Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Goth Turns Golden

by Cassondra Murray

A few years ago I joined a local chapter of RWA and met its published authors. Among those authors was a lady memorable because of her long red hair, clear Celtic complexion and her awesome offbeat black outfits. But most memorable was her sense of genuine care and consideration for me as a new member, my writing, my career as a writer-- her kindness.

It's probably a good thing that I didn't know WHO SHE WAS at the time. I might have been intimidated. Granted, she hadn't quite become an international phenomenon (I love saying that) but she was well on her way.


Now she is one. She and her Dark Hunters have a worldwide following that obliterates boundaries that normally separate readers--boundaries like age, gender and genre preference. Yet, she's still that same encouraging, generous person I met at my first local meeting. And in spite of her long list of accomplishments, that's what still impresses me most about this woman.


Since that first meeting, Sherrilyn Kenyon has gone on to become a #1 NYT Bestseller, with more than 15 million books in print, and is poised to blow those numbers out of the water with her next release.

She’s in the middle of her next project for St. Martin’s Press, but she was kind enough to visit us in the lair, and answer some questions posed by the Banditas and their friends.

If you've been to her website, or heard her keynote speeches, you know that Sherri has had her share, and a lot more, of overcoming the odds to make her life and her career work.

She's walked through the fire of financial devastation, markets turned cold to her writing, illness and hospitalization with her pregnancies, death of beloved family members, and nearly losing her newborn child.


When you hear her story, you aren't left with a lot of excuses for not following your dream. She’ll tell you she’s not one for looking back. She’s about moving forward. Still, I’ve wondered what sustained her through all of that. I asked her how she's managed to hold on to her "self"—that woman I met at my first RWA meeting. I think I'd be a jaded, hard and unfeeling person by now. But Sherri isn't.

“The thing that kept me going was my family,” she said, “and my characters’ unwillingness to let go until their story was told.”

Sherri has written stuff other than romance, but she’s made her mark writing about relationships—in particular relationships that lead to redemption—for those who “shouldn’t” have it according to traditional standards. How did such a multi-faceted writer come to focus on love and happily-ever-after? Honestly, how did a Goth chick from Georgia end up writing some of the most powerful love stories of our generation? Other than the obvious roof over her head, what do these love stories do for Sherri Kenyon?

“ I've had to overcome a lot of heartache and loss in my life,” Sherri said. “Especially in my childhood. My friend Kim let me borrow one of her romance novels and I was forever changed. The characters had bad things happen to them in their lives and you know what? They got to live HAPPILY EVER AFTER! That showed me that in life, you can have many trials. Sometimes, even things you wouldn't believe you'd live through, but in the end, you can have a HAPPILY EVER AFTER like the characters.”

Sherri is adamant about this.

“I believe in romance as a reality, not a fairy tale, and it's the believing that characters and people are worthy of having someone to love and someone to love them in return that is the basis for my stories, and sharing that with the fans is a joy.”

It's clear that Sherri honestly appreciates each one of those fans. I once got to hear her talk about the business of writing during a university class, where she said, "I know how hard it is to earn seven dollars, or fifteen dollars, and this person has chosen to take that hard-earned money and spend it on my book. I will never take that for granted." Sherri has always said the most gratifying moments for her are those when a fan says her books have touched them in some way.

Author Dianna Love spent a good part of 2007 with Sherri on a whirlwind book tour, and got to see the writer-fan interactions up close and personal.

"I was impressed by her sincere interest in every person who walked up to her at a signing," Dianna said. "In the lobby of a hotel, at the airports (when we are normally run hard after being in a different city every day for several weeks), in a restaurant - wherever. She has the nicest fans. They will arrive hours in advance of a signing - numbering over 150 at each of last year's stops so I expect even more this year. They visit with each other, laughing as they share stories or are excited to meet someone in person they only knew by an online name. 40% of Sherri's readers are men. Many couples come together,bringing their children. Sherri brings lots of things to give away and everyone is given a free raffle ticket so we can give away special items. Our goal is that signings are always an event. And she is just as real and caring as what everyone sees at the signings."



This is a big year for Sherrilyn Kenyon. The Dream Hunter release, Upon The Midnight Clear hit #1 on the NYT in November 2007.





Dream-Chaser hit #1 on the NYT in Feb 2008.



On top of that, she's just released Phantom In The Night, a collaboration with Dianna Love. Sherri talked a little about what it was like to work with another writer.


“The B.A.D. Agency collaboration was tremendous fun. Dianna and I worked well together and she's an amazing writer.”


I’ve heard Dianna and Sherri joke about their time together living moment to moment trying to make the next book signing as they toured around the country, and about their crazy back and forth dialogues as they worked on Phantom through it all. But what came out was a really interesting blend of the two voices. I’ve read Sherri’s books, and of course, Dianna’s, but this didn’t sound like either—and yet it sounded like both. Almost a whole new “writer” formed from two.

" We became close friends long before we ever considered working together," Dianna said. " Sherri...would never intentionally hurt someone’s feelings and neither would I, which is why we had to have a very honest conversation about writing together. We both believe a successful collaboration depends on honesty and agreed on “no sacred cows” – that anyone’s words were up for editing – because the most important thing to both of us was the final story. We laughed a lot. I think a similarity between us is to not take ourselves too seriously, which made discussing ideas and changes easy. "


“It's like fitting a puzzle together.” Sherri said. “Dianna has certain strengths and I have certain strengths and together they just sort of fit. "

"We spent some time discussing the difference in our styles--" Dianna said, "with her trademark humor and I write dark/edgy – to assure we could create a strong story while not damaging our friendship. It takes a great deal of trust to work together. Neither of us had any idea what it would be like to collaborate, no plan, no guidelines. We just went for it. We both wrote through every page to give the story a seamless feel. We were both invested in only one thing – to write the best story we could. "

"Of course, we'd laugh at each other and disagree just like any team," Sherri said, "but in the end I believe we've forged a great partnership.”

And a successful one. Phantom In The Night hit the NYT list on June 19th, and it's remained there for the past two weeks.


There's a bit of a crackle in the air right now—it's the anticipation—so thick you can taste it. This is it.

The Year of Acheron.




There's a counter on Sherri’s website, counting down the days, minutes, and even milli-seconds until the release of Acheron. Fans have waited a long time for Ash to get his story. We've hurt with him, ached for him as we saw him through the stories of the Dark Hunters. This is a pivotal book in the series. Knowing how Sherri feels about her characters—that they’re real—alive—I had to wonder if this was a particularly emotional story for her to tell. Was it difficult for her to approach?

“Definitely,” Sherri said. “Acheron's story is an emotional one. It was hard to write because I've had him to myself for so long, nurturing him and now he's going out into the big, bad world. I hope the readers experience the emotions I went through while telling the story of his life.”


Sherri has said that characters have often gotten in her way and demanded their own stories, not in the order she’d intended. Was Ash cooperative with his story when the time came to write it?

“Yes, he was. I've had the bulk of it written for many years before I sat down to put the pieces together. There were a few moments when I felt like I was being put through the ringer right there with him, but in the end it felt liberating to get it all out.”


I asked Sherri what’s different about Acheron’s book from the others in the series. I’d read that it’s a longer book, but I sensed, from Sherri’s demeanor, that this is an unveiling of sorts—a revealing of something powerful and close to her heart. There’s an intensity about Sherri when she speaks of Acheron.

“Acheron's book is an epic tale. It's HIS story,” she said. “Of course you have the romance as well, but Acheron's story holds true to his title. The fans will know everything there is to know about Ash when they've finished reading.”


I've seen a little of Sherri’s schedule and gotten a sense of the crazy, hectic life-on-tour she’s leading as a hit writer on a roll. It’s clear she appreciates the opportunities she’s earned, but I have to wonder how she does it. It’s the Fourth of July week as I’m writing this. A time for most people to relax and enjoy family. But for Sherrilyn Kenyon, the Year Of Acheron is about to kick into high gear. She was in the middle of a manuscript when she paused to give this interview.

I asked Sherri if there was such a thing as a break for her nowadays. She laughed out loud.

“It's going to be wild for the next couple of months with the tour, K-Con, Comic-Con, just to name a few. I pretty much work around the clock. Luckily, I get to work a lot from home so I can see my family.” She smiled when she spoke of her kids. “Sometimes when I’m traveling I can take my children with me so I don't have to miss them. But yes, I do stay busy.”


Sherri is on the road a LOT. A writing career—any career—with kids is a tough thing to juggle, and a lot of writers know those struggles well. But she’s managed to nudge a growing writing career into an exploding one, all while juggling a young family, including a son with autism. I wondered if the special needs of her child’s autism had changed her. Has it made her a different person—a different WRITER even—than she would have otherwise been?

“ I understand and have always understood what its like to overcome adversity,” she said. “I've had to do it and my son has to live with it on a daily basis. So that could be why I put my characters through so much.” She laughed as she said that, then she grew thoughtful. “I think that any parent with a special needs child learns patience and how truly important it is to love your child for who they are and not who society expects them to be. I am truly blessed to have him in my life.”

On top of all that, Sherrilyn Kenyon, one of the most prolific, fastest writers I know, has dyslexia. When I asked her if she ever got frustrated she laughed again.

“Well,” she said, “I love spellcheck.”


Sherri has to be able to write anywhere, under almost any conditions because she has to keep up the pace for herself, her publishers, and her readers. I asked her how she connects with her “voices” and preserves her creative flow when things were going nuts around her.

“It's hard,” she said, and nodded. “But once I sink into my world and get into the zone, I'm there. The world could possibly fall down around me and I'm still there living with my characters and telling their story.”


Bandita Suz had a couple of questions for Sherri. Suz wondered about the difficulties inherent in writing a long-standing series while still staying true to your vision as an author. Does Sherri ever find the two at cross-purposes? Has she ever felt the temptation to cave to please readers, or go in a direction she hadn’t planned with characters or plot? (And Cassondra adds, knowing Sherri’s characters, would they ever LET her do this?)

“No. I've always done exactly what the characters have told me to do. I think its important as a writer to stay true to them.”


Sherri is one of the most brilliant promoters I’ve ever encountered. Everything from her merchandise for signings to her websites and the emblems she uses for branding. Suz also had a question about those websites. She’s used them to great advantage, and Suz wondered if Sherri credits those websites with helping to build her fan base to what it is today, and does she believe good use of a website can help a writer sell?

“Yes, the websites helped to get the word out,” Sherri said. “I don't know if there's an exact way to help a writer sell. It's just so different for every writer. When I pitched my series and told them I had a website already, some of the editors thought I was nuts. So, it’s just different for everyone.”

Sherri’s bottom line was this.

“Never give up. If you give up, your dreams will never become a reality.”

For my last question to Sherri, I saved the one sent by my husband, Steve, who also happens to be one of Sherrilyn’s fans. Since Sherri writes about things that go bump in the night, Steve asks, “What scares Sherrilyn Kenyon?”

Sherri said, “The color pink.”

So, Bandita friends, What scares YOU?

Are you afraid of the dark?

Do you believe in angels, demons, and their ilk?

Have you ever slept with the light on? (I have.)

Do you have a favorite Sherrilyn Kenyon story? Does one of her Dark Hunters haunt your dreams?

Do you keep the lights on after reading her books? Or do you sleep better believing the Dark Hunters are stalking the night in your defense?

113 comments:

flchen1 said...

What doesn't scare me? ;)

flchen1 said...

Thanks for such a fabulous interview, Sherri and Cassondra! I have to admit that I haven't yet read one of the Dark Hunter books (I AM a serious scaredy cat), but I've had so many friends rave that I do have Fantasy Lover, Night Pleasures, and a few more on the TBR already for when I'm feeling brave.

I have definitely slept with the lights on, and avoid watching scary things like the plague--I made the mistake of watching an episode of the X-Files and YIKES. And embarrassingly, I've had trouble sleeping after an episode of *ahem* Buffy...

I do believe that considering the possibility that demons and angels CAN manifest themselves in some of the ways written about or portrayed in movies and TV is what scares me. And usually avoidance is the route I take, so, uh, I'll be hiding under the covers... I'm sure the Dark Hunters and the GR can take care of any problems ;)

Cassondra said...

Congrats Flchen!

I hope the Golden Rooster doesn't scare you, cuz he's on his way to your house! Muahahahahahaha

You better check his beak to see if there are any little pointy fangs growing out of it...

Anna Campbell said...

Sherri, what a huge thrill to have you in the lair with us! I'm in awe of your success - huge congratulations. I bet it still feels slightly unreal, does it? It's wonderful to see someone make their dreams come true the way you have.

Cassondra said...

It's awesome of her to give us an interview isn't it Anna? I think Dianna will stop by tomorrow as well, and I hope Sherri can get a break from writing to chat with us too.

Cassondra said...

Flchen, I will tell you one thing. The Dark Hunter books are some of the most addictive novels I've ever read. They suck you into that world and you fall SO hard for those heroes that you don't want the book to end--you just want to go on staying there with them. At least that's how they affect me.

They're not scary in a "creep you out" kind of way for me. Although they may be for some people. You should definitely check out all the covers on the Dark Hunter website. Just the pictures on the covers will make you a believer. I've never seen REAL men who looked like that (fans self).

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

GREAT interview, Cassondra!

Sherri, I heard you speak at our local chapter meeting in Jan. 2007 and was astounded at the challenges you have overcome in your career. You are truly inspiring and your advice about never giving up is sooo true!

Congrats on the GR Fedora, but better watch him. I understand he's on some kind of undercover mission...

Leave a light on? NO WAY! I like it pitch black when I sleep. Oh, and considering I write romantic suspense with things that go bump in the night not much keeps me awake. Worry about a loved one is about the only thing. Or excitement about an upcoming event... like National!

Jennifer Y. said...

I love, love, love this post! I am a BIG Kinley Macgregor/Sherrilyn Kenyon fan. I loved her historicals and her B.A.D. books, but only recently started reading the Dark Hunters (not sure what took me so long), but I am hooked and even got every book in the series...LOL...I am working my way through them now and loving them...they are addicting. I really hope to meet Sherrilyn in SF.

So onto the questions...
So, Bandita friends, What scares YOU? Death...that is probably my biggest fear...more so that of a loved one than my own.

Are you afraid of the dark? Not really, but I would prefer to be aware of my surroundings...I am not a fan of haunted houses at carnivals for this reason...don't like things jumping out at me.

Do you believe in angels, demons, and their ilk? I am not sure...

Have you ever slept with the light on? Yes...and my first night alone in my house I slept with a flashlight turned on and in my hand...my cell phone was in the other hand...LOL.

Do you have a favorite Sherrilyn Kenyon story? Does one of her Dark Hunters haunt your dreams? Oh, that's a toughie, but I have only read the first several (the last one I read was Zarek's story...I am going in order according the reading order list)...I loved Fantasy Lover (even though Julian isn't a Dark Hunter) and adored the hero in that one...he is one of my all-time fave heroes now. Kyrian stole my heart as well...Talon was another fave...and I wanted to hug Zarek and help him out...I felt for him. And of course, Ash...gotta love him. He has probably been the one I have dreamed about the most (seriously) because I don't know much about him yet.

Do you keep the lights on after reading her books? Or do you sleep better believing the Dark Hunters are stalking the night in your defense? LOL...No, I turn out the lights...but I have found that lately after reading her books, I start dreaming about myself being in that world...it is the oddest, yet coolest thing and I love when books can do that for me.

Okay, so I rambled...but I was a tad excited...sorry. LOL

Jennifer Y. said...

Flchen, I will tell you one thing. The Dark Hunter books are some of the most addictive novels I've ever read. They suck you into that world and you fall SO hard for those heroes that you don't want the book to end--you just want to go on staying there with them. At least that's how they affect me.

Me too...I am hooked! And I just started reading them last month. LOL

Cassondra said...

Jennifer Y said:

but I have found that lately after reading her books, I start dreaming about myself being in that world...it is the oddest, yet coolest thing and I love when books can do that for me.

Isn't that amazing? I honestly don't know any other series that has had that kind of effect on me, but I've done that too after reading a Dark Hunter novel.

Cassondra said...

Jennifer, I love her Kinley MacGregor books too! I didn't have room in this blog to talk about HALF of the stuff she's done. I wanted to post more pics of those hunky guys on the DH covers too--maybe tomorrow I'll add my favorite (fans self again). I'll never forget the first time I saw that cover--it was on a rack of the hardcover books--it had just come out--and I about had a stroke. WHERE do they find these guys for the covers?

Maybe at the Sanctuary Biker Bar????? ;0)

Helen said...

Well done flchen

What a fantastic interview Ladies
I am sorry but I have not read one of your books Sherri although I have heard so many wonderful things about them. I tend to get a bit scared when reading about vampires and watching horror movies so I tend to stay away from them.
I admire you so much though for all that you have been through and all that you have accompished.
What scares me horror movies I just don't watch them at all and yes I have slept with the light on years a go after watching The Exorcist and have never watched another horror movies since.

Sherrilyn are you still coming to Australia for the Romance Readers convention in Melbourne next Feb because I plan to be there and would love to meet you.

Have Fun
Helen

Christine Wells said...

Sherri, welcome to the Lair! We're so excited to have you with us. Your Dark Hunter series sounds amazing. I tend to stick to historicals, but I'll certainly seek out this series. I've heard so many great things about it.

Cassondra mentioned that you believe your characters exist. I always feel like mine live in a parallel world. Is that how you see yours or is there some other way they tell you their story?

And I wondered if you have any time management tips for writers, given your crazy schedule.

Oh, and pink scares me when it's en masse, like in the girls' section of a toy store. The women's movement didn't seem to do anything about the average little girl's love for pink!

Christine Wells said...

Meant to say, Cassondra, as usual, that was a brilliant interview. Thanks for bringing Sherri to the Lair!

Gillian Layne said...

Congrats on the GR, flchen1. :)

What an amazing interview, Cassondra! I have goosebumps. Sherrilyn certainly has a remarkable career and it's always wonderful to see hard work rewarded.

Heavens, yes, I've slept with the lights on. Don't you hate those nightmares where you wake up and your chest is tight and you can't breathe, and for a few moments you don't know if you're still dreaming or not?

Glad I have a pretty sunrise to look at now. :)

Gannon Carr said...

Congrats on the GR, Flchen!

I've read several of Sherri's books, but have not done the Dark Hunters yet (sounds a little kinky!). I know myself, and I'll be hooked from the get go and get absolutely nothing done at home or work. ;)

I haven't slept with the light on since I was very young. Now, I let my husband keep me safe from scary things. ;)

What does scare me is the death of one my children or my husband. It's a thought I don't even like to contemplate.

I do believe in angels, so I guess I should believe in demons--don't want to think about them either.

Great interview, Cassondra and Sherri!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Congrats Flchen1, the GR will protect you from the bad guys I am sure, after all he was trained for this by P226.

I am so excited about Sherri being in the lair. I am with Flchen, I haven't read the Dark Hunters but I have most of them and when I get them all it will be a marathon of reading. I have read her Kinley Macgregor, kind of working my way into the Dark Hunters. I am reading Taming the Scotsman right now.
So, Bandita friends, What scares YOU?
I am afraid of lots of things, just a natural born coward I guess :-D
Are you afraid of the dark?
Yes, I am afraid of the dark sometimes but the banditas and friends are the only ones that knows it. Can't let my son know mom is afraid of the dark. I am his big bad protector so we will have to keep that little piece of info to ourselves.
Do you believe in angels, demons, and their ilk?
I believe that on occasion there can be manisfestations of good and evil. I have been in situations where I felt evil and also a sense of protection close to me.
Have you ever slept with the light on?
I have slept with the lights on, I have slept with my whole house lit up just in case I had to get up in the night.
Do you have a favorite Sherrilyn Kenyon story? Does one of her Dark Hunters haunt your dreams?
Not yet but I am sure I will eventually. As above I am still going through her Kinley MacGregor, I haven't gathered all of the Dark Hunters yet.
Do you keep the lights on after reading her books? Or do you sleep better believing the Dark Hunters are stalking the night in your defense?
I don't know yet but most likely I will. I had to keep the lights on after NR's Circle Trilogy so I have no doubt the Dark Hunters are going to do the same.

Buffie said...

I have to admit, I must be the only person on the planet who hasn't read one of the Dark Hunter books. I know, I know. I need to correct that immediately. But I have read all of Kinley MacGregor's stuff and totally love her!!! My all time favorite hero is Sin. What a fabulous character! I met Sherri/Kinley last year at the M&M Conference in Atlanta. It was my very first author signing and there was Sherri. I about died!!!! She was so gracious -- signed my almost torn apart BORN IN SIN and my canvas tote bag. She even let me have my picture taken with her. Total fan girl moment.

As far as being scared -- oh yeah, I get scared. I don't like things that go bump in the night. I don't like creepy crawlers. I can't sit through an horror movies. Heck, sometimes I can't even watch an episode of Law & Order. But I have to sleep in totaly darkness. I can't stand to have a light on or the tv. Drives my crazy.

Dianna Love said...

Hi Cassondra and all -

What a fabulous interview Cassondra did! I'm always sending people here because this is such a wonderful blog site with some many interesting topics.

Sherri may not be on until a bit later since she normally writes until the wee hours of the morning (the time that I usually get up "g") and she's on CST.

For those who think the Dark-Hunter books might be too scary - they aren't. Sherri builds these huge worlds with a lot of wonderful characters and very emotional stories. I never would read scary things because I have such a vivid imagination I knew I'd use that information subconsciously to create worse monsters.

But I thoroughly enjoy the Dark-Hunter stories. They are very entertaining and full of Sherri's signature wit.

Helen - Yes, we're both going to Australia in February! You'll be signing the THE MAGIC KNOT - right? Aren't you going to be in SF for RWA national this year?

I'll jump in today as I get breaks from a project I'm on. Great to see all of you.

Dianna

Gannon Carr said...

Hi Dianna, and welcome!!

Christine Wells said...

Dianna, thanks so much for joining us also and for the lovely compliment on our blog. I admire you and Sherri working together to produce a cohesive novel, not just taking different characters or points of view. What did you learn along the way? Will you repeat the experience?

terrio said...

I have to say I have not read Ms. Kenyon's books (though several are on my TBR shelf) but I have a couple of friends who adore her. I was fortunate enough to hear her speak at the NJ conference last fall, and I lost track of how many times she made me cry. But then she turned right around and made me laugh. The woman gives a pep talk like nobody's business.

Then I met her at the signing. I started by explaining I had not read the books and the one I was buying was for a friend. This made no difference to Ms. Kenyon. She hugged me and talked to me as if there was no one else in the room. I honestly have no idea how anyone could meet this woman and not fall in love with her.

So thank you, Ms. Kenyon, for being so special and so generous. You're a shining example of a great author in many, many ways.

terrio said...

Forgot to answer the questions. What scares me is anything that has to do with my daughter in harm's way. My biggest fear is someone taking her. Even when it's irrational and I know she's safe, I still worry. I'm guessing that's never going to go away, even when she has her own kids.

Of course, then I'll have them to worry about too.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey guys, just crawling in from work and looking for my bed...(oh it's still down the hall where I left it!), but wanted to stop in and welcome Sherrilyn to the Bandit Lair!!

Great interview Cassondra! But you always have great interviews...:)

Congrats Fedora on snagging the GR!

Okay, what am I afraid of? Snakes. Really evil people dressed as nice people. Tornadoes. (I grew up in the midwest and now live in TX...don't like tornadoes!!)

Favorite Sherrilyn Kenyon story? Wulf and Bride's. He was just so Yummy, and in love with a larger woman...oh yeah, my kind of guy/wolf/guy...well you get the idea!

Newest SK Addiction? Playing the Dark Hunter quiz on Facebook. hehehe

Eva S said...

