Monday, December 21, 2009

Keri Arthur Interview & Two Riley Jensen Guardian Gift Packs

"This series has truly developed into full-on urban fantasy with a strong element of eroticism and some engaging paranormal sleuthing."
Paranormal Romance Reviews

"Bound to Shadows
...will keep you at the edge of your seat as the story comes to its shocking end. Fans will find it impossible to set down."
Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

"Bound to Shadows
is the eighth Riley Jenson Guardians novel and they just keep getting better... Keri Arthur has created one of urban fantasy genre’s sexiest heroines.
Doug Knipe, SciFi Guy

Just in time for the holidays, Vampire Wire has a special treat for fans of Keri Arthur's Riley Jensen Guardian books! The New York Times bestselling author has written several several series (including: Spook Squad, Damask Circle, and Nikki and Michael), and her half-vamp, half-werewolf heroine, Riley, has really captivated urban fantasy fans. Whenever I've had a poll or contest for Keri's books, her fans always sing her praises.

Her debut novel in this series, Full Moon Rising, came out in 2006, and readers are both anticipating and dreading the final Riley Jensen Guardian novel, Moon Sworn, which will be released in the summer of 2010.

Keri lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she
does the mom thing, the writer thing, and the conversations with elves and dragons thing. Okay, I made up that last one, but if anyone would be having conversations with elves and dragons, it would be Keri.

She's very generously offered to give away two gift packs and each will include Australian chocolates,Tim Tams and a signed copy of one of her Riley Jensen novels. Read to the end of the post to find out how to enter the contest.


MARTA: Congratulations on the success of your Riley Jensen series! Why don’t you tell us a little about Riley and were she is in your most recent release, Bound to Shadows?

KERI: Riley was born out of my desire to write a somewhat flawed, kick-ass character who wasn’t afraid of her sexuality. Bound to Shadows is the penultimate book in the series and, as such, starts to provide some answers. Riley discovered her soul mate in Deadly Desire, and Bound to Shadows deals with her desire for Quinn and her wolf need for its mate. In some ways, it’s a very sad book.

MARTA: Next year, you’ll be releasing the final book in the series, Moon Sworn. When you began the series, did you imagine the entire arc of the books, or has Riley’s journe
y taken unexpected turns?

KERI: When I first started writing the series, I’d actually imagined it as a trilogy. But by the time I got to Tempting Evil, there were still too many dangling threads and unanswered questions, so I kept writing. By the fifth book, I knew exactly how it was ending, and although my publisher did want more books, nine was enough. Riley’s certainly been through the wringer--she deserves a decent ending!

MARTA: What’s the most challenging thing about continuing a series? Wh
at’s the most rewarding?

KERI: I think the most challenging aspect of writing a continuing series is keeping the characters interesting. They need to change and grow as the series progresses, but sometimes that’s more difficult to do than it might seem. I know Riley has certainly frustrated a lot of people (if some of the emails I get is any indication, anyway. lol)

The most r
ewarding aspect would have to be reader appreciation--it’s nice to know the characters you created are loved by others.

MARTA: When you were creating Riley’s world, what elements of supernatural mythology did you decide to keep, and what did you decide to change?

KERI: I tend to keep the supernatural elements that make sense to me, and ditch the others. For example, the whole vampires having no reflection wouldn’t make sense in any of my worlds, simply because in my worlds, vampires have souls (and the whole soulless factor was one of the reasons for the myth of vamps having no reflection). Besides, in this day and age of mirrors and windows everywhere, someone without a reflection isn’t going to remain unnoticed for long. Same deal with sunlight--sure, it may be logical for baby vamps to be extremely sensitive to sunlight, but any sensitivity or allergy has its cures. So surely the longer a vamp is alive, the more he or she could work on building an immunity. Vamps can live a very long time, so why wouldn’t the older ones be able to withstand some sunshine?

MARTA: Who’s your favorite non-paranormal/urban fantasy kick-ass heroine?

KERI: My favorite non-paranormal heroine--anyone remember an old TV series called Le Femme Nikita? It starred Peta Wilson and it was absolutely brilliant (although I hated the way they ended the series--that was just wrong!)

