We are very excited to have here with us one of our favorite new authors. Her series, Darkest London, is a perfect and unique blend of historical and paranormal you have to be sure to check out! Please help us welcome her to UTC today!
Thanks so much for having me here!
How did you get the idea to write The Darkest London series?
Well, initially, I didn’t think of it as a series. I wrote Firelight, and when I sold it, my publisher asked for it to become a series. I can tell you that my editor asked me to make the series open ended, so I like to think of the books sort of like chronicles in which the stories revolve around this world but the characters individual journeys are more self-contained. There is a thread running through them, however.
How many books to you anticipate being in The Darkest London series? Do you have it all mapped out?
So far, I am contracted for four books. We’ll have to see where it goes from there. As for mapping it out, when I realized I had a series on my hands, I asked Nalini Singh for a bit of advice. She said that it is better to know where you’re going as well as how your series will end. I believe that is excellent advice, and have taken it to heart. ;-)
After you're shining debut, FIRELIGHT did you feel any pressure to try and top this book with MOONGLOW?
Of course! Lol. It’s extremely hard to write the next book. People have expectations, either good or bad. I had to tell myself that people would either like the second book better, like it less, or like it the same. That sounds very obvious, I know, but I still had to tell myself that in order to let the anxiety go.
The one thing that I absolutely knew going in to writing Moonglow was that I did not want to try to rewrite Firelight. Each book I write is a different story because the characters are different people. The only constant –for me- it the dark, paranormal feel of London and the exploration of what love means to these characters.
I absolutely loved MOONGLOW! Daisy and Ian were perfect for one another. What do you think is the key to ensuring that your hero and heroine are compatible with one another?
I’m so glad you liked it! People say that opposites attract, but to me that isn’t really the whole picture. Couples have to find a commonality. When you break down a relationship to its most basic elements, we are with a person because they give us something. So when you’re creating characters, you have to consider what it is about this character that supports the other.
Daisy and Ian are very much alike in their love for life and their penchant for hiding behind humor. Because of that, they can see the pain and need in each other that most people cannot. Daisy gives Ian his heart and purpose, and Ian gives Daisy her courage and daring. I always loved that about them.
You infuse the paranormal with the historical so well, it seems almost effortless. What would you say was the most difficult part of maintaining that balance in MOONGLOW? How did you overcome it?
Well, thank you! :) For me, mixing historical and paranormal comes naturally. I like to think of Victorian London as the motherland for paranormal literature. I mean this is the birthplace of such stories as Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, and Dorian Gray. It’s a heady, atmospheric place, just ripe for dark goings on. Lol.
What is harder is getting a good balance between the mystery/action and the love story. Because these books are mysteries as well as romances. For that, I simply have to remember that each plot line ought to drive the other. So if the mystery advances, how then does it affect the romance? And vise versa.
What can readers expect in the next book, WINTERBLAZE? I'm very excited for it!
Ah, Winterblaze. This is my current baby, lol. Well, as I mentioned before, don’t expect it to be like Firelight, or Moonglow for that matter. Because Winston is a detective, this will be an investigatory mystery.
What I love about Winston and Poppy is that they are private people. They hide behind this very proper façade, which of course means there is a lot going on the inside. Win especially is much more raw, sometimes downright dirty-minded, than people assume.
As for Poppy, she was great fun to write. In Firelight, Miranda doesn’t want to use her powers. In Moonglow, Daisy just discovers her powers and thus has no idea how to use them. In Winterblaze, Poppy not only knows how to use her powers, she is brutally efficient with them. In short, I like to think of Winterblaze as my homage to Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Ian has become one of my favorite heroes! What is one characteristic that all heroes should have?
Ian thanks you for the compliment. ;) For me, a true hero does not give up. Whatever it is that is most important to him, he will fight for it. What I loved about Ian is that he fought for his happiness, and for Daisy’s. If you want to see the essence of Ian, read the carriage scene or the proposal scene. In both scenes, Ian says essentially the same thing: he is afraid of heartbreak and loneliness, but he wants Daisy –and the happiness she brings him- more. I love that about him. More so because he knows exactly how much he stands to lose, as he’s lost before.
If you had a time machine would you go forwards or backwards in time?
Who is your favourite historical romance hero that is not your own? What is it about this hero that resonates with you?
Oh man… Hmm… Well, there’s Jamie Frasier because of his undying passion and commitment to Claire. And then there is Emerson from the Amelia Peabody mysteries. He’s a grumpy, shouting bear and yet also a total pussycat with Amelia. The best thing about heroes is when they live larger than life.
You are having a dinner party and you can invite any three fictional characters, who would you invite?
Ack! That’s hard! I think I’d have to invite Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, because you know, it’s like the Darcy’s! The third? The Vampire Lestat. If he can narrate four odd books he can totally entertain me for dinner. Lol.
Once the seeds of desire are sown...
Finally free of her suffocating marriage, widow Daisy Ellis Craigmore is ready to embrace the pleasures of life that have long been denied her. Yet her new-found freedom is short lived. A string of unexplained murders has brought danger to Daisy’s door, forcing her to turn to the most unlikely of saviors...
Their growing passion knows no bounds...
Ian Ranulf, the Marquis of Northrup, has spent lifetimes hiding his primal nature from London society. But now a vicious killer threatens to expose his secrets. Ian must step out of the shadows and protect the beautiful, fearless Daisy, who awakens in him desires he thought long dead. As their quest to unmask the villain draws them closer together, Daisy has no choice but to reveal her own startling secret and Ian must face the undeniable truth: Losing his heart to Daisy may be the only way to save his soul.