Interview with FL Bicknell/Ana Lee Kennedy
Ana Lee Kennedy loves writing stories steeped in lore, history, mythology and her wicked sense of humor, although she is known to pen hot paranormal and contemporary stories too.
After many actual dreams of traveling the world, Ana Lee hopes to do so soon with her husband and young son, and their first stop will be England. When she’s not writing, she can be found in her flower gardens or at one of the local lakes playing with her son and their creepily intelligent Labrador retriever. She resides in the U.S. with her family, Sir Creepy Dog, two almost-as-smart felines, and a pair of pet ducks.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was in first grade, so I guess I was about seven years old.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Persephone’s Beastly Lover is about a woman who discovers her true roots after she was raised in an orphanage. She falls in love with a member of the Werewolves of Rebellion and together they solve a paranormal problem in his house as she discovers who she really is.
If this is part of series, how did you come up with the idea for the series?
I was asked to write a paranormal biker series by Riverdale Avenue Books and my imagination grabbed the invitation and ran with the idea.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I’d already been involved in writing professionally for national Men’s Magazines, such as Penthouse Variations, so when erotic romance took off across the Internet and I was working as a managing editor for two publishing houses, writing erotic romance seemed like the logical thing to do to pursue my writing career.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
One part is the feeling of accomplishment and escapism when I get on a writing streak, and the other half is when readers tell me they really enjoyed my books or how much they love such and such character.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Dark Debts by Karen Hall is my #1 fave right now because her style is beautiful and she has a way of conveying characters, settings, and mood that is incredible. I love any of the Sue Grafton’s books simply owing to the Kinsey Milhone character is so realistic. The Awakening by Kate Chopin is another top fave; the author was 100 years or more before her time as a writer and wrote about taboo topics. Stephen King’s It because of the character development and the incredible depth of the subplots. Lastly, The Other Bolyen Girl by Philippa Gregory for the story of Anne Boleyn’s sister and the historical basis of it all, plus it really ripped my heart out in places.
Which other authors have most influenced or inspired your writing?
Probably author Alice Hoffman for her magical elements woven into ordinary life that comes across as so realistic. She also has a way of writing characters that brings them to life.
What is the first book that made you cry?
The Awakening by Kate Chopin.
Do you have a muse or a “constant reader”?
A Muse, whom I call Lady Muse. She wears leather and uses a bullwhip.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Write because you love to write and not for money.
What is the one thing you want your readers to know about your books?
I write for plot, not for the sex. Erotic romance has lots of sex in the books, sure, but my books are plot and character driven. The sex is just a bonus for readers who like the sexy material. My work is unique, and I also write many different genres. However, of late my focus is on women’s fiction.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything that intrigues me and has a writing style that sucks me in. I don’t have a definite genre I prefer to read, but the author’s style will make up my mind if I read more than a few pages or not.
Describe your desk.
Right now I have a small dinette table I’m using and it is always a DISASTER.
Describe your writing process.
The muse kicks in, and I write. Simple as that. I keep notes on a chalkboard I painted on the wall and I use pretty notecard binders to keep track of details, especially if it’s one of my series.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Homework. I’m a full-time non-traditional college student and if I have homework looming over me, it drives me nuts until I get it done.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Eastern Ohio by the WV panhandle, which is part of the Appalachians. I lived on the perimeter of Wayne National Forest. My parents live there to this day.
What are you currently working on?
A new space opera series about a mixed alien race woman who must learn to control her unemotional and sexual side, which is from her sire’s race, and her warring human side. She’s a DEA and each book has a new case as she struggles with her inner demons caused by her mixed blood.
What’s your vision for the future of publishing?
That there will be some sort of technology that will evoke the desire for more people to read. E-readers are nice, but there is still a steady drop in people wanting to read.
What drives you to keep on writing?
I’ve been writing for 43 years, so why stop now? I’ve invested too much time, effort and passion into it to stop now.