Come join some of the paranormal romance world's best known authors and learn from them how they do it!
Today, I have Larissa Ione as my guest!
Where do you start with your world-building - the world or the characters - and how do you develop your ideas?
It really depends on the series. For the Sydney Croft books and the Lords of Deliverance series, the characters came first and the world developed from there.
With the Demonica series, the world came first, since the idea was initially for an underworld hospital run by vampires, werecreatures and demons. I've got a new vampire series coming out next year as well, and that one also came from the world first -- an alternate reality in which vampires are enslaved.
Keeping track of details in series seems like a good idea given the complexity and/or length of some series. I like to use a series bible but what notes or methods do you use to ensure continuity and clarity of the nitty gritty?
Honestly, a lot of it is in my head. It's getting to the point though, with the Demonica/LOD series, that I need to re-read all the books and take notes, because some of the older details are a little fuzzy in my head.
I do try to keep track of characters and plots by transferring main files from one project to another, which is easy through the Scrivener writing program I use. I'd DIE without that! I'll never use Word again.
I highly, HIGHLY recommend using Scrivener or WriteWayPro to write in, especially for anyone writing a series, because it's so easy to keep track of details. Plus, the manuscripts convert easily to Word so you can send to your editor.
Which of your series have been the most challenging to world-build? Have you struck any interesting problems while researching/developing your series?The Lords of Deliverance series has definitely been the most challenging, in part because it's a spinoff of the Demonica series, but it's SO closely intertwined that it's been hard to hit the right balance of weaving in the old characters with the new ones.
It's also been a challenge to introduce all the new mythology without overwhelming the reader. I'd say that my most interesting problems have come from trying to convince today's modern readers to like characters who are from a completely different world and who don't share the same morals, societal boundaries, and religious beliefs.
It's been REALLY hard to do this, because honestly, I think my characters should be a lot more hard-edged than they are. These are people who have had to do heinous things to survive -- or to save the world.
Regan is one of those who had to make a hard choice to save every man, woman, and child on the planet -- and I lost a lot of readers (and got a lot of hateful mail and comments) over my decision to have her make that choice.
In the real world we have undercover agents, military special forces, spies, etc., who do unspeakable things to keep us all safe, but I'd say most people don't want to know about it. They'd rather close their eyes and let someone else make those choices.
Regan is one who made those choices, and sure enough, a lot of readers hated it. I think that's been my biggest problem with this series -- making characters realistic while keeping enough fantasy in them so readers don't hate them.
Most of your series have woven paranormal aspects into a contemporary setting. Is there a sub-genre (ie. post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, fantasy) you haven't tried but would like to develop into a new series?
I've love to write a post-apocalyptic zombie YA! I've got an idea, but it won't happen for a while. I've got too much going on with my current paranormals. I also plan on writing a Star Trek book, but that's also a ways away!
Thanks so much for having me, Kylie!
Larissa's latest release (from the Lords of Deliverance series):
Reseph may not know why he mysteriously appeared in Jillian's life, but he knows he wants to stay. Yet when Jillian's neighbors are killed, and demon hunters arrive on the scene, Reseph fears that he's putting Jillian in danger. And once it's revealed that Reseph is also Pestilence, the Horseman responsible for ravaging the world, he and Jillian must face the greatest challenge of all: Can they forget the horrors of a chilling past to save the future they both desire?
Read excerpt here.
You can find out more about Larissa's books here, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterst.