Having written dozens of fantasy novels, best-selling author Sherrilyn Kenyon knows a thing or two about crafting the twists and turns of a thrilling plot. Unfortunately, it seems that she’s also now versed in what it’s like to be at the center of one. According to a newsletter she sent to fans earlier this week, she was allegedly the victim of someone trying to poison her.
“Again, as many of you know, one of the reasons I had to cut back on my appearances and stop doing my annual fan convention a couple of years ago was that out of the blue I was viciously and painfully struck down by a bevy of strange, inexplicable and baffling symptoms,” Kenyon wrote. “This past spring and summer, after new rounds of testing, my doctor finally learned the cause of it all: Someone close to me was tainting my food.”
The author of the popular Dark-Hunter series said that earlier in 2018 she had split from her husband of 28 years, Lawrence Kenyon. She suspects him of being behind the poisoning and said she alerted the authorities and has filed a lawsuit against him and Kerrie Plump, a woman initially hired as a tutor for their children.
In the 95-page lawsuit Kenyon’s publicist sent Yahoo, the writer says beginning in 2014, she began feeling inexplicably ill. She later experienced hair loss, bone loss, disorientation, nausea, facial swelling, and other troubling symptoms.
“Rest assured, I am much better today as my symptoms have dramatically improved since this past March when it all came to light and the authorities were notified,” Kenyon said in the newsletter. “But I and the authorities are still trying to determine who all had a hand in doing this to me as a number of people who handled my food then are all gone, and to find out what, if any damage might be permanent from what I unknowingly ingested while they were around.”
(Yahoo has reached out to Franklin, Tennessee, police to verify whether there was an investigation of these charges but has received no response at this time.)
Kenyon met her husband in college in Georgia, and she later worked three jobs while he went to law school. In an interview with the Nashville Tennessean, she spoke about how they wound up homeless after he graduated and she had their first child. Through that hardship, she continued to write.
“My anger went out on the page,” said Kenyon, who also said she grew up in a poor, volatile household. “You have to let it out. You have to have a pressure valve somewhere.”
Though she got her first book deal in the early 1990s, Kenyon’s career really took off in the early 2000s. The Dark-Hunter series, which numbers more than 40 books, is about immortal vampire-like warriors who protect mankind from other evil creatures. She has also written spinoffs and other book series through the years, earning a worldwide following.
But in addition to earning fans, Kenyon also earned some notoriety in 2016 when she filed a lawsuit against another popular novelist, Cassandra Clare, accusing her of plagiarizing the Dark-Hunter series for Clare’s various Shadowhunter series, which have since been turned into a movie and TV show. In her newsletter, Kenyon says this lawsuit was the work of her husband. Her lawsuit also accuses him and Plump of causing problems between her and her publisher on several occasions.
“For the record, the Cassandra Clare lawsuit was settled outside of court and was not dropped,” Kenyon said in her newsletter. “A lawsuit my husband started because of his own personal agenda and greed; one that Kerrie and Lawrence worked on together, and seem determined to have reopened by their spurious and baiting comments they are recklessly making and that they need to stop as I will not be held responsible for their nefarious speech and/or schemes.”
She also claims that Plump has been posting in the author’s various social media sites and tried to get fans to send hate mail to her publishers. Kenyon says that some of the trouble Plump stirred caused some of her novels’ publishing dates to be pushed, while contracts for others were canceled.
After receiving this newsletter, many of Kenyon’s fans, who call themselves Menyons, have rallied to support her.
“This is insane! I’m so sorry that this happen to you @mysherrilyn. STAY STRONG my favorite author and I LOVE YOU SO MUCH,” tweeted @xiamaranema.
On Facebook, some fans pledged to send letters to her publisher Tor, to show their continued devotion.
“Sherrilyn, the books you write are so important in my life,” Fatima McLaughlin wrote. “Words can’t say how much I appreciate and love them. All the support I can give sending your way. It’s isn’t right. Strong alone … stronger together!”
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