Mystery in Moonlight
Spotlight on Gothic and Historical Paranormal Romance
New York Times, USA TODAY bestselling author Ronda Thompson lives in Texas with her husband and two children. She has always been fascinated with werewolves. With all shape shifters. Who, at one time or another hasn’t wanted to shift into someone or into something else? Exploring the complexity of such beings sparks her imagination and keeps her busy writing new stories for fans of the genre.
PNR: Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
Ronda T.: I knew I wanted to be an author from an early age. I liked to write poetry and songs from the time I was in second grade, then graduated to short stories and novels. I have loved romance novels since I was fourteen, and after years of reading them, and I'm talking three or four books a week, I decided to try my hand at writing romance novels. It wasn't that I thought writing romance would be easy, I just knew what I loved about the genre and I wanted to write stories that would entertain readers as much as so many authors had entertained me over the years.
PNR: Are you able to write as much as you would like? Tell us about your writing schedule.
Ronda T.: I don't think any author really gets enough time to write. It takes a tremendous amount of time to complete a four hundred page novel. And most romance authors are women, so most of us are also wives and mothers, which is full time job in itself. You have to make time to write, and if that means leaving the dishes until the next day…or the next week, that's what you have to train yourself to do. You also have to train your family to accept that, or get off their butts and do it themselves. As far as a schedule, I’m trying to discipline myself more so that I don’t let the deadlines pile up until it calls for writing all day every day. I try now to give myself a realistic goal of pages or words per day, and to stick to it. It’s hard for me since I’ve been a binge writer from the beginning.
PNR: Which author(s) is your favorite? And who has most influenced you work?
Ronda T.: I have so many favorite authors I can’t list them all. Amanda Ashley, Christine Feehan, Diana Gabledon, Pamela Clare, Linda Castillo, Jennifer Archer, Dean Koontz, Amy Tan, the list goes on and on. As for who has influenced my work the most, I suppose it would be my early favorites. Rogers, Cartland, McNaught ,Woodiwiss, Lindsey, Spencer, Holt, you know, the women who you don’t even have to list their first name and anyone who knows anything about romance knows who you are talking about. They influenced me because I completely lost myself in their novels and I knew I wanted to give someone else that wonderful experience someday.
PNR: What do you feel are the essential elements of a great story?
Ronda T.: Characters the reader cares about, a good plot that carries the story through to the very last page, believable conflict, and lots of great sexual tension between the hero and heroine.
PNR: Your new series, Wild Wulfs of London, is generating a lot of interest, can you tell us about the first book in the series, The Dark One, and your plans for the trilogy?
Ronda T.: The Dark One is Armond Wulf’s story, a man whose bloodline is cursed. He’s part of higher society due to his titles and his wealth, yet he has mystery and scandal attached to his name so he is shunned by his peers. He’s very much the tortured hero and when he meets Rosalind Rutherford, he is immediately smitten. The story is set in Regency England and has a very gothic feel to it. What makes it different than a lot of werewolf tales is that Armond is not a werewolf when the story opens. The curse is set into motion by love, so we get to see him change as he falls deeper and deeper under Rosalind’s spell. The Dark One has been very well received and I’m thrilled about that. The second book, The Untamed One, will be released on May 2nd. Jackson’s story is different from Armond’s in that Jackson is already a werewolf. He enlists the aid of a witch to help him break the curse for him and he hopes his brothers, as well, but Lucinda has some secrets of her own and those secrets could have deadly consequences for both her and Jackson. The Cursed One, Gabriel’s story, will be released December 06, and there is a secret Wulf brother my readers will meet in an anthology due out in October. The anthology is called Love At First Bite and features me, Sherrilyn Kenyon, L.A. Banks and Susan Squires.
PNR: Historical-paranormal romance seems to be experiencing a revival, what do you feel is responsible for its return to popularity? What made you choose to write in this genre?
Ronda T.: I think the gothic we all loved in the seventies and eighties is making a strong comeback, and that historical paranormal romances often have that gothic feel to them. If a reader is able to suspend their disbelief and enjoy a good vampire, werewolf, ghost, etc type novel, it’s just as easy to believe these beings existed in historical settings as contemporary ones. Historical romance, although a favorite of mine, has fallen a little out of favor during the past couple of years, and I think with the current trend of popular paranormal, combining the two gives the genre a shot in the arm. The reason I write in this genre is because I love both, and combining the two seemed natural to me.
PNR: Tell us about the challenges you faced when using paranormal elements in a historic setting.
Ronda T.: The challenges I faced when writing The Dark One was staying true to the period, which you have to do when writing straight historical, as well. I wanted to write a novel that both fans of paranormal and straight historical romance could enjoy. I wanted a nice crossover book for fans of straight historical who really don’t think they would enjoy a paranormal romance, and at the same time, I didn’t want fans of paranormal romance to feel disappointed. It was tricky, but I have had many fans of straight historical write to me saying they bought the book without realizing it was a werewolf romance, and that by the time they did figure it out, they were so hooked into the story they didn’t care. For me, that was a tremendous compliment. Bottom line, historical, paranormal, a combination of both, just give the reader a good story.
PNR: Do you feel your stories are character driven or plot driven?
Ronda T.: I like to think they are character driven, but I realized many books ago that if you don’t have a strong plotline to base your story on, you really don’t have a story, you just have wonderful characters and nothing for them to do, so now, I try to make certain there are equal parts of both in my stories.
PNR: Which of your characters was your favorite to write? The most challenging?
