Pay It Forward · Writing

Origin Story: The Devereaux Case Files

This is a new feature, where I tell you the story of where my novels originally came from. From the first germ of an idea, to the first “written” inception and how it became what it is today, in it’s print form.

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The Devereaux Case Files were originally called The Ayah Davenport Diaries. Then I experienced the explosion of The Vampire Diaries and I didn’t want the two being accidentally associated, which sometimes happens in search engines. Similar names pop up, even if they’re not in the same genre. Though the stories could probably be adapted to include supernatural creatures, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ style, they’re crime and romance books at heart.

I was inspired to write these stories by a few criminal geniuses. First, by the amazing Amelia Peabody series, by Elizabeth Peters. The Master Criminal and his fascination with Amelia really captured me. Though they never became an item, I wanted to create a version that did. The criminal and the feisty woman who got in his way.

At the time, Young Adult was my thing, so I knew it would be PG rated. Then I saw an episode of Columbo, where the crime took place on a cruise ship. After some research, I became so fascinated with the possibilities that a cruise ship became the crime scene of book three in the series. I particularly loved the complication over who had the right to investigate the case.

Ayah herself, is a mixture of all the things I was and could never be, at her age. The insecurities, isolation and awkwardness are all me, but the spark, fire, flirtations and penchant for getting in trouble is made up. Unfortunately. Reed, on the other hand, is a mixture of my favourite criminals, heroes and Alpha Males, with a twist. There are parts of him that remind me of Radcliffe, from the Amelia Peabody series. Equal parts remind me of the Master Criminal. Some parts of him even make me think of Mikhail, from Christine Feehan’s Dark/Carpathian novels. If you ahven’t read either series, I suggest you do. Dark/Carpathians is an 18+ only series, while Amelia Peabody is historical crime.

Although the series, DCF, is one of my oldest in terms of completed novels, it will always hold a tender place in my heart. At eleven books, it is the longest series I’ve written, which fully allowed me to explore the characters lives and those of their family, over an extended period of time.

I doubt that I’ll ever truly create an end to the DCF universe, but I like it that way. There are always more stories to be told, after the last page. The only difference is that the reader gets to decide what they are.

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