Welcome to our Writers Wednesday Spotlight! Each week we will be highlighting a different geeky writer we think you might like to check out. For this week’s spotlight, we are excited to introduce you to Darin Kennedy!
His book “Pawn’s Gambit (The Pawn Stratagem Book 1)” was released on October 14, 2016 from Falstaff Books!
You can purchase “Pawn’s Gambit (The Pawn Stratagem Book 1)” here: “Pawn’s Gambit (The Pawn Stratagem Book 1)”
About Darin Kennedy
(in his own words)
Born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Darin Kennedy still remembers watching Star Wars at the local drive-in when it came around the first time, and it’s all been downhill from there.
A graduate of Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine, he completed his residency in family medicine in the mountains of Virginia, then served eight years as a United States Army physician, before returning to North Carolina where he works a family physician. He wrote the majority of his contemporary fantasy novel, Pawn’s Gambit, during his yearlong deployment to Iraq in 2003 and this homage to the game of chess as well as every superhero comic you’ve ever read finally saw the light of day as of October 2016 from Falstaff Books.
His second novel, The Mussorgsky Riddle, was actually his first published. Released January 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press after dazzling Lisa Gus, editor and co-owner of CQ, with this love letter to Mussorgsky’s magnum opus, Pictures at an Exhibition, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s masterpiece, Scheherazade. The Publisher’s Marketplace announcement on 17 Mar 2014 read as follows:
“Darin Kennedy’s THE MUSSORGSKY RIDDLE, pitched as Alice in Wonderland meets Law and Order, where a beautiful psychic must awaken an autistic boy left catatonic after witnessing a grisly murder, his fragile psyche shattered into the various movements of composer Modest Mussorgsky’s classical music suite, Pictures at an Exhibition, before the killer can silence him forever, to Lisa Gus at Curiosity Quills Press, for publication in Winter 2014, by Stacey Donaghy at Donaghy Literary Group (World English).”
The sequel, The Stravinsky Intrigue, was released Feb 2017, and the third and final book in the trilogy, The Tchaikovsky Finale, in Dec 2017.
His young adult contemporary fantasy, still code-named Operation: Ghost Story, is still awaiting publication.
He continues to work on Book II of his The Pawn Stratagem fantasy chess trilogy (currently at 55,000 words as that story has continued to haunt his subconscious daily during his other projects) and a twist on an urban fantasy idea (which is on the back burner for the moment, but still boiling) . He also plans to return to his Necromancer for Hire world to write a full novella or maybe even novel about April Sullivan and her insane world, since he did the world a disservice by ending the first one on a bit of cliffhanger…
He has thus far published twenty-plus short stories in various anthologies and magazines to include Pill Hill Press, Blood Bound Books, Wicked East Press, Dark Oak Press, Emby Press, Dark Hall Press, and a rare piece of fiction in the October 2012 issue of Chess Life Magazine.
Doctor by day and novelist by night, he lives and writes in Charlotte, North Carolina.
About “Pawn’s Gambit”…
A ravishing brunette in a little black dress.
An immortal wizard masquerading as a taxi driver.
A mystical conflict that spans centuries.
And Steven Bauer thought chess was just a game.
Rescued from a seductive assassin by a world-weary mystic known as Grey, Steven learns an inconceivable truth: He is the White Pawn in a nightmare game of chess where the wrong move can leave you dead… or worse.
He must travel to every corner of North America, find the remaining Pieces of the White and prepare them for the Game, a life or death struggle that will decide not only their fate but the fate of every living thing on the continent.
But Steven isn’t alone in his search, as the Black Queen and her assembled pantheon of darkness are on the hunt as well…
5 Questions with . . . Darin
- When did you first realize you were interested in becoming an author? What drives you to write?
I started writing in 2003 when I was deployed to Iraq with OIF 1. That book is now available from Falstaff Books – Pawn’s Gambit. I’d always wanted to tell that story, but I had to go to a warzone to finally have enough time to start writing it down. These days, what drives me to write is wanting to get the story out of my head and down on paper / electrons so I can see what happens!
- How would you describe your style or genre of writing to a potential fan?
My genres are all in the speculative fiction arena, but my two main series are different – one is a paranormal mystery with fantasy elements (Fugue & Fable) and one is a more straight ahead contemporary fantasy adventure (The Pawn Stratagem). I also write some dark fantasy in my short stories.
- What are you currently working on? What are you working on next?
I just finished the sequel to Pawn’s Gambit and as soon as it’s turned in, I will start work on the third and final book!
- What existing book do you wish you had written and why?
I wish I’d written Neverwhere – Everything about that from the characters to the setting to the voice is the kind of writer I want to be. I also would have loved to have been the one to create The Dark Tower, but that’s Uncle Steve’s sandbox.
- What is one piece of advice you would give to a budding writer?
Don’t necessarily write what you know, but always write what you love.