Good morning everyone! I am so excited today to welcome one of my favorite authors (and people!) over to talk about some fun stuff. I've dabbled a bit in series writing myself, and I've learned one thing--it's a lot of work, juggling, and FUN. Now, I'm going to hand the conversation over to the professional. Enjoy!
Don’t Forget The Other Players…
Every reader tends to fall in love with the main characters, because, come on, that’s who the story belongs to, right? But every once in awhile the spotlight gets tugged away by the hero’s best friend, or the heroine’s sibling, and for a moment a reader will ask ‘Wonder what their story is?’ Guess what, you’re not the only one asking, so is the mad, creative mind behind the story that’s got you in its greedy little fists.
I’m a series reader and writer. When I find a new world that drags me under, call me bait, because I’m hooked. One of the most exciting parts about writing a series is the ability to explore those unexpected character stories. If you’re a reader, you know what I’m talking about—that quirky blonde that showed up just before things went on a downhill slide for your heroine, but her quick thinking snagged her back from utter failure, or the broody prankster who’s there when the hero calls for back-up. As a writer, these are the characters who wend their way into your heart despite every hurdle you throw at them and they always demand their own screen time.
I have two series, my Urban Fantasy The Kyn Kronicles and my Paranormal Romantic Suspense-PSY-IV Teams. Both series spawn secondary characters who threaten to steal the show. Now, I could go on about my heroine ex-marine Cynthia “Cyn” Arden, from the first PSY-IV Team book, HUNTED BY THE PAST, and her unwanted ability to see past events, or the fact she’s being hunted by her worst nightmare, or my hero, Kayden Shaw, with his own unique abilities, who’s given her space until danger stalks Cyn and their remaining team. But I’ll let you pick up the book and find out their story all on your own.
Instead, I thought you might want a peek into how those secondary characters, those individuals who add depth to the world around our leads, take on lives of their own. In HUNTED’s case we’re talking about Tag Gunderson, Cyn’s best bud and touch empath with his own demons, or Risia, barely mentioned but what’s said about her is enough to leave a mark. What about the telepath, Wolf? Or the caffeine addicted Bishop? Then there’s that whole unspoken “something” between composed Jinx and devilish Rabbit. Even Ricochet and Doc are standing, so far patiently, on the sidelines. Perhaps even our esteemed leader, Col. Charlene Delacourt might take center stage at some point. (No promises!)
As Cyn and Kayden’s journey ran across the pages, the bits and pieces that make up the team around them began to form. And because secondary characters do more than assist the main protagonists, their personalities came along with them. As a writer, it’s my job to make sure I learn what makes each individual player in my stories unique. If they’re on the page, it’s because the part they play has an impact. As the pieces come together, a backstory is created, one that generates how they handle what’s coming down the pike. Because your main hero or heroine can only take so much before they need a break, or more stories would end with “and the men in white jackets came and took them away.”
It came as no surprise to me that my second book of the PSY-IV Teams would focus on Tag and Risia as soon as Cyn asked Tag, “What’s wrong, Tag? Did you finally meet a woman wise to the ways of your charm?” And yes, yes he did, in more ways than one. Because here’s where the back-story makes things interesting.
(WARNING: we’re now entering THE MIND OF A WRITER, so mind the turns.)
Tag is a touch empath. Risia is a seer. Tag’s nickname is Hayseed—and yep, he’s blond, tall, and would look great in a cowboy hat. Risia is the epitome of elegance and enjoys all of life’s pleasures, because when you know your mind will snap at any given moment, might as well enjoy what you have while you have it.
Opposing characters make for some serious conflicts all by itself, but as a writer, I’m not done. Oh no, not by a long shot. To keep it interesting, what happens when a touch empath survives a brutal military service, his BFF bails for six months, his mentor comes home in a body bag, and his former teammates are being picked off one by one? How does he deal with being sent off to track down the “civilian” consultant that revs his engine even as his brain’s telling him to put on the brakes? Even more fun, what if she’s one of the few people he can’t read by touch? And when he’s sent to find her, what if she’s gone? Poof! Just when the realization they may have an inside traitor lurking about? Bad timing or something more?
