Hi everyone, and big thanks to Nalini for inviting me on her blog. I attended Nalini's workshop on paranormal romance at RWNZ this year, asking all the silly questions like, "Is it okay if I kill my characters off after they've had their HEA?"
Wise woman Nalini assured me the answer was "Are you CRAZY? No way. Never. Not in a million years." Good advice, eh?
As a debut urban fantasy/romance author, I'm often asked: which idea came first, the characters or the world? In my case, it was the characters.
The first spark of an idea that eventually became SHADOWFAE came to me one night when I was faffing about on the internet (as you do) hunting for a cool paranormal creature to star in my newest steamy story. I was clicking through Monstropedia (what a fabulous time-waster… umm, I mean research site!) and I came across the entry for succubus: a female demon who seduces men and feeds off their energy when they have sex.
Awesome! I thought. A girl who eats souls. That's my heroine. But what if a succubus climbed in the window at midnight to steal a man's soul—and found him already dead? Who killed him, and why? Why did she want his soul in the first place? What if the killer's still there?
And though the story went through a dozen iterations since then, that's still what happens in the first few pages of SHADOWFAE. Jade, my heroine, is out on yet another sordid soul-drinking mission for her demon lord—gosh, don't get me started about the demon lord—and finds her potential victim already drained of his soul. And the killer is indeed still there: Rajah, a 400-year-old incubus with his own mysterious agenda.
But now I needed a world for Jade and Rajah to play in. Somewhere their nefarious deeds would go not only unpunished, but virtually unnoticed. A place where getting your soul sucked out was an occupational hazard. A city where demons rule, and succubi are paranormal assassins. Warring vampire gangs own the streets. Fairies on the train, trolls in the coffee shop, angels and imps fighting in the gutters.
Add a shimmer of toxic fae glamour, so that we ordinary helpless humans can't see any of it, and the Shadowfae world was born. If you don't watch out, you'll lose your soul.
Which brings me back to my demon lord, Kane. Hello, sultry black-eyed blond :) Kane is my favourite secondary character, and he features in all three Shadowfae books I've written so far. His fight for control of his territory—and the souls that dwell there—has become the background theme of my series. The stories each feature a different hero/heroine, and Kane's the one jumping up and down in the wings, demanding his own book one day. He's a very persuasive man. He is a demon, after all…
So tell me: who's your favourite secondary character from a romance or UF series? Who would you like to get their own book one day? Me, I'm hanging out for a book about Riley Jenson's brother Rhoan and his BF from Keri Arthur's series ;)