Onirik : You began your career as a writer with short classical novels and then suddenly you set about a supernatural and totally different series. How can this change be accounted for ? Is it a definitive change ?
Nalini Singh :I was published first in short contemporary fiction, but I’ve always written paranormal stories as well. The first short story I ever won a contest with was actually about angels. So, the interest was always there.
Is the change definitive ? Well, I never say never ! I do still have an interest in contemporary stories, so I can see myself writing another one in the future. But, for the moment, I’m focusing on the paranormals and really enjoying it.
Onirik : Whether in the supernatural series or the previous classical novels, your books are always very sensual. Do you see it as an essential element of the romance ?
Nalini Singh :I think so – sensuality is part of any good relationship. But that doesn’t always mean sex. With my Psy/Changeling series, the changelings are very tactile and affectionate, and that’s very important, too.
However, I’m a strong believer in the fact that the sensuality only works if you’ve laid the groundwork for it. First, the couple must be attracted to each other – it’s that sense of connection that makes sensuality believable.
Onirik : Doesn’t supernatural romance make it possible to express oneself more freely and play with taboo ideas that are more difficult to tackle in other kinds of contexts ?
Nalini Singh : Definitely. I think this is particularly the case with alpha heroes. These gorgeous, sexy men can get away with a whole lot more than they could in a contemporary, because the rules of the world are different.
Onirik : The type of paranormal plot you have chosen is very specific since it features half-animal and half-human beings. Can this choice be accounted for by the fact that it allows you to play with animal instinct as opposed to the intellect ?
Nalini Singh : I think the series has a good balance, because you have the very cerebral Psy – with them, it’s all about the intellect. Then you have the changelings, who act much more on instinct, and then the humans, who are caught in between. That’s part of why I love writing this series so much – there’s really a huge scope in terms of the world and the characters.
Onirik : You seem perfectly at ease in this genre as if you had always written like this. Is that right, and do you intend to deal with other aspects of supernatural literature ?
Nalini Singh : Thank you ! As I mentioned, I have been interested in paranormal ideas for a long time—I’m delighted to be published in this area now.
And yes, I do intend to write other stories in this sub-genre. In 2009, I have a new series debuting. The first book is called Angels’ Blood and it’s about a bounty hunter who hunts vampires for their masters...the angels.
Onirik : The world you depict is very intricate and rich. Where does this amazing imagination come from ?
Nalini Singh : I’m a daydreamer. It’s part of me and I cherish it. I’m always wondering “what if” – that’s how so many stories begin. What if you couldn’t feel anything ? What if you could shift into animal form ? What if telepathy could drive you insane ?
Onirik : In each book we learn a little more about Psys and Changelings. We are thus under the impression that this world is building up before our own eyes and that there are many more –probably startling- revelations in store for us. Have you organized the series so that each book will unveil one part of the mystery ?
Nalini Singh : I’m a very organic writer in that I don’t plot out everything – I work with the flow of the story. With the Psy/Changeling series, I’ve always known the general climax we’re working toward, but the details grow with each book. Sometimes, I’m amazed at how well things slot together – my subconscious putting it all together perhaps ?! I do try to explore a new aspect of the world each time – it’s as much fun for me as I hope it is for the reader.
The one thing I’m very organized about is continuity. If an event happens in book 1, it’s not forgotten in book 2. There are consequences. Also, if there are rules in one book, they have to be followed in the next books.
Onirik : Each novel can also be read on different levels : a love story of course, but there are also further thought on duty, tolerance, freedom… Doesn’t this supernatural world put the same main questions as ours ?
Nalini Singh :I think any good paranormal book has allusions to our world, whether that’s done consciously or not. I prefer to let readers decide what they see in the books for themselves – each reader will see something different, and that’s part of the joy of storytelling.
Onirik : Three volumes of your series are already available, the fourth one will soon be released, and I read on your website that there would be up to seven volumes. Will it then be over or do you intend to go on ? What characters will appear ?
Nalini Singh :At the moment, I don’t think it will end at volume 7. I have more stories to tell. But there is an end point that the books are heading toward. When we reach that point, perhaps a new story arc will begin, but that’s a way off !
As for characters, I definitely intend to write both Mercy and Hawke stories, as well as those of some intriguing new characters.
Onirik : Do you know if French readers will soon be lucky enough to read this series ?
Nalini Singh : Currently, we haven’t sold French translation rights. I’d love for these books to be translated in French, so fingers crossed !