Write what you know–J.C. McKenzie with a great read and a chance to win!

First, I’d like to thank Lyndi Alexander for inviting me to be a guest on her blog today. I plan to discuss the setting of my debut novel, Shift Happens, which is now available exclusively on Amazon. At the end of the post, you can enter ShiftHappens_w8140_300for a chance to win one of five kindle ebooks of Shift Happens.

Shift Happens takes place in Vancouver, Canada. In this case, I took Mark Twain’s “write what you know” quote literally (although I personally feel he referred to emotions). I’ve lived in Vancouver for many years and definitely know it. Born and raised on the West Coast, I feel at home in the rain, with the ocean breeze, and the picturesque views of snow-capped mountains and dense evergreen forests.

My not-so-secret plan is to spotlight a beautiful city in a beautiful country. With writing Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy, I add “supernatural” elements to the location to make it my own, but I keep a lot of the landmarks, street names and areas the same, hopefully preserving the ”feel” of the city. I like mixing the known with the unknown. Isn’t that what Urban Fantasy is all about?

Does that mean every book I write will be set in Vancouver? No. In fact, I’m currently working on a short story set in Maine. Writing a piece with an unfamiliar area takes a lot of research. It’s definitely not the easy way out. What types of birds do they have? Flowers? Trees? What kind of slang do people from the area use? It’s exhausting. As much as I love research, the need for accuracy (total A-type here) means I’ll never do something like Historical Romance. Not only do historical writers have to get the area and landmarks right, they also have to get the time period aspect correct as well—when did they stop wearing pantaloons, when did indoor plumbing come about, when did men wear knee-high boots, etc, etc. Exhausting!

So did I “cop out” by placing my series in Vancouver? I don’t think so. Vancouver fits with the dark, gloomy and rainy image I’m going for with Shift Happens. I needed a city that could be beautiful and bright, and at the same time be seedy and grimy; and all surrounded by the brilliance of pristine nature, namely forests and mountains. In other words, Vancouver! My imagination took me on a journey; one that specifically took place in a city I love.

 What’s your take on setting?

Does it matter to you if you read a book set in Vancouver, versus New York or LA?

Do you like it if you read a book set in a place you know really well, or do you find it distracting, even insulting (if they describe a place you like negatively)?

Do you prefer to read about a place you’ve never been to? Escapism at its best?

 Thanks for taking a moment to join me. Happy writing and reading!

·         HER PAST DESTROYED HER HEART, CAN SHE PUT IT BACK TOGETHER IN TIME?

Story:
Andrea McNelly’s job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire’s human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can’t afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.

 Wick’s job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.

Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.

Excerpt:

A large black wolf trotted into the clearing to confront me. He had a white-tipped snout, white boots and mitts and would have looked cute had he not been the most intimidating Werewolf I’d ever seen. Standing tall and solid, power rolled off of his body. His eyes bore into mine. I sniffed the air. The strong Werewolf scent of rosemary swirled around me, strong and seductive, laced with sugar. A weird fuzzy sensation spread out from my chest. Whoa.

Alpha.

My other form growled low, demanding release, straining against my skin. The energy of the wolves built—layers upon layers of excitement and impatience. The air pulsated with anticipation. They could sense the imminent kill.

Let me out! My other form repeated, throwing her power against my built up walls, howling in defiance.

When the energy of the Werewolves surged, I finally released her. My wolf form flowed out fast, wiping out the feline in little more than a heartbeat. Smaller, weaker and the size of a natural wolf, a Shifter in this form was no match for a Werewolf, especially a dominant one. I had time to meet the eyes of the Alpha for only an instant before the pack leapt forward. My limbs shook. It went against every instinct ingrained within me, but I rolled onto my back—submissive.

 Buy Links:

Available exclusively in Kindle electronic format on March 27th, 2014

Available in print and all other electronic formats on July 16th, 2014

View More: http://photos.pass.us/headshot2About the Author:

Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

Contact Information:

Website: www.jcmckenzie.ca

Blog: www.jcmckenzie.blogspot.ca

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/j.c.mckenzie.author

Facebook Account Name: JC McKenzie

Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/JC_McKenzie

Twitter Account: @JC_McKenzie

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/JCMcKenzie

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Posted on March 29, 2014, in book, fantasy, fiction, shapeshifter, Uncategorized, vampire, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Thanks again for having me on your blog today!

  2. First, congrats on your novel. I like the idea of writing what you know with a twist. I am a fan of world building to suit the story. Stories set in other places that aren’t my home town is another world for me. I do believe that’s escapism at it’s best.

  3. Well said! 🙂

  4. OH wow I loved what I read so far! My kind of book in a great setting.
    To me it doesn’t matter where the setting is if the story is breath taking altho I do prefer
    settings in rural areas with lots of space and woods.
    Thank you,
    ~~PJ~~

    • Thanks PJ! I hope you enjoy the rest of it! I agree with you on setting. As a reader, if the story is good, I get whisked away and it doesn’t matter where the geographical location is. I’m so absorbed with the plot that everything fits and feels natural. I *hope* I accomplished that with Shift Happens.
      p.s. Rural forests are the best!

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