Yesterday, we talked a bit about the name thing. What’s the hardest thing about having a new name?
Well, obviously I want to spread the word to my readers, because even though the books are edgier than most of my Julie Kenner books, they’re still me, and fundamental aspects of my voice come through, and I think my existing readers will enjoy the books. That’s not an easy thing, though, when you consider that although we think of the Internet as this huge beast, a lot of readers aren’t on the web, at least not in the way that many of the folks dropping by this blog are. So for those readers, I really have to hope that they get the word through booksellers and word of mouth – or that they’re simply drawn to the kickass covers that Bantam came up with. Seriously, I love these covers!
As for the folks who are on the web, well, obviously I’ve told my Facebook friends and Twitter followers, and I’m not shy about sharing on my websites. But I want to get to the widest audience possible, so I pondered how best to do that. Here are the fruits of my pondering:
Yes, I have a weird sense of humor…and a very cooperative family!
And, of course, events like this help spread the word…so thanks!
You’re very welcome! So you have this paranormal world, and paranormal judicial system. That seems very “rules” and “mythology” oriented. Was it hard introducing the reader?
Yes and no. On the one hand, I have gobs and gobs of outtakes from When Blood Calls wherein I went off on tangents dealing with the ins-and-outs of the process. (I may clean them up and post them in a deleted scenes area on my webpage…I’ll have to find them in the mess that is my computer filing system!). Those scenes weren’t really relevant to the actual story (the romance) and they contained nothing the reader needed to know right then. So to a certain extent, it was hard to rein myself in and reveal only what the reader really needs to know.
Ultimately, Sara was my talisman in that regard. She’s as new to the world as the reader is, so things can be revealed to her at the same time that they’re revealed to the reader.
Sara and Luke have an instant attraction to one another. Do you think that’s realistic?
Yup! I met my husband opening night of Jurassic Park (June of 1993 for those of you who are not walking movie encyclopedias). He was a friend of a friend and I was instantly smitten (turns out so was he). Got engaged before I went home for my high school reunion that summer. Got married in October of that year. Seventeen years and two kids later, I’d have to say that instant attraction works for me.
Not only is it realistic (from my perspective on life) but it adds a layer to the story, because you have to have the characters deal with that. There’s the slam-bam sexual chemistry, but then the characters have to work through all the other conflict, internal and external, to get them to the place where they can, truly, be together and not have it be all about sex. I enjoy the slow build, too, but hot and fast does ring true to me!
Speaking of Sara, you said you’d have a Sara excerpt for us today?
“Sara Constantine. I’m Nostramo Bosch.”
“Nice to meet you.”
“We’re very excited to have you on board. I’ve been monitoring your career for quite a while. I hope you decide to accept the position.”
She had absolutely no intention of walking away. But she couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if she did.
Bosch chuckled, as if he could read her thoughts. Then again, Sara supposed that maybe he could. “Don’t worry. You have a perfect right to say no. And if you do, you’ll simply go back upstairs and slip back into your old job.”
“No way,” she said, then realized she’d blurted the response out far too quickly for propriety. She turned to Porter. “I didn’t mean —”
“I understand,” he said, amusement in his voice.
“But I’m curious,” she admitted. “I could just go back? After having seen all of this?”
Bosch waved his hand, as if dismissing that complication. “We have creatures on staff more than capable of adjusting your memory. At most, it would seem like a very vivid dream.”
She was digesting that tidbit of information when Bosch’s phone buzzed. “Mr. Porter’s needed back on the main floors,” a melodic voice announced. “And the suspect is settled in Interview A.”
“Thank you, Martella.”
“I’ll take my leave then,” Porter said. He turned to Sara, then took her hand in his, giving it a friendly pat. “I’m the only one in my office who knows the true nature of Division 6. You’re welcome to speak with your friends, of course, but don’t forget the cover story. A division of Homeland Security, and you’re not at liberty to share any more information.”
