Exclusive Interview with Author Celia Kennedy

Today, we're doing something a little different. This is our third guest author interview on the Marie Lavender's Books! blog, and self-published author Celia Kennedy, whom I had the pleasure of meeting on my author journey, is visiting us. 
Hello, Celia!  It’s such a pleasure to have you here. :)

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out and where can we get it?
Kathleen’s Undressed, The Accidental Enigma (Book Two in The Accidental Series), takes place in Paris and opens with Fall Fashion Week in full swing! We quickly learn that Kathleen is an aloof woman who works hard and has big dreams. We also learn that Kathleen has reasons that prevent her from playing as hard as she works.

Fortunately for Kathleen, she has old friends and new friends who unknowingly derail her orderly life and get her to start thinking about ‘what-if’s.’ Charlotte, Hillary, Tiziana, and Marian (from Book One in the series, Charlotte’s Restrained) show up in full force in Kathleen’s Undressed. Loads of laughter, friendship, fashion, food, snarky banter, and of course… romance.

Kathleen just made her presence on the Amazon scene on Monday, February 23, 2015. You can purchase it there, via this link: http://amzn.to/1FH8Qq3

It sounds great! I'm so excited about your new release!
So, tell us...is there anything that prompted Kathleen's Undressed? Something that inspired you?
Writers are always looking for inspiration; how to put a new twist on an old topic, how to add the unexpected, put a lot of sparkle in what could be just an okay story. I’ve always believed that to be a great writer, you have to be a passionate reader, and that includes your own work! After publication of Book One of The Accidental Series, Charlotte’s Restrained, The Accidental Stalker, I realized that I had one character who, though a great contributor to Charlotte’s story, was really quite unknown.

So, I looked at Kathleen as I would a person I’ve never really gotten to know well. Why had Kathleen remained undeveloped? What wasn’t I seeing? Was there something she was hiding? From there, Kathleen’s Undressed, The Accidental Enigma was born. In my coming to understand Kathleen, I realized that I could create a character who still meshed well with the intelligent, quick-witted, high-fashion, well-traveled group of women from book one – but I could make her so much more – give her that sparkle, and add twists! So, she becomes an enigma. As book two unfolds, readers quickly come to see that there is much more to Kathleen than her closest friends know. She has secrets, some quite dark.

So, when did you know you wanted to write?  Or has it always been a pastime of yours? 

Way back in fifth grade (I guess I was about nine years old), I found out I loved writing. I devoured books as well, and daydreamed a lot about being an author. In high school I was the editor of our school newspaper for two years… then when I first went to college, I focused on journalism – but life got in the way and I picked a more pragmatic field – engineering. (Kathleen does something similar by the way!)

I got started when I was nine years old as well.
Do you have any favorite authors? 
I love the classics, so yeah, Jane Austen, F Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck… but then I love so many current authors – Jane Porter, Marian Keyes, Katie Fforde, Jill Mansell, Christoph Fischer, Kristin Hannah, Jennifer Collins, Katie Oliver, Whitney Dineen, Candace La Fleur, Rick Riordan, Jan Romes, and many, many more. 

Do you write in a specific place? Time of day? 

I have a family, so my day is carefully carved out. I write 7:30-2:00 and then 3:00-5:00 three days a week; I sneak in some evening hours if the kids are busy. I have a little corner in the living room carved out for me, so I’m tapping away at my keyboard in the middle of everything. I’m about twenty paces to the refrigerator, forty to the bathroom – which is perfect. Oh, I’m surrounded by windows so I can look out at the world and daydream, which is my creative process.  

That's great!
Are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice? 
Think positive, be realistic, have faith in yourself – everything good that is long-lasting takes effort and time. Find a supportive community, give back more than you take, be fearless! What else… maybe forty paces to the fridge and twenty to the bathroom…

LOL. Thank you for stopping by, Celia! :)

Readers, here is the blurb for Kathleen's Undressed. 


The ladies from Charlotte’s Restrained are back together! Joining Kathleen in Paris, France, for Fall Fashion Week, the ladies and their men mingle with celebrities, royalty, and the fashion elite. 

