Today I'm super-mega (yeah, I said super-mega ^_^) excited to welcome author Jennifer Turner for an interview about her series of paranormal romance books, Darkness Within. The latest installment, Eternal Hearts, was recently released and continues a look into the cut-throat world (pun intended) of vampire hierarchy...including the challenges inherent in finding undead love. ^_^ Ms. Turner is gracious in answering the most burning questions I had about her engaging and unique stories. So without further ado...welcome to MNtR, Ms. Turner!
My Need to Read: Logan Ellis, the lead of the first book in the series (Eternal Seduction), begins her tale a very unique sort of heroine….drug-addicted, homeless, hopeless. How did you come to find her as a main character?
Jennifer Turner: The idea for Logan actually came to me while I was standing in the bookstore. I kept picking up book after book where the beautiful heroine had a high paying job/fancy house/college education, and I wondered what would happen if a heroine didn’t have any of those things. I wondered, what if she didn’t have a job, or a high school diploma…or even a home? Then I wondered, what if she isn’t what most people would consider pretty? What if, since she lives on the streets, she isn’t able to shower regularly and is really skinny because she isn’t eating the way she should be? Believe it or not, a lot of my ideas actually come from a good “What if?” session. And that’s exactly how Logan was born. :)
MNtR: The second and most recent book in the series, Eternal Hearts, follows Drake Black, who will be familiar to those who've read book 1. He's a pretty imposing figure at first blush, but is also pretty bruised, and torn in different directions. The stuff excellent pathos is made of. :o) Was crafting his story a difficult task?
JT: To be honest, crafting Drake’s portion of the story wasn’t difficult at all. He’s always been a very strong character in my mind, and has never really had any trouble leading me to what he wants/needs. However, connecting him to Toni definitely had its difficult moments here and there. I knew before I even started writing the story that Drake & Toni were one of those couples that were just meant to be together…but I wasn’t completely sold on Toni’s ability to reconcile her past and Drake’s part in it until the scene actually played out in the book. And I think one of the most difficult but also most endearing of Drake’s qualities is how he chose to apologize to Toni in the end. He has such a unique outlook on the world that there’s almost a tangible vulnerability to his honesty…and even though it’s a difficult aspect of his personality to write, I just love it! :)
MNtR: As you continue to craft the path of the Darkness Within series, do you have a sense of how the each of the stories will progress ahead of time? Or does each book find life and direction as you work on the individual installment?
JT: I have an idea of where the series as a whole needs to go, and how each book in the series should start and end…but aside from that I usually don’t have any idea of how I’m going to get there. :) I’m really bad at plotting/planning, so I pretty much start with the main characters for each book and let them lead the way. Sometimes they go where I thought they would, but other times they run off in weird directions that I never expected. But I think that’s one of the best parts of having so many different characters. Not knowing where the characters are going to take me is what keeps me writing! ;)
MNtR: On your website, you've got an awesomely detailed tree of characters to populate your world. Is there any particular character whose story you're most excited to tell?
JT: Well, I’m really excited about the next book, Eternal Embrace (book 3), which is Oktober’s story…because Oktober might just be the most unapologetic character I’ve ever written. :) He is what he is without fail or remorse, and I just love the dark edge he can add to even the simplest situations. And then, of course, there’s Odin’s book, Eternal Embers (book 5). Odin is by far the reader favorite at this point in the series, and his story is so damn tragic…but still touching…and it’s also a major turning point for the series. So yeah, those two stories definitely take the “most excited to tell” award.
|Darkness Within Book 1|
JT: At this point, I’ve planned for about 15 books. There’s a fairly good chance there could be a few more than that…but I doubt there will be less. ;) I think I have a pretty strong plot arc that ties all the books together, so I’m rather confident I can carry the storyline for at least 15 books without anyone getting bored with it…including me :)
MNtR: That's a lot of material. A Darkness Within Guide might someday be just what the doctor ordered! Any chance there might be one in the cards as well? :o)
Actually, yes. :) I’m working on putting together a companion style book that has The Legend in it, as well as some journal pages from different characters that explain the different vampire families, vampire magics, etc. And of course, the book will also explain everything about the werewolves and other supernaturals too. Oh, and if I’m really lucky – a number of the custom character portraits I’ve commissioned will be done before the companion releases…so they’ll be in there too! :)
Thank you SO MUCH to Jennifer Turner for her visit. I'm more excited than ever to see what's in store for what's undoubtedly going to be an epic and sprawling paranormal romance series. Mmmm....just how I like 'em! ^_^
Check out the book description for the most recent book in the Darkness Within series, Eternal Hearts:
Toni Tutoro just wants to go home. Banned from Chicago’s vampiric society after cutting a swath of violence through the city, she must now successfully complete an investigation for the Lord of Chicago to regain the right to live in her hometown again.
To ensure Toni’s safety during her probationary period, Drake Black, a feared assassin, is secretly contracted to protect her. Even with direct orders to keep his relationship professional, and his own personal vow to never get involved with a female vampire again, Drake finds himself drawn to Toni in ways he can’t explain. But unbeknownst to him, he’s tied to one of the people who drove Toni to her night of destruction.
Drake’s legendary heritage holds the key to Toni’s survival and success, but will she be able to forgive his connection to the brutal night that robbed her of those she loved most? Will Drake be able to forget the betrayals in his past and risk taking one more chance? But most of all, can they find a way to reach each other in the darkness?
Today's interview is part of the Bewitching Book Tours current tour for Eternal Hearts. For more infor on the other participating blogs and their tour stops, visit BBT's site (here).