Q&A on Goodreads

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Q&A on Goodreads

Post by TheFLuff on Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:02 am

Hey everybody, since Nalini is doing a Q&A on Goodreads next Friday, and some of us are timezone challenged, I though, we could be collecting questions, that someone, who can participate can ask.
I don´t know, if I can make it... but of course, I´ll try ^^

Here´s the link: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1233021-author-q-a-nalini-singh-march-22-7-9-pm-est

And here´s the link to her last Q&A to avoid questions, that have been asked already: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1039972-q-a-with-nalini-singh-on-friday-september-28th-from-3pm-till-midnight-ea

My questions:

Will Brennas telepathic ability ever play a role again and will we see her use it actively?
Will William the Dart play a role again?
What is Vasic´s last name?
And how did you decide Vasics unusual first name? Was that a specific decision, linked to the meaning of the name?

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Re: Q&A on Goodreads

Post by Roxsan on Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:57 am

Full Answers from the Q & A on Goodreads:

1. I have read your Psy/Changeling FAQ page where you talk about how you came up with the idea of the Psy race but what I would like to know is what gave you the idea of linking them all with a "mental internet" instead of just the normal telepathy

You know my compulsive writing answer above? It totally applies here! And I'm not exaggerating about the compulsive aspect of it. I wrote the first draft of Slave to Sensation in three weeks around a full time job and when I came up for air, the PsyNet was a fully formed entity. It just grew out of the story - just felt absolutely, utterly right.

2. Will you have any bear or tiger shifters in your upcoming Psy/Changeling books?

There's a mention of one in Heart of Obsidian Wink Yes, I absolutely would love to write tiger shifters, but this will likely be after the current story arc is complete. As for bear shifters, they are present in the series and have been mentioned, but I don't have any plans currently to focus on them in particular.

3. In the Guild Hunter books Raphael talks about how Elijah shows no sign of the ennui even though he is one of the oldest among them. He believes it is his relationship with Hannah that gives him stability and Raphael seems to look to them as an example. Will you ever have a back story or novella on Elijah and Hannah?

I have Elijah and Hannah on my "possible novellas" list, so yes, that may happen. However, you will also see them in Archangel's Legion.

4. Do you ever find that you have to step away from your writing because you feel too emotionally involved in a difficult scene?

What a timely question. Are you sure you're not psychic? Wink

I actually had this happen in HEART OF OBSIDIAN. I knew a particular scene needed to be written and I was just shying away from it because I knew it would hurt so much.

I actually turned in a draft to my editor without that scene in the book, and it was one of the first questions she asked me - where was the scene? I admitted why I was hesitating to write it, and we talked it over (she is incredible), and it just gave me that little push I needed to face this with my characters.

I was literally shaking by the time I finished the first draft of that scene, my heart thundering in my chest.

I did get up then and go do something else - I think I might have vacuumed the house or washed the dishes or something else that let my emotions recover. When I went back to the scene, I was able to edit it and I think now that it is one of the most powerful scenes in the book. I've read it multiple times now during the editing process for the book and it still makes my heart hurt, still makes me want to scream in anger.

I have had things like this happen with earlier books too - I remember just SOBBING over the keyboard at a key scene in BLAZE OF MEMORY, literally writing through tears. As a writer, I think it's important to be so close to my characters, to feel so passionately about the stories, and I hope that comes through on the page.

5. I'm dying to know what happened to Samuel Rain,the Psy that fought against the compulsion in Branded by Fire? His chapters really moved me to tears and I really want to know what became of him.

Samuel made it, but the experience scarred him. I think he really needs a resolution to his story on the page and I hope to have a chance to return to him.

6. Could two alphas mate? Or is their devotion for their respective pack too strong to act upon the tug of the mating bond?

It would be highly, highly, HIGHLY unusual for there to even be the possibility of a mating bond in this situation. The only reason I'm not saying that it's impossible, is that the heart is a tricky organ, but it'd be pretty much close to impossible.

It's not only the devotion to pack - remember that scene where Lucas and Hawke are on different sides of the room? It's because alphas are used to, and meant to, be the only power in a region. That would make a relationship pretty difficult.

7. If I remember correctly, you posted somewhere a couple of years ago that you planned to write a novel/novella about the Territorial Wars. Is that still correct?

o, um, I wrote this novella. All of it. Then I told my editor and my agent that it wasn't quite right and they couldn't read it yet (they are both used to my crazy). That was a while back...and there's still something that feels unfinished about the story, so I can't say when you'll get that novella, except that it'll be when I figure out what it is that's making me hesitate to put it out. It's really important to me not to release anything until I'm absolutely happy with the story.