Thanks for the great interview Sherri and thanks Cassondra for bringing one of my favorite authors to the lair! I fell in love with the Dark Hunters after the first book I read, they are all on my keeper shelf and I'm SO waiting for Acheron!
I am scared of the most(you wouldn't know that when looking at my bookshelves with all the vampires and werewolves, LOL)and I'm sleeping with a light on but the Dark Hunters don't haunt my dreams, I'd love to dream about them....
No favorite, if I was to choose one it would be Wren although he's a Were-Hunter, tigers are gorgeous animals...

Beth said...

Thanks so much for being here today, Sherri and Dianna!

I'm afraid I haven't read any of Sherrilyn's Dark Hunter books - a situation which I mean to rectify as soon as possible!! This will be my Summer Of The Dark Hunters *g* I can't wait!!

As far as what scares me - lots and lots of things *g* I'm a big 'fraidy cat :-)

Thanks for the awesome interview, Cassondra!

Kim Howe said...

Fabulous interview, Cassondra. I had the pleasure of hearing Sherrilyn and Dianna speak at National last year. Their warmth and humor were contagious; their knowledge of the industry was amazing. A little story to show just how generous these successful ladies are...I was fortunate to win a critique from Dianna. She was coming to Toronto for a book-signing tour with Sherrilyn. Dianna spent a couple of hours with me critiquing my work. Those gems of wisdom really helped my writing, but what stays with me most is her kindness. I'll always be a fan of this awesome twosome! I wish them both all the best.

Joan said...

Hi Sherri! (Joanie T waves from the back)

It's so exciting to have you with us in the Lair! Dianna's visited before (btw, Ms. Snell...we've been missing a cabana boy since then....)

I was fortunate enough to meet Sherri about 8 years ago. She had come all the way from Tenn. to a small...small...chapter retreat in Eastern KY. It happened that we were staying in the same small hotel.

I had just read "Fantasy Lover" (Original cover...yummmm...thank you very much)and was already a bit in awe of her.

But, Sherri has a knack...a gift...of making you feel like she's known you all her life. Soon my friend and I were helping her carry her stuff into the hotel.
(She had me carrying a hard drive in an afghan. She told me it had the story of someone calle Acheron on it. Eeeeeek)

Then she invited us into her room where we stayed up until the wee hours talking writing. I can NOT tell you how encouraging she was for me personally when I told her my stories were set in Rome. "Never give up" was the passionate theme of her advice and I haven't.

To this day, when she sees me at a conference etc. one of her first
questions is "How are your Roman guys doing?"

And yes Sherri...you are a phenomena now. The adoration and love your fans have for you is astouding but oh, so well deserved.

Last year, at the RWA signing, I was in line to pay for books and this little woman from Dallas was chatting with me. We could see your black swan hat from where we were (Couldn't get NEAR you for the tidal wave of fans) and she told me...with such affection in her voice...what a great writer you were, how she LOVED your books and with tears in her eyes what a kind, sweet person you were.

You touched her life in so many ways.

I don't know how you do it. The friend and caregiver in me wants to make sure you're taking your vitamins and getting enough rest. The writer in me gives thanks for having such a role model to follow.

And the fashion maven in me thinks I look pretty in Pink :-)

Joan said...

Oh, there were actually more questions???

Am I afraid of anything? I don't like evil themed things. I do better now then when I was younger, but there's a reason I keep Holy Water by my bed...

I do believe in angels.

I was scared spitless by "Jurrasic Park". Pfffft.....you can't tell me that those velasorapters weren't scratching at my bedroom window.

Zarek is my favorite Sherri hero. A small, frightened boy who just wanted to be loved....hidden beneath a raging, cold wounded hero....

Yum.

Oh, and Sherri....Demetrius, the Lair's resident gladiator is yours for the day. (Dianna already has a cabana boy....don't you Ms. Snell :-)

Louisa Cornell said...

And the GR is BACK with his girlfriend! WTG Fedora!

I have been fortunate enough to meet Sherrilyn and Diana on numerous occasions as they both have a close association with my home chapter, Southern Magic.

They are both FABULOUS ladies and have encouraged me in my pursuit of publication in so many ways. Both of their stories are a real inspiration to an aspiring writer.

My favorite Sherrilyn Kenyon stories are DANCE WITH THE DEVIL and SEIZE THE NIGHT. I cannot wait for ACHERON!! And Sheri and Diana's book is on my TBR stack waiting for me to finish revisions, etc.

I do believe in demons and angels. (I've taught high school students. I KNOW there are demons walking the earth!)

Hmm. I would say Acheron and Valerius haunt my dreams. That's all I'm saying about that!

I HAVE slept with the lights on. My brother, his best friend and I went to see THE EXORCIST when it came out in theaters (telling my age!) I was in college, they were in high school. We ALL slept with the lights on that night!

I am not afraid of the dark per se. There are times I get a little hinky about it. I live in the middle of nowhere alone. BUT as I have nine dogs outside in dog runs and three small yappy dogs in the house there is very little that can sneak up on me!

What scares me? Intellectually - not living up to my full potential.

Physically - Crazy people. My late DH was a prison shrink, so I know there are some really sick puppies out there. I know how to fight spiritual evil. Physical evil is harder to fight.

MsHellion said...

I'm scared of SNAKES.

I do believe in angels, demons, and things that go bump in the night. (Though I believe in more things that are good than bad.)

My favorite Kenyon novel (God, it's hard to pick one--there is something to love about all of them): Dance With The Devil. Zarek's story made me cry. He had not done anything to deserve what had happened to him, and I could relate to how cynical and bitter he was at the world because of it... The fact he was loved anyway, despite his cynicism and bitterness--and that he was able to love and trust in return: that was an awesome story.

Admittedly I love Night Pleasures too, because Kyrian is damned HAWT and I love any guy who wakes up in the morning, grins at you and says, "Today is a good day to die" and then sets about having the best time ever.

I cannot wait for Ash's book. Oo-la-la. Pre-ordered and cannot wait for it to ship to my hot little hands!

sarah said...

Okay... I'm weird. I have to sleep with the door to the bedroom closed, but the closet door has to be open.

I don't know why.

Jane Graves said...

What a fabulous interview! I laughed out loud at "the color pink." Now, THAT'S funny.

I also wanted to say how thrilled we are that Sherri is going to be joining us at the third annual Buns & Roses Romance Tea this year as keynote speaker. The tea is on October 12 in Richardson, TX, a suburb of Dallas. We have thirty of today's hottest romance authors coming in from all around the country to host tables.

As always, we'll have some really amazing raffle items, door prizes, a big booksigning with all the authors participating, and all kinds of other fun surprises. All proceeds from our event go to promote literacy.

In a few short years, Buns & Roses has become a true don't-miss-it event that gives attendees a fabulous opportunity to spend an afternoon with romance authors and chat with other romance readers. And this year, we're more excited than ever because Sherri is going to be our special guest! Follow this URL for more information about the event and the authors attending:

http://www.bunsandrosestea.org

We'd love to have you join us!

Dianna Love said...

Gannon – Hi back (waving at you from Peachtree City, GA)

Christine – Thanks for the lovely note. What did I learn from cowriting the latest BAD Agency novel with Sherri? That it wasn’t what I had always perceived a collaboration to be on having heard so many people talk about splitting up characters and scenes. Of course, neither of us had collaborated on a fiction story before so we didn't really have a set idea on what to do.

Sherri and I didn’t discuss splitting up anything. There were times when one of us wrote more of the “first draft” parts. For example, I like to do the opening scenes and integrate the heavy suspense parts. Sherri knew Tee and Joe better than I did. I built more of the big conspiracy, but Sherri knew New Orleans better (I hadn’t spent a lot of time there in a few years) and things like the classic Javelin car. But we both edited back through all of the book so any areas written by one of us was rewritten by the other. We wanted a fluid feel to the read so the reader wouldn’t be jarred out of the story by a switch in style.

I might be able to pick out a handful of sentences and say Sherri wrote that or I wrote that so I think (hope) we captured that single voice feel we wanted. It takes a lot of trust and respect to write that way and we both have that for each other.

