Today I am so pleased to welcome Cari Z to Joyfully Jay. Cari has come to talk to us about her latest release with L.A. Witt, Risky Behavior, #1 in the Bad Behavior series. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

The Joy and Terror of Starting a New Series

So, Risky Behavior came out on Monday and I’m so incredibly excited about it! This book is my first collaboration with L.A. Witt, and also the first in a new series I wrote/am writing with her. Three of the books are done, and we’re working on the last one as I speak. I hadn’t anticipated a series when we started, or that the writing would go so fast (I know, this is Lori, I should have guessed that part) but here we are, and I’m really happy with the final product.

And also terrified.

These emotions feel like they should be mutually exclusive, but no, they’re doing just fine side by side in my brain. The thrill is easy to explain: new world, new characters, new writing experience to share with readers, and it was so much fun that I think people should really enjoy the book. Terror because I think that, naturally I do, I wrote half of the darn thing. That doesn’t mean everybody’s going to enjoy it, and yet, it’s the first book in a four-book series. I want it to succeed, I want it to delight people so that they have to keep reading. Because darn it, the contracts are signed, the sequels are written. If people don’t like it, then those books will languish in the dark when all I want to do is thrust them into the light and shower them in glitter.

This is a familiar conundrum for a lot of authors, I know. Many people sell their concepts as a series before writing the first book, and don’t mind getting locked in. It’s good, to have that assurance from a publisher. Heck, my coauthor is a series wizard, I think she’s working on three of them at the moment. For the most part, though, I’ve always been content to write one book, leave a few open threads at the end to make it series-appropriate if it sells great, and then move on to the next thing. This is the first time I’ve written so far in advance, and it’s both a relief and also kind of nerve-wracking. I love that I don’t have to bust my butt to get the next book written, but then again…see the “terror” mentioned above.

In the end, I think it comes down to having faith and letting go. No one can guarantee success; all you as the author can do it write the best book you can, put it out there and hope that people get into it as much as you have. And I really love this book, guys. It’s suspenseful, it’s thrilling, it’s got gun fights and backstabbing (hahahaaaa, this is funny for reasons, read the book) and slow but inevitable adoration, and I had such a good time writing it with Lori. I hope you have fun with it too.


RiskyBehavior_400x600.jpgIt’s day one of Darren Corliss’s career as a detective, and not only has he been assigned a notoriously difficult partner, but the guy might also be a pill-popping dirty cop. Internal Affairs needs proof, and Darren gets to be their eyes and ears whether he wants to or not.

Detective Andreas Ruffner doesn’t play by the rules, and he doesn’t play well with others. With bodies piling up and a list of suspects who are way above his pay grade, the last thing he needs is a wet-behind-the-ears kid for a partner. Or babysitter. Not even if that partner is easy on the eyes.

As Darren gains Andreas’s hard-won trust, they both realize there’s more than just mutual suspicion simmering beneath the surface. But their investigation is heating up as quickly as their relationship, and Darren has no choice but to go along with Andreas’s unorthodox—and borderline unethical—methods. As IA puts the squeeze on Darren to give up the man he’s falling for, he has to wonder—is Andreas the only cop left in this town who isn’t dirty?