This month I'd like to introduce readers to some paranormal romance authors from Australia & New Zealand.
These authors are part of a blog group I'm affiliated with, called the Dark Side DownUnder.
The site is aimed at showcasing all things speculative fiction -
articles, authors, books, spotlights on... and contests/giveaways. You
can find out more about DSDU here.
Today I have Cheryse Durrant visiting the blog.
Cheryse, while growing up, did you have an interest in the paranormal?
I remember brewing up witchy and fae games as a child and penning magical fairy tales. I LOVED fantasy. Remember the Ron Perlman/Linda Hamilton Beauty & the Beast of the late 1980s? Delicious. I also used to scour my high school library for my specific tastes, but I read a book a night so I ran out of titles after a short time (it was a small bush school).
What drew you to write in the paranormal romance genre?
I’d loved romance ever since I snuck into my sister’s bedroom and read my first Penny Jordan when I was eleven. True love, combined with magical elements (or any spec fic wonders), brings me joy. I feel like a child in a candy store.
Paranormal concepts also add tension to your plotlines. There’s nothing more memorable than a love story set against the edge and fear of an apocalypse or other evil infiltrations. It also increases the stakes – what’s worth fighting and dying for.
In your books, what sorts of characters or themes do you like to write about?
Strong women who face impossible goals. They also tend to struggle with a disease or handicap (or what they perceive as a weakness) that eventually becomes key to their happiness or goal success.
In THE BLOOD SHE BETRAYED, my kick-butt heroine Shahkara hates her half-demon self, but it’s her talons, healing abilities and super strength that enables her to save her world and people.
Even when I started writing paranormal romance at 14, my heroines were always flawed, but that ‘weakness’ ultimately became their ‘power’, once they overcame their fears and insecurities. Stories do parallel real life. After all, the greatest demon or challenge that most of us will ever face is ourselves.
THE BLOOD SHE BETRAYED (Book 1 in the Heart Hunters)
To save her kingdom, she must betray her blood...
Thrust into the technology-driven Earthlands via magical mists, Shahkara is forced to rely on Max McCalden to help find the ancient Elnara death lantern, her homeworld’s last chance of survival against the heart-devouring Taloners.
Max has his own problems – a manipulative billionaire father, a murdered brother – but nothing prepares him for this fugitive warrior’s razor-sharp talons and magical abilities.
Shahkara’s half-Taloner blood demands what she knows she can’t have – a human heart. She longs for love, but as deadly enemies attack at every turn, will her lust for Max destroy them both? Or will she find the strength to free both worlds from a threat more horrific than the demons that share her blood?
Fav. paranormal TV series: Does Dr Who count? I know it’s sci fi but… Okay, then, it’s a toss-up between Buffy and Once Upon a Time.
Which paranormal romance author would you just love to meet in person? LJ Smith, I know she’s a Young Adult author, but she tops my list. I fell in love with The Vampire Diaries years ago and, during the past couple of years, she’s been incredibly supportive of my writing, even publicly endorsing The Blood She Betrayed. I’d love to have coffee with her, but she lives overseas
Most intriguing paranormal creature: Illyria from the Angel TV series. She was a goddess in charge of her own destiny! I also loved her confusion at being woken into a new realm of time.
Fav. paranormal movie: Practical Magic
Keeper paranormal romance series/books: The Light Blade series by Kylie Griffin…of course!
Which would you prefer - transporter, TARDIS or immortality: That’s a no-brainer: TARDIS!
Dead fingers curled around an ancient crypt and a love of Celtic mythology were the two inspirations behind Cheryse Durrant's The Blood She Betrayed, the first novel in her young adult/new adult Heart Hunters series.
Durrant was born within days of Tolkien’s death and grew up on an Australian cattle farm where she chatted to scrub faeries and an imaginary superhero. She wrote her first story on her aunt's bedroom wall but it did not attract the literary acclaim she deserved.
She worked as a journalist for 15 years before trading her soul for fiction. The coffee/chocolate/strawberry addict now lives on the central Queensland coast where she teaches writing through Creative Dragons and is an avid WriteFest fan.
You can find out more about Cheryse on her website, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads or WattPad.