Romance Month Guest Blog: Jackie Kessler

Good morning, Lisa here.  February is Romance Month here at Urban Fantasy Land!  Each Thursday during the month of February we will have a guest blog from the romance side of Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance.

Please welcome today’s guest blogger:  Jackie Kessler.  Leave a comment to win a signed copy of Hell’s Bells!  I’ll pick a winner at random from the comments on Monday, Feburary 9th.

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jackie_photoDeclaring Their Intentions
By Jackie Kessler

Some people think that when you’re an author, you know what the characters you’re writing about are going to do. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that the author would know the goal, the motivation, and the conflict — and would intimately get who the characters are, right?

Uh huh. Lemme tell you, the characters have other ideas. Especially when love is involved.

Yes, I know — this sounds like I better talk to my doctor and increase my meds. But here’s how it works: the authors write, and the characters correct. At least, that’s how it works for me. Whenever I try taking a story in a direction that doesn’t work — for the story overall, or for individual characters — some part of me rebels and winds up giving me writer’s block. Usually preceded by an argument with my characters.

Take Daunuan. (That’s pronounced “Don Juan,” sort of.) He’s an incubus, which means he’s all about the sex. Period. No such thing as love. Demons, after all, **don’t** love. When I first started writing HELL’S BELLES, Daun was going to be the heroine’s demonic fuckbunny and no more — no real feelings between the two of them. (Actually, when I was first fleshing out the story, Daun was going to have a very different role, which would have had the book end very, very differently than it did.) But…well, that just didn’t work. Daun wouldn’t hear of it. So by the second book, THE ROAD TO HELL, his feelings for Jezebel become very clear — to the reader, at any rate. He and Jesse are still pretty clueless about the whole “love” thing. (Demons: scary as all get out, but dumber than a bag of rocks when it comes to human emotions.) And by the third book, Daun — no longer a secondary character — learns the hard way about what love can mean.

That’ll show him. Hah. Maybe he refused to be a minor character, and he went and fell for the heroine of the series. But I’ll be damned if I make it easy for him.

But the characters don’t make it easy for the authors, either. At least, they don’t make it easy for me. Daun, again: When I was making breakfast for my boys, I suddenly knew, just knew, exactly how HOTTER THAN HELL had to end. And never mind that I’d only written about half of the book, and the scene I was so clearly envisioning had been nowhere in my outline. So I had to run out of kitchen and race to my computer and write the last scene of the book, right then and there. With Daun laughing the entire time.

Freaking characters.

But hey — when people fall in love, we’re not exactly reasonable, are we? We do stupid things for love sometimes. It stands to reason that our characters would do the same. When they declare their intentions, authors have to listen. And ultimately, that makes a better story for the readers.

Now please excuse me: I have to go throw Daunuan into the Lake of Fire for a couple of centuries.

bellesmm_150Would you like to win a signed copy of HELL’S BELLES? Go ahead and comment about one unreasonable thing you’ve done for love — or that characters you’ve read about have done for love. One winner will be picked at random on Monday, February 9th.

Places to find Jackie:

Jackie’s Website

Jackie’s Blog

Deadline Dames Author Blog


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13 comments on “Romance Month Guest Blog: Jackie Kessler

  1. I can’t believe no one has commented to this!

    I do have to admit, Jackie, I have yet to read one of your books. They are on my TBR (to be read) list, but with the current economy I’ve been struggling to even afford anything.

    That’s besides the point.

    After reading about your characters from HOTTER THAN HELL and HELL’S BELLES I’m a lot more interested in reading your series! *Dusts off her Kindle*

    Now: onto the question you wanted us to answer.

    You know that song by Meatloaf “I would do anything for love?” Yeaaaah. I’ve personally never been desperate for love, but my characters are impossible. (Did I forget to mention I’m a writer? Eh, oh well.) My favorite scene is in a still unpublished (I’m still passing over it) series where my very imposing, homosexual werewolf starts belting out Meatloaf in the middle of the crowded mall to his ex who was trying to move on with his life. Thankfully he’s taken back… totally out of pity… but at least it happens.

  2. Just one unreasonable thing I’ve done for love?! Hmm. How to choose, how to choose… Ok, for about 8 months, I tried to convince myself that I was a tv watcher rather than a reader. Yeah, that sure didn’t work. Now I only date readers. 🙂

  3. Something that I sometimes think was unreasonable I have done for love, is move to a different country and back!

    Thanks for such a great post, it’s so interesting to hear the background of a story.

  4. Hi Jackie~
    One unreasonable thing I did for love was with only a months notice I packed up my car and moved from Arizona to South Carolina. I didn’t think it was unreasonable but my parents did!

  5. Thanks for the post Jackie. I have had your books on my wishlist for a while now and after this post I really need to move them up and read them soon.

    The most unreasonable thing has been probably to keep a job just to stay in the same city.

  6. The most unreasonable thing I’ve done for love? After just one year of dating I moved to USA with the guy I was dating. But it all worked out, cause we’re still together 🙂

  7. Lately, it has been to sit next to my husband for hours in our office while he looks at the Ford, Toyota, and Honda sites…drooling over cars. We don’t need a new car right now, we have two already that are great, but he’s a dreamer, and he wants to start planning now. I’m more practical, and I figure I’ll start to research when we actually need the car, but until then there are plenty of better, more productive ways to spend my time. But because I love him, I sit next to him to study and compare the front views, grills, tail lights, dashboards, etc. of cars I have no interest in…lol

  8. Hi Jackie, your article is hilarious 🙂

    And I don’t have any real life stories that could compete with the posters above me (seriously, you guys are awesome), so I’ll stick with the fictional.

    How about every character who lets their vampiric significant other bite them? As someone who has to close her eyes and frantically think happy thoughts every time she donates blood, I don’t see how they manage it.

  9. Hi, Jackie, I enjoy your books and would love to read HELL’S BELLES.

    Unreasonable? Hmm… How about spending a couple weeks out of state and then when I was supposed to go home and go back to work, I called my job and quit so I could stay for the whole summer!

  10. Great comments, everyone!

    So, my own unreasonable thing: I’ve watched FLETCH. More than once. All because Loving Husband insists it’s the best movie eva. Sigh.

  11. Jackie,

    As you know I have copies of all your books but I had to let you know that I loved the blog. Now if I could get a copy of the next book that would be great.

    Unreasonable is standing in line for something you don’t really want but everyone thinks you must have.

  12. Hm… my husband and I had a long-distance relationship for four years (more than half of our pre-marriage relationship). I know plenty of people who’d think that was unreasonable. 😉

    Between here, the League, and Deadline Dames, I must say that my imagination is totally becoming captivated by *your* relationship with Duan. I hope I can move your books to the top of my TBR pile soon, so I can see him in his own world. (My friend told me he did successfully snag a Black and White for me at NYCC, so that’ll be up first. *g*)

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