Sunday, October 23, 2022

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - The Explosion Series by Felicity Black

The Explosion Series


Get a behind-the-scenes all-access pass to Felicity Black's The Explosion Series!


The books in the series center around a Navy SEAL team who is on a mission in Myanmar when a RPG strike fractures their team. 

Each book in the series features one of the members of the SEAL team more than the others.



What is the sub-genre and trope?  Did your characters lead you to this genre or was that decided before the story began? 

This series is contemporary romance. The sub-genres are protector, alpha, and military romance. Each book in the series has something extra to it, as well. For example, Enemies Eclipsed is in the enemies-to-lovers trope.

Alpha, protector, and military romance sub-genres feed my soul. Finding Riley Edwards, Susan Stoker, Elle James, and Anna Blakely…the queens of these sub-genres…well, I just *had* to pick up my pen, too. I wanted MORE.

Are you more character or plot driven? 

It’s a mix of both. There is a larger plot that weaves through the entire series and shorter plots within each book. Then, the characters drive the rest.

With many main and secondary characters, how do you keep them separated in your mind?  Do you have a story/vision board above your workspace? 

I have a notebook and a spreadsheet. I’m looking into some other storyboard ideas, too.

I know from previous interviews that characters take on a life of their own.  Were any of the characters in this series determined to take their own direction instead of where you initially wanted them to go?

Going into writing a book, I have a broad idea of who the characters are and what they are like. 

All of the little things that make them who they are develop as I write. I am often surprised by who my characters end up being.

Are any of the male POVs based on anyone you know? 

I WISH I knew a bunch of alpha/protector men. SHEW!

Are any of the female POVs based on anyone you know? 

The female POV from my second book is largely drawn based on me. I’m an attorney, super-competitive, and love to WIN. 

Now…Thea Thompson is more of a vixen in other ways.

Was there any one character/scene that was harder to write about than the other? 

There will be some characters in the series that will be super hard to write about. 

I am a foster parent who’s had only older teens placed with me for the last 4.5 years. The trauma of these kiddos’ lives…it’s just unthinkable. 

It’s not my place to tell any of their stories, but I sure as heck can illuminate what it’s really like growing up in foster care.

What is your favorite book in the series? 

It’s releasing early 2023. It’s called Operator Overthrown. This will be the only sweet romance in the series. 

I’m not exaggerating…I’ve cried every time I write a chapter from the male’s POV. He is so dang sweet!

I know that we aren’t supposed to have “favorites” as far as our children, but seriously, who’s your favorite character and why? 

So…Operator Overthrown is the 18 years leading up to Axis Altered. 

Operator Overthrown is Apollo Johnson and Thea Thompson. 

Axis Altered is Griffin Johnson, Apollo’s cousin, and Thea Thompson. 

I’m trying to pull off a pretty close to first-time ever military romance love triangle. It’s not done because of the brotherhood. 

Apollo and Griffin are cousins and have both liked the same girl since grade school…so there is a rivalry that started before they both became SEALs. 

Apollo is definitely my favorite character. He is just so thoughtful and sweet. He comes from nothing but that doesn’t stop him from showing up and giving all of himself.

Series question - Who is your favorite couple and why did you decide on their dynamics? 

Frankie Killian and Landon Carmichael from Enemies Eclipsed are my favorite couple. 

I had a HUGE ambition when taking a stab at the enemies-to-lovers trope which was that the characters would remain enemies through the Epilogue. 

It is ridiculously hard to do since they get it on so dang much! Their hatred of each other is rooted in a 250-year-old family feud. They spew daggers at each other the entire book.

How do you get inside these character’s heads to find their perfect HEA? 

So…first things first. Most of my characters will have at least two books before they will get to HEA. If it’s not the HEA book, the book ends with happy for now. As a serial romance reader, I nearly always want more of the characters. So…I thought to myself…let’s do it!

In the case of Enemies Eclipsed, I honestly didn’t know how in the world I was going to reconcile their hatred and need to bone each other. It came to me after I sent the book to my editor. Then, I had to go back and tweak some scenes and add the wowza factor that pulled the whole thing together.

What scene in this book/series sticks out the most for you?  Why? 

In Lodestar Lassoed, the first book of the series, Reagan Kline is just a ball buster. 

There is a scene where she’s playing pickup football on the beach with a bunch of SEALs. It’s written from her POV, and every sentence is packed with fire. She’s a hellcat, through and through.

Series - Were any of the books harder to write than others? 

Enemies Eclipsed was insanely challenging. It honestly took me over a year to write because I kept putting it down. I genuinely hated it and wanted to scrap the whole thing. 

It wasn’t until I had my “ah-ha” moment after I turned it in to my editor that it became one of my favorites. Having these characters who want each other dead but also get it on all the time is pretty dang hard.

