Literary Review: The BDB An Insider’s Guide by JR Ward

After JR Ward completed the first six books in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series she took a “break” to write “An Insider’s Guide”, this includes not only a few interviews with the Brothers from BDB but also tips and notes as she wrote through the first six novels in the series.

  • Kicks and Giggles
  • The Brothers on the Board
  • Slices of Life from the Board
  • Question and Answer with JR
  • Time Line of the Brotherhood
  • Table of Abbreviations
  • The Old Language
  • The Brothers Interview JR
  • In Memoriam
  • Excerpt from Lover Avenged
  • Father Mine: A Novella of Zsadist and Bella and Nalla
    The novella caught my attention first, well considering it was the first thing in the guide is that really a surprised? For anyone that remembered Lover Awakened, between the end of the primary story and the Epilogue there was a period of time that was skipped. While snippets of this ends up being filled in over the course of the following three books (Lover Revealed, Lover Unbound and Lover Enshrined)… the piece that is missing is the period of time between the birth of Nalla and what happens in the Epilogue of Lover Awakened.

    What this novella does is not only fill in that missing piece of the timeline but ties it all back to what was already written in the epilogue and continuing for a moment thereafter. Although the novella focuses on how Zsadist comes to terms further with his past as a blood slave and how to approach his newborn daughter with that news… there are a few snippets here and there that ties in with a few of the other Brothers in the Brotherhood.

    When I first read / listened to Lover Awakened to the end, I felt that Zsadist had quite a bit story left in his, particularly when it came to his daughter. So I was rather pleased when I read this novella and realized that JR Ward did exactly just that and developed more of Zsadist healing period and confronting the demons when it came to his daughter. Now Lover Awakened made a lot more sense to me.

    The Brotherhood Dossiers: Insider Info on each Brother
    The Dossiers were all rather entertaining and eye opening, starting with a quick Questionnaire from each of the Brothers and a quick Q&A with them. Finally ending with JR’s input and thought processes and what she learned when writing through the individual novels.

    What I really loved about the Dossiers is that during the Questionnaire and the Q&A portions, JR goes into the mindsets of each of the Brothers and wrote as if she was there with them. Each of their individual personalities and as you read the pages you start to get to know each of the brother even moreso and how their lives have been like after the conclusion of their book.

    As for the notes and thought processes for each individual novel, JR Ward goes through a series of major ideas and concepts that she learned through the first six books and wrote a new section for other aspiring writers to hopefully learn from:

    For Writers: Writing Tips, Advice
    Her eight writing rules are:

    1. P & R – Persist and Reinvent
    2. Write Out Loud
    3. Own Your Own Work
    4. Plotlines and Like Sharks
    5. Sweat Equity is the Best Investment
    6. Conflict is King
    7. Credible Surprise is Queen
    8. List to Your Rice Krispies

    To go through the list and describe them for you is going to be too much writing, but for a writer like myself this turned out to be very valuable information for myself down the road. In fact, I highly recommend this guide if just to learn how an aspiring writer was able to stay true to their writing and succeed relatively.

    She even provided to the original proposal to the series that she sent around in hopes of securing a publishing contract for your information.

    Now there is more going on here that I haven’t had a chance to get to due to time constraints… however I hope sometime later this month I could post as “Part Two” for the review of this book. Why? Since there is not audiobook, I can’t cheat and just listen, but at the same time there is just so much information that one post just isn’t enough. 🙂

    However, I enjoyed reading what I have read thus far that commenting on other sections of the book in the future will be something that I cannot wait to get to… especially in anticipation of the upcoming novel: Lover At Last.