10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE PHOENIX PACK SERIES
1. Taryn was very nearly called ‘Sofia’. Sometimes when a character comes to life in my head, they develop a name too, but not always. Names can come to me easily, but with Taryn, nothing seemed to suit this bold character. It’s a little like when you’re trying to remember a person’s name – you can picture their face so clearly in your mind, but you just can’t remember their name. So, I flicked through a book of baby names and came across ‘Sofia’. I liked it, I thought, ‘yeah, that will work’…but it just didn’t. Annoyed with myself and desperate to get writing, I was going to stick to Sofia just so that I could begin. But then I decided to flick through the pages once more…and there was Taryn. That easily, I knew it was the name for her. And so ‘Taryn Warner’ was officially born.
2. My intention when I fleshed out Trey’s character was for him to be telepathic. But two chapters into the story, it didn’t feel ‘right’. Also, I already had a male telepathic character in my Deep in Your Veins series, so I decided against it.
3 There was originally an additional character in the pack: a female enforcer. But she was too argumentative and could never have warmed up to Taryn – I already had a character like that in Greta. As such, either the enforcer or Greta had to go. I decided to keep Greta.
4 ‘Feral Sins’ was almost titled ‘Mating Taryn’, but I changed my mind at the last minute.
5 Halfway through ‘Wicked Cravings’, my muse went hyperactive and suddenly the plot sprouted into three different possibilities. I couldn’t decide which one to choose, so I had to write a few chapters for each path just to see which worked best.
6. After developing the Beta male’s character, I gave him the name ‘Donnell’. But three chapters into the story, I started to call him ‘Dante’ without even realizing it until I’d proofread that chapter. Deciding I liked Dante better, I kept it.
7. Most of the characters that come into my head aren’t well-developed to begin with, but there have been exceptions. Taryn Warner was almost totally fleshed out. Jaime Farrow, who became Beta female in ‘Wicked Cravings’, was as equally well-developed – complete with a traumatized wolf. I thought, ‘Crap, how am I gonna make sure she’s cured at some point? I can’t have her dying on me.’ But although the story progressed, I had absolutely no answer. It wasn’t until chapter 19, when Jaime’s wolf had finally surfaced and was badly deteriorating, that the answer popped into my head. So I literally spent almost the entire book having no fricking clue how I was going to make sure that Jaime didn’t die.
8. When I began writing ‘Wicked Cravings’, my plan was for the following book to be Tao’s story. The thing about my characters, though, is that they seem to come forward when they’re ready – you probably think that sounds weird, I’m totally with you on that one. But as ‘Wicked Cravings’ developed, Tao wasn’t pushing for a voice at all, whereas Shaya was coming through loud and clear.
9. Nick Axton was only meant to be a minor character in ‘Feral Sins’. I hadn’t had any plans whatsoever to use him as a main character at any point, anywhere. But his presence lingered at the corner of my mind as I continued the series…and now he has his own story with Shaya, ‘Carnal Secrets’. Odd how things work out.10. I had intended for Nick’s bodyguard, Derren, to die protecting Nick during the battle in
‘Feral Sins’. However, something stopped me. For a reason I didn’t understand, the of
Derren dying bugged me…it didn’t feel ‘right’. So I kept him alive. I’m so glad I did,
because he’s one of the main characters in ‘Carnal Secrets’ and I really enjoyed writing