Guest Author Devon Monk

Please welcome my guest for this week, urban fantasy author Devon Monk. Devon is the author of the Allie Beckstrom series which currently consists of three books with the fourth book out May 4, 2010. The third book in the series, Magic in the Shadows was recently released and is available in bookstores now. Devon is here today to talk about her two main characters and how a short story became a series.

I’m very excited to be a guest blogger today! Thank you so much for having me!

When MAGIC TO THE BONE first hit the shelves, I received a lot of questions about it. Two questions that took my by surprise were: “Are you Allie?”and “Who is Zavyion Jones?” No one had ever asked me who any of my other characters in my published short stories were, so it took me by surprise that people would wonder where Allie and Zayvion came from.

First, a quick history of how Zayvion and Allie came into my life. I’d been asked to write a short story for an anthology. At the time I was writing a lot of fantasy and science fiction short stories and doing a pretty good job selling them to magazines and anthologies. I’d heard about this urban fantasy and paranormal romance wave that was hitting the publishing world, and while it intrigued me, I hadn’t really thought about writing in that genre. When the anthology invite came along, I decided to give urban fantasy a try.

Allie Beckstrom stepped forward for the job. She is a little bit of all the women I’ve known. Vulnerable, strong, willing to handle whatever challenge comes her way, even if she doesn’t know if she will survive in one piece. Allie is tough, and deals with pain and loss on a daily basis. Allie is headstrong, and knows who she is and what she wants. Allie is funny, and has a deep heart. She understands loving someone takes the most strength of all.

This story was all about Allie. I had no plans of adding a second, equally strong character to the plot. So there I had Allie, walking down the street dealing with some pretty bad magical stuff. Someone had just put a magical hit on a little boy, and he was dying from it. It was up to Allie to find out who was behind the magic. I knew there needed to be someone who would help her out, someone who would also get in her way.

And up strolled Zayvion Jones. Tall, mixed-race hottie, with a calm demeanor that hid anger, power, passion. When Zayvion hit the scene, the story between he and Allie exploded, becoming much more than a short story could hold. Still, I wrote the short story, and gave Allie and Zayvion as much as I could in a very small amount of words. The editor loved it.

And rejected it. I owe that editor a huge debt of gratitude. If he had said yes and published the short story, I probably wouldn’t have written the novel and I certainly wouldn’t have taken Allie and Zay’s story through six books, and hopefully, more.

Who is Zayvion Jones? I really don’t know. He came unexpectedly into the story and changed everything I had planned for Allie. Mysterious, powerful, loyal to a fault, he is a man who knows saving the world falls squarely on his shoulders, and will not buckle under that expectation. He’s funny, smart, and very, very private. He is no stranger to pain and sorrow, which makes love, the chance of it, the reality of it, something he’ll fight for, no matter the cost.

Writing the Allie Beckstrom series has been full of the unexpected for me. From a short story rejection came a novel. From two characters trying to find love, came a series. From the idea that magic costs anyone who uses it pain, came the question of who and what is worth hurting for. And as I’ve gone along, more unexpected characters have strolled onto the scene to change Allie’s life, to challenge her, make her laugh, make her cry. The third book in the series, MAGIC IN THE SHADOWS, introduces two new characters, Stone and Shame, who I absolutely love, and MAGIC ON THE STORM is full of unexpected twists and turns. Now that I’m writing book five in the series, I can’t wait to see what happens next!

So tell me, have you ever had something bad turn into something good? Has the unexpected ever opened up new doors and new experiences for you? Tell me about it in the comments, and I will send out two signed copies of MAGIC IN THE SHADOWS to two lucky winners.

This contest starts today November 17th and will run until 10:00 pm Eastern time on November 23rd with the winners revealed that night.

PS: I am still waiting for one of the winners from the Jennifer Rardin contest to contact me.  Stephanie if you see this, please email me by the 19th to claim your prize!

PPS. Today is the 20th so I am drawing a new winner for the Jennifer Rardin book since Stephanie never contacted me. Alexia561 you are the new winner for Bite Marks!


  1. Hi Devon :)
    Thank you for sharing.
    I enjoyed learning about the backstory for your series. Pretty amazing.
    I didn't get a job I had my heart set on but two weeks after I got a better job with 25% more money. If I had gotten the job I had wanted, I wouldn't have been looking or gotten the better job.
    All the best,

  2. I have been hearing the best things about this series!!

    We didn't get the first house we put a contract on and I was devastated, but then the house we actually ended up getting is ten times nicer!

    I know I have to have a better one but I need more coffee ;)

  3. Hi you two!
    I so love this series and I have to say I'm happy that the short story was rejected.
    Something that was bad and turned out to be good...hm.
    Oh I started studying chemical process engineering and failed horrible. I was shattered and thought I would live the rest of my life under a bridge and be a bum. Yeah I know I can be a little drastic in my views of the future. After awhile of wallowing in self-pity I decided to study something new. I choose civil engineering and I love it. When I think now about being a process engineer I can't even say why I ever wanted to be something like that. Seriously, how boring is that?
    So that's my story!
    Thanks for this great contest!
    Hope you two have a nice week!

