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SHADES BELOW FAQ
Why Urban Fantasy?
While I initially started out writing romantic suspense, turning to fantasy was a logical (and probably inevitable) step for me. I’ve loved speculative fiction for most of my literate life. I was raised on Brian Jacques’ Redwall series, on The Borrowers and on Lord Of The Rings.
I discovered urban fantasy in high school, when I first read Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. I was hooked on the idea that fantastical things might well be happening just behind our backs, that all manner of creatures could be scurrying under rocks and into cracks the instant we turned to look.
Why San Francisco?
In short, because the stories I want to tell couldn’t happen anywhere else.
As a native of Northern California, San Francisco has always played a role in my life. I can remember visiting as a kid, attending the Nutcracker ballet during the holidays and feeding the homeless on Castro Street with my parents’ church. Throughout all my many and varied experiences, I fell in love with the unique magic that is The City.
San Francisco is wild. It’s fierce. It has its own culture and its own rules and its own sense of how things should be done. In San Francisco, it’s perfectly plausible for magical and mundane to exist side-by-side.
Hell, they practically do already.
Will there be more series like Shades Below?
A lot of work has gone into creating Shades Below. I’ve researched at least five different religions, learned about the various versions of Heaven and Hell, examined the nature of the soul (I’m not even kidding), and developed a working knowledge of ghosts, vampires, shape-shifters, curanderismo, witchcraft, voodoo, alchemy, and quantum mechanics.
At this point, I could probably banish a demon if the situation arose.
Point is, the world of Shades Below has taken on a life of its own. There’s simply too much I want to explore for me to stop at one series… or even two.
So yes, expect to see more from the Shades Below Universe!
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE SHADOWLINES?
The Shadowlines are a standalone companion series centered around some of the minor characters from the Shades Below series.
WHY A COMPANION SERIES?
I didn’t initially plan to write companion novels.
When I first started writing Shades Below, I knew I wanted the series to read as one single, fluid story when all the books were put together. That didn’t leave room for any deviation, and at first, I was fine with that.
But then I started getting to know the secondary players. There are some really fun, fascinating people (and not-people) that populate the world of SB. Some of them just wouldn’t stop talking about their lives, their struggles, their interests and jobs and… and…
…And so I finally decided I needed a way to tell their stories, too.
The Shadowlines are just that: the stories of some of the louder secondary characters. But that’s not all they are. In telling some of these other stories, the main story of SB is also enhanced and fleshed-out. That’s why they’re written in between the books of the main series.
Hopefully the end result won’t be too confusing! If you ever find yourself having trouble, please refer to the reading order.
WHO ARE EMIL & PUZZLE?
Rev. Emil Stone is part of a secret organization called The Ministers. Together with his partner and bodyguard, Misha “Puzzle” Kaslov, he travels the world safeguarding esoteric artifacts and solving arcane mysteries.
Misha “Puzzle” Kaslov is a Peer, part of an order of knights dating back to the time of The Templars. He accompanies Emil on his missions, standing as the line between him and the dangers of the world- subversive and mundane alike.
Along the way, their relationship has become more than just business. But the world is a dangerous place. Both men will struggle against forces that threaten to tear them apart, from the outside… and from within.
WHY A NOVELLA SERIES?
Early on in the concept stages for A World Apart (SB#1), Emil and Puzzle just kept popping up. They were initially conceived as backup players, but as I wrote, it became clear there was a lot more going on with them behind the scenes.
I decided I needed to tell their story too, but how?
Eventually, I decided to give them their own novella series. Each novella coincides with a Shades Below novel, and each follows one of Emil & Puzzle’s adventures. They’re just long enough to give you a glimpse into their world and their relationship, but short enough to read in an afternoon.
HOW MANY NOVELLAS WILL BE IN Shadownotes?
There will be a total of nine Shadownotes novellas.
DO THE Shadownotes TAKE PLACE IN SAN FRANCISCO, TOO?
Much as I love San Francisco, there’s more to the Shades Below Universe than just one city.
In the Shades Below Shorts, Emil and Puzzle will be taking you around the world, showing you monsters and magic on a global scale. You’ll hunt down ancient tablets in Egypt, solve a vampire mystery in New Orleans, and much more!
Pack your bags and lace up your boots. You’re in for quite a trip…
Where can I find your books?
You can find the Shades Below, Shadowlines, and Shadownotes series at all major ebook retailers, including:
If you’re looking for buy links, you can find them on each book’s page on this website. To get there, simply click the cover you want on my Booklist.