Rita Herron | THE DEMONBORN: DARK HUNGER

Myths and legends and the paranormal world

When I first conceived of the idea for the Demonborn series and Dark Hunger, I knew I wanted to write about strong men, demons, crime fighters and the battle between good and evil.

Next, I needed to build my paranormal world and make it different from all the other paranormals out there. What could make mine unique — fresh?

The answer to that for me was to write about a world that intrigued me, a setting that I felt at home with, but one that naturally lended itself to a dark, eerie atmosphere that enhanced my story lines. I also thought having the paranormal creatures appear in the normal world was even more terrifying than to have a completely fantasy world. What if demons actually existed on Earth?

Born a Southerner, spooky stories about ghosts, local legends, cemeteries, and odd things that go bump in the night filled my childhood. Since my series is a dark, gritty romantic suspense filled with evil demons and murder, my setting had to reflect that same creepy feeling.

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Jessica Inclan | If The Skin Fits, Wear It

What has amazed me about the past couple of years is how I have managed to finally gain some perspective on myself and my life. What’s appalling about this observation is that I used to think I had this perspective. I thought that I knew what I was doing and why and how. I thought I had things under control; I imagined I was in charge. I thought I knew what in the heck I was doing.

Now, however, I realize that I have and had some behaviors and needs and feelings and thoughts, but I don’t imagine anymore that I have control of it of all. I just sort of “see” myself and know a little more about what I do. I also know that in another 47 years (should I make it that long) I will be able to say the same thing about my current self that I just said about my younger self.

Poor thing, I will think. She thought she had it figured out.

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Carolyn Jewel | Vampire Reproduction

The other day over at my writing blog, I mused about something that’s often puzzled me; that is, the subject of Vampire Reproduction. With vampires, I wondered, why are they so often infertile, when by the rules, they ought to be more than capable of reproduction? I won’t rehash everything I said over there, but do take a look if you’re curious or would like to weigh in on the subject.

I find my mind often wonders into these strange little alleys and then gets stuck there sometimes, leaving me no choice but to slowly work my way out.

Today’s little alley concerns werewolves. Werewolves aren’t infertile, but with them, I wonder, since they can change forms without damage to their internal organs, how come t werewolf lore so often includes the caveat that they have to mate as humans? Or, alternatively, that they can’t mate as wolves and have the pregnancy last? Let’s set aside one of the really obvious answers (the squick factor).

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Alisa Sheckley/Alisa Kwitney | Borders

Borders can be pretty dangerous places. People slip over them in the dead of night, bringing desperate travelers, contraband goods and stolen identities. I knew I was inviting in all kinds of delicious plot complications when I set my novel, The Better to Hold You, on an invisible boundary line between realities.

I tried not to think about the complications I was inviting by setting my sequel, Moonburn, on the borderline between paranormal romance and urban fantasy. At first, when I thought about writing a sequel, I thought I would concentrate on another couple, and leave my main characters to get on with the business of living happily ever after.

But the truth is, I’ve always had a bit of a problem believing that couples will transition straight from a passionately conflicted courtship to a stress-free marriage. In my novels, I’ve always ended things optimistically, but assumed that there was another book, never to be written, about what happened next.

And all of a sudden, I wanted to write the forbidden book.

In The Better to Hold You, my heroine, Abra, becomes infected with the lycanthropy virus and discovers how to listen to her instincts. But what if her condition continues to change, and her instincts, and her impulses, become harder to control?

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Caridad Pineiro | Creating Characters

First I’d like to thank Fresh Fiction for giving me an opportunity to chat with you! I’m Caridad Pineiro, a USA Today and NY Times Bestseller who has written of over twenty novels. My current releases are HONOR CALLS and FURY CALLS from the popular THE CALLING Vampire series from Silhouette Nocturne. In November 2009 I will have my first paranormal romantic suspense single title release – SINS OF THE FLESH – from Grand Central Publishing.

I love writing and creating characters that stay with readers long after the book is on the shelf.

