Writing a series: What comes first the world or the characters?

With: Kerry Adrienne


Writing a series can become difficult if you don’t keep a world bible throughout. Trying to remember the names, locations, and nuances of the world is difficult—especially if the world is complex, as in paranormal romance. The rules of our “normal” world don’t always apply, and anything that varies from it must be consistent throughout the series.


When I started the Shifter Wars series, I had a general idea of the world. I wanted to write about a national park, where the bear shifters are the park rangers. That meant a lot of research on park rangers, parks, etc. I set the series in the northeast US, probably somewhere in New York. I didn’t want to be held back by the parameters of an actual park, though (since I wanted to create my own landmarks), so I made up Deep Creek.


In Waking the Bear, we see the park and the ranger cabins. We also visit Oakwood, the small town just south of the park. As the series progresses, the world evolves and grows with it. There is no way I could’ve planned the entire world out from the beginning. In later books, we visit Henredon, a little town to the north; the lions’ compound; the wolves’ den; and many places around the park itself.


One of the most satisfying aspects of writing Deep Creek was developing the ancestral shifter who lives in the cave. The cave system is vast—with a lake, a cemetery, and many tunnels. There are even scary things growing in it! Having the ancestral shifter live in the cave gave her a mysteriousness that hopefully grew with the series. I had no idea how she would play out—so I couldn’t have done that aspect justice if I tried to map it all out beforehand. She grew with the series, as did the park.


In the park, I have a waterfall that is critical to the plot in one book, but I revisit that location in all the books after. It came from necessity yet grew as the world developed.


I love world-building so much, and I really love how it grows and changes during a series. I did have a basic idea of Deep Creek when I started the series, but it’s definitely grown and changed through four books and a novella.


Kerry Adrienne



The shifter wars by Kerry Adrienne


Enter the world of USA Today Bestselling Author Kerry Adrienne’s Shifter Wars.  Bears, lions, wolves and more are in a war to control Deep Creek and the ancestral spirit that commands the Cave of Whispers…and all its secrets. Catch-up with the series today!



The Shifter Wars series in order:




Sexy shifter passion is awakened when two unlikely lovers are challenged by secrets, danger and an unstoppable need to claim one’s mate…

For human Amy Francis, the secluded cabin in Deep Creek is the haven she needs to map out a fresh new start. She never expected her heart to be reawakened by a distraction like Griff Martin, commanding yet gentle, too ferociously sensual to ignore. It’s clear that patrolling the forest is more than a job to Griff—it’s a means of survival. But what Amy doesn’t realize is she’s reawakened the beast within him.

Griff’s dormant hunger is stirred by this intoxicating woman…and threatened by the secret she must never learn. Duty-bound to defend his bear clan against an avenging pride of lion shifters, Griff’s entire world is upended when he meets Amy. His animal need to claim his mate has taken hold, but that very desire could seal her fate as an unwitting pawn in battle.

Now, as a shifter war looms, Griff must decide between letting Amy go or following his most carnal instincts. To have her would change his life…but risk everything he knows and was born to protect.


Available Now: Carina Press | Amazon | Google Play | Kobo | B&N| Goodreads





Bear shifters exist.

Professor Bria Lane has known this since she was a child.  Now she’s returned to the forests of Deep Creek to prove it to the world.  She has no idea how close she is to that proof in ruggedly sexy park ranger Derek Poole.  Intimately close. But uncovering Derek’s wild side comes with a shattering price.

Like a magnet meeting metal, Derek is drawn to Bria.  His destiny. His mate. So beautiful and so vulnerable. So dangerous, too: an encroachment of lions, vengeful and vicious, is closing in and they’re ready for war.  Now is not the time to be distracted like a lovesick cub.

If Bria reveals the truth of the Deep Creek shifters to the world, she’ll bring out the worst of both sides.  But Derek can’t hide his secrets from the love of his life forever.  He knows they’re playing with fire – and that when passion runs this hot, this reckless, someone’s bound to get burned.


Available Now: Carina Press | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Google Play | Goodreads




Olivia, born blind and without the ability to shift, yearns to seek her own fate away from her watchful and devoted wolf pack. Vulnerable and stuck in human form, she’s alone and at risk in the forest’s brutal winter when she’s rescued by a park ranger and taken to his cabin in Deep Creek. By the warmth of a crackling fire, she’s comforted by his presence. But it’s his rugged scent that stirs something in her she’s never felt before. 

Bear shifter Powell sensed the instant he held her that Olivia was his mate. He also knew she had the untapped powers to discover her true shifting nature—if only he could convince her to trust in him, and to believe in herself. Now the one thing that stands to threaten their healing mating hunger is Olivia’s distrusting and vigilant pack. A pack prepared to do anything to get her back. 

But there is no danger as strong, no desire so liberating as what Powell is bringing out in her—because Olivia can finally see where her destiny lies. 


Available Now: Carina Press | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Goodreads | Google Play






For Marco, heir to the lions’ throne, seizing control of the Cave of Whispers from the bear clan is more than just a quest—it’s fulfilling the legacy of his breed. But the latest crusade has left Marco gravely wounded in enemy territory and in the hands of Alicia, healer for the bears. An irresistibly sensuous adversary, Alicia presents a serious problem. She carries the scent of a mate.

Drawn to this dominant master of his den, Alicia knows her allegiance has been compromised. His brooding sexuality is testing her defenses, but falling in love with Marco means falling in league with a rival shifter. And turning her back on the bears in a time of war is a lethal move.

Two breeds united by destiny could inspire a peaceful new future for their opposing clans—or ignite the fiercest battle yet and destroy all of Deep Creek forever.

Find out more at: Carina Press | Amazon | Google Play | Kobo | iTunes | B&N





A new enemy threatens to destroy Deep Creek in this final installment of the Shifter Wars series.




About Kerry Adrienne:

USA Today bestselling author Kerry Adrienne is repped by Marisa Corvisiero at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Kerry writes in many sub-genres of romance including paranormal, science fiction, erotic, m/m, time travel, and many more. She loves history, science, music, and art and is the mom to three daughters, many cats, and various other small animals. She loves live music and traveling most anywhere.


In addition to being an author, she’s a college instructor, artist, costumer, editor, and bad guitar player.


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