"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
#1 New York Times best-selling 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), she’s found chained to her computer where she likes to play with all her imaginary friends. With more than twelve million copies of her books in print, in twenty-eight countries, she certainly has a lot of friends to play with too.
Writing as Kinley MacGregor and Sherrilyn Kenyon, she is an international phenomenon and the author of several series including: The Dark Hunters, The League, Brotherhood of the Sword, Lords of Avalon, and Nevermore. Her books always appear at the top of the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly and USA Today lists (often hitting #1 on the national and international lists).
The Kenyon Minions are a million strong and growing everyday, all over the world. Join in on the fun and check out her latest – The Warrior: Brotherhood of The Sword.
An Interview with Kinley MacGregor
PNR: Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
Kinley M.: I wrote my first comic as soon as I was old enough to scribble on paper (it was about vampires). I finished my first novel (horror) when I was seven, so I guess it’s safe to say this was all I ever wanted to do and I’ve been doing it all my life.
PNR: You are very prolific, writing in many different genres. Could you tell us about your writing routine, how do you balance writing and personal time? Do you have any personal time?
Kinley M.: Personal time—the three minutes a day when I sleep LOL. Seriously though, I have three small boys who I am totally dedicated to so I make sure there’s always family time. Plus I have to make sure my hubby has his time too since he’s my first love. Basically my writing takes a backseat to their needs. If they need me, I’m there. If they don’t I’m writing—always. Any spare moment I have I’m working on something. There’s no real routine even though I try. My office hours/writing time is after they’ve gone to bed. I usually write from 8-9 PM until 4 AM (sometimes later) without a break. I sleep until 10 and then have lunch with hubby. After lunch I do administrative tasks such as interviews like this LOL and email. Break when the kids come home and then knuckle down to work once they start heading to bed and the house is quiet. All in all, I put in an average 12-14 hour day with writing work.
PNR: Most writers are avid readers, is this true for you? What titles would we see in your TBR pile?
Kinley M.: Tons. I collect books, but my reading is varied. I have everything from manga to novels to magazines. Some of my favorite writers are Dianna Love, Kendra Clark, Kat Marsters, Joe Hill, Stephanie Laurens, David Drake, Carole Nelson Douglas. Too many to count.
PNR: Who or what has been your biggest influence as a writer? Who has been your biggest support?
Kinley M.: Nothing really influences me to be a writer except the voices I hear in my head. They’re the ones who won’t let me sleep or focus until I put their words down on paper. As for support, my hubby who gives me the time I need to do my job. He takes care of a lot of day to day tasks such as keeping the house and getting the kids to and from school so that I don’t have to worry about it. I couldn’t do what I do without him. Now if I could only train him to write the books LOL.
PNR: What are the greatest challenges to you as an author?
Kinley M.: Staying sane. I think that’s probably true of all of us. There are a lot of distractions in the world and you have to learn to say no to them. No one can write a book for you. Only you can. Let the weeds grow outside. Really, the pantry doesn’t need to be organized. You need to write. The other stuff will still be there once the book is finished (trust me on this). However, if my hubby gets up at 6 AM and I’m knee deep in the pantry rearranging soup cans, then he knows I’ve got a book due and I’m trying to avoid responsibility.
PNR: What do you feel are the essential elements of a great story?
Kinley M.: Great characters. Readers will forgive a bad plot, or plot holes. What they won’t forgive are boring or cardboard characters.
PNR: You have been very successful writing fantasy and historical romance as Kinley MacGregor and paranormal as Sherrilyn Kenyon. What influenced your decision to use a pseudonym for your historical and historical fantasy works?
Kinley M.: I’ve had numerous other names over the years: Anne Dragonswan, Cherise Moon, Alyx Kenyon, Kyle Hunter, etc. I’d been writing paranormal and SF under my name and when I sold the historicals my editor didn’t want to confuse the readership. She asked if I’d mind a pseudonym and since I’ve used them for various reasons over the years I didn’t have a problem with it. Not to mention that I’d had a four year involuntary hiatus from the marketplace where I couldn’t sell Alpo to a dog kennel—no matter what I tried, no one wanted to publish my novels. By the time I had another publishing contract, I’d begun to fear that my own name was cursed so I was more than willing to take on an uncursed alias.
