Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Alias J. K. Beck

Julie Kenner and JK Beck visit the Lair today with the Shadow Keepers series of paranormal romances. Julie's novels have hit bestseller lists ranging from Waldenbooks and USA Today to Locus magazine. She is a two-time RITA nominee and has won a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice awards, a National Readers Choice award and various other honors. Today we'll chat about her alter ego, J. K. Beck.

Welcome Julie! Who is J. K. Beck, and how did you decide to create her?

J.K. is me, me, me!

Ahem.

Seriously, J.K. Beck is Julie Kenner’s alter ego. (“J.K.” for “Julie Kenner” and Beck because it’s my maiden name.) It’s the name I’m using for the Shadow Keeper series, a series of dark paranormal romances set in and around a paranormal judicial system.

We went with a pen name because lately “Julie Kenner” has been writing primarily urban fantasy, and the “Julie Kenner” romances tend to be lighter and quirkier. We wanted to distinguish the tone and genre of these books, and so a new name made perfect sense!

Tell us about the Shadow Keepers.

Dark and edgy, and full of mystery and intrigue and romance. The world is great fun to write, and each story centers around a paranormal judicial system that’s been in existence since before the dawn of civilized man, and governs the shadow creatures—vampires, daemons, werewolves, jinns. All creatures humans think live only in nightmares, but don’t. It’s a system that investigates, apprehends, adjudicates and punishes those shadow creatures who break the Covenant, and each book centers around a couple and an element of that system.

You have three releases out close together. Do the books feature the same characters?

The books are romances, so each book focuses on a different couple. But the world plays into all the books, and so a character that was the hero in one book may be a secondary character in another. Nicholas, for example, is a vampire and an advocate (attorney). He is in both WHEN BLOOD CALLS and WHEN PLEASURE RULES. But he’s not the hero until WHEN WICKED CRAVES.

Briefly, what is each of the books about?

IN WHEN BLOOD CALLS, prosecutor Sara Constantine is pulled into the paranormal world when she gets a promotion to “Division 6,” which turns out to be the cover for the Los Angeles division of the PEC (Preternatural Enforcement Coalition). Learning that such a world exists is shocking enough, but what really rocks Sara’s world is when she discovers that the man she’d had a recent wild night with—the man she can’t get out of her head—is the first defendant she’s assigned to prosecute. And not only is he wanted for murder...but he’s a vampire, too.

In WHEN PLEASURE RULES, we meet Lissa and Rand. Lissa is a succubus with a special gift—when she takes souls, she can also take information/read minds. She’s used that ability to help save other succubi who are being abused at the hands of their masters—blackmailing for their freedom and giving them employment in her club. It’s a good cause, but her method is highly illegal.

Rand is a werewolf who’s recently come to Los Angeles on a special mission from the head werewolf of the Alliance. When Division 6 thinks that the weren community is behind a series of brutal murders, they want to investigate—and they enroll Lissa as a confidential informant. Lissa will do anything to protect the girls she’s rescued, but she doesn’t expect to fall for the reclusive werewolf, a man with a tattered soul and a shattered past.

In WHEN WICKED CRAVES, Petra Lang is cursed never to touch—because her touch renders a monstrous transition. Now she’s about to be executed as a result of certain events that occurred in PLEASURE. But attorney Nicholas Montegue is certain that the cursed witch holds the secret to his friend Serge’s cure. After braving a daring prison escape, the two are on the run, and the chemistry between them is both unexpected and hot. But the lovers are doomed from the start—because the first time she touches him, Petra would turn Nicholas into a monster.

The books were released back to back, and that’s been a great experience. As a reader, I love being able to really dig into a world, and the feedback I’ve received has been great. Of course, on the writing end it’s a lot harder!!

Sara and Lucius are the hero and heroine of the first book. What’s their biggest problem?

Well, they have several! The biggest would seem to be that she’s the prosecutor and he’s a murder defendant. But even more to the heart of the issue is they way they look at the world. They each have strong beliefs about how justice should be rendered, and their opposing views are a wall between them that will have to be knocked down or climbed over before they can truly be together.

Is there an over-arching plot?

There is an overarching world and political machinations. But as for a specific plotline that runs through all the books, no. Because of that the books can be read in any order, though it does make the most sense (and is probably the most fun!) to start with Blood and move through the series.

What’s next for you?

I’m working on WHEN PASSION LIES right now! That’s the next book in the series, and that will be followed by two more for sure. An e-novella is in the works, too, and will be published before PASSION hits shelves!

Thanks so much for having me! Folks can find me on Twitter (JKBeck) or Facebook (authorjkbeck) or at my webpage (www.jkbeck.com).