  4. Hi Devon

    Very interesting post -really enjoyed reading the background story.

    I've not much of a something bad - good story to tell. I guess I'll just keep calm next time anything bad happens as you never know.......

  5. RK--I love that the better job came along! That is an awesome "unexpected" good news. Great to see you here!

    Mandi--I'm having a lot of fun writing the series! It is so cool you got an even nicer house than the one you first looked at! I think that's a perfect "unexpected" good news!

    Susi--Thank you so much! Wow! I can't even imagine being a civil engineer--that takes math skills, right? ;) What a fabulous career choice--good on ya! Hope you have a great week too!!


  6. Actually, it's kind of happening for me now. I sold a website I had for ten years, but then suddenly wasn't sure what to do. I decided to freelance instead of starting another website and from there decided to try fiction. So far it's been a pretty cool change.

    Thanks for your story Devon-- I love that a rejection turned into something good. I'll have to burn that into my brain:)

  7. First, I've read many good things about Devon through other authors.

    Most of the time, there's something good out of something bad.

    Got laid off from one job just to get another where I made more money & could advance.

    Laid off, decided to volunteer at a non-profit where I met amazing people that I now consider family.

  8. I got in a really bad car accident (wasn't my fault) and my car was destroyed. I decided to stay positive about it (hey, at least I am alive) and 1 week later at work a woman came in and was telling me how she was trying to sell her car. It was a MUCH better car than I had and I told her my situation and she sold it to me for $1,000 less than her asking price. So in the end I got a great car that didn't cost anything out of pocket (paid with insurance money). So that is my story of a bad thing turning into a good thing :)

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  9. Hi Devon :)
    wow, what a great post - I love to learn about the protas history!
    the others posted fantastic stories... I actually don't know one specifically, but there are a lot of little things that happen - you have something in mind and then things change, you are angry maybe sad, but in the end the other way is better...oh, now a story comes in my mind ;) a few month ago I wanted to attend a course to learn how to read old writings, but unfortunately I got ill and couldn't go... now I've the chance to make this with a really awesome professor - can't be happier!
    Wish you all the best,

  10. Years ago when a boyfriend broke up with me I thought it was the end of the world but then his friend took an interest and we've now been married 23 years. Awesome!

  11. When I went through my divorce from my second husband I thought it was the worst thing that could happen. I got a really good job and a nice place to live and my daughters and I managed just fine. They told me later they were much happier after the divorce. Also my brother was in the hospital one time with a stomach problem they couldn't seem to diagnose, while they were looking to find the problem they found out he had kidney cancer and they found it early enough to save him. Kidney cancer doesn't have a good survival rate. They usually catch it too late. So thanks to his stomach problem which turned out to be nothing serious, they found his cancer.

  12. Looks like a good book, please enter me into this drawing.

    Several years, only days after finding out the company I was working for was going to "downsize" my position I got a job offer from a company with a better job anyway.

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

  13. Devon Monk is a new author for me so I'm interested in reading some of her works.

    Tracey D

  14. How lucky for us that the editor rejected the short story so you could turn it into a series! Love hearing when characters take off and do their own thing, something totally different than originally planned. Thanks for sharing Devon! Can't wait to read what's next! :)

  15. Great post. I have been wanting to read this series and just havent had the opportunity yet.

    When I decided to move cities I interviewed for a lot of jobs in the field I thought I wanted to try out. But I didnt end up getting any of those and did end up getting one in a field I never even thought of that is great and I am happy with.

  16. Something bad was when my husband told me he wanted a divorce, but then a few months later I met the man of my dreams!!

    simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

  17. While I was out on maternity leave with my oldest son, my boss closed the company. So here I was with no job. From then on I stayed home with my son. Being a stay at home mom has been the best experience in the world.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  18. Count me in as another person who is grateful that editor didn't buy your short story.

    I loved Allie and Zayvion, and thoroughly enjoyed a UF story that didn't have a single vampire, shapeshifter, or angel in it. Magic to the Bone was wonderful, and now I'm in the early pages of Magic in the Blood. Still loving it!

    My story is indirect: in his mid-teens, my husband (who grew up in the Middle East) decided he wanted to emigrate to California and go to school there. He approached his uncle to help finance the flight, etc. (his parents weren't in a position to provide the costs), but his uncle turned him down. He was disappointed at the time, but I'm happy now because if it had worked out he'd be in California instead of with me!

  19. I went to a conference, one I was not planning on attending, and while there ran into so friends from grad school. We started talking about future plans, and what I was looking to do. Next thing I know, I have a job interview and a new job, which is where I am today. :)

  20. I was afraid of my approaching deafness and couldn't imagine a world of silence.

    In the end I learned to cope and find the other side of acceptance. It also was the reason I started blogging. Now the writing experience has opened a door to becoming a writer with a possible book series.

    Who would have thought. Thanks for this opportunity. Indigo

  21. Hubby was not liking his commute (weekly 4 hr one way drive every Friday!)then his boss started driving him mad,lol. Thankfully that pushed him over the edge to start looking for a new job & now's he's doing what he always wanted to do! It's tough starting out but the drive is there to make it work :)

    Thanks for sharing your story Devon! I have this series on my wishlist already :)


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