**Looking back is a series here where I take a meander down memory lane and talk about my past books. I’ll bring insight to the inspiration behind the story and what the writing process was like. Hope you enjoy!**
Today I’m revisiting the Requiem Inc. series! This is one of my most popular series, and the one I get asked about the most. Not only has it been well received, but readers want to know if Tyler will get his own story.
But first, we need to start at the beginning.
Years before I wrote Ghost of a Chance, my brother told me a story he imagined in his brain. Of a man who went to work everyday, was stabbed through the chest and “died” in order to do his job. My brother’s details were slightly different from mine, but the story he told me stuck with me. For years, I would randomly think about that scene as I imagined it while he was telling me. It came back to me again and again.
So I asked him if I could use it. And he said yes.
Which is how I came up with ghostwalking, and Requiem Inc, a company that, through private and government funding, has operatives who find lost souls and help them pass on. Blake and Derek were not the first iteration I came up with. In fact, it took a few tries to get their story, and their characters, right. But when I hit on this combination, the story bloomed before me. Not only were they a ghostwalker and anchor pair, but there was an anchor bond as well. Of course, their relationship isn’t always easy. Blake, in particular, has baggage he needs to unpack before he can move forward. Which, with Derek’s help, he is able to do.
Derek is a big sweetheart. Like, he’s almost too good to be true. And I wanted him to be that way. I wanted him to be perfect in every way for Blake, and to have a huge heart, and be an outstanding cook, and absolutely love taking care of Blake. Blake needed the care taking, for sure, but I leaned hard into just how good and perfect Derek was, because he was an utter joy to write that way.
This series isn’t heavy on the angst, but there is a bit. There’s also a wonderful mix of science and paranormal in the world building. And from Blake and Derek’s story, other stories arose. Sam, Blake’s brother, was pining for Michael King, their boss. It was originally meant as a throwaway side plot moment. It grew into more. And then I had to write their story, and all that entailed. Their problems were different than Blake and Derek’s, of course, even more so compounded by King being a Guardian and Sam being a little reckless. I faced new challenges with Lost Souls Found as I had to walk a fine line between being too cliched while also telling their story. And of course, they had their own sort of bond, but I had to figure out what that looked like as their roles were hugely different.
Avery made an appearance in book 1, and then a cameo in book 2, and he deserved a new love and a new life as well. Somebody to Die For was more of a challenge to write as Avery was still grieving the loss of his husband and anchor, but was also healing from that. There was a heaviness to that I wanted to do justice. But Jameson was a light not only for Avery, but for me as well. Far from perfect, but also so giving and open to learning. In a lot of ways, I had the most fun writing this third book in the series, because even though the subject matter was, at times, heavier, the world was well established and it was great to see all our boys, as well as other secondary characters again.
The other thing of note, here, was that I was laid off in 2017, and though Ghost of a Chance had already been written at that point and was in the works to be published, the other two were on spec with the publisher. And because I’d gotten laid off, I had plenty of time on my hands. I was able to write them back to back, pounding out the words. I managed to write the 100+k words between both books in a shorter amount of time than I’d ever been able to write that many words before. And I was thrilled with their releases, and the overwhelmingly positive response I got to the world building and the characters and their stories.
(And yes, for those of you who know, I still feel bad Tyler hasn’t gotten his story and yes, every once in a while he pokes me and reminds me that he deserves his story told. I haven’t said it’ll never happen for a reason.)
I love this series for a lot of reasons. Mostly because I think it showcases my world building skills the best, and is something different. Not wholly unique, to be sure, but interesting and creative certainly. I love stories with bonds as well, both to read and to write, and while not every story has an actual bond, the MCs are all incredibly connected.
This series is one that originally was a part of a particular line, and I was exceedingly proud to be pat of it at the time. This series also kicked off my foray into writing with paranormal elements in my stories, which is something I’ve always loved to read and couldn’t quite solidify in my mind to write. So this was the first, and it’s only grown from there, as a lot of my recent releases have been PNR.
All in all, this series has been a roller coaster to write, is one of the series I’m exceptionally proud of, and one that just might not be finished yet. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, you can find blurbs and buy links here.