The plot for FURY CALLS, my March 2009 release from Silhouette Nocturne, definitely has two of my most interesting characters and the plot of the story is driven by the conflicts of the two heroes – Blake and Meghan. Blake, in particular, helped define the nature of the villain and also, forged the redemption of one of THE CALLING’s more interesting Big Bads – Foley, the owner of the Blood Bank.

Blake has actually become one of my favorite characters of all time. Since he popped onto the scene in TEMPTATION CALLS in October 2005, he has been hanging out in the world of THE CALLING, always on the fringe of what’s happening and never really respected. Always screaming for me as a writer to give him a story that was worthy of his unique personality.

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Natale Stenzel | Between a Rock and a Heart Place

First of all, thank you, thank you to Fresh Fiction for hosting me here today. I love visiting this site for scoop on all the latest romance novels by my favorite authors, so I’m thrilled to be blogging here on the release day for BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HEART PLACE, the third book in my series of funny paranormal romances.

As you’d guess almost immediately upon reading the back cover blurb for this story, my heroine Daphne Forbes receives a truly unwelcome gift: renegade puca powers. Oh. Well, that explains everything. Or maybe not? A puca is actually a fantastical character derived from Celtic and British mythologies. In some traditions, the puca is a shape-shifting trickster who preys on travelers; half faery and half human, the creature has a distinctly mischievous, even malicious bent. Does my version of the puca accurately reflect all the mythological accounts? Some of them. Others I cheerfully warped and expanded to suit my own needs. The pucas in my stories have three specific powers: mindspeak (mind-to-mind communication), glamour (creating illusion/molding the thoughts of humans), and shape-shifting.

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Sharon Ashwood | When Your Brand New Book Leaves Home …

Launching a book is a peculiar business.

First, the concept of “launch” is a bit different from the writer’s end. She’s already sent the manuscript away over and over again – to the editor, to the copy editor, for page proofs, and on and on. And yet the darned thing keeps coming back like a pesky cat and, sadly, editors are about as easy to ignore as a yowling Siamese hanging from the screen door. What began as infatuation with one’s literary child quickly morphs to irritation. That’s a sure sign Baby Book has hit the difficult toddler stage.

But books grow up too fast. When it finally launches, the author doesn’t actually have much of a role to play anymore. Sure, a party is nice, but all the stuff that matters is all beyond her control, subject to grand and incomprehensible market forces. Baby Book is all grown up, out in the cold, cruel world and about to encounter fast cars and loose readers. Will the universe be kind?

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Karen Harper | RESEARCHING THE LIVING AND THE DEAD

No, I don’t write vampire novels, but I do write both contemporary and historical fiction. For the last ten years of my twenty-five-year writing career, I have written one romantic suspense novel and then one historical novel—back and forth. I have a writer’s split personality since it takes different skills and research techniques to do both. I love reading and writing in two genres and in two times, but it does have its challenges as well as its rewards.

For my contemporary romantic suspense novels, I can visit the settings for my story and interview people who live there or have the same careers as my hero and heroine. For THE HIDING PLACE (Nov. 2008), I spent a week in the Rocky Mountains outside Denver. I was able to interview men with dogs trained as trackers. I took two classes to learn about how my female P.I. would work, one class from a tracer who looks for lost people, and one from a female private investigator.

When I write my Elizabethan novels (most recently, THE LAST BOLEYN and MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE), I can, at least, still visit my settings. Nothing like a research trip to England! The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Greenwich—and museums, of course—help me to understand Elizabeth Tudor and her times. Although I can’t interview anyone from that era, the Elizabethans were great recorders of their lives: diaries, lists of their possessions, wills, books, and, of course, their literature such as poems and plays. I even have a reference book of the poems, prayers and speeches the queen herself wrote. All of that helps my characters to come alive for me, and, hopefully, for the reader too.

One of the great things about being a writer is that I learn so much about things I would not ordinarily know. I hope my readers not only enjoy my books for great entertainment and emotion, but also for a fun, easy way to become more educated. Whether writing the past or the present, that’s my goal.