This question is if you write in MULTIPLE POVs not just the hero and heroine - I love the multiple POVs in a book.  It’s not just the hero and heroine, but we get inside the heads of multiple characters throughout this series.  I feel that it gives the story further depth.  Do you think you will write another book or series following this multiple POV outline?

This series primarily consists of the male and female leads. However, each book also includes the POV of at least one other character in the series. 

I like to give a brief introduction to the other characters, especially when that character is key to making a scene work. Also, it helps tie the whole series together better by popping the other characters in when I can.

How long did it take you to write this book/series? 

I’ve written the first five books of the series, which took me about 2.5 years. 

I work full-time so I just write in my spare time. Maybe one day I can write full-time!

How did you come up with the title for your book and series? 

The series was easier because it all centers around a RPG strike. So…the series became Explosion. I went through thousands of titles, honestly. 

Lodestar Lassoed was originally called Twizzle, Fizzle, Sizzle. I still like that title, but I couldn’t replicate that format for all of the books in the series. 

Also, I’d say nearly half of the authors in the military/protector romance sub-genre use the male character’s first name as the title of their books. I like that, but I ultimately went with titles derived from a sentence or two in each book. 

Also, I went with a noun/verb alliteration to change up the way the words would normally appear. Adds some panache to the titles.

If you met these characters in real life would you get along? 

Some of the male characters are seriously bossy. I love reading these characters all day every day, but I’m not sure I’d really get along with them. I’m Type A and like to call the shots. HA!

Series question – Did you know in advance that you were going to write this as a series or did one of the characters in book one demand their own story? 

I knew I was going to write it as a series. I wanted to tie all of the characters together and have a story arc that did that.

If your book/series were made into a movie, which actors do you see as playing your characters? 

So…there are Channing Tatum references in pretty much every book in the series. He’d play Griffin Johnson for SURE! HA! 

Bradley Cooper would obviously need to play Ryland Knight because…well, I imagine every male character in every book as Bradley Cooper. *Sigh*

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect next?  Whether a new book and series or a sequel to an existing series?  Can you share a small tease? 

I’m insanely excited to be working on a book that will be published in Elle James’s world (Brotherhood Protectors). That book should release in the summer of 2023.

Since Enemies Eclipse releases on Nov. 2, here is a teaser from the first chapter: 

“But you do want to fuck me.” I kick my leg out and heave my body to the side. In a swift change of circumstances, she’s now lying on her back while I straddle her waist. 

Frankie’s sly-as-hell smile is as enamoring as it is deadly. She really is gorgeous for a traitorous bitch. Her hair is splayed wildly due to her loosened ponytail. I’d pull the hair tie the rest of the way out if my hands weren’t bound behind my back. 

Her jade eyes are alight with affable amusement. Those gemstones would be my undoing were circumstances otherwise. Alas, it’s kill or be killed. And I’m the one who’s doing the Killian-ing. 

“I believe you misunderstood the intent of the game.” Her hands worm under my armpits and, with the added jackknife of her legs, we’ve reversed positions. She reaches into her boot, and in a mere breath from the witch’s plump lips, the sleeves of my robe are sliced open, and my dick is flapping like a flag readily beckoning an enraged bull. 

Damn, she plays nasty. And it’s hot as fuck. Too bad Miss Fucker is about to have her own game of “Fuck You” handed to her on a platter with her severed head on it. 

“The only one who misinformed as to the intent is you, darlin’.  I assume you’re ready for that ‘fuck’ now that you have me naked and splayed out underneath you?”  

“Only an asshole would make such a preposterous assumption.” She gently pats my cheek, mocking me with a berating smirk. 

“I’d planned on mounting the head of this alleged snake, but upon inspection, it’s going to be too undersized next to the taxidermized fire ant on my mantle. It’s a shame my prize is so underwhelming.” 

“Baby, you can mount my snake any time.” She should’ve used something else to bind my wrists. That’s probably why the rest of her kind is extinct—the sorry saps were suspended from schlemiel school. 

Like the highly effective operator I was born to be, my hands wrangle free from their pitiful excuse for restraints. With a mere puff of my chest and a hard exhale, I easily swat the bitch off me like the pesky fly she is. Hell yeah—she bugs me.  

Her subtle tell of fear might cause a more empathetic man to relent, but unfortunately for her, I’m not a man but a predator. I prowl after my prey until I have her cornered in my kitchen. 

Only a fool would willingly trap oneself like she has. It was the Carmichaels who inspired Herbert Spencer to, rather famously, describe us as the fittest human form for successive survival and reproduction. And it was the Killians who Darwin contemplated as falling asunder to natural selection.  

It’s a tale for the ages, really. A timeless classic of a family feud that’s conclusion will be memorialized in this moment. Historians will surely note the flex of my burgeoning muscles and the extraordinary girth of the cock Miss Fucker wishes she could’ve have mounted but for her wanton recklessness.  

