Guest post time! Today the guest post is by Jami Gray, author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy novel “Shadow’s Moon”. Welcome to my blog, Jami, and thanks for writing a guest post for on my blog!
Pst, you can also win a set of three print copies (US/CA) or three eBook copies (INT) during this tour, for all books in the series “The Kyn Chronicles”.
Forging a Character…
Urban fantasy…a fantastical world of women (and men) I wouldn’t want to run across in a dark alley…leather EVERYWHERE… and weapons! Oh the weapons are just beautiful!
Creating worlds where magic is part and parcel of who you are, what you do and where you live has always intrigued me. Even at a young age, happy ever after left me asking, “But, why? What happened to the wicked witch/evil stepmother/monster under the bed to make them so…bad?” Most Urban Fantasy characters walk a thin line between what’s considered right and what’s considered wrong. Their worlds are filled with shades of gray. They rely on handy-dandy skills such as shifting into something more feral and beautiful, or working magic that will leave you gasping for breath, or handling weapons with such precision they’re poetry in motion to conquer their daily obstacles. Yet no matter how unique their worlds are, they stand apart from the crowds.
I’ve always loved the idea of being part of the world but being apart from the world. Being unique, whether you’re the only human in a room full of monsters, or the only monster in a room full of humans, is key to Urban Fantasy. Otherwise, why would any of us want to read the stuff?
Yet with all the fantastic UF authors out there (and they are legion), for an incoming author you have to find that one thing that will set your kick-ass hero/heroine apart from the others. Something that will pull readers in and keep them intrigued. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
I’ve heard, many times, that the most important story piece is unique and compelling characters. Characters that will make your story memorable, letting it stand out in a reader’s memory. Okay, sounds great, but how exactly do you do that?
Creating Raine McCord, my heroine, was probably similar to forging a sword. You start with a solid piece of unshaped good quality metal. Her voice, her motivations, her end goals made up the initial piece. Yet as you put this piece to the fire over and over again, hidden flaws and missing elements are exposed. As a writer you owe your characters the respect to treat those imperfections with care and deliberation. So you pound at the weak points, alter the design through trial and error until you discover how the flaws and strengths work together. When the blade is done, the writer is left with a compelling piece of art. It may be a lethal beauty, a solid contender, or a wicked edge. Yet no matter how it turns out, it is their creation and if was forged right, won’t be like anything else out there.
Trying to maintain the balance of giving Raine a strong, lethal personality while protecting her last few remaining soft girly spots—think hiking through a swamp in four inch stiletto heels—was tricky, very, very tricky. Yet as I began to sharpen and polish her personality, she became unique because she was multi-dimensional. And maybe that’s the answer for creating unique characters—making them real in your head so they’ll stand out to your readers.
In this big, bad universe of Urban Fantasy, I’ll continue to try carving out my niche through my characters. Strong personalities with hidden flaws, who make those difficult choices—even when they seem to be utterly wrong—for the greater good, while they walk that thin gray line—I’m hoping it keeps you, my readers, intrigued enough to follow me along the twisting plots of magic and mayhem.
About Shadow’s Moon
Author: Jami Gray
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy
Even a wild heart can be broken…
A blonde, a brunette and a monster walk into a bar and all hell breaks loose.
It should have been the start of a bad joke, but days from a full moon Xander Cade, Tracker for the Northwest Motoki Pack, finds nothing funny about confronting an enraged Shifter in a crowded Portland nightclub filled with unsuspecting humans. The resulting carnage frays an already thin veil of secrecy shielding the supernatural Kyn community from public scrutiny, and ensures she can’t escape the one man she’s been determined to avoid, her Alpha and mate, Warrick Vidis. Dominating, protective and compelling, Warrick threatens her individuality like no other.
As the Northwest Alpha wolf, compromise isn’t in Warrick Vidis’s vocabulary, but when his reluctant mate, Xander Cade, refuses to leave off the hunt for a killer, he has no qualms using whoever or whatever necessary to protect her or his pack. A series of unusual deaths involving lone wolves, along with anonymous threats against him and his Pack, begin to jeopardize his normal steely control. Add in Xander’s continual reluctance to fully accept their Soul bond, and the line between intellect and instinct begins to blur, leaving him wondering if one woman’s love and acceptance will be enough to save both man and wolf.
As the danger escalates, threatening not just their Pack but those closest to them, Warrick and Xander must find a way to trust each other and accept their rare bond or risk losing everything-their pack, their friends and each other.
Jami Gray grew up on the Arizona-Mexico border, and was adopted at the age of 14 to suddenly become the fifth eldest of 37 children. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and three minors-History, English, and Theater. (Decision-making was not her forte at the time.) Shortly after marrying her techie-geek hubby (who moonlighted as her best friend in high school) she completed a Masters in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix Oregon.
Now, years later, she’s back in the Southwest where she’s outnumbered in her own home by two Star Wars obsessed boys, one Star Wars obsessed husband, and an overly-friendly, 105-pound male lab. Delving into the wild paranormal worlds where romance collides with suspense and Urban Fantasy is queen, manages to salvage her sanity. Or so we let her believe…
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JamiGrayUFWriter
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B006HU3HJI
Black Opal Books: www.BlackOpalBooks.com
Muse It Up Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com