By Dame Jackie
[For today’s post, I’m reprinting a post that originally appeared on my website on April 26, 2010. Today I’m launching Hell To Pay — so I wanted to share the background. Confused? Read on. — JK]
I wrote Hell’s Belles in 2005. I’d intended it as a standalone novel, with the possibility of more books. That possibility became a contractual reality when HB sold to Kensington in a three-book deal. Woot! Rock on, Jezebel!
But when I wrote The Road to Hell, something funny happened: Daunuan became a much more important character than I’d originally planned. That happens sometimes: characters can take on a life of their own. (Note to self: increase meds.) By the end of Road, I knew the next book would be Daun’s. And so it was.
And that brought me to the end of that three-book contract.
When I was working on Road, I’d toyed with the notion of the Hell series being eight books: five Jezebel stories in the main series arc, and three one-offs about Daunuan, Megaera, and Angel. Even when I was writing Hotter Than Hell, I thought the series would continue past that book.
Well, I’ve been wrong before.
Kensington and I parted on very good terms. I’d already started working on a fourth Hell book, so I kept going with it — but not as I had originally intended. I wanted to tie up the main plot lines from the first two books. And while doing so, I wanted to head in a different direction than those first books.
The result is Hell to Pay, the fourth and final Hell novel.
Changing publishers mid-series is difficult. Changing publishers for a final book in a series is damn near impossible. I didn’t want to keep the book in my hard drive, though; that did me little good, and my readers absolutely no good. I thought about self-publishing, and I thought about small press. And what I decided to do was give my readers a present for being so patient since Hot hit the shelves back in August 2008: I’d give them Hell to Pay for free.
And so I am proud to present Hell to Pay, the online serial novel.
Starting today, I’ll post a new chapter every Tuesday. This will take us through the rest of 2010. Comments will be enabled on the H2pay site—feel free to post your thoughts on the chapters, where you think the book is going, who should play Jezebel in the movie (hey, a gal can dream), and so on.
I wrote this one for me. And I wrote it for you. And I also wrote it for Jezebel, who just wouldn’t shut up until I finished the book. Thanks for sticking with me for so long. It’s been a Hell of a ride.