Colleagues and readers alike have dubbed Kerry Alan Denney The Reality Bender. The multiple award-winning author of Soulsnatcher (Lazy Day Publishing, April 29, 2014 - ISBN 978-1499251777) and Jagannath (coming from Permuted Press February 3, 2015), Kerry has written eight novels and published several short stories of fantastic fiction incorporating genre-blending elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and the supernatural and paranormal—speculative fiction at its wildest and craziest. With joy, malicious glee, and a touch of madness, he writes reality-bending thrillers, even when the voices don't compel him to. His protagonists are his children, and he loves them as dearly as he despises his antagonists... even when he has to kill them.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I’m a reality-bending madman, undiscovered by the authorities so far, and therefore still not incarcerated at the present time. I love spilling out the stories swimming in my head onto the written page. By God, it may be the only thing that keeps me sane. Or am I just kidding myself? I may have sailed off the edge of the world quite some time ago. Friends say that if I were rich, I’d be eccentric, but since I’m not rich—yet—I’m just freaking crazy.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Sleep, lol. Seems like there’s rarely a time I’m not writing. I even write in my dreams. However, in those rare moments I’m not cackling madly as I turn the craziness in my head into stories, I love to take my Golden retriever Holly Jolly—a professional Therapy Dog well-loved by kids and retirees alike—to the park, where I let her off her leash and we play swim & fetch with tennis balls. We also love taking nature hikes, where I often get lots of inspiration for more stories. What a world, what a world!
What’s your favourite food?
Impossible to answer, too many! Spaghetti, pizza, Jambalaya, about 80% of Chinese dishes. I’m lucky to still have a very high metabolism, and do love to eat... but I don’t live to eat, I eat to write. Because writing IS living to me. :)
Who would be on the soundtrack to your life story?
So much good music to include! I’ll name a few favorites: Circus Maximus, Symphony X, Chris Cornell, Joe Satriani, Vinnie Moore, Steve Vai, Gaelic Storm, Loreena McKennitt, Natalie Merchant (she has SUCH a sexy voice!), Buckethead, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Kansas, Yes, Jethro Tull, The Moody Blues, Al DiMeola, lots of Celtic music, Vivaldi... God, the list could just go on and on!
Tell us a dirty little secret?
We’re all figments and fragments of each other’s wildest, craziest dreams. Nothing is truly “real,” and everything is real.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Get off your lazy carousing guitar-playing ass and start writing, son! Those stories aren’t going anywhere just swimming around in your head, boy.
Characters often find themselves in situations they aren't sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
Ouch. Relationship that wasn’t working: I told her it wasn’t working, and she was very hurt and angry even though she knew it was true. She lashed out at me, said a lot of hurtful things. Having grown up a tiny bit since my younger days and learned that saying hurtful things also hurts those who say them—and that it accomplishes nothing positive or constructive—I took it like a man. I took the high road, in other words, and kept my mouth shut, didn’t say the mean things I wanted to say. And now I’m glad I did. I have a clear conscience, and am certain I made all the right decisions this time. Except for getting into a relationship with her in the first place, lol. Women are right sometimes: When we’re thinking with one head, the other head is a moron, lol. :)
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” ― Mark Twain
Who are some of your favourite authors?
Whoa, long list! I’ll give you the short and sweet one, starting with my earliest favorites and moving to more modern ones: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Kenneth Robeson (author of the Doc Savage and The Avenger series), Maxwell Grant (author of The Shadow series), Ray Bradbury, H.G. Wells, Robert Heinlein, Dean Koontz, Robert R. McCammon, James Rollins, F. Paul Wilson, Vernor Vinge, Charles de Lint, Steve Alten, Ray Garton... God, another list that could go on and on, and I’m certain I’ve missed some very good ones.
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
Great: The Passage by Justin Cronin. Disappointed: Pandemic by Scott Sigler. Too scientific and filled with well-researched but tedious jargon and unnecessary expertise that didn’t move the plot and story forward. I absolutely LOVE the rest of Mr. Sigler’s works, especially Ancestor and Nocturnal.
What is your all-time favourite horror novel, and film?
Damn, dude, you ask some tough questions! Okay, several-way tie, movies: The Omega Man starring Charlton Heston, Prince of Darkness by John Carpenter (still creeps me out), Event Horizon, Bruce Campbell vs. Army of Darkness (both versions), and I absolutely loved Anne Parillaud in Innocent Blood. I could go on here too, but I’ll stop.
Books (another big tie): Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons, Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon, Watchers by Dean Koontz, The Passage by Justin Cronin, and of course the unabridged version of Stephen King’s The Stand.
If you could erase one horror cliché what would it be?
Fucking VAMPIRES. Good God, if there were as many vampires as were written about and movies made about, they would have taken over the whole world ten times over 50 years ago or more. Try being a LITTLE more creative, writers, would ya?
Which fictional character would be your perfect neighbour, and who would be your nightmare neighbour?
Perfect: Einstein the dog from Dean Koontz’s Watchers. I love dogs. Or any fictional movie character Madeleine Kahn ever played.
Nightmare: Any movie character played by George Clooney, Alec Baldwin, or Julia Roberts. Or Leatherface or Jason. Those fuckers just WILL NOT DIE, lol.
If you could kill off any character from any other book who would you choose and how would they die?
Doctor Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes stories. I would resurrect him several times and kill him again and again in new and obscene and nefarious ways. How? Probably for one of his insidious schemes to backfire on him. That would be the ultimate Karma.
And if you had free range what fictional character would you like to write for?
One of my own. I have too many great story ideas in my head to waste time with any other writer’s characters.
What do you think of the current state of the genre?
Growing and spreading in leaps and bounds, pardon the cliche. I love the way authors such as myself are experimenting with crossover genre work. It’s one of the main reasons I’m being branded as The Reality Bender.
