Nalini Singh Rocks My Underpants
If you're not familiar with the name Nalini Singh, you have either been under a rock for the past few years...or perhaps you've never read paranormal romance? If not, then you are missing out on some of the most awesomely in-depth world-building to hit the paranormal world today. Combine this with smokin' hot sexiness and you've got a book that I cannot put down. I was stuck in an airport when I read the first two Nalini books, and after my plane landed, I promptly drove to the bookstore to get her third one. Delicious!
So when Nalini's new book hit the shelves, I asked her if she'd like to stop by the League and tell us a bit more about her world.
For those that are new to your books, can you give us a quick description of them?
The Psy/Changeling series is set in the not too distant future in an alternate Earth. This Earth is populated by three races - humans, changelings (shapeshifters), and Psy.
The Psy have amazing psychic abilities, from telepathy to telekinesis and beyond. But those gifts come with a price - they have the highest rate of murder and insanity of all three races. As a result, they decide to embrace Silence, a protocol that eliminates emotion from their lives. As the first book opens, Silence has been in force for over a hundred years and the Psy are the coldest people on the planet.
The first book pits Lucas, the alpha of the DarkRiver leopard pack, against Sascha, a cardinal Psy whose conditioning is starting to break down. But the instant any other Psy realizes she's beginning to feel, she'll be "rehabilitated" - her mind wiped, her personality destroyed. Throw in a serial killer, a power-hungry Psy Council, an angry leopard pack, and you have the beginning of the series.
(Jill's note: Slave to Sensation is awesome. You should all buy it.)
What's the latest book about?
Mine to Possess, is the first one in which a human plays a major role. Talin McKade is the human - she knew Clay Bennett, one of the DarkRiver sentinels (the alpha's most trusted men and women, the protectors of the pack), as a child, before a terrible event tore them apart. Now, she's back to ask for Clay's help. The kids she looks after on the streets are disappearing and he's the only one who might be dangerous enough to help her. Clay, meanwhile, is seriously pissed at Tally. And I mean *seriously*.
This book is very, very emotional, and I was in tears in parts of it. I hope it makes you cry, too, Jill *g* I really want everyone to fall in love with these two complex characters who have one heck of a past.
(Jill's note: I will probably blubber like a baby, indeed. I am emo like that.)
The Psy-Changeling world is extremely different from most paranormal romance out there, setting-wise. How did you come up with the setting?
I began with Lucas and Sascha. They were so vivid in my head. And the setting was just there. I'd played with some of the concepts before, but it wasn't quite right. But that day, when I sat down to write up a few notes about these two characters, it was as if everything coalesced. Enough simmering, the story was ready to blast off.
I wrote the first draft in three manic weeks around a full-time job. I also ate peanut-butter toast for most of that period. I don't recommend doing this, but boy was it fun!!
(Jill's note: Mmm. It's peanut-butter jelly time...)
What's been your biggest challenge as a writer so far?
I think different challenges appear at different stages of your career and at that time, it is the biggest. At least that's what I've found. Before I was published, I had to learn the very basics from how to submit, to how to format a page. Later, I had to learn to do revisions within a short timeframe. So it's all relative. These days, I'm in the single title pond, and I'm learning the ropes of sell-throughs, print runs, and bestseller lists among other things.
Man-titty - do you think it helps sell the books or not? ;)
Totally! Number one - the covers are nice to look at. And number 2, the male chest covers are synonymous with romance, so when you see that cover, you immediate know that it's probably a romance - it's appealing directly to the very readers who might enjoy the work.
(Jill's note: See? All you haterz, there is a reason for the copious man-titty!)
Do you have a favorite character that you've written? If so, which one?
I can't decide. I just can't. I love all of them for different reasons. I think as a writer, it can't be any other way - I have passion for each book I write, so how can I not love all of the characters?
(Jill's note: I'll pick for you. Vaughn from Visions of Heat is smokin' hot.)
What kind of underpants would Judd from CARESSED BY ICE wear? I always pictured him as kind of commando.
I think I'm disturbed by the fact that you've thought about that. You know what - I'm going to leave that up to you. If commando rocks your boat... *grin*
(Jill's Note: What? Nobody else wonders what kind of underpants characters wear? I know Stacia does!)
Is it weird being in New Zealand and your books are published here in the US? (er, are you published in NZ too? here's where I show my ignorance)
My major market is the US, but my books are available in NZ, too. It's not weird because I'm used to it. Sometimes I wish I could walk into a store and see a HUGE display of my books (total wish fulfillment), but otherwise, it's normal for me. Also, the Internet has really opened up things in terms of my ability to interact with readers.
What's next after MINE TO POSSESS?
I'm currently working on Angels' Blood, which is the first book in a series about a vampire hunter who tracks down rogue vampires for their masters...the angels. It's a very cool book. Look out for it in 2009.
And I've just turned in Hostage to Pleasure, the next book in the Psy/Changeling series. It's about Dorian, the sniper with surfer-blue eyes.
(Jill's Note: But do we get more Vaughn?)
Any particular influences or anything you want to squee over at the moment?
I'm really excited about MtP hitting the shelves. I'm like a kid with each new book :)
Thanks for the interview, Jill. You do realize that now I can't stop thinking about Judd and his you-know-what. Hmm, not a bad way to spend the time...
(Jill's Note: Well, I wasn't thinking about his you-know-what, but his underwear. But now that you mention it...)
Thanks Nalini, for the fun interview. :) I am sooo looking forward to your new book!