With the release this week of Lone Survivor, the first book in my all new Crescent City Kings Series, this will be the fifth series I have launched under this name. At this point, I feel like I have my process nailed down, which makes it much easier to start a new series. One of the ways in which I am able to move from one series to the next is I always introduce secondary characters in one series that will end up being primary protagonists in their own book and series.
For instance, when it comes to this latest series, two of the main heroes, Dante and Michael, appeared in my Pleasure Island Series as secondary characters. Now, in my Crescent City Kings Series they have their own book. When it comes to writing series, connections matter. And it’s figuring out how everyone is connected whether by blood or friendship, much like in real life. I tend to brainstorm the entire series before I write a single word on the page. They are generalities like names, hair and eye color, build, profession, and how they are related to the other people in the series, if they are at all. Also, with the first book, you’re building the entire world. Like in the Crescent City Kings Series there is a fictional club, Club Underworld, that is a prominent setting in each of the books, and actually is a character in its own right. So with the first book, I craft places like those from the ground up that will be appear in each book to establish continuity and consistency through the series.
One of the things that makes the Crescent City Kings Series different from The Dungeon Fantasy Club, Pleasure Island, Cuff & Spurs, and The Alcyran Chronicles, is that it takes place in a well-known, large American city. And yes, I know that Cuffs & Spurs takes place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but there was also a lot of uninhabited territory for me to use at will. Most of the time, I prefer creating my own town or island, like in the Pleasure Island Series, because then I have freedom of creation with my world building. But with this series, in many respects, it is a love letter to a city I am quite enamored with, New Orleans.
I adore New Orleans. I couldn’t live there because I would eat all the decadent treats all the time and it would play hell with my waistline. But I do tend to get there about once a year or so and it never gets old.
I’m going to leave you today with a short excerpt from Lone Survivor, available now!
Excerpt from Lone Survivor
Later that afternoon, Ramsey was at home putting together a lasagna for dinner.
“Dad.” Rocky sat at the kitchen table, a pack of colored pencils beside him as he worked on his latest comic book sketch. His dirty blond hair had grown in the two months he had been in New Orleans. Ram added getting him to the barber to his mental to do list before taking him and his sister back to Dallas.
“Yeah?” He slid the pan into the oven and then turned, leaning against the counter to look at his teenage son. Jesus, how could he be thirteen already? Ram could still remember how tiny he’d been, and just how terriﬁed he’d been of taking care of a toddler on his own after he and their mom had split when Rocky was two. It did something to him, staring at the boy on the cusp of manhood, and thinking back over the years. He would hit a growth spurt in the next year or so and be as tall as Ram.
“Do you think it’s possible that aliens exist?” Rocky asked, never looking up from his drawing. Ram had no idea how the kid came by his artistic talent. Certainly not from him. Although Rocky’s Aunt Becca, Ram’s baby sister, was an artist. So it was deﬁnitely there in the family tree.
“I think it’s a distinct possibility.” This planet had enough problems without adding aliens to the mix. Talk about throwing the world into a panic.
“Then why haven’t they come to Earth yet?” Rocky asked, lifting his face. It always ﬁlled Ram with wonder when he looked at Rocky and saw a younger version of himself in everything but eye color. Rocky’s eyes were a clear jade, just like his mom’s.
“And how do you know that they haven’t?” he teased his son.
“Because we would know. With technology the way it is, someone would have gotten a picture or video that proves their existence.”
“Have you considered the possibility that if they ﬂew billions of lightyears to get here, it’s more likely that their technology is much more advanced than ours and they would be able to hide from detection?” Ram said with a smile hovering over his lips.
“Yeah, for all we know, the aliens left you with us at birth. It would explain a lot.” Hurricane Angela waltzed into the kitchen, her smartphone in her hand, and grabbed an apple from the fruit basket on the counter. Ram sighed. His daughter was ﬁfteen going on twenty-ﬁve, with enough sass to outlast Satan.
“Then you should watch yourself. We like to suck out human souls at night. It would explain a lot about you,” Rocky countered.
Angela rolled her eyes. “You’re such a dork.”
“Ang, watch it. You can talk to your friends for an hour and then screen-time is done for the night,” Ram stated, hearing echoes of his own dad as he said it. Ram didn’t know how, but he had turned into his father. He’d like to think of himself as much cooler, down to earth, and more level headed. But yeah, it had happened. And the thing was, Ram loved being a dad—although the teenage years were going to give him a head full of gray hair.