Thursday, July 7, 2011

Guest Post with author Jocelynn Drake

Today I am pleased to host author Jocelynn Drake! She is the author of the best-selling Dark Days novels. You can visit her website here.

Can I Learn to Love Again?

While I’m a few years away from being a debut author, I still feel fresh and new to the business of writing books as I have just closed out my first series and I am starting a new one.  I never expected it to be so difficult to end a series.  Sure, there are the usual complications of tying up all the loose ends I had created over the previous five books and trying to give as many characters as possible a satisfying ending.  But I quickly learned that there is more to the business of ending a series than just worrying about whether the plot you’ve woven is believable and satisfying.

There’s the heartbreaking business of saying good-bye.

The Dark Days series started as little more than a lark.  An experiment in writing.  I had been reading a lot of vampire stories and had been playing with this fiery red-headed character for a few weeks.  But I wanted something different.   I wanted to tell a story about this vampire hunter, but I wanted it to be told from the point of view of the vampire he was hunting. 

Funny thing is… Mira didn’t want to talk too much about Danaus.  It seems that the vampire had an amazing story of her own to tell, which just happened to include the vampire hunter.  Mira was born with a larger-than-life personality.  As soon as she opened her mouth in what started out as nothing more than a short story, this whole world exploded around me.  It was rich and beautiful and very dangerous.   You couldn’t trust anyone and the people that you could trust were usually your enemies with their own agendas.  

I never thought I would love someone so much of my own creation.

I have spent close to seven years working with Mira and Danaus.  I have seen them in good times and bad.  They’ve lost family, friends, and children.  They’ve laughed, cried, loved, and hated in nearly equal amounts.  The Dark Days series has allowed me to research far off places I have never trod.  Mira has travelled to all the cities I’ve dreamed of, but I have walked the streets that she calls home.  On a research trip, I travelled down to Mira’s home in Savannah and I fell in love all over again.  I wandered through the parks that dot the city, thinking of what they must look like to Mira glowing in the moonlight.  I sat back in an outdoor bar on River Street, watching the ships go by, wondering where all the vampires are.

Now that the series is over and I find myself wondering about all the characters from the series.  I feel that Mira and Danaus are in a good place.  But what about the others?  Will Tristan ever forgive me for what I’ve done to him?  Will Knox be safe in Savannah?  Will Nicolai ever find a place to call home?  Are Barrett and the other member of the Savannah Pack safe?  Will Valerio ever get over his love for Mira or will it continue to haunt him?  Will Cynnia and the other naturi ever find their way?

In the end, I like to think they will all be fine.  I’ve spent several years with them and learned that they all have a pretty good head on their shoulders.  I’ve enjoyed spending time with them.  It was a rocky road, but it was an amazing ride.

But it’s not over just quite yet.  The Dark Days series has officially closed with the release of Burn the Night, but I found that I wasn’t quite able to pack Mira away.  A number of fans of the series wanted to see Mira’s past – particularly her relationship with Valerio.  So, I’ve written a novella that is a prequel to the series that takes a look at her time with the sexy vampire.  It will be out this fall.

In the meantime, I’ve started a new series with an entirely new feel and new cast of characters.  The new series focuses on a world that is dominated by warlocks and witches, while being filled with all manner of magical creature.  However, it’s the tattoo artists that have caught my attention.  They are the equalizers in this world.  With just the right amount of cash and a quick potion, the tattoo artists can give you a tattoo that could earn you love, good luck, or maybe even hex an old ex.

So, to answer my first question, yes, I can love again.  But Mira and the gang, they will always hold a special place in my heart.  They were my first love.

Thank you so much for stopping by Jocelynn! 
Be sure to pick up your copy of her newest book Burn the Night.

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