"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
No Time Like the Present
Spotlight on Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Sylvia Day is the bestselling, award-winning author of over a dozen novels. A wife and mother of two from Southern California, she is a former Russian linguist for the U.S. Army Military Intelligence. Called “wonderful and passionate” by WNBC.com and “wickedly entertaining” by Booklist, Sylvia’s books are frequent recipients of Readers’ Choice and Reviewers’ Choice accolades. Her work has won the EPPIE award and been named a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award of Excellence. You can visit with her at www.SylviaDay.com
An Interview with Sylvia Day
PNR: Have you always wanted to be a writer, what led you to pursue writing as a career?
Sylvia D.: When I was twelve years old, my mother handed me a romance novel and told me to find “a man like that”. *g* I was hooked on romance from that first book and decided then that I wanted to be a romance novelist.
PNR: How do you manage to balance your writing and personal time? What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
Sylvia D.: Since I began writing, I haven’t had a balance. It’s been all-writing-all-the-time. I write from the time I get up, to the time I go to bed. This last week is the first week I’ve really taken “off” since I first sat down at the keyboard in late October 2003. I’m hoping to learn balance now.
I enjoy reading, rolling around laughing with my kids and hubby, and watching big, dumb, blow ‘em up action movies. I also love chocolate. And coffee. *g*
PNR: What are the greatest challenges to you as an author? The greatest rewards?
Sylvia D.: The challenge for me is making plots that are both tangled and cohesive. The greatest rewards are seeing the printed out 400 pages and going “OMG, I made all that up.” Then seeing the finished book and holding it in my hands. Seeing my titles on the shelves in the bookstore. Seeing more than one of my titles on the shelves in the bookstore at once. Hearing from readers who read my books. I celebrate everything. J
PNR: Which author(s) is your favorite? And who has most influenced your work?
Sylvia D.: Lisa Kleypas, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Shelby Reed, Dean Koontz, Stephen King... many more, but those are the ones who I enjoy re-reading over and over again. I think I’m most influenced by Lisa and Kathleen. They both keep the focus of their novels on the romance. Lisa often has the couples admitting their love for each other early in the book, which I love.
PNR: You have received numerous honors, awards and a great deal of reader admiration for your writing. How does it feel to have such positive recognition for your work?
Sylvia D.: I’m still awed by it all and humbled. There are a great many wonderful authors out there. I’m grateful that readers pick up my books along with theirs.
PNR: What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
Sylvia D.: External conflict, internal conflict (x2) for both main protagonists, and romantic conflict.
PNR: Reviewers and readers are excited about the April release of PLEASURES OF THE NIGHT, the first title in your new paranormal series, Dream Guardians; could you tell us where the idea came from and a little about your vision for the series?
Sylvia D.: I wanted to write a paranormal/fantasy that didn’t have vamps, weres, or magic. As I considered the possibilities, dreams came to mind and the story just unfolded from there. Presently, the greatest betrayal in the Dream Guardians series is between the Elders and the Guardians. This is something we can all relate to -- the government knows more than we do and we are often forced to act with little or no knowledge of the true motivations. As the series progresses, the rebellion will strengthen, but so too will the Elders.
PNR: Could you tell us about the challenges you faced in world-building with paranormal elements in a contemporary setting, and making it believable for readers?
Sylvia D.: I researched the Shinto religion, physics, the viability of wormholes/abbreviated space travel, and then mixed that with metaphysics and a bit of fiction. It was fun for me, though my poor hubby had some interesting dinner table conversations for a few nights as I tried to reason out my plot. *g* I think the believability comes from the readers commiseration with the characters’ struggles. Yes, the plot is otherworldly, but the conflicts are relatable.
PNR: Do you feel your writing is character driven or plot driven? How do you balance these two elements?
Sylvia D.: I think it all has to do with conflict. There is an external conflict that brings the two characters together, then their individual internal conflicts that keep them apart, and then the conflict with their romance and how it doesn’t fit into their plans for the future. When you have all four conflicts happening, the story is both character driven and plot driven. That’s what I strive for.
PNR: You are known for your sexy alphas heroes and strong heroines, Captain Aidan Cross and Lyssa Bates are no exception: could you tell us a little about the development of their characters? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?
Sylvia D.: Aidan had to be both strong and vulnerable, as well as being a man open to falling in love deeply and completely. Lyssa had to be afflicted by poor health, but brave and undaunted. Her resilience and nurturing spirit were the perfect compliments to Aidan’s soul-weary but persistent nature.
I most enjoyed writing about Prince Wulfric and Sapphire in SAPPHIRE’S WORTH, which is the first book in my SAPPHIRE fantasy series with Kensington Zebra. They’re both larger-than-life characters with a deep love for one another. They risk everything, even war, to be together.
My most challenging characters to write were Colin and Amelia in my Nov. 07 Brava A PASSION FOR HIM. I really, really struggled with their story and dynamic. They were both so young and impetuous.
PNR: How would you describe the sensuality level of your books; do you find it challenging to write the love/sex scenes?
Sylvia D.: I would describe my books as mostly mainstream romance with erotic sensibility. Some are fully erotic, some are romance with hotter than usual sex. Like the many genres I write in, the sexual content in my books also fluctuates.
I really enjoy writing the sexual scenes in my books. They are where most of the character development and romance conflicts are worked out. They’re also where the angst and confusion are most vividly portrayed.
