"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Dark and Dangerous
Spotlight on Dark Paranormal Romance
Hello, allow me to tell you a little bit about myself. I was born in the little-but large city of Chicago, IL. My passion has always been writing, whether it was composing classical music or crafting short stories. When I am not writing, I enjoy the simple things that life has to offer. A couch potato by nature, I will curl up on my favorite cushion and blissfully enjoy anything from Japanese animation to the Highlander movies or series. I am also an avid fan of martial arts and the like. I enjoy rollerblading, biking, swimming, reading and friendly companionship. I dislike spinach and getting up at the crack of dawn. Often times, I am available to chat with friends and readers online on the KOTD Forum.
PNR: How long have you been writing? What inspired you to choose writing as a career?
D.N. S.: I've been writing for 17 years. I began writing short horror stories and poetry at eleven. That's how it all started.
I've always enjoyed telling stories, mainly the really scary ones. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a writer.
PNR: Do you have a strict writing schedule? How do you balance your personal and writing time?
D.N. S.: I do, but I try not to overwork myself. I set a schedule of how many pages I should be able to type in a day’s time, and then I try to go from there. Desires Unleashed, The Guilty Innocent and The Royal Flush were all written within a three month time frame in 2004. I try to pace myself during the editing process, because I want to eliminate as many errors as I can.
It's very hard, especially since I have a full time job. I have to make time for family, friends and writing, but I manage. <G>
PNR: Which author(s) is your favorite? And who has most influenced you work?
D.N. S.: I can't praise Anne Rice enough. I do believe her Vampire Chronicle re-ignited the world's interest in vampires once again. I also have to take my hat off to the king of horror, Stephen King. My other favorites are Robert McCammon, Lance Horner and Kyle Onstott. Excellent authors.
I would have to say Anne Rice. I really admire that her vampires are romantic as well as dark and dangerous. I believe her characters are well balanced and for me, that's very important when writing a novel.
PNR: What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
D.N. S.: Excellent question! A story wouldn;t be a story, or at least an entertaining story without a creative plot. I believe your plot should be fun and intriguing regardless of what genre you're writing for. Next would have to be your dialogue/character interaction. This is extremely important because these two things will completely define your character's personality.
PNR: It seems everyone has there own definition of "Dark Romance," how would you define this sub-genre?
D.N. S.: Ohh, what an excellent question! I would define it best by saying "Dark Romance" would be any romance where the object of affection is a dark character with brooding or dangerous tendencies. Mainly this pertains to the male love interest in a novel in which the female/male main character becomes attracted to his sinister or mysterious personality. This adds certain elements to the original romance genre. Authors having a desire to include a certain amount of intrigue and danger to their tales; I believe this is how the "Paranormal Romance" genre originated.
I also see no reason why the roles couldn't be switched, where the female is the one who may be "dark". <G>
PNR: Why do you think vampires and shifters are such popular characters in the paranormal romance genre?
D.N. S.: I believe they are growing in popularity because people view vampires and shape-shifters as sexy. These are also creatures who can be deadly, mysterious and fearless. This makes them powerful and exciting. The whole; "What would it be like"? scenario. Paranormal Romance novels allow the reader to become engrossed in a fantasy world that takes them to that dark, erotic and sensuous place where they are able to indulge in all that is supposed to be forbidden.
PNR: How do you feel the sensual/erotic genre has affected the paranormal romance genre?
D.N. S.: I do believe that it has made the paranormal genre more exciting. It's definitely made it more racy! Hehehe. I also believe that because sensuality and eroticism has been added to this genre it's completely transformed the vampire from Nosferatu, an undisputable creature of the night to a charming, sexy demon with an appetite for sex which is matched only by his appetite for blood. By doing that, more layers were added to the vampire which weren’t there before. The same goes for shape-shifters. They are no longer savage beasts that change on full moons only to terrorize the people living in remote villages. Now, they are out and about and have the animal magnetism that is both intoxicating and hypnotizing.
Adding these two elements was a step in the right direction in my opinion.
PNR: Where do you get your story ideas? Do you outline or go with the flow?
D.N. S.: I've been a vampire fan since I was five years old, so I pretty much imagine the tale that I would like to tell. I am pretty fortunate; my ideas come to me very easily.
