Author Override is the place where authors take the reins and take you on a journey into their world. Some may allow you into their private writing dens. Others may take you along with them on research trips or interviews. Whatever the case may be, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because here you’ll get an in-depth look into an author’s musings.
THE TAKEN is the first book in my new Celestial Blues supernatural noir trilogy – a series that blends the supernatural element inherent in modern day urban fantasy with old-school noir, augmented by a romance for the ages. More than that, though, it’s the first wholly new story that I’ve been able to dive into in over six years.
In retrospect, closing one series down and diving right into another seems pretty straightforward. But not every story starts out as a success. Celestial Blues actually arose out of a short story I penned before I was even published. I was a fan of Kelley Armstrong’s and I wrote it in order to win an ARC of one of her books.
Yet I didn’t win. I still bought the book, but I had to put the little-story-that-could (but didn’t) away, and I went on instead to write six books in another series entirely.
However the kernel of the idea – a person who used to be alive ferrying the violently deceased into the afterlife – stayed with me throughout the writing of the Signs of the Zodiac series. So when it was time to write something new I didn’t even have to go in search of an idea. It was already there, curled up on my mental doorstep and patiently holding the ‘help wanted’ ad that my creative mind had put out there.
“Go away,” I told it. I mean, the game was over. The jig was up. I’d lost, and the story was over before it’d even begun. Except that my hero, Griffin Shaw, wouldn’t just go away. He was haunted, and had apparently decided to haunt me in turn.
So, I thought, what if I tweak him just a bit? And what if, just maybe, I add a female counterpart to his story, one who was his absolute form of kryptonite. Oh, and a slow-building mystery exposing each of their mental scars would be nice. A supernatural world, shiny and new and never-before-seen, sure could jazz things up, too.
And all of a sudden I had four hundred pages and two more books before the story really reached its end.
Of course, THE TAKEN barely resembles that early stab at winning that contest. Yet my inability to shake that very basic idea – even in the wake of defeat – held the real lesson for me, and it’s one I think is worth sharing: it’s the ideas that haunt you most that are the ones worth pursuing. It’s okay to be a little bit haunted. I learned that, and with any luck, Grif will learn it too. It’s the only way failure has the chance – with a little nurturing and a lot of elbow grease – to turn into a success.
Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was back when gumshoes hoofed the streets . . . and he was still alive. Fifty years later, he’s an angel, but that doesn’t make him a saint. One small mistake has altered fate, and now he’s been dumped back onto the mortal mudflat to collect another soul—Katherine “Kit” Craig, a journalist whose latest investigation is about to get her clipped.
Bucking heavenly orders, Grif refuses to let the sable-haired siren come to harm. Besides, protecting her offers a chance to solve the mystery of his own unsolved murder—and dole out some overdue payback for the death of his beloved wife, Evie.
Joining forces, Kit and Grif’s search for answers leads beyond the blinding lights of the Strip into the dark heart of an evil conspiracy.
But a ruthless killer determined to destroy them isn’t Grif’s biggest threat. His growing attraction to Kit could cost them both their lives, along with the answer to the haunting question of his long afterlife . . .
Who Killed Griffin Shaw?
The New York Times bestselling author of the Signs of the Zodiac series – and former showgirl – Vicki Pettersson was born, raised, and still lives in Sin City, where a backyard view of the Strip regularly inspires her to set down her martini and write.