The Psy-Changeling Genesis: A Guest Post by Nalini Singh

9780575095663We absolutely adore Nalini Singh’s incredible, sexy and smart Psy-Changeling series here at Gollancz and can hardly believe that it’s been ten years since book one, Slave to Sensation, was first published. Join us as we celebrate this amazing milestone in what’s been an incredible journey so far with our ten-day blog tour – starting today! We’ll also be rejoicing over the publication of the latest book in the series, Allegiance of Honour, so watch out for an exclusive from Nalini over on the Gollancz blog about that.

Over the next ten days, we’ll be sharing reviews, extracts – including one read by Nalini herself, a podcast and we’ll be doing an amazing giveaway of the entire Psy-Changeling series. On July 6th at 8pm UK time (or July 7th at 7am if you’re lucky enough to be in New Zealand) we’ll be hanging out with Nalini via a Google Hangout so please do join us for that!  

This event is for everyone – from the already converted to those of you lucky enough to be at the beginning of your Psy-Changeling voyage – so welcome along!

To start us off, Nalini has given us a glimpse into the genesis of the series. Enjoy! And please don’t forget to use the hashtag #PSYCHANGELING to join in the conversation.


At the time that I wrote Slave to Sensation, I was published in short, contemporary romance. However, unbeknownst to anyone, I’d also always been working on stories with paranormal/sf/fantasy elements. For me, for a paranormal romance or dark fantasy to be truly compelling, it needs to have a powerful concept that drives the story.

So while I felt I was writing good stories in the genre, they weren’t as powerful as I wanted them to be… and then one day, everything clicked. I had it: The concept of a race gifted and cursed with incredible psychic abilities such as telepathy and telekinesis. Their abilities give them great power, but those same abilities cause them to have the highest rates of insanity on the planet… and to spawn the highest number of serial killers. And so, to survive, they’re forced into making an impossible, painful choice.

But why did the idea come then? Why that moment?

All I can tell you is that I believe a number of things I’d been considering over a long period of time came together at that instant. For example, I’ve always been interested in true psychic abilities, in the idea of using our brains to their absolute full potential. What if we could have telekinetic powers? What if we could speak to each other across the world using only our minds?

Wouldn’t that be amazing?

But hold on, I thought that day, what if the price for those abilities was violence and insanity and families broken apart by shattered minds? What then? What would you do to survive? And that was when I saw the Psy, saw their choice to eliminate all emotion in an effort to control their violent psychic abilities.

The changelings simply appeared on the page as I began to write, but I think they came from my dissatisfaction (at the time) of having read a number of stories  where shapeshifting was considered a curse or was otherwise unwanted. I wanted to write shapeshifters who embraced both halves of their nature and who were as animal as they were human and vice versa. Because how cool would it be to shapeshift?!

As for the humans, they were an integral part of this world, caught between two competing superpowers: the cold-hearted Psy and the hot-blooded changelings. And that is how it all began.

Whether you’re new to the series or a long-time fan, I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the genesis of the books.

Watch Nalini Singh read from Slave to Sensation.

About Slave to Sensation:

Dive into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind—and none of the heart…

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”— the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was….

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…

Slave to Sensation is available now in paperback and ebook.

Nalini Singh Blog Tour