Monday, July 2, 2012


Paranormal Addicts is happy to have J.K. Beck join us here today!  She is the wonderful author of the series The Shadow Keepers.  

She is here today to answer a few questions and to give a sneak peak into her life and mind.  So grab a comfy seat and let's welcome J.K.!

        Thank for being here today, can you tell us a little about yourself? 

Sure!  I’m Julie Kenner, and I write as Julie Kenner and J.K. Beck.  Mostly paranormal, but I write in multiple genres as Julie.  As J.K., I write the Shadow Keepers series, a series of dark, romances that center around a paranormal judicial system and feature vamps, werewolves, and other dark creatures.

I was born in California, but I’m a Texas girl.  I’ve lived here essentially all my life except for six years in the 90s when I practiced law in and around Los Angeles.  I love Texas, but I do miss the California weather, beaches and mountains!  Especially the SCUBA diving. 

I love to travel, and if I could figure out a way to get my family on board with the travel-constantly plan (and could figure out a way to pay for it), I’d be totally down with that!

I have degrees in film and law … and now I write more or less full time (I homeschool my kids, and so that’s a bit of a day job, too!)

I have cats, am allergic to dogs, and can’t seem to keep fish alive.

I love blueberries and cream, and drink way too much coffee.  Dark chocolate rules!

If you didn’t write, what other profession would you have selected?

Hard question!  Lately, I’ve thought it would be really fun to flip houses.

What profession do you think you would hate?

I used to think accounting, but I took a tax course in law school and it was fun.  Probably retail.  While I love to shop, I don’t think I want to be the one running the shop.

Who is your favorite author?

I have so many authors that I love.  But the only one that is a midnight autobuy at midnight on Kindle is J.D. Robb.  Love, love, love the In Death series.

What is your favorite genre to read?

I honestly don’t have one.  I read pretty much anything and everything.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 

I don’t!  I’ve always wanted to be a writer, so I guess it was an organic, part of me.  Certainly, being an avid reader pushed that aspiration along.

Where does your inspiration for a new book come from?

I like to tease and say it comes from Aisle 13 in Wal-Mart, but the truth is that it comes from anywhere and everywhere.  The Shadow Keepers series was inspired by a cross between my love of things paranormal and my background as a lawyer (I practiced for 15 years before quitting to write full time).  My Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series was a cross between me as a new mom wanting to write “mommy lit” and my brainstorming for something with dark paranormal heroes.  I thought of alpha male demon hunters and that idea bumped up against Mommy Lit … and Kate Connor was born.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula? 

No set formula.  Usually I start with a story concept, then I write the first chapter.  If I’m into the idea, I’ll dive into the synopsis.  But that way I know if the idea “sparks” for me.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing? 

Just tell me a damn good story.  In the end, I think that’s much more important that the technicalities and mechanics.

How long does it usually take for you to write a book? 

It depends on the book.  If I’m jamming, I can get a rough draft done in a month.  But some books take much longer.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?  If so, what do you do to get out of it?

Not writers block so much as what I’d call time block.  I also homeschool my kids, and there have been times when I’ve been so overwhelmed with Stuff that Must Get Done that it’s hard to write through the noise of all that other stuff.  I get out of that by relying on various time management tricks, particularly the act of prioritizing, breaking tasks down, and tackling them in small bits (and, yes, that includes writing – a fifteen minute chunk of writing can be incredibly productive!) 

We would like to hear about your process of writing, ideation, and average time to actually write.  Also your typical day hours devoted to writing vs everything else.

It’s so very, very book dependent.  Some books come to me in a flash—I see the premise, the basics of the plot, the characters--more or less like a movie in my head, and it’s a matter of translating that to paper.  Those are the “gift books”!  There’s still work to be done on story and characterization, but I’m not thrown quite as far into the deep end when I settle in to write.  Others are harder.  I generally have a premise and a character and I’ll start noodling about how  to build the story, conflict, etc.  I’ll work on backstory and build the plot using bricks from three act structure, with cause/effect arising from the characters goals and conflicts. 

