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Shawntelle Madison on KEPT

Author Shawntelle Madison introduces book two in her fantastic urban paranormal series, available now on Entice.

KEPT, the second book in my urban fantasy romance series, is available now! I’m quite excited for everyone to get a chance to follow Natalya Stravinsky as she tries to reunite with her werewolf pack. The journey to write Kept was a fun, yet bumpy one–similar to Nat’s mission to help save her father.

Whenever I start writing a book, I know the first scene and the final scene. The characters are lounging around in my head. I can see the heroine chatting away and she’s waiting for me to take note of her surroundings and circumstances. It took me a while to actually sit down and write that first scene. (Unfortunately.) Yes, I’m one of those authors who writes in bursts. The first scene in Kept, with Natalya and Aggie, had to convey many things. As the second book in the series, I didn’t want a reader who hadn’t read the first to be lost. I wanted them to get to know Natalya.

This is easier said than done when writing paranormal books. Worldbuilding is an important aspect and the first book required a vast universe in place: Thorn the werewolf, Bill the goblin, Nick the white wizard, the supernatural therapy group, Natalya’s rambunctious Russian family, even the aspects of how old magic and werewolf work. And that was just beginning. There were many layers to be explored. Questions to be answered. And I had to make all this happen for book two after writing that first scene. Intimidating is the perfect word in this regard.

So how did I get through it to reach that final scene in my head? I wrote a synopsis to my story and I stuck to it. I followed Nat on her journey and tackled issues as I encountered them. The beautiful thing about a second book is now I can explore more aspects I could only touch upon briefly in the first book. My editor, who I adore, pushed me to delve into things you might’ve wanted to know more about from book one: What is old magic? Can Natalya learn it, too? What kept Thorn away from South Toms River? Why did he feel compelled to leave her behind? Will Nat be reunited with Thorn, or is she meant to be with Nick? Is Nat’s hoarding problem under control?

Naturally, new questions came about also in book two. If asked, I’d say my writing process for the series involves creating a first draft, then adding depth to a story through editing. I’ve never written a perfect first draft and I never will. I want to bring my characters to life, even if they are flawed, and that requires hard work over time.

So, are you tempted to find out more about Natalya? Want to read the first two chapters of Kept? Head to my website for a preview, then hoard a copy from Piatkus Entice.