"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
PNR Attractions 2007
Spotlight on Upcoming Paranormal Releases
Born on the island of Fiji and raised in beautiful New Zealand, former lawyer Nalini Singh has traveled as far afield as the deserts of China and the plains of Inner Mongolia. Yet, much as she loves traveling to new and exciting places, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her the most. She’s delighted to be able to share this journey with her readers. You can find out more about Nalini, her books and her travels by visiting her website (www.nalinisingh.com).
PNR: Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
Nalini S.: I’ve always wanted to write. Like most writers, I was (and still am) a total bookworm. Somewhere along the way, I began wanting to tell my own stories, too. Growing up as a young child in Fiji, it never occurred to me that my stories could end up in a book, but still I wrote. I do it because I love it—it’s an intrinsic part of me.
PNR: Are you able to write as much as you would like? Tell us about your writing schedule.
Nalini S.: These past months have been the most free of my writing career to date. Before that, I was teaching in Japan, and had to write around work. And a few years before that, I was a lawyer, so my time was very limited.
Now, I can write pretty much when I want, for however long I want. It’s been interesting getting into a rhythm. I don’t have a schedule as such, but I write every day and I have goals for each day ie. a certain number of words or a set number of pages to edit.
PNR: Which author(s) is your favorite? And who has most influenced you work?
Nalini S.: My list is enormous! I love to read and I read widely across genres, from fantasy, to thrillers to, of course, romance. Some of my favorite writers are J D Robb, Mercedes Lackey, Christine Feehan, Jude Deveraux, John Sandford and Jayne Castle.
As to influences, I don’t think I can point to any one writer who has influenced my work. If anyone did influence me, it was my Mom. She has always believed in me. She listened to my early stories, encouraged me to dream.
PNR: What do you feel are the essential elements of a great story?
Nalini S.: I believe character is crucial. I need to be intrigued by the main character(s). I don’t necessarily have to like or identify with them, but they must be strong enough to carry the story through.
Other than character, you need an indefinable passion. The best stories are the ones where you can literally see the writer’s fire for it leaping off the page.
PNR: Reviewers and readers are raving about SLAVE TO SENSATION, your first paranormal novel; how does it feel to have such positive recognition of your debut work in the genre?
Nalini S.: It feels brilliant!! I’m delighted people are enjoying StS, first because I love the story and second because it means I can continue the series. I wish I could personally thank each and every person who has gotten behind StS. :-)
PNR: You have been very successful writing contemporary romance for the Silhouette Desire line. What made you decide to add paranormal elements to your writing, was it a natural progression?
Nalini S.: I’ve actually always had an interest in writing paranormal. For example, the first short story I won a competition with was a paranormal. So while I was writing the contemporary books, I was also always playing with paranormal ideas.
I have a few completed paranormal manuscripts tucked away, but just like with my debut book – Desert Warrior – I knew Slave to Sensation was the ‘right’ one to send out there into the wide world. It just had a certain passion, a certain power. It caught my heart and refused to let go.
PNR: Readers and reviewers have complimented your expert world-building; what are the challenges you face in making it believable for the reader? How much is research vs. imagination?
Nalini S.: Because my world is an alternate futuristic Earth, I got to make up a lot of stuff, which is great! But the corollary of that is internal consistency. I had to make sure events followed the rules which I had set out. This became particularly important in Visions of Heat (the second book).
However I also had to research certain factors, things that are real but which I transplanted into my futuristic world. For example, I had to research panthers and jaguars.
PNR: Your heroine has psychic abilities that have made her species quite powerful, though devoid of emotion. What made you choose this paranormal ability in your writing? Did it involve a lot of research?
Nalini S.: I’ve always been fascinated by extra-sensory perception, by the idea that we have abilities we aren’t aware of. Sometimes I think how cool it would be to be telepathic. But then, I think of the ‘bad’ side of things – lack of privacy, possibile invasions of your mind.
In terms of research – because the Psy race is so advanced in terms of their abilities, what I did was take what we know and extrapolate it, pushing the idea of ‘what if’ to the limit.
PNR: Readers have really connected with your strong heroine, Sascha; do you have an inspiration for your female characters? Do you feel your stories are female focused?
Nalini S.: Sascha just came to me fully formed. I felt like she was talking to me. Having said that, I don’t intentionally write female focused stories – I found Lucas to be a powerful voice too. For me, what is really important is that the characters stay true to who they are, and that the interplay between them is emotionally strong.