What do you think is the biggest problem facing horror fiction right now?
Fucking VAMPIRES, lol. Second to that, way too many zombies.
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?
Yes! Positive: Besides the rave testimonial I received from the generous New York Times bestselling author James Rollins for my paranormal thriller Soulsnatcher, one Goodreads reviewer named Tara (a stranger to me who won a copy of Soulsnatcher in a giveaway contest) said: “This book was absolutely radiant and I couldn’t put it down. The characters became alive for me, and even though it’s fiction, the characters and their problems were real. I recommend this book to anyone that’s not afraid of amazing literary skills and beautiful imagination.”
Yeah, that one stuck with me, among several others.
Negative: None so far.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Stuff like this, lol. Seriously, the whole necessary self-promotion gig. I’d rather just write.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
Probably My Little Pony’s Gay Cowboy Porn in Outer Space. And forensics stuff; it’s been done too much, and by authors more savvy about forensics than I am. I love the fantastical crazy stuff!
What do you think makes a good story?
Other than a great and compelling plot concept, primarily characters with real and likable personalities, respectable ambitions and goals, and nearly overwhelming obstacles to achieving those goals.
How important are names to you in your books?
Mega important. I sometimes spend days just agonizing what to name a certain character. One protagonist named Conor in one of my novels was particularly liked by and friendly to dogs, and he didn’t even discover what his name meant until he had lost his memory in an accident: “wolf friend; lover of dogs.”
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
More than anything else, a creative imagination and a love of storytelling. With those, a writer can use even the most rudimentary tools to create their works. But a Word processor is a nice addition, lol, and the Internet is the most spectacular research tool in the history of mankind.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Keep writing and submitting your work to publishers and agents, and keep honing your craft! He (Robert R. McCammon) and she (my friend and fellow published author Lynda Fitzgerald) said don’t ever give up, and helped me to formulate what I call my “Triple P Philosophy”: Persistence, Patience, and Perseverance.
What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer?
When are you going to get a real job, lol. ;)
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
So many different ways. A constantly expanding and regularly updated website is a must in my opinion. Various social media networks, including blogger/ reviewers in my genres, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and author sites such as Author’s Den, among others. Several sites offer affordable ways to post your works as well. Just research them well before making the plunge and potentially wasting your time and money. Lots of scam artists out there, and it’s good to know some of the best “writer watchdog” sites so you can get ample warning about the ones that don’t help and some who even rob you blind. I’ve found that soliciting and getting blogger/ reviewers to review your work and post them on their sites is very helpful, as many readers peruse these sites to find what they want to read next.
Who is your favourite character from your book and why?
That is an incredibly tough question, as I’ve written eight novels. I’ll pick a character from one of my two published works, Jagannath, my post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller coming from Permuted Press February 3, 2015: Corporal Kimi Jayden. She is totally hot, compassionate, merciful, determined, strong-willed, and full of non-stop kickassery.
But then there’s Jasmine “Jazz” Tandy from my paranormal thriller Soulsnatcher (Lazy Day Publishing, April 2014), who is much the same as Kimi, with an admirable maternal instinct and love for those who need defending and protecting. And a surprise kick-ass psychic power too. :)
How about the least favourite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
You never stop with the tough questions, do you? I’d have to say I’ve removed all the characters in my works that didn’t appeal to me. However, there is a villainess in Soulsnatcher who I absolutely loved to hate. She practically wrote herself, and took on a life of her own outside of my head. Sure, she was “unappealing,” but she was a great villainess. She made Cruella DeVille look like Mary Poppins.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
You’re making my head explode with the tough questions. I have a few personal favorites, but each novel has a favorite scene or idea that makes it really stand out. If my face is pressed to the fire, I’d have to say my most recent high-concept fantasy novel, whose title I will not share until it’s published, because it’s just too clever. It named itself, from my muse, not from me.
And are there any that you would like to forget about?
No. Any ideas that didn’t work were quickly trashed and forgotten.
For those who haven’t read any of your books, what book of yours do you think best represents your work and why?
Well, since only one is published so far, and the other is coming out in February 2015, I’d have to say... I can’t decide. I love them both, and my readers and fans do too. The why is because all my stories are about self-sacrifice, compassion, determination, overwhelming terror, selfless courage, and the ultimate triumph and redemption of the human spirit.
What are you working on right now?
This interview, lol. And my marketing campaigns for both Jagannath and Soulsnatcher. The self-promo gig never ends. I’m also writing my next crazy-ass supernatural thriller, won’t share that title either.
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do? And what would be the answer?
What’s my one impossible wish? That my parents and little brother were still here, alive and healthy. But I can’t have that, so I’ll just keep them in my heart... and keep writing stories I know they would love and be proud of.
Children with extraordinary psychic powers are being used as pawns in a deadly supernatural war. Jasmine “Jazz” Tandy and her nine-year-old son Chaz, who can heal people with his touch, are fleeing from a ruthless organization that kidnaps these children. Children such as Kaylee Daley, who can control and manipulate plant life, and Mara Fleming, who can see into the future. Their only hope for salvation is a covert group called the Guardians, who protect these children from the organization’s merciless hunters.
Dr. Larssen Sössnacher, the organization’s leader—called “Soulsnatcher” by the remarkable children he abducts and exploits—believes Chaz is the miraculous prodigy who will grant him the immortality he craves... and he’ll stop at nothing to get Chaz.
Cody Jackson, a Guardian and martial arts and weapons expert, rescues Jazz and Chaz from Soulsnatcher’s hunters and takes them to Homestead, a safe haven where the children learn to use their powers to help others. But Soulsnatcher’s hunters raid Homestead and battle the Guardians in a surreal deadly showdown—with the souls of all the children as the ultimate prize.
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