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Q&A: Author of Riley Jenson series on why it must end! November 12, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Releases.
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Half vampire. Half werewolf. All trouble.

That was the tagline for Aussie Keri Arthur’s first novel in the Riley Jenson Guardian Series. And since then, we’ve

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Keri and her dogs!

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.

Q. In BOUND TO SHADOWS, there are some sad moments – along with all of the great action. Was this a Bound_to_Shadowsdifficult book in the series to write? If so – why? (Or maybe it was just me feeling sentimental!)

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?

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Keri Arthur

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!

Check out Keri’s blog by CLICKING HERE!
Go to her Web site HERE!

OTHER AUTHOR INTERVIEWS:

CHRISTINE FEEHAN: On Drake Sisters, her vampires and why Alpha males rock!

CHARLAINE HARRIS: On her Sookie books, “True Blood,” and Bill vs. Edward.

JENNIFER LYON: ‘Blood Magic author talks about her hero and Hugh Jackman’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

SHANA ABE: ‘Author of Dragon series on next book and its renegade lovers’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

LINDA O JOHNSTON: ‘Her Alpha wolves practice safe sex’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

SUSAN SQUIRES: ‘Author of vampire series on strong women, kinky things, time travel’ and CLICK HERE for writing tips.

ALYSON NOEL: ‘Evermore author on teen angst, immortality and her next book’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips. See what she says about social media networking HERE.

Comments»

1. Lisa Champ - November 12, 2009

Thanks for this, Diana. You are awesome!

I just started Bound to Shadows today at lunch. I’ve really enjoyed the entire series. It is sad that there is only one more Riley book to come. 😦

2. Q&A and other stuff… | Keri Arthur - November 16, 2009

[…] McCabe over at the Paranormal Romance blog has just posted a Q & A with me, so head on over there if you’re interested in […]

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[…] Keri Arthur, author of Bound to Shadows, at Paranormal Romance […]

4. Dren - November 17, 2009

Great Interview!! So sad that the series will end, but all good things must!

5. D Salvagin - November 18, 2009

Terific interview Diana. I’m looking forward to reading this series.

6. Looking to start a series? Check out Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson « Paranormal Romance - December 6, 2009

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10. breann - March 8, 2011

are you working on another riley jenson book


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