Jana Oliver on Saving the Best for Last

This month marks the end of a series I’ve enjoyed very much, Jana Oliver’s Demon Trappers.  The first book, The Demon Trapper’s Daughter, won the 2012 Young Adult Maggie Award of Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers.  Jana will talk with us today about winding up this series.  Welcome, Jana!

So let’s say you’re an author and the last book in your young adult series is finally in the wild. How do you cope?

A) Turn cartwheels of joy shouting “It’s done! OMG it’s done!”

B) Don sack cloth and ashes

C) Find yourself a bit emotional and reach for an adult beverage (or three)

At present I’m veering back and forth between A & C (because sack cloth and ashes really isn’t my thing). I’m thrilled, but I’m sad at the same time, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. I’ve invested *four* years in the Demon Trappers Series, seen it go from a twinkle in my imagination to being published in nine foreign countries. It’s won awards, both here and abroad. It’s in my blood.

Over those years I’ve watched my fave characters go through Hell (literally) and find their destiny in FORETOLD, the final book. Riley Blackthorne, the 17 y/o heroine has gone from being a self-centered teen to a strong young woman. Denver Beck, the hunky Southern guy trapper with so many secrets, has learned that he’s worthy of love. And Ori, the wild card in the series, took the series in surprising directions.

At the very core was the story of a teen stuck in the middle of the “Grand Game” between Heaven and Hell, supposedly another “pawn”. It was vitally important that Riley’s “story arc” made sense. It wasn’t easy. My readers might be surprised to hear it took me longer to “get” Riley than it did Beck. It’s been a long time since I was seventeen and I had to tap my memories for what I was like at that age. The raging insecurities, the feeling that everything was immediate and raw-edged. As we age we realize a lot of stuff will just take care of itself on its own, but when you’re a teen everything is High Priority, life or death. 

So it was with Riley and probably more life and death than most. It was agonizing to watch as she and Beck made some serious mistakes, flawed decisions that could cost them their lives and/or their souls. Still, they bounced back tougher and wiser. That process, writ large, is how we mature. We make mistakes, we acknowledge them, and we move on. Unlike Riley, fortunately our boo-boos rarely gain the attention of the angels and the Prince of Hell.

Now that it’s all over I’m like someone who has packed up their bags and is moving to a new city, leaving behind my very best friends. I promise to keep in touch. I have to — I know them better than I know myself.

Now it’ll be a new story, new characters to put through their paces, a fresh start. It’s what an author does.  Nevertheless I will also look back fondly at the Demon Trappers Series, for it changed me in ways too numerous to count. That’s the power of the written word – it changes not only the reader, but the one who penned the tale.

For more about Jana and her books check her website:  www.JanaOliver.com or www.DemonTrappers.com.  You can also find her on Twitter as @crazyauthorgirl and on Facebook:  www.Facebook.com/janaoliver.

Jana’s giving one commenter today the winner’s choice of one book in the series (The Demon Trapper’s Daughter, Soul Thief, Forgiven, or Foretold) and a Demon Trappers tee shirt. So tell us, what book, television, or movie series have enjoyed that’s over now, as well as what you liked about it and what you miss about it.

Be sure to come back to the Lair on December 13 when we kick off the annual 12 BANDITA DAYS OF CHRISTMAS! Prizes and recipes every day!! Roosters. Starbucks goodies. Books. Dragons. Books. Cookies. Godiva. Books!! (By Banditas and friends like Sabrina Jeffries, Liz Carlyle, JD Tyler, Deb Marlowe, Addison Fox and many more!) You know you want the cookies, for sure, so come home to the Lair for the Holidays! Who knows, you might win something, and you’ll be guaranteed to have fun!!



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  • Jane says:

    Congrats on the new release, Jana. I really love the Batman trilogy by Christopher Nolan and it was bittersweet when the Dark Knight Rises was released. I was excited to see the finale, but sad that this chapter was over. There will be probably be a Batman reboot soon, but I’m not sure it could ever top the Dark Knight trilogy.

    • Cassondra says:

      Dang, Jane. I was hoping I would get the rooster, so I could get him to clean my house before I put up the Christmas tree.

      Ah well…he’s yours. What will you do with him?

    • Jane, congrats on the rooster. I hope he behaves if you take him out to play.

      I haven’t yet seen Dark Knight Rising, but I plan to. I thought Christian Bale was great. So were the supporting actors.

  • Cassondra says:

    Hi Nancy, and Hi again Jana!

