"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
No Time Like the Present
Spotlight on Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Robin T. Popp
Bestselling author Robin T. Popp has built a reputation of delivering highly sensual, action-packed reads. Three-time Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice finalist, she is best known for her Night Slayer series, which combines mythology with vampire lore. The first two books of the series, Out of the Night and Seduced by the Night, were both Romantic Times Top Picks.Robin lives southwest of Houston with her husband, teenage kids, two dogs, two frogs, a rabbit and a mortgage. She is living the American dream.
An Interview with Robin T. Popp
PNR: Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
Robin T. Popp: It wasn’t something I always wanted to do as much as it was just something I always did. As a child, I was an avid reader with a vivid imagination and I often recorded those daydreams in a notebook.
I think I was in high school when I first thought that I might like to be a published writer, but then I graduated, went off to college and the idea of becoming a published author was dismissed as just another daydream.
Much later - after graduate school, marriage, children and many years in the corporate workforce – I learned about an organization devoted to helping aspiring and published authors with their writing careers – the Romance Writers of America. I immediately joined my local chapter in West Houston and began work on my first real novel - TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN - which I sold to Dorchester in 2002.
PNR: Your NIGHT SLAYER series from Warner Forever is extremely popular with readers and reviewers, and I have to admit that you hooked me with your debut futuristic, TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN; how does it feel to have such positive recognition of your work?
Robin T. Popp: Who doesn’t love positive feedback? <smile> When readers tell me they like my stories – well – there’s nothing better. It makes the writing worth the time and effort.
PNR: What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
Robin T. Popp: For me as a reader, great stories are fast-paced, heavy on the action, light on descriptive passages, filled with witty dialogue, lots of conflict, unexpected plot twists and turns, hot romance and a happy ending. As an author, I strive to write those types of books.
PNR: Readers are very excited about the new IMMORTALS series from Love Spell, the premise is very intriguing. How were you approached to join the project?
Robin T. Popp: The first time I learned of this series was when my agent called to ask if I was interested in doing the second book in a series with Jennifer Ashley (the series creator) and Joy Nash. I was sent the four-book story ARC and it sounded very interesting to me. While I’d never met either Jennifer or Joy, their names were not unfamiliar to me – both had good writing reputations. Also, I knew Leah Hultenschmidt, the editor in charge of the Immortals project, and was glad for a chance to work with her.
PNR: Could you tell us about THE DARKENING, your contribution to the IMMORTALS series?
Robin T. Popp: In the first book of the series, THE CALLING, we learn that one of the five Immortal brothers has turned rogue and is working with an ancient demon to destroy the world. The only hope for defeating them is to summon the remaining four Immortals to Earth, but the Calling spell fails and the ancient demon and the rogue Immortal escape and begin setting several nefarious plans in motion.
THE DARKENING begins shortly after the Calling spell fails. The heroine is Lexi Corvin, who is both a werewolf and a witch, living in New York City. She works as a bounty hunter and frequents the vampire nightclubs because both activities fit her nature. Though not a member of the local witch coven, she participated in the Calling spell. Thinking the spell had failed, she is surprised while tracking down a skip to have an Immortal suddenly appear before her – half a continent from where he should be.
Darius is an Immortal driven by duty. His body is covered with tattoos of weapons that – at the touch of his hand – can be lifted off and turned into the real thing. He has been training for hundreds of years, ready to be called into service to protect the residents of Earth. When the call finally comes, Darius tries to respond, but that’s when his troubles begin. A hot tempered goddess, seven hundred years of celibacy, a beautifully tempting female werewolf/bounty hunter who’s not interested in him, a curse, demons, warring vampire gangs, a proliferation of sex clubs and mysterious deaths and disappearances are just a few of the problems Darius must face – all while he and Lexi attempt to rescue his youngest brother from the ancient demon holding him hostage.
PNR: How much freedom were you given in developing your installment of the series? Were you given an outline, names, etc. or just the concept to develop?
Robin T. Popp: The IMMORTALS was Jennifer Ashley’s brainchild and while she sketched out rough outlines of what each book was about and gave the characters names, the specifics of the stories were left to me and Joy for our respective books. For instance, Jennifer wanted the heroine of book two to be a werewolf and a witch. I thought that would be interesting to write, but I didn’t like the profession the heroine had been given, so I suggested changing it to bounty hunter.
PNR: What has been your experience collaborating with such talented authors?
Robin T. Popp: This is my first collaborative experience and I’d like to think that they all run as smoothly as this one did – but somehow I think maybe we just got lucky. It’s especially interesting that we did get along so well given that we’d never met. I ran into Jenn at a conference shortly after signing on to write the second book, but we barely had time to do more than say hello. And I didn’t meet Joy in person until after all the books were completed.
The thing that amazes me about our collaboration is how little time we spent communicating – which is not to imply there was a lack of communication. Once we established the common groundwork for the story, we more or less went off and did our own thing.
PNR: If you hit a writer’s block, did you brainstorm with the rest of the authors?
Robin T. Popp: At times I would, especially if I was worried that my ideas might take the story in the wrong direction. The rest of the time, whenever I hit writer’s block, I brainstormed with my regular group of plotting partners.
PNR: What was the biggest challenge you faced working on the series? The most rewarding aspect? Would you do it again?
Robin T. Popp: Three things stand out as being my biggest challenges in this project. The first was that this series dealt with witches and magic – areas that Jenn and Joy know exceedingly well – and that I know nothing about. I had to do a lot of research just to get a working base from which to write because I didn’t want those areas of my story to come across as weak or lacking in some respect.
