Junkyard Dog: An Author’s Thoughts and a Giveaway!

Joshua Tree National Park Ranger Charlotte arrives on the scene of a car accident caused by a large dog tearing across the road. The third sighting of the animal in as many weeks, Charlotte’s interest is piqued. Armed with a bowl of dog food and a bucket of patience, she sets out to find the beast.

With the grille marks of a sedan imprinted on his broken ribs, Alex returns to the scene of the accident, scouring for prints he’d left behind when he encounters Charlotte on the trail. The attraction is undeniable, but Alex is on a mission from Hades and can’t afford the distraction. 

While Charlotte continues to gain the trust of the wild dog roaming the park, Alex is caught between the woman he’s falling for and the job he was sent to do. With bodies and secrets piling at his feet, Alex is pushed to choose between the hellhound he is and the man he wants to be.





  • JUNKYARD DOG was my 2017 National Novel Writing Month project. I began it that October to get over the opening-scenes hurdle I always struggle through, and by December 3, the book was done.
  • I had a blast writing Persephone’s scenes. Cerberus belongs to her and to Hades, and she just loves her pretty boys.
  • Although I’m not visual, every book I write starts with a Pinterest board. The model I pinned for Alex was so gorgeous, I made him twins.
  • Rag’n’Bone Man’s song ‘Skin‘ was the inspiration for the book. Every story I write has one song driving it, and I listen to it on repeat in the car from start to finish. 
  • Charlotte’s friend Max is a composite of friends I had in my university years. He’s a character you either adore or can’t stand.



JUNKYARD DOG, like my other works, was written with a song in my head and twenty words jotted down at the bottom of the manuscript. For a Type A personality with a mild obsession with lists and organization (yes, I have a Zombie Apocalypse escape plan for 2, 4, 8, and 24 hour notice), my writing process is disturbingly unorganized.

Many authors plot and plan in word documents or pretty notebooks. They can develop their story from beginning to end, then fill it in with the right words.

I have no idea where I’m going until I type THE END.

And as a series writer, this gets interesting the further into the series I go.

JUNKYARD DOG is the first of a trilogy, so I was lucky enough to not bury myself too deep by the third book. My vampire series had me in a mild panic when I hit the seventh and realized I’d backed myself into a corner requiring some creative maneuvering. 

This isn’t to say I don’t know the end of the series. I know the last scene of my eight-long vamp series. I knew the end scene of the JUNKYARD trilogy. What I didn’t know was what route we’d take to get there, and I love it. I love finishing a scene and getting weepy because I didn’t know she would do THIS or he would say THAT. I love the rush that comes with finishing an unexpected chapter and being excited to reread it later. And I love the frustration that accompanies twists I hadn’t anticipated two books ago but now have to work with.

But I admit, I do envy authors who have cool notebooks and pens and use them. 

I do, however, find, it interesting that my writing is the single area of my life I don’t organize meticulously. My grocery lists are divided by store. Daily lists include ‘make coffee’ and ‘dishes’. The family budget is tweaked monthly. My desk at work has daily, weekly, and monthly lists. Our family loves to travel via RV, and I spend months plotting the route, booking the campsites, and researching the areas.

But writing a book? Twenty random words I don’t understand until I hit their relevant scene and a song on repeat for three months straight.

That said, writing is my downtime, my hobby. I began writing four years ago as a quiet in-house activity I could do whenever I could fit it in around three kiddos and a traveling husband. I channel stress through my stories (hit a peak body count of 289 during a particularly anxious month last year), and use my writing time as I use my reading time: for escape and distraction. Perhaps this is why it’s the one area of life I don’t monitor and plan. The ultimate escapism.

Are you a planner in life? Or do you prefer to fly on the wind and roll with the flow? Are you organized in one area, a beautiful disaster in another? 


Thank you for reading!

Katja Desjarlais


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