Julie is giving away a $15 Amazon gift certificate to one commenter today. So tell us, what's your favorite lawyer story? Your favorite story that has someone ending the rules or stepping outside the law for a good cause? Your favorite Julie Kenner or J. K. Beck book?

64 comments:

Linda Henderson said...

Come to me old golden one. It's been awhile.

Linda Henderson said...

I haven't read any of your J.K.Beck books yet, but I love your Julie Kenner Blazes. One of my favorites is Night Moves.

Daz said...

Julie, thanks so much for visiting. I love your "Julie Kenner" books and I'm really intrigued by your "J K Beck" books. I'll definitely have to check them out.

Linda, well done on the chook. Have fun with him.

Sheree said...

Although I love the Codebreaker series as well as the Superhero Central series, my fave has to be "California Demon" - any teen girl who doesn't listen to her mother deserves to be sacrificed to demons (of course, she was rescued but she learned that lesson).

This Shadow Keeper series though has Jed Hill on the cover. Yum!

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha! Congrats on your new series!

Just watched Hawaii Five O where Danno (usually the straight) broke a few rules (tied a drug dealer to the hood of his car and hit the streets) to clear his previous partner.

Helen said...

Linda enjoy your day the the GR

Julie

WOW these books sound fantastic I must check them out and the fact that they come out so close together is really good. I do love learning about other worlds.

Favourite Lawyer story I guess one of the good movies was Philladelphia Story I really liked that movie although i haven't seen it for a while.

Congrats Julie on the releases and thanks Nancy for inviting Julie today

Have Fun
Helen

Maureen said...

Hello Julie or J.K.,
Your new series sounds very interesting. I do enjoy stories with lawyers in them and this looks like an interesting twist. My favorite lawyer movie is 'And Justice for All'. My husband and I will periodically yell,"You're out of order! You're all out of order!"

Nancy said...

Linda, congrats on the bird. What do you like about Night Moves?

Nancy said...

Daz, I love the Kate Connor, Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series.

Nancy said...

Sheree, your favorite lines up with mine. I loved California Demon.

Nancy said...

Hi, Kim--I wish Hawaii Five-O didn't air opposite Castle, which I'm already hooked on. I loved the original H50, and I like Alex McLoughlin.

Tying a drug dealer to a car is a big switch from the original Danno. :-)

Nancy said...

Hi, Helen--I haven't seen The Philadelphia Story in a while, either, but it's a great movie. Is it Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant who's the lawyer in that?

Susan Sey said...

Ooooh, a lawyer story. I'm going to be boring & say that I love Del from the Bride Quartet Nora Roberts just wrapped up. He's the quintessential older brother/lawyer, always watching out for his "girls." And since I grew up with only sisters (and plenty of them) but no brothers, I have to say Del taps into one of my favorite fantasies--having an older brother (handsome, kind & protective) to stick up for me on occasion.

I recognize that I fantasize about brothers the way sisterless women dream about sisters, & I know the reality isn't quite as good as Nora paints it. That's why we read books. :-)

Looking forward to reading all about your PEC!

Susan Sey said...

Ooooh, a lawyer story. I'm going to be boring & say that I love Del from the Bride Quartet Nora Roberts just wrapped up. He's the quintessential older brother/lawyer, always watching out for his "girls." And since I grew up with only sisters (and plenty of them) but no brothers, I have to say Del taps into one of my favorite fantasies--having an older brother (handsome, kind & protective) to stick up for me on occasion.

I recognize that I fantasize about brothers the way sisterless women dream about sisters, & I know the reality isn't quite as good as Nora paints it. That's why we read books. :-)

Looking forward to reading all about your PEC!

Susan Sey said...

Ooooh, a lawyer story. I'm going to be boring & say that I love Del from the Bride Quartet Nora Roberts just wrapped up. He's the quintessential older brother/lawyer, always watching out for his "girls." And since I grew up with only sisters (and plenty of them) but no brothers, I have to say Del taps into one of my favorite fantasies--having an older brother (handsome, kind & protective) to stick up for me on occasion.

I recognize that I fantasize about brothers the way sisterless women dream about sisters, & I know the reality isn't quite as good as Nora paints it. That's why we read books. :-)

Looking forward to reading all about your PEC!

Nancy said...

Hi, Maureen--I've heard And Justice for All is a terrific movie. I think that's the most famous segment of it.

For a while, lawyers were hot in films. Lately, though, not so much. Maybe they'll have a comeback.

Nancy said...

Susan, I always wanted an older brother, too. Of course he would be kind and thoughtful and look out for me. :-)

I haven't read the bride quartet yet. It'll probably have to wait for Christmas break. Thanksgiving if I'm lucky.

J.K. Beck said...

Okay, Linda.....I'm confused. Is that a book? Tell more!

J.K. Beck said...

Hey all! Happy Tuesday! Thanks for all the nice comments on my Julie Kenner (and JK) books!

