Friday, June 28, 2013

Interview: J.K. Beck, author of the Shadow Keepers series

Below you'll find another interview I've conducted for the blog tour I'm a member of. J.K. Beck was very friendly and although I gave her such notice, she was kind enough to take the time to answer my questions. You can check out the first book in the Shadow Keepers series on GoodReads.

Title: When Blood Calls
Author: BJ.K. Beck
Publisher: Bantam
Pages: 388
Series: Shadow Keepers #1
Format: Turkish copy
Source: Turkish publisher

Attorney Sara Constantine is thrilled with her promotion—until she finds out that she must now prosecute vampires and werewolves. The first defendant she’ll be trying to put away? Lucius Dragos, the sexy stranger with whom she recently shared an explosive night of ecstasy.

When Lucius kisses a beautiful woman sitting next to him at the bar, he’s hoping only to avoid the perceptive gaze of the man he’s planning to kill. But what starts as a simple kiss ignites into an all-consuming passion. Charged with murder, Luke knows that Sara is determined to see him locked away—unless he can convince her that he’s not a monster. And that might mean making the ultimate sacrifice.


You've practiced law, you've worked in the media, and you've mentioned that "novels are where your heart is." What makes writing novels better than writing for the screen or news?

Great question!  I thoroughly enjoy doing screenwriting and journalism (and writing legal briefs), too.  But with journalism and the law, you have to stick with what is real--either the reporting of facts or the applying of facts to the law.  That's the nature of the beast.  The creative aspect comes in the how of telling, but the what is limited by reality.  (At least if you want to avoid being a subject of the news yourself … because you were caught making up the news!)

As for screenwriting, I love it, too.  But the two things that I find so rewarding about writing novels are getting into the characters heads (i.e., internal dialogue) and the near-absolute creative control.  Neither of those really apply to screenplays.  In screenwriting, you really need to be able to translate what is on the page to action or dialogue.  So there is no need (and it's the sign of an amateur) to include a character's internals.  Even more so, though, a screenplay isn't a finished product like a novel.  There are a lot of hands stirring the pot, and by the time it gets translated to the screen, the product may have changed substantially.  That isn't the case with novels.

You've worked in law, and Sara is an attorney. Are your characters based on your and/or people you know?

Not directly, no.  I suppose that every author pulls from people they know, but I couldn't point to a specific person and say "oh, they are Character X"

You write in different genres, which I think is fantastic. Do you have a favorite?

Not really.  I love variety, which is why I write in so many genres.  Right now, I'm writing erotica, and I am loving how much that genre is conducive to getting really in depth with the characters and how they relate to each other on so many levels.

Where does your interest in the paranormal genres come from?

I think probably from television.  I was more or less weaned on I Dream Of Jeannie and Bewitched.  And the books I read as a kid tended toward the paranormal (Half-Magic, Wrinkle in Time).  There's something about the idea of a "bigger" world that appeals to me!

Especially for non-Americans, "California" is a magical word. Has living there inspired your writing? And how about Texas?

I love big cities, so to that extent, California (particularly Los Angeles) is inspirational. That and all of the opportunities across so many careers.  And, of course, you can do so much with the locations -- California is so diverse!

I confess that Texas doesn't do a lot for me.  I may have been raised here, but I'm not interested in writing about cowboys or oil or some of the stereotypical Texas stuff.  To me, Texas is Austin and Houston and Dallas.  In other words, eclectic and funky, or large and cultured!

I read that you've wanted to be a writer ever since you were a child. What made you decide to really focus on it and write full-time?

I didn't quit to write full-time until it was financially viable.  So I'm fortunate that it worked out that way!  The turning point was when Carpe Demon was optioned for film.  That was the year when I was able to run the numbers and say that, yes, I could quit practicing law and we could still eat and put gas in the cars!

My family was suspicious that I could write to buy food, as you put it. How did your family react to it when you announced them you were going to study journalism?

Oh, I think they suspected that.  I edited my high school paper throughout all of high school, and getting on staff at a newspaper or radio/tv station wasn't really scary.  The idea of being a novelist, though … that scared me.  

How does your family react to your work?

They think it's great … except when I'm on deadline and completely disappear!

How do you juggle writing and family?

Honestly, it can be difficult, particularly as I homeschool (through this year; next year, both kids will be in public school).  It's so easy to stay buried in work when you work at home, so it's important to carve out time to do family stuff.

Some of our readers will be meeting you and your work for the first time. What will they find in "When Blood Calls"?

Hopefully they'll find a story they love and characters that truly compel them!  When Blood Calls is near and dear to my heart.  It's sort of a paranormal law and order, but the characters have their own distinct moral compass.  

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Read a lot!  And write a lot! The more you write, the more you learn about and develop your own voice!

Do you have a message for your Turkish readers?

Thank you so much for your support, and I hope you e

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