Naming my favorite urban fantasy heroine is tough (I’m guessing I
can’t name mine here. lol). I’d have to say Mecedes Lackey’s Diana Tregarde. Children of the Night rocked as a book, and I absolutely adored Andre. It’s my favorite simply because that series was one of the main precursors for the whole urban fantasy revolution (along with Tanya Huff’s Vicki Nelson series--another great urban fantasy heroine). Then, of course, Laurell K Hamilton came along with Anita Blake, and proved just how popular kick-ass heroines and vampires could be.

Of course, if we’re talking TV series, then there is only Buffy.

MARTA: How did your experience as a Function & Dessert Cook for the Essendon Football Club prepare you to be a bestselling author?

KERI: Well, there’s a lot of truth in the old proverb ‘if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen’. Most commercial kitchens are horrible places to work in--they’re hot, and they’re high pressure. To survive, you learn to cope with stress. Which I guess comes in handy when it comes to dealing with the stress of deadlines and publisher (and reader) expectations

But there was one big benefit to working at Essendon--there was plenty of inspiration running
around the field in tight black shorts… :-)

MARTA: Are you ever surprised at readers’ reactions to plot turns? Do American audiences perceive your books any differently than your Aussie fans?

KERI: Generally, no, I’m not surprised. I usually read all the reviews and comments about the books on the web, and I’m aware of what readers like and don’t like about the series. I knew, for instance, that I was going to get some very heated emails after the events of Bound to Shadows, and I most certainly did. But then, any writer who kills off a popular character has to expect a backlash from the readers who loved that character. I think the key is providing a good reason, and I believe I did that (something big had to happen to force Riley to do what she did).

I don’t think there’s much difference between American and Aussie audiences, other than the fact Aussie audiences tend to pick up the location mistakes. For instance, in one of the books, a copy-editor changed a tram stop to a train stop, and I didn’t pick it up (that’ll teach me to not proof-read it more closely!) until a reader emailed me and said, ‘since when is there a train stop in Lygon Street?’ lol

MARTA: You’ve said that the Moon Sworn will be the end of the series. Will it be hard for you to let Riley and her world go?

KERI: In some aspects, yes, it will be hard to let her go. Riley may not be perfect, but that’s what makes her such a fun character to write. But I’m not letting the world go--there’s another series on the way, set in the same world, just twenty-five years into the future. Riley and the gang will be making the occasiona
l appearance.

MARTA: What’s next for you?

KERI: Next is that above-mentioned offshoot series. The working title for the series is Dark Angels, and it features Risa, the little girl who appears in Riley’s series. It differs to Riley’s series in that it’ll feature the Aedh and Reapers more than vampires and werewolves. Although they are all a major part of the story--and yes, there’s even a horse shifter (although a mare, not a stallion).

MARTA: Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

KERI: The easiest way is to head to my website. You’ll find all the information there. (There’s also a free read available.)

MARTA: Who is your favorite talking horse? Favorite elf? Favorite shifter. Favorite vampire? If I missed anyone, please tell me!

KERI: There’s only one ‘real’ talking horse, isn’t there? Mr. Ed has to be top of that list! Fav elf--Legolas, of course. Fav shifter--hmm, that’s tough (because I’m guessing I can’t include mine. :-)) Maybe Richard from Anita Blake (before he went all weird in the later books). Fav Vamp--Andre from Children of the Night, and Henry Fitzroy from Tanya Huff’s series. Although Angel was divine, and I adored Nick Knight in the Forever Knight TV series.

MARTA: Thanks for answering my questions, Keri!

KERI: Enjoyed it! :-)

See all the book covers and titles in the Riley Jensen Guardian series.

Read Doug Knipe's review of Bound to Shadows at SciFi Guy.

Read an interview with Keri at Book Reporter.

TO ENTER THE CONTEST: Leave a comment for Keri, or tell us what you like about reading series books. I know that if I love a story, I want to go back to visit the characters. The contest runs through Wednesday, December 30, and winners will be chosen by random drawing.


I chose the GVDs in honor of some of Keri's favorite characters. Enjoy!

Those who haven't watched "Blood Ties," based on Tanya Huff's novels, should ask for the DVDs for Christmas. Kyle Schmid played the vampire Henry Fitzroy.