With no weapons other than my extraordinary nudity, the demise of the last remaining Killian is so written. I hope my portrait artist captures the singular bead of sweat on the phenomenon that is my overly sumptuous pectoral muscles. 

“Oh, Frankie. It didn’t have to end this way. We could’ve righted our fathers’ wrongs and forged a new story. I would’ve much preferred this to be the beginning of a non-fiction where the Killians and Carmichaels were amorous lovers.” My smirk is heady as I saunter toward my victim with the great cloud of Carmichaels who came before me.  

“That would be a fiction, I’m afraid. As a fellow swine, you’d have better luck tapping a wiry-assed boar than me.” Frankie’s oink is an adorable preview of how she’ll sound when I sizzle her bacon. 

Why she dares to insult me when her ass is fried is a question for the dodo, though Miss Fucker will experience a post-mortem flight when I send her body sailing off my balcony to join the mutually extinct. 

Damn, she really is quite beautiful with her tussled hair and exposed shoulder. The vile in the flare of her nostrils and the word-vomit spewing from that succulent mouth are certainly a value added. She’s feisty as hell; I’ll give her that. 

“It’s with remorse that I must conclude this party early. You’re fucked, darlin’.” I mentally pat myself on the back for marrying the name of this game and her initials into a pun—the last sentence she’ll ever hear. My wit has no bounds.


 Check out all my interviews/reviews for Felicity Black!


Hi! I'm Felicity! While I've only recently started publishing my work, I've enjoyed writing since my junior year of high school. I had an extraordinary English teacher who showed me not only how to absorb and explore literature but also how to think more creatively. When my senior English teacher was just as passionate, I fell in love with the art of words.

I'm a small-town girl from Tennessee. I took a chance and elected to attend a liberal arts college out-of-state. I took my first collegiate English course during the Fall semester of my sophomore year. When I received my first essay back and the grade was less than anticipated, I decided right then to continue taking that professor's classes until I proved that I could do better. What started as an intention to show my professor that I was more than the grade she gave me became a mentorship. I chose that professor as my advisor, babysat her son, and selected her class for my senior defense—a requirement to complete my major in English. That professor went on to assist me with applying for and obtaining both my first job and admission to law school.

Three women with ordinary careers chose to make the way that they did their jobs extraordinary. It's because of them that I went on to finish law school and, ultimately, become an attorney. While legal writing is a craft I truly enjoy, it's too technical to tap into the broader art form. It leaves with wanting more—needing to expand from that microcosm and experience a narrative that whisks me away to what writing could be in a platform outside the courtroom.

I hope that this series is to you what it's been to me—a new beginning, an awakening, an alternate reality.

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There are two things worse than the Myanmar mission going FUBAR: hospital imprisonment and being sidelined. So, when Reagan Kline walks in my room, I take interest. Not only is she a bombshell, she declares I’m the beneficiary of her non-profit’s partnership with warriors recovering from injuries. Because she’s a hellcat who can’t bear to simply volunteer, she takes over my physical therapy. It’s no hardship to have her hands all over me, I’ll say that.

Athletic, gorgeous, brilliant, witty. Add her penchant for high octane thrills—she's pure as an angel with a pinch of Lucifer. While she certainly checks all my boxes, she seems to view our relationship as clinical in nature. What she doesn’t account for is that I’m a SEAL—eventually, I’ll overcome her defense tactics and win her over. The thing is BUD/s didn’t teach me how to lasso a lodestar. I’m so fixated on breaching her stronghold, I never consider that achieving my end goal would be the beginning of the actual fight of my life.


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Frankie had been a barnacle on my boat for months. Among other horrifying attributes, she’s Wiccan and put a spell on me which, apparently, prevented me from killing her directly. Like that’s ever stopped anyone over the course of the 250-year-old dispute between our families from getting the deed done. It definitely won’t stop me since I’m a Tier One Operator.

The fact her initials form a four-letter word should’ve been a clue that she’d give me hell. I’ll never admit it, but I’d begged, bartered, prayed, argued, denied, hoped, and wished Francine Ursula Catherine Killian, IV, would go back to Hell. The crazy thing is, while I mostly abhor the emotional gauntlet she’s put me through, there’s at least one member of my body that adamantly disagrees.

Frankie’s sly-as-hell smile is as enamoring as it is deadly. She really would be gorgeous if she weren’t traitorous witch. Alas, it’s kill or be killed. And I’m the one who’ll be doing the Killian-ing. Well, that’s what I thought, at least, until she changed the rules of engagement. It’s only then I become slightly concerned she’s made me the banner of her unfortunate initials.


 The third book, Enemies Eclipsed, releases on Nov. 2. 

The fourth book releases in the next 30 days and is called Barrier Breached.


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