Average time to write a book varies, and so does average time to write.  Because I homeschool my kids, each day’s writing time depends on how much I get done with the kids.  Some days they are very independent and I can get a lot done even during school time.  Other days, my writing comes in the early morning and evening.  And always on weekends.  (Now that it’s summer, I’m looking forward to a really productive July!)

Who do you ask to read your work and give their opinion? From those opinions what helps you the most and how do you keep from picking it apart?

I have a core group of writer friends that I exchange with, and I like to get back any and all feedback that they’re willing to offer.  Anything from a section being draggy to a character who seems to act out of character.  Even word choice, as I’m picky about the rhythm of my sentences, and if a sentence trips up a reader I’ll change it.  Ultimately, I take their notes and put them through my own filter.  I might change something; I might not.  But I consider everything.  And, of course, my agent and my editors are among my most valuable early readers.  I’ve been fortunate to work with some awesome editors.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? 

When Darkness Hungers is the fifth book in my Shadow Keepers series.  It’s Serge’s story, a dark, tormented character who’s been in the series since the first book.  I know I shouldn’t have favorites, but I really love him, and not just because he’s been so dang tortured throughout the books!  His love interest is an FBI Agent who’s secretly hunting vampires in order to avenge her sister – who just happens to have been killed by Serge.

I love how dark the story is, and I love that Serge finds redemption for his pretty tortured past.

Will we be seeing a following book to this story? 

The sixth in the series is WHEN TEMPTATION BURNS.   It features Doyle, another longtime inhabitant of the world!

Was there anything you find particularly challenging when writing this book? 

The hero and the heroine actually don’t interact until several chapters into the book.  That’s unusual in a romance, and I worked hard to make sure that both their stories were engaging and that the readers would see the inevitable pull toward each other.

What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book? 

LOVE IT!  I think Bantam has done an awesome job on all the covers for the series!

Thanks so much for having me today!  I love hearing from readers and invite folks to come hang out with me online at Facebook and on Twitter (I’m more active as Julie Kenner on Twitter.  And please come check out more about the Shadow Keepers series and my books as Julie Kenner at my Website.

Happy reading!

J. K. Beck spent more than ten years as a litigator in Southern California and Central Texas, using her rare free time to indulge in her passion for writing. Now she uses her legal background as inspiration for her paranormal romantic suspense series, The Shadow Keepers, set in and around a secret judicial system hidden within and mirroring our own. California born, J. K. now lives and writes in Texas, where she hangs out with her husband and daughters and drinks far too much coffee.

To keep up with J.K.'s latest news please visit her Website.  You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads too.

By J.K. Beck

To add the books to Goodreads - Click on the picture!!

Attorney Sara Constantine is thrilled with her promotion—until she finds out that she must now prosecute vampires and werewolves. The first defendant she’ll be trying to put away? Lucius Dragos, the sexy stranger with whom she recently shared an explosive night of ecstasy.

When Lucius kisses a beautiful woman sitting next to him at the bar, he’s hoping only to avoid the perceptive gaze of the man he’s planning to kill. But what starts as a simple kiss ignites into an all-consuming passion. Charged with murder, Luke knows that Sara is determined to see him locked away—unless he can convince her that he’s not a monster. And that might mean making the ultimate sacrifice.

Order WHEN BLOOD CALLS from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Random House, or your favorite bookstore!

Seven innocents have been brutally murdered in Los Angeles, yet the Shadow Alliance has no suspects and no leads. As the body count mounts, the age-old feud between vampires and werewolves threatens to explode.

Lissa Monroe—a strong-willed, ravishing succubus who entices men to surrender their souls—agrees to go undercover for the Alliance. Her mission: infiltrate the mind of werewolf leader Vincent Rand, a ferociously alluring enemy who exerts a powerful hold over her. As the City of Angels teeters on the brink of apocalypse, these two adversaries must join together in order to survive an even more lethal enemy hidden in plain sight.

Order WHEN PLEASURE RULES from Amazon,Barnes & NobleRandom House, or your favorite bookstore!

Petra Lang is cursed never to love. One touch of her skin unleashes the vilest demons. Sentenced to death by the Shadow authorities, who fear she’ll turn her curse against them, Petra is rescued by vampire advocate Nicholas Montegue. As their bodies merge and transform into mist, Petra feels an erotic longing.
Nicholas risked his own life to save Petra, yet he knows he can never give in to the explosive attraction he feels for her. But the deep yearning they share tempts them. Together, they must find a way to lift the curse. For only a love this strong has the power to overcome such monstrous evil.