8. This has been weighing in my mind for a while, ever since Sienna said that she doesn't want to have kids because she's afraid to pass on the X marker.
I'm under the impression that her X Fire, and those like of Judd's and other Arrows are so rare, something like a mutation, to pass it to their offspring easily. So, either she's unaware of this, or I misunderstood.^^ Anyway, I fully understand that she needs to spread her wings first before entering motherhood. Very Happy


Actually, genetically speaking, it's a real fear - the X marker may originally have become part of Sienna's genes as a result of a rare mutation, but if a parent carries a mutation, it can be passed on to a child, since the child will inherit half their genes from that parent.

No other X-Psy that they know of, has ever lived long enough to have a child, so no one knows if, for example, Hawke's genes would mean the X mutation would be dormant in a child, or if it is a gene that will always express itself.

Until they can answer those questions, neither one of them will risk the life of a child.

9. This may sound creepy/downright horrifying but I have to ask.Has Ming ever tried to create a perfect army either by cloning, or manipulating the genes of these 'gifted' Psy? Meaning Sienna's 'offspring' or another Arrow's? Sorry if this is such a yucky question.^^

I'm not sure I totally understand the question (sorry!). You mean has he tried to create children by using the genetic material of Psy with strong abilities? No, it would take too long and frankly, one of Ming's flaws is that he discards people too easily - it's why he lost the Arrows.

10. How would you define a mate? :-) I mean, aside from the mating bond, what makes a mate, a mate - is it something like soul mates - the one soul split in two people, or is it just two souls who develops a mating bond?

I'm pretty sure you've asked me this question another way before Wink, so you know the answer - I don't like giving definitions outside of what's in the books, so I'm going to send you back to them.

11. I asked for Sienna and Hawke's birthday last Q&A, but time was short. ^^ Is it OK to ask again? :-)

Hawke: November 2047 (drat, exact day is missing from the quick reference guide I have for exactly this type of question!)
Sienna: June 1st, 2062

12. Thank you for writing Texture of Intimacy! it hits all the right buttons. Very Happy But I'm dying to know if you're going to pursue the 'budding' young couples(Tai/Evie, Riordan/Noelle.) in future books.

We'll see. I generally don't like to jump time, so it may be a slow process.

13. Will the wild wolves recognize Sienna as their alpha's mate. Or will she be just another SD member to them? Very Happy

Of course. He's their alpha, too, and she is their alpha's mate. It's like saying the sky is blue. To them, it just is.

14. Branded by Fire is probably my all-time favorite PNR. It certainly opened with a bang (lol, no pun intended Very Happy). I love every minute of it but were you or anyone on your publishing team concerned at all by opening a book with such passionate scene, especially when the previous books in the series provided a bit more of a build-up? Again, can't thank you enough for creating Mercy and Riley, they never fail to make me smile even on a bad day. Smile

Nope. Everyone thought it was perfect for these two. Smile

15. I love your focus on pack dynamics (like how dominants and submissives like Cooper and Grace interact and their respective roles in the pack) and Changeling animal behavior (like Drew having to "reprimand" the young Changeling who tries to "challenge" him after trying to escape the nursery in Play of Passion). Do you research such things or do you pull them from your imagination? It feels like you could have a second career as an animal behaviorist!

Thanks! I have done quite a lot of research into the behavior of wolves and leopards, but I also have to keep in mind that the changelings are human, too, so it's not always a literal or direct translation between how such predators interact in the wild, to how they interact in changeling society. While the foundation is based in nature, it's also shaped by the uniqueness of the changelings.

16. You've said previously that both Guild Hunter and Psy-Changeling have definitive end points. You've tackled shifters, humans with superhuman powers, angels, vampires and magic fantasy. Can you spill any beans on what you might be brewing up next? Will it be paranormal or do you feel like switching it up completely and starting into a new genre?

I do have other works in progress. I think this is true of most authors - we're always playing with ideas, and that's really important. I feel it keeps my writing fresh, stretches me in new ways.

One of the strongest ideas I have at the moment is actually not a paranormal. However, I also have a half-written pnr trilogy, and a futuristic, so you never know...



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Re: Q&A on Goodreads

Post by Roxsan on Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:01 am

17. Will someone from DarkRiver be featured in any of the remaining Psy-Changeling books? I love SD but I dig the vibe you give your leopard characters (and kudos to you for being able to give each group a particular vibe), and I'd like to sink my teeth into Bastian, Mercy's kitty defurring kit notwithstanding. Smile

Ah, the infamous kitten defurring kit...one of Mercy's finest moments Wink I won't tell you if a leopard will be a main character coming up, but you will get to see the cats again.

18. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR WRITING STYLE. IT JUST SEEMS TO FLOW SO BEAUTIFULLY ONTO THE PAGE WITHOUT DESCENDING INTO PURPLE PROSE. WERE YOU BORN WITH THIS GIFT OR DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO WORK AT IT?

Thank you! I've always written, from when I was very young. It's truly my passion, so I guess it's a case of having the need to write and then writing, writing, writing until I found my voice as a writer. I always say nothing teaches you how to write like writing.

19. A QUESTION OUT OF LEFT FIELD? IF ANY OF THE PSY/CHANGLING OR HUMAN/CHANGLING COUPLES HAD CHILDREN WOULD THEY AUTOMATICALLY INHERIT THE GENE TO BE ABLE TO SHIFT? OR COULD THEY BE BOTH CHANGLING AND PSY? HAVE YOU EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT THIS AS A POSSIBLE FUTURE PLOT LINE?

The shifting gene is dominant, so the children would shift, but that doesn't mean they couldn't also have Psy abilities for example. It just depends on their particular genetic makeup.

It's the same as with any two people who have kids - the child will have an intermingling of their genes.

20. What are Aden's and Vasic's last names? If you can't say, will we get to find out before the series end? Smile


Yes, you'll find out. Though I do have a habit of just using first names!

21. Was Aden raised by his parents before he was put into Arrow training?

They were part of his life until the stealth boat they were on exploded while out at sea, and since they were Arrows, he did have more contact with them than other trainees might have with their parents.

On the other hand, they were active Arrows, which meant they often had to be out on tasks for the squad, so he was on his own with the trainers from a younger age than other trainees. (He did also have contact with a lot of other Arrows, who considered him part of the squad, since he was a child of two of their own).

22. Is The Ghost one individual?

Yep.

23. Will we learn more about how Alice knows Zaid in Heart of Obsidian?

The "cone of silence" surrounds all details about HEART OF OBSIDIAN.

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Re: Q&A on Goodreads

Post by Roxsan on Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:11 am

24. When writing do you feel connected to your characters or separate from them? Do you prefer to write from an organic stand point or an emotional stand point?

I think my long answer above about heartwrenching scenes probably answers this, but in short - I am very emotionally connected to my characters when I write.

25. Is it possible Illium will be the next archangel? His power has grown and seems one to watch.

He's too young yet, but there are definitely things going on with Illium.

26. Is it also possible that Illium may get his own series or branch the GH series into different territory?

Unlikely, since that would mean he would leave the Seven.

27. Have we met his mate in any of the books yet? AND
Will he fall for another human or immortal?


I think you'll have to wait to find out the answers to these question. You will get to see a lot of him in ARCHANGEL'S LEGION.

28. Hi! Just wanted to drop in and say I loved your Lord of the Abyss. Micah is an awesome character! Will you be writing more traditional fantasy like that?


Thanks! He was fun to write. I never say never about future writing projects, so who knows. It just depends where I go with my writing, or if a special project (like the Elden series) comes up.

29. Will there be a book on Nikita?

No, but she'll continue to play a role in the series.

30. From the writing process, to see it on a shelve, how long it took you to publish your very first book? And how does it compares to your most recent novels?

Hmm, that was a while back, but I'd say over two years from writing to the shelf. I wrote the book (Desert Warrior) around working full time at a law firm, so I didn't have a lot of free time, then I submitted it to publishers multiple times and had it rejected, until an editor at Silhouette Desire fell in love with it. Then there was the editing process, and at last my book was published!

Now, I write full time, so it takes me approx 4-6 months to finish a book (though with series, I often have been working on a book for a couple of years in advance, in terms of making notes etc), and they're scheduled for publication approx six/seven months or so after I turn in the book to allow for editing etc.

31. Many of the characters in the Psy-Changeling Universe have children of their own, have you (would you ever) consider to jump the series ahead in time to showcase?


At this point, no. The problem with jumping ahead is you miss all the events in between, and I love the feeling that we're watching the characters and their relationships grow and change - and of course, we actually get to see the kids grow, too. Like with Kit, we've seen him change from a rebellious teenager, to a gorgeous young male who makes the pack proud.

32. I've heard you say before that the characters tell you how and when to write them. Have any of your Changelings ended up with entirely different mates than you originally intended because of their stubbornness in having things their way? If so, can you tell us who?

