The Worried Writer Episode Ep#46: Sherrilyn Kenyon ‘Respect Your Muse’

My guest today is urban fantasy superstar Sherrilyn Kenyon. Sherrilyn is a number 1 New York Times and Internationally bestselling author. Her first novel came out in 1993, she has over 70 million books in print worldwide and she writes in several successful series such as the Dark Hunters and Black Hat Society. Her latest Dark Hunter book (number 28) is Stygian.

I spoke to Sherrilyn in the summer while she was busy packing for DragonCon and she was incredibly nice and upbeat, despite having just come back from a visit to the dentist. A real professional!

Sherrilyn shares the worst rejection of her career, secrets of longevity in publishing, and her writing process.

Find out more about Sherrilyn at www.sherrilynkenyon.com

Visit her on FaceBook or Instagram

IN THE INTRODUCTION

I go through my goals for 2018 and talk about how I’ve done, and some lessons learned.

I mention my on-going attempts to improve my concentration and focus after reading Cal Newport’s Deep Work.

Here is the link to my 2018 goals (set in January).

 

I give a shout-out to new patrons supporting me via Patreon. Thank you so much!

You can support the show for as little as $1 per month and, for supporters at the $2 and above level, there is an exclusive mini-episode released in the middle of every month.

There are nine ‘extras’ already available and another one will go up mid-December. So far, I’ve answered patron-questions and given writing craft tips, but I’m also open to suggestions…

To become a Worried Writer insider and to support the podcast head to The Worried Writer on Patreon.

THANK YOU!

LISTENER QUESTION

If you have a question you would like answered on the show

contact me via email or Twitter or leave a comment on this post.

 

IN THE INTERVIEW

On writing a long series:

‘I’ve been writing Dark Hunter since I was eighteen… I love the characters, I love the world.’

‘Don’t write anything you don’t love… Go into it thinking that these are lifelong friends… Don’t chase a trend, don’t write just to get published, write what is in your heart, what is in your soul, because you may have to live with these characters for the rest of your life.’

On the pressure of success:

‘You never want to disappoint a fan, you do have that pressure… And nothing hurts worse than hearing that a fan didn’t like a book, that’s a stab to my throat and my heart.’

‘I put my heart and soul and every ounce of time, I don’t rush a book, I respect my fans too much for that.’

Sherrilyn’s writing process:

‘I know when I’m really in the zone when it’s just me and the characters and I don’t hear anything else.. I used to keep my babies literally strapped to my chest because I was worried they would need something and I wouldn’t hear them.’

‘All I’ve ever really done is write.’

‘Writing advice is like a buffet, take what you like… Leave everything else behind.’

‘I attempt to do 25 to 30 pages a day, but I don’t always.’

 

‘To me writing is like channeling spirits, its almost like being a medium.’

 

On self-doubt:

‘I hate it when writers beat themselves up… Writers – don’t be cruel to yourselves! Respect your muse, because that’s a quick way to kill her.’

‘No, we all think we suck. The suck song goes on every time I write.’

‘All I ever wanted was to be a writer and I pursued it wholeheartedly.’

‘Be fearless when you write. Just turn those chickens loose in the yard and let them take you on a journey.’

On not giving up:

‘Let those characters fly… We’re all writers but those characters chose you. They live in you. They could have picked another writer but they picked you, don’t let them not have their story told.’

‘I’ve seen so many writers give up over the years and that really breaks my heart because I think of all the stories they had in them… And I hate that… Please don’t give up, get that story out there.’

 

Thanks for listening!

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Also, if you have a question or a suggestion for the show – or just want to get in touch – I would love to hear from you! Email me or find me on Twitter or Facebook.

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The Worried Writer Episode #14: Emma Newman ‘It’s All Bobbins’

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My guest today is Emma Newman. Emma writes dark short stories, science fiction and urban fantasy. Between Two Thorns, the first title in her Split Worlds series was shortlisted for the British Fantasy Society Best Novel and Best Newcomer Awards. Emma is also a professional audiobook narrator and she co-writes and hosts the Hugo-nominated podcast, Tea and Jeopardy.


On a personal note, I’m very excited to speak to Emma: When I fell in love with podcasts, one of my early discoveries was the wonderful Tea and Jeopardy and I began following her on Twitter and visiting her blog – which mentions ‘anxiety-wrangling’ in the tagline. It was another piece of evidence I gathered and held close while I was trying to convince myself that my own anxiety need-not necessarily stop me from creating my own stuff.

Find out more about Emma and her books at www.enewman.co.uk

Listen/subscribe to the wonderful Tea & Jeopardy podcast here.

Or find her on Twitter @EmApocalyptic

CONTENT WARNING!

The Worried Writer podcast focuses on the fears, self-doubt and anxieties of the creative life. However, as both Emma and I suffer from anxiety with a capital ‘A’, we do talk a little about our experiences of living and working with an anxiety disorder. It’s very positive, and Emma shares some wonderful coping strategies, but I just wanted to give a (very mild!) trigger warning.


In the interview, Emma talks about tenacity and how the grit developed during the pre-publication and submission process is vital after publication, too.

Emma’s ‘Agile’ writing process (taken from the software development world!). Includes planning the book in five chapter chunks.

 

 

 

 

Recommended:


On Writing by Stephen King


And in personal news, it’s publication day for my latest novel, In The Light of What We See. Hurrah!

It’s available in audiobook, ebook and paperback. Thank you so much if you take a look!

Thank you, too, for listening, subscribing, rating and reviewing the podcast. 

If you’ve got a suggestion for the show or a question you would like answered, please get in touch

Or, find me on Twitter @SarahRPainter

Please spread the word and, if possible, leave a rating for the show on iTunes. I truly appreciate your support.

Thank you for listening!

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