The Conqueror by Kris Kennedy

I'm pleased we are featuring Kris Kennedy and her first book, The Conqueror, here today!

Wife, mom, psychotherapist, and romance writer, Kris Kennedy is ecstatic her debut book, THE CONQUEROR, is out now from Kensington! She firmly believes every woman deserves a good book to help 'take her away.’ She also believes that, if she ignores dirt, it will eventually go away. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, preschooler son, and their dog, with another stray kitty to come soon.

Welcome and congratulations, Kris! We're thrilled you're at FR today! Please tell us about your new book. (Gorgeous cover, by the way!)

Thanks so much for having me here, ladies!
THE CONQUEROR. England, 1152: After seventeen years of civil war, things are about to change. A reluctant hero, a desperate heroine, and a love that can unite a kingdom, or bring it crashing to the ground. “I’m wildly excited about The Conqueror, the medieval I've been waiting for. Old-school in ambiance and intrigue, but fresh in h/hn relationship. Sultry passion and breathtaking adventure – a true romance!” ~ Michelle Buonfiglio, Romance B(u)y the Book

What a fantastic review! Why did you choose the specific time period and location for your story?

It just happened. LOL. When I first started writing this book, I was SO far from being published, and just following my inclinations and spirit. And I am totally into the medieval era anyhow. Everything I was writing was medieval, so it was just what I did!

I love medievals. There's just something about that time period. What element of story creation is your favorite?

I really like revisions. I know, it’s sick. :-)

Yes, it is! LOL (Just kidding.)

I simply adore the craft of writing, and am hoping to get better and better. Some of the things I especially love. . . Let’s see . . . I love generally making things worse for the hero & heroine. :-) I love those moments when I’m writing, and I realize I’m taking the easy way out, and stop. I realize I’m making things in the scene turn out the way a normal person would hope things would turn out. The way things USUALLY turn out: okay. But in our stories, of course, that’s not half as exciting for the reader, :-), so I love that moment of insight, & the subsequent question: “Well, what would be worse than this?”, then doing it.

That's a very good lesson for us all! (Making mental note to get rougher with my hero and heroine.) What else do you enjoy?

I also LOVE writing dialogue. When things are flowing, that is so much fun! Oh, and arguments. I love writing arguments, especially when they tap into sensual energy. And revelation scenes. And...and.... LOL

Oh yes! I love those arguments where the sensual tension bubbles. Please tell us about your favorite character in the book.

Well, I suspect that’s the hero, Griffyn Sauvage, because he’s so very honorable. And torn. I like torn things. Heroes, that is. :-) He’s alpha, and reluctant, and confident, and committed to his one single goal. And he’s achingly honorable, but being corrupted, and it’s eating him up.
But I also like Guinevere, the heroine, because she’s got so much passion and is so determined, even when she’s headed the exact wrong direction. :-)

These sound like characters I could easily fall in love with. I love a torn, honorable, alpha guy too. What element of this story was the hardest for you?

I’d have to say that’s two-fold. One is definitely the ‘treasure’ element of the sub-plot. It created great inner conflict for the hero, but I admit to being uncertain if it would work. The other really difficult thing about this manuscript was the fact that it evolved over the course of several years--with breaks in between, of course! :-) But as I evolved as a writer, my stories had to as well. The rewrites required for this were pretty insanely extensive, and time-consuming.

Wow, I can only imagine. What’s next for you?

I'm doing my own personal final revisions on WANTING FINIAN right now. That's the manuscript that won the 2008 Golden Heart for Best Historical. It'll be out next Spring, although I have no idea what its title will be. I somehow doubt my editor is going to keep mine. LOL There's an excerpt on my website.

And I am working on another book which could follow THE CONQUEROR, but still work as a stand-alone book. It's another medieval, with a wronged & angry heroine, a very, very dangerous hero, and both of them with something precious to protect. My working title is simply: The Jamie Story.

Sounds wonderful! I love the way you describe the characters. Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?

Persistence. If you have that ‘pull’ to write, if you get excited by examining POV shifts or torturing your characters, if you feel it deep inside, then be persistent. Research is starting to bear out what we already know in our guts: successful people are the ones who are persistent. You have to be smart about it, of course: i.e. Get Better! :-) Pay attention, learn the craft. But in the end, if you keep showing up, the bus will come by.

Excellent, insightful advice! Thanks for being with us today, Kris! It's been fun!

Here's a link to an exciting excerpt of The Conqueror.

