Kenyon, Sherrilyn (1965–)(pop culture)
Sherrilyn Kenyon, the author of multi-volume “Dark Hunter” vampire series was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia. She began writing during her grammar school years and actually won a writing contest in third grade and another the following year. Writing provided an escape from an abusive family situation, and she was only seven when she wrote a “novel,” a horror story reflecting her life at home. She was an early devotee of movies with horror and paranormal themes.
Unable to afford her first choice for college, the Savannah College of Art and Design, Kenyon attended the local state college and majored in English, hoping to be admitted into the creative writing program. Several physical problems blocked her admission to both the creative writing and the journalism programs. She wound up with an interdisciplinary degree in history, language, and classical studies. About this time, the untimely death of her older brother took away her desire to write, which only returned several years later.
In the early 1990s, she sold her first novel, Born of Night, which was soon followed by several others. But she encountered a period where she was unable to sell anything and she battled personal problems, which drove her to the brink of giving up on a writing career for a second time. Then, in 1998, she sold a book that appeared under the pseudonym of Kinley MacGregor. She signed up with a new agent and began circulating her first vampire book. Unfortunately, it arrived in New York just as many publishing houses had decided to shy away from vampire novels despite the fact that there was no sign that the market for them had diminished. The Dracula centennial had passed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer had yet to manifest its potential. It took several years to finally sell her novel, Fantasy Lover, which was finally published in 2002.
Fantasy Lover was a success and Kenyon was able to develop a series of interconnected books which became known as the “Dark Hunters” series. They draw directly upon her classical studies and revolve around a group of human protectors who shield people from supernatural predators sent by the ancient Greek gods. The three types of protectors include the Dark-Hunters who protect the night, Dream-Hunters who protect the subconscious and unconscious, and Were-Hunters who protect the outer reaches of our world. Among the supernatural predators are the vampires, who in Kenyon’s world are called Daimons. Daimons are unique (relative to traditional fictional vampires) in that they can only live 27 years, the result of a curse that the god Apollo placed on them. To extend its life, a Daimon must steal a human soul. But Apollo’s sister Artemis established the Dark-Hunters whose job is to kill the Daimons and free any human souls before they die.
Over the next seven years, Kenyon would write 19 “Dark Hunter” novels (most but not all with vampires), including one published as an e-book. As the series took off, she also published a number of “Dark Hunter” short stories that appeared in various romance anthologies. Most of the novels center on a particular Dark Hunter, the women in his life, and the particular personal problems he has to solve as he goes about slaying the evil vampires. Kenyon also coauthored The Dark Hunter Companion, a nonfiction guide to the Dark Hunter universe and its inhabitants.
In what became a complete reversal of her situation in the mid 1990s, she has become a very successful, best-selling, award-winning author who has been able to shape a very different approach to vampires. She is also among the minority of authors in the romance field to portray primarily evil vampires. Kenyon continues to produce projects and future “Dark Hunter” novels; she also maintains an expansive Internet site (http://www.dailyinquisitor.com/sherrilyn/). Though primarily known for her “Dark Hunter” vampire novels, she has written a variety of other books including some well-received nonfiction titles.
Killing the Vampire see: Vampire Research Center