native American Mythology, to Silhouette Nocturne and now also write paranormal romance.

2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?

I enjoy writing what I most enjoy reading. I’ve always loved Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance and Time Travel. I also have a weak spot for Fantasy and Science Fiction.

3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?

I’d love to write a time travel and look forward to their return to popularity. Thrillers and women’s fiction aren’t my favorite, though I have read some of those as well.

4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?

I’m currently gobbling up paranormals and wandering through historical romances. I love Vikings, Pirates, Highway Men, Highlanders and Native American Heroes. Shapeshifters are cool, because they retell one of my all-time favorite fairytales: Beauty and the Beast

5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing,

I’ve been writing fiction for nearly two decades and have been published for eight years. I didn’t sell at first because I had to do a lot of on-the-job training, kind of like picking up a violin and telling yourself that you’re going to try out for First Violin in the community orchestra. It’s a nice goal, but also requires work, patience and luck. Now I’m writing about three books a year.

I keep my website updated and there is some more information about me. The address is:

6. Which of your characters is your favorite?

Oh, I’d have to say I’m in love with whichever hero I’m writing at the time. But I do have a special place in my heart for my first hero, Thomas Nash, WINTER WOMAN, 2003 and also for my first shapeshifter hero, Sebastian, DREAM STALKER, 2009.

7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?

My first romances used nature as the villain. Nature can be very cruel and completely unforgiving of mistakes. My first heroine survived a winter alone in a wagon in the Rocky Mountains (WINTER WOMAN, 2003), a feat I would say was impossible if it were not based on historical fact.

My paranormal trilogy (DREAM STALKER, 2009) has a wonderful villain, who is the ruler of ghosts and responsible for collecting the evil ones from the living world. This story recently won The Book Buyers Best Award in the Paranormal category and is the first of there. I’m expecting the next release in May of 2011. There are excerpts of DREAM STALKER up at my website:

8. What are you working on now?

I just finished copy edits on my September release, HIS DAKOTA CAPTIVE and a Christmas novella out in October in the anthology collection titled: WESTERN WINTER WEDDING BELLES. I’m about done with my first draft of the next historical with a working title, PARTNERING LILY. This one is set in Alaska.

9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?

His Dakota Captive, Harlequin Historicals, September 2010

Western Winter Wedding Belles, October 2010

And then a Silhouette Nocturne in May of 2011.

10. How does your latest release begin? Give us an excerpt 400 - 500 words.

HIS DAKOTA CAPTIVE, Harlequin Historicals, September 2010, by Jenna Kernan

Lucie West eyed the unusual man tying his horse at the hitching post before the blacksmith’s shop. His bearing struck her first because it seemed familiar in its supple grace. He did not stand or move like a soldier as he flipped the stirrup over the saddle and loosened the girth. She ran the length of him trying to understand why the sight of this stranger should stop her in her tracks. He was taller than most and broad…what?

Where was his hat? No white man rode in or out without one. Yet, here he stood bareheaded. His shaggy, shoulder-length hair was streaked with gold, bleached by the sun. His face was deeply tanned, but his light hair marked him as white. Perhaps he was one of the many born of both races.

His bare forearm flexed as he untied his saddlebags and effortlessly flipped the heavy sacks over one wide shoulder. Her gaze caressed his back and powerful legs, the menacing gun belt at his hip and then halted abruptly at his high moccasins. She recognized the style instantly having once labored to make similar ones, but never with such skill. Was that why she felt the vague sense of familiarity?

They could be a war trophy or trade goods, she told herself. Her objection did not sooth her growing anxiety.

Mrs. Fetterer, who was also a matron at the Sage River School for Indians, noticed Lucie had stopped and followed the direction of her gaze. The woman stood stiff as a starched collar and wide as the paddlewheelers on the Missouri River. Her frizzy hair was tamed in a conservative knot which made her head seem tiny by comparison.

“Ah,” she said. “The horse trader. I see he sold the lot.”

Lucie kept her eyes on the man. He straightened, his body now tense as if recognizing someone watched him. He turned in a slow circle until he found her and froze with one hand on the saddle pommel. He stared at her with piercing blue eyes, the color of the clear summer sky. Men often stared at her now, but this stare was different. Her breath caught at the connection and then she broke free, looking at the ground that separated them.

The tingling awareness lifted gooseflesh on her skin as she recognized that he was now studying her.

Mrs. Fetterer clasped Lucie’s arm and set them in motion.

“Look at the way he gawks at you. No manners at all and wild as the horses he chases.” She steered them across the yard. Lucie put one foot before the other, resisting the urge to turn-tail and run, which she would most certainly have done if her companion were not compelling her forward. Something about this man screamed a warning. The last time she felt this breathless with uncertainty she had been hiding from the attacking Sioux.

Mrs. Fetterer whispered as they passed the hitching posts before the blacksmiths. “He is a most dreadful man. My husband tells me that he barely utters a word to him, but will jabber in that gibberish to any Indian who wanders in.”

Lucie’s step faltered. If he spoke Sioux, it was a reasonable assumption that he understood the meaning of the marks on her chin.

COPYRIGHT: All content on is copyrighted © by Jenna Kernan. Reproduction of any kind is strictly prohibited.

Harlequin Historical is a registered trademark of Harlequin Enterprises Limited. As such all cover art and excerpts are copyrighted © by said publisher, and all rights are reserved by the publisher.


Wendy S Marcus said...

Hi Jenna! (And Janet!)

Great interview!

I LOVE reading about big, strong, stubborn Highlanders too!

I'm a member of HVRWA but haven't made the last few meetings. (Janet was the first person to welcome me as a member! (Because she's always on time!)

You have some great titles for your books. Do you come up with them or does the publisher?

Terri said...

Yep. Vividly remember the on-the-job training, from the pedestrian knockdown to the yetis to the socks. You've come a long way, baby.

Good interview.

Liz said...

Can't WAIT for your releases!

Jenna Kernan said...

Hi all~

Not sure if the title question was for me or for Janet. But in my case, Harlequin & Silhouette keep about half of my titles. His Dakota Captive is theres. I called it Dakota Sky, after the hero's name. Dream Stalker, my notcurne is my title, but I don't think they like Stalker in the title. Perhaps they fear it will turn readers away. What to you all think?

Wendy S Marcus said...

Hi Jenna!
I wouldn't be turned away by the title Dream Stalker. I think I'd actually be intrigued.

Jenna Kernan said...

Oh, Wendy, that's good to hear. The Silhouette editor just asked for three series of title options to consider. They want to link the books, but might not go with Stalker. My original choices are: Dream Stalker, Ghost Stalker and Soul Stalker. But I'll have to come up with a few more.

Jenna Kernan said...

Thanks, Terri. I remember you ROTFL at the socks line in my China story. Still trying to sell that one...minus the socks!

Jennifer Probst said...

Love the interview - haven't seen you in a while but have been following your books. HVRWA has mentored many newbies - it was the best on the job training I received!