Friday, June 15, 2012

Cowboy Crazy: An Interview with Author Joanne Kennedy and a Giveaway!

The Book 

She kicked the country dust off her boots a long time ago…Sarah Landon’s Ivy League scholarship transformed her from a wide-eyed country girl into a poised professional. Her job at the Carrigan Oil Company has given her the sophisticated life she longed for, but when she meets her boss’s black-sheep brother, she realizes her roots are showing. 

But he’s ready to remind her she’s a cowgirl at heart.Rebellious rodeo cowboy Lane Carrigan is determined to save the Wyoming community of Two Shot from the ravages of energy development, but Sarah’s convinced her old hometown needs a swift kick in the pants from the march of progress. 

When a lapsed cowgirl collides with rodeo royalty, it’s bound to be a wild ride—and somebody’s going to end up in the dirt.

 The Interview 

Today we're romancing the west with author Joanne Kennedy and chatting about those books with the super yummy cowboys on the covers. Please welcome Joanne!

Did you plan to be a writer or did it just happen?

I always wanted to write, but I’m from an academic family and I always thought I had to write something deep and profound. The trouble was, I didn’t have anything deep and profound to say! Once I let myself cut loose and write what came naturally, I couldn’t stop.

When did you decide to take that step that made you a published author?

Right smack-dab in the middle of my midlife crisis. I was taking a medical transcription course and listening to doctors drone on and on about illness was boring me silly, so I started typing random things, starting with “A chicken will never break your heart.” That was the first line of Cowboy Trouble, which was published five years later.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

This past year has been a huge challenge. I had some medical issues that really took a toll, and there was a point where I really thought I’d lost the creative spark. But I hung on tight and got it back, mostly thanks to the readers who encouraged me along the way. Every time I thought about giving up, I’d get an email from someone who loved my books and I’d start up again.

If you had to sum it up (title of book) in 30 or less words, what would you say?

Rodeo cowboy Lane Carrigan is returning to his wealthy family’s ranching roots. Small-town girl Sarah Landon is running from her past. They meet in a head-on collision. Sparks fly!

What inspired the idea behind your book?

I spend a lot of time driving Wyoming’s back roads, getting acquainted with the small towns along the way. Over the past few years, those towns have changed a lot because of Wyoming’s oil boom. I wanted to show how sudden prosperity affects a community, in good and bad ways.

Do you have a favorite character in (name of book)? Who and why?

There are always secondary characters who kind of stumble into my mind when I’m writing and become very important to my main characters and to me. In this book, it’s Sarah’s sister, Kelsey. She’s a single mom doing her best to raise a child in a difficult situation, and she has a lot to teach Sarah about forgiveness and unconditional love.

What is your favorite scene in (title of book)?

I love the rodeo scenes. In the scene where Sarah goes with Lane to the rodeo, buys a necklace from the Native American vendors in the parking lot, and watches the action from the rail, I did my best to give the reader the experience of a summer day in the West.

What kind of research was involved for (title of book)?

The best part of writing the book was the rodeo research! I was lucky enough to get a press pass to last year’s Frontier Days rodeo, and spent a lot of time in the “Cowboy Ready” area where the cowboys gear up for the bucking. Being behind the scenes let me add a lot of authentic details to the book.

Do you have to be alone or have quiet to write?

I’m pretty good at shutting out the rest of the world, but I can’t listen to music while I write. I don’t know how people do that—especially music with words!

What type of hero do you like best?

I love a very masculine hero with a touch of sensitivity and compassion. Alpha heroes are fine, but there has to be more to a man than a tough-guy attitude.

What type of heroine do you like best?

My heroines are the kind of women I want to be—independent women who want to make a difference in the world. They’re not looking for love, but they have a softer side they need to recognize.

Is there any place and time in the world and in history that you would like to visit?

I would love to visit the old West of cattle drives and gold-rush towns. The key word there is “visit,” though! That was a tough life, and I want to go home when it’s time for my bubble bath.

Is there a genre you wish you could write, but haven’t made the plunge? Which one and what appeals to you about it?

I love mysteries and thrillers – books with twisty plots that surprise you at every turn. Lately I’ve been enjoying Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay. They take everyday people and plunge them into the dark side of life. They’re impossible to put down!

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I love writing romance because I believe in love. I know that sounds corny, but I think sharing your life with the right person makes you stronger, not weaker.

What do you have in store next for your readers?

My next book, due out in February 2013, is Cowboy Tough. It’s about a rodeo cowboy who returns to the family ranch when they fall on hard times. They’re turning the place into a dude ranch, and his first guest is a big-city artist who’s leading a painting expedition into the backcountry. It’s City Slickers with artists! (See content alert below).

The Giveaway! 
Win a free copy of Cowboy Crazy (eBook or if in the US, you may choose paperback). Enter by commenting or through the Rafflecopter entry below! Winner will be drawn on June 22nd


Find Joanne and her books!

