You are the kind of author I aspire to be like when I grow up (or rather, grow into) as a writer. I love your Sin du Jour series like I love naps: i would take two of them a day if I could and when I’m not enjoying one, I feel strangely bereft.
Seriously, the Sin du Jour series is on point.
Trust me to know this because I read a ton of Urban Fantasy series and standalone books and yours are by far some of the best in the genre. It’s not just because you have a realistically diverse cast, or the fact that you’re reinventing creatures/beings that have been done to death before, or because of those dang zombie clowns and that demon chicken pooping out nuggies.
It’s because your characters are fun (even with Moon’s gross behind and Dorsky’s everything) and they feel like people I’ve worked with before or that I would love to work with. Most urban fantasy that gets (relatively) huge feels kind of distant from the real world and it’s super difficult to imagine yourself in their world — even the ones who purport themselves as being set in a version of our world that just happens to be supernatural in some ways. Aside from how the authors — and their universes — wouldn’t know what to do with a queer black female character if you literally paid them to write one, the lack of a manageable mundanity is one of the things that tends to keep me from getting truly invested in most of the series I’ve read.
Meanwhile, with the Sin du Jour series, I feel like I could head to New York and hook up with Lena and Darren for a fancy, but demon-filled lunch. Because you do the “world within our world” stuff so well and your writing is so engaging that I don’t feel like the typical outsider while reading it (and also, have I ever mentioned before how much I love that Darren and Lena are the characters you’ve chosen to get us invested in the world of Sin du Jour? Because they’re both outsiders but they bring different expectations and observations to the table and it’s fantastic!)
Okay now normally, I don’t reread books unless I’m reviewing them or writing fan fiction for them but I always find myself gravitating towards your books whenever I need a good comfort read. (And yeah, I know what you’re probably thinking: How can your books be comfort reads when your latest has Ritter beating the Easter Bunny to death? Well, it’s a comfort to people who are afraid of that damn giant rabbit, that’s for sure.) I can’t explain it, but when I’m having a shit day and I pick up Envy of Angels, I definitely get the warmest of warm and fuzzy feelings doing a reread and basking on Darren and Lena’s introduction into this weird world.
Now, I mention this a lot in my reviews (and will be mentioning it a bunch in an upcoming tweet-thread), but one of my favorite things about your series is how you write the different relationships. There’s Darren and Lena’s friendship, the camaraderie between Ritter and his crew, and Bronko’s kind of sort of paternal (but not ickily patriarchal) rapport with our favorite newbies. I’m getting sappy here and I know it (it’s because I watched Star Trek twice this week) but you write these close and constantly evolving relationships so well that I just feel like working at Sin du Jour must be like… kind of working with your family for better or for worst.
Okay, so next, I just wanted to let you know that ever since Lustlocked, I’ve been referring to Cindy as “wife and life goals” because I can’t decide if I’d want to be her, be her best friend, or marry her. She’s so amazing and I love her fight with the um… flaming Jack o’ Lantern dude in Pride’s Spell and how her focus falls on her weapons and her wardrobe. Ugh. She’s just so good.
And she has a closet of designer clothes AND one full of weapons.
Like how can you do anything but adore her?
I mean, I still lowkey want to marry Lena but since Lena/Ritter is shaping up to be my canon OTP (and please, don’t tell me if they aren’t going to be endgame because I will CRY), I am down with mentally marrying myself off to the incredibly perfect and punchy Cindy.
And okay, this letter has literally been me rambling aimlessly about how much I love the Sin du Jour series but I have one more thing to say about this series and how much I really love it and your writing.
I wanted to let you know that your writing really inspires me.
I’m not a particularly fast writer and maybe I’m not a very good one either (I’m a terrible judge, to be fair), but the one thing I am is a worrier.
I worried myself into a corner when it came to stuff like writing funny urban fantasy or even writing in present tense and being taken seriously. And then I read your books and I just — I knew what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. Sure, I still write slower than most turtles walk, but I have a clearer direction of where I’m going and what I need to do to get there. Your tweets have helped a bunch, but reading your work and the things you’ve written about the Sin du Jour series, have helped me even more.
So thank you for writing the Sin du Jour series, not just because you gave me a new OTP and some fantastic female characters to make obnoxious noises over, but also because you’ve straight up inspired me as a writer.
Now, I’m off for a bit of day-drinking and a well-timed reread of Lustlocked!
Note: You can read my (super spoilery) reviews for Envy of Angels, Lustlocked, and Pride’s Spell here on my blog and then click the handy Amazon affiliate links to buy yourself a copy. Or! You can buy the books first and THEN read my reviews. Either way gets you some good books!