The second challenge I had was that there were times when my ideas started to go in a direction that fell outside the parameters of the overall story arc and I would have to rein them back in.
The final challenge was writing a story that delivers a satisfying romance but lets the bad guy get away in the end so the story can move on to the next book.
The most rewarding aspect was just being part of a larger project and watching it come together. It amazes me how three strangers with three different writing styles can come together and deliver one long, cohesive story. It helped having a great editor. I think Leah did a phenomenal job of maintaining story continuity across all four books.
Would I do it again? You bet – given the right story, authors and editor.
PNR: What advice would you give to an author looking at being part of a series like this?
Robin T. Popp: If you’re brought in on a project, as I was, remember that you are playing in someone else’s world. Be respectful of that. Going into areas outside your comfort zone can be opportunities to learn about new things. Roadblocks to story / plot ideas you have can be viewed as opportunities to think outside the “ordinary” and come up with truly unique story / plot ideas. Have fun.
PNR: Paranormal romance in a contemporary setting is experiencing an incredible surge in popularity, what do you feel accounts for the sudden interest in this sub-genre? What is it about this setting that captures your interest?
Robin T. Popp: I think that Joss Whedon’s BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER series, along with Christine Feehan’s DARK and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s DARK HUNTER series spurred a lot of the enthusiasm for the current popularity of the contemporary paranormal romance. These are stories of dark, long-suffering, tortured heroes and seemingly ordinary heroines (who have hidden inner strength and wit) who meet under circumstances that make it impossible for them to be together and yet they overcome both fate and foes to do just that.
PNR: Could you tell us about your current projects, what can readers expect to see in the coming months? Do you have any additional series in the works? Single titles?
Robin T. Popp: My fourth Night Slayer book, LORD OF THE NIGHT, comes out in December. The Night Slayer series, up to this point, has taken place in the States, but in this fourth book, the story moves to England and follows Erik Winslow, who is a four hundred old vampire and ancestor to the current Winslow family of vampire slayers.
As far as other projects, I’m hoping to continue with the Night Slayer series. And as far as other projects – we’ll see.
PNR: Thank you, Robin, for giving us a peek at this exciting series, where can readers find out about your work?
Robin T. Popp: I’ve enjoyed answering your questions and appreciate you giving me the time to do so. To learn more about my work, please visit my website at http://www.robintpopp.com.For a complete list of Ms. Popp's work visit her website
Featured in this issue:
May 29, 2007
The Immortals: Book 2
Lexi Corvin, werewolf and bounty hunter, keeps crossing paths with the Immortal Darius in New York City. Evil is brewing in the vampire clubs and Lexi's best friend is the next victim.Night Slayer Series
Created at the dawn of time to protect humanity, the ancient warriors have been nearly forgotten, though magic lives on--in vampires, werewolves, the Celtic Sidhe, and other beings. But now one of their own has turned rogue, and the world is again in desperate need of the IMMORTALS. A werewolf and bounty hunter, Lexi was badass to the bone. She had no problem protecting herself in the seedy underground vampire clubs of New York City. Until the Immortal she had tried to summon actually appeared. It wasn't the intricate tattoos around his well-defined muscles that intimidated her; it was the raw power she saw shimmering in his golden brown eyes, power mingled with lust. Though she longed to give in to the passion and pleasure he promised, they first had a curse to break, a brother to find, and a whole legion of vampires to prevent from joining ...THE DARKENING.
January 1, 2007
Night Slayer: Book 3
Someone is trying to kidnap notable biochemist Bethany Stavinoski - and she has no idea why. Only former SEAL Dirk Adams seems capable of protecting her against a seemingly inhuman foe that lurks in the shadows and attacks only at night.
Their search for answers leads them down a path of complex secrets filled with many dangers, not the least of which is the lure of forbidden temptations.
June 1, 2006
Night Slayer: Book 2
Surrender to the darkness...
SEDUCED BY THE MYSTERY...Dr. Bethany Stavinoski doesn't run from a challenge. As the top biochemist in her field, the delicate-looking blonde routinely puts herself on the line. But her latest research project plunges her into a terrifying world she never knew existed—and into the arms of a dangerous, irresistible man.
SEDUCED BY THE DANGER...Dirk Adams is a changeling, a human with a vampire's strength and skills. He patrols the darkness to destroy renegade vampires, and he senses something far more powerful behind the relentless pursuers now on Beth's trail. As a nightmare he never imagined unfolds, Beth's only chance to save both their lives is to surrender to Dirk's desperate need...and match his hunger with her own.
SEDUCED BY THE NIGHT
September 1, 2005
Night Slayer: Book 1
OUT OF THE DARKNESS
Lanie Weber isn't afraid of danger. As a volunteer firefighter, this seemingly mild-mannered librarian has faced life-or-death situations before-and survived. But she has no idea what's waiting for her in the dark Amazon jungles…in the staring eyes of a mysterious statue…and in the strong arms of a seductive stranger.
OUT OF THE SHADOWS
Veteran pilot Mac Knight has vowed to help Lanie find out what has happened to her scientist father. But at Dr. Weber's secret research lab, they find only five dead bodies-and a bloodsucking creature believed to live solely in legends. The nightmare, however, is real. When Mac is attacked and bitten, Lanie fights to keep him alive. When he presses his lips to her throat, she yields to his touch. And when his teeth graze her flesh, she hungers for more…
OUT OF THE NIGHT
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