A "buy" link from Ganxy that allows readers to preview the book and buy from a number of vendors:


Content Alert: For readers who care, please know that the book does contain a lot of steam. It's not erotic by any means, but very steamy with actual scenes. 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great interview! Love your books Joanne! Can't wait to read this one:)

  2. Thanks, Kimberly! I think you'll like Lane Carrigan... and I can't wait to read your "When the Heart Falls!" You and MK are both new authors to me, and I think you both write the kind of books me and my readers love.

  3. MK, thanks for the great interview! It's a treat just to see my book cover on your gorgeous website! Truly one of the best-designed sites I've seen, and the books look great!

  4. Joanne - it's great having you with us today and thank you for the lovely words. I'm just wondering where a gal can order up one of the yummy guys on your book covers! :) Your cowboy books all sound like fun.

  5. Great interview, Joanne! Love the bit about the hero needing more than a tough guy attitude!

  6. The book sounds interesting, and I just LOVE the cover!

  7. Thanks, Cheryl! And speaking of yummy covers...check out Cheryl's books! Meow:)

  8. Thanks, Shauntih! I do love the covers Sourcebooks comes up with. This is just about my favorite, but don't tell the other cowboys!

  9. Hey, Joanne~
    Lookin' forward to this and the dude ranch one. I grew up on dude ranches...!

  10. Hey, Joanne~
    Lookin' forward to these books!
    I grew up on dude ranches!

  11. What a beautiful site and FAB interview, Joanne!

    I love your cowboys. :)

  12. Another cowboy writer heard from! D'Ann, you'll have to tell me how I did on the "dude" scenes in "Cowboy Tough" once it comes out!

  13. And another! Speaking of steamy Western's C.H. Admirand! Love your cowboys, too!

  14. Love the interview! I can't wait to get settled down and read this, Joanne. I've loved the cover and the title since day one.

  15. Wonderful interview, Joanne! Looking forward to reading it after I meet my Monday deadline - what a treat!!

  16. Sorry about the medical issues but I'm glad you got back to writing.I love cowboys and this book sounds like a winner. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the great interview.


  17. Thanks, Carolyn! You're the cowboy expert, so our cover model should be very proud:) I can't wait to hear what you think!

  18. What an awesome day Joanne!

    Thank you everyone for stopping by and remember to let your friends know about Joanne's giveaway! It lasts until the 22nd!

  19. Thanks, Catherine! It seems like all the Sourcebooks authors are on deadline right now, so I'm touched that you took the time to stop by. I'd have written back sooner but I'm busy adding one crucial scene to "Cowboy Tough." As always, Deb thought of something to make the book better! I got lost in the story again and just came up for air:)

  20. Hey, it's the other Joanne:) I'm definitely on the road to recovery, thanks to good friends, great readers, and a little help from my imaginary friends - especially the cowboys!

  21. MK, it has been an awesome day. Thanks to everyone for stopping by. I'll post reminders about the contest again during the next couple days and continue to stop by for latecomers. Thank you so much for having me!

  22. Very nice interview. I'd like to read the book because the story and characters sound interesting.

  23. Thanks, bn100! I do my best to keep the story moving and create characters the reader can fall in love with. I hope you enjoy it!

  24. Hi Joanne~

    Great interview! I love the small western towns. When I lived in Idaho, we'd jump in the car and just drive, stopping at every little town we hit. I can't wait to get back!

  25. Joanne, anything you write will hold my interest, so why not try a cowboy detective thriller? Can you say Dennis Weaver? And your cover... What I love about it is that it doesn't feel posed. In the middle of a hot, hard working day, a cowboy just mind find a light moment, and be caught in it with his shirt undone but not entirely gone.

  26. Woo-hoo, it's Robin Kaye! One of my favorite writers. Thanks for visiting!
    And yep, my favorite thing to do is to pile in the car and take a random road trip through Wyoming's little towns. I love the small-town diners and bars!

  27. And another favorite - Grace, I just love your books, too.
    I've been wanting to write a cowboy mystery. One of our best Wyoming writers, Craig Johnson, just had his small-town Western mystery series, Longmire, adapted for TV and it's great. I'd love to do one more centered on ranching and horses.
    I love the spontaneous feeling of the cover, too. And he's such a hottie...

  28. That's it - now I have to go and read your books sooner than planned Joanne, because apparently I'm missing out!

    I just watched the first episode of Longmire and at first had no idea it came from a book series. Now Craig Johnson is on my list to too!

  29. Craig Johnson's books are fantastic, MK! He really captures Wyoming, and he has great characters and plots. You'll love them!
    And hopefully, mine too:)

  30. Fantastic interview! I love this cover and will be reading it regardless. Thanks for the introduction to a new author MK :).

  31. BK - I think you'll like the book. I just finished reading it last night and Lane is just as sexy on the page as the book cover. (I'm such a sucker for hot cowboys). It's a fun read.