Ronda T.: I have to say Gabriel Wulf was my most challenging character to write to date. His book, The Cursed One, brings up the rear in the Wild Wulfs Of London series. Sterling, Armond, Jackson and Merrick are hard acts to follow. Actually, all the Wulf brothers were a challenge to write because although they all share a curse, and a bloodline, they all had to be very different from one another. My favorite character to write to date is probably Armond Wulf. That man just jumped off the page and took over. I think I’m still a little in love with him.
PNR: Could you tell us about your current projects, what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
Ronda T.: I just finished the last book in the Wild Wulfs Of London series and am currently working on my option material. I'm working on a new series idea for St. Martins and will tell my readers all the details as soon as they are finalized. In the meantime, The Untamed one is out in May (06), the anthology, Love At First Bite, comes out in October and The Cursed One comes out in December.
PNR: Thanks Ronda, for taking time out to talk to us. Where can readers find out what’s new and how can they contact you?
Featured in this Issue:
Wild Wulf's of London Series
Coming in May '06
UNTAMED ONE - Book
DARK ONE - Book 1
WALK INTO THE FLAME - Abandoned by her father, Rachel Brodie is adopted by the Mescalero Indians. Silent Wind she is called; and the smoldering eyes of Swift Buck urge her to drop all pretense of being White, to accept her destiny. Unable to let go of the past, Rachel flees.
When she returns, the U.S. government has been mistreating the Mescaleros, and Rachel is prepared to fight. She'd heard Swift Buck had been killed, but here he is. And he wastes no time in using her as a hostage against the Federal soldiers. Yet this abduction is a chance to prove that she will always be one of the People. Now, if Swift Buck asks, she will not only walk into the fire; she will let it consume her.Love Spell
November 1, 2002
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CALL THE MOON - Jason Donavon walks in darkness, seeking release from his curse. It has the power to destroy everything—to take his humanity. In a world where he no longer belongs, he feels eyes watching him. Something even more sinister than him stalks the night.
The woman who materializes to save him from the forces of darkness holds answers to the questions he's been afraid to ask. She takes him to her world, to the wilds of the North. Yet in a place where nature rules supreme, Jason knows danger awaits. He will be forced to fight his love for a woman forbidden, and discover whether salvation will come from resisting the seductive light of the moon—or in surrendering to it.Leisure Books
July 8, 2002
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VIOLETS ARE BLUE - Although Violet Mallory was raised by the wealthy, landowning Miles Traften, nothing can remove the stain of her birthright. She is the child of no-good outlaws, and one day St. Louis society will uncover that. No, she can never be a city gal, can never be truly happy but she can exact revenge on the man who sired and sold her.
But being a criminal is hard. Like Gregory Kline - blackmailer, thief, and the handsome rogue sent to recover her Violet longs for something better. Gregory is intent upon reforming her, and then his kiss teaches her the difference between roguishness and villainy. She sees that beauty can grow from the muddiest soil, and Violets don't always have to be blue.Leisure Books
December 9, 2001
DESERT BLOOM - For Lilla Traften, the Texas Panhandle was nothing but hot cactus and dirt, its inhabitants worse. Every cowpuncher and soiled dove she met needed a good scrubbing - - and some lessons in manners. Grady Finch, too. The rugged foreman of the WC Ranch might be devastatingly handsome, but he was tactless. Worse, the heat was getting to her; sunstroke was making her dream of Grady's hands upon her, of the sweaty love they might make in the dust. Hardly normal thoughts for a proper miss and charm-school teacher! Still, she couldn't help wondering what would win the heart of a man like Grady. She'd have to prove she could survive on her own. She's have to show she wasn't the prissy snob he thought. He'd have to see that not only the land could undergo transformation, but that Lilla, too, could flower in the desert.Love Spell
September 1, 2001
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AFTER TWILIGHT - "Midnight Serenade" by Ronda Thompson - Three of romance's hottest bestselling authors -- Amanda Ashley, Christine Feehan, and Ronda Thompson -- invite you to explore the dark side, to taste the forbidden, to dive into danger with heroes who fire the blood and lay claim to the soul in these striking tales of sensual passion. A man hunts for a woman. Yet what if he is no ordinary male, but a predator in search of prey? A dark soul looking for the light? A vampire, a werewolf, a mythic being who strikes fear into the hearts of mortals? When day fades into night, when fear becomes fascination, when the swirling seduction of everlasting love overcomes the senses, it must be after twilight.Leisure Books
May 1, 2000
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IN TROUBLE'S ARMS - Loreen Matland is very clear. If the man who answers her ad for a husband is ugly as a mud fence, she'll keep him. If not, she'll fill his hide full of buckshot. Unfortunately, Jake Winslow is handsome. Lori knows that good-looking men are trouble, and Jake proves no exception. Of course, she hasn't been entirely honest with him, either. She has difficulties enough to make his flight from the law seem like a ride through the prairie. But the Texas Matlands don't give up, even to dangerous men with whiskey-smooth voices. And yet, in Jake's warm strong arms, Lori knows he is just what she needs-for her farm, her family, and her heart.Leisure Books
November 1, 1999
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PRICKLY PEAR - Daddy's little girl is bad news with a lariat. Heck, she hasn't earned the nickname Prickly Pear by being a wallflower. Everyone on the Circle C knows Camile can rope her way out of Hell itself. Cam knows her father is looking for a new foreman—and the blond firebrand is pretty sure she knows where to find one. Wade Langtry has just arrived from Texas, but he seems darn sure of himself in trying to take a job that's hers. But she has to admit that he has what it takes to wrestle cows and break stallions. She even imagines what it might feel like to have the roughrider break her to saddle—or she him. She fears that in the days to follow, it won't matter much if she loses her father's ranch—she's already lost her heart.
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