Friday, May 13, 2011

Interview: Nalini Singh


Today I can't even explain to you how excited I am to welcome Nalini Singh to the blog, she is the author of two of my very favorite paranormal romance series and her upcoming Psy-Changeling release KISS OF SNOW is unbelievably good (my review will be up on Monday). Some of you may remember a few months back I announced that I was nursing a spectacular crush on Hawke and slightly-obsessively book stalking him by reading the books in the series in which I knew he would be featured first before returning to read them in order. When the fabulous people at Penguin sent me an ARC, I may have permanently traumatized my FedEx man with a display of what I call dancing, but others would most likely call flailing or seizing. Super. The point is however, that I'm thrilled to have Nalini on today, and be sure and mark your calendars for the release of KISS OF SNOW on May 31st!

I have to say, KISS OF SNOW has my favorite cover out of all the published Psy-Changeling books (*strokes cover lovingly*), is there one cover that really stands out most to you?

I don’t think I could pick just one. Most recently, I love the colors in the PLAY OF PASSION and BONDS OF JUSTICE covers, while KISS OF SNOW is simply delicious. *grin*

Scent is vital to the changelings–providing them with a great deal of information about any given individual–and the way you describe each person’s scent often gives us a little extra insight into their character. How do you think Hawke might describe you in terms of scent?

What a fun question. Hmm, I think threads of chocolate might feature in the description, along with hints of ink and paper!

Hawke and Sienna are reader favorites and the tension between them has been slowly building throughout the series; has it been difficult for you to wait to tell their story?

Yes and no. It was hard waiting to share their story, but I never stopped myself from writing scenes for their book as those scenes came to me. Also, it was important to me that the timing be right for their book, not only because of Sienna’s age (though that is a major factor), but also because of Hawke’s and Sienna’s emotional journey to this point.

Both the Psy-Changeling series and the Guild Hunter series feature very dominant, very alpha men, yet their strong personalities are never off-putting or irritating. How difficult is it to achieve a balance between the dominance and vulnerability that makes these men so appealing?

My guiding principle is to ask: If he does this, is he still a hero? It’s such a simple thing to ask, but it gets to the heart of the matter.

What’s also critical is that while these men might be dominant and occasionally arrogant, they love with the same intensity that makes them so alpha. And when they fall, they fall hard. The heroine means everything to him – who can resist loving that kind of a hero?

Another thing to note is that my heroines have their own internal strength, which is more than a match for the dominance of the heroes – they can push back and force these alpha men to let down their walls, helping to create that balance between dominance and vulnerability.

We get to see a new side to Hawke and Sienna’s relationship when he opts to use the endearment “baby” when referring to her. What made you decide Hawke would be a pet name kind of guy, and why “baby” in particular?

He might be alpha, but he is still a wolf, still a changeling. Affection is natural for him, so the fact he used an endearment wasn’t something that surprised me. As for “baby” – it’s what Hawke wanted to use, and you know that wolf likes to get his own way.

If Hawke were to describe Sienna with a single word the moment he saw her upon her defection from the PsyNet, what would that word be? If he had to describe her now?

I think now and then, he would always call her strong. But now that he knows all the facets of her personality, he’s likely to use words like compelling and intriguing, too,…as well as one other that I’ll tell you after KISS OF SNOW releases.

If you were a SnowDancer enemy and encountered Sienna and Hawke on the battlefield, who would you fear most?

I think it would depend on whether I was Psy, Changeling or human – i.e. what knowledge I had of their abilities. Hawke is unquestionably dangerous, and to those that don’t know her, Sienna appears young and easier to defeat. However, in reality, she is a force to be reckoned with.

The truth is, any enemy should fear both – when it comes to the safety of the pack, they function as a lethal unit.

Now that Hawke finally has a woman that means something to him, will we get to see moments in future books where Lucas gets to reciprocate on some of the teasing he’s endured as a result of his mating to Sascha?

We shall see. ;-)

(I knew this question wouldn't work, but it was worth a try right? :-)

Would you say there is a specific point at which time Hawke’s frustration and irritation at Sienna’s open defiance and antics shifted into physical attraction, or would you say it was more of a gradual process?

