Just a quick change to the contest as a result of this, apparently I misunderstood while setting up the giveaway but there will be two winners instead of one.  Both winners will receive one of the two Jackie Rutledge novels rather than one receiving both.  I’m sorry about the mix up guys.  This will be reflected on the giveaway post as well.   But on to the fun stuff!  As the title suggests, we’ve got a guest post to day from the author himself!  Enjoy!

Hello, everyone. I’ve been granted the opportunity to post today in regard to the release of the second book in my Deadworld series, The Vengeful Dead. It’s what I would call paranormal crime fiction or if you’re in a bookstore, urban fantasy. One of the problems in writing urban fantasy, or any genre for that matter, is developing something that feels fresh and new, even when it often isn’t. There is certainly a vast wealth of material to draw upon regarding the supernatural, from vampires to werewolves to demons and fairies. We UF authors borrow a lot from the lore and stories of old to build our own.

I am certainly no exception to this. Deadworld has its share of ghosts and vampires, though I’ve taken a bit of a different spin on what a vampire is.  They aren’t your traditional, gothic, undead variety, because I wanted to do something different with them that would give readers a different feel. On that end, I believe I’ve succeeded to some degree. When I originally wrote Deadworld, I  had a completed story left with some dangling threads that could be picked up if a publisher decided they wanted to pursue that. Fortunately for me, they did, and I was left trying to figure out exactly where to go from there. When I sold, I had moved on to another story and had left Deadworld to sit. Now I had to develop another two books to go with the first. So, where was it going to go?

I knew there would be cases to solve, a developing relationship between Jackie and Nick, and Jackie’s continued efforts to resolve her emotional issues (she has a few of them).  Having a love for epic stories though, I wanted to incorporate a bigger, series spanning arc. I wanted it to involve the supernatural, and I had three major elements to work with: vampires, ghosts, and the “other” side or Deadworld where the ghosts reside and the vampires are inextricably connected to.  Vampires and ghosts have been used quite a bit, and even with a “fresh” spin, I didn’t feel all that excited about expanded upon them. The Deadworld though, it held possibilities. What could I do with this place, a spirit world that in some ways was a mirror of our own? If it was a place where the souls of the dead resided until they were ready to move on, what could I do with it? The first question that came to mind was, “If souls move on from here, where exactly is it they move on too?” This led me to think that if Deadworld was something of a world between, and we humans moved there when we died, what was to say that something else, from somewhere else, couldn’t access it as well?

The image of that something else came to me rather quickly, and you will see it in The Vengeful Dead, albeit in more of an introductory fashion. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t give out any more details on that, but it is the beginning of a story arc that will encompass the rest of the series, or at least the next few books, assuming I’m fortunate enough for it to get that far. This element begins to develop in book three, The Lingering Dead, and assuming I get a new contract, will really take hold in book four. This element did not come from any mythology or lore that I know of. If it is similar, it’s purely coincidental. Perhaps I’m going out on a limb in creating something out of thin air that has no basis in any supernatural history, but it’s been fun to develop, albeit difficult, because there is no base from which to work. On the plus side, I can’t get any of it “wrong.” On the negative, it might be straying too far from what is typically thought of within the urban fantasy genre. Regardless, it’s a risk worth taking and I’m having fun creating it, which as a writer, is something I find to be very important. I just hope that you all as readers will enjoy the ride.

I want to thank Lauren for having me here today, and in regard to the giveaway, if the winner of The Vengeful Dead has yet to read Deadworld, I still have some author copies and I’ll be happy to include that in the prize. Take care and happy reading everyone!

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