Nate Kenyon's latest thriller, Day One, will be released by Thomas Dunne Books in October 2013. Kenyon's first novel, Bloodstone, was published by Five Star to critical acclaim, named a Bram Stoker Award finalist in hardcover, winning the P&E Horror Novel of the Year, and becoming one of the publisher's all time bestselling speculative fiction titles. His second novel, The Reach, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and raves from Booklist, Pop Syndicate and many more, was also a Stoker Award Finalist and was optioned for film. His third novel, The Bone Factory, was called "masterful" by Booklist. His fourth novel Sparrow Rock, was released in May 2010 to critical acclaim, and also optioned for film.
Kenyon has written several novels based in the worlds of Blizzard Entertainment's bestselling videogame franchises, including StarCraft Ghost: Spectres (Pocket Books), and Diablo III: The Order (Gallery/Pocket). His short science fiction novel, Prime, was published by Apex Books. He has had dozens of stories published in Shroud Magazine, Permuted Press's Monstrous anthology, Horror World, Dead Lines, The Harrow, and Legends of the Mountain State 2, The Monster's Corner, and the upcoming Dark Duets edited by Christopher Golden. Four of his stories were featured in the Dart Arts anthology When the Night Comes Down.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
Sure. I grew up in Maine and currently live in Massachusetts. I’ve been an avid reader and writer my whole life. I started publishing with BLOODSTONE in 2006, which was a Stoker Finalist and won P&E Horror Novel of the Year. I followed that with THE REACH, THE BONE FACTORY and SPARROW ROCK. My next two novels were written in the worlds of Blizzard’s hugely successful game franchises, STARCRAFT GHOST: SPECTRES, and DIABLO: THE ORDER. My next novel is a thriller about the day machines become sentient and take over New York, and it’s called DAY ONE. It’s due out next fall.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
I guess Dark Fiction, for me personally, because I don’t write strictly horror—but all my works tend to stray toward the dark side.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
I have a ton—Thomas Harris, William Peter Blatty, Lee Child, William Faulkner, Shirley Jackson, Peter Straub, Stephen King, Ira Levin, Robert Crais, Jay McInerney…I could go on a long time.
What are you reading now?
The Enemy by Lee Child.
Which book do you wish you had written?
Oh, god. Many of them. The Exorcist, for sure. Silence of the Lambs. The Shining. Three of the greatest horror/thrillers ever written, in my opinion.
How would you describe your writing style?
I don’t think I can…I would say I am intent on developing fully-fleshed out, interesting characters, because without them you have nothing more than spectacle.
Describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I have a day job and a very busy family life, so my writing schedule is hectic. When I’m on deadline, I write from 5 am to 7:30 am every morning, then get my daughter off to school and get ready for work. Then I try to put in another hour or two at night, after my kids are in bed. Weekends are often spent locked away on the third floor when the deadline is looming.
I need to get into the “mood” when I write--I find that very important. So I need quiet, and a few minutes of a kind of meditation that usually involves reading some of my favourite passages from other books and then imagining the scene I’m going to work on. I find writing to be sort of like a foreign language—I need to immerse myself in it, feel the rhythms and let my mind free to get going.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
Probably Sparrow Rock. I think it’s my best book, and most emotional story, for many reasons. It contains one of the biggest shocker endings I’ve ever tried to pull off in fiction, and I was never sure it was going to work until I started getting reader feedback. I guess it did.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
The Order is based in the world of Diablo, the huge bestselling videogame franchise from Blizzard Entertainment. It’s Deckard Cain’s story, and follows him during a particularly important time in his later life, as he searches for others of his kind, and tries to stop a coming demon invasion, while wrestling with his own terrible, deeply buried personal secrets. The Order bridges the gap between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3.
My next novel is an original thriller called Day One, set for a fall 2013 release from Thomas Dunne/St. Martins. I’m very excited about this novel. Here’s a synopsis:
Scandal-plagued journalist John Hawke is on the trail of the explosive story that might save his career. James Weller, former CEO of giant technology company Eclipse, has agreed to let Hawke do a profile on him. Hawke knows something very big is in the works at Eclipse--a quantum computing breakthrough--and he wants to use the profile as a foot in the door to find out more about Weller and the rumors swirling around his former company.
But Hawke has no idea how dangerous the truth is--and how closely connected he is to the source. After he arrives at Weller’s office in New York City, a seemingly normal day turns into a nightmare, as anything with an Internet connection begins to malfunction, often in strange and lethal ways. Before long Hawke gets a frantic phone call from his wife, who appears to be in terrible danger, but the call is cut short as explosions rock the building.
Hawke and a small band of survivors struggle for their lives as they find themselves thrust into the middle of a war zone--with no obvious enemy in sight. The bridges and tunnels have been destroyed. New York City is under attack from a malevolent entity that can be anywhere, occupy anything with a computer chip. It is deadly. It is brilliant. And it wants to eradicate the population of New York. Somehow, Hawke must find a way back to New Jersey and his pregnant wife and young son. Their lives depend upon it--and so does the rest of the human race.