Written by Sherrilyn Kenyon
When I was a small child, my grandfather talked about how everything, even the rocks on the ground, held a spirit and essence inside it, and my mother, on St. Patrick’s Day, had me convinced there were Leprechauns and Clurichauns cavorting in festive revelry under her favorite rosebush (and tormenting my puppy). I’ve been enchanted with the notion of the “unseen” world that exists side-by-side with our own ever since. Let’s face it, when you come from a family with as colorful a history as mine, you learn early on that what the eye sees is but a pittance of what makes up “reality.”
And the fact that we had a ghost living in my early childhood room didn’t help matters either. A ghost that was so active, my cousin refused to ever step foot into my room again, or to stay over with me. She saw my “friend” once and it was quite enough for her.
But I was never afraid. Quite the contrary. I inherited my grandfather’s defiant spirit and by the time I was sixteen, I was a regular participant on paranormal investigations—and this decades before anyone knew what they were. In fact, this was before the Poltergeist and Ghostbusters movies (yeah, I really am that old).
All the while, my writer’s imagination was soaking everything up. Every year of experience. Every location studied and investigated for its past and present. All the research materials went rolling through my mind. It’s impossible to be that steeped, that long, in history and the paranormal and not have your imagination run loose.
As historians, we give substance to our predecessors. We fill in as many missing details as we can, with as many facts as we can uncover. As writers, we fill in the emotions and motivations. Like Victor Frankenstein, we breathe life into our creations and make them living, thriving entities that if we’re lucky will go on long after us and reach immortality. There’s a not a writer ever born who doesn’t strive to touch that elusive bolt of lightning.
It is our Holy Quest. Our beloved unicorn. To create a world so vibrant and real that a reader is enraptured with it. That they, like us, want to live there. To breathe it. Feel it. Experience it, over and over again. Not once, but to return for countless adventures and to be eager to discover every single corner of it.
There’s no greater gift to any author in the world than to hear a fan say that they love our universe. That the countless hours of our lives and years of research we’ve put into it, and all the bullets we’ve sweated and dodged while struggling and fighting to make it unlike anyone else’s were worth it. That is the sweet symphony we crave. And it is the moment in our minds when we throw our heads back and laugh at the sky while shouting, “it’s alive!”
Yes, that is the unseen world in a writer’s mind. When you’re talking to us and telling us that you liked our work, we might look calm and collective on the outside. Inside, we’re turning cartwheels and somersaults. We are spiking that ball at the goal post. We are the three year old on a sugar high, screaming around the sofa that someone other than our mothers believe we don’t suck! It’s true. Just think about that the next time you meet an author.
And right now, as we begin this new adventure with Captain Bane and his Deadmen, we’re at the knuckle-biting stage. While it’s a part of the Dark-Hunter world, it’s a whole new realm and whole new time period. It’s uncharted territory. Something not done before. And like all the books and series I’ve written previously, it’s a setting not typically used, crossing genres in a way not typically done. But then I like defying the odds and blazing new trails. And I hope you’ll join me for this latest quest where the Deadmen finally get to tell their tales.