Interview with J. Kenner, Author of Dirtiest Secret

22 Apr 2016
Tell us a little bit about your new release, Dirtiest Secret.

I adore this book for so many reasons. It’s edgy and sinfully taboo. It’s different, but still definitely a J. Kenner book. It has characters that are screwed up in ways that make for a great story. It’s romantic. It’s intense. And it pushes the envelope in ways that I hope will both surprise and excite readers!

I can’t say too much without hitting Spoilerville, but as for the story — let’s keep this a spoiler free zone and say that although Dallas and Jane have loved each other since childhood, they’re both tormented by the inescapable reality that they absolutely cannot be together. But sometimes, “cannot” just isn’t enough to keep two people apart…

Bottom line, Dirtiest Secret is Dark, DIRTY and delightfully sinful! I really hope readers will fall hard for Dallas!

How much influence has your previous life as a litigator had on your stories?

Not that much—at least not overtly. But I think that you learn a lot or get used to a lot that indirectly applies to a writing career. Deadlines, precision in the copy (every boss I had while practicing law thought—rightfully so—that typos were the devil; some sneak through, of course, but they make me cringe!), the need for clarity in the storytelling. All those things are relevant. And, yes, practicing law is telling a story. If you watched the recent OJ Simpson television show, you really got a sense of how much of what lawyers do is about crafting the story.

On top of that, from a character standpoint, I often have people who are lawyers or in business or entertainment, and my prior career plays to that. I practiced for over a decade and represented a lot of huge corporations, very wealthy individuals, and folks in the entertainment industry. So you pick up bits and pieces that make their way into story and character development.

Which book from your childhood or teenage years has stuck with you as an adult?

So many of them! I read All. The. Time. as a kid. If I was forced to pick, though, I’ll have to go with A Wrinkle in Time.

Do you listen to anything while you write? If so, what’s your audio of choice?

Very rarely. And if I do, it absolutely cannot have words. When I do, I’ll listen to the television soundtrack to Sherlock Holmes for action-y things and a “white noise” thunderstorm album for everything else. But that’s usually only if the family is playing the television too loud!

BUT, I do have a playlist of sexy, upbeat songs that I’ll listen to when I’m wandering the house thinking about the book. I tend to just find stuff on Spotify and switch it out. Pink’s Oh My God is very much a Dallas and Jane song 🙂

What or who inspired you to become an author?

It’s my earliest memory—so I guess that means I inspired myself!

What do you like most about living in Texas?

The weather (I can’t stand being too cold!). We were swimming in the backyard when the kids were on Christmas break.

What’s your favorite quote or scene from Right?

Oh, wow. I had such a great time writing this book, that’s really hard to pick. I’m going to have to go with the first chapter, for two reasons. There are two scenes, and the first one is omniscient, which is something I’ve never done before, and it was so much fun to give that “birds eye” view of what everyone at a party thinks about Dallas. And that moves into a scene from Dallas’s point of view that was such fun to write because it starts out so over the top.

After that, there’s a flashback to when he and Jane are fifteen, and that includes their first real kiss. It was great fun writing not only that, but seeing them as kids compared to the adults they grow into.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

This is a surprisingly hard question, because I like mottos and quotes, but I can’t think of one all encompassing one. This one hangs in my office, though, and I think it sums up my overarching philosophy pretty well. It’s from Mark Twain: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

j. Kenner

Julie Kenner is the author of the new book Dirtiest Secret.

Connect with Julie
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