PNR: Being a Changeling, your hero Lucas’ raw emotion is the perfect conflict to Sascha’s aloof psy character. Could you tell us how this tension sets the stage for the intense relationship between the hero and heroine?
Nalini S.: On a very basic level, it’s the conflict between emotion and logic, machine and man. But of course that would make it very one-dimensional. What changes things are the characters of Lucas and Sascha themselves. They bring their histories and lives into that basic conflict, thereby changing and amplifying it.
Lucas is hunting a Psy killer, so he hates the Psy. Fair enough, except that Sascha is not an ordinary Psy. This means the initial conflict is actually a sort of smokescreen. There’s all sorts of interesting things going on below the surface.
PNR: Which of your characters was your favorite to write? The most challenging?
Nalini S.: I’m going to take the Fifth here. I can’t choose! Sometimes a character appears for a second and I’m fascinated. Other times, I slowly grow to adore them. But while I’m writing them, they are all challenging and exciting.
PNR: Your stories seem to be character driven. Do you feel this is harder or easier to write than plot driven stories?
Nalini S.: For me, it’s easier, because that’s the way I write. But, for many people, it’s the opposite. It comes down to who you are as a writer and that takes years to figure out. I’ve tried plotting out books but my characters always take over!
PNR: What is it about the paranormal genre that captures your imagination? Is there a genre you haven’t written but would like to try?
Nalini S.: I like the freedom in it, the absolutely wide-open sky. You can go wherever your imagination takes you. Readers are incredibly accepting of fantastic worlds and places, so long as you keep the faith and give them a world they can believe in.
As to genres, the sky’s the limit. Who knows where my imagination will take me?
PNR: Your upcoming release, VISIONS OF HEAT, will take readers deeper into your futuristic society; can you give us a sneak peek?
Nalini S.: Visions is about Vaughn D’Angelo, one of the DarkRiver sentinels. He’s a jaguar adopted into a leopard pack and the reason for his adoption is something that’s scarred him incredibly badly. He’s a loner by nature and far more animal than most changelings, less civilized and less willing to pretend to be civilized.
Faith NightStar is the other half of this story. She’s a cardinal F-Psy, a woman with the incredible talent to see the future. Faith has been trained to see cold business visions but lately, she’s started to see blood and death, murder and strangulation. She thinks she’s going insane. Maybe she is. All she knows is that the only person who might help her without turning her into the deadly Psy Council, lives deep in the heart of a leopard pack. But in her quest to find Sascha, Faith runs headlong into Vaughn.
Faith is a different heroine from Sascha, because Faith was deeply conditioned against emotion. She’s quite cold in comparison to Vaughn’s animal heat.
PNR: Could you tell us about your current projects, what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
Nalini S.: I’m currently working on book 4 of the Psy/Changeling series, and I have four releases in the coming months.
Bound By Marriage (Sil Desire) – This is a story of a marriage of convenience that goes off the rails when the heroine’s first love leaves his wife and returns to claim the heroine, who is, by this time, married to man who will not let her go under any circumstances.
Visions of Heat (March) – The second book in the Psy/Changeling series.
Caressed By Ice (Sep) – The third book in the Psy/Changeling series. (Judd’s story)
An Enchanted Season anthology (Oct) – I have a novella in here that shows Nate and Tamsyn’s backstory, as well as giving as a hint of DarkRiver’s past, so it acts kind of like a prequel (a short one!) to Slave to Sensation.
PNR: Thanks Nalini, for taking time out to talk to us. Where can readers find out what’s new and how can they contact you?
Nalini S.: Thank you for a brilliant interview, Dee! Readers can find me at my website (www.nalinisingh.com), my blog (www.nalinisingh.blogspot.com) or my myspace (www.myspace.com/nalinisinghbooks). I love talking to readers so feel free to drop me a line through my website anytime you have a question.For a complete list of Nalini's current and upcoming releases, visit her website http://www.nalinisingh.com/
September 1, 2006
In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of "rehabilitation"—the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was...
Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation...
March 1, 2006
Read the Review!
Go deeper into the world of the Psy and the changelings, where a gifted woman sees passion in her future-a passion that is absolutely forbidden by her kind...
Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous-aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her.
Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced-and keep her from Vaughn...
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