MEET THE DUO BEHIND KENNEDY FOX
Hi, I'm Brooke Cumberland! Known as “K.”
Hi, I'm Lyra Parish! Known as “F.”
It's nice to officially meet y'all!
To start this post off, let's introduce ourselves properly! We're the duo authors behind the pen name, Kennedy Fox. You may know us as Brooke Cumberland & Lyra Parish. We have written separately under those names for a few years before we collaborated as KF. We decided to start this journey a year ago & it's been one of the best experiences of our lives. We have met so many wonderful online friends and some we now consider some of our closest friends. The Instagram community is one we hold dear to our hearts & are forever grateful we've had the opportunity to meet so many amazing readers and bookstagrammers. We're beyond thankful for our InstaFam members who have been one of the supportive groups we've ever met.
We assume some people knew already outside of the friends we trusted and told, but this is our way of coming out on our own terms. So we're sure you might be wondering why now or why did you have a secret pen name to begin with anyway? You ever just want a fresh start at something? A clean slate? It was kind of like that. Writing can add a lot of stress. The pressure, the fear, the anxiety. Both of us took a break from publishing, became a LuLaRoe consultant, and decided we wanted to find our way back to writing. We first become friends through mutual online friends within the indie community, met at a signing or two, then both ended up under the same LuLaRoe sponsor. Thus, a friendship was born. We talked a lot about LuLaRoe and writing and brought up the idea of co-writing. Brooke was deep in the LLR community and her real name was now associated with LLR, her downline members, being tagged as a consultant daily, etc. She wanted a fresh start outside of LLR. We decided to create a pen name where we'd both write under. Brand ourselves from the beginning, take what we've both learned from indie publishing, and hopefully maximize our success between the both of us. Lyra jumped right on board and we started to get to work.
Kennedy Fox became something we never expected. Hoped and prayed for maybe, but didn't anticipate. Our debut novel as a duo, Checkmate: This is War, stayed in the top 500 on Amazon for 6 weeks. Book 2, Checkmate: This is Love released in December (of all horrible publishing months) and soared to the top 400 in just a couple weeks. Book 1 hit USA Today in January. Book 3 hit USA Today in March. Book 4 hit USA Today in May. Then, book 5 hit USA Today in July. We were shocked. We're STILL shocked. Then, we queried an agent and were offered representation for our subrights. I can't express to you how hard we've worked for this. The sleepless nights, the all-nighters, the 30k word count weeks, the social media posts, designing our own website, teasers, newsletters, etc. Of course, we'd told some close friends and some of the people we worked with (Thank you Sara, Mitzi, Stephanie, and Letitia for being so professional and keeping our secret). But overall, we kept our circle small and hustled.
We completely started over.
And it was 100% worth it.
(Total side-note: Lyra works a FULL-TIME job, y'all. She's superwoman. She's the brains behind all our graphics, website, newsletter. She's an amazing partner!)
When we first made our Kennedy Fox Facebook profile, we were bombarded with friend requests we'd never heard of before. They were new and upcoming authors that were starting around the same time we were. It was eye-opening. We'd both had our Facebook profiles as Brooke and Lyra for years and probably recognized most of the people we were friends with or socializing with, but under Kennedy, it was a whole new world. The struggle to learn things, find your tribe, network, etc. was evident as I was scrolling through our newsfeed. Here we were: pretty well seasoned and using what we'd learn over the past few years and using it to create this new pen name. I had an entire new outlook on becoming a new indie author in this time period. I knew it was hard—we've now done it twice—but we knew where to look for resources. It was amazing to find these new friends. We still hope to be friends.
So why are we telling you all this? Living a double-named life is hard. It's hard AF and I can't tell you how many times I've outed myself accidentally or someone recognized my signature from a signed book or I F'ed up and forgot to delete my PO box address from my Brooke name or KF name. Or not using a registered agent for our LLC name (I don't think Lyra's ever going to let me live that one down). Like seriously, I could write a book about how NOT to out yourself, but hey, it's a little late for that now. Live and learn, right? However, that's not the real reason. It was just time. We've made so many friends and formed close relationships with our team and readers and we want you to know us the way you have let us know you. We wanted to be the ones to properly introduce ourselves—so here we are! We hope you'll continue to read our stories & chat with us. We don't plan to go anywhere anytime soon 😉
Brooke & Lyra
(Oh my God. I can finally breathe again! LOL)
P.S. We'll be announcing a joint project real soon under our Brooke & Lyra names that'll be for Amazon & Kindle Unlimited readers, so make sure to stay tuned for the official announcement on that! (Or sign up for our newsletter!) This is Beautiful & The Bishop Brothers will still be released as planned!
P.S.S. Thank you to all the amazing friends who we told in confidence and stayed true to your word. We can't list you all, but you know who you are! <3