Sherrilyn Kenyon: Bestselling Alumnus

 

What would you do if you wrote a book series that became a success? What would you do if you saw your name on the New York Times Bestseller List? These are dreams most aspiring authors share. For one such alumnus of Georgia College, this dream has become a reality in the last few years, and it just keeps getting better.

Born in Columbus, Georgia in 1965, Sherrilyn Kenyon was the second child born to a Staff Sergeant and a convenience store clerk. Her father left the family when she was eight, leaving her mother to care for her and her older sister and younger brother. Her mother was forced to send her younger brother to relatives in Atlanta to live due to the financial struggles of raising Kenyon’s older sister, who had cerebral palsy. The family eventually reunited two years later once her mother moved her and her sister to Atlanta. This is where Kenyon’s family grew, her cousins becoming like her siblings.

After graduation, Kenyon was looking to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design, but could not afford the tuition. Instead, she chose to attend Georgia College and State University located in Milledgeville, Georgia. Though she did not officially graduate from Georgia College, she did attend her freshman and sophomore years here and is noted as an alumnus. And it was here that she claims the idea for her bestselling novels, The Dark-Hunter Series, first came to her. But not only did she begin working on her future novels here, she was a part of many activities as well.

Kenyon kick started her future career by holding the role of junior editor of The Colonnade, the school’s official newspaper. She was also the music director of the radio station and went on to become the manager. She worked as an English peer tutor for a bit of time, too. But these are only a small number of things on the large list of things that she did while attending Georgia College.

After her short stay at Georgia College (which is the school she claims holds a fond place in her heart), Kenyon transferred to the University of Georgia to complete a degree in history. This would come to play a big role later on in her writing of the Dark-Hunter novels as ancient civilizations and their cultures play a huge part in the books.

Like most writers, Kenyon faced trying times that challenged her belief in continuing her writing. First, it was the dismissal of her talents by the head of the writing program at UGA, which is why she switched majors from English to History. Second, the death of a family member left her in a state of depression and her writing desire seemed to fade away. Three years later, a friend of Kenyon’s needed help with articles for the magazine where she worked. Kenyon agreed and found her love of writing starting to return. And with the support of her husband, she started working on the novels that she had first conceived at Georgia College.

Now, years later, Sherrilyn Kenyon is a bestselling author with an international fan base for her Dark-Hunter series. She also writes under the pseudonym Kinley MacGregor. Under this name, she has written the MacAllisters Series and the Sea Wolves Series.

Though Sherrilyn Kenyon did not officially graduate as a Georgia College student, she still holds a special place in the heart of the college. Her books can be found on a special bookshelf located in the middle of the library, a picture of her displayed proudly on top of it. And, in 2012, she received the honorary Alumni Achievement Award from Georgia College.