    I don’t see much tv, but the whole LOTR series is one that I can’t let go of. The Hobbit comes out this month, and that keeps me going.

    When the LOTR series was over, I felt a bit bereft, actually.

    Not entirely sure what that says about me…

    Maybe I should have lived in Middle Earth.????I dunno.

    • Cassondra, you may be pleased to know The Hobbit will supposedly be three films. I loved the LOTR films, too, and I used to read the trilogy every year. Now, unfortunately, I don’t have time.

  • Fedora says:

    I really enjoy so many of the book series I read… one that I was especially sorry to see come to an end was Ellen Connor’s Dark Age Dawning trilogy. I thought the third a fitting end, but still wished there was more to come. That’s true of a lot of good books though 😉

    • Fedora, wasn’t that Ellen Connor series co-wriiten by Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty? I read the first one and liked it a lot, but I haven’t gotten to the rest of it.

  • Helen says:

    Hi Jana ans Nancy

    Oh this series sounds very good I need to look it up.

    As for series that are finished I would say Harry Potter I started this one just before book 3 came out and so loved it all the excitment and everything that went with this series and I really miss getting the next book and reading it in a day LOL and then eagerly awaiting the movies I might find some time over Christmas to watch all the movies.

    Have Fun

    • Helen, we started HP when the first book came out in paperback. We bought them for the boy, but we all loved them. Are any of your grandchildren old enough for those yet?

      • Helen says:


        Yes Jayden is nearly seven and he adores the Harry Potter movies and it won’t be long before he is reading the books although I think it might be a while before he gets to the later ones the first couple he will manage

        Have Fun

        • Helen, we read them to the boy. It turned into a nice family ritual that we continued through the final one though he’d long since given up being read to in general.

          The later ones do take that darker tone, as you note.

  • Heathercm2001 says:

    I agree with Helen! This series does sound very good! I’m going to check it out after work. Thank goodness it’s pay day!

    I really miss NBC’s ”Chuck.” I loved that show. I am glad they were able to do an official last season. Every year it was on the bubble, but the fans kept it going. Thankfully it wasn’t just axed without letting everything get tied up at the end. However I still miss seeing the nerd-turned- super spy every week.

    ”Freaks and Geeks” is another show I miss as well. Oh and the Harry Potter books and movies too!

  • Mozette says:

    So tell us, what book, television, or movie series have enjoyed that’s over now, as well as what you liked about it and what you miss about it.

    I’m a very visual kinda gal and so mine has got to be a tv series would have to ‘Moonlight’… and well, the reason is obvious! Alex O’laughlin… *drool!* Yes, that series went for only one season, but it was a brilliant season and a real bummer they didn’t keep going. Another one was ‘My Own Worse Enemy’ with Christian Slater in it… also only one season which ended with many unanswered questions and left us with a dead body, blood everywhere an no answer to who killed the poor guy.

    Otherwise, the main one I really miss is ‘Buffy’… fortunately I have it all on dvd. It started out a little weird and corny, and became a brilliant show! I loved it by the end.

    Now, the show I love – and is ending soon – is ‘Supernatural’… the Winchester brothers are ending their run very soon and I’m sad. But I am also working on getting the last 3 seasons of the show next year when if finishes up. And the reason why I love it? The two hotties, the Impala and the wicked creatures they kill off! And of course, Cas… who’s hot too! 😀

  • Jana Oliver says:

    Boy you guys are up early in the morning! LOL.

    Thanks, Nancy, for having me on the blog and also for all those good wishes, folks.

    The series hasn’t ended yet, but one of these days Ilona Andrews will write the final Kate Daniels book and I will be seriously and totally bummed. And I agree with other posters — the end of the LOTR movies will be a downer as well. They are so well made.

  • Hi Jana! Nice to have you here. Congratulations on all your success with these books. I’m yet to end a series but I can imagine it’s a bit like leaving behind some really good friends when you do.

  • Jana Oliver says:

    @ Anna – That’s it exactly. Riley and Beck have been in my brain for four years. They’ve come along on all my vacations, hung around when I’m out with friends, you name it. They’ve got their own little space in my head and they’re not likely to move out too soon.

  • Barry Hunter says:

    I hate to see any book by Jana come to an end. She is one of a kind and her characters get into your heart fast and totally. Keep up the good works.

  • diane says:

    I enjoyed your post. I miss “24”. I was addicted to this exciting and unique show and miss it badly. It was well written and well acted.

