I’m very excited to be a guest blogger today! Thank you so much for having me!
When MAGIC TO THE BONE first hit the shelves, I received a lot of questions about it. Two questions that took my by surprise were: “Are you Allie?”and “Who is Zavyion Jones?” No one had ever asked me who any of my other characters in my published short stories were, so it took me by surprise that people would wonder where Allie and Zayvion came from.
First, a quick history of how Zayvion and Allie came into my life. I’d been asked to write a short story for an anthology. At the time I was writing a lot of fantasy and science fiction short stories and doing a pretty good job selling them to magazines and anthologies. I’d heard about this urban fantasy and paranormal romance wave that was hitting the publishing world, and while it intrigued me, I hadn’t really thought about writing in that genre. When the anthology invite came along, I decided to give urban fantasy a try.
Allie Beckstrom stepped forward for the job. She is a little bit of all the women I’ve known. Vulnerable, strong, willing to handle whatever challenge comes her way, even if she doesn’t know if she will survive in one piece. Allie is tough, and deals with pain and loss on a daily basis. Allie is headstrong, and knows who she is and what she wants. Allie is funny, and has a deep heart. She understands loving someone takes the most strength of all.
This story was all about Allie. I had no plans of adding a second, equally strong character to the plot. So there I had Allie, walking down the street dealing with some pretty bad magical stuff. Someone had just put a magical hit on a little boy, and he was dying from it. It was up to Allie to find out who was behind the magic. I knew there needed to be someone who would help her out, someone who would also get in her way.
And up strolled Zayvion Jones. Tall, mixed-race hottie, with a calm demeanor that hid anger, power, passion. When Zayvion hit the scene, the story between he and Allie exploded, becoming much more than a short story could hold. Still, I wrote the short story, and gave Allie and Zayvion as much as I could in a very small amount of words. The editor loved it.
And rejected it. I owe that editor a huge debt of gratitude. If he had said yes and published the short story, I probably wouldn’t have written the novel and I certainly wouldn’t have taken Allie and Zay’s story through six books, and hopefully, more.
Who is Zayvion Jones? I really don’t know. He came unexpectedly into the story and changed everything I had planned for Allie. Mysterious, powerful, loyal to a fault, he is a man who knows saving the world falls squarely on his shoulders, and will not buckle under that expectation. He’s funny, smart, and very, very private. He is no stranger to pain and sorrow, which makes love, the chance of it, the reality of it, something he’ll fight for, no matter the cost.
Writing the Allie Beckstrom series has been full of the unexpected for me. From a short story rejection came a novel. From two characters trying to find love, came a series. From the idea that magic costs anyone who uses it pain, came the question of who and what is worth hurting for. And as I’ve gone along, more unexpected characters have strolled onto the scene to change Allie’s life, to challenge her, make her laugh, make her cry. The third book in the series, MAGIC IN THE SHADOWS, introduces two new characters, Stone and Shame, who I absolutely love, and MAGIC ON THE STORM is full of unexpected twists and turns. Now that I’m writing book five in the series, I can’t wait to see what happens next!
MAGIC IN THE SHADOWS to two lucky winners.
This contest starts today November 17th and will run until 10:00 pm Eastern time on November 23rd with the winners revealed that night.
PS: I am still waiting for one of the winners from the Jennifer Rardin contest to contact me. Stephanie if you see this, please email me by the 19th to claim your prize!
PPS. Today is the 20th so I am drawing a new winner for the Jennifer Rardin book since Stephanie never contacted me. Alexia561 you are the new winner for Bite Marks!