“Right. Thank you.” She smiled politely, surprised to find she wasn’t nervous about him leaving her alone down here. Just the opposite, actually. She was eager to get on with it. To find out the details of this strange new world.
Bosch was watching her face, his expression approving. “We’ll walk out with you,” he said to Porter.
He slipped into his suit coat, and they followed Porter out into the hall. But when he turned back toward the reception area, Bosch led Sara further into the bowels of the building, moving through doors, striding down crowded hallways, and finally stopping outside a room labeled Interview A. “Porter didn’t have the chance to explain my job in much detail,” she said.
“Your job’s exactly the same,” Bosch said. “It’s only the rules that have changed.”
He opened the door, and they stepped into an anteroom, completely empty. The walls were concrete, painted a dull gray, with one exception — the far wall featured a window of opaque black glass beside a heavy steel door. A control panel was mounted between the door and the glass.
“Normally, I’d give you a little more time to take it in. To get your bearings. But I want you in at the ground floor of this case.”
“That’s what Mr. Porter said.” She looked toward the closed door, imagining the defendant waiting beyond it.
“Right now, the short hand version. Division 6 is the cover story for one arm of an ancient organization we now call the Preternatural Enforcement Coalition. The PEC’s been functional in some form or other almost since the dawn of civilization, though I’ll admit it’s become more bureaucratic of late. We have one purpose, to bring those of our kind who would do evil to justice.”
“You could say that we are a self-regulatory agency. We do not operate under the laws of humans. We operate under the Covenant, a series of laws created and modified over millennia.”
“And these laws have jurisdiction over whom? Werewolves? Vampires? All the spooky things Porter mentioned when we were in the elevator?”
“The Shadow creatures. Exactly.”
“Okay.” She licked her lips, forcing herself to look at this like any job, any problem.
“But I’m human. Doesn’t that matter?”
“No, though humans are rare among our ranks. We only offer positions to the best and the brightest. Humans we have determined to be psychologically capable of moving into this world.”
“Oh.” She looked at him. “Are you human?”
She nodded, desperately wanting to ask what he was, but fearing that would cross some sort of prosecutor-boss etiquette line.
“You said it’s a new case?”
“New, and high profile. The enforcement wing apprehended the defendant this morning. He’s finished processing, and is waiting for us. I don’t expect you to participate today, but I do want you here for the preliminary interview.”
“What’s the charge?”
“Murder. He killed a retired judge. One of our judges.”
“What was the murder weapon?”
“The defendant was the weapon,” Bosch said as he pushed one of the buttons on the control panel. “He can’t see us,” Bosch said. “One way glass.”
As he spoke, the glass shifted from opaque black to transparent, revealing the interior of the interrogation room. Sara stifled a gasp, carefully schooling her face into absolutely no reaction at all.
Not that Bosch was watching her. He was staring at the defendant. He was staring at Luke. At the man whose hands had brought her skin to life. The man whose tongue had laved her. Whose cock had filled her. Whose urgent thrusts had left her moaning and begging for more.
The man who’d shared her disgust when she’d outlined Stemmons’s crimes, and who’d helped celebrate her victory when she’d shared the jury’s verdict.
The man who’d left a bundle of tulips on her doorstep. Who’d filled her thoughts and eased her dreams.
The man now sitting there accused of murder.
“Sara? You okay? I know it’s a lot to take in.”
She cleared her throat, remembering the gentle way his fingers had caressed her neck. “You said the defendant was the weapon? What exactly did you mean by that?”
“Pretty standard stuff in this division,” Bosch said. “Lucius Dragos is a vampire.”
Cool! Don’t forget, you can find JK at http://www.jkbeck.com or http://www.theshadowkeepers.com And follow her on twitter (jkbeck) and facebook (authorjkbeck).
JK, what’s today’s question for comments?
Something fun! How about….how would you react if you discovered your significant other was a vampire? Or, if you’d rather, what’s the freakiest thing that you’ve ever discovered about someone you’re dating and/or married to!