Reintroducing Myself…

160425-news-castleFor the unfamiliar, this is Detective Kate Beckett from the TV show Castle. I discovered the show — and her — about five or six years ago, and she’s the big reason why Bounty finally got written and published back in June 2015.

Readers have noted that Jill and Kate are very similar — and that’s not an accident. Kate Beckett inspired a lot of what Jill became (and there were a lot of similarities that were already there). The murder mystery element rounded out the narrative, but it was Beckett who, in a roundabout way, gave Jill the missing element she needed. It’s been a while since I’ve seen an episode of Castle (the show did not end on good terms), and I find myself struggling with the fifth book in my series.

So why not remind myself of what made these books — and Jill — work in the first place? Why not reacquaint myself with the perfect blend of badass and compassionate that made Kate Beckett the great character she was?

Beckett’s strength never came at the expense of her femininity or her personality — if anything, all of those facets enhanced and strengthened each other, and that was what I hoped to infuse in Jill through my writing.

And while Castle was very much about the growth of Beckett’s relationship with Castle, she was always very much her own person, her own character. When the show was at its best, she never lost who she was in service of the plot (we’ll ignore season 8…).

So I need to reintroduce myself to Detective Katherine Houghton Beckett, NYPD Homicide. I need to remind myself of the things that made the Jill Andersen books such a joy to write in the first place — and maybe I can finally finish Betrayed.

But it’s good to know where inspiration has struck. Jill Andersen did not start with Kate Beckett, but the latter wound up doing a good bit to shape who the former is. And maybe reminding myself of that will help get me out of this creative funk I’m in.

Besides, Kate Beckett once pistol-whipped a United States Senator and walked out while he cradled his bleeding head and ran away. How badass is that?!

(I mean, yes, he was a very, very bad man. But still!)

An Ode To Kate Beckett

In less than a month, one of my favorite characters is going to be going away. With Stana Katic leaving the TV show Castle following this season, Kate Beckett will be no more.

This sucks, for several reasons — most of which have nothing to do with writing. But in a lot of ways, I have Kate Beckett to thank for my books, Bounty and Blood Ties.

More than¬†one reader has told me that Jill Andersen, my protagonist in those novels, reads similar to Kate Beckett. That’s not by accident, either; when I discovered Castle a little more than a year and a half ago, something triggered whenever I saw Beckett on-screen.

See, Bounty has been a labor of love since I was in high school… emphasis, more often than not, on the labBeckett gunor part. Constant re-writes, reboots, do-overs… I could never really get the character, or her stories, right.

But along came this sometimes-lighthearted procedural about a mystery novelist who followed around a cop under the pretense of research… and everything just started to click. Jill started to click. I started to click.

I wasn’t in a writing funk before discovering Castle, but that show really turned up the proverbial wick. Adding the murder mystery element to Jill’s universe really helped things fall into place, and Jill herself was suddenly far more well-rounded and dynamic than she had been before.

In a lot of ways, Jill is similar to Beckett… but in a lot of ways, they’re also polar opposites. But were it not for Beckett — and Katic’s remarkable portrayal of her — I’m not sure I’m sitting here with two published novels under my belt and several more in the works.

I’ll be sad to see Beckett go — and take down a show that I had come to love in the process. But I’m thankful for the character and the actress, because they really helped bring forth a creative renaissance on my part. I’m a better, more confident writer because of Castle, and thanks to Beckett, Jill is a much more interesting character than I could’ve ever dreamed.

Besides, now that Katic is leaving Castle, maybe she could take the role of Jill should Bounty 
wind up on Netflix.

Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?