It's hard to believe that just a couple of months ago all I had was some vague ideas in my head and now I have three books for my NOLA shifters written; the first two in the series and the prequel. I love writing and I've written fanfiction for years but I kept feeling the urge to write something that was all mine. That is how Wild Lilies, the first book in my NOLA Shifter series came to life. It wasn't supposed to be a series. It was going to be a one shot, stand alone book. Lily and Declan were supposed to just be two wolf shifters who, against all odds, found their mate in each other. Then I started really writing it and other characters took on lives of their own.
Caine, my leopard Alpha, became such a prominent character that he had to have his own story told. I initially played with the idea of pairing him with an as of yet unnamed character, because at first I thought Emelise, his love interest, would end up with Remy. Caine decided he was having none of that. He claimed the quirky, sassy, stubborn brunette for his own. Eme doesn't give in easily though, she makes him work for it.
As the first book progressed, Remy really came to life, followed by Gage and Mia, which led to the prequel since they're already together in the first book. But they aren't the only ones wanting their stories told. Nikolai, the lone white Siberian tiger who cannot go home to Russia to find a mate among his own kind due to his parents defecting during the Cold War, wormed his way into my heart and asked for his own story. So did Holden, my grizzly bear who is a bit older than the others, a little gruff, (think Jeffery Dean Morgan in Red Dawn), with a love of motorcycles and classic cars. Then there is Steele. Wiry, cocky, playful. He is the jokester of their group. That's his way of coping with the things they did while working in Special Ops. Rounding out the Ghostpoint pack we have Sasha and Echo. They were a little harder to figure out, at first. I wasn't sure if they were just good friends, or if there's more between them. Their story isn't told yet but it's in my head and I know where they will end up.
As I began writing the second book, Scarlet Roses, which focuses on Emelise and Caine, other characters came to life for me. Malcolm, whom we meet briefly in Wild Lilies. I tried so very hard to make him straight. I saw him with Lily's coworker, Shelli. Malcolm had other plans. No, he is not straight and he sets his sights on one of Emelise's cousins, Julius. And then Beau, another of her cousins, pushed to the front and said "I want my own story too, damn it!' I think, of all the ones planned, his story and Nikolai's story are the ones that will be the hardest on me, emotionally. I won't give away any details but if their stories go the way I see them going, they will be a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride for my readers.
I look forward to watching as each book comes to fruition and seeing what my readers think about each and every one of them. I hope you'll love the characters as much as I already do.