Hi Kim – It was a real pleasure to read your material. Hope to see you in August when we're back in Toronto for ACHERON.

Hi Joan – Yes, I still have the cabana boy since he's so good at making AppleTinis. LOL - It’s easy to end up talking all night with Sherri since she hits her stride about midnight. “g”

Hi Louisa – I do love to visit Southern Magic – a super chapter full of great members.


Ms. Hellion – Zarek’s book is one of my favorite’s too – I’ve used that example in several writing workshops.

Hi Flchen, Anna, Jennifer, Aunt Cindy, Gillian, the “other” Dianna, Buffie, Beth, Terrio, Eva, Suzanne (and anyone I missed – hope I didn’t) – Thanks for the notes of welcome. I’m enjoying the really interesting answers to the questions.

Buffie said...

**THUNK** Let me pick myself off of the floor.

Diana -- I can't believe you said Peachtree City. I live on the south side of Atlanta too -- Locust Grove.

Trish Milburn said...

Hey, Sherri! Good to see you come up for a breath and hang with us today. I know your schedule is absolutely nutso.

Had to laugh at pink scaring you. Have to admit, can't imagine seeing you wear that color. :)

Your story is always so inspiring to me, no matter how many times I hear it. It was stories like yours that kept me going through all those years of "no" before I sold. Looking forward to seeing you in San Fran.

As for the questions, I've mentioned here before that I'm a big on fraidy cat. Funny that I like so many dark books then. I do sleep with the lights on when my husband isn't home. I jump at every little creak the house makes.

Cassondra said...

helen said:

What scares me horror movies I just don't watch them at all and yes I have slept with the light on years a go after watching The Exorcist and have never watched another horror movies since.

Helen I don't watch horror moview either! My husband loves them, but he knows if he gets one he's on his own. I can't even listen to the track from the other room. I have to be away from it.

Interesting though, that Sherri's books don't scare me.

Cassondra said...

Christine said:

I tend to stick to historicals, but I'll certainly seek out this series. I've heard so many great things about it.

Well, these guys are thousands of years old, so you won't find yourself too far afield. ;0)

Cassondra said...

gillian layne said:

Sherrilyn certainly has a remarkable career and it's always wonderful to see hard work rewarded.

Isn't it though? It's almost a Cinderella story all its own in some ways--to hear/see what she's gone through and finally to see her hard work paying off is really encouraging to me. Oh, and her husband is a cutie too--and he looks at her like she's the only woman walking on the planet!--has a bit of Prince Charming in him I think! ;0)

Cassondra said...

gannon said:

I know myself, and I'll be hooked from the get go and get absolutely nothing done at home or work. ;)

It's true! Once you start you can't stop. It's the most addictive series I've ever touched. There are a couple I have not read (I got a little out of order) and I'm trying to block out time to read them. I know it'll take me all one sitting to do it--I won't stop reading once I start, so those all-night reading marathons are something I have to plan for.

Cassondra said...

hrdwrkdmom said:
I am afraid of lots of things, just a natural born coward I guess :-D

Hey, anybody who has had a baby is a lot braver than I am! THAT is the thing that scares me most--going through pregnancy, labor and delivery. My husband and I ended up not having kids, so here I am a middle aged woman and the whole idea of it still wigs me out completely!

Bring on the big bad demons(hey, I've got a sword), but leave the crying, screaming, pooping, cutiepie, ruin your figure,can't-do-anything-for-themselves helpless little pink bundles with somebody who knows how to keep them alive!

Cassondra said...

buffie said:

I can't sit through horror movies. But I have to sleep in totaly darkness. I can't stand to have a light on or the tv. Drives my crazy.

Me too buffie! I can read horror, but I can't WATCH it. Somehow my own visuals--well, I guess I can control those. I can't control what happens on the screen. If it's bad, it stays with me for weeks and bothers me. The books--I sort of filter them to my own level of what's okay I guess.

And I can't sleep with the lights on either. The tv is worse--if it's in the other room and the door is cracked open--the constant flashing on the wall drives me crazy. Gotta have darkness to sleep.

Cassondra said...

Dianna Love said:

I'll jump in today as I get breaks from a project I'm on. Great to see all of you.

Hi Dianna! Welcome back to the lair! I'm glad you could drop in, and thanks for helping tell the story of who Sherrilyn is.

And CONGRATULATIONS on PITN hitting the LIST!

Cassondra said...

Terrio said:
I lost track of how many times she made me cry. But then she turned right around and made me laugh. The woman gives a pep talk like nobody's business.

Doesn't she though!

I actually DID put on makeup to go to the banquet in Pensacola this past spring, but there was no use. By the time Sherri was done I'd cried it all off. Even the guys in the room were crying.

Cassondra said...

Suz said:

Really evil people dressed as nice people. Tornadoes. (I grew up in the midwest and now live in TX...don't like tornadoes!!)

No kidding Suz! The evil people in sheep's clothing are the scary stuff aren't they? And tornadoes? You know that was my recurring nightmare when I was a kid. A tornado was coming and I couldn't get my family to listen and go to the basement. I had that dream all through my childhood. I'm sure a psychoanalyst would have a ball with that one!

I had a real fear of them so I took a weather spotter class and now I go out and watch for rotation in clouds to report it--and now I like being out in that weather! Ha! One more fear subdued by a smackdown!

Cassondra said...

eva said:

No favorite, if I was to choose one it would be Wren although he's a Were-Hunter, tigers are gorgeous animals...

I'm reading Wren's book now eva. It's one of the ones I got out of order. And I think he's turning out to be my favorite so far.

Cassondra said...

Beth said:

I'm afraid I haven't read any of Sherrilyn's Dark Hunter books - a situation which I mean to rectify as soon as possible!! This will be my Summer Of The Dark Hunters *g* I can't wait!!

You HAVE to read them. They change you. Honest. And besides, I guess I have a little of a pimp in me. I like hooking people on stuff. (evil grin)

Cassondra said...

Kim said:

Their knowledge of the industry was amazing.

This is the absolute truth. They are my go-to people when I need to know something about somebody or something in the biz. The class I sat in on with Sherri doing her talk about the biz was just incredible. If it's happened, it's happened to Sherrilyn Kenyon--agents, editors, the good, the bad and the ugly of every aspect. And still, she's like the Energizer Bunny--she just keeps writing...and writing....

Cassondra said...

Joan said:

To this day, when she sees me at a conference etc. one of her first
questions is "How are your Roman guys doing?"


Isn't that amazing Joan? It's an incredible example of really caring about people, but honestly I don't know how she does it--how she remembers people and stuff about them. You know what they say about us only using a small part of our brains? Well, apparantly she uses more than most folks????

Cassondra said...

Louisa Cornell said:

What scares me? Intellectually - not living up to my full potential.

Wow, Louisa, you nailed it for me too--except it's artistically. When I know it's in there and I can't get it out onto the paper or the canvas or into the song the way I want it to be-when I can't get the flow going artistically--that's actually almost physically painful, and sometimes I'm afraid I'll never get it going again.

It's interesting that this is your fear--not living up to your potential, because it certainly is MINE. I can defend myself against physical threats (most of them anyhow) but my inner demons--they have an advantage ya know?

Cassondra said...

hellion said:

I'm scared of SNAKES.

Are you?

I conquered that one--at least a little. I've figured out that what I don't like about snakes and mice is that they startle me. I HATE HATE HATE being startled, and you often don't see them until you're right up on them. But I have a husband who will catch snakes just to look at them, so I've held and touched them now--my brother in law had a red-tailed boa named Moses and I got to hold him and he was AWESOME. Very zen.

But when I walk up on them in the tall grass and they take off and startle me--I hate that.

I still can't let them wrap around my arm without wigging out, but I'm not actually afraid of the snake itself any more. Well--poisonous ones--but not regular old rat snakes and garter snakes--those are okay.

Mice are the same--they're quick and they hide and they startle me. My mom used to absolutely FREAK OUT if a mouse was anywhere near. I think she had this deep-seated fear that it was gonna run up her leg or something. I was like, "Mom, your leg is the LAST place that mouse wants to be." The little dance she did when one was around was really funny though.

Wait. That's mean of me, isn't it. Sorry.

Cassondra said...

sarah said:

Okay... I'm weird. I have to sleep with the door to the bedroom closed, but the closet door has to be open.

I don't know why.


Hmmm. that is interesting. Maybe the closet is the portal to the plane where the Dark Hunters live.

Muahahahahahahahaha!

Cassondra said...

jane graves said:

In a few short years, Buns & Roses has become a true don't-miss-it event


Jane, EVERYBODY is talking about this event! Dianna told me about it last year and I wanted to come down there just to be in the middle of where the happenin' action was!

Thanks for giving us a link to the event. I hear it's awesome!

Cassondra said...

buffie said:

**THUNK** Let me pick myself off of the floor.


NO! Buffie, just lie there. Maybe that hot guy in your avatar will pick you up if you lie there long enough! (Cassondra fans self)

Pat Cochran said...

Great interview from Sherri and
Cassondra! Yes, I do believe in angels, I am sometimes afraid of the dark, and sleep with my bedside lamp on, especially when Honey had some medical testing done!

Buffie, you are not alone! I haven't read ANY of Sherri's books! I keep saying I'll try, but haven't done so as yet!!

Pat Cochran

Jennifer Y. said...

Congrats Dianna on the release!

Loved reading about how you wove things together...that's cool. And I can't wait to get a copy of the book (I am a bit behind).


P.S. I am in Stone Mountain, myself.

Cassondra said...

Trish said:

I do sleep with the lights on when my husband isn't home. I jump at every little creak the house makes.

I'm that way too Trish. I still can't sleep with the lights on (plus I don't like for people to be able to look in and see me) but I get no rest when he's not here.

When Steve isn't home, I barely sleep. I'm not entirely sure why--he can't hear at all--from his days as a soldier and having ordnance dropped short and go off almost right on top of him he's about deaf. Somebody could run a tank through the front of our house and he wouldn't hear it. We're like the funny little old couple--she can't see and he can't hear so he carries her around the house and she shows him what to do.....

I can't see--maybe that's part of the poor sleeping--When he's not in the house it takes me a long while to get my contacts in and get to where I can see if I hear a noise. When he's here I can just wake him up and he can check out what's happening. So I guess I'm just subconsciously kind of "on alert" to give myself extra time to react.

Cassondra said...

Pat said:

Buffie, you are not alone! I haven't read ANY of Sherri's books! I keep saying I'll try, but haven't done so as yet!!

Pat, it's time. But be prepared--they're like potato chips--you can't eat just one.

Buffie said...

Jennifer Y -- really??? I didn't know you were that close! I knew you were in Georgia, but not the Atlanta area.

Are you going to the M&M Conference in October? I met Sherri/Kinley there last year and she was so wonderful.

Buffie said...

Cassondra -- I think I could lay on the floor for my entire life and Andre wouldn't show up. But that's what my dream are for ;0

Nancy said...

Fedora, congrats on the rooster! Uh . . . you'd do better to depend on the Dark Hunters for protection. Despite p226's training, the GR is, well, unreliable in that department. At best.

Great interview, Cassondra and Sherri. Am I afraid of the dark? Nooo . . . more like, afraid of what might lurk in the dark! I just started a cool book, At Day's Close: Night in Times Past, about the way people in preindustrial Europe viewed and dealt with darkness. Yes, I've definitely slept with the lights on.

I noticed the same things Dianna did about Sherri's fans. I went to her signing at an independent bookstore in my hometown, and it was HUGE. She also took time beforehand to go to coffee with local RWA chapter members and to dinner afterward and answered numerous questions. There's always a big crowd around her after panels at DragonCon.

My favorites of Sherri's books are actually Kinley MacGregor books, the Lords of Avalon. I'm a sucker for all things Arthurian, and she put a wonderful spin on the theme.

Helen, I get scared, too. A friend of mine told me I wasn't to read a certain crime fiction bestseller "unless you're in an airplane over an ocean in broad daylight because you won't sleep otherwise." So I've abstained.

Dianna, Phantom In The Night was face-out at Borders last night, you may be interested to know. I'm looking forward to reading it. Right now, I'm using the templates from the excellent Break Into Fiction seminar I took with you and Mary Buckham to revise a ms.

Beth, Not Without Her Family was also face-out, and I got the next to last copy.

Jennifer Y. said...

Are you going to the M&M Conference in October? I met Sherri/Kinley there last year and she was so wonderful.

I am hoping to get to the signing at least. I went last year too...I was so nervous though I just kind of stood around staring...LOL.

terrio said...

Buffie & JenniferY - I'm planning on attending M&M this year. We'll have to have a get together.

Buffie - I see you won over here and if you head over to the pirate ship, you'll see you've been very lucky lately. *g*

Susan Seyfarth said...

Cassondra--thanks again for introducing me to such a wonderful voice & talent. I'm ashamed to admit I haven't read any of Sherilyn's work but am scurrying off at this very moment to snap up her backlist. :-)

As for what scares me? I'm with flchen1. What doesn't? I'm a 'fraidy cat. I still jog up the basement stairs sometimes, & when my husband's out of town, I avoid doing laundry at night at all because the basement is so...well...dark.

And maybe I just don't like laundry. Hard to say. :-) But pink doesn't phase me. So there's that.

Cassondra said...

Susan said:

As for what scares me? I'm with flchen1. What doesn't? I'm a 'fraidy cat. I still jog up the basement stairs sometimes, & when my husband's out of town, I avoid doing laundry at night at all because the basement is so...well...dark.

Hey, you're not afraid of BEARS! You're braver than I am.

And I used to run up the stairs at my parents' house. But I was NOT being a fraidy cat. There were monsters down there.

I don't have a basement now, so one less thing to worry about.

Cassondra said...

Oh, and for anybody who wants to read Sherri's books but hasn't started, she has a "correct reading order" on her website. You don't HAVE to read them in that order, but it's cooler if you do.

Donna MacMeans said...

Grrr...connectivity problems. As this is my third message (the others are in the ether somewhere) just wanted to say - great interview!

Sherrilyn - waving Hi - we met when you spoke at the COFW conference a couple of years ago. You were motivational then and continue to be so. Thank you for the encouragement and let me reiterate your motto - Never give up the dream.

Minna said...

Never been afraid of the dark, only times I've slept the lights on have been when I've fallen asleep reading a book. And some very people -like bullies- have been much scarier than any ghosts or vampires.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Okay, I get to add my meeting Sherrilyn story too. (Now that I've slept a few hours it might make sense!)

Sherrilyn came to Dallas for our Dreamin In Dallas conference in 2005. We were all thrilled and the booksigning attendees swelled with her fans. On Saturday after the conference officially ends we split into groups and take our guest speakers and Industry professionals out to different restaurants. I was lucky enough to go with Sherrilyn's group to a Tex-Mex restaurant. It was great fun talking over margaritas (me, Sandy and Jo Davis) and diet coke (Sherrilyn) and lots of chips and queso!!

When I saw Sherrilyn the next year in Reno standing alone waiting for someone, she remembered me with a big smile!! (Made me feel great!)

And I can't wait to reconnect this summer or definitely at the Buns & Roses Tea in the fall! And Cassondra...you come on down and we'll make ya feel real welcome!

Buffie said...

Jennifer Y -- I was at the signing last year too!!! Small world!

TerriO & Jennifer -- I will definitely be at the signing and probably at Teresa's keynote addres, as I hear it is open to the public for free. We will need to try to met up. BTW, AndreaW from RNTV will be there too. We are actually going together like we did last year. Actually, most of the reviewers at RNTV will be there (me, Andrea, PJ, and Gannon). Jenna Petersen will be attending this year and she talking about setting up something for the readers too. We definitely need to all stay in touch. I can't wait to meet you wonderful ladies :)

Buffie said...

TerriO -- thanks for letting me know about the pirate ship win. It really must be my lucky week.

Helen said...

