Q&A: Author of Riley Jenson series on why it must end! November 12, 2009Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Releases.
Tags: BOUND TO SHADOWS, Keri Arthur, Riley Jenson
Half vampire. Half werewolf. All trouble.
learned that her heroine Riley Jenson likes to have lots of sex (her wolf side), but longs for her soul mate. She’s tough and smart because you’ve gotta be if you work for Melbourne’s Directorate of Other Races, which protects humans from the supernatural races. Keri just released book No. 8 – BOUND TO SHADOWS — in the series, which ends next year with book No. 9. We asked Keri to talk to us about the Riley Jenson series and why she’s ending it.
Q. So we are down to one last book in the Riley Jenson series. (Wah!) How did this series come about? What was the original length going to be?
A. Originally, the series wasn’t a series. I was just writing one book – but by the time I got to the end of Full Moon Rising, there were too many questions left answered. So I decided to write a trilogy. And of course, by the time book number three rolled around, I knew I had a series on my hand. Riley would not be silenced!
Where did she come from? Well, as anyone who’s ever read any of my previous series would know, I love heroines who can kick a little ass. But when I was tossing around ideas for a new book, I decided I needed to do something more. I wanted tough, sassy and sexy. I wanted a gal who wasn’t afraid of her sexuality, who stood by her friends no matter what, but who wasn’t always likable. Someone who sometimes made bad decisions and went the wrong way, and who was often a little blind to the good things that were standing right in front of her. In other words, a character who was very human, even if she wasn’t. Riley was born.
The cloning plotline that was featured in the first few Riley books came from an article I’d read online about the possibilities of cloning – and at one point it mentioned you might even be able to clone your dead granny! Needless to say, my warped little muse was off and running with that bit of information – though thankfully, dead grannies didn’t make an appearance in the resulting plot.
Q. On series, how do you know to end it? So many authors keep going – and we fans encourage them because we don’t want to lose the characters!
A. I think most series have a natural lifespan – after all, there are only so many bad situations your characters can barely survive before believability starts getting strained. In Riley’s case, I’ve put her through a whole lot already – and really, she deserves an ending.
A. Well, I cried when I was writing a couple of the scenes, but I wouldn’t call the book difficult to write. In real life, not everything goes according to plan, and terrible things happen. That’s reflected in this book.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about Riley Jenson. Will she ever truly be happy? (Not to spoil the last installment but I guess we’ve always wondered!) Or maybe just talk to us about her growth and maybe what we might expect in the last novel?
A. It’s really hard to talk about what to expect in the last novel without giving spoilers. Bu I’m a romance writer at heart (it’s just my muse that’s a gruesome little soul – really) and romances always have some sort of happy ending…
Q. Overall, what have been some of the toughest parts you had to write in the Riley Jenson Guardian series? (Yes – we’d like to know how you write those sex scenes, too!)
A. Actually, the sex scenes are definitely the hardest things to write. I mean, there’s only so many ways to describe what is, well, a basic act. Give me an action scene any time!
Q. In the Guardian series, you come up with such creative characters and story lines. How do you develop these ideas? Do you research or read or do the ideas just pop into your head?
A. As I’ve mentioned, I have a very warped imagination (one that tends to wake me up at three in the morning with some very bizarre ideas), but I also Google myths and legends to find new and unusual creatures to populate my world.
Q. I like Quinn. Who is your fave character from your books?
A. I love all my heroes, but I have to say, both Cole and Sal are fun characters to write. I love the by-play between them and Riley.
Q. Do you think anyone would pick up the Guardian series for TV or a movie?
A. I wish!
Q. You write other series as well. Which of your books would you recommend to someone new to your writing?
A. I guess it depends on what they like. Riley is definitely up there for action and sex, but if readers prefer something less sexual, then maybe try the Spook Squad series.
Q. How do you keep all of your worlds straight! Do you have a notebook or file on your computer where the details are all worked out? Do you work on one series at a time or work on several?
A. I’m usually only working on one series at a time, although I generally have ideas bubbling away in the background. For Riley’s series, I have both a notebook and computer files with all the world rules and character information, but for most other series, I simply keep computer files.
Q. Do you have a set routine?
A. I write full time, so I basically treat it as a job. I have a set amount of pages I need to write a day, and I usually write in the afternoons, with music blaring (I go to the gym in the mornings). If I’m on deadline (or behind on a deadline) I’ll either up the daily page count or write in the evenings or weekends – whatever I need to do to get the book done.
Q. How long does it take you to write a book?
A. On average, 4 months (with editing).
Q. What are you reading now?
A. Julia Quinn, How to Marry a Marquis.
Q. Do you miss any of your former jobs? (Like the chef gig?)
A. No! Although I miss the people I used to work with.
Q. We love reading about Australia in your books. Do you have a favorite part of the U.S. you like to visit?
A. I think San Francisco is probably my fave American city so far. But I’d love to visit Oregon – I’ve used it as a setting in a few books, and I just love what I’ve read and seen of it online.
Q. What’s next for Keri Arthur?
A. I’m currently working on a Riley offshoot series that features Risa, the little girl that appears in a few Riley books. It’s set in the same world, but 25 years into the future, and will feature Aedh and reapers, as well as the usual assortment of vampires, werewolves and shapeshifters. Riley and the gang will make appearances in it.
Q. Anything else you’d like to add?
A. Thanks for inviting me to chat!
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