Ah, this just made me wish that Joss Whedon had been allowed to continue developing his series, "Angel."


Linda Henderson said...

I love series books. After reading about the main characters in their story, it's kind of nice when you get to read what happens to them in the next story. I enjoy it when the secondary characters get their own story too.

Jackie Uhrmacher said...

Peta Wilson is the reason I watched The League of Extraordinary Gentleman. Okay...and Stuart Townsend...but I LOVED her in Le Femme Nikita. I had never seen the Bridget Fonda version, nor the original French version, so it was my own peak into the world. I loved her strength, and how even though she loved Michael, she didn't let him rule her mind.

tina werner said...

i have a problem with never wanting a story to end, so the longer the series the better!

Nicole_Hadaway said...

Kyle Schmid rocked as Henry Fitzroy -- I miss Blood Ties dearly! Congrats to Keri Arthur for successfully doing both the mom and writing thing!

Sara C said...

I like series because there's more time to get to know the characters and the supporting players. Then when things happen (good or bad) you really understand how it affects the main players in the story. I love this series and I'm sad to see it end, but also interested to see how everything wraps up.

Great interview! Thanks for sharing!

RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the interview with Keri and thanks to Keri for sharing here. I loved learning more about her and her writing. I enjoy kick-ass heroines also.
I like reading series because of the returning of favorite characters but also because of the (hopefully) over-arcing plotline which is revealed with each novel in the series.
Merry Christmas!

Fiction Vixen said...

I love series books because I become so attached to the characters I hate to say goodbye. They become friends and I just need to know they're ok. LOL.

Larissa said...

Fantastic interview!

I love series because I can really get to know the characters and have multiple adventures with them.

I'm so excited that Keri mentioned one of my all time favorite authors - Mercedes Lackey!

Can't wait for the new Riley books! yay!

Rosie said...

This is one of my favorite series out there today, mostly because I love the characters you have created. Keep 'em coming!!!

Kara said...

I like series books because I get to visit the main characters again and again.

Marta said...

Hi, everyone! From the author perspective, there's so much that you can't include in 350 pages or so...a series gives you the opportunity to expand on the story. Even so, I always have to edit out scenes I really like.

Kez said...

Marta, I've also cut lots of good scenes, but I tend to keep them rather than delete them all together. I work on the theory that what may not be right for this book might be right for another. Of course, it also means I have all these files of random scenes cluttering up my computer. lol

Kez said...

Jackie, I love the twists and turns of Nikita's relationship with Michael. Of course, Michael himself wasn't exactly hard on the eye :)

elaing8 said...

I love this series and I'm sad to see it end. Its one of the first series' I read when I started reading paranormal/urban fantasy books.I love how Riley has her flaws and makes mistakes and tries to make the best of it and correct them.
I was sad at the ending of Bound to Shadows but I get why it had to happen.
I would love to win a signed copy of a book,thanks for the chance


Razlover's Book Blog said...

I love this series and unhappy to see it ending soon.

I love reading series because I connect with the characters and love to see how they grow and like to catch up to see what's happening with them.

Marta said...

Keri, aka Kez, welcome to Vampire Wire! I think it's wonderful that you're doing another series based in the Guardians world.

I did look for a good Le Femme Nikita video, but the only one I really liked didn't have an embed code. I'll look again tomorrow. I never saw the series, but I thought the original French movie was thrilling.

Elaine8, I loved flawed characters, too. I don't understand why some readers expect and want a character to be perfect in every way. The imperfections make characters interesting.

Pamk said...

I love that series La Femme Nikita but I don't think I ever saw the ending. Just hated the way that last season was going period. and Legolas is a fantastic elf. I love series cause I get to revisit old favorite characters but find new ones. And the world building can evolve and I can learn more and more about it.

Cathy M said...

I love a good series, and have so many on my auto-buy list that I anxiously await everytime a new release pops up. I love returning to a world that gives me great characters and fascinating storylines. I love catching glimpses of past characters and learning about new ones as the series advances.

Andrea said...

I love series books, but it can be a problem. For example, I only became aware of urban fantasy this last year. I have to start at the beginning to fully understand the series. I have quite a few Riley Jensen books to buy now.

