Romance authors A.C. Arthur and Donna Grant discuss their favorite parts of writing paranormal romance. A.C. Arthur's latest paranormal romance, "Shifter's Claim," is on sale now. Donna Grant's latest, "Burning Desire," is also available now.
A.C. Arthur – Whenever I sit down to write a blog post I always wonder where to start, what to say, what my tone should be. It’s the same when I start reading a book that takes me into a new world.
Donna Grant - I definitely agree. For me, there's nothing more exciting than developing a new world - or getting to stay in one that I've already created. It's like starting with a blank slate. You get to craft your adversaries, allies, and everything else in whatever way you want. My favorite part of crafting a new world in paranormal romance is making my villains horrible, evil sociopaths. I've also been known to redeem a villain or two along the way. What's your favorite part?
A.C. – Growing up I could not wait until I was old enough to do what I wanted. Of course, I found out the hard way that grown-ups have a few guidelines they have to follow as well. But what I love most about building a paranormal world is creating the rules and adding characters that will ultimately break them.
Donna - Isn't it so much fun to weave these intricate worlds? I love when I add something that I don't realize could be detrimental to the characters. Until it is. In my Dark Kings series featuring dragon shifters set in Scotland, they are the ultimate protection for our planet against other supernatural beings. Yet they keep their true selves hidden from humans after a woman betrayed them. They've used magic to keep from falling in love with mortals, and yet love prevails.
A.C. – This is so true about adding something to a world and then finding out how damaging it can be later in the series. For instance, in my first Shadow Shifter stories about the half human, half jaguar species that live among humans, the most important rule is complete secrecy. Yet, in Shifter’s Claim, the hero is forced to reveal himself in order to help the human he is desperately in love with.
Donna - I love when characters must choose between their world and love. It puts them in some amazing situations. In my book, Fire Rising, the hero, Tristan, has to show her his true form as he saves her from certain death. Then he does the unthinkable and brings her back to Dreagan for protection. Which doesn't sit well with some of the other Dragon Kings.
A.C. – I am sure the Dragon Kings were not happy to see her or to know that their secret was out! Another interesting aspect about world building is how we deal with the changes these new relationships prompt. My hero, Sebastian, is adamant that his mate—despite being human—remain by his side, even though he knows the rules. The Assembly Leader has to choose between killing the human and losing one of his soldiers and adapting to the situation. It’s not an easy choice because this will ultimately change the premise of their world and beliefs in future stories.
Donna - I love when one act changes everything for the characters and their world!
A.C. – Just as one decision can change everything in the real world. I think these are some of the elements that draw readers into paranormal stories. The way we combine the new with the old to bring about a happy ending each time can be very rewarding.
Donna - So true. With every book I write, something else develops in the world I created that I never saw coming. It's always so much fun to put our characters through the ringer, only to give them an HEA [happily ever after] at the end.
A.C. – Yes, it’s definitely all about the HEA ending!
Readers, what’s your favorite part about reading paranormal romances? Is it the wonderfully wicked villains, the intricate new worlds, or the hero and heroine who find love no matter what? Leave a comment and let us know. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
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