Writer of The “Dark-Hunter” series, “The Chronicles of Nick” and the “DeadMen” series.
JMW: Hello. This is Jean Marie Ward for BuzzyMag.com. With me today is Sherrilyn Kenyon, the multi-bestselling author of three series that we’re gonna talk about today. The “Dark-Hunter” series, “The Chronicles of Nick” and the “DeadMen” series and more books that I can possibly count. Welcome, Sherrilyn.
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Hi, sweetie. How are you today?
JMW: I’m doing good. So glad to have you.
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Well, thank you for letting me come out and play a little bit.
JMW: You started writing about the characters who would later fill the Dark-Hunter universe when you were 17. After so many years and so many stories, how do you keep it fresh?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: I really don’t know. I think, you know, every character is a little different so I just…I think that they take on a life of their own. I don’t know. Magic. Little magic fairies come and they…
JMW: Pixie dust?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Yeah. Pixie dust. Either that or it’s just, you know, imagining killing my children, which I can’t legally do. I’m kidding…
JMW: That always helps.
Sherrilyn Kenyon: I’m kidding, you know. Yeah.
JMW: Kids cast as bad guys.
Sherrilyn Kenyon: I get it. You know, it is all those beatings that I really want to give my kids and I just take it out on the characters.
JMW: Is that where Artemis comes from?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: No. I’ll say my brothers. It’s safer to say I wanna beat my brothers.
JMW: Okay. “Intensity” which is releasing soon, the eighth book in “The Chronicles of Nick.” It’s advertised as being the last in the series though not necessarily the last in the world. What decided you to end this particular story here?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Well, it’s not so much that. I wanted to focus a little bit because we’ve been doing Nick, but when I was writing “Intensity,” it’s really Ciprion [SP]…I don’t want to give spoilers so it’s kinda…
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Yeah. It’s like, how much do we want to…because the book just came out. But, Ciprion has really taken on a bigger role than anticipated. And, I wanted to shift the focus because it’s kind of like when I was writing the beginning of “Acheron”, when Ryssa was such a central character, and Ciprion’s tell what he knows about Nick, and we’re moving forward into the future. So, I wanted that to become more prominent because that is such a meaty part of Nick’s story. So, I really wanted the next few books to focus on that because that is so much more of the role and the meat of what’s gonna happen in “Dark-Hunter.” So, I think that that is more important to focus.
So, that’s what I wanted more of the direction there with it. So, it’s still “The Chronicles of Nick,” it’s just a different shift in focus of it. And, I wanted the readers to understand that “The Chronicles of Nick” takes place in the past, we’re going into the future and I wanted there to be a clean break, so that they’d understand this isn’t set in the ’90s and this is actually set into the future. So they’re not going, “Wait a minute. What?” Why are these books the technology is very different from the technology here? And I wanted there to be…And then, you know, when we do the last three books, Nick’s an adult. So, I didn’t want to get angry parent letters going, “My 14-year-old is reading what?” So yeah, we didn’t want the schools to come after me. I live in the bible belt.
JMW: Yeah. That can be complicated.
Sherrilyn Kenyon: A little bit.
JMW: But then again, it’s good to know that your characters take over and tell you what they’re gonna do as well as mine.
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Oh, my God. They’re loving children, “all right, you need to feed me.”
JMW: Or give me more lines. Yes.
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Exactly.
JMW: Okay. As a born and bred Georgia peach, what prompted you to make New Orleans the hub of so much of your urban fantasy?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: That Cajun blood. I’ve written about both places, so, yeah.
JMW: Cool. Let’s go for a change of pace here. Your new “DeadMen” series, takes a completely different track. One, which takes advantage of your extensive background in history. What was the genesis of that series?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Oh, my God. We got pirates in the blood. So, yeah.
JMW: Cajuns, pirates…
Sherrilyn Kenyon: I know, you know, New Orleans. You gotta have the pirates, too.
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Like we got, one of my ancestors was actually killed by Blackbeard coming with (unintelligible). So yeah, I know. Well, that’s the family story. They made him walk the plank. I don’t know if that’s true. I’d like to think that he went down battling. So, I don’t know.
JMW: Took a few people with him?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Yeah. Knowing my family, I’m sure he did because we always joked at that. That’s our big family motto, “I’m gonna kill you.” So anytime we start brawling that’s always the first thing out of anybody’s mouth, “I’m gonna kill you.” So, yeah.
JMW: Oh, dear. No wonder.
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Hey, I’m from a family of all boys. Those are always the first thing that goes, you know, especially late at night. The battle cry of the house. My mother would be like, “Oh, my God. Can’t you stop fighting for five minutes? I need Calgon”
JMW: It’s a Calgon moment but it’s not happening. Back to your roots though, I mean, we’re talking about your roots. I understand the Hyatt, The Hyatt Regency, where we’re filming this, and Dragon Con, where we are, place a special role in your life in writing. Can you tell our viewers a little bit about that?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Well, yeah. My granddaddy actually was on the original construction crew for the Hyatt. So, there’s a picture of me somewhere… and I keep looking for it. I think my sister actually has it…of when I was little girl and sitting here on the construction site where my granddad was and he snapped it. So, it was really cute.
JMW: And didn’t he get…didn’t you do some of your writing here?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: I did. Yeah, my girlfriend and I worked downtown and so I’d meet her here in the lobby. And, the original “Dark-Hunter” back in the ’80s I would sit up here, which has all changed and it’s so messing with me, because so I walked into the lobby going this is…I don’t handle change well. It doesn’t look the same. And so every time after I walked in I stepped into some weird “Twilight Zone” thing. But yeah, I’d meet her up at the restaurant after work.
JMW: And you got an important acceptance here?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: I did. [inaudible 00:06:29] gave me my lifetime achievement. Well, I made my first sale in one of the rooms upstairs. So yeah, we were here in another convention and I got the call. And I’ve got that picture. That I know I have somewhere in the house. But, yeah.
JMW: We will find it once all the kids move out, right?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Yeah. Probably, in an envelope somewhere.
JMW: Yeah. Well, what are you working on now, besides kids?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Insanity apparently. Well, my baby’s graduating this year. My youngest. “No, no. They’re growing up. I can’t. My babies, no.” What am I working on right now? Right… I’m doing edits right now. The next book is, my brain, my brain, my brain, the next one that I will start from fresh is the [inaudible 00:07:12] book for The League series. So, that’s the one I’m doing, the edits I’m doing now is the next Deadmens book.
JMW: Oh, cool. We’re coming up on the end. Is there anything that you would like to add?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: “Intensity,” it’s just coming out September 5th. So…
JMW: And, it’s gonna be intense.
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Yes. There’s a lot of big surprises in it. So, yeah.
JMW: Very cool. Well, thank you, Sherrilyn.
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Thank you for letting me come out.
JMW: Our pleasure. And, thank you for Buzzy Magazine.
Jean Marie Ward writes fiction, nonfiction and everything in between, including art books, novels (2008 Indie Book double-finalist With Nine You Get Vanyr), and short stories such as WSFA Small Press Award finalist “Lord Bai’s Discovery” and “Personal Demons” in the award-winning anthology Hellebore and Rue. Her videos include author interviews and tutorials.