Meet Hockey Romance Author Katie Kenyhercz

I met so many terrific writers in my MFA program at Seton Hill University, and one of them was Katie McGinley, who writes under the name of Katie Kenyhercz. Katie was about to graduate when I was just starting out in the program, and she was in my very first critique workshop. I was terrified! I’ve never forgotten how encouraging and supportive she was, and I’m not at all surprised that in addition to her own writing, she’s continued to help teach and mentor other writers. I’m delighted to welcome her as a guest on my blog. Below are her responses to my interview questions followed by her bio and contact links.

First off, congratulations on your recent release, Vegas Vixen, and your upcoming release, Back to Grace. Can you tell us about the novels, and what inspired you to write them?

In Vegas Vixen, Violet Lockhart is a Jill of all trades: cheerleader, defenseman, personal trainer, mermaid, and dance teacher. Her part-time life fits her perfectly. Attachments are for people who don’t have her complicated and painful past. But when she runs into the newest call-up for the Las Vegas Sinners, her life goes helmet over skates.

Dashel Knight always played it safe. He delayed an NHL career for college and found himself on the farm team once he graduated. When he gets called-up to his first big game, the last thing he expects is to collide with a goddess in a clamshell bra. Violet gets under his skin in the best way, and the more he learns about her, the more he wants to know. This sexy riddle just might be the answer he’s been looking for.

In Back to Grace Patrick Spade realizes he made the biggest mistake of his life, choosing hockey over his childhood sweetheart. Fresh off a Stanley Cup win, he’s ready to hang up his skates and make things right with Grace. If she’ll let him.

Grace Preston is the photographer for the Carson City Saints minor league hockey team. Letting Patrick go when he was called up to the NHL was one of the hardest things she ever had to do. Now he’s back, and all of those feelings are right there with him. Can he mean it when he says he’s home to stay?

Vegas Vixen was the last book in the Lady Sinners Series, a spinoff of my main Las Vegas Sinners Series. Back to Grace is the first book in the Carson City Saints Series. The Saints are the Sinners’ farm team.

As a bestselling romance author, you’re unusual in having chosen to specialize in hockey romance. What led to your love affair with hockey, the setting for your novels?

When I was fifteen, I played one season of roller hockey at the local rink. It hurt enough that I decided I liked it better as a spectator. I started watching the Pittsburgh Penguins play on TV and completely fell in love with the sport. To me, there’s nothing hotter than a hockey hero, so it was a no-brainer when I started to write romance!

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? Any favorite books/authors who inspired you as a child? As an adult?

I started writing X-Files fan fiction when I was twelve and frustrated by the slow pace of the romantic arc between Mulder and Scully, so I wrote it myself! I am forever trying to create the deep bond they have in my own characters. I actually don’t read much romance, but authors who have inspired me and my voice are Rachel Caine, Dean Koontz, and Janet Evanovich. Their characters are vivid, complex, funny, and relatable.

AKA Katie McGinley, you also teach writing at your local university and offer editing and formatting services for other authors. How do you manage it all and fit in time for your own writing?

That’s a good question, LOL! I typically have two classes and have lesson plans for them, so I’m only swamped with teacher work three times a semester when they turn in essays. I book my editing clients carefully so there are no conflicts with my other deadlines. Formatting only takes a few minutes thanks to Vellum!  As for my own writing, I cram it in whenever I can.

You earned your MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Did the program have a significant impact on your growth and development as a writer?

Absolutely! I sing SHU’s praises every chance I get. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I got great feedback in my time there. I made so many contacts and good friends that I get to keep forever. I’m so grateful and go back every chance I get for the alum summer book signing.

Tell us about your writing process: Are you a pantser, plotter, or somewhere in-between?

I’m a hybrid but more of a plotter. I always start out knowing the general arch: beginning, black moment, resolution. Then I start writing and see how far I get. Every single time I hit the middle of the book and have to plot out the rest chapter by chapter or it doesn’t get done. I’ve started trying to plot every chapter before I begin writing, and it’s a lot of work up front, but the actual writing goes easier because I have a roadmap.

What advice would you give to aspiring romance authors?

Read a lot in the genre you want to write. See what people are doing. You will discover a lot of things you DON’T want to replicate. I did. But it gives you a jumping off point.

When you’re not writing, teaching, or editing, what do you enjoy doing?

I love being outside. I also love painting! One of my favorite things is to paint something for a specific friend and surprise them with it in the mail. 

Thanks so much for visiting, Katie!

Author Bio: I live in Ohio with my Air Force hubby, and I write hockey romance. I played one season of roller hockey when I was fifteen–it hurt enough that I decided I liked it better as a spectator–and it’s been true love ever since! My fictional team is the Las Vegas Sinners, And my real-world teams are the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Vegas Golden Knights. I like strong, capable heroines who bring out the vulnerability in their tough guys. 


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  1. Beth Schmelzer on December 8, 2021 at 7:53 am

    Lynn, you are eclectic in your choice of interviewees. I love reading about these writers who author different genres. Thanks for sharing this information about Katie.

    • Lynn Doreen Slaughter on December 8, 2021 at 9:49 am

      Thanks, Beth! I met so many interesting writers at Seton Hill who wrote things so entirely different from what I write. It was fascinating, and I think it really helped me grow as a writer!

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