LSUReader said...

Love, love, love the Riley Jenson Guardian series and will be sad to see it end with Moon Sworn. I do understand Keri's decision to bring Riley's tumultuos life some much-needed closure, and Bound to Shadows did a wonderful job of preparing readers for what is to come. Keri's comments reminded me how much I enjoyed the series "La Femme Nikita." (And she is so right about the lousy series finale!) Peta Wilson's Nikita is often in my mind when I read about Riley. Great interview--thanks for visiting today. Merry Christmas.

Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy] said...

What I love about series is anticipation, especially where romance is involved.

Natasha (Wicked Lil Pixie) said...

I love series because I always feel like I need more when I read a one off, like its missing something. Plus I kinda like the anticipation of a new book in a series coming out.

Jane said...

I also love series because we get to revisit with past characters and catching up with them. I like long series as long as the stories and characters don't become style.

80slady said...

Finally someone who agrees with me about Le Femme Nikita! I loved that series so much. Reading a series or watching one gives the author and reader more time to know the characters and make them real :)

s7anna said...

I absolutely adore series because they provide a chance to find closure for all the various characters that you fall in love with in the course of a story.

Merry Christmas
Anna Shah Hoque

joder said...

I like seeing characters evolve over the course of books and revisiting old favorites.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Dot S. said...

Keri, I just bought BOUND TO SHADOWS while out Christmas shopping. You know, one gift for them and one for me. I can't wait to settle myself with a cup of tea and your book.

Chelsea B. said...

Great interview! I've never read this series, but I'm definitely adding it to my TBR pile!

wcvamp said...

I love the Riley Jensen series, love Riley, IMO, she rocks, I will miss the series when it ends, but will look forward to the new series.
don't forget about the series "Dark Shadows", used to love that show as a kids even though it kind of scared me. also who can forget the 80's favorite "lost Boys".

Martha Lawson said...

I like to read series books to re-visit characters that I already love!!

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Virginia C said...

I most enjoy reading series when the author is in love with the characters and doesn't want to let them go! When an author is deeply involved with developing levels of characterization and building a compelling story line, their passion weaves a spell over the reader. Who could resist another piece of such a delicious literary pie?

Sandy Jay said...

I love to read series books because I get to revisit characters that I've become attached to and grown to love. It's great to see how they move on from book to book. I feel like I'm with old friends.

donnas said...

Great interview. I love series books because I always want to know what happens next. And while I am sad when favorite series end, I am glad when they can end at a good time for the characters and not have a lot of issues outstanding.

Nece said...

Reading a series allows me to watch characters grow and change. It gives me a longer relationship with some of my favorite characters! Always a plus! lol I love Riley because she is strong, yet flawed. Gives one hope for one's self. =)

Thank you for the contest!

Janece Suarez

Moonsanity said...

I am fan of huge, epic series. I always have been. I just think there is so much more detail in the story line and the characters when it's a series. Can you imagine Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth books in ONE book? I hate to admit I came late into paranormal romance and urban fantasy so I just got my first Riley book. But, I won't have to wait to read the rest of them!

Marta- You had to remind me of Fred dying in that season of Angel didn't you? It was so sad:(

Anna Dougherty said...

Riley is one of my favorite characters because she isn't perfect and struggles with her decisions. I love that she pushes against authority (Jack). She also has a big heart and makes her family a priority. Riley is a contradiction sometimes, but that works for me. And I love her relationship with Quinn- its been great fun to read about. Bound to Shadows was brilliant and bittersweet. I'm anxious for Moon Sworn, even though I am sad to see the series end. Series books appeal to me because I can invest myself in the characters and become involved in the storyline.

My questions for Keri: Do you keep detailed notes on the characters, such as the rules for all the various shifters? What is your process for keeping organized?

Thanks for the great interview!!

Heather C said...

I haven't started the series yet, but I have it on my 2 read list for sure. All I hear is how wonderful your characters and world building is. Looks like I'll need to add the new series and check it out as well. If only the day had 30 hours, and those last 6 were only for extra fun. :)

Merry Christmas!!!

kalynnick said...

what I like about series is that with each book not only you get to see your old favorite characters but also see how the setting/world of the book is developing.

kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

jeanette8042 said...

