Earlier this year I started doing something I never imagined I would. I started playing Dungeons and Dragons. I know! It began innocently enough; my fiance and a few of his friends would gather at our house every Friday and play. I observed at first, enjoying watching them pretend to be psychics and wizards and trying to outfox the Dungeon Master. And then they started hinting that maybe I should join in. At first I resisted, citing all the other things I had to do – write, edit, sleep – but eventually they wore me down and before I knew it, I was in the thick of their campaign, helping them fight pirates and giant monkeys, and oddly loving it.
What does any of this have to with writing? Well, they actually have one big thing in common. Storytelling. When I sat down to write DARK HUNT (after one or two false starts!), I had a very clear story to tell. Paris. Monsters. Werewolves. Romance. I knew exactly how I wanted it to work, the characters I wanted to introduce, and how they would act and interact. When I actually started writing, I found the story moving in a different direction. It's still got monsters, Paris, and werewolves, and definitely a lot of romance, but none of it is exactly as I imagined when I started writing. I found my story veering off in ways I never planned for.
D&D is like that. We might have a vague idea of what's going to happen, but we're working against a pretty sadistic Dungeon Master who delights in throwing us curve balls. So whilst there are some certainties (I personally never leave the ship without my pet crocodile), there are very few guarantees. We might think we're going to spend the night drinking and playing cards, but our DM will make sure we end up being chased through the streets by angry gamblers who think we've cheated them.
And that's what good storytelling should have plenty of: surprises. The unexpected. Both for the reader and the writer. I never planned to add a new, permanent cast member to my Urban Wolf series in DARK HUNT, but that's how it ended. I never planned for my monstrous villain to be so wily, but Le Monstre didn't want to play by my rules – or Ayla's. I didn't know the book I was going to write would surprise me so much, but then again, I'd never have guessed I'd be spending my Friday nights pretending to be a druid, either. So much for planning! When people come to read DARK HUNT, I hope they're just as surprised by the twists and turns as I was.
Ayla Hammond is taking on Paris.
Hoping for a romantic getaway in the City of Lights with her girlfriend, Shannon, she finds a city under the dark thrall of Le Monstre.
Getting caught up in mystery and murder was the last thing Ayla and Shannon expected to find in the City of Love, but as the body count grows and tension rises between Parisian werewolves and humans they find themselves stalked by an unknown terror.
What is Le Monstre and why does it make Ayla's wolf want to turn tail and run? Can it be stopped before they become its next victims?
We're giving away plenty of swag in the DARK HUNT blog tour (http://tiny.cc/drkhunttour). There are daily ebook giveaways and hampers of goodies up for grabs at the grand finale of the tour including ebooks, limited DARK HUNT t-shirts, personal horoscopes and tarot readings by Naomi Clark, as well as postcards from Ayla, Shannon, Vince, Joel and Glory (urban wolf series characters). Leave a comment here (ask me a question; tell me about the books that have excited you (or just say hello!) with your email address to be entered. Enter at each point along the tour for more entries and more chances to win. Every comment earns you a FREE copy of SILVER KISS (urban wolf book 1). Prizes will be awarded at the end of Naomi's blog tour.
http://twitter.com/#!/naomi_jay); Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/naomijclark) or on her Blog (http://naomijay.blogspot.com/). Get an autograph from Naomi via Kindlegraph (http://kindlegraph.com/authors/naomi_jay)!