    • Diane, the few episodes of 24 I saw were really good. It was a hard show to come to in the middle, though. I keep thinking I’ll rent it. Now that it’s done, I can catch up. 🙂

  • Katrina says:

    Hello Nancy and Jana! Thanks for hosting this blog/giveaway! I really loved what Jana had to say about Riley and growing up! Also about how much a book affects the author just as much as it affects the reader! Just lovely! Someone else mentioned it, but I agree Harry Potter is definitely a book series I was sad to see end. I liked how we got a small glimpse into the future of the characters. Another series that I loved was Vampire Acadamy by Richelle Mead! Sad when it ended, but thankfully she did a spin off series, Bloodlines! I love it because it still keeps you in a world you’ve gotten to know and you get to hear other characters stories!! Thanks again Jana for telling Riley and Beck’s story! *sighs*

    • Jana Oliver says:

      As to writing their story, Ms. Riley and Mr. Beck didn’t give me a chance. It was more of a “grab the author by the throat” thing. It’s a bit spooky that imaginary characters can do that to me, but I’m good with it.

      • Katrina says:

        I have heard that a lot about characters and authors! That the characters tell you what’s going on and not vs versa! I’m glad that Riley and Beck had you tell their story!

    • Katrina, I love it when an author continues to play in a world I love, even if it’s with different characters.

      • Jana Oliver says:

        @ Nancy – A lot of time we have no choice. The “renters” in our head refuse to decamp. LOL

      • Katrina says:

        @ both Nancy & Jana! Me too!! It’s the next best thing to a continuation in a series you have grown attached too! Plus sometimes a character that is just supporting in one book is a main character in another and you get to learn so much about that individual! Ahhhh I just love it!

  • sandyg265 says:

    The TV show that I missed the most when it went off the air was MASH. Fortunately I have it on DVD.

  • Pat Cochran says:

    Oh, my! MASH was so good, Honey and I
    really loved watching it! A recent series
    that I am currently missing is The Closer. I
    know that there is a spin-off which will be
    returning, but Mary McDonald’s charac-
    ter is no Brenda Lee!

    Pat C.

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    JANA!!! Hey girl! So great to have you on the blog. :> The Demon Trappers are fabulous. I’ve started the series and am burning through it, even though I should be writing and not reading so much. Snork!!

    There are a lot of series I’ve hated to see end. The Vicar of DIbley. The Avengers (The old one – there are only so many episodes to watch). The end of Sean Connery as Bond. LOTR, as Cassondra said. (I too am looking forward to The Hobbit).

    Book-wise, there are a lot too and I’d be here all day if I started listing them. :>

    Hey Jana, what about you? Other than your own series what’s one you hated to see end? Grins.

    (and one word for your re: our friend JMW – ARTHUR!!)

    • Jeanne, I never saw the Vicar of Dibley. Wha tis it?

      Totally agree about the Demon Trappers. I’m sorry to see them ending!

      • Jeanne Adams says:

        Vicar is a Brit-com. It’s about a woman vicar in a small parrish. Hysterically funny with Dawn French as the Vicar. She’s been in a lot of British sticoms, and was The Fat Lady in the portrait at Gryffindor Tower in the Harry Potter movies. SUCH a funny woman. If you want to LOL until you wheeze, watch the last few episodes of the series on YouTube called The Handsome Stranger. Not only will you get to see a delicious Richard Armitage, but you’ll laugh till you hurt. If you can only watch one, watch the fifth episode, the proposal.

        A search on Richard A is how I found it. I wanted to know what else he’d done. Then I ran through the whole series laughing all the way. :>

    • Jana Oliver says:

      @ Jeanne – Oddly enough I was hooked on China Beach (a TV show). Also SYFY Channel’s very brief foray into the Harry Dresden series. I was SO bummed about that one. And for that extra trivia point: I named Riley’s dad after the actor Paul Blackthorne on the series.

      • I loved that Dresden Files series. Paul Blackthorne was great. He also made a terrific villain on White Collar.

        I read the first Dresden Files book (Storm Front?) and realized Butcher was a master at ending a chapter on a hook, with Harry in worse trouble at the end of each chapter than at the end of the one before.

        It looks as though there’s a limited series comic book coming!

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Here’s the link to the episode on the proposal:

  • Minna says:

    Well, Numb3rs ended here recently. I really hated to see that one end, but at least they ended it on a high note, unlike some other series I could name. Well, thank heavens for DVDs! Another series I miss is Due South. You just have to love a guy in red uniform! And Code Name: Eternity. It was so totally stupid scifi series (and very short lived), but just reading the episode guide makes me laugh:


  • Jana Oliver says:

    I’m always happen to help enable other writers ignore their deadlines. We word monkeys are helpful like that. 🙂

  • catslady says:

    I have to say it’s the Firefly show that was only on the air for one season. I didn’t discover it until I knew about Nathan Fillian in Castle. I so wish they had continued it.

