As Julie Kenner, I’ve written in multiple genres, including romance, young adult, urban fantasy and paranormal mommy lit (have you met Kate from my Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series?).
As J.K. Beck, I write dark, sexy, gritty paranormal romantic suspense that USA Today raves is a “hot, alluring fantasy ride.”
Finally, I write emotionally charged erotic romance as J. Kenner. Book 1 & 2 of the Stark Trilogy, Release Me, and Claim Me, are New York Times and USA Today bestsellers. Book 3, Complete Me, is coming soon!
In other words, my stories cross all sorts of genres–paranormal mommy lit, dark and gritty paranormal romances, steamy erotica, edge-of-your-seat suspense, contemporary romances, demon-filled urban fantasy, young adult novels, and more (even screenplays!)
Make yourself at home on the site, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s an official bio (scroll down for the unofficial one!):
Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.
Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures.
J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats.
And here’s the less official bio:
When Julie was knee-high to a grasshopper (an expression that she would like it known she has never, ever used in real life) she informed her parents that she was going to be a novelist, and proceeded to write Kitty Claws, a bestselling book about a cat as Santa. (The book sold out its entire print-run of one, so lets not split hairs about that “best-selling” thing, okay?)
After that stellar start, Julie continued to dabble in the literary arts, writing short stories on yellow pads that she forced her mother to type, scribbling poems on ruled notebook paper that she forced her mother to type, making up skits and songs that she forced her mother to watch and listen to, and diving head-first into high school journalism, at which point, mom finally got a break.
In college, she continued with the journalism thing, picking that as her major and working at The Daily Texan, the student newspaper for the University of Texas. The idea that she could actually write novels and, oh, buy food too, completely eluded her.
The journalism thing cranked along nicely for about one semester. Then Julie got a job as a production assistant on a movie originally called Splatter, but which was released as Future Kill (and can still be found in Blockbuster and through Netflix), with really great Giger poster art.
Julie worked her tail off, appeared as an extra, had a great time, and promptly switched her major to film.
Graduating at the ripe old age of 19, Julie chickened out and didn’t move to Los Angeles to become the next Steven Spielberg. Instead, she stayed in Austin and worked as a media assistant until she decided that perhaps law school was the better way to go because, hey, a degree in film slides so seamlessly into law.
(Or, more likely, grad school was inevitable and the LSAT seemed doable.)
Not one to waste time, Julie took the LSAT in December, and was admitted to Baylor Law School on a full scholarship the following February. Law school and Julie got along great, and after graduation, Julie went to work as a law clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where she had a fabulous time drafting legal opinions, preparing the judge for court, and taking regular trips to New Orleans on a government per diem. During her two year stint as a clerk, the writing bug bit again, and Julie wrote a stage play that will never, ever see the light of day. Really. So don’t even ask.
After her clerkship, Julie decided she could handle moving to the Big City, and she took a job with Skadden, Arps in L.A., where she worked on a variety of cases with some very smart lawyers. After a year, she moved on to smaller and smaller firms (and had a short stint as a production exec at a small film company, thus justifying all those credit hours in college). She continued to work with very smart lawyers, one of whom introduced Julie to Julie Garwood (her books, not the woman herself), and the writing bug bit again.
Though Julie had been dabbling with writing in her limited spare time, she’d lacked focus. Now, she’d found it, and she was determined to write an historical romance. You may, after reviewing Julie’s book list, note that there are no historical romances on there. Let’s just say that she didn’t succeed at that task. Julie did, however, discover that while she has a head for contemporary nuances, the ins-and-outs of historical detail are enough to make her head explode. (Since then, Google has come along and Julie’s actually done a few shorter historicals. And, miracle of miracles, she finds them fun and not head-explosion-inducing. So, yay Internet!)
The in-progress historical was promptly shelved, and Julie turned her attention to fleshing out a contemporary romance, having decided that category romance was the way to go, since with the demands of a legal job, she’d be much more likely to finish 240 manuscript pages than 400.
Finish them she did, and though she got nice feedback on the voice, the novel didn’t sell. One editor, Harlequin’s Brenda Chin, returned a rejection letter with a note that the hook wasn’t enough of a “sexy premise.”
Always up for a challenge, Julie came up with the opening line, “You need a man,” which she thought had oodles of sexy premise potential. She just had to find a story to go with the line. Eventually, she did, and Nobody Does It Better, Julie’s first published novel, was born. She entered the first few chapters in contests, finaled, and was ultimately judged by that same Brenda Chin, who ended up buying the manuscript. (Which is not the reason Julie thinks Brenda is a really cool person. Truly.)
By that time, Julie had realized that 400 pages were manageable after all, and she’d almost completed a paranormal romance along the lines of The Little Mermaid about a cat who is in love with her master. The Cat’s Fancy sold just a few months after the original sale. Both books came out in 2000, along with a second Temptation, and Julie has had at least 3 books hit the shelves annually every since, and now has well over twenty books to her credit, crossing over a multitude of genres, most of which are represented in some way by the clever pictures in the collage at the top of this page.
Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” Julie’s books have hit lists as varied as USA Today, Waldenbooks, Barnes & Noble, and Locus Magazine, all of which has made Julie a happy camper. Julie is also a two-time RITA finalist, both times for books about strong women (a superhero and a demon-hunter). There’s probably some deep meaning there, and if you know what it is, feel free to drop Julie a line.
Julie was also the winner of Romantic Times’ Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Contemporary Paranormal of 2001, the winner of the Reviewers International Organization’s award for best romantic suspense of 2004 and best paranormal of 2005, and the winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award for best mainstream book of 2005. Not that she’s keeping track or anything.
Julie writes a range of stories including quirky romances, sexy contemporaries, young adult novels, suspense, paranormal mommy lit, and darker urban fantasy. She also writes screenplays, and has some floating around development hell in LA. Hopefully one day Julie will add an Official Screenwriting Bio to this page, but until then, she’ll just get cramped fingers from all the crossing.
Her initial foray into the urban fantasy mommy lit genre—Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom—proved especially successful, resulting in a Booksense pick, a Target break-out book, other accolades and honors, and a movie deal. Specifically, Carpe Demon, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures.
Julie and her husband moved from Southern California back to Texas in 1995, and Julie quit the practice of law to write full time in 2004. Now, she lives and writes in central Texas with her husband, two daughters, and several cats.