I abhor pigeon holes and stereotypical predictability in my reading, but am an absolute sucker for happily ever after endings. So in 2007-8 when I sat down to come up with an out of the box story that’d revive my shattered, disillusioned writer self… this is what I came up with.
A super secret shadow organization headquartered in Washington DC’s Foggy Bottom District. Specifically, on I (Eye) street between 22nd and 23rd.
If you ever walk down that sliver of a DC block, you’ll see an out of place lamp post with an old timey clock on top of it. I can’t tell you how–exactly–but if you’re of the magically inclined variety of not-so-mundane humans in this world, you’d know that’s the place to go that’ll take you to PSST’s headquarters.
What is PSST?
It’s an acronym for the Paranormal Surveillance and Strategic Taskforce.
How did I come up with that acronym?
Had a chat with a Special Forces instructor who explained that SF training is about preparing soldiers to join a group that specializes in strategic operations and… honestly, I tuned out after he said strategic because that gave me the second S to turn PST into PSST.
Who leads PSST?
What’s Sinclair’s deal?
Trust me, you don’t want to know. At least not yet. It’s better if I slow walk you through it with the Running with the Devil series.
Is Sinclair a good guy? Bad guy? Bad good guy? Good bad guy?
Pigeonholing Sinclair and his reasons for doing what he does is a one way ticket to insanity. And since I’m already two clicks away from the I-Love-Me jacket and a padded cell (thanks to Sinclair and his shenanigans), I don’t ask and he doesn’t tell. It’s purely need to know. When he needs me to know, I know. So your guess on his moral placement on the character map is as good as (and probably better than) mine.
What’s the purpose of PSST?
To Protect the Republic. At all cost. From enemies of State.
Whichever sovereign state Sinclair informs me needs protecting. Like I said, it’s need to know.
Who is PSST’s enemy?
Right now? Um, I’m not absolutely positive because there are so many and unraveling this, that, the other and then some is… complicated and convoluted. Exactly how the Machiavellian Puppet Master (Sinclair) likes it.
How complicated and convoluted?
The kind of complicated and convoluted that allows one slightly insane author to plot out more than 20 books in the series. Ten of which are in some form of draft. I know, that’s a lot. But I started writing this series in 2007-8 and I’ve had a lot of time to follow the bread crumbs and tumble into more than my fair share of rabbit holes. Which worked out in my favor since I apparently excel at digging tunnels from one rabbit hole to another and now have an interconnecting mess of them that each link to a series of stand alone books. And the book stories keep coming. It’s like a flood gate has been opened and Sinclair is standing there reminding me that mine is not to ask why, but to write or… slip on the I-Love-Me jacket and go rock myself in a corner over there.
How many teams are in PSST?
A lot. PSST has been around for a while. A long while.
Is PSST only based in the US?
I can neither confirm nor deny that. (Thanks, Sinjun/Michael Black/Archangel, for answering that tough one for me.)
Why did you call Tango, Whiskey, and Bravo the Running with the Devil Series and not PSST books?
Because Sinclair said I couldn’t. And arguing with the Machiavellian Puppet Master is not conducive to my work-life balance. All I can say is that there is a method to his madness and there are PSST books coming. Soon. But for now, it’s best to assume that the Running with the Devil books are the… prelude to the insanity that Sinclair doesn’t know that I know is gonna happen. Huge debt of gratitude is owed to one of the guys in Devil’s Tango for cluing me in on that one. (Thanks, Dell!) Because now I’ve got a leg up on Sinclair. And it feels grrrreat!
Until he pulls the rug out from underneath me. Again. And I tumble down on my… next question!
When will the rest of Tango team’s books get out?
Plan is to get them out in 2017. But Sinclair and the Powers that Be are in charge. So things are fluid and subject to change. Some, not a lot. But as I write one book, sometimes I get a download for another book connected and have to hop over to get part of it in there. Then I hop back into the one I’m focused on. Which explains why I have so many books in draft form at any given time.
What genre are your books?
Again, pigeonholing is not my thing, but I’d say it’s a mix. Romance at its core, but a blend of all the genres I enjoy reading: Military, Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary, etc.
How frequent/often do you intend to release books?
Production schedules are dependent upon a few things. Top of which include having time and two brain cells available to write them which is followed up with Sinclair and the Peeps not changing the game/plot as much as they did in Devil’s Tango.
But my personal goal is to have one book out every 1-3 months.
How long did it take you to write Devil’s Tango?
A year. Exactly one year. Started in Jan 2016 and finished in Jan 2017. Twelve months to write a book is unusual for me, but 2016 was a rough year and had a lot of things that needed my attention. It also took so long with Tango because that book had to establish the world the PSST teams operate in. Along with certain rules of magic. That and I’m a perfectionist who learned about 50 extra things I didn’t know at the start of the book. Which was both annoying (because it stumped me) and great (because it gave me things like what’s up with Whiskey and his story which I didn’t cop a complete clue to until after I’d finished Mango).
What is Mango?
My ‘ship name for Maddie and Tango. Whiskey and his sassy Brit have a ‘ship name of Briskey. Bravo and Daisy are Braisy. Boone and Emma are Booma. Ben and Bethany are BethanyKicksBensButtRepeatedlyUntilHeGetsItRight. Alex and Charlemagne are NotHappeningAsLongAsDaddyIsBreathing.
So yeah… that last one is gonna be a while coming out. If you read Devil’s Tango then you know why.
Where is the series headed? Are there other series linked to it?
It’s headed to a very specific event. Can’t share details on it at this time. But I know the event and it’s already written. Yes, Running with the Devil is linked to other series that will manifest in due time. As soon as I get the green light from Sinclair to announce them.
What else can you tell me about the world you write in?
A lot. But will sum it up by saying… everything in this world happens for a reason. Some books have more reason than others, but they all have an impact on the grand scheme. Again, the world is fluid and nothing is set in stone. Except the specific event. Serious challenges and handicaps have and will be tossed at the bad-ass soldiers I write about and it’s up to each and every one of them–not me–to figure a way out of those messes and claim their own HEA with their destined mate.
It won’t be pretty, because I’m not a predictable sort of writer who stays in the lanes. I thrive outside the box, have a blender and am not afraid to shove plots into it to mix things up. For me, writing these stories isn’t personal, it’s business. I don’t do fru-fru unless FRU stands for Field Replacement Unit. I believe in calling it as I see it and not condoning slut like behavior when in relationships. Or uttering words of love after a first night hook up with a random stranger. That kind of stuff has consequences in my world.
There’s plenty more I could add to that, but for now I’ll go with that and offer up one last question.
Do carrots really dangle for a reason?
According to Sinclair they do. Which is why I’m closing this out with–if you want to know more about the world I write in, Sign up for my newsletter… Follow my blog… Like my page on Facebook… Follow me on Twitter or Amazon… and read the books.
The stories are worth it.
If you don’t believe me, then take it from my critique partner, editor, and writing buddies who have all been nagging me, not so patiently waiting, and promising to hurt me in ways that won’t leave a mark if I don’t get the books written. ASAP.
On that note (and since I bruise easily)… I’m off to write.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the Q&A walk-thru of my world! If you have any other questions or comments you’d like answers on, then load up the comment box and fire away!