Karen Harper

www.karenharperauthor.com/

Patrice Michelle | Ideas pulled from the air…

The other day I received a question from a reader who’d already read my latest release Scions:Revelation (December 1st) and the last book in my Scions trilogy. She asked if the prophecy–that has been an underlying thread through all three of the books in the Scions trilogy–was something I planned from the very beginning, or if the outcome of the prophecy had come to me as I wrote the books.

The answer is actually somewhere in between. :)

The idea for the first book in my Scions series came straight from a dream. I’d dreamed about a woman who was kidnapped by a vampire and they were being chased by gunmen. Lots of running, leaping across building rooftops and gunshots ensued. The scene in my dream was right out of an adventure novel and too surreal not to write once I woke up. But once I started jotting down notes, I then had to figure out how to turn that “one scene” into a novel. Hmmm…I ask the question: Why the vampire might want to kidnap the human woman and why the gunmen were chasing them….and all the reasons in between….and that’s how the first five chapters in the first book in my Scions trilogy (Scions:Resurrection) was created. Once I’d completed those chapters, my agent read them and said, “This is more than one book, right?” I pondered some more and came to the conclusion…Of course there would be more than one book! and there’s even a prophecy, which I promptly detailed out as part of the proposal to pitch to potential publishers.

In the summer of 2006, I’d written five chapters of Scions book one, a synopsis detailing the rest of that book and a one-page overview of the other two books in the Scions trilogy (including the prophecy). As I was writing the overview, the actual prophecy itself came to me easily, yet I wasn’t “set” in how that prophecy would play out in the stories.

Ultimately, even when wearing my author “hat” I’m still a reader at heart–I want to be surprised and I discover the twists and turns in the stories as I they unfold before me. 😉 I didn’t know who would uncover each of the pieces of the prophecy, how the layers would all tie together, who would be responsible for the biggest reveal or how each of the characters would be impacted by all the revelations. All those unknowns were very exciting to unearth as each story was written and each of the main characters played out their respective parts.

So I guess the answer to the question is that the prophecy came to me in…equal parts intuition, guess-work and good old fashioned…jigsaw puzzling. It never ceases to amaze me how the muse works in inexplicable ways!

If you’re interested in reading an action-adventure paranormal story where a suspenseful mystery is woven along-side a sexy romance, then I hope you’ll give my Scions books a try.

Note: Each of the Scions books are written to be read as stand alone stories, but if you’d like to read the adventures of each of the main characters in order, then they are as follows: Scions:Resurrection, Scions:Insurrection and Scions: Revelation.

Patrice Michelle
www.patricemichelle.net

Cynthia Eden | Let Your Inner Demon Out

“Let your inner demon out”—That’s what Cara Maloan, the heroine from my new Kensington Brava release, MIDNIGHT SINS, would really like to encourage all women to do.

Cara thinks ladies should start living for themselves, doing what they want—and having one heck of a good time.

Something you should probably know…Cara’s a succubus. Yep, she’s an immortal demon who gains power from sneaking into a man’s dreams and stealing his sensual energy. Hey—it’s a job, someone has to do it. :-)

Cara is absolutely one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of writing. She was fun—definitely fun—but, the lady also had her hang-ups. You see, she’s a sex demon at heart, but Cara wants more than fleeting pleasure from a man. She wants love, and love isn’t something that a succubus usually gets to experience.

Ah, such is the twisted fate of my characters. When I write about my characters, I love to think in terms of opposites for them. Vampires with blood phobias…sex demons who want love…a vampire hunter who finds her perfect lover in—ahem—a vampire. Opposites.

But don’t worry too much about Cara…I gave her a good hero. She just has to get him to love her. And, of course, she has to prove that she’s not guilty of murder. Because someone is killing in the city of Atlanta—and that someone is setting Cara up for the crimes.

Falling in love, proving her innocence, catching a killer…all in a day’s work for my demon.

Now don’t you want to let your demon out? With Black Friday shopping almost upon us, whether you like it or not—she may come out. Especially once you start fighting for those parking places and those sale items…

Happy hunting! And Happy Thanksgiving to those in the U.S.!

Cynthia Eden
http://www.cynthiaeden.com/
MIDNIGHT SINS—Available 11/25/08 from Kensington Brava
Let your inner demon out…