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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Friday, December 21, 2007

#1 NYT Best Selling author Sherrilyn Kenyon, shares her first sale story…

I was born backwards and been backwards ever since. No matter what I try to do, it never happens in a normal way. All I ever wanted to do was write. I’ve always written in one form or another. In 1992 while living in Mississippi and a member of Magnolia State Romance Writers I was penning articles and reviews for Affair de Coeur magazine, which reviewed romantic fiction. But any free minute was spent writing novels and submitting everything – paranormals, futuristic, historical and contemporary. I had it all out there and had just submitted a futuristic to Zebra.

The idea for that book – BORN OF THE NIGHT – came from my childhood playmates. The characters Nykyrian and Syn had been with me that long. I actually started the novel in 3rd grade under the title Raven's Cry. Over the years, it underwent numerous changes. I was on the verge of finishing it up when my older brother was killed and stopped writing. I put the story aside for a number of years and then in 1991, I returned to the idea and started it over, rewriting this book 2 more times.

My boss at Affair de Coeur wanted an interview on the new editor at Zebra, the same one I’d just submitted my book to and did not want to disturb. I know every new writer out there can appreciate the hesitation to contact an editor only days after sending a book, because the editor will think the interview was only a ploy to find out about the submission. Not very professional looking and I certainly did not want to start out that way so I tried to get out of it, but my boss wanted that interview…now.

When I contacted the Zebra editor, I started right off the bat saying I wasn’t calling about the submission but an interview for the magazine. She said she knew exactly who I was, that she’d just finished my book and offered to buy it.

As I said, I’ve always been backwards since birth. I never got THE CALL, but I did get my first sale. However, that book was the third one published since it took several years for them to get it into print. Did I mention that everything happens to me backwards? That was one of the four books known as The League series, which were published by four different publishers so the characters and situations had to be changed to make it look like the books were unr
elated. I’m now going to be able to rewrite them back the way they were originally intended and bring the series out in its entirety, which is great since my “first draft” of one book was accidentally published while I was in the hospital. Argh!

I want to thank the Wet Noodle Posse for inviting me to share my first sale story. It's been fun to read through all the different ones posted - wow, what a terrific bunch of stories! I’ve had a roller coaster path to publishing and wish for all of you to have a smoother one, but regardless of what life throws your way – don’t stop. It’s your dream, grab hold with both hands and refuse to let anyone take it away from you.

#1 New York Times bestselling author, Sherrilyn Kenyon lives a life of extraordinary danger... as does any woman with three sons, a husband, a menagerie of pets and a collection of swords that all of the above have a major fixation with. But when not running interference (or dashing off to the emergency room), she’s found chained to her computer where she likes to play with all her imaginary friends. With almost ten million copies of her books in print, in twenty-six countries, she certainly has a lot of friends to play with too.

Writing as Kinley MacGregor and Sherrilyn Kenyon, she is the author of several series including: The Dark-Hunters, Brotherhood of the Sword, Lords of Avalon and BAD. With an international, cult following, her books have appeared on the top ten of the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly and USA Today lists.

2008…The Year of Acheron


At 4:33 PM, Blogger Dianna Love Snell said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us. How unfair to not get a call, but you did get the sale. :)


At 5:57 PM, Blogger Norah Wilson said...

Sherrilyn, what a great call story! And LOL on the first draft that got published! You must have been horrified. I've never met you personally, but having attended one of your workshops, you strike me as someone who can roll pretty easily with those punches. Which I guess is a very good thing in this biz. :-)

We are so completely honoured that you are here. I think everyone else must be out shopping...

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Barbara Phinney said...


Thanks for sharing that story. I too did not get "The Call" I was building a house and didn't even own a phone. I got "The Call" by registered mail. Then ran over to my sister in law's in my sock feet to tell her!
So, you've done us "un-called" a great honour. Thank you!
Barbara Phinney

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us at this busy time of year! I have to say your Call story is a bit....backwards!

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Wow, Sherry, I didn't know that. It's cool in a way since you weren't expecting it.

Thanks for hanging out with us.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Anna Sugden said...

Great post Sherrilyn! We're glad you made that call!

And you know, it makes me feel better to see that there are other people to whom things happen backwards! I know I wouldn't mind if The Call came backwards, forwards or ... knowing my luck ... upside down *grin*.

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Anna Campbell said...

Sherrilyn, so wonderful to meet another 'backwards' person. I'm like that too - stuff never happens the way it seems to for other people. But somehow it still seems to happen. Congratulations on all your success. How cool to be able to put #1 NYT bestseller before your name! It's sort of like being a Nobel prize winner ;-) Happy Holidays! And thank you for sharing your story!

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Nancy said...

Sherrilyn--what a cool story! Thanks for sharing. I'd guess your relief that the editor wasn't annoyed probably got drowned in joy. *g* Despite having started backward and hitting the fallow period you've often discussed, you're going great guns now! Congratulations on your success.

Anna, I'm with you. I'd take the call upside down if that was the way it came.

At 12:40 PM, Blogger Aunty Cindy said...

Another Bandita swinging by to say THANX Sherrilyn for an inspiring and totally unique story!

Any CALL is a good one, right everyone?


At 2:17 PM, Blogger Wendy said...

Hi, Sherrilyn! Great post, thanks for sharing!

And I can't wait for Acheron's story!

At 3:37 PM, Blogger jo robertson said...

Hi, Sherrilyn. I'm dropping in from the Bandit Lair to say hello.

Wonderfully ironic call story. Thanks for sharing.

I really enjoy your Dark-Hunter series.

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Suzanne Welsh said...

Hi Sherrilyn from the Dallas member of the Bandits! I've always loved your story about the first call, then reinventing yourself to have such a great career!

I just finished wrapping all your 2007 releases (under both names) for my oldest for Christmas. She loves your stories as much as I do!

Thanks for sticking with it and giving us all such great hours of reading.

At 7:49 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Wonderful, inspiring story. Thanks for sharing.

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Cassondra said...

Hey Sherrilyn!

Your call story is one I hadn't heard. Another interesting Sherrilyn fact to add to the list. Your perseverance has always impressed me. When I think of quitting, I think of the stories you've shared of keeping on when "I" would have quit for certain..

Thanks for being such an inspiration. Can't wait for Acheron's book, and for Phantom In The Night this coming fall.

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

I'll add my late "thanks!" for sharing such a great story!

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I guess it doesn't much matter in what order those good things come along, as long as they do!!!


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