J.C. Daniels. Shiloh Walker. Herman Gurmanflarn. Okay, I made that last name up. Still! I love it when authors use different names to write different kind of books — and here is Shiloh “J.C. Daniels” Walker to talk about her newest, Broken Blade.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF: WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?
I’m 37 years old and I’m still trying to figure that out… nah, not really. I’ve answered this a bunch of times and in a nutshell, I wear a lot of hats…I write urban fantasy as J.C. Daniels, and romance as Shiloh Walker. I’m a mom, a wife, a reader and a writer. I married my high school sweetheart and we have three kids.
I’ve been hooked on stories for most of my life and started writing in elementary school. I really got hooked on writing in middle school where I wrote this awful story in purple ink during my seventh grade history class.
I haven’t stopped since. Most of my books are written under as Shiloh Walker and they are romances, but there aren’t a lot of picket fences…I usually have my couples all but dragging themselves over the finish line, because what good is a happy ever after if they don’t have to work for it? I sorta branched out into urban fantasy in 2011 when a story dropped on my head like a sledgehammer. The series is called the Colbana Files, and the first book is BLADE SONG. My current release is the third book, BROKEN BLADE.
GIVE US THE 140-CHARACTER STORY PITCH:
Meet Kit Colbana. She used to be a smart-ass with a sword. Now she scrapes by serving drinks in a bar, and hiding. She’s got reasons…really.
WHERE DOES THIS STORY COME FROM?
It came because the end of book 2 kind of left me with nowhere else to go. See, I left Kit in a really, really bad place and I couldn’t leave her there. Even though all I did was write the story the way it played out in my head, I still have to drag her out of that hole.
HOW IS THIS A STORY ONLY YOU COULD’VE WRITTEN?
Again…that hole thing. Since I’m the one who put her in there, I figure it was up to me to get her out.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT WRITING BROKEN BLADE?
The heroine was really, really broken when I started and I hate books where the main characters gets that ‘insta-fix’…ya know, where they go through something really awful but it doesn’t have much of an impact? Kit had gone through something horrible, and I had to work with that and bring her through that, even though it’s hard, seeing your characters suffer.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN WRITING BROKEN BLADE?
I don’t know if it’s just with BROKEN BLADE, but more with this series as a whole. Strength isn’t just a physical quality. I set out to write this series because I wanted to try my hand at a character who wasn’t necessarily one of the strongest—and wasn’t going to ever be the strongest, not physically—but strength isn’t a physical thing and the more I write Kit, the more I get to explore what strength really is. I’ve always liked writing messed up characters but I usually have to have them on the way to ‘almost okay’ by the end of the book. Kit’s ‘almost okay’ is going to take longer than that, because she’s one of the most messed up I’ve ever taken on. Her growth takes place over books, not chapters.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BROKEN BLADE?
Revealing some secrets about one of the secondary characters…I’d been holding those cards close to my chest since the first book and I’m hoping the readers enjoy it just as much.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME?
With this book, probably not anything. The fourth book, that’s a different story. I’ve started and restarted that three times over now.
GIVE US YOUR FAVORITE PARAGRAPH FROM THE STORY:
“Next time I tell you there’s too much magic to trust to a charm, will you listen? You know blades. I know magic and—”
I put a hand on his arm.
Somebody was coming.
I could hear her.
Felt each footstep like an echo on my soul.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AS A STORYTELLER?
Which one of me? Ah… well, romance-me, Shiloh Walker has three e-novellas due out in the spring to launch my Secrets & Shadows series coming out from St. Martins. And the UF-me, J.C. Daniels is working on two different projects…book 4 in the Colbana Files, which will follow up BROKEN BLADE, and I’m working on a prequel of sorts that tells how Kit got her start.