Why I Write What I Write ~ The Paranormal Edition

Paranormal. Say the word. Paranormal. It’s like you took something boring and made it interesting. I guess my introduction to the paranormal reading world came with Stephen King’s Pet Semetary. I read Pet Semetary when I was just a kid and it scared me witless…but Pet Semetary is really a horror book, right? So my reaction to that book and the impact it had on my writing career is for WIWWIW ~ The Horror Edition in a few days time.

So how did I come about writing paranormal romance? Blame Jess Dee. Okay, there’s a step in there I’ve missed. Between writing my sci-fi romances and Jess Dee’s massive impact on my writing, there was a 2005 request from Angela James at Samhain Publishing to submit a sci-fi romance. I didn’t accept that invitation? Why? Cause I was scared. Scared to write for someone other than Changeling Press who I knew would take anything I sent to them. So I didn’t write a sci-fi for Samhain. (It would take another four years and two paranormal releases at Samhain before I actually submitted a sci-fi manuscript to them. How bloody stupid am I??) I kept writing my sci-fi novellas…and then one day, while driving home from Kindy-gym with my baby girl gurgling away in the back of my car, a sentence popped into my head. Just one…

The stink of sex, sin and death seeped into Declan O’Connell’s nostrils, overripe and acrid all at once. 

That one line itched in the back of my head for months until, no longer able to ignore it, I sat down at my computer and typed it. Then I typed some more. Then some more. And before I knew it, I’d written a 67,000 word paranormal romance about an Irish werewolf who wakes up to find himself in a cage in a science lab in Sydney, Australia. I have to honestly say, up until this point I’d never read a paranormal romance novel. I was still devouring King but for all his paranormal awesomeness, there wasn’t any real romance in them (excluding Bag of Bones…one of my favourites). But I wrote Savage Retribution and sent it to Samhain, pretty certin they’d completely forgotten the invitation to submit to them over a year ago… It wasn’t sci-fi. It wasn’t my normal genre at all.

And they accepted it. It sold so well all parties involved were stunned. I received emails from readers asking for more.

And then, because I am an idiot, I went back to the safety of my sci-fi novella world and didn’t send anything to Samhain again. Until 2009.

In March 2009 I met Jess Dee at the first Australian Romance Readers Convention in Melbourne. Speaking at the convention was MaryJanice Davidson and Sherrilyn Kenyon. Jess Dee devoures Kenyon’s paranormal romances with the ferocious appetite of a starving animal. She loves them and spoke at length to me about them. She stood up and asked Kenyon a question during Kenyon’s Key Note address. So infectious was her love of paranormal romances (and in particular, Sherrilyn Kenyon) I had to discover why. I was ashamed to admit to her I had never read any of the authors she listed (Kenyon was on the top of that list, of course) So when I arrived home from Melbourne, I bought myself Dream Lover, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s first book in the Dark Hunter series, the first book in Kerri Arthur’s Riley Jenson series and MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead and Unwed. I read all three and I was hooked. I mean, I was HOOKED! Obsessed. Addicted.

Undead and Unwed

Betsy Taylor turns 30, gets laid off, is killed by an SUV and wakes up dead all in the same week. The vampire community is convinced she’s their prophesied Queen. But she’s not having any of it—she’s got shoes to buy! And now the undead world is being turned upside-down by a Bela Lugosi throwback and her subjects expect her to take care of it! Why didn’t she read the handbook? But her would-be consort, Eric Sinclair, is (annoyingly) ever-present. If only he wasn’t so tall, dark, gorgeous…and undead.


Paranormal romance? Werewolves? Vampires? Demons? All existing in normal human settings I actually knew of? Had visited? Sure I’d written one, but for me it was an abnormality. I was the sci-fi girl, remember? I still don’t really know where Savage Retribution came from, but in my mind I was still the sci-fi geek who only wrote about aliens…and only read about aliens. And here was this whole new genre of romance I’d never really let myself explore. Here was….magic! Here was powerful heroes of unknown danger and origin. Here was mysterious “rules” existing within our own. Here was “interesting” in the “boring” of normal life.

And as a result of Jess Dee, I wrote Death, The Vamp and his Brother, and the paranormal flood gates where open. So many more would come…

Paranormal. Say it with me. Para-normal… Taking something boring and making it interesting. Or, as I like to say, take one common, everyday dog-walker, add one lone werewolf and shake…


16 Responses to “Why I Write What I Write ~ The Paranormal Edition”

  1. Well thank goodness for Jess Dee for kickin you booty 😉 I love both you ladies and your writing always makes me smile no matter what genre it is. I’m really looking forward to your new self pub series 😉

    • Ah, Dawn…you know we both love you, right? Fingers crossed, if The Boundaries is well received (there’s three in the series) I will write a “spin-off”. I won’t tell you who the spin-off trilogy will be focused on though. Not until you’ve read all of The Boundaries 😉

  2. So glad you ended up writing paranormal romance books! I admit to being partial to shifter stories so loved reading Savage Retribution and Savage Transformation 🙂

  3. To be entirely honest, Lexxie Couper is just as responsible for kicking my butt as I am for kicking hers.
    And lemme tell you, she has two black belts. Her kicks hurt!!!
    I have no choice but to listen to her…

  4. I’m looking forward to checking out some of your Changeling Press titles. I have truly enjoyed your Savage books.

  5. Katherine Says:

    It is so cool to read about how you find your fellow writers and encourage, cajole, etc each other. Although writing is still a solitary profession at heart, it seems to me that the internet/blog has allowed writers to find their community.

    Paranormal – two years ago I was rolling my eyes at the proliferation of vamp books. Now I’ve found a few tropes I love, and have also enjoyed shifters, steampunk, etc., etc. Underneath it all, it’s a romance with a HEA. And that’s what matters.

    And now I’ve got to go read summaries of the Savage series and add some more books to my TBR list.

    • Writing *is* such a solitary profession isn’t it. I was only thinking yesterday how lost I would be without the connection I have through the net with my fellow writers. Some of them are closer to me than my own “flesh and blood” friends.

      And thank you. Always chuffed to be added to someone’s TBR list 🙂

  6. Through the awesome writing of Jess is when I discovered Lexxie, one of the best things ever 🙂
    I love paranormal, I’m afraid to watch scary movies, but I can so read about everything we’re supposed to be afraid of.
    Oh I have all of the savage books, so so good!

  7. Nancy Gilliland Says:

    I’ve got a few of the Changeling books, and am trying to pick up a few every payday. I enjoy all the older ones, but also like the newer stuff, as it seems to be a bit … more!

  8. So happy that you and Jess have this mutual kicking thing going on–means we have more great books to read!! 😀

  9. I just picked up a couple of the Changeling books today. Love that they had a 10% off coupon.

  10. Dream Lover was my first intro into paranormal romance. I just heard about Undead And Unwed the other day. I will definitely check it out!

  11. Paranormal Romance books is what got me back into reading a few years ago.I love Kerri Arthur’s Riley Jenson series.It is a keeper series for me.

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