Then there’s Risia Lacoste, a woman who can see the future and all its mind-boggling possibilities. Unless, of course, it’s centered around her. A beauty of mixed race heritage who understands insanity is the only thing she can count on. What happens if she’s offered something she’s worked years to uncover? Will it change her loyalty? Will a woman who’s learned to never trust anyone but herself be daring enough to reach out? Especially, to the man she thinks will be her death?
And that’s just from that one sentence. So sixty pages into HUNTED, I have the leads for TOUCHED BY FATE. Fortunately it doesn’t stop there. As we move through the story and people come and go (much like they do in our lives) as a writer I discover there are more intriguing stories waiting for me to pull into the light. In fact, I’m currently in the midst of penning MARKED BY OBSESSION (PSY-IV Teams #3) and taking on Wolf and Meli’s story.
My hope is, if I do my job right, you’ll not only fall in love with my main characters, but get drawn into the lives of those around them. And when you finally lift your head from the book and look around, you’ll be looking at your own world a little differently.
And since I love discovering new reads, feel free to share who’s managed to suck you into their worlds recently…
Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. She can be soothed with coffee and chocolate. Surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and two female labs moonlighting as the Fur Minxes, she escapes by playing with the voices in her head.
PSY-IV Teams (Paranormal Romantic Suspense series w/MuseIt Up Publishing)
HUNTED BY THE PAST, PSY-IV Teams #1
Sometimes death is the only way to out run the past…
Changing the past is impossible, a fact ex-marine, Cynthia Arden, understands all too well. Struggling with the aftermath of a botched mission, a panicked phone call brings her home to face a killer’s game. Unfortunately, the distracting Kayden Shaw returns as well, the one man she thought would stand by her, until he chose his job over her.
To survive, will Cyn risk her heart or lose the man she loves and her life?
Coming Spring 2016:
TOUCHED BY FATE, PSY-IV Teams #2
Trusting him with her secrets is dangerous. Trusting him with her heart could be fatal.
As a specialized consultant for the Department of Defense, Risia Lacoste understands the bargaining chip of a well-kept secret. When her current assignment threatens to unearth her deeply buried skeletons, she’s forced into a high-stakes game of lies and loyalty where even her ability to foresee the future can’t predict the winner.
Darkness lies under the skin of every man, and PSY-IV Team operative and touch empath, Tag Gunderson, has the demons to prove it. Scarred by betrayal and disillusionment, he’s not Risia’s top pick for a partner in the game, but he’s all she’s got.
As the game draws them deeper into a pit of intrigue and their list of enemies grow, will Risia trust Tag with more than her secrets or will his demons destroy them both?
Check out Jami’s Kyn Kronicles, including her newest release, TANGLED IN SHADOWS, a collection of Kyn Short Stories…
TANGLED IN SHADOWS
In a world of intrigue and shadows, tangling with the monsters can leave its mark…
Step into the world of Jami Gray’s Kyn with this collection of short stories, and discover why readers are disappearing into this exciting, Urban Fantasy series.
Wrapped In Shadows, .5 (previously published in Things That Go Bump For The Holidays)
The magic of the holiday season can be hell…
Elite Kyn, Gavin Durand and Raine McCord, are called in to investigate the aftermath of a Christmas engagement party gone horrifically wrong, only to face an unexpected gift.
Submerged in Shadows, 1.5
Treasures from the deep come in all shapes and sizes…
Forced on an unwanted vacation, Raine soon discovers that boredom is the least of her worries when danger washes ashore, bringing unexpected complications.
Masked by Shadows, 2.5
Nothing is ever easy…
For Gavin and Raine the job is simple, deliver a package to an interested party in New Orleans. Yet even the easiest job can mask unexpected challenges.
Ensnared by Shadows, 3.5
Deception leaves a tangled web…
Ryuu Kern, Motoki Pack’s Second, is no stranger to sticky situations, but when delectable Division Agent, Iliana Krychek, comes to him for help, it will take more than claws and teeth to untangle a deadly web of deceit.
The brilliant Jami Gray drops by to talk about building series characters... #UF #Paranormal
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