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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Insider Look: What Starts Your Novel

All right all you vampire lovers, here's a book you won't want to miss. I invited JK Coi to come over and talk a little bit about how she started the Immortal series.
For her, it started with Rhys.

While I shudder to call JK normal (sorry, JK, couldn't help it--grin) I think most people do start with a particular character in mind.

Take a first peek into JK Coi's latest novel and read how it all started for her.

The Immortals

When I set out to write my first book, I really had no idea what I was doing. It had been a very long time since I’d even written poetry. But I had this idea burning a hole in my brain and I finally decided to see where it might take me.


Everyone always asks “where do you get your ideas?”

There were a lot of things that influenced what I decided to sit down and write that first day; the shows and movies I had recently watched probably played a part since I’m a fan of urban fantasy and action flicks. It could also be because I had been reading a lot more paranormal romances and started to wonder if I could do it. But mostly it was a character that drove me—and I think it’s like this for quite a few writers.

In my mind, I first saw Rhys’ character in a dark and bumping dance club. With people grinding and moving all around him, he stood separate and apart. Tall, dark and forbidding. He was looking for someone, and at first I thought that it would be the heroine. But in reality, I didn’t meet Amy until many days of writing later.

As soon as I saw Rhys, he started talking to me. (Not great long sentences, because he’s a pretty tight-lipped guy, but enough that I started to get a feel for who he was looking for and why.) When he took off his shades and I got a good look at the old soul behind those crystal eyes, I was even more intrigued. Where had he come from? What was his story?

The rest of the book—like the plot—started coming in little bits as I learned more about Rhys and then later, Amy. You see, it’s my strong conviction that no matter what kind of book you’re writing—whether it be a thriller, paranormal, contemporary, etc.—the characters are what drive everything. When you think of what makes you remember your favourite books and go back to read them again and again, it’s not the detailed research the author did, or the beautiful descriptions and action-packed plot that call to you. It’s going to be the depth of emotion that the characters bring out in you. If an author can make you laugh and cry and feel love and pain as they read your book, that’s what you’ll remember. Motivation, conflict, depth. The rest is necessary, but can only work properly when intricately tied together with the characters’ emotional journey.

That’s what my writing is all about. Emotion. If I’m known for anything (besides a sometimes inappropriate sarcasm and snarky attitude), it’s for providing my readers with a rollercoaster of emotion. And I’m good with that. It works for me, and hopefully it works for the people who will pick up my books.

So it was Rhys that started me on this path, and I’ll always have a special soft spot in my heart for him because of it. He dragged me into his world and showed me what he wanted to say. Along the way he introduced me to a few of his buddies, and I had the opportunity to introduce them to some pretty amazing women...

And the rest is...a series you don’t want to miss.

J.K. Coi writes dark and edgy paranormal romance, where love is all consuming, the stakes are always high, and the immortals are to die for... Book 3 of the Immortal Series, Dark Immortal is available now.


Five years of happiness, erased in one vicious act of violence.

Diana freed Alric from his prison and the insanity of his own mind, offering him the kind of love only a fool would deny. Now she lies broken and comatose from a vampire attack, locked deep inside herself where he cannot reach her.

Awakening in a strange bed, Diana has no memory of how she got there. The huge, muscled man leaning over her is straight out of nightmares full of blood and pain. Married to him? It can’t be true…even if her body craves his touch, and the anguish in his eyes shatters something deep inside her.

Alric has no intention of giving up on the woman who never stopped fighting for him. His one hope is that time will heal her mind. But with a demon god poised to tip the balance of power, time is not on their side…

Talk to me: What starts your novel? Character? Place? Scenario? Does it drive your novel? Are you in control, or do your characters tell you where to steer?


J.K. Coi said...

Thanks for having me over to visit with you on your blog today, Maria!

Maria Zannini said...

Thank you, JK! Continued success on your Immortal series.