Kathleen’s thrilled to have her friends in town, but what should be a week of camaraderie and fun is about to take a darker turn. Because Kathleen has secrets. Dark secrets her friends would be devastated to learn.  

A special someone enters Kathleen’s life who urges her to reveal what she’s kept hidden. It becomes clear she will have to make a choice when the group reunites for an unexpected wedding.  

Will Kathleen continue deceiving her friends at the risk of their friendship — or reveal the truth at the risk of herself? 

Here is an excerpt from the novel.

Before she put any more thought into it, a thought dashed through Kathleen’s mind, “Tiziana, didn’t you buy the Spoylt collection for your honeymoon? What inspired the trip to Cadolle today?”

“Because, my darling, I want to be provocative in the bedroom, but at work, I must be sexy and comfortable.”

Hillary inquired, “In that order?”

“But of course!”

Lifting her glass to Tiziana, Marian saluted her, “She did land Ted Blackwell with those jiggly parts of hers. Thanks to Charlotte, in small part.” Tapping her glass gently against Tiziana’s, she continued, “To the only woman I know who celebrates that her body fat is at 30%!  I’d say her priorities are straight.”

Kathleen smiled at Marian, then looked around the room. Just before her gaze dove back to the menu, she saw their reflection in one of the large mirrors mounted on a wall. Blue eyes held her the briefest second, then looked away. She swiveled around in her chair, looking for those eyes. But they were gone.

She leaned back into her chair, trying to regain her composure. Chattering at the table continued while Kathleen sought to ground herself in the present. Gradually, the writing on the menu took form and descriptions began to sound tasty. “Okay ladies, do you need help with the menu? What are we doing? Small snack here, dinner out or stay here and nibble our way through the menu?”

“Are pieds de porc what I think?” Hillary asked.

“Well, if you think they are pig trotters or pig feet, then yes.” Kathleen answered.

Hillary wrinkled her nose, saying, “I’ll pass.”

Marian’s expression was filled with incredulity, “Haven’t you ever tried pickled pig’s feet?”

“Why would I have tried those?” Hillary retorted.

Just then the waiter returned, Kathleen took a quick survey, and set about ordering their food. The waiter stared at Tiziana’s cleavage the entire time he madly scribbled on a piece of paper. What arrived at the table twenty minutes later more or less resembled what was ordered: foie gras, soupe a l’oignon for each, two grilled pig trotters and duck confit. Once that disappeared, more Riesling, fresh oysters and Salade Ni├žoise were delivered. Without realizing it, three hours, hundreds of customers and most of the menu had come and gone. 
Don't forget to pick up a copy of this new release!

Purchase Links:  http://www.amazon.com/Kathleens-Undressed-Accidental-Enigma-Book-ebook/dp/B00SAP05QG/ http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00SAP05QG   

Author Bio

IMG_1014Celia Kennedy was born in Wurzburg, Germany on a military base. Her parent’s penchant for traveling has stuck with her, she’s lived in and traveled through several countries.  The imagined world has always fascinated Celia. She has studied Art History, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, and Architecture. Her thirteen year career at UW in Seattle ended in 1996. Not wanting to be homeless, she left the academic world and worked as a Landscape Architect, married the love of her life, became a mom, has been PTA President, Girl Scout leader and Boy Scout leader.  The unimaginable wealth in her life is the most fascinating thing to her. Her love of travel, the designed and natural world, friendship, self-discovery, wine, chocolate, AND love are the foundation of her books.  Celia published her first book, Charlotte’s Restrained, The Accidental Stalker in December 2012, Venus Rising in August of 2013, Sugar It’s Cold Outside, Cupid on the Loose Anthology, April’s Fool, Fool’s Rush In Anthology, 2015 AND Kathleen’s Undressed, The Accidental Enigma on February 23, 2015. Three other works are in progress.  

Author Links:  
Website:  www.celiakennedy.weebly.com
Blog:  www.womanreinventsself.blogspot.com 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CMKAuthor  
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KennedyCelia  
Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/Celia-Kennedy/e/B00AW5KEZO/ Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/celiakennedy/
Google+:   https://plus.google.com/u/0/106475224814075459757/posts  


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