Author JK Beck granted SciFiChick.com with an exclusive interview to talk about her current series – the Shadow Keepers!
Can you tell us a bit about the Shadow Keepers series?
Sure! The series is set in and around a paranormal judicial system that’s been in existence since pretty much the beginning of time. Nowadays, the system is hidden within our own judicial system. In the United States, for example, it’s a secret arm of Homeland Security, but the only humans who know its true purpose are those at the highest level of our government and the few select humans who work for the PEC (Paranormal Enforcement Coalition).
What is different about the Shadow Keepers series that sets it apart from the other urban fantasy/paranormal romance novels?
Well, obviously all books take the spin of their author, and that’s a uniqueness right there. As for these books, they’re very dark and gritty, and are peppered with paranormal characters with their own moral compass that may or may not be in alignment with how humans would perceive the world. The stories are also told from multiple points of view, which isn’t that unusual, but it’s a something I enjoy both as a reader and a writer!
How did your idea for the paranormal judicial system come about?
I don’t remember the exact aha! moment, but the fact that I love, love, love writing about paranormal stuff meshed fabulously with my background as a litigator. Once I had the idea, it was totally an “oh! Duh!” moment.
Your vampire/daemon idea is different from others as well. Do you feel like you need to break from that traditional vampire mythology when writing your stories?
No. I just write the story that I want to tell and to read. The daemon concept came about because I wanted more accountability, for lack of a better word. I’m a huge Buffy fan, but one thing that struck me early on (episode 2, I believe) was Giles telling Xander that his friend (Jesse?) was no longer Jesse. There was an external force—a demon—coming into the bodies and doing the vamp thing. I wanted to explore the concept of the darkness coming from within, not from the outside. Vamping flipping a switch, if you will, and turning up the evil.
Maddy Grant awakens fourteen months after a near fatal accident to discover that scientists have performed a radical new experiment on her. Prior to surgery, Maddy’s brain had been damaged, leaving her in a vegetative state. Now, an implant in her brain has given her increased mental capacity. But her impressive mind, comes at the cost of her emotional stability. Maddy’s increasing frustration builds to a dangerous level. And the more she learns about Braintree and the other patients, the more she is convinced that they are using her. Maddy becomes convinced they are turning her into a killer.
Greatshell has created an impressive blend of science fiction, horror, and psychological thriller. Maddy is a complex character with more than her share of troubles that affect her emotionally and threaten her sanity. At times events are a bit confusing. It’s hard to tell what’s real, adding to the intense suspense and mystery. There is never a dull moment, with fast-paced excitement and drama. And by the end, the big reveal is encompasses much more than I thought, involving a major conspiracy. Mad Skills was constantly surprising, erratic, dark, and violent.
— Mad Skills releases from Ace Bookson December 28, 2010.
After his father’s sudden death, slacker and playboy Britt Reid inherits his late father’s media empire. But Britt finds a new purpose in life when he teams up with his employee and martial arts expert Kato to fight crime, disguised as villains.
Writer and star Seth Rogen plays the slovenly, arrogant Britt/Green Hornet. While Brit is not always a likeable person, he’s funny and genuinely wants to do the right thing. On the other hand, Kato (played by Jay Chou) is brilliant, talented and cute – the complete opposite of Britt. Which may be what makes the duo work on screen. Christoph Waltz plays the villain Chudnofsky, who unfortunately is as dull and two dimensional as they come. Still, the dialog is witty and saves his scenes. The PG-13 rating is warranted for language and plenty of stylized violence that usually involves Chudnofsky.
I had extremely low expectations going in, as Seth Rogen’s other films have never appealed to me. But I ended up more than pleasantly surprised with the clever dialog, fantastic special effects, and a decent story. And the car, Black Beauty, just about stole the show with her endless gadgets and impossible (see recent Mythbuster’s episode) abilities. If you’re looking for a light-hearted action flick with lots of laughs, look no further. The Green Hornet is certainly buzzworthy.
The Green Hornet releases January 14th in theaters everywhere.