I love series books because sometimes I get to find out more about the main couple and how their love grows, while for other series I get to read about other characters and see who they end up with!

lilazncutie1215 @

The Mighty Buzzard said...

I dig on series books for a couple of reasons. You get much more fleshed out characters making it easier to build up empathy with them.

You also don't have to go from knowing nothing about an entire cast every time you open a cover; most of the characters are already familiar.

mleger0546 said...

Hello Keri!
Thank you so much for sharing! as it turns out, this series is sitting in my Wish List on the Chapters Indigo Website! I want to wait until i can get all the books before I place the order because I love to read series "back to back' it's really hard to wait for the "next book". I usually try to wait until there is at least 3 books! Oh ! Can;t wait! I'm placing to get the first 6 at least!

Thanks for sharing in this interview!

Happy Reading!

Kate L

Blodeuedd said...

I love to see characters evolve, to see the lovestory blossom and to just get so much more action than I could in just one book .)

throuthehaze said...

I love series books because you get to see what happens next in the character's lives. You get a chance to get to know them better and be part of their world.

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

I got hooked on the first scene in the first book. RIley was so strong even with the odds against her. You could tell she was going to be an exciting character to watch.

mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Keri, great interview, can't wait to read your book.

I like series because you are familiar with the main characters and you get to follow them and others that interact in the book. I just feel better when I read them.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

dor said...

What I love about a series is that I can watch them grow and I just feel very involved in a series.

dorcontest at gmail dot com

Spav said...

I like series because you can see the characters evolve and move forward in their lifes.

PeaceLove&Pat said...

I love your Riley Jensen series because of Riley of course, she is sucha strong heroine. I don't usually read books about werewolf but this one grew on me. Not to mention she got vampire genes too. I also love the Quinn-Riley frustrating relationship. I'm only on book 4, I wonder what will happen...

I'd love to win this contest.


Kez said...

Dot, I love your idea of one for them, one for me. I shall have to try that next year (it might just make christmas shopping more fun. lol)

Kez said...

wcvamp, Dark Shadows was good, but the TV stations here in Oz were a bit hit and miss with showing it. I'm not sure I ever saw the whole series.

The one series I did see and love was the Night Stalker series. Anyone remember that one?

Kez said...

Anna Dougherty--I have a notebook where I jot down various world rules and character traits. I tend to do it by book (so I know where to find it if I need to look back at it) so it's a bit disorganized. But it works for me.

I also have a file for each book on my computer where I just jot down notes (generally ideas for later in the book) and keep deleted scenes

Marta said...

Hi, everyone, and Keri (aka Kez)! Dark Shadows is available on DVD, but I haven't seen it. I'll add it to my "to rent" list.

I've seen "The Night Stalker"! It's sometimes shown here on the SciFi Channel (now stupidly renamed SyFy). Darren McGavin was wonderful as the reporter bumbling into supernatural crimes. They tried to redo the series with Stuart Townsend, but they took out the humor...which was an essential element of the character. (Why won't anyone let Townsend do funny and exciting?)

Keri, someone asked if you keep any records of all your characters, their traits and history? Do you...isn't it hard to keep track through nine books?

As for series, sometimes I love the anticipation of waiting for the next book, but other times I want to read one right after the other.

Amanda Leigh said...

Great interview with Keri! I really enjoyed it.
As far as series are concerned, those are mostly all I read. I go through books so quickly that I am usually disappointed to say goodbye to characters after just one book.

Sara M said...

I love reading series books because I like to be able to jump back into a world. Although I enjoy starting new books/series, sometimes I just don't want to go through all of the introductions before the action starts.

Btw, I named my little kitten after Riley. The name just stuck with me.

Sara M
sara_UFblog [at] yahoo [dot] com

Bethie said...

I love series books because I feel like I really get to know the characters and the setting. After finishing the 2400+ pages in the Twilight Saga and knowing that would be the end, I felt like I was kicked out of Forks, WA.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Morning Glow from Novel Addiction said...

I love reading series. And I like both the ones where it's the same character coming back over and over, or if it's a group, and while the main character isn't the same in every book, you do get to see your favorite characters come back. Usually the author makes the characters so real to me, I can't wait to see them again, somehow!

