In the second in our trilogy of interviews between three authors who are powerhouses of paranormal romance, urban fantasy and more, Suzanne McLeod (author of the Spellcrackers.com series) interviews Nalini Singh (author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series) about season two of the Psy-Changeling series, plotting and chocolate fixes…
SM: Hi Nalini! Thanks so much for answering some questions!
NS: It’s lovely to chat with you, Suzanne. 🙂
SM: But first, huge congratulations on ten awesome years in your Psy-Changeling series! How amazing does that feel?
NS: It’s a little surreal. I still vividly remember writing the first book – the time has passed by so quickly that it definitely doesn’t feel like ten years. I love this world so much. I have to give a big shoutout to my readers for their incredible support of this series. You are all awesome!
SM: You’ve recently announced some exciting news about ‘Silver Silence’, the next Psy-Changeling book, and how it’s the start of a new series arc (AKA ‘season two’). What does this mean for the Psy-Changeling universe?
NS: This is a sprawling and complex universe that is very organic. There are overarching storylines that grow and develop – and come to conclusions. The end of season one brought a lot of things to completion.
Now it’s time to jump into the new developments in the world and enjoy a whole new adventure. But this doesn’t mean we’re totally leaving behind the original cast – as I said, this is an organic, interconnected world. People will reappear as their paths cross with newer characters. And we will circle back, too, as this story arc will span many groups and areas.
SM: You’ve been teasing readers about who the hero of Silver Silence is, and many of them have been making guesses – can you tell us which have been your favourite guesses for Silver’s hero so far?
NS: All of them! Lol. I love seeing readers playing matchmaker for Silver. Here’s another clue – some people have actually made the correct guess, but they are in a definite minority.
SM: Archangel’s Heart is the next Guild Hunter book (out in November! Yay!) and in it Elena and Raphael travel to the Luminata compound, unearthing dark secrets and a surprise about Elena’s past. Is this surprise about Elena’s past something you’ve always known (AKA plotted) or were you as surprised as Elena?
NS: I’ve known Elena had a complex past from the start, and I knew certain integral elements of it, but some of the details in Archangel’s Heart surprised me, too. However, the pieces, they fit, so perhaps my subconscious knew more than it was telling!
SM: You’re now up to book 16 in the Psy-Changeling universe, and book 9 in the Guild Hunter series! Woot! Since writing Slave to Sensation and Angels’ Blood, the first books in those worlds, how has your writing developed? Do you still use the same routine or has it changed?
NS: I have learned to keep very detailed series bibles. When I wrote Slave to Sensation, I’d never written a big series before, so I didn’t realize how much I’d need to keep referring back to material from previous books so as to maintain continuity.
In terms of my writing day, I don’t have a routine so much as I have goals I have to reach each day, week, month. I’ve always worked that way – my day is flexible, so long as I reach my goal. This ‘small goals every day’ approach makes it far less stressful for me on the final stretch of a book. I like to build in time to really deep edit the book and to feel I didn’t rush it.
The one thing that has changed in my writing process over the past couple of years or so, is that I’ve started working on two different projects at once. They’re usually two totally different stories (a contemporary and a paranormal for example) at two totally different stages (e.g., one in first draft and one in third draft edits). I find this really keeps me fresh throughout the day. It’s also increased my productivity quite naturally.
Otherwise, it’s sit down and write. Exactly as it was when I first started!
SM: Thanks so much for all your answers, Nalini, and just one last quick question – what’s your favourite treat to end your writing day?
NS: Well, I’m a well-known chocolate addict, but I usually don’t have that to end my day. I’ll quite often brew a pot of caffeine-free tea, relax, maybe catch up on some television or read. But that tea, it’s a must.