If you have read The Black Dagger Brotherhood books, but not The Insider’s Guide, you don’t know what you are missing. The book contains an original novella called “Father Mine” which follows Zsadist and Bella’s first few months with their new baby, interviews and dossiers of the brothers, fun stuff from the message boards and an interview of the author conducted by the brothers themselves.
“Father Mine” – This is a touching story about how Zsadist has to overcome his emotional demons in order to be the father Nalla deserves. As readers of the books know, Zsadist spent a hundred years being tortured and raped. The tattoos of manicals band his neck and wrists, giving a constant reminder of his past. Now, Z had to find a way to touch his daughter with those same bound hands. This story was both heartbreaking and inspiring. A true treat for any BDB fan.
The rest of the book was both funny and insightful. My favorite part of this book, as a writer myself, was when she talked about her craft. (I even took notes—yeah, I’m a nerd.) If you have never heard JR Ward speak live about her books, I strongly suggest you check her out on YouTube. Ward is unlike any writer I know in that the she claims to not write the characters, but the characters write themselves. It’s like they pop into her mind fully formed and it is her duty to transcribe what they show her into paper. The scenes where she goes to the Brother’s Compound and interviews them each individually treats readers to an inside glimpse of how author and character relate to each other. Whether Ward comes off as possessed or as a genius, the results are fascinating.
Overall, I give The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider’s Guide…
Plot – 4 ½ bookmarks (Father Mine)
Character – 5 bookmarks (The whole book is about the characters; where they come from, what they are like, what skills they have, how they are different…Ward even turns herself into a character for the interviews. Very well done!)
Writing Tips – 4 bookmarks (I got a lot out of her discussions on craft.)
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while writing) – This is hard for me. I see Wrath almost as a catoon or comic book figure. Not a real person. Rachel Weisz (Beth), Carrie-Anne Moss (Xhex), Chad-Michael Murray (John Matthew), Tom Felton (Lash), Kirk MacLeod (Phury), a bald Kirk MacLeod (Zsadist), Orlando Bloom (Rhevenge), Joe Manganiello (Vishious), Brad Pitt (Rhage), Megan Fox (Bella), Mark Wahlberg (Butch)