Thursday, August 20, 2015

How one Author Got Inspired by the Veronica Mars TV series

Author Juli Alexander

Reviewers are already citing Veronica Mars as the inspiration for my newest series, and they aren’t wrong. I’ve been dying to write a mystery starring a teen PI ever since falling in love with Rob Thomas’s stellar television series, Veronica Mars, in 2004. Paxton PI isn’t my first series inspired by cinema. Investigating the Hottie was inspired by Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries. While I adore Meg Cabot, I never wanted to be a princess. I wanted to be a spy, and Amanda Peterson quickly sprang to life.

Paxton by Juli Alexander
After ten years of brainstorming, I finally found a cast of characters worthy of a series of teen PI mysteries. My Paxton Private Investigations series is not as dark as the television show and the heat level is consistent with my readership.

Seventeen-year-old Townsey Paxton plans to run the family business when she finishes her education. In my spy books, the teen spies do a lot of crazy things that could never happen in real life. I love writing the Hottie series, but I wanted to keep Paxton PI a little more realistic.

Townsey’s brother, Graham, became the key to developing the series. Graham is almost ten years older, and he left vet school in order to run the agency and take care of her. They’ve lost their father recently, and their mother hasn’t been a part of their lives in many years.  Graham is a true hero in the series, putting his sister’s needs before his own.  He’s also the motivation for Townsey’s questionable choices in Paxton PI.

My private-investigating teen needed a best friend, and Hearst came to me almost fully formed. Hearst is a high school junior with Goth style and rock-star swagger. He does not fit in at their Catholic school, and the series opens with him adding another piercing. Townsey knows the real Hearst, but she’s the only one. He keeps everyone else at arms-length, including Townsey’s two close friends.

Unlike the film noir of Veronica Mars, Paxton Private Investigations is rooted in optimism. Despite their not-so-great lives, Townsey, Graham, and Hearst each have a good heart and a strong drive for a better future. Graham’s work prevents any chances at romance, but the other two may have a bit more luck.

My PI series brings humor, romance, and the pursuit of happiness. While my love for Veronica Mars brought this series to life, it’s far closer to rom com than film noir.  In my homage to Rob Thomas’s PI series, my feisty teen investigator has as much or more in common with Liv Moore, the heroine of his new series, iZombie. More inspiration perhaps? 

Instead of finding a way to tease iZombie into a Juli Alexander book, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the show.

Juli Alexander can be reached via her Website, Facebook or Twitter.

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