BIO: Kerrigan has done many things to pay the bills, from law enforcement to
belly dance instructor. Now she's finally able to have the career she'd decided upon at thirteen when she announced to her very skeptical family that she was going to "grow up to be a romance novelist." Whether she's writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in almost every story. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Find Kerrigan out more about Kerrigan on her website and social media feeds...
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Q: At what point did you decide to make writing a profession? What got you started in the industry?
A: One thing our you-can-be-anything-you-want-when-you-grow-up culture forgets to prepare us for is the rank skepticism you get from everyone when you announce at 15 years old that you’re going to be a romance novelist when you grow up. They almost talked me out of it. I found myself ten years later working for the investigations division of a prosecutor’s office. But at 25, I realized I needed to commit to achieving my dream, or it would never happen. I had to go to conferences that I couldn’t afford so I could learn the craft. I took a pay cut to switch to a secretarial position so that I could free up mental bandwidth to be creative at night. I read blogs and books until my eyes bled. I found the right critique partners after sifting through a few and listened to their honest criticism. I proved to myself that I could finish a project and self-published a few novellas. The revenue from those novellas more than replaced my income. So I quit my job and tried to get an agent. I was rejected a few times until I found one through one of my crit partners who agreed to read an unfinished book. She signed me on THE HIGHWAYMAN and sold me to St. Martin’s once I finished it. It’s been a whirlwind. Equally terrifying and amazing.
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I started writing romance as a “goth” teenager in the late 1990’s…I began to prolifically fill stacks of notebooks (black, like my soul) full of hand-written stories inspired by an amalgamation of a few emerging passions. History, literature, horror, and…men. Not boys. Not those smelly, mouth-breathing troglodytes I was forced to spend my day with. Men. Cynical men, like Shakespeare’s Benedict. Tortured men, like Mr. Rochester. Dark horses, like Mr. Darcy. And for sure dangerous men, like Edmond Dantes or Batman. Wait what? Batman? *nervous laugh* How did he get in there? You’re not supposed to know about my comic book hero fetish! That has nothing to do writing historical romance novels. Like at all. I need you guys all to ignore the fact that Nick Fury has black hair and an eye patch and is the mysterious leader of a bunch of morally ambiguous vigilantes while you read THE HIGHWAYMAN or THE HUNTER, mkay?
Q: What is your genre?
A: Currently, I write Historical Romance, but I have an FBI Romantic suspense hanging out there, as well. I don’t feel like I’ll be one of those authors that only writes in one genre.
Q: If you could write in any other genre, what would it be?
A: Mysteries, hands down. In fact, I’m working on one right now… Keep an eye out for the Fiona Mahoney Mysteries. You heard it here first, folks!
Q: Where do you get your plot ideas?
A: Lord, I find them EVERYWHERE. I get them from other books I’ve read, and a lot from T.V. actually. Often I read something contemporary and wonder how I could fit a similar conflict into a historical book.
Q: Who or what inspires you?
A: I think heroism really inspires me. I find that I live a pretty safe and boring life, and when I hear of people out in the world chasing after the impossible, taking on challenges, saving lives, and changing things for the better, I really wish I was right there with them.
Q: Do you have a favorite “brain food,” a.k.a. snack food, when writing?
A: I know this answer is as cliche as they come, but it's coffee! With three teenagers, a busy husband, and a career, I am plagued by a huge energy crisis. Coffee is my magic elixir right now. It's the only thing that keeps the words flowing.
Q: How do you approach a difficult scene? Do you tackle it head on or take time to mull
A: Let me tell you, good critique partners are PRICELESS. If I’m ever stuck, I give one of them a call, and we brainstorm until I have a great plan, then I get to work. I have to say, I didn’t believe in magic until I met them.
Q: In general, how many drafts and edits do you go through per novel?
A: Pretty much just one. That isn’t to say I don’t extensively edit, but I’m definitely an “edit as you go” kind of person. Once I type “the end” I’ve already gone through every sentence a million times and I still know it’s not perfect! However, I usually give it one more read through, and send it off to fresh eyes.
Q: Because the writing process is all-consuming, how do you re-energize yourself and gear up for the next novel? Do you take time off?
A: I take about a week off in the middle of novels to collapse for a few days and then do all of the things I’ve been ignoring while trying to finish my book. I need to find the secret to re-energizing, though, so if you find out, you let me know!
Q: What book(s) do you currently have for sale?