PNR: How do you feel the sensual/erotic genre has affected the romance general, the paranormal genre specifically? In your opinion, how far can you go with erotic content and have it still be considered romance?
Sylvia D.: Paranormal tales lend themselves well to a sensual slant, which is why the two are so deeply entwined in many of today’s releases. I think you can go anywhere with erotic content, as long as the journey furthers the growth of the two protagonists as a couple. I believe much of the problem that readers are having with books that are labeled erotic romance but don’t seem romantic is that the book’s sexual content is focused solely on either sexual pleasure or the emotional growth of only one character.
PNR: Like a growing number of print authors, you started out in the e-publishing market. How does being contracted with a print publisher differ? Would you still consider e-publishing in the future?
Sylvia D.: Actually, I was first published with Brava, then branched out to e-publishing in order to reach a different audience.
Print publishers take a year or longer to get a completed book from the author’s hands to the reader’s. While gratification is delayed, it gives me a chance to really go over the ms over a long period of time.
I definitely plan to continue writing e-books. The shorter length and lack of restrictions is really a great boon for an author.
PNR: Paranormal romance in a contemporary setting is experiencing an incredible surge in popularity, what about this sub-genre captures the reader’s imagination? What is it about this setting that captures your interest?
Sylvia D.: It takes what’s familiar and comfortable, and morphs it into the fantastic and surprising. That’s why I enjoy it as a writer, plus the conflict inherent in being “different” is a great theme to explore.
PNR: You have been successful writing in the historical genre, as well as fantasy, paranormal and futuristic; are you planning to continue writing in the paranormal genre? What is your favorite genre to write? Is there a genre you haven’t written but would like to try?
Sylvia D.: I plan to continue writing everything. I’ve always written in all genres from the very beginning. I sold a historical to Brava in Dec. 04. Two weeks later I sold a contemporary to Black Lace. Two weeks after that I sold a historical vampire to Amber Quill and a week after that I sold my futuristic vampire series to Ellora’s Cave. I really don’t have a favorite genre. I switch depending on my mood at the time and so every genre I’m writing in is my favorite genre at the time I’m writing it. *g*
PNR: What is next for the Dream Guardians series? Will we see favorite characters returning in future titles?
Sylvia D.: Connor Bruce has his own quest to complete in HEAT OF THE NIGHT, which is presently scheduled for a Jan. 2, 2008 release.
PNR: Could you tell us about your current projects, what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
Sylvia D.: I have three more releases this year, all historicals with Brava -- PASSION FOR THE GAME (May 29), PERFECT KISSES (June 26), and A PASSION FOR HIM (Oct. 30). Then in 2008, I presently have the next Dream Guardians book scheduled (HEAT OF THE NIGHT - Jan. 2), another historical Brava (Untitled - Spring 08), and ALLURING TALES: HOT SUMMER NIGHTS (Summer 08). In 2009, my SAPPHIRE fantasy trilogy with Kensington Zebra is tentatively scheduled.
PNR: Thank you Sylvia, for taking time out to speak with us; where can readers find out more about your work?
Sylvia D.: Thank you! My websites are chock full of information. -- www.SylviaDay.com and www.DreamGuardians.com I also share a readers’ chat loop with authors Shelley Bradley/Shayla Black, Cathryn Fox, Mackenzie McKade, and Charlene Teglia -- groups.yahoo.com/group/wicked_writers It’s a lot of fun and very, very busy!
For a complete list of Ms. Day's work visit her website
Featured in this issue:
April 24, 2007
Dream Guardians: Book 1
In the Twilight between sleep and consciousness, a battle rages between Dream Guardians and Nightmares. Captain Aidan Cross is a legend, as skilled in fulfilling erotic dreams as he is with the glaive that kills his enemy. Women see Aidan as part of their fantasies…except Lyssa Bates. Exquisite, desirable, enigmatic Lyssa perplexes this immortal seducer because she sees him as he really is. And as he attempts to unravel her secrets the unthinkable occurs: Aidan Cross falls in love.
Lyssa has been having the most incredible dreams about a man whose blue eyes hold the promise of decadent pleasures and tempting intimacies. And then he appears on her doorstep! This intoxicating stranger is just as irresistible as the man of her dreams… but with her surrender there is also grave danger…
Because Aidan is on a mission, and the passion that consumes them body and soul could have dire consequences. Loving the mortal woman prophesied to destroy Aidan’s world is not only impossible… it is forbidden…
WHAT IS YOUR MOST WICKED FANTASY?
A television executive lets loose when her favorite heartthrob strides into her office–and gives her the ride of her life.
This one night stand may be too hot to handle for a newly single woman, but that won’t stop her from enjoying every delicious second.
When a mysterious package opens to reveal an oh-so-sexy, nearly naked man, these two have no choice but to hide out…for a good, long time.
A minister’s son harbors impure thoughts about a voluptuous stripper–and sets out to make his erotic dreams come true…
A big city cop discovers that once bitten is not twice shy after spending a tantalizing night with a beautiful vampire…
A sheltered young woman opens a mysterious locket–and is plunged into a legendary battle of good versus evil to set her imprisoned lover free…
A seductive warlock will not rest until the powerful temptress he lusts for is begging to be dominated…
Pleasure beckons and satisfaction is guaranteed in seven titillating stories of love that knows no boundaries. Surrender to the passion and follow your desires into unexplored realms of sensuous delights.
Dream Guardians: Book 2
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