Order WHEN WICKED CRAVES from AmazonBarnes & NobleRandom House, or your favorite bookstore!

Tiberius is a vampire dedicated to protecting his kind—and the secrets of the shadow world. Now, as his quest to become head of the Alliance draws within reach, a shattering new threat puts him to the ultimate test. It’s a nightmare of grim proportions: a dark plot to bring about the mass extermination of human and shadow alike. And it forces Tiberius to turn to the woman he loved and lost, the lover he still desires but doesn’t trust.

Caris was Tiberius’s mate for centuries—until a fateful mission changed her forever. Her tortured secrets drove her into the arms of his rival, but desperation has brought her back. As a horrifying new weapon of mass destruction is about to be unleashed, Tiberius and Caris harness the power of their immortal and passionate love. But will it be enough to battle devastating odds and a ruthless enemy with the ambition to destroy them all?

Order WHEN PASSION LIES from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Random House, or your favorite bookseller.

FBI agent Alexis Martin knows that vampires exist—because one of them killed her sister. Assigned to investigate a series of bizarre homicides in Los Angeles, Alexis believes the murders are the work of rogue vampires—perhaps even the monster responsible for her sister’s death. Now she finally has a chance for retribution. Even better, Alexis receives unexpected help from a sexy stranger as hungry for rogue blood as she is.

Serge is a centuries-old bad boy who stays off the grid—keeping his secrets, his hunger, and his heart safe from exposure. A new breed of vampire that feeds off other shadowers, Serge finds sweet torture in Alexis’s arms. Loving her is a chance to be free from the hiding, the loneliness, the secrecy. But the truth about what he is, and what he’s done, may banish him to the dark confines of his own private hell—and destroy the beginnings of their love.

Order WHEN DARKNESS HUNGERS from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Random House, or your favorite bookseller.  Just released on June 26, 2012.

Half human, half daemon, Ryan Doyle is a driving force for justice. As an agent for the Preternatural Enforcement Coalition, he’s investigating murders linked to a Los Angeles fringe group bent on exposing the shadow world to humanity. He is a master of self-control, keeping his deepest hungers hidden beneath a veneer of cool professionalism. Until he crosses paths with sinfully sweet Andy Tarrent, a gutsy reporter who makes him crave all the pleasures he’s denied himself for centuries.

Tracking a band of conspiracy theorists eager to spill blood, Andy has uncovered the story of her career. Brooding, mysterious Ryan is an enigma—but their dance of seduction is hotter than any fantasy. As they race to stop mass murder on the streets, Andy knows that Ryan is holding back, keeping secrets. But getting close to Ryan means opening the door to a world that will challenge her deepest beliefs—including what it means to truly surrender to love.

Pre-Order WHEN TEMPTATION BURNS from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Random House, or your favorite bookseller.  Release Date:  July 31, 2012

Don't forget to add The Shadow Keepers series to your Goodreads account!!  

Paranormal Addicts wants to thank Julie so much for stopping by.  We had a great time and I hope you did to.  We have more planned throughout the month, so stop by often.


  1. Hi Julie! thanks for stopping by to visit with us today! :) I've actually read a few of your books (not sure which, would have to run and check my book shelf) but i really enjoyed them.. the paranormal blend was just right! Very edgy if I remember right! ;)

    I'm curious how you manage to write and home school your kids LOL! And of course manage any household stuff? (Laundry, dishes, washing floors etc) I'm just starting to write myself and I find having my 7 year old at home can be super distracting... Mommy, mommy, mommy!! ACK! The ironic part is if I'm just hanging out online, not doing anything.. he's totally quiet! :) Do you just do the breaking it up in bits.. writing 15 minutes here and there? Like do you have a list like...

    1. Start laundry
    2. write for 15-30 minutes
    3. change laundry/start dishes?
    4. write some more

    Etc? Obviously mines just a rough idea LOL but I'm always super curious how authors do it! ;)

  2. Thanks so much for having me!!!