I am doing the happy dance over here I am so looking forward to meeting Sherri and Diana at the conference in Melbourne next year, Diana I wish I could be in San Francisco maybe one day I will get to RWA.
With all the recomendations about Sherri's books I need to add them to my to get list.
Have Fun
Helen

Natalie Hatch said...

There's a free Sherrilyn Kenyon ebook available from her publishing house... Seize the Night.
It's a good read. I've been procrastinating my own writing by reading it. (research)
Thanks for the insights Sherri.

Cassondra said...

Minna said:

only times I've slept the lights on have been when I've fallen asleep reading a book. And some very people -like bullies- have been much scarier than any ghosts or vampires.

Hey I admit I've done that too. I like to read in bed before I turn out the light. Sometimes I fall asleep with my contacts in. Ew.

And you're right Minna. Mean people right here on our dimension can be much scarier than those on other dimensions.

Cassondra said...

Suz said:

And I can't wait to reconnect this summer or definitely at the Buns & Roses Tea in the fall! And Cassondra...you come on down and we'll make ya feel real welcome!

I'd love to come down there Suz! BTW, my husband was walking by the computer and read over my shoulder and said "Buns and roses????? BUNS & Roses???????!!!!!" Then he just laughed out loud and walked into the other room.

Cassondra said...

Helen said:
Diana I wish I could be in San Francisco maybe one day I will get to RWA.

Oh Helen that would be SO cool. The big literacy signing is always on Wednesday night and you would LOVE IT! About 350-400 authors all signing in one room. EVERYBODY is there. It's one big party--and I admit it does get a little loud.

Cassondra said...

natalie hatch said:

I've been procrastinating my own writing by reading it. (research)

Natalie I wouldn't know about that procrastinating thing....ahem...(digs toe in dirt, fingers crossed behind back)

Pat Cochran said...

So sorry, Fedora! I forgot to send
you congratulations on nabbing the
GR!

Cassondra, thanks for the tip about Sherri's "correct reading order."

Pat Cochran

Sherrilyn said...

WOW! You guys are fun and you've made me blush profusely :D Sorry I didn't get on here earlier. It's been one of those days where my kids are trying to kill each other and the phone won't stop ringing :) We have so much going on in prep for the upcoming tour that I don't know if I'm coming or going.

Or did I just turn around in circles?

Definitely circles LOL.

Hey all you GA people, I was born in Columbus (FT Benning) and grew up in Riverdale. Heck, I'm an UGA girl :) All my family is still down there too so I'm there all the time.

It's so great to see so many familiar faces. Joan, I remember that day so well with you and Vicky. I think of you guys all the time.

Trish! I miss seeing my MCRW peeps. Cassondra you know how much I adore you and THANK YOU for that wonderful article you wrote. I dunno if I deserve all that :) but it's nice to read it.

Dianna, you are my sanity amidst great chaos-- not to mention she negates my bad travel karma LOL. You have to adore someone who negates evil ju-ju.

Okay the baby is trying to cook the cat (cringe) lemme go feed him and I'll be back on in a bit.

Hugs to all of you!!

Nancy said...

Buffie and Jennifer, I'm going to M&M, and I think some of the other banditas are, too. I hope to see you there.

I'm with Cassondra. I dunno about no procrastinatin'. It's research, y'all, research! *g*

Cassondra said...

Sherrilyn Kenyon said:

I dunno if I deserve all that :) but it's nice to read it.

OF COURSE you deserve it!

And I thought you were born in Mississippi! Dang! Okay now I have to edit the article. Okay do you know your Wikipedia entry says you were born in Mississippi? (Okay at least you HAVE your own Wikipedia entry even though it's WRONG.)

Okay off to change my article. That's the cool thing about cyberspace. You can edit it!

Sherri we're so glad you got to stop by, and we're looking forward to Acheron and your tour this year.

Huge congrats on hitting the top of the List and here's to another round of it with the next release.

Buffie said...

Sherri -- Riverdale!!!!!!!!!!!!! O.M.G.!!!!!! I grew up in Riverdale too. Went to Riverdale Junior High School and Riverdale High School. I'm gonna just drop if we went to school together!

Buffie said...

Nancy -- that is so great about the M&M Conference. I'd definitely like to know which Banditas will be attending the signing.

Buffie said...

Oh, and Sherri, I won't hold the UGA thing against you :) We have to go with GA Tech at my house since my nephew is there now.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Sherri, and thanks so much for interviewing with Cassondra. Your career has been so extraordinary that we beginning writers can learn a lot from you. I heard you speak locally once and I was amazed and inspired by your journey.

I'm so glad Acheron's story is finally being told!

Sherrilyn said...

Buffie, it's a good bet we did LOL. I went to RJH, but graduated North Clayton (West Clayton & Church St Elem-- they kept changing the dang school districts on me). But our house was right there on deadman's curve (King Rd). I won't say when I graduated for I am in heavy denial :) But it was 2 years after they put in Krispy Kreme on HWY 85. My cousins all went to RHS, NCHS, Macintosh and Forest Park. BTW if you have a sister Boni, I do know you :D

MS?! Really, Cassondra? Nope born at Martin Army hospital at FT. Benning (same place as my hubby). My kids were born in MS, but I didn't move there until my late 20's. I'm a GA girl :D

Hugs!

Sherrilyn said...

Aww thank you Jo and Cassondra, you guys rock. Yeah it was a hard row to hoe :) But hey if someone had to be the guinea pig better me than someone who'd have given up :) I'm too stubborn to quit :) That Southern Celt, we don't know when to lay down and give up.

Hugs!

Sherrilyn said...

Buffie, LOL bring up the GT thing why don't you :D One of my best buds used to go there while I was at UGA. I used to give her a bee in a noose :D

Hugs!

Cassondra said...

Sherri said:

a bee in a noose

A bee in a noose? Would a bee happen to be the mascot of this school, and was the noose a threat perchance?

I'm just guessin here.....

Sherrilyn said...

The mighty yellow jacket is their mascot :) and I killed it LOL.

Hugs!

Cassondra said...

Sherri, here are some questions I've wondered about if you get a chance to consider them:

Christine asked a little earlier about how your characters tell you their stories...she says she feels like hers live in a parallel world. Is that so for you? Are they there with you but invisible to the rest of us? Do they have their own individual "voices" you recognize as we do people we know well?

Have you ever been startled by a new person coming on "stage" that you don't know?

Dianna Love said...

Sarah – I can completely understand leaving the closet door open.
Hi Jane – Looking forward to seeing everyone at Buns & Roses again. Great Event.
Hi Buffie – LOL – how fun to find out you’re in the Southern Arc
Hi Trish – Can’t wait until September for your first book – A FIREFIGHTER IN THE FAMILY!!
Cassondra – I’m with you when it comes to raising a kid being scarier than anything I’ve ever faced! I would watch my nieces when they were babies and spend half the time just staring at them, wondering what I was supposed to do next. Thankfully, my SIL would write out a schedule in practically fifteen minute increments. And, no, she’s not anal – she KNEW I’d be in a panic without a constant reference guide. “g” [ps – thanks for the sweet note about the “list”]
Hi Pat – Thank goodness we have guardian angels! You have to try a Dark-Hunter, but they do come with Cassondra’s warning about not being able to read just one.
Hi Jennifer – thanks for the note and St. Mountain, huh? My first house in the Atlanta area was in St. Mountain.

Hi Nancy – Thanks for the note on Phantom and the nice plug on our Break Into Fiction program. I’m soooo glad that is helpful. That was the whole reason Mary and I started that. And THANKS for telling me about Beth’s book. How did I miss knowing about that?
Beth – Congrats on NOT WITHOUT HER FAMILY hitting the shelves!! [note to self – pick up tomorrow]
Hi Susan – Yep, once you get started on those hot Dark-Hunters, they’re hard to put down.

Hi Donna – I feel your pain on the connectivity. Sometimes I just get booted and booted.

Hi Minna – How true about some types of people being scarier than vampires.
Suzanne – Yay, we’ll see you in Texas for Buns & Roses.
Helen – Well, if we won’t see you until February – we’ll just have to celebrate all your good news then, especially the new book. Can’t wait.

