Once upon a time, in 2016 to be exact, I read a thriller that blew me away. It had everything I wanted in a book, including great sexual tension, an indestructible hero, twists and turns and amazing action. I thought for a couple of years about how I could do the same thing in romantic suspense.
Obviously, a romance requires a different focus, less military verisimilitude… or so in the case of what I wanted to write. I played with concepts, wrote words on three different stories as I tried to get to know these guys: Who were they? Where had they come from? How had they ended up working together off the grid to right wrongs no matter what it took, or how many laws they broke?
Enter Kris Hack of Temys Designs.
I was on Facebook one day and she had posted a premade cover. I did not need another premade cover, yet I returned again and again and finally bought it. Then I thought about Bishop Riggs, one of the dudes I’d been writing about, and this cover was one-hundred percent him.
I continued to write, going back and forth, uncertain, so I asked Kris about making this a series. She did two more covers and they were great but I sat on them for a long time. I wasn’t sure what I was doing.
I needed a series name and went through three or four before settling on the Avenging VIII. But the VIII needed to mean something. As did the titles… all of which will be explained within the series itself.
Over the next year, I worked on other things but kept coming back to this idea and the covers. I had a few story nuggets but needed more: Who was behind the team? What was their mission and their end goal? How was I going to live up to my original idea inspired by the book I’d read? I probably wrote eight books worth of brainstorming notes to pull this together.
It also required eight covers (though there are actually nine books because I went back and added Abbot as a prequel short story; and Kris doesn’t know it yet but there will be a tenth, too!)
I finally decided what was off with the two additional covers, discussed it with Kris, then left her to design. Each cover that arrived in Messenger got me more excited. I’ve honestly not had this much fun writing anything in ages. And that one premade cover was the glue that made it all work!