Sunday, January 25, 2015

Author Interview with Darin Kennedy

Our next author interview features the one and only Darin Kennedy!

Kissed by Literature: Tell us about your latest book.

Darin Kennedy: The Mussorgsky Riddle is the story of a 13 year old boy lost inside his own mind and the psychic that’s got to go in there and find him. My main character, Mira Tejedor, is a psychic that has been called to town to try to help a boy who has gone near-catatonic with no medical explanation. Drawn into a world the boy has created within his own mind, Mira must use what she learns there as well as clues from the real world to both bring the boy back from the edge, even as her search for the truth embroils her in a missing persons case in the real world.

KBL: How did you get your start writing?

DK: In 2003, I was deployed to Iraq for 11 months, and in between the busy times, there were long stretches of nothing to do. I had been kicking around the plot of my first novel since I was a teenager and decided that my deployment was the ideal time to start writing. I finished that novel which got the attention of my agent, then wrote The Mussorgsky Riddle, my first published novel.

KBL: What publishing credits do you have under your belt?

DK: I have been publishing short stories in various anthologies and magazines since 2010. By the end of this year, I should have about 22 in total published. I have compiled several of these into a couple of short ebook anthologies that I self-published once the rights reverted. I also wrote a chapter on Medical Malpractice in a non-fiction book on using movies in education.

KBL: What is your writing process?

DK: I hold my hands above the keyboard and press the keys in order to make words and punctuation appear on the screen. ;-)

No, seriously. I am a plantser. I think too much plotting goes into what I write to truly be a straight pantser, but I am a complete failure at using note cards or anything like that. I usually get about halfway into the book before I start really mapping stuff out. Also, with some of the themes I’ve chosen to write about in my longer pieces, a structure is present before I even have down the first word, which helps a lot. For instance, The Mussorgsky Riddle is based on the classical music piece, Pictures at an Exhibition, which has fifteen movements detailing an individual walking through an art exhibit and admiring ten different paintings, all of which are major pieces of my story. This structure existed before the turn of the 20th century, and long before I ever came along…

KBL:  What has been your most rewarding writing experience?

DK: Each book I’ve written has been different than the one before, and with each it’s been a new experience. The wonder of discovery of the new story and seeing where the characters go and what they do as I put them in new situations and dangers is what I enjoy most.

KBL: What writing projects are you working on now?

DK: I can’t say for certain at the moment, but I will let you know my new Stravinsky CD just arrived in the mail this week and I am enjoying it very much!

Extra Information:

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, The Mussorgsky Riddle, was born from a fusion of two of his lifelong loves: classical music and world mythology. His short stories can be found in various publications and he is currently 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 as well as links to his books and social media at

The Mussorgsky Riddle is available at and can be ordered at most bookstores.

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