Interview with Darin Kennedy
Darin Kennedy, born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine. After completing family medicine residency in the mountains of Virginia, he served eight years as a United States Army physician and wrote his first novel in 2003 in the sands of northern Iraq.
His debut novel, a paranormal thriller titled The Mussorgsky Riddle, was born from a fusion of two of his lifelong loves: classical music and world mythology. The sequel, The Stravinsky Intrigue, is due out in late 2016 and continues the journey through myth, music, and madness. Pawn's Gambit, his contemporary fantasy, and another project, this one his first YA novel, are both on submission at this time. His short stories can be found in over twenty anthologies and magazines. He is currently, as always, hard at work on his next novel.
Doctor by day and novelist by night, he writes and practices medicine in Charlotte, North Carolina. When not engaged in either of the above activities, he has been known to strum the guitar, enjoy a bite of sushi, and rumor has it he even sleeps on occasion. Find him online at darinkennedy.com, on Twitter @darinkennedy, on Facebook @ Darin Kennedy - Author, & on Goodreads @ Darin Kennedy - Goodreads Author.
And here are the answers to your questions!
What is a typical working day for you?
It's funny you ask. My website is "Doctor by day, Novelist by night" - and that pretty much sums it up. I am a family medicine physician from 8-6 most Monday through Thursday, and get writing done on evenings and Friday through Sunday. It's like having two jobs, but 50 hours plus on the day job make me a lot slower a writer than some. I did, however, finish a full 100K+ novel in 11 months this year, which was quite exciting! What are your three favourite books of all time? And why?
I love Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman because it had me hook, line, and sinker til the last word - that's the kind of book I want to writer. I love the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, and my favorite is The Drawing of the Three, as it had some fantastic character development. Lastly, I always liked Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy and The Scarlet Letter for classics. Which author do you admire most? And why?
I have to say Stephen King. If I can ever learn to write characters the way he does, look out world. Also a big fan of Neil Gaiman and his ability to weave the most interesting stories I've ever read. What tips would you give aspiring writers?
Never stop getting better. Do critique groups, read blogs and books on writing, whatever you have to do to keep refining your art. Also, just never stop. You only fail when you stop. What’s your most memorable experience at a Literary Event?
I had the great pleasure of meeting Mercedes Lackey at a big event in Winston-Salem, NC this fall and we ended up bonding over a mutual love of Russian classical music, the subject of two books I've written as well as several she has written. Let me tell you, when Mercedes Lackey gives you a primer on Swan Lake, you not only listen, you take notes. If a movie was made of your life, what three songs would you want on the soundtrack?
Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky/Ravel, Freewill by Rush, and something kick ass by John Williams - if Vader gets his own theme, I want one too! What advice would you give to your younger self?
Start writing earlier - you're not bad at it, but you need practice. Learn guitar when you are still in high school. Give serious thought about whether you want to spend years of your life in the military before signing up for that scholarship, no matter how sweet the deal. And lastly, invest in Apple with all you've got in the 90s!
Thanks to Karen for having me on her blog! To anyone reading, if you read or have read The Mussorgsky Riddle and can leave a review, good or bad, on Amazon or Goodreads, I would very much appreciate it! Have a great 2016!
Darin Kennedy Author of The Mussorgsky Riddle