Here's hoping I win!
~ Morning Glow
ohmorningglow AT aol DOT com

Llehn said...

I finally managed to get hold of a copy of Deadly Desire just last week. Can't wait to tear into it. Is this serendipty of what?


Theresa N. said...

I agree Buffy's the best nothing else comes close.
Theresa N

Terri said...

I love reading series books because you can really get to know the characters. It's great when a character is introduced in one novel (mysteriously) and then is developed in the next or future book continuing the storyline.

SciFiGuy said...

I just wanted to say how much I love the Riley books. Noi need to enter me, I have them all :) Thanks for the links as always Marta.

Nastassia said...

I love series books . I hate when I reach the end of a book ,with series books I'm okay with endings because I know I have another book to look forward to , thats continuing the story .

Soni (VampirePhile) said...

Great Interview, and Keri I love (and agree with) your choice (one of) for fave vampire - Henry Fitzroy (as played by Kyle Schmid of course ;).

One of the things I like about series books is of course looking forward to what is going to happen next as the story continues in each book... The same as what I like about series Tv.

Of course the down side is when the series has to end/ author decides not to continue, but at least for the most part the endings get wrapped up nicley.

Unfortunately that's sometimes never the case with series tv, esp. when the show unfortunately gets cancelled with an open ending (Blood Ties anyone??), I second Nicole in missing Blood Ties dearly!

ikkinlala said...

I like reading series books because I get to read more about the characters I like.

buddyt said...

I love Tam Tams. Have you tried the newest varieties ?


Carmen R said...

I love series because chances are good if I like the first one I will enjoy the next. Also it gives the secondary characters more of a chance to get some fans.

Kez said...

Marta said: Keri, someone asked if you keep any records of all your characters, their traits and history? Do you...isn't it hard to keep track through nine books?

Yeah, I do keep records, because I have the worst memory for details of any kind. I have two methods--I have world stuff and character likes/dislikes written down in a notebook, and I keep a computer file for each book that just deals with items for that particular book (ie bad guy information etc)

Kez said...

buddyt said: I love Tam Tams. Have you tried the newest varieties ?

oh yeah. The mint one, and the black forest, are my favs. Of course, I'm on a diet so they do not enter my house. I just stand in their supermarket aisle and drool occassionally. lol

Belinda said...

The one thing I love about book series is that if there is a character in a book you are drawn to you might eventually get to find out what his or her story is sooner or later.

Soni (VampirePhile) said...

Re: MinT & Black forest)... Hmm, I'm very about these Tim Tams now ( wonder if they hv them here in Canada/esp. Quebec)?

Sandy G said...

I like reading series books becase when I like the characters I want to find out more about them.

sgiden AT verizon DOT net

Mysteriousrose said...

I like to read series of books because you see a development in the characters, and then there is time to give the characters time to grow and you have plenty of time to get to know them and feel them.


Marta said...

Hi, everyone!

Keri/Kez, thanks for dropping by. Okay, this is one of the things I love about the internet -- that you're able to connect with readers/fans all across the world.

Keri, thanks for explaining how you keep track of things. My last editor made me reread my books before I wrote the most recent. I'd forgotten all sorts of details!

CherylS22 said...

I like reading series books because I get caught up in the characters & want to know more about them. I sometimes feel that one book leaves me hanging, but multiple books give me a true understanding of a character.

pixie13 said...

When you're reading a good boook, you're making an emotional investment in the characters. I love series because I get to extend that emotional investment beyond one book. Plus, I just like knowing what happens next. Thanks for the great giveaway!

cathy said...

I like series because I like to follow a character. Much as I may grumble, i also like it when a series has a beginning, middle and end so that it doesn't start to repeat itself too much and because it means most things should get explained/wrapped up.

Nickie said...

I actually just started reading the series a couple of days ago, and am already on the fourth book. I'm really enjoying the action packed plot line. There is always something going on and new characters are introduced unexpectadly! Super excited to read the rest of the books, and I can't wait to see what will happen next, as well as who I will meet next!

Lynette said...

Hi Keri - Love love love the Riley series. Thanks for writing it :)