  • Pissenlit says:

    Jana, what a coincidence! Sack cloth and ashes isn’t really my thing either! *grin* I don’t think I can pull off a cartwheel anymore, though.

    Oh man, there are so many series that I’ve loved and lost. Right off the top of my head, tv-wise, there’s Firefly, Stargate SG-1 & Atlantis, Primeval, In Plain Sight, Sanctuary, SeaQuest…oh, and I hear that Emily Owens, M.D. got cancelled…and Flashpoint is 1 episode away from finishing. *sniffle* I miss the characters and for some of them, the universes.

    • Hi, Pissenlit–I’m a huge fan of Stargate SG-1, and I enjoyed SeaQuest and Sanctuary. I hadn’t seen Emily Owens, but one of the Smallville actors was on there, Justin Hartley, and I figured I’d get to it eventually. :-/ But things have been so nuts, I’ve missed every episode of Arrow. I’m hoping to see that tonight.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Pissenlit, I feel your pain. I’m so bummed about in Plain Sight and Flashpoint. Sigh.

  • JDC Burnhil says:

    A book series that I tremendously enjoyed which is over now is Lois McMaster Bujold’s “The Sharing Knife” quadrilogy. The series not only blended action plotlines (fighting against supernatural monsters) with social science fiction plotlines (the cultural clashes between a nomadic people with sorcerous power and an increasingly industrialized sessile people) and personal-stakes plotlines (the struggles to make a romance work despite previous emotional trauma and hostile families) but it showed how deeply those plotlines were all intertwined; none of them was separate from the others.

    One reason I miss the series is that in the last book, one of the characters devised something literally world-changing, a device that upended traditional assumptions about how the two cultures interrelated. A coda at the end of the series telling us how things are beginning to change in that respect a year or so down the road, but I wish there were more of that new story that began with that game-changing creation.

    • JDC, I started the Sharing Knife series and liked it a lot, but I didn’t keep up, as with so many things. I’m hoping to read the rest, though. Your description sounds intriguing.

  • Jana Oliver says:

    @ JDC – I’ll have to check that out. I will admit (somewhat timidly) that I have yet to read anything by Ms. Bujold, which is not a good thing to admit. Time to rectify that error.

  • EC Spurlock says:

    Hi Jana, this sounds like such a great series, and one I would also share with (or get for!) my son’s girlfriend. (We’re great reading buddies as we have similar tastes and swap books back and forth all the time!)

    Like others above I miss the Harry Potter series, not so much because it was a great series (the last book was a serious disappointment to me) as because it felt like the whole world was reading them all at the same time and there was such an amazing camaraderie about it. Those books brought a lot of people together in a way never seen before or since.

    As for TV series I think it would be Babylon 5; that show had such amazingly well-written, deep and complex characters. I also miss Quantum Leap, which had a lot of humanity in it; it was always interesting to see who Sam was going to leap into next, what he would learn from them and vice versa.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      EC, what a lovely way to describe that feeling of the Harry Potter Revolution. :> You are so right.

      And I adored Quantum Leap. I loved when he jumped into a woman’s body, or an old man’s or a kid’s – something so alien to who he was as a grown man, a scientist, etc. And I loved his pal played by Dean Stockwell. Such a smart alleck. grins.

    • EC, you make a great point about the camarderie of people all over the world reading the same things.

      I didn’t see Babylon 5 or Quantum Leap, but I’ve heard they were both excellent.

      • Jana Oliver says:

        Babylon 5 was a good series. I only saw a couple episodes of Quantum Leap. Might have to revisit that.

        There is a cool kind of energy created when so many people are reading a series. The neat thing about Harry’s stories is that they are “evergreen”. They’re still being read and will be for decades to come.

  • Barbara Elness says:

    The book series I miss is Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson series, although her new Dark Angels series does have cameos with Riley, so that’s something. The television series I loved and miss is Joss Whedon’s Firefly, cowboy stories in space, what’s not to like? What I miss about both are the wonderful characters and story lines.

  • Lianne says:

    The TV series that I currently miss is a comedy “Mrs Brown’s Boys.
    I have enjoyed the Riley and Beck books that I have read so far!