It was very much a gradual process. However, it wasn’t until she was over eighteen that Hawke even allowed himself to consider the idea.

Of all the Psy-Changeling books, is there one specific couple’s story you found most difficult to tell, or felt the most pressure to get right?

Each story is unique and each has its own challenges. However, I think it’s safe to say that I felt extra pressure when it came to Hawke and Sienna – readers have been waiting so long for their book.

But, in terms of the actual writing process, I had to leave all that behind and simply focus on the story – because the fact is, attempting to please everyone would have been an impossible task. I had to trust in my instincts and write the story from the heart – and hope that readers would come along with me for the ride.

If you had a choice between having a set of wings as the angels and archangels in the Guild Hunter series do or having the ability to shift into animal form as with the changelings, which would you choose?

Oh, why do you ask such tough questions?! How can I possibly choose? I hereby use my (newly created) veto power as the writer, and state that I choose both!

Of all your male characters, who would you least mind getting completely possessive over you? Why him?

So many wonderful heroes…but they have heroines, either now, or in the future. These heroines live in my head, too, and there’s no way I want to make any of them mad by putting a claim on her mate.

But I have to say – no matter their race or species, my heroes are all men I adore.

Thanks so much for stopping by Nalini! If you haven't had the chance to pick up a book by Nalini yet, add one to your list the next time you go book shopping, she writes breathtaking characters and smoking romances that will have you scrambling to buy every book in the series after reading just one. For more information on her and her books, you can find her here:

Website
Blog
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KISS OF SNOW (from Goodreads)

Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.

Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would've been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.

Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other's secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight…

A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna's darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…

33 comments:

  1. Great interview Jenny! I have not read any of her books but with that great cover I may have too!

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  2. OMG, can't wait for their book and to read your review, Jenny! My favorite changeling is Riley followed by Drew and Judd very closely. :P
    To be honest, I was a little upset that Sienna was going to be his mate but I think I got over it in Drew's book and I know that Singh will make it work. She's just that awesome!

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  3. Fab interview! I have some of the books in the Psy-Changeling series here. So far I've only read Slave to Sensation, I loved it so I should really get back to the other books :)

    I'm not to keen on the covers though, but that goes for all covers with half naked people on them. It looks so cheap in a way.

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  4. I get to hang out with her next month at Boas and Tiaras! I met her last year at RomCon and she is an absolute doll!

    Great interview!

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  5. Great interview!!!! I"m soooo behind on the psy/changelings series and I haven't even started the Guild Hunters! Tho I do have the firs book! I need to get caught up b/c I'm definitely looking forward to Hawke and Sienna's story!

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  6. Savy - You should give her a try, she's an auto buy author for me!

    Rummanah - I adore Riley and Drew! They are definitely two of my favorites as well. I wasn't sure about Sienna initially, but I love her and Hawke together. Love. Them.

    Ladybug - There are so many great books in the series, I hope you pick the rest up! I'm more partial to the Changeling/Psy pairings or Changeling/Changeling pairings, but they're all great:)

    Felicia - Lucky you! She's going to be in Cincinnati for the Lori Foster event next month, I'm hoping to make it down there to meet her:)

    Mollie - You must start the Guild Hunters! I love Raphael:) And hurry up and get caught up so I can talk to you about Hawke and Sienna:)

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  7. Such an insightful interview. I loved how Ms. Singh balances her male characters----do their actions still keep them a hero. Great. I look forward to reading these books. Thanks

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  8. Jenny: To answer your question that disappeared- the Kain character doesn't have any religious undertones to it. It's a combination of two Japanese words I believe. Ka= Base or support and in- building that has high fences around it. His first name akatsuki means dawn or daybreak. Pretty cool, huh?

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  9. Fab interview, I am counting down the days until Liss of Snow's release, this is one of my favourite series of all time and I feel like I have been waiting for Hawke's story forever. Can't wait to read your review.

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  10. Spectacular interview . . . spectacular series! Can't wait to get my hands on Kiss of Snow. Singh is an incredible storyteller. Her characters are unforgettable.

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  11. Yep I think it would be a hard choice to pick a favorite hero since there are so many to choose from...I would want them all LOL.

