Leigh Evans, author of the Mystwalker series, reveals the hidden truth about writing paranormal romance.
Occasionally someone will ask me why I write paranormal romance. I always tell them it just happens to be where my books are shelved. But since you are a Kindle reader, and I’ve got a Kindle too, I’ll tell you the truth.
I like long, soft kisses that make your knees go wobbly. I am also terribly fond of smart-mouthed heroines who have magic at their fingertips and are quite willing to bash the bad guy over the head with whatever is handy.
Put that way, it makes perfect sense that my Mystwalker series is found under the paranormal romance category. For all you know, the author of THE DANGER OF DESTINY is edgy, angsty and deeply romantic.
However, in real life, I’m kind of fluffy. If I pushed myself away from this keyboard and allowed you to the right to rifle through my desk’s drawer, you would find three pens filled with shocking pink ink.
(Don’t judge me. Those babies were on sale.)
See? Fluffy. Thus, creating a dark paranormal series about a half-Fae, half-Were outsider named Hedi Peacock wasn’t anywhere in my game plan when I sat to write the great Canadian novel. Actually, I was aiming for a cheeky urban fantasy book—lots of action and smart chatter, lots of suspense and surprises, and of course, a parade of smoking-hot supernatural beings.
Indeed, the first few draft pages of THE TROUBLE WITH FATE were droll, but then Robson Trowbridge strolled into Hedi’s Starbucks, and after that, even though I fought it, being flippant and irreverent became a background feature.
Love is the whole darn thing, isn’t it? It is passion and it is heartache. It is yearning to be understood and straining to understand. It is two steps forward and one step back, and in the beginning, it is constantly fighting to move forward—pushing to get past the awkward beginning to that place you know is just up ahead.
It’s a complicated and thorny journey and one that can be difficult to write, because in most romantic fiction, you have to complete the entire passage from hello to heck-yes in one novel. That’s where I was lucky: I had four books to build Hedi’s and Trowbridge’s path toward happiness.
I learned a few things writing these novels. An author can’t fight the call of the story any more than she can fight who she is. She’ll end up writing what she likes to read, what she’s experienced, and/or what she hopes to live.
Also, it turns out my heart is actually not a withered piece of old leather. It’s flexible and pliable and it’s happiest writing love stories. Take a closer look at my Mystwalker series. What have we got left once we remove the amulet with the attitude, the dangerous Faes and lusty Weres, the cold mages and drawling ex-drag queen? Two pairs of lips, two busted hearts, and—by the end of the final book of the series—two people who were healed by the real life magic that each one of us deserves.
That’s why I write these books. That and the fact that along the way, I get to kill bad guys, see pigs fly, and indulge in long, soft kisses that make my knees go wobbly.