As a pantser, not a plotter, a writer who writes without plotting the story, I very rarely chose the book's theme before I begin. I actually don't think I really planned on a theme for any of the stories. To be perfectly honest, my goal has always been to write an entertaining story, one that leaves the reader happy they spent an afternoon with my characters.
I wanted relatable, real characters, a female lead who would be strong, and vulnerable as she navigated her life. I suppose for all intents and purposes, that was theme I was writing about.
After writing and publishing Black Market, I realized I was writing about so much more.
Yes, I wanted Annie Pearce to be a symbol of empowerment, a woman in a man's world, navigating difficult men who called her “girl”, vampires who treated her like a dolt. Set in the world of the police procedural you'd even see the theme of social justice and what does good vs. evil look like.
I hadn't realized when I wrote Wizard War, that I so heavily discussed the meaning of justice. What it is and how do you determine if justice was served. For example, it's much like the debate, the death penalty vs life in prison. Though I'm not here to discuss that, I do examine how the magical world makes deals with the demon to further the course of the investigation.
In this story, was justice served if the investigation techniques fall in the ethically gray area?
My characters aren't perfect and are oftentimes faced with decisions that affect the outcome of the case or challenge their existing beliefs.
I don't think I could have planned for the story's themes to blend so beautifully if I tried. But the reader or in the case the reviewer of the attached quote, saw what had been floating around in my head. A book so much more than an afternoon adventure, one that might even have a message, something important to say.
I'm always amazed by what I see in my stories as it compares to what others take away from the book and I'm glad that I can offer something more complex than just a stake through the heart.