7 Questions with Nalini Singh

1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.

Right now – TEN! To understand my response, you have realize that I’m answering these questions in July, in the weeks before I move from Japan to NZ. I’m currently trying to clean out my entire apartment, say goodbye to all my friends, fill in a thousand forms and write at the same time. And oh yeah, my trusty bicycle decided to get a flat tyre, it’s the middle of the rainy reason and my air-conditioner and tv are both possessed (they turn themselves on and off).

2. Slave To Sensation is your first single title. It’s a paranormal, unlike the Desires you’ve written. Were you excited when Silhouette announced the new paranormal Nocturne line? Do you have any plans to write for them?

I was excited about Nocturne for the simple reason that I love to read paranormals so any new market is good news. At the moment, I don’t have any plans to write for that line, but who knows what the future will hold?

3. Slave To Sensation has a blurb from Christine Feehan, one of the big names in paranormal romance today. Do you think it’ll help you sell more books? No offense meant to Ms. Feehan, it’s just a question from a reader who doesn’t read blurbs.

Well, I certainly hope so! I do think blurbs help, even if all they do is make a reader take a second look at a new author (which I am in this genre), because they see that one of their favorite authors liked it. I’ve certainly picked up new authors because of recommendations from other authors I love.

Just personally, it was such a thrill for me to get a quote from Christine Feehan, because her books are must-reads for me.

4. You currently live in Japan. Do you speak the language? And will you be writing a book set there?

Actually, by the time this interview is posted, I’ll be in New Zealand after having lived in Japan for three fantastic years. While I’m not fluent in Japanese, I do speak it well enough to not have any problems in terms of daily life. I’ve even held the odd philosophical discussion with much gesturing and looking up of words in dictionaries.

As to writing a book set there – having read Slave to Sensation, you’ll have noticed the small touches of Japan that crept into the book, in relation to the names and history of the characters. I think that sort of influence is going to be more prevalent than a book set fully in Japan at this stage.

5. How about Fiji, since you were born there? Have you been back since you moved to New Zealand?

I sent the hero and heroine in Awaken to Pleasure (one of my books for Sil Desire) to Fiji on their honeymoon, so I have used it in a book. My very first completed manuscript was set on an island off the coast of Fiji, so it may yet make another appearance (Fiji, not that completed first ms!).

I’ve been back to Fiji several times, the last time being only a year ago. All three places I’ve lived in for long periods – Fiji, NZ & Japan, have become home to me now. When I return, it’s so easy to settle back in that it startles me sometimes. I love the weather in Fiji though – I’m definitely a warm-weather girl.

6. You’ve travelled widely. Tell us what food from home you crave most often.

I really like Nutella, that hazelnut-chocolate spread, an odd thing to crave. I was so delighted when I found it in Japan that I was like a little kid. You can’t imagine my joy. The other things are crave most often are Indian sweets, which I don’t know how to make very well, and for the carnivore in me, NZ lamb, which is sometimes difficult to find abroad. And of course my Mum’s cooking!

7. And we’ll close with another question on Slave To Sensation, which could well be the paranormal romance debut of the year for me. Was the process of writing it different for you? The worldbuilding is detailed, and I bet you have lots of info on the world you created that didn’t make it into STS.

First, thank you for the compliment