PNR: Your work is enormously popular writing as both Kinley MacGregor and Sherrilyn Kenyon. You have received numerous honors, including several PEARL Awards and a great deal of reader admiration for your writing. How does it feel to have such positive recognition for your work?
Kinley M.: It’s scary for me. I’m more used to being told I suck. Positive reinforcement was something we watched on the Brady Bunch reruns. It was an alien factor in my home growing up. So it’s strange now to hear it.
That being said, there’s nothing I love more than to have a reader tell me they laughed or cried over something I wrote. Most of my life was ungodly hard and harsh, I escaped into books to stay sane. I don’t think I would have survived my life had I not had books to turn to. That’s why writing is so important to me. If I can make one person smile when they need it, laugh when they want to cry, then I can ask for nothing better. To have them tell me that my work touched them in any way is truly heaven and I treasure it every single time I hear it.
PNR: Readers are excited about the December 2007 release of THE WARRIOR from Avon; this is the third full length story in your much loved Brotherhood of the Sword series. Could you tell us what inspired this captivating historical fantasy series and a little about your vision for the project? A sneak peek perhaps?
Kinley M.: The idea came while I was writing Sin’s book (Born in Sin) and took form during Ewan’s. I did much of my college work on the Crusades and medieval warfare. The assassins and their origins have always fascinated me and for years I toyed with the idea of training your enemy to kill his own kind—what better weapon? The psychology of it, the sheer evil genius, but I truly believe that some people are too strong willed to be turned—what would happen to them? Those ideas lay dormant until Born in Sin and then they finally burst in my mind to form the series.
PNR: Could you give us some insight into the mythology of the Brotherhood of the Sword?
Kinley M.: There’s no mythology there really. It’s all historical fact.
PNR: You have been complimented on your masterful world building. Tell us about the challenges you face in world building and making it work with the ideas you have in mind for the progression of your characters and series? Do you write your characters to fit the world you have created or vice versa?
Kinley M.: I cut my teeth on Star Trek, Star Wars, Asimov, Tolkien and Lewis. All my early novels were either horror, SF or fantasy involving alternate worlds and beings so world building comes naturally to me. My imaginary friends from childhood were all from other planets with their own cultures and languages that they “taught” me. Seriously.
PNR: Do you feel your writing is character driven or plot driven? How do you balance these two elements?
Kinley M.: My stories always come from the people. I don’t plot, I just listen to them as they tell me the story of what they’re facing. I often describe my writing as channeling spirits and that’s what I do.
PNR: You write wonderfully complex characters that readers really connect to, Lochlan is no exception; could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?
Kinley M.: My people are like my kids. I love them and at times I want to sell them on eBay. They’re all challenging and infuriating and an absolute joy to write. If they weren’t, I would write someone else and kill them off.
Again, I wish I could say I put thought into them. I don’t. I just start writing. My personal belief is that I can fix a bad page, but not a blank one. Just because something’s written in blood, it’s not carved in stone. You have to have something to start with before you can hone the writing. I’ve been known to write an entire novel, toss it out and start it from scratch. Yes, on deadline. Rewrites don’t scare me ;)
PNR: How would you describe the sensuality level of your books; do you find it challenging to write the love/sex scenes?
Kinley M.: It depends on the book and the people in it. Some are intrinsically more sexual than others just because of the difference in the background and people. I don’t have a set number of scenes or set steam level for anything I do. If it fits in the story and is necessary for the characters, it’s in there. If it doesn’t, it’s not. So no I don’t have trouble with them either.
PNR: There is something about a knight in shining amour that makes romance readers weak in the knees, and captures our imagination. Why do you feel the dark ages and the icon of the chivalrous knight hold such a broad appeal and are such a popular theme in the romance genre?
Kinley M.: Hmmm… Knighthood as we know it, doesn’t really come into being until the High Middle Ages and the ideals we find so fascinating come from the tutelage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her court. In particular Andreas Capellanus’ the Art of Coutrly Love and other such medieval works are what defined and codified the Western European troubadour ideal of chivalry for future generations.
There are all kinds of theories as to why modern man is fascinated by it. I think our age was shaped more by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood out of Britain in the mid nineteenth century than by anything really historical. I personally believe their innovative art inspired talents such as Howard Pyle and Tennyson to start the anachronistic, postmodern medieval writing that our century draws so much of its interest from.
