J. Kenner: Tame Me
(A Stark International Novella)
by J. Kenner
Aspiring actress Jamie Archer is on the run. From herself. From her wild child ways. From the screwed up life that she left behind in Los Angeles. And, most of all, from Ryan Hunter—the first man who has the potential to break through her defenses to see the dark fears and secrets she hides.
Stark International Security Chief Ryan Hunter knows only one thing for sure—he wants Jamie. Wants to hold her, make love to her, possess her, and claim her. Wants to do whatever it takes to make her his.
But after one night of bliss, Jamie bolts. And now it’s up to Ryan to not only bring her back, but to convince her that she’s running away from the best thing that ever happened to her–him.
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An Exclusive Interview With J. Kenner
~ with Jillian Stein of Read Love Blog
I absolutely loved Tame Me and thought the chemistry between Jamie and Ryan was off the charts. What is your favorite thing about writing two strong characters like they both are?
Thank you!! I’m thrilled you loved the book … and loved the chemistry, too! (it was pretty hot, wasn’t it?).
I love, love, love writing strong – yet flawed – characters. From just a personal perspective, I tend to gravitate to people who have strong personalities … and from a story perspective, when two strong people meet, there is bound to be some conflict, some clash. And the stronger the characters are, the more explosive it is when they come together!
I think – hope! – that played out between Jamie and Ryan in Tame Me!
What made you choose Jamie and Ryan for your novella?
Jamie was a natural choice because I’ve adored her since the first moment she popped onto the page in Release Me, and I’ve gotten a lot of reader feedback asking for her story. So I’ve wanted to tell her story for over a year now. What’s interesting is that I really didn’t know who her hero was. But then Ryan appeared in Complete Me and he was totally into Jamie … and even more so in Take Me (Nikki and Damien’s epilogue novella). And when Jamie got all domestic (she cooked him eggs!) I knew that this was the guy who could, ahem, “tame” her. And they were a perfect fit.
What’s the idea behind the Stark International spin off?
I just love the Stark Trilogy. I adore Nikki and Damien and all of the characters who are part of their inner circle – people that readers have met and people who, as of now, exist only in my head or notes scribbled on Post-its.
While I would love to write more stories about Nikki and Damien, I feel strongly that I don’t want to mess with the Happily Ever After they achieved in Complete Me (and that got expanded in Take Me). They worked too hard to have that HEA put in jeopardy in future books! So that means that while I would love to write more “After the HEA” novellas about Nikki and Damien, a full-length book is less likely (never say never … but it would have to be just the right story).
Despite that, I still want to spend time in that world. And since it is such a big world, it made sense to me to do spin-off stories about people who live and work and are otherwise related to Stark International. Jamie was the first (with Ryan, Stark International’s Chief of Security being the tie-in) but there are so many other possible stories. (I think Sylvia, one of Damien’s personal assistants, would be awesome. And also Lisa and Preston and … well, lots of possibilities!)
I am a huge cover junkie and adore the different feel each of your series’ covers have. How important is cover design to you when you are shopping for your own reading material?
Thank you !!! (And can I just say that I absolutely LOVE the cover for Tame Me? There is something about the stark (no pun intended) feeling of the grayscale combined with the actual Vegas image that just makes the cover pop for me!
As for your question, while I’d like to say I’m above marketing efforts, it’s really not true. Of course a striking cover is going to catch my attention.
So I think that a cover is the First Wave. It’s what gets a reader to go “oohhhh!” After that, I look at the back cover copy and/or word of mouth to see if it’s something I want to read.
I will say that I’ve bought books solely on the blurb and/or word of mouth (Gone Girl) but never just on a cover (I will always read the blurb, at the very least).
Even so, getting “eyes on” is so important, especially when the market is so crowded as it is now. I consider myself incredibly fortunate. I’ve loved 99% of all my covers throughout my career, both traditionally and indie published!
Speaking of your other series, how are things going with the development of your Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series into film? (how exciting!!)
It is exciting! But Hollywood is a strange beast, so who knows what will happen! I did speak to the folks at 1492 about a month ago, and they said that things are still moving forward … so I am crossing my fingers.
I think Jennifer Garner would make a great Kate. Oh, Jennifer …. Are you listening???? J
On that topic, being a soccer mom myself and knowing how some parents can get at games, are there any demons in the series that may be modeled after some real life people? I won’t tell, of course….
LOLOL! There really aren’t. Kate has a lot of me in her (she is the character in all my books that is most like me). Their house is modeled after my old house in South Austin, especially the layout of the backyard. The town is a made-up cross between Santa Barbara and Laguna Beach (where I used to live). And Timmy has many, many toddler traits of my oldest daughter, who was an infant when I first sold the series, and is now almost thirteen (and remarkably like Allie!).
How do you manage to juggle being a mom and a full-time writer?
It’s really hard! This year has been easier because my husband quit his job to work with me, and so now he not only is my full-time assistant, but also the Daddy In Charge. So he has taken over getting lunches ready, making sure the kids are up in time (something I’m terrible at since I tend to work late into the night) and dealing with afternoon snack and the endless paperwork that seems to follow being in school.
Before this year, insanity reigned. Not only was I Mom, but I was also Teacher. I’m not entirely sure that I’ve actually slept between 2001 when my oldest was born and last June when my husband gave up the day job, LOL! To be brutally honest, I’m not sure how I managed to accomplish anything in years past!
What’s your go-to take-out dinner for the family when you’re in deadline mode?
My husband and I don’t eat wheat, so take out is always tricky. We sometimes cave and get the kids pizza, but if we’re ordering in, it’s usually Greek food – gyro meat and salad from this fabulous restaurant in our town!
Ok, so I have to know: have you ever gone to a parent/teacher conference and been asked to sign a book?
LOL! No, but I haven’t been doing parent-teacher conferences for that long. We homeschooled for years. Last school year was the first year my oldest was in public school (5th, now 6th grade), and this year is the first year my youngest has been in public school (3rd grade).
I will say that the teachers are aware of what I do. My oldest recently told me they were talking about editing and revising in Language Arts the other day, and the teacher commented that she should know because “your mom knows all about that stuff.”
Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.
Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures.
Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries.
J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats.
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