Sunday, June 21, 2015

1 Claire Kennedy, author of AFTER HOURS, on an incredibly long, twisty, and bumpy road to publication

We're delighted to have Claire Kennedy join us to share more about her novel AFTER HOURS.

Claire, how long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

My road to publication was an incredibly long, twisty, and bumpy one. There were a couple of ROAD CLOSED signs and there were a couple of YAY, YOU FINALLY MADE IT HERE signs that were almost immediately taken down and replaced with JUST KIDDING GO BACK TO STEP ONE AND START OVER signs.  I actually lost count of how many books I wrote trying to get just one between actual book covers!  I finished my first book at 15 (it was absolutely terrible, if you were wondering), got my first agent at 22, and signed my first book contract at 29.  It was a heck of a journey, and it was completely worth it.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

My writing ritual is all about comfort, so I almost always work from home.  If music is involved, it has to be super chill and relaxing.  I sometimes write at a desk, but I am an expert at writing from the bed or on the couch while brainless television is on in the background.  I prefer tea to coffee—preferably a nice chai or something fruity.

My second favorite writing place is an airplane.  I’m notoriously frugal and refuse to pay for airline internet, so a long trip is a few lovely hours of uninterrupted writing time.

How long did you work on AFTER HOURS?

I actually drafted AFTER HOURS in a little over a month, but I worked on it for several months.  It was definitely a learning process!

What are you working on now?

My current project is called SECRETS, LIES, AND SCANDALS.  It’s a multiple-POV book about five students who accidentally kill their teacher and attempt to cover it up, but their own paranoia dooms them.  It’s kind of a Lois Duncan throwback, and I’m really excited about it!  It comes out next summer from Simon Pulse!


After Hours
by Claire Kennedy
Simon Pulse
Released 6/16/2015

Scandals and hook-ups abound in a summertime restaurant drama where four teens are all willing to do whatever it takes to make it through the workday…and hopefully to win the money in the after-hours dare-based game of Tips.

Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn know that a job at the high-end Waterside CafĂ© isn’t just about waiting tables. It’s about the gossip, the hook-ups, the after-hours parties, and, most of all, it’s about Tips.

Tips—the high-stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember.

Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out.

Xavi will do anything for the money…absolutely anything.

Peter, Xavi’s stepbrother, has been in love with her for years, and he thinks the game is the perfect time to confess his feelings.

Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy…even if those tips come with some conditions.

From seduction to stealing to threats, the dares are a complete free-for-all, and only the best can win.

Purchase After Hours at Amazon
Purchase After Hours at IndieBound
View After Hours on Goodreads


Claire Kennedy lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is hard at work on her next novel.

What did you think of our interview with Claire Kennedy, author of AFTER HOURS? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

1 comment:

  1. I really love the concept of this book. I'm anxious to read it to see what lengths these characters are willing to go through to get the tips. Also, I believe roadblocks test us to see how bad we want it. Good for Claire for sticking it out!


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