I write simply because I hear voices of people in my head who won't give me peace until I convey their stories to the rest of the world. Seriously. They've always been with me. While other girls played with dolls, and my brothers with Hot Wheels, I was busy traveling through space or traipsing through graveyards with my imaginary playmates.
I honestly can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't writing. Before I knew what written words were, I drew pictures and told the stories verbally. It's really not that surprising since I come from a long line of verbal storytellers, such as my father, who could spin a humorous yarn Jerry Clower would envy. Most of his stories revolved around Southern life, growing up in rural Alabama, or army stories.
My mother fed my love of demons, science fiction, and paranormal. She was a devout horror movie fan who kept me up until the wee hours to watch Outer Limits, Night Gallery, Twilight Zone, and Star Trek. We lived to watch those reruns.
My father left when I was eight, and my mother was forced to move in with her parents. In an environment reminiscent of Flowers in the Attic (oh, to have had it that good), my world came crashing down and to quote my brother, “childhood was something we survived... barely.” Had it not been for my writing, I wouldn't have made it out alive, and I know that for a fact.
While books provided me with some escape from the mental and physical horrors of my early life, they were unreliable. Many times the protagonists suffered terribly and then died at the end. Those books to me were far more grisly than anything a horror master could produce, and I lived in fear of that being my life. Here lies Sherrilyn Kenyon. Her life really, really sucked and her death was even worse. Ha! says Fate.
But in my stories, I controlled what happened in a way I couldn't in real life. My characters lived through the horror and degradation of the cruelty of others and they not only survived, they thrived. They gave me hope and laughter, and they kept me going in spite of everything else. They were my heroes.
They still are. Even when I was homeless and on the street with an infant, I turned to them for help. Little did I know then that they really would be my heroes and would not only allow me to escape the horrors of my past but would finally lift me out of the brutal poverty that had made up the majority of my life. They have brought me fans from all over the world.