Hi Natalie – Good point about the free read. That’s always a good thing.
Hi Jo – I think I’m going to close out with a hello and goodbye here. So good to visit some today.
Cassondra – Thanks again for the amazing job you always do on these interviews.
Take care everyone, Dianna

Cassondra said...

Dianna thanks so much for stopping by. It's always great to see you here in the lair.

Have a great night and a good holiday weekend!

Buffie said...

Sherri -- Nope, no sister named Boni. I graduated in 1989. My dh graduated from North Clayton in 1988. Is that close to when you graduated? I know exactly where deadman's curve is and when I was at RJH we lived not too far from there. You know, we probably rode the same bus to school! Small, small world.

Will you be at the M&M conference signing this year?

Buffie said...

Cassondra, the mascot for Georgia Tech is the mighty yellow jacket. And the rivalry between Tech and UGA is unbelievable.

Jennifer Y. said...

Oh, and Sherri, I won't hold the UGA thing against you :) We have to go with GA Tech at my house since my nephew is there now

Yeah, um...our household is full of UGA Bulldog fans all the way!

Oh, yeah, the UGA and GT rivalry can get downright scary.

Hi Jennifer – thanks for the note and St. Mountain, huh? My first house in the Atlanta area was in St. Mountain
Very cool...I have lived here my entire life.

VoodooGoddess said...

Hey Sherri and Cassondra!


So, Bandita friends, What scares YOU?

If Sherri stops writing or the end of the Dark Hunters. Don't know what I'd do!


Are you afraid of the dark?

Oh no, some of my favorite things come out at night.


Do you believe in angels, demons, and their ilk?

To some extent.


Have you ever slept with the light on?

Yup, for about a week after reading Stephen King's IT.


Do you have a favorite Sherrilyn Kenyon story? Does one of her Dark Hunters haunt your dreams?

Well I was the only Artie at the first K-Con in a room full of Sim's. I had applied a vampire bite tattoo on my neck and when a Simi would hiss at me I would ask them "have you seen Ash" when they said no I brushed my red wig aside exposing the bite marks and said "well, I have". I'll tell you, I only had one person hiss at me twice and she doesn't count, because my sister always hisses at me!

I've dreamed about Talon ever since reading his book. He's my kind of Celt! I worship the Goddess Caffeina also! She comes in many forms but I too prefer her with Chickory.

Do you keep the lights on after reading her books? Or do you sleep better believing the Dark Hunters are stalking the night in your defense?

Can't dream about those hot Dark Hunters with the lights on! They're always close by protecting us humans.

VoodooGoddess said...

A Bee in a noose! I love it, that's what we AUBURN Tigers do to Elephants!

Marie

Joan said...

But it was 2 years after they put in Krispy Kreme on HWY 85.

Ya gotta love a woman who equates time periods in her life with doughnuts :-)

Lady Kate said...

Joanie T wrote: Ya gotta love a woman who equates time periods in her life with doughnuts :-)

You mean some people don't? *g*

Cassondra said...

VoodooGoddess said:

I'll tell you, I only had one person hiss at me twice and she doesn't count, because my sister always hisses at me!

And I can see WHY! ;0) Welcome to the lair and thanks so much for stopping by for Sherri's interview!

I've never gotten to attend one of those conferences, but I'd love to do so. I'm a little intimidated honestly. So many fans know Sherri's "world" so much better than I do.

I think it would be fun to go though.

Cassondra said...

Joanie said:

Ya gotta love a woman who equates time periods in her life with doughnuts :-)

And there's something else with which to equate life time periods?
(Okay, I admit, I did have my watermelon phase, so I guess I can see your point.) ;0)

Cassondra said...

Lady Kate said:

You mean some people don't? *g*

Ha! I am vindicated.

Sherrilyn said...

OMG Dianna is up late and didn't turn into stone!! How can that be??

The reason the doughnuts come up is because my mom (the SKINNIEST WOMAN ON THE planet) would make me go get her a dozen at midnight. Then eat them all and not share. Tell me there's no justice in this world. Those and midnight Krystal burger runs. What kind of metabolism did that woman have?

Buffie, we JUST missed each other, but you did go to school with my little bro. If you remember the teeny tiny house on the hill with the boarded up windows held in place with duct tape (and blue tarp) and tons of old rusted out cars around it, that was mine :D Only back then, I used to get off the bus a mile away and walk home so that no one would know I lived there. Our driveway was right across from the first set of speed bumps if you were heading toward Walker Rd.

Now singing it's a small world after all :)

Marie, you were so cute as Artie!! Are you going to make the launch party?

Yahh!! Jennifer :) My dorm room used to look out on the 50 yard line at the UGA stadium.

Cassondra, they're always there messing with me. It's why I have an over the head headset so that when I talk back, people around me think I'm on the phone :) They are scarily real to me.

BTW thanks so much for inviting me over- you guys have been great and I really appreciate being able to come play :)

Oh wait someone asked me about M&M, I can't make it this year because of the insanity of my schedule, but I will definitely be there in 09 and I'll be there for DragonCon :) My fave event of the year :)

Hugs!

Joan said...

Sherri,

It was great getting to "see' you again. Thanks so much for all the inspiration you give and the great stories that you tell.

Love ya!

VoodooGoddess said...

((((Sherri))))

I am coming to the launch party and I'm making a new dress just for the occasion and I'm also not wearing a wig but my hair will be RED! ;-}

Now I just need to find some goddess worthy shoes to go with it!

VoodooGoddess said...

Cassondra,

Come on down for K-Con, there will be a few three-peaters there this year, we'll take you under our wing! But if you get started now you would be done by then, including Acheron. It's loads of fun, I love the late night impromptu city tours, the dinners and 25 cent Martini's at Commander's Palace.

Marie

Kate Carlisle said...

I'm sooooo late, but what a wonderful interview, Cassondra and Sherrilyn!! What a thrill to have you in the Lair!

And I sleep with all the lights off, the better to see who's skulking around outside! :-)

Keira Soleore said...

I am the last person on earth to visit this blog on one of its most important days.

Sherrie, it's such a pleasure to read your interview.

I have a story about you, too; one that converted me into a dedicated reader of Kinley MacGregor stories.

Last year, at the literacy autographing at National, I stood in line for an hour and a half to get two books signed by Sherrie for a friend of mine. I joined the queue with 30 minutes to spare. An hour after the book signing was supposedly over, Sherrie was still there, still standing, still smiling, still hugging, still chatting, still signing.

As I watched her while I waited, my respect and admiration grew and grew. Sherrie was the embodiment of the ideal author-reader relationship. The respect, affection, and interest that she showed her readers made me realize that not only was Sherrie a great writer, but she was a genuinely caring person.

The combination of her selflessness and talent made a fan out of me--and I hadn't read a single book of hers until then.

A year later, her entire KMG backlist is mine.

Keira Soleore said...

Cassondra, thank you for this marvelous opportunity to read Sherri's interview at such length. I fell in love with her extraordinary person all over again, after reading about her life and how she manages it all. Sherri, thank you for your presence in my world. You make a better place just by being in it.

Keira Soleore said...

What scares YOU?

Are you afraid of the dark?
Very

Do you believe in angels, demons, and their ilk?
No

Have you ever slept with the light on?
Every time my husband is out of town on biz.

Do you have a favorite Sherrilyn Kenyon story?
A Pirate of Her Own

Cassondra said...

Keira said:

The combination of her selflessness and talent made a fan out of me--and I hadn't read a single book of hers until then.

A year later, her entire KMG backlist is mine.


That's really how she IS too, Keira. That's what I find so astonishing. I'm not certain how a person holds onto that when going through many long-term life struggles--as she has. It is a gift to know her.

BTW: If you love the KMG stuff, you're gonna fall SO HARD for the Dark Hunters. SOOOOOOOO HARD.

I'm just warnin' ya.

Cassondra said...

I was sleeping (rotten early work day today) when Sherri came on for the last time but I wanted to say Thank You SHERRI, for joining us, for a wonderful interview and making our day a special one, and thanks to all of you who visited with us in the lair today--you made it a fun day!