Guest: "Building a Series/Building a House" by J.K. Beck

We just moved, which won’t come as news to anyone who’s seen my posts on Twitter or Facebook or read some of my more recent blog entries, as the process has been occupying my life for far too long.

And since it has (we picked the lot back in March, hired a realtor to sell our house in May), everything in my life now seems to be filtered through a real estate/construction muddled mess.
So when I sat down in my new office and looked out over my new porch onto my new culdesac to write this blog post, my mind naturally drifted to the construction related. (Part of that may have to do with the fact that I can see them working on a house across the street, and the dumping of debris from one of the top windows to the ground really caught my attention).

And as I was pondering books and real estate, it occurred to me that building a series is a lot like building a house. We started out with a general plan—a line drawing of the home that we picked (we went the model home route, but for my analogy, building from scratch works, too!).

So my “model home” for the book was a series of books set in a paranormal judicial system. The first story was my introduction to the world (and the reader’s introduction as well). That would be the floor plan of the house. But then, as I got into writing the story, other things developed—we picked out all our various options—and the first book grew in tone and structure and character, and the second and third books presented themselves to me. The game room that we decided to add on was like a new direction in the story—something that presented itself and was such a great idea that I couldn’t pass it up.

Then there’s the actual building of the house—the writing and the revisions. First, it’s all kind of a muddle. You get everything together (the construction materials) and put together a first draft. Then come the revisions wherein you solidify the walls, put in the insulation, make sure the subflooring is safe so that no one falls through a plot hole, and check to make sure the roof is nice and tight. And don’t forget paint and countertops and cabinets—all the little things that bring characters to life! And then of course, you have landscaping, which I guess is promo! Apropos, I think, since my books are now hitting shelves, and this weekend will be spent working on the backyard!

Of course, I’m still adding onto/remodeling my book-house. There are three more Shadow Keeper books in the works, and more I hope will follow! A lot like the Winchester House, I guess, only I don’t want doors that go nowhere….unless nowhere is the equivalent of a new daemon realm. Hmmm….so many possibilities!

If you haven’t already, I hope you give the Shadow Keepers a try! The first book, When Blood Calls hit shelves last month, and the second, When Pleasure Rules is out right now with the third, When Wicked Craves coming hot on its heels. As I mentioned, the books are set in a paranormal judicial system, and the individual stories focus on different aspects. All are dark and intense, urban fantasy/thriller meets romance. In When Blood Calls, we meet Sara, a human who’s received a “promotion” to prosecute cases for the super-secret Division 6. Her first case: put away the man she had a one-night stand with. A man she learns is accused of murder. And who is a vampire.

In When Pleasure Rules, the story focuses less on trial and more on investigation, as the team from Division uses a succubus with a sketchy past as a confidential informant against the new werewolf in town, Rand. But Rand’s soul is so tattered from his tortured past that Lissa can’t get what she needs without hurting the were that she’s falling hard and fast for.

I’d love to hear what you think! You can follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/jkbeck), friend me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/authorjkbeck) or just check out the website, www.theshadowkeepers.com.

Happy reading!

Readers, J.K. is giving away a $15 gift card to Amazon to one lucky reader. To enter the contest, just leave a question or comment for J.K. Then to finish your entry, you need to leave your email address in your comment or send a message to contests.bookblog@gmail.com. This contest is open to everyone. The winner will be chosen on Thursday, October 14.