Kris loves hearing from readers, so please visit her website at, or write her at


Carly Carson said...

Hi Kris,

Welcome to Fierce Romance! I also love revisions, though I sometimes fear that makes me odd.

I read your Finian excerpt. Love it. Now I'm off to read the other.

Carly said...


Thanks for the kind words about the Wanting Finian excerpt! I had such a great time writing that story, actually, and that scene in the excerpt, it came out in one fell swoop. How wonderful! And rare. LOL

Hope you enjoy The Conqueror excerpt as much, as if you get the book, I hope you love it!!

Thanks for the welcome.

Keira Gillett said...

Ooo fun! :D Fab interview. Conqueror is on my list to buy!

Carol Ericson said...

Great to have you here, Kris! I love historicals and I can't wait to read yours. Umm, of course that means I actually have to go buy it... Congrats on your release!

Eliza Knight said...

Great interview ladies! Kris is such a talented writer!!!

Pat McDermott said...

Medievals are among my favorites, and yours sound fabulous, Kris. I love your analogy of showing up for the bus enough times. Good luck with your writing!

Cameo Brown said...

Interesting interview. Kris, your books sounds intriguing. Can't wait to read it. :) said...

Hi all!
So so sorry for the delay in my coming here! It was quite a day. Kindergarten registration (my, that take a lot of paperwork), traffic, construction, lo-o-o-g doctor's appointment, and grumbly computer. Oh, and trying to get together the launch party tonight . . .

Carol~ LOL. If you get The Conqueror, I hope you love it. :-) said...

Awww. Blushing. :-) We'll see--I hope to get better. As I re-read The Conqueror, I keep seeing places you can see where I could 'writer tighter.'
Next one! :-)
Thanks for the cheers, Eliza! said...

Yay! Up with medievals! :-)

I'm so glad the premise is intriguing! It's one of those books that morphed so much over time, and needed to keep getting reined in. LOL

If you get the book, I hope it's just as exciting as the blurb. No, I hope it's MORE exciting. :-) said...

That's wonderful to hear. I hope you like the book--let me know!

Sandy said...

Hey, Kris and Carol,

What a great interview.

The Conqueror sounds great, Kris, and I don't even read historicals. Smile.

Abby Niles said...

Great interview! Your book is going on my TBR list. I love historical's and medievals are even better:)

Caffey said...

Hi Kris, huge congrats on your debut!! How you celebrating it? Loved reading your interview. Thanks for sharing this! I so love Medieval!

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Congratulations on the release, Kris! Great interview! I have a few other GIAMx2 books to read and then The Conqueror is next.

Evangeline Collins said...

Congrats on the release of The Conquerer, Kris!!! Great interview - I love agruments, too. They are a blast to write. :) said...

Well, that's quite a compliment. :-) Historicals are a special breed, and not to everyone's taste, for sure! said...

What, what a treat to hear! There's not enough medievals, are there? :-) I'm so glad it's up your alley. Let me know what you think! said...

Great to see you again! :-) Medievals, yay!

Celebrating on the day-of consisted of a quick trip to the local B&N to sign their books, and my local indie bookstore, then to pick up son. Last night, had a very small 'launch' party with some close friends. :-)

I have to say again, I'm so so sorry for all the delays in my replies, girls! Friday turned into an insane day, and just kept on that way. I even stopped in again after the party last night, but only had one reply in me before I feel asleep! :-) said...

I'm so excited The Conqueror sounds good enough to put on your 'To Buy' list! That is great to hear. I hope you love it--let me know! said...

Well, that's a pretty huge compliment, that The Conqueror sounds good and you don't even read the subgenre. :-) said...

Stacey~Aw, thanks. Isn't it great there's so many published GIAM-ers to read? :-)

Evangeline~I know--aren't fictional arguments fun! LOL Much more fun than the real ones, b/c *we* get to say all the best lines.

Chiron said...

Hi Kris!

Loved the interview. And I know it's crazy but I love revisions too! Jumping in and polishing is fun for me. *laughs* To me the real work is writing the story!

You're absolutely right about persistence. I couldn't agree more. The key to success is writing one more page, one more book, one more query. *grin* The one thing that all success stories share is they didn't give up!

Congrats on Your success! Wishing you much inspiration on your path...

Chiron O'Keefe
The Write Soul: said...

I agree 100% about revisions.

I'm sending all your well-wishes right back at you, Chiron. :-)