Miranda Owen: In DRAGONSWORN, Falcyn and Medea are both warriors and
have both known bone-deep grief. Do you prefer writing a hero and heroine who
have a lot in common, or who are opposites that are thrown together?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Both :) They each have their own challenges
and are fun to write, for different reasons.
Miranda Owen: Betrayal and trust are hand-in-hand themes in many of your
books. What draws to these themes?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Both are part of life. Sadly, almost everyone
goes through betrayal at some point, and itâ€™s learning to trust again thatâ€™s so
hard and yet so important. I had an extremely traumatic childhood that left me
with severe trust issues, so I know exactly how hard it is to let down your
guard for anyone. To make yourself vulnerable again after youâ€™ve been hurt. But
weâ€™re not islands and people need people. Thatâ€™s something my characters usually
have to learn and explore for themselves. That learning to open up and trust
again, even when theyâ€™re scared to.
Miranda Owen: Because Urian and Stryker are both characters in
DRAGONSWORN, I canâ€™t help but think to earlier books with those characters.
Since DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, Stryker has been one of my favorite characters.
Years ago, when first started the â€śDark-Hunterâ€ť series, did you have things
plotted out and always knew how these characters would end up â€“ or did the
characters evolve in your mind over time, and spur you to create new stories and
destinies for them? Back in the days of those first few books, did you plan on
there being a Medea or a Zephyra?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: You have to remember that the â€śearlyâ€ť days of
the books arenâ€™t the early days of the series. I started publishing the
Dark-Hunters in the 1980's. So, Iâ€™ve lived with these characters for over thirty
years nowâ€” some of them longer since I took some of my characters from other
series Iâ€™d written and published, and adapted them to my â€śDark-Hunterâ€ť worlds.
So yes, I knew about Medea and Phyra, but there are some developments that have
happened that were unpredictable. The characters will say and do unexpected
things, from time to time. Such as I had originally wanted Kyrian with Tabitha
and they wouldnâ€™t have that. They rebelled against me. Or in the short stories,
I had Acheron in the role of Stryker and when I began thinking through the books
in the late 1980's, I realized Ash would serve best working against his mom
instead of with her.
Miranda Owen: You populate your stories with a nice mix of
heroes/heroines, villains, and antiheroes â€“ and that is the case in DRAGONSWORN.
With antiheroes on the rise due to films, TV shows and comics like SUICIDE SQUAD
and THE WALKING DEAD, what is your favorite type of character to write?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: I was writing antiheroes long before the
trend. Iâ€™ve always been drawn to that kind of hero. The one who blurs the lines.
Itâ€™s why I started writing the League with a guild of assassins when I was eight
years old. And why my first foray into vampires was at age fiveâ€” the monster was
the hero and he wasnâ€™t very heroic. The heroine of my first novel when I was in
second grade was about a vigilante who assassinated her brothers and most of her
class at school because of what they were doing to other people.
Even at their worst, thereâ€™s a code and an honor inside them that makes them
still heroic. Lines they wonâ€™t cross no matter what. Even the villains. And that
is what differentiates them and what I find fascinating about each person in my
books (and real life)â€” where those lines get drawn and why.
Miranda Owen: For readers like me, who might be fans of your books but
not a fan of books about pirates, what made you start this Deadmanâ€™s
Cross series? What differentiates this from other books with a pirate
theme? Will each book in this series center around the same main characters with
supporting characters making appearances in all the books, or will each book
revolve around a different set of main characters?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Itâ€™s not something I started, but something I
returned to. Iâ€™ve been writing pirate novels and stories my entire life/career.
Iâ€™m descended from some extremely notable seafarers, including the infamous
pirate hunter who apprehended Anne Bonny, Calico Jack Rackham and Mary Read, and
another who was killed by Blackbeard himself. And Iâ€™ve been begging to write
this branch of Dark-Hunter for over twenty years. It just took this long to get
a green light for the trilogy since no publisher would touch itâ€” because itâ€™s
unlike anything thatâ€™s been done before. Thatâ€™s the problem when you write
things that are very different from anything else on the market (movies, books
and television). You have to wear publishers down so that theyâ€™ll take a chance
on it because the market for itâ€™s unproven. Itâ€™s why it took me so long to get
Dark-Hunters into novel format and The League and
Nevermore . . . and Nick Chronicles. And Hellchasers,
and, well pretty much everything I write.
Steeped heavily in Caribbean, West African, Celtic and Norse mythology, itâ€™s a
Hellchaser novel that features my brand of off-beat humor and a mix of
characters never seen before. It blends a future Dark-Hunter (Rafael Santiago
from SINS OF THE NIGHT and A HARD DAYâ€™S NIGHT SEARCHER) with the current
Dark-Huntress Janice Smith (DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, et al) and an all new cast of
Hellchasers who have dubbed themselves Deadmen. It will have some old faces such
as Thorn, Savitar, Menyara and Acheron who make cameos, but for the most part,
the cast is new. Each one of the trilogy will focus on a separate lead character
and tell one aspect of the particular challenge they have facing them as they
try to close the Carian Gate that has opened and released an old enemy into the
Miranda Owen: As a comic book fan, I was thrilled when your Dark
Hunters books were turned into manga books. What made you take the plunge
into comics? What does the process of turning your books into comics involve?