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  12. Cathy - You should look forward to them, they're awesome;) Perhaps I'll get you hooked on this series next!

    Rummanah - Good to know, thanks!

    Keeper - Me too! Never has a book release felt so far away...

    Anonymous - Couldn't agree more:)

    Jenny - She has some amazing characters, and though it would be nearly impossible to choose, I'd probably have to go with Hawke. *scrolls back up to look at cover again*

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  13. Great interview! I can't wait to see how hawk and Sienna get together an how they make it work

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  14. Awesome! Awesome interview! I really need to get going on this series. I feel like I'm missing out!

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  15. Oh fine! I haven't read anything in this series! Gah!

    *sulks away-embarrassed*

    Great interview!

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  16. I love the Psy-Changeling series. Nalini is my favourite writer in the genre that I've encountered so far, and by a mile. Thanks for the interview!

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  17. Oh this is one of the series I have been drooling over and upset I haven't had the time to read! Oh, I want to stroke that cover too... *ahem* excuse me. :)

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  18. Blodeuedd - Thanks! I just loved Hawke and Sienna's story, its one I'll read over and over:)

    Carissa - Thank you:) I love this series, she writes characters that just stay with you:)

    Ashley - Get your bum to the bookstore woman! Nalini's boys are waiting for you:)

    Anonymous - You're very welcome, I love her as well:)

    Melissa - DO IT! The cover is asking to bet petted isn't it? Nothing like standing in the romance aisle of the bookstore fondling a book cover;)

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  19. Great interview! I just read Angels' Blood a few weeks ago. I'm just sorry I didn't find it sooner!

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  20. Awesome, awesome questions. I'm soo glad you asked her about the "baby" bit. Yum.

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  21. Great interview! I haven't read the Psy-Changeling series but the interview has made me curious about it.

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  22. J.J. - I loved Angel's Blood! And now you can read all the released books back to back, so that works out even better:)

    Ruby - Baby. *swoon* I could die all over again just thinking about that first scene in the bar:)

    Misha - I love the Psy-Changeling series, they're just fun reads with really memorable characters.

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  23. What a great interview! Nalini Singh is one of my favorite authors. If I ever see her she better watch out because I will go fangirl on her.

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  24. Great interview! I loved the discussion of how to create a dominant yet vulnerable guy and also not to make him off-putting.

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  25. What a terrific interview. Your question always elicit such fantastic responses from the author, probably because you get to the heart of the book so well. While I have not read this series, it sounds as if I really should.

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  26. I haven't heard of the series, but I like how she mentions that the heroines have their own strengths which balance's the alphas in a way.

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  27. Lol, getting mail is always exciting for me too (probably because I hardly ever get it). I have a thing for alpha men *starts thinking about Ren from Nightshade* so maybe I'll have to take a look at Nalini's series. Great interview, Jenny!

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  28. I am so excited again after reading this interview with Ms. Singh Jenny, like Felicia will get to hang out with the author and quite a few more of my favorites in June at Boas and Tiaras Tea outside Dallas! I cannot wait to get there as we all get a HB copy of Kiss of Snow and I am getting my series signed by the authors who are there and wish you were going too!

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  29. Can't believe most of you haven't read her whole series.Her world is amazing! Waiting, waiting, waiting so patiently on KOS. 16 days to go and counting

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  30. You do realize that I've become obsessed with Hawk because of you! What I wouldn't give to have him call me Baby! *le sigh*

    I loved that scent question. Of course chocolate and ink would fit perfectly for a writer, while mine scent would probably be some thing like worn fabric and stale cheese. Not very appealing, I'm sure.

    So, just how young is Sienna? Guess, I will just have to read to find out. ;)

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  31. What a fantastic interview Jenny. You ask such wonderful, insightful and highly original questions. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this interview and loved Nalini's responses too.... and yes, I have still yet to read her books. I've got to make some time for her books. This is just getting ridiculous.

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  32. That was a great interview, very fun. I enjoyed your questions, very fun. I'm a huge fan of the Guild Hunter series but I only occasionally pick up a Psy-Changeling book, but even I've been waiting forever for Hawke & Sienna's story.

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