Yes, they have. And no I won't tell you, because it's far too embarrassing. Maybe when the series is over Wink

33. Will we see a book or novella about Venom?

I never expected to write about any of the Seven, but they didn't like that. So yes, I think Venom will get a story at some stage - when it'll be, I can't tell you yet.

34. Will you tell us more about the pre-silence Psy's, their lifestyles and their relationships with the changelings and humans in the future books?

It depends on the storyline. Or you know, if I ever decide to release that Territorial Wars novella!

35. Do you have a definite end in mind to the guild hunter series, if yes will we see it in book 8 or can your contract for the books increase ??

Yes, but it's tough to judge now if the story will be complete in 8 books or if I'll need more room to tell it. That'll be a decision I make when I'm closer to writing book 8.

36. Will we find out who the next SnowDancer alpha will be? SInce DarkRiver has Kit and all?

*come closer and I will whisper it in your ear*
*closer*
*sure you want to know?*
*it will make you crazy*
*well...if you're certain*
*
*
You have already met the person in SD who could be an alpha in the future and yes, Hawke knows exactly who it is. *grin*

37. Can humans sense the dominance a changeling has, or is restricted strictly to the changelings because of their animal halves?

Power is power and humans can sense it, though they may not know the exact level or strength of a changeling. But, for example, if Hawke walked into the room, trust me, you'd know you were in the presence of a very dangerous predator.

38. I remember in Play of Passion mentioning how a juvenile named Harley had escalating dominance and no one was sure where to put him in the hierarchy. How can a changeling's dominance escalate? How does the rest of the pack sense that it is doing so? And would Harley, who has such strong dominance, be able to be placed higher than those older than him?

Dominance fluctuates throughout a changeling's life, though once they reach adulthood, those changes tend to be minor and don't really impact their place on the hierarchy. With a juvenile, they're still trying to find their place in the pack, as is normal with teenagers in any society so there are a lot of changes happening.

As for how the pack senses it, since it's an important aspect of their society, that sense is built in. And age doesn't equal more dominance - Hawke is the perfect example. He became alpha at a very young age because he was so dominant.

39. My question would be, would you ever write a story about angels or changelings and vampires in a different world than the worlds from the Guild Hunter series or the P/C books?


I really love the fact that both my series are so different and unique, and I'd like to feel the same with future series. As such, it's unlikely I would write about the same type of character(s), unless there was something that made them unique in comparison to the same type of character(s) in my current series.

40. What is Cooper's last name, and do you always come up with last names for all your characters even if you don't use them in the books and novellas?

Coop's last name is Shaw. And yes, they all have last names, even though I sometimes don't put them in.

41. (I've been wondering about this since his character first appeared.) What is Cooper's ethnic background? (I see him as African American but since it wasn't specifically stated I'm curious as to how you see him.)


He's black, but like most people from my world, has ancestors from various ethnicities, so technically mixed race is probably the best description. Race as we see it isn't a big deal in the Psy-Changeling world, so I don't tend to focus on it except to give readers enough cues to build a mental picture of the characters. (As an aside, I deliberately don't use African American as a description because it is a term that arose from a very specific historical context, and the Psy-Changeling world doesn't have the same history.)

42. Will we see Hawke & Sienna in Heart of Obsidian?

See above about the "cone of silence". Wink

43. Do you already know who the lead characters will be in the book that follows Heart of Obsidian?


Yes.

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Re: Q&A on Goodreads

Post by Roxsan on Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:20 am

44. Is there a Psy ability that allows for someone to manipulate or change their appearance? Could a Tk potentially do this?

Judd could to an extent - I think this might be mentioned in CBI - but it takes a lot of energy and is mostly not worth it. It depends on the type of Tk, and Judd has the ability to do things at the cellular level.

Faith could in a sense with her ability with illusions, so she wouldn't really change, but could make people think she had. In the same way, a telepath who got into your mind could convince you he was someone else.

45. What would happen if Adria's mate found her now? If he were changeling, would he recognize her like Riaz recognized Lisette, despite Lisette being in love and married to Emil? What percentage of changelings are mated? How rare or common is mating? Will there be more information and clues in Heart of Obsidian on mating?

You know what I'm going to say, right? Whatever information there is about mating, is in the books. I'm not going to muddy the waters by adding things outside of the canon, so some readers have access to the info while others don't.

As you noted above, this has caused some debate. Whatever answer I give you now, some readers will be "wrong", and some will be "right". The idea that I might make a reader feel as if they were "wrong" in the way they read a story or interpreted something horrifies me.

If something is open to interpretation, then you as the reader must make the decision as to what you believe, given the text. I'm never going to try to shape that discussion outside of the stories.

