I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
They know me here...


Monday, November 29, 2010

Interview with...Nalini Singh

This is an interview I conducted with Nalini Singh for the RWNZ Heart to Heart magazine (August 2009 issue).

First call to publication in 2002 with Silhouette desire with DESERT WARRIOR, Fijian-born, New Zealand bred best-selling author, Nalini Singh continues to rock the paranormal romance world with her success.
With her work hitting the USA Today bestseller list, the New York Times short list, and with multiple awards for her books, Nalini’s joins the ranks of other highly successful paranormal romance authors such as Sherrilyn Kenyon, Angela Knight and Christine Feehan.
Nalini has been writing as long as she can remember and can’t imagine doing anything else. This is great news for her fans and the romance genre in general!
She spent 3 yrs working Japan and has returned to live in NZ. She’s worked as a lawyer, a librarian, candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher.
Nalini takes time out from her hectic schedule to share her thoughts into the world of romance.

What were some of the significant milestones in your writing life prior to publication?
Completing and submitting my first manuscript the summer after I finished high school was a biggie. It was rejected, but it taught me I could write a book from beginning to end, tell a whole story, and that really boosted my confidence.

Finding out about, then walking into my very first RWNZ conference was a huge deal, too. It was so wonderful to speak about writing with other people who not only understood, but were working toward the same goal.

Another memory that's really important to me is the year I won the short story contest. It was the first time I'd really had that kind of recognition for my romance writing and I still remember how excited and happy it made me. As an aside, that short story was called "Angel", so it seems I've always been meant to write about angels!

You classify your single title books as paranormal romance. Can you talk more about this description and what it entails?
Actually, while the Psy/Changeling books are classified as paranormal romance (PNR), the Guild Hunter books have urban fantasy romance on the spine. The difference is a subtle one, but all the readers I've heard from to date have agreed with the different classifications.

With PNR, it's all about telling a romantic story set within a world that is beyond the norm. However, in spite of the intriguing worlds, the focus has to be on the romance, and a HEA (happy ever after) is a must.

With urban fantasy, the focus tends to be on the protagonist's adventures or journey, with the romance playing a secondary role, often with the HEA not resolved in one book. However, Angels' Blood, while having the elements of an urban fantasy, also has an extremely strong romance, which is why my editor felt it straddled the line between the two. With this series, I'm going to be doing something different and carrying on the story of the main couple into the second book, ARCHANGEL'S KISS.

Do you think a writer's style changes over time and what have you learnt as you've evolved as a writer? What’s worked best for you?
 I think it's inevitable that a writer's style changes with time - because each word we write helps us develop as writers. And that I think is the best way to grow as a writer - to write as much as you can.

Sometimes we use traditional fantasy or world cultures and mythology to assist with world building. What processes do you go through when developing your characters, their lives and putting your own unique slant to the world they live in?
I'm quite an organic world-builder, in that I often let the character show me everything around them. I don't sit down and build a world. I start writing, and discover the world through the characters' eyes. I'm always conscious that the world has to be "whole" - everything has to have a purpose, a function. I often ask "why" and that's a crucial question when it comes to world-building.

With characters, it's all about building well-rounded individuals. No one is one-dimensional, and I try to show the different facets of my characters through their actions.

In ANGEL'S BLOOD, the world that Elena and Raphael inhabit is full of wonderful possibilities. What was the "aha" moment that made it come alive for you so you could bring it to the page?
Honestly? In my mind, I just saw an angel in a high rise one day and that was it - I was hooked! I mean, an angel, an archangel, looking out over New York?! I was compelled by the image, by the need to find out what was going on.

I'm fascinated by the hints in ANGEL'S BLOOD about Elena's dark past—in terms of her childhood experiences with vampires. What are your plans to explore those experiences, and what it means to be 'a born hunter' in future books?
ARCHANGEL'S KISS (Feb 2010) will answer almost all the questions about Elena's past. It's quite an emotionally intense book, and you'll get to see new aspects of several different characters, including Jason and Illium.

Our RWNZ conference is coming up in August and you’re one of our author guests. What can we expect from your workshops Writing the Paranormal and World Building?
The world-building workshop will be focused on exactly that. We'll be talking about the concept as it applies across the board--to contemporaries and historicals, as well as paranormals, because it's a skill you can use no matter what your sub-genre.

The PNR workshop will cover a wider range. I'm still in the midst of writing it, but some of the things we're going to look at are the elements that make a strong paranormal, what you can do to make your proposal stand out, as well as discussing the state of the market.

What’s next for you? A new book in one of your series? A novella in an anthology?
Because of the way deadlines fell this year, I'm actually working on book #8 of the Psy/Changeling series while books 6 & 7 have yet to release! Branded By Fire (#6) comes out July, and Blaze of Memory (#7) releases November. I have to be careful answering reader questions, because I could inadvertently give away huge spoilers!

I've also got Angels' Judgment releasing in the MUST LOVE HELLHOUNDS anthology in September. The other authors are Charlaine Harris, Ilona Andrews and Meljean Brook - I am so excited to be in this anthology!

ARCHANGEL'S KISS has been turned in and I'm waiting to hear back from my editor on that. I'll probably begin work on the third book later this year.

Nalini, thanks for sharing your time with us!

Thanks for the great interview, Kylie.

To visit Nalini's website click here.

PS. There’s more good news, folks! Nalini’s been contracted to write four more Psy/Changeling books, two more Guild Hunter books and a Psy/Changeling novella (due for release in early 2010).


  1. Hi Kylie,
    Lucky you getting to speak with Nalini Singh!!
    I've only recently started reading her books and I'm in love with the worlds she has created,(especially the psy/changlings) glad to here that there's still more to come:)

  2. Oh, Cath, you are in for SUCH a treat with any of Nalini's books!!! I ADORE her Psy/Changeling series - they're my favourite out of all the books she's written (CARESSED BY ICE is my fav of them so far). I just inhale them when the newest release comes out.

    I hope you get to meet Nalini in person one day - she's such a sweetie, very unassuming and recently addicted to Fantails. :-)

  3. Besides being careful on not giving away secrets for books that haven't yet been released...what are the challenges of writing the 8th book in a series?


  4. What a fab interview Kylie,
    and I agree she is very unassuming and lovely!