Sherrilyn Kenyon Loves Dragon Con Just as Much as You Do

Lil Bit Dragon Con Interview 1

interview conducted Sat. September 2, 2023

by Jen “Lil’ Bit” Schleusner

I had the pleasure of chatting a bit with Sherrilyn Kenyon while at this year’s Dragon Con. A beloved staple guest, she also began attending con as many of us do – as an attendee and then later, a track volunteer.

Q: I was wondering if you could speak to how you feel about how there’s just such this great big love for you here at Dragon Con and the stories that you tell.

A: Oh, because I grew up here in Georgia, near the airport, and I attended Dragon Con many, many times. Because I grew up here, I never thought, I mean – I was what, I think I was number one on the New York Times – but they’re like, you should apply to be a guest. I was like, oh yeah, cuz I volunteered and I’ve done all kinds of stuff with Dragon Con until then. So I’m like, yeah, that’d be nice to have that badge. I think it shocked them, even though I grew up down in Riverdale with Titan Comics and I used to go in there all the time as a 14, 15-year-old kid. And yeah, it, it’s been amazing to watch it grow, and to be on this side of the table was so weird.

Q: You said you used to volunteer – what departments did you volunteer in?

A: Oh with Nancy Knight, I’ve known her since the 80s, so when she started doing writer’s track, when Storm Constantine was doing the horror track – whatever they needed, I’d be happy to do.

Q: I know you obviously enjoy horror and vampires, Greek mythology, and all that. What were some of your favorite stories, either from the past favorite movies, or favorite properties? 

A: Oh god, There are so many…

Q: Or do you have any new favorites? 

A: Oh, my new, okay. My shameful thing, Cocaine Bear. Oh my God, I’ve not laughed so hard in a movie. I wish my mother was still alive because she would so love Cocaine Bear. Oh, the Pope’s Exorcist was actually pretty good.

Q: I just watched that a few months ago. I was surprised how good it was.

A: Yeah, I was not expecting it. So yeah, that was a really good one too. And I just found a new one that was recommended to me on a panel that I’ve got to see – Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey. Yeah, cuz I made a joke: “I want to write a really slasher Winnie the Pooh book” and they said, “Oh, it’s been done.” I’m like, what? Okay, well I won’t do it, but I’ll go watch it. 

Q: Remember the very first time you were on the New York Best with your book? That feeling that you had then, do you still get that one over your books?

A: Oh yeah. When they first come out it’s like, “Oh, my book!” – Yeah, no, that has not, thankfully, ever gone away. But interestingly enough, I was coming from here to go home. I lived in Tennessee when I hit the New York Times and I got the call from my editor and we were at a gas station, and so we got out of the car and we were dancing around. Everybody’s looking at us! I still do my ugly spooky dance. And my son’s funny because like “I can’t believe you’re still like, look, it’s a real book!”

Q: What do you think about the technology side of writing now?

A: I love it and I hate it like everything else. Interestingly enough, I was the first New York-published author to do an ebook back in the nineties, and I remember having discussions with my publisher where he’s like“eBooks will never, it’s not going to be a thing”. And I worked IT at the time – I’m telling you buddy, watch out. They’re going to take us over now two years later he’s like, “God, they’re like 80% of sales.” Remember the discussion we had?

Q: I’ve read a lot of books – whether they’re written by men or women where they’ll describe a sex scene. But usually, I’m just like, this doesn’t seem realistic or this doesn’t speak to me and I just want to gloss over those scenes. I don’t find it believable. But the way that you write intimate scenes to me, the details – It makes sense for those characters and it’s believable and I don’t want to skip over those scenes. 

A: Well, and to me, not all of them have scenes in them. So it really depends on the book. It depends on the couple. And yeah, like you said, it’s not like part A goes into part B. To me, it needs to come from the characters and each one has its own rhythm that they do. It just depends. 

Q: It’s honest. They’re honest scenes and it’s really easy to tell when it’s not written, honestly.

A: Well, everything when I’m writing is from the character, so if it doesn’t feel natural for the character, it’s on the cutting room floor. I want y’all to love the characters – I don’t even care if my name’s on the book. Just love the Characters..

Q: Archeron, Julian, Grace, Simi, love them all. So well-written that you can see each character that you’ve written. 

A: The funny thing is, I really don’t describe the characters that much. One to me was the biggest compliments I got was, “Your characters are ethnically invisible.” I’m like, but I do that because I want whoever’s reading the book 

Q: To be identified.

A: Yeah, you put what you want. And if it’s important, like Ash’s eyes, I will explain that. But the rest of it, I may say it once, if you pick it up good and if you don’t – because I would rather the reader be able to insert, what to me, it’s such a great relationship with readers because their imagination, it’s the greatest tool. And so I give ’em just enough to let them fill in a lot of the details.

Q: Well, and there’s so many times where if somebody puts too many details, then you’re just like, okay, yep, there’s okay 20 pages telling me what the forest looks like or what somebody’s outfit looks like and now I’m no longer invested. 

A: A good example of that’s Bride or Brida, but everybody calls her Bride, so I do too. She’s a heavy character. I have a lot of characters who are heavy women, like Elena, Sunshine, and Grace – are not small, but they don’t harp on it. Someone like me, I’m like, oh my God, I’m so big -I slipped on a copperhead and I shocked it. I know the Copperhead went back and said, “Lemme tell you, I was minding my own business. I was comfortable in this house. A big old woman came and stepped on my head.” 

Q: With the character Asher, was that based on somebody you knew personally from the past?

A: No, I mean the characters, there are pieces of me in every character because that would be completely disingenuous to say, “No, they’re not.” We write what we know. But no, I really tend not to do that. The only character that really resembles somebody is Bubba, an homage to my older brother who passed. But yeah, normally the characters are just the characters.

Q: Do you like writing about the holiday season?

A: I do and I want to do more. We’ve got “Hebrew For the Holidays” coming out, which is some of my old stories being republished. Ironically, I was talking to my editor today about doing a Nick Christmas book, so we’re hoping to do that. And I want to do a semi-Christmas with Simi. 

Q: I could see her just bouncing around and harassing Santa. 

A: So Much fun, handing out barbecue and oven mitts to everybody. 

Q: Going by and lighting Christmas trees on fire.

A: There you go, “I was trying to help it”

Find out more information about Sherrilyn and her career at:

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