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Doctor by Day / Novelist by Night

Darin Kennedy is a board certified family physician and a graduate of Wake Forest University, both undergraduate and medical school, in his hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He completed his residency at the turn of the century after three years at Carilion Health System in lovely Roanoke, Virginia and went on to serve eight years in the United States Army as an Army Doctor, Flight Surgeon, Family Physician, Family Medicine Residency Faculty, and got to spend most of 2003 and early 2004 in sunny Iraq. It is there he accomplished his other lifelong dream, to become a storyteller, writer, and novelist.

In the two decades since his deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom where he cut his teeth on his first book, Pawn's Gambit, banging out words on the unit dentist's Panasonic Toughbook in between the dentist using the laptop to look at dental x-rays and soldiers using the computer to email home, he has written and published ten novels - two trilogies, a standalone young adult novel, and the first three books of a new ongoing contemporary fantasy series - along with numerous short stories across several magazines and anthologies.

His latest series, Songs of the Ascendant, is thus far comprised of three books: Shadows of the Night, All Fired Up, and You Better Run. A love letter to 80s pop music and all things Generation X, this new series falls at the intersection of X-Men/Heroes, Highlander, Buffy, and Chuck and draws elements from these and more of Darin's favorite pop culture entries. Every book is named for and takes it's theme from the works of one of Darin's all time favorite performers, Pat Benatar, and every chapter, every scene, every piece of mythology and back story is 80s pop music, a genre of music that seems to be getting more popular each passing year. 

The Pawn Stratagem, the series that Darin had been working on in the back of his mind since he was a teenager and the tale that started him down the writer's path in the first place, includes Pawn's GambitQueen's Peril, and Kings Crisis. This trilogy, finally complete, brings together his lifelong interest in the game of chess and a childhood spent reading countless comic books, many of those characters now gracing the silver screen on a regular basis and making billions, a fact Darin still can't quite wrap his head around.

His Fugue & Fable series, comprised of The Mussorgsky RiddleThe Stravinsky Intrigue, and The Tchaikovsky Finale, is set in his current home of Charlotte, NC and combines his loves of Russian classical music, world mythology, and tales of psychic phenomena. The first book a love letter to Mussorgsky's magnum opus, Pictures at an Exhibition, as well as Rimsky-Korsakov's masterpiece, Scheherazade, Darin followed up with two more that take us through Stravinsky's The FirebirdPetrushka, and The Rite of Spring with a brief trip to Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain only to finish up with a tour de force through Tchaikovsky's Swan LakeThe Nutcracker, and The Sleeping Beauty with brief wanderings through Prokofiev's Peter & the Wolf, Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, and Rachmaninoff's Isle of the Dead before bringing the whole thing full circle with a return to Mussorgsky and a cannon-filled finish with the 1812 Overture. Yes, Darin likes his classical music.

Carol, his lone young adult novel, is the product of a 3 a.m. dream/nightmare in 2013 and is modern day retelling of Dickens' A Christmas Carol with a teenage female protagonist and a 21st century sensibility. Darin bills this one as Scrooge meets Mean Girls.

Necromancer for Hire is the first book in The April Sullivan Chronicles, a compilation of short stories starring the titular necromancer. A second volume hopefully is right around the corner, as Darin has already written a few more April stories in between the various novels, but like the character herself, these stories can be a bit elusive and the second volume will be ready when it is ready.

A moderately full catalog of fantasy, science-fiction, horror, and steampunk short stories published anywhere from small press anthologies to Chess Life Magazine round out Darin's fictional escapades so far.

Enjoy the website, look around, and drop Darin a message if you have a minute. He plans to be writing for many years to come and any encouragement is always welcome. His Checkered Ramblings blog has been neglected for a few years in favor of the various social media (along with the day job, eating, sleeping, etc.) but he may resurrect that at some point if the need arises.

And now, two sentences/five little words that have been on Darin's website since 2009 when Apple's iWeb was still a thing: some words of encouragement from one of his favorite movies that have helped keep him going and led to him finding the occasional island of Yes after months and even years sometimes adrift in an ocean of No.

Never give up. Never surrender.

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