Name: Darin Kennedy
Where are you from? Winston-Salem, NC, but have lived all over
A little about your self, i.e. your education, family life, etc.
My website is Doctor by Day, Novelist by Night. By day, I am a family physician with all that entails, but at night I spin tales.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Darin: 12 Jan 2015, tomorrow as I’m writing this, is the launch day of my debut novel, The Mussorgsky Riddle from Curiosity Quills Press.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Darin: In the summer of 2003, I was in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Between taking care of patients, MASH style, I wrote the first half of my first novel and basically started teaching myself how to write fiction.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Darin: I’ve been a storyteller my entire life. I’d say I’ve called myself a writer since 2003 when I started Pawn’s Gambit.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Darin: I had wanted to tell that story since I was 16 years old. It was about time.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Darin: Yes. Mine. 😉
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Darin: The Mussorgsky Riddle is based on the classical symphony Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky. The story is a mystery. ‘Nuff said.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Darin: I hope that many listen to the music that went into the various scenes. I think only then will they truly appreciate every aspect of the book.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Darin: The book is set in the real world. Mira and her psychic abilities along with what she encounters in Anthony’s mind are the only fantastical elements in the story.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Darin: All made up, though I believe all stories have elements from the writer’s experiences in there somewhere.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Darin: Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. I wish I’d written that. Neverwhere and American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Incarnations of Immortality by Piers Anthony. And, of course, Tolkien.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Darin: I’ve been working on The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern for months. I’ve been too busy to get back to it, but am looking forward to seeing how she ends that one.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Darin: I’m eager to finally dig into the various books by many fellow authors of mine, like Gail Z. Martin’s Deadly Curiosities or John Hartness’ Raising Hell when my writing/editing schedule lightens up.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Darin: When I finished it over a year ago, I didn’t think The Mussorgsky Riddle had a sequel left to tell. I may or may not have been correct…
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Darin: My agent, Stacey Donaghy, at Donaghy Literary Group. She has been my rock through all of this.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Darin: I have a medical career and a writing career. How well this and subsequent books do will inform my decision about how much time to put into each.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Darin: I don’t think so. It turned out better than I’d hoped and I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed reading it.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Darin: It’s not ready, but I hope you will all be seeing before too long…
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Darin: Finding the time to do it. A fifty-sixty hour work week means not a whole lot of time or energy left at the end of the day to put fingers to keyboard, but we all have other responsibilities. Hoping to do better this year!
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Darin: King and Gaiman are my two faves, King for characters and Gaiman for the wonder of it all
Fiona: Who designed the cover?
Darin: The lovely and talented Polina Sapershteyn designed the beautiful cover for The Mussorgsky Riddle.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Darin: It’s told first person, present tense, female POV. I’m a dude. Worked hard to get the voice right. Rumor has it I did a reasonably good job. 😉
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Darin: I know a heck of a lot more about Russian classical music than I ever dreamed I would.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Darin: Never give up. Never surrender. Oh, and this: Keep getting better.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Darin: Enjoy the book, but get a copy of Pictures at an Exhibition and Scheherazade and experience the music as well!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Darin: The earliest book I remember reading is A Wrinkle in Time. I think I was done for after that…
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Darin: That list is long? I got to meet Neil Gaiman when he came to Charlotte a couple years back, and that was awesome. I’ve met Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson from Rush, and that was fantastic. I think it would be cool to have coffee with Poe and pick his brain. Anybody got a spare TARDIS lying around?
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Darin: I play a little guitar, sing, plant stuff from time to time, among other things…
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Darin: Currently really enjoying Arrow and The Flash. Was really liking Selfie and A to Z, but they were both cancelled. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is awesome this season. Can’t wait to get Galavant and Agent Carter off my DVR.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Darin: I’ll eat anything that doesn’t bite back. Favorite colors are black, red, grey (with an “e”). Music – Classical, 70’s- 90’s rock
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Darin: Jury’s still out. Not sure what I’ll be doing next!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My website and blog can be found at http://darinkennedy.com . Links to all my social media can be found there! Thanks for having me!!!