46. I know that you only have a few books left for Guild Hunter, but what I'm curious about is do you plan to give all of the Seven a happily ever after,even if they don't have their own books, or no?

This series isn't really structured that way, so while there will be a resolution for everyone, I'm not sure yet if it will be the traditional HEA. It really depends if it fits with the world.

47. Also, your series is in my top five all-time favorites, could you share your top five, all-time favorites? Whether it be series or other authors.

This is super tough for me. I'm a huge, huge reader and like most readers, my tastes change and grow, so what I'll do is give you just some of my favorites, current and past:

- JD Robb "In Death" series (futuristic/suspense with romance)
- Lee & Miller's Liaden books (space opera with adventure and romance)
- Anne McCaffrey's Pern books (fantasy)
- Christine Feehan's "Dark Prince" (one of my very first pnr reads)
- Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series - urban fantasy
- Meljean Brook's Iron Seas series - steampunk romance
- Anne Gracie "The Perfect Rake" (historical romance)
- Julie James' contemporary romances
- Jayne Castle's futuristic romances, especially Orchid, Amaryllis, and Zinnia

I know I'm missing out so many other favorites, but I try to talk about books I'm reading every so often on my blog, too, so you can check that out too. Smile

48. How many books will the Psy-Changeling series have? Do you know yet?

There are 2-3 to the end of this story arc, and then I plan to explore other parts of the world and characters we haven't seen as much to date.

49. How do you organise your writing? Do you create diagrams and prepare every book in detail or do you write what you remember at the time? Do you always know what the ending of the book you're writing will be before finishing

I always have a general outline of the story in each book and I know where it will fit in terms of series elements, then I just sit down and write the first draft. Most of the details are in my head, but I always do multiple continuity checks when I edit.

50. Will more of your books be published in Portugal? "Angels' Blood" was the only book they published here. I would really like to share the sheer greatness of your books with everyone here.


I hope so! It just depends if we can sell the rights in Portugal, so cross your fingers. Smile

51. I just finished re-reading Noel's story. I am so happy you choose to show us more of his character Nalini.

Will we get to visit with him again?


If he is a part of the overall storyline, yes. Otherwise, you might just hear about him from other characters.

52. You previously stated that Marlee is mad at Ben because they had "a big fight". Will we ever find out what the fight was about?

Yep Smile

53. In Stroke of Enticement, when Annie was talking about how her leg was injured she mentions a psy boy who appeared and lifted the metal off of her leg. Will the identity of the boy ever be revealed? I'm sorry if this was already revealed somewhere else.

Yes, you will find out his identity

54.You are my serial story inspiration! How far do you plan out the plots of your books to keep them connected and cohesive?

I'm not a big plotter in terms of sitting down and planning it all out. I mostly do it in my head, BUT I always know where I'm heading with a series when I start it. That is critical, as it keeps me from going off on tangents, and it gives the whole series a cohesive structure.

55. How do you choose the names of your characters seeing as some are quite exotic like Tamsyn and Melisande

Some characters have a name when they appear, but for others I have to search and search and search until I hit the name that is "theirs". It has to be right or the story feels wrong - I'd rather write with placeholders like [x] or [y] rather than the wrong name.

In most cases, I know the "feel" of the name I want. It's just a case of finding it.

56. Will Walker's gradient be given and more specific details about his nuanced Tp?...

I'm pretty sure Walker's rating on the Gradient has already been mentioned, but yes, you'll find out more about his Tp as the series continues.

57. Are you planning to do any book signings, visits, etc. in Ireland in the near future???

I would love to, but publishers mostly send bestsellers on tour, and I'm not that big in Ireland yet. If I am ever back there for a personal trip, I'll definitely arrange something, but at this stage, I don't have any plans to visit your gorgeous country again. (I really enjoyed my last trip Smile).

58. Nalini would you ever consider coming to Canada to do a book tour - I would love to meet you!

Same answer as to the question above. It just depends if it's worth it for my publisher to send me there, so make me a bestseller, tell all your friends! *grin*

59. I'm curious about Walker, is there any mention of his actual age?

I'm almost certain this is in the books.

60. Will we get the Ghost's ID in Heart of Obsidian?

See my answers above about any and all details about Heart of Obsidian!

61. Are you still doing any writing for them (HQN)? IF not do you miss that type of story?

No, I'm no longer writing the short contemporaries. I still absolutely love the books I wrote for HQN, but I think if I write contemporaries now or in the future, they'd be very different from my HQN books.
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Re: Q&A on Goodreads

Post by Roxsan on Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:21 am

That's the full Q & A! Read and discuss! Very Happy
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