J.K. Beck said...

Nancy, I STILL have to try Castle. It's on my iPad. I'm now motivated to watch the pilot by this weekend!

Laurie said...

One of my favorite books with a lawyer is HelenKay Dimon's Under the Gun. Also To Kill a Mockingbird.

A suspenseful book with law agents involved- Karen Robard's Walking After Midnight. It has crooked cops, setups, kidnapping, manhunts ...lots of twists and turns!

Nancy said...

Laurie, I haven't read Under the Gun, but To Kill A Mockingbird is my alltime ever favorite book. There's just something about it that calls to me. I love the movie, too, and its' rare that I love the movie adaptation as much as the book.

Minna said...

Only lawyers I can think of are Ben Matlock and Perry Mason.

Laurie said...

I forgot to include a favorite book of yours. It would be Julie Kenner's "Carpe Diem- Adventures of a Soccer Mom".

jo robertson said...

Hi, JK/Julie! Welcome to the Lair. I love the sound of your books and will definitely add them to my TBR list.

I enjoy stories about the law and the workings of the courts, one of my fave being the earlier works of John Grisham. Since I also enjoy stories of weres and vampires, mixed those two elements is very appealing to me.

Can you tell us a little about your books as Julie Kenner? Do you feel a bit schizophrenic at times LOL?

Cassondra said...

Woot Linda!

Good grab!

Cassondra said...

Oh heck.

I thought I could comment at this unholy hour, but I can't think of a single lawyer book right now.

Wonderful interview Nancy, and Julie, welcome to the lair.

I'll be back when the vampire in me can look at the computer screen without sunglasses and can string thoughts together in a coherent way.

Much coffee may be involed....

Cassondra said...

Julie/J.K. said:

Okay, Linda.....I'm confused. Is that a book? Tell more!

Julie, are you confused by the "golden one" comment?

Sorry....the first commenter on our blog gets the golden rooster, who travels the world to spend the day with the first-posting bandit buddy each time we post a new blog. He's well-traveled, rather rumpled, and a notorious scoundrel.

It's a long story.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Julie/JK! Like Linda, I haven't read your JK titles yet but have loved many of your Julie stories! No favorite lawyer stories come to mind, but my sister-in-law is one, so I should probably ask her if she's got some good ones ;)

Enjoy the ol' GR, Linda!

catslady said...

Oh I just got When Pleasure Rules not realizing that When Pleasure calls comes first so I'll have to wait a bit but it looks exciting. As to lawyers, I'm enjoying the new TV program - The Defenders.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Linda! How cool to have you visit again! And lookie there, you nabbed the bird too. WOnderful luck! :>

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Linda, it HAS been a while! Congratulations!

Julie, welcome back to the lair. The new books sound fantastic!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ooops, hit SEND before I said WELCOME! to Julie/JK. It's lovely to have you with us, Julie. Nancy's sung the praises of your work and I have them on my to be bought list. These seem like their right up my proverbial alley.

Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Maureen, I was LOL about the "You're ALL out of order!" I had forgotten that bit. Too funny.

Lawyers stories, hmmm. I like The Client by Grisham. I've always enjoyed A Few Good Men - "You can't HANDLE the truth!" Grins.

Philadelphia, with Tom Hanks, is a lawyer movie. The Philadelphia Story - one of my favs - features both Grant and Stewart, along with Hepburn. One of my abfab fav movies. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: To Kill A Mockingbird is my alltime ever favorite book. There's just something about it that calls to me.

Sigh. Atticus Finch. Yep. Nothing but pure T upright, man there, so yep. He's it. Grins.

"I said Hey, Boo..."

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Susan said: I have to say Del taps into one of my favorite fantasies--having an older brother (handsome, kind & protective) to stick up for me on occasion.

Del does seem like a pretty cool lawyer, doesn't he? Grins. I liked the Bride Quartet. I went to the signing at Nora's store this past weekend and picked up that one and the new J.D. Robb as well. And yes, I've read them both already. hahah. Nora is VERY bad for my writing schedule.

However, I will say Susan, as someone who grew up with brothers, they CAN be pretty cool sometimes. Pretty darn cool. Grins. Mine stuck up for me plenty of times. (Altho' I believe it was because they thought it was their perogative to harass me and no one else got that fun. Snork.)

Nancy said...

Minna, Ben Matlock and Perry Mason are pretty good lawyer choices! I have several of the Perry Mason novels in paperback, reissues from a few years ago.

Nancy said...

Julie, sorry I didn't catch your comment to Linda about the golden one. I was running out to class. Nice save, Cassondra, and thanks!

Nancy said...

Hi, Jo--I enjoy John Grisham, too. My favorite of his books is his first, A Time to Kill. It's grimmer than some of the ones that came after it, but I thought it was a very moving story.