What are some of your favorite comic book series or characters?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Iâ€™m a published and award-winning
artist/photographer and I went to art school for sequential art and graphic
designâ€” when you grow up in the middle of eight boys on an Army base, you grow
up reading comics. Not to mention, my older brother taught me to read with
Spider-Man. Thank you, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko!
pitched my own
versions of the Dark-Hunters comics and graphic novels to Marvel, DC, Dark
Horse, Apple and IDW (among a few others) back in the 1980's and early 1990's,
but sadly they all passed. So, getting the Dark-Hunters back into that format
was something I actively pursued from the get-go. Yet it wasnâ€™t until I teamed
up with the Dabel Brothers that everything fell into place.
The biggest challenge we have is that they are old school, Golden Age comic
style fans and Iâ€™m a bishonen manga girl. While I do appreciate American style
comics and grew up with them (Spidey and Batman have always been my personal
faves), itâ€™s anime and manga that won my heart the first day I saw Speed Racer
and Robotech. I love the fluidity of the style. So, meshing our two tastes
sometimes requires a lot of back and forth until weâ€™re both happy with the
Miranda Owen: I love comic book crossovers. If you had no constraints
(publisher conflicts, timing, etc.), is there a series by another author that
you would love to have a crossover with characters from one of your series?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Kevin J. Anderson and I are actually working
on bringing to life a couple of storylines. Hopefully, there will be more to
come on that in the very near future!
Miranda Owen: When Nick Gautier and Acheron had their friendship blown
to smithereens years ago, I was firmly Team Acheron and cheered whenever Zarek
would bust Nickâ€™s chops. My husband is a fan of both characters and, like the
geeks we are, we occasionally debate the merits of the characters. What makes
Nick Gautier such a compelling character for you that youâ€™ve given the character
his own series?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: He always had
series. The Malachai storyline was in place as long as Iâ€™ve had the Dark-Hunters
and I knew Nickâ€™s series from the first year I started writing the short
stories. The concept of his being born of good and evil has always compelled me.
That wanting to do good and being called to darkness is innately the crux of
every person. We are all products of the decisions we make, and pawns of fate.
Both Nick and Ash explore this. But between them, Nick has a more normal
upbringing, and through him, fans can see a Dark-Hunter evolve from Squire to
Hunter to other. The thing I like about all the characters is that theyâ€™re
human. Not one of them is perfect. They do their best, but whether itâ€™s Ash or
Nick or Styxx, or whomever, they all make mistakes and have to correct them or
live with the consequences.
Miranda Owen: Is there anything you can reveal about future
books for fan favorite characters like Savitar, Jaden, Apollymi, or
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Of course there is, but that
would be a spoiler. And that I canâ€™t do :) What I can say is this, there is a
massive whopping surprise in DRAGONSWORN about Urian and it will carry on in his
book, BATTLE BORN. And youâ€™ll learn something humongous in Intensity.
Miranda Owen: Given that youâ€™re such a prolific author, is there
anything that you havenâ€™t tried that youâ€™ve thought about getting into
Sherrilyn Kenyon: Iâ€™ve published in every
genre and format, including poetry and song, and have pioneered a number of
genres and subgenres since I started publishing in 1978. So, no, not really. I
do have a couple of series Iâ€™d like to return to and a couple I havenâ€™t started
yet, but I will hopefully get to them before much longer.
Miranda Owen: What are you currently working on?
Sherrilyn Kenyon: The first of the
Silent Swans trilogy that I have coming out with Tor. One of the ones
Iâ€™ve been wanting to do for a long time now, and was finally able to get it in
the schedule. Itâ€™s my return to historical fiction and is based on my tenth
great-grandmotherâ€™s tale of when she arrived in Jamestown ten years before the
Mayflower reached Plymouth. She came over as a ten-year-old orphan and ended up
one of the most influential and richest women in the colonies, and is
responsible for a number of laws we now take for granted. Historians have dubbed
her the mother of America and yet most people have never heard of her. Itâ€™s time
they knew her name. THE CECILIAN SWAN is out next November.
CLICK HERE TO JOIN ME AT READERS & 'RITAS, NOV. 10-12, 2017
IN ALLEN, TX
#1 New York Times bestselling author, Sherrilyn Kenyon lives a
life of extraordinary danger...as does any woman with three sons, a husband, a
menagerie of pets and a collection of swords that all of the above have a major
fixation with. But when not running interference (or dashing off to the
emergency room), sheâ€™s found chained to her computer where she likes to
play with all her imaginary friends. With more than seventeen million copies of
her books in print, in over thirty countries, she certainly has a lot of friends
to play with too.
Kenyon is an international phenomenon and the leading pioneer of the current
paranormal craze (her first paranormal novel was published in 1994â€”obviously
when she was just a small child). Sheâ€™s the author of several series including:
The Dark-Hunters, The League, Brotherhood of the Sword, Lords of Avalon and the
forthcoming Nevermore and Chronicles of Nick. Her Lords of Avalon novels have
been adapted by Marvel and her Dark-Hunter novels are now manga published by St.
Martins and packaged by the talented Dabel Brothers.
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