Image courtesy of www.IlonaAndrews.com
One of the key elements of the Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series has been the wide-open environment that allowed for a myriad plotlines. What does this have to do with the Demon Trappers? A lot, since the Andrews' series was one of the catalysts for my own. Read on to find out what's up.
The Kate Daniels series is ten books strong and the authors (Ilona and Gordon) have completed the main storyline. On January 12th, they're moving that story thread a few years into the future to follow the adventures of an important secondary character who will become the heroine in the spin-off Kate Daniels World books. Am I happy about this? Oh hell, yeah. I've always wanted to see Julie's story play out, and now that's about to happen. For more info on the new book (BLOOD HEIR) and to read the first chapter, go here. It's truly wonderful.
One of the issues with a long story arc that sprawls over multiple books is keeping the stories fresh and unexpected. Some authors do this well, others don't, and readers can tell if you're just recycling plots to make a publishing deadline. This is one of the hardest tasks to pull off and it's not just confined to Urban Fantasy. Like long-running TV shows, there are only so many ways you can place your hero or heroine in peril without "jumping the shark."
The Andrews were savvy and set up the premise that technology and magic shift in their future Atlanta, which means that when magic reigns all sorts of weird crap can happen. When there's an occasional flare--think magic on steroids--the weird becomes even WEIRDER and more dangerous. Dragons, gods, mythical beasts, almost anything can appear in their city to wreck havoc. That means you never know what's going to show up next, which adds to the unpredictability and increases the peril for the heroine and hero. This premise worked brilliantly across ten books and will in the new spinoff.
In contrast, the Demon Trappers series is in a more a closed environment limiting what can appear in Riley and Beck's world. Essentially it's Angels vs. Demons, Heaven vs. Hell. Add in a few necromancers, reanimates and some occasional witchy goings on and that's it. Introducing a jinn or a banshee might confuse my readers and so I haven't gone that way.
However . . . now that Riley and Beck's main story is complete I will be opening up the storyline in new directions because in all honestly there are only so many things you can do with Heaven vs. Hell. Lucifer is evil. Yeah, we got that. Demons are bad news. Ditto. It's time to broaden our horizons and the Big Bad in VALIANT LIGHT was a step in that direction.
Since doing anything similar to the Andrews' premise would not be kosher, I've spent considerable time thinking this through (since VALIANT LIGHT was published in 2017) and finally realized that a major event in that book gave me the perfect opportunity to send the series in a new direction. Often my subconscious sets things up a lot earlier than I realize and then finally I get a clue.
But wait, you say, I LOVE the trappers. Don't screw it up! I promise I won't. The trappers are still going to be doing what they do best. Riley, Beck, Jackson, all of them. The shift will come in the city itself and how they adapt to that change. If I'm correct it will open up story options in a new way and keep things fresh.
Will this be easy? Nope. But it also means I can let my imagination off the leash again. This will be challenging, and hopefully fun!
A few initial changes will be seen in the next book (LOST SOULS), but the book after that is where it all starts to happen. That manuscript is still being written, and I'm being extremely careful about setting up the newer plot lines. I'll let you know more once LOST SOULS is out in early 2021. Right now I'm still trying to work out all the details which involves a lot of mental gymnastics.
In the meantime, please stay well and please consider getting vaccinated when the time comes. I know I will. I want to see how this story plays out . . .
is an international & multi award-winning author in various genres including young adult, urban fantasy and paranormal romance.