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By Jimmy D. Gillentine

The End. Those two words are the goal for a lot of stories, be they short stories or 200,000-word novels. But when I first came up with the idea for my paranormal romance series, those final words were the furthest thing from my mind.

In 1999, I came up with an idea for a monster: an immortal creature that was the inspiration for all the creatures of the night. A horrible, frightening force of nature that had a deep hunger for flesh and blood. But it had a heart that wanted to be able to feel love, companionship, and family. That idea was Andrew Bane in the story that became The Beast Within. It wasn’t the first time that I had tried to write a book, but it was the first time that I actually finished it. After finally getting the story of Andrew out there, I
wrote the sequel Crossroads and now, thanks to Pro Se Publishing, the final installment of the series - Blood of the Father - has been released along with the first two novels in an omnibus edition titled Heart of the Beast.

This series of books means so many things to me, and brought me so many things to my life. I have been first runner-up for the Darrell Award, I have been a guest at several sci-fi/fantasy conventions, and I have met several famous writers that I now consider friends and mentors. Most importantly, it led me to meet writer Elizabeth Donald, who became my friend, my editor, and my wife. So this little tale of love and blood has been a big part of my life.

I can easily say that coming to the end of writing this story of Andrew Bane is met with the feelings of accomplishment that is mixed with a lot of sadness. His story has been a huge part of my life for many years now. A part of me will miss writing about him and his adventures that I shaped and brought to life for people to read.

I want to take this time to say thank you to my publisher Pro Se for helping me finish what I started nearly twenty years ago when the idea of Andrew Bane first came to my mind. To all the people that have read the novels about Andrew, thank you for doing so and I hope you have enjoyed them and enjoy the ending of his story.

The next question you and even I might have for myself is, ‘What now?’ Now that I have finished this series, what should I do next? I do have a couple of things planned. I have a story that I have been sitting on longer than even Andrew’s. I think it might be time to get back to that and see where it takes me. I also plan on finishing school and getting my degree. That has been both hard and rewarding at the same time, and I look forward to graduating next year.

So let’s see where my imagination takes me in the following months and what new worlds and stories I can bring to life to entertain and frighten all of you.

As always,

  J. D. Gillentine