Nancy said...

Cassondra, it's okay you're a vampire. We understand that whole coffee thing.

Nancy said...

Fedora, I haven't read the JKs yet, either, but they look fabulous!

Nancy said...

Catslady, I like to read in order, too. I haven't managed to catch an episode of The Defenders, but it looks good.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, Atticus Finch was just perfect, wasn't he? Loving dad, dedicated attorney, crack shot, and unassuming as well.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, you've read both those books already?! You must have some NaNoWriMo catching up to do.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: Jeanne, you've read both those books already?! You must have some NaNoWriMo catching up to do.

Actually, I was ahead, a bit, on NaNoWriMo, so I got to delve in, dive in and not resurface for a few hours. :>

donnas said...

Great post/interview. I love your books but the Demon Hunter and the Shadowkeepers. And I think Sara's ended up being my favorite lawyer story. Cindy Gerard has some great stories too where her heros work just outside the law at times all for good causes.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Nancy said...

Jeanne, nice to be a bit ahead on NaNoWriMo. I'm glad you could dive in and revel.

Nancy said...

Donnas, sounds as though you've read When Blood Calls already. I've looked at Cindy Gerard's books, but I haven't tried on yet. I'm guessing I should.

J.K. Beck said...

Hey! Sorry to disappear. Had a tooth emergency with my littlest...

J.K. Beck said...

I LOVE To Kill a Mockingbird. We actually host an adaptations book club -- we read the book, then have dinner and watch the movie. And To Kill A Mockingbird is this month's selection. I actually just listened to it as an audiobook a few months ago, but I can't wait to dive back in. Going to go paper this round...

J.K. Beck said...

Minna--too true! My husband is addicted to all the old Perry Masons!

J.K. Beck said...

Thanks, Laurie! My 9yo just downloaded Carpe Demon for her Kindle. She was reading my Ghoul books, but she moved on!

Jo, yes, there's a bit of schitzophrenia going on there :) But I think that's par for the course for writers. The insanity thing :)

My Julie Kenner books tend to be lighter--the demon hunting soccer mom series, for example, although they have some deep themes, tend to be more of a romp.

J.K. Beck said...

Ah!!!!! Yes! Duh! I get the Golden one! I thought it was the name of a lawyer show or something. Snort!

I haven't read a Grisham in a while, but I really, really, really love The Firm. Must re-read it.....

J.K. Beck said...

catslady, you *can* read them out of order, but as a series glommer from a reader standpoint, I always think in order is more fun if an author's books are connected at all.

Cassondra..I'm so with you on the vampire thing :)

Jeanne! Thanks for checking out the series; I hope you enjoy!

I haven't yet read Nora's Bride quartet. Guess that's one more for the massive TBR pile. Or, um, four more...

Pat Cochran said...

I recently won a copy of When Blood
Calls and I've now added Pleasure &
Wicked to my TBR list.

As to the favorite lawyer, it's
gotta be Atticus Finch in to Kill
A Mockingbird.

Pat Cochran

J.K. Beck said...

Hey Pat! Enjoy!!!

Nancy said...

Pat, I love Atticus, too. He's just such a fabulous guy.

Barbara E. said...

I loved Julie's earlier books, in the Superhero Central series and the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series. I haven't had a chance to read any of the new J.K. Beck series, but I'm looking forward to it.
I can't think of any lawyer books I've read recently, but I really enjoy lawyer television shows. I'm loving the new Defenders, Outlaw and Law & Order: UK.

J.K. Beck said...

Thanks, Barbara! Dorchester is re-releasing the superhero series as ebooks soon!

Christine Wells said...

JK/Julie, great to see you in the lair! Thanks, Nancy, for bringing Julie to us today.

This series sounds very powerful! Congratulations on the back-to-back releases!

As a former lawyer I'm always a sucker for themes of justice. Not sure if I have a favourite lawyer story but I can thoroughly recommend a BBC series called Life on Mars and later, Ashes to Ashes, about present day very PC cops being transported back to the bad old days of the '70s and '80s.

While I appreciate the reasons for a lot of police procedure and the rules of evidence, it is rather nice to see the good guys go outside the law to get the bad guys. There's a lot more to those series, but they really are an excellent study in character and conflict. I recommend them as long as you're not too PC in your thinking!

Nancy said...

Barbara, I loved the super-hero books, too. I'm glad they're getting another pass with readers.

I also watch Law & Order UK.

Nancy said...

Christine, I've heard other people rave about Life on Mars. I really need to check out that show.

Carol L. said...

Hi JK,
I have to say Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. Loved Gregory Peck as well. :)Looking forward to reading When Blood Calls and When Pleasure Rules.
Carol L.
Lucky4750@aol.com

chey said...

My favourite lawyer story is the Firm.