Giveaway + Blog Tour: Not Dead Yet (Not Dead Yet #1) by Jenn Burke

Author Jenn Burke is here today talking supernatural to celebrate her recent release from Carina Press, Not Dead Yet (Not Dead Yet #1) along with A Novel Take Promotions. Find out more about this paranormal romance and enter to win a signed paperback and some Canadian swag! Not available from retailers! Good luck!

Creating a Supernatural World
By Jenn Burke

I discovered urban fantasy when I was a teenager in the late 80s and early 90s, and I’m not going to lie, my world kind of changed. I’d always loved tales about magic, and fairytales, but the idea that magic could be everywhere in our world sparked my imagination like nothing else.

The Diana Tregarde series by Mercedes Lackey seemed like it could actually happen—a Wiccan Guardian who watched over people, protecting them from all sorts of bad people and creatures. And then there was Tanya Huff’s Vicki Nelson series, which was set in and around Toronto, bringing that magic a little closer to home. And then…Charles de Lint’s Moonheart, and Jack of Kinrowan series, both of which are set in my hometown of Ottawa, Ontario, and blew my mind.

So when I started writing, I knew I wanted to write books with paranormal elements—witches, vampires, shifters, and so on—and I wanted to set them in Canada. Here are three concepts I keep in mind when I’m writing my Canada-set paranormal books.

Anchor your world

I feel strongly that when you’re creating a contemporary-set paranormal world, you need to anchor it in reality. That doesn’t mean you can’t bend realism when you need to. But the world should be recognizably ours, for the most part.

To do this, I like to set my stories in places that actually exist. My first published paranormal romance, Her Sexy Sentinel, is set in Ottawa, and I spent a lot of time prowling my city physically and virtually to make sure the settings for my scenes would work (for example, I didn’t want to set a highrise in a location where highrises don’t exist in real life).

But be flexible

You need to remember that you’re not writing nonfiction. This is your world, and you can adapt it as you need to. The key is being consistently believable.

In Not Dead Yet, Detective Hudson Rojas works nights only for medical reasons despite (from what information I could dig up) most real-life Toronto detectives being on a shift rotation. I made that restriction believable by explaining what he does to mitigate it (shorter but more frequent shifts) and the consequences (he’ll never achieve a higher rank). These are consistently believable elements that help convince the reader my world is real.

Create rules

You need to establish rules for your world early on, so you give the reader some idea of what to expect. It also helps to raise the stakes if the reader knows that the characters can’t just magic their way out of a jam.

In the Not Dead Yet world, I have specific rules for my magical characters. For example, when Wes is in the otherplane as a ghost, he can’t see living creatures clearly. They’re fuzzy, dark blobs of shadow. Lexi, his badass witch best friend, can’t cast magic for personal gain—it always backfires.

I’d say that your supernatural rules are one area where you shouldn’t be flexible—at least not if it’s unplanned or unexplained. If you make your rules inconsistent on a whim, or to get your characters out of a difficult situation, you may lose readers.

Go forth and create

These are really basic ideas to keep in mind when creating your own supernatural world. But they should give you a starting point. I hope you have as much fun as I do making new worlds to play in!

NOT DEAD YET by Jenn Burke

Series: Not Dead Yet #1

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: February 4, 2019 (ebook only)

Length: 91,000 words

Subgenre: Paranormal mystery romance

Warnings: Depression, talk of suicide, murders, paranormal violence



Dying isn’t what it used to be.

Wes Cooper was dead. Then he wasn’t—though he’s not exactly alive, either. As an immortal not-ghost, he can transition between this world and the otherplane, which makes him the perfect thief for hire. For seventy years he’s made a “living” returning items to their rightful owners, seeing his fair share of the bizarre in the process. But he’s never witnessed murder. Until now.
His latest mission brings him more than he bargained for: a very-dead actor who is definitely going to stay that way. It’s just Wes’s luck that his ex-boyfriend, Detective Hudson Rojas, is assigned to the case. Hudson broke Wes’s heart years ago—and could again, given he’s rocking a hot silver-fox look that shouldn’t be legal.

As they work together to track down the murderer before anyone else gets hurt, it becomes clear Wes and Hudson have unfinished business. And when a secret Hudson’s been keeping threatens more than just their happiness, it might mean the end of their not-life together—permanently.

Jenn Burke has loved out-of-this-world romance since she first read about heroes and heroines kicking butt and falling in love as a preteen. Now that she’s an author, she couldn’t be happier to bring adventure, romance, and sexy times to her readers.

Jenn is the author of a number of paranormal and science fiction romance titles, including the critically acclaimed Chaos Station science fiction romance series (authored with Kelly Jensen) from Carina Press.

She’s been called a pocket-sized and puntastic Canadian on social media, and she’ll happily own that label. Jenn lives just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and two kids, plus two dogs named after video game characters…because her geekiness knows no bounds.

Connect With Jenn:
Facebook group: (Jenn Burke’s Epic Adventurers)
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2 prize packs:

     One signed paperback copy of Not Dead Yet (exclusive; you can’t buy it in print!) with some Canadian swag – will ship internationally
     $10 Amazon gift card

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