I could actually write about this all day, but for succinctness, let me say that I think the concept of “Might doesn’t make right” and that the idea of having men and women who are willing to lay down their lives in protection of those who can’t fight for themselves is a universal concept of heroism. We all want an unbreakable Code of Honor that we can live our lives by. Yet too many times people are corruptible. The modern concept of chivalry and knighthood is, at its center, this ideal of incorruptible power. What could be sexier than a man who can fight and protect what he loves who is honorable to the point of laying down his life for the beliefs he holds? It’s timeless and universal.
PNR: Speaking of knights, your Lords of Avalon series has taken the much loved Arthurian legend to the next level; what inspired this venture and what (and when) can readers expect to see next from this intriguing series?
Kinley M.: I was working on my dissertation which held the thought that the Courtly Love movement mentioned above comes not out of the Arabic poetry of the time, as is commonly believed, but rather out of Celtic lore and mythology. Given the nature of this, of course, I spent much of my time reading and researching the various tales of King Arthur and his court. While I was reading Geoffrey of Monmouth, looking for evidence that Arthur had been real, my brain snapped to—yeah if Arthur’s real, what would have happened to Camelot after his death? To the magic and the people? That was when I saw the world as it became—a Brigadoon kind of place that got sucked out of time and where the battle for ultimate supremacy still rages with the fate of mankind resting on the victor.
The next book should be Maddor’s and I’m waiting to see when the publisher is scheduling it. The comics, however, will be hitting the stands in Feb 2008 and will continue with one issue a month for the rest of the year.
PNR: Here are some questions our members are dying to ask, please answer as many as you feel comfortable with:
PNR: You have written in the historical, fantasy, contemporary and paranormal genres; which is your favorite to write?
Kinley M.: All of them J I go wherever my muse takes me. I learned a long time ago not to question her. Or rather him. I think my personal muse is man with a snarky sense of humor.
PNR: What is it about the paranormal romance genre that captures your imagination? Is there a genre you haven’t written but would like to try?
Kinley M.: Not really, I’ve written in everything that I had an interest whether it was published or not.
As for capturing my attention, I guess I’m odd in that I don’t see PNR as a separate genre. It’s the same books I’ve read all my life whether it was the tales of King Arthur, or modern SF/Fantasy. There is romance in all fiction. Most great stories are the tale of love gone awry or the quest to save it or have it.
PNR: Ok, this is where I pump you for information. Will you be releasing NEVERMORE from the pen of Sherrilyn Kenyon or Kinley MacGregor? How many books are you planning for the series? Can you give us any inside information, just between us (wink)?
Kinley M.: Sherrilyn Kenyon. I’ll write it until I’m bored LOL. Or until my muse runs off to something else. And since I love you guys so much, I’ll throw you a little bone—it’s unlike anything that’s been done before. The site will be launching in a few weeks and the first characters and the backbone of it will be out there.
BTW PNR was where I first broke the news of the Dark-Hunters and Lords of Avalon (which at the time was planned to be the back up series should DH fail LOL) back in 1999.
For that reason, I will say this. Nevermore is set in the future here on earth J The backdrop is the fight for mankind’s survival.
PNR: Could you tell us about your current projects, what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
Kinley M.: Dream Chaser is the next up in February. It’s a Dream-Hunter novel and takes the series back to New Orleans. The hero is Xypher from Devil May Cry, a half demon, half god. The heroine is a pathologist professor who lives with a teenage ghost locked in a 1980’s time warp. It’s also the book that sets the stage for Acheron which follows in August. Then in November we have Stryker’s book, One Silent Night, where the villain meets his match, in more ways than one.
PNR: Thank you, Kinley/Sherrilyn, for taking time out to talk to us. Where can readers find out what’s new and how can they contact you?
Kinley M.: Thank you so much for having me. I remember back when you guys were first getting started and we had very slim pickings in the market J But y’all were some of my early supporters and I’ve never forgotten that. Thank you.
As for finding me, please visit the sites for more info sherrilynkenyon.com kinleymacgregor.com dark-hunter.com lordsofavalon.com crynevermore.com and livetheleague.com You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Additional Titles from Ms. MacGregorFeatured in this issue: ~Chivalry Themed Romance ~SCIONS Trilogy from Silhouette Nocturne ~PNR Coming Attractions 2008
aka Sherrilyn Kenyon
Lords of Avalon
November 1, 2007
Brotherhood of the Sword: Book 3
Lochlan MacAllister was born to lead. Ruthlessly groomed to take control of his clan, he has given his life to his people. But when he learns that the brother he thought was dead might still be alive, he embarks on a quest to find the truth.
Catarina wants a life of freedom. But now Catarina's royal father wants to use her as a pawn to ensure a treaty between conflicting lands. So much so that he's willing to kidnap his daughter to force the issue. But when she escapes, fate throws her into the path of a man she loathes.
Lochlan is stunned to find the shrewish Cat being hauled away by unknown men. Unwilling to see even her suffer, he frees her only to learn that she has her own demons to fight. When their fates intertwine, two people who know nothing of trust must rely on each other, and two enemies who have vowed their eternal hatred must find common ground, or see their very lives shattered.
April 1, 2005
Brotherhood of the Sword: Book 2
Fearless men, their allegiance is to each other, to the oppressed, and to the secret society known as the Brotherhood of the Sword -- and they must never surrender to the passionate yearnings of their noble hearts.
Fiercely devoted to her people and her land, Queen Adara refuses to let a power-mad usurper steal her crown. But the only way to protect what is hers is to seek out the man she married in childhood.
A proud, tormented warrior, Christian of Acre owes allegiance only to the mysterious Brotherhood -- and has no wish to be king over anyone but himself. Now a bold and beautiful stranger has appeared in his rooms, tempting him with an irresistible seduction and demanding he accompany her back to their kingdoms ... or, at the very least, provide her with an heir to her throne. Though he cannot abandon the brave regal lady to her enemies, Christian dares not give in to his traitorous body's desires. Yet how can he deny the passion that is rightfully his and the ecstasy that awaits him in Adara's kiss?
April 27, 2004
Brotherhood of the Sword: Book 1
Fearless men, their allegiance is to one another, to the oppressed, and to the secret society known as the Brotherhood of the Sword -- and they must never surrender to the passionate yearnings of their noble hearts.
A Lady of Love
Beautiful, peace-loving Rowena knows that Stryder of Blackmoor is a warrior, and is therefore a man to be shunned.
But something burns in the eyes of this powerful knight that she has never seen in others of his kind: a tenderness, and a need to love and be loved. Yet to enter his world would be madness -- against every principle by which she has lived her life -- so she must resist the yearning that would draw her into his arms.
A Man of War Duty bound to battle for right, Stryder has never desired the comforts of home and hearth -- until he gazed upon the exquisite face and form of the incomparable Rowena. He dares not succumb to her sensuous charms, for Stryder is a man sworn to know no love. But when treachery and danger threaten, the noble knight must stand as the unsuspecting lady's champion -- though his actions could cost him his honor, his heart. . . and his forbidden dream of happiness.
September 1, 2003
Lords of Avalon
October 31, 2006
Lords of Avalon: Book 2
For countless centuries, I've been the assassin for the infamous Merlin, even though the woman who birthed me sits at the right hand of our enemy, Morgen le Fey. Now both my mother and Morgen have decided that it's time I take my place on their side of this conflict.
Normally, telling them no wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that the good guys I protect think that I'm an even worse demon than the ones we fight. Hmm, maybe they're right. I have to say that I do enjoy maiming anyone who gets in my way.
At least until my mother gives me a simple choice: join Morgen's Circle of the Damned or see an innocent woman die. I'm all for saving the innocent, but Merewyn isn't as innocent as she seems. And she's none too fond of the fact that her fate is in my dubious hands. Personally I'm all for taking the easy way out, but leaving her to Morgen is rough, even for me. Now the only way to save both our lives is to face the evilest forces ever known-my mother and Morgen. And two people who know nothing of trust must learn to rely on each other or die: provided we don't kill each other first.
March 28, 2006
the heart of London...
worlds are forever changed...
For countless centuries, Kerrigan has lived alone in the shadows until the day when one woman's courage forces him into the light that could either be both their salvations, or both their deaths.
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