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Friday, April 11, 2014

How to Handle a Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy Interview

What is one of your favorite Myths/legands to write about?
I ‘m dedicated to perpetuating the myth of the American cowboy! In my books, the cowboys are all good-looking and none of them chew tobacco. That’s not always the case in real life, but hey, that’s why I write fiction – so I can create a world that’s a little better than the real thing.

If you could live back in time, what time period would you choose and why?
I would love to try living in the old West between about 1850 and 1890. I probably wouldn’t last a week, but I love going to ghost towns and finding old abandoned homesteader’s cabins on the prairie and imagining what life was like back then. One of these days I’ll write an historical Western.

Have you ever come across a song that might fit the theme of one of your books?
Any country song about pickup trucks and dirt roads works for me!

Do you remember what you felt when you had your first kiss?
I certainly do! My first boyfriend had a very aristocratic name. I won’t tell it here for privacy reasons, but it was something akin to Chester P. Arlington the Third, and he was quite well off. My husband teases me about my expensive taste in boyfriends all the time, but “Chester” was a sweet kid – and a very good kisser:)

What was the most creative pick up line you've ever used on someone or someone used on you?
It’s not exactly a line, but my now-husband was a customer at the bookstore where I worked and bought and read all the Oprah book picks, from Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much is True to Icy Sparks. I though he was such a sweet, sensitive guy. It turns out he really is – but he doesn’t really read that much:)

When writing do you have a playlist of music you like to listen to? What are a couple songs on it?
I don’t listen to music when I write. I can’t concentrate with music playing, especially if it has lyrics. My poor husband, the Oprah Book Club expert, has to watch TV with headphones on when I’m writing, which is most of the time. Maybe he should start reading again!

What do you do when you think nobody is watching?
I let my dogs off the leash! 

What was your favorite childhood book?
I loved The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It’s about the healing power of nature, which is something I’ve believed in ever since. In fact, it’s still working for me today. I’m a cancer survivor and just moved to a beautiful piece of land down by the Colorado border, with 13 acres of rocks and trees and a little creek burbling through it. In a way, that decision was influenced by reading and rereading that book all those years ago.

What is your favorite addition to chocolate?
Oh, my gosh, do I love dark chocolate Kit Kats. A lot of stores don’t carry them, so when my husband and I find them we buy them ALL. We get some strange looks from store clerks, but it’s so worth it.

What does your husband/significant other say about your writing erotic stories? What about your family and/or do they read your books?
My husband is proud of my writing, but he doesn’t read it, which is fine by me. How do I put this delicately? Um, he might recognize some of the scenes and incidents in my stories, and that would be weird for him. 

My parents both read my books. When my first book was published, I figured my dad would skip over he sex scenes. Nope. Talk about awkward… 

Besides your own, what is one of your favorite series to keep up with?
I love Linda Lael Miller’s McKettrick cowboys and Jodi Thomas’ Harmony books.

What do you think you would be doing if you weren't writing?
I worked in bookselling for most of my life, so I’d probably still be doing that. I wouldn’t be nearly as happy, though. And I’d still be writing, even if nobody paid me to do it. I can’t imagine not having that outlet.

Do you have any hobbies or activities you enjoy doing?
I don’t have much time for hobbies since I try to put out two books a year and I’m a slow writer. But I do love my dogs. I have two Jack Russell terriers and a great big beautiful mastiff mix. They’re great companions and wonderful friends. 

What is something you do to de-stress?
I go for long walks with my dogs. Either we tramp the dirt roads or we hike in the woods. Both give me time to think and breathe and just be, and my dogs get to be dogs, sniffing for varmints and chasing sticks.

We all know about muses...what do you think inspires you to allow your creative juices flowing?
I’ve always loved to write, but a close call with cancer a couple years ago made it even more important to me. I’m fine now, but it’s more important to me than ever to leave a little piece of myself behind in my books. Is that morbid? I hope not!

10 Fun Facts (things the fans don't know)
My husband and I just bought a 1990 Jeep Cherokee from our son. It has a lift kit on it and massive speakers. Now we load up the dogs and drive like teenagers!

I’ve seen Bruce Springsteen in concert ten times, and need another fix.

I have absolutely no sense of direction.

I just adopted a 100-pound mastiff...puppy. He’s still growing...and growing...and growing.

There are claw marks from a bear on my deck. But that’s okay (see #4).

I used to own a used and rare bookstore.

I’m an avid birdwatcher.

I love old bones, and have an antelope skull in my den.

I’m a scavenger, not a hunter (see #8).

I live at the end of a dirt road and have no cell service.

His Rodeo Days May Be Over...

Sidelined by a career-ending injury, rodeo cowboy Ridge Cooper feels trapped at his family's remote Wyoming ranch. Desperate to find an outlet for the passion he used to put into competing, he takes on the challenge of teaching his roping skills to five troubled ten-year-olds in a last-chance home for foster kids, and finds it's their feisty supervisor who takes the most energy to wrangle.

But He'll Still Wrangle Her Heart…

When social worker Sierra Dunn seeks an activity for the rebellious kids at Phoenix House, she soon learns she's not in Denver anymore. Sierra is eager to get back home to her inner-city work, and the plan doesn't include forming an attachment in Wyoming—especially not to a ruggedly handsome and surprisingly gentle local rodeo hero.

Praise for How to Handle a Cowboy
“Realistic and romantic... Kennedy’s forte is in making relationships genuine and heartfelt as she exposes vulnerabilities with tenderness and good humor.” —Booklist STARRED Review

“The sex scenes are juicy... Each character is essential to the storyline and the plot moves seamlessly.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Joanne Kennedy’s lifelong fascination with Wyoming’s unique blend of past and present inspires her to write contemporary Western romances with traditional ranch settings. Her books include Cowboy Tough, Tall, Dark and Cowboy, and the RITA-nominated One Fine Cowboy. At various times, she has dabbled in horse training, chicken farming, and bridezilla wrangling at a department store wedding registry. Her love of reading led to careers in bookselling and writing. She lives with two dogs and a fighter pilot in Cheyenne, Wyoming. For more information, please visit .

To Purchase How to Handle a Cowboy:

1 copy of How to  Handle a Cowboy + a surprise cowboy-themed gift from Joanne

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Well, it's about time I got here, isn't it!?! Both my computer and my cell phone decided to be stubborn today, so I apologize for being late! If anyone wants to comment or ask a question, I'll be stopping by to respond over the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!

  2. I didn't know you once owned a used and rare bookstore, Joanne! Congrats on your latest!

    Tina F.