I do both. I can create an outline in my notebook in which I simply write down what the story is going to be about. Then I write down the special events that I would like to see take place in the story. As I'm actually writing the novel, I may change something along the way and often times, I find myself simply going with the flow.
PNR: Your writing creates a tangible atmosphere for readers: could you tell us about your world building?
D.N. S.: Thank you so much. Yes, I wanted a world where my supernatural creatures would be exposed and living among the humans. Naturally, there would be certain elements present to go along with this world such as a Law Enforcement Organization specifically designed to police the supernatural and thus, protect the people. There would also be a new brand of criminals emerging to add just the right amount of drama and action to a series of this sort. When I created the Knights of the Darkness Chronicles, I wanted to create characters that I hoped the reader would be able to identify with. I know that I find it extremely enjoyable when I read a book or view a movie and I find myself completely agreeing with the character, it's a wonderful experience and it draws you even deeper into the story. I wanted to give the readers a fantasy world that they can dive into that seemed real.
PNR: Could you tell us about your plans for The Knights of the Darkness Chronicles?
D.N. S.: Sure, as of now, I plan on writing five books for this series, possibly six. I've already finished the rough draft for book four and I'll be starting on book five soon.
PNR: You are known for your dark and sexy alphas and strong heroines, which are your favorite to write? Tell us about the creation of Darian and Xavier.
D.N. S.: Thank you once again, I'm blushing right now. Hehehe. I greatly enjoy writing scenes for both the sexy alpha and strong heroine. I love to watch their characters unfold as the story moves along. It's a lot of fun.
Ohhh, what would a vampire novel/series be without the seductive vampire master? That’s where Darian comes in. But I had specific ideas for his personality. I wanted him to be jaded, because he’s very old. But I also wanted him to be very much a part of the world. I wanted him to have passion, to have desires. Even though he was undead, I didn't want him to be dead inside. I would like to think that Darian is a very smooth, sexy, charming and deadly vampire master.
As for Xavier, I simply wanted to spice up my series with a bit of homoerotica. I created Xavier to be Darian’s lover and undoubtedly Natasha’s love interest as well. Believe it or not, as I developed more of Xavier’s character he became something more than what I originally intended him to be. He’s almost a "Prince Charming" in many ways.
PNR: The intensity of the sexual scenes in your books is quite hot and a bit unconventional; is it challenging to write love/sex scenes?
D.N. S.: Well, no, not for me, at least. I try to make sure that every sex scene is well balanced. I don’t want to overwhelm the reader with too much sex, but I also don't want to be stingy either. It's a very fine line, because it really all depends on what you’re looking for in a paranormal romance novel. I try to add plenty of romance to my sex scenes to give them more meaning and to enhance the plot itself. Not to mention, I want them to be steamy, just enough to make the reader smile.
PNR: Please tell us about the projects you are currently working on.
D.N. S.: Well, the fourth installment of the Knights of the Darkness Chronicles is now being re-edited. I will also be working on the fifth installment. Currently, book three editing is wrapping up and soon it’ll be on its way to the publisher, so the wait won't be much longer. <G>
PNR: Thank you D. N., for taking time out to speak with us, where can readers find your novels, and how can they contact you?
D.N. S.: Oh, the pleasure was entirely mine. I had a lot of fun doing the interview. Anyone interested in the Knights of the Darkness Chronicles may visit my website at www.dnsimmons.com. They can also purchase my books at Barnes and Nobles and Amazon.com. I can also be reached via the website or forum.
THE GUILTY INNOCENT - Book 2: The Knights of the Darkness Chronicles: Even the guilty can be innocent...a heinous set-up leads to the arrest of a very powerful vampire. Now, those who know him best must risk their lives to discover the truth before it is too late.
DESIRES UNLEASHED - Book 1: The Knights of the Darkness Chronicles: Enter a world where humans and the supernatural live together in a tenuous co-existence, where neither side trusts the other. As darkness blankets the city, an unknown terror stalks the night searching for human victims. The government funded special police force (Supernatural Unit Investigation Team) better known as the S.U.I.T. division, has assigned two detectives to track down this mysterious threat. The detectives soon discover that this threat may be more than they can handle and they seek outside help from two unlikely candidates. Can the combined forces of four beings be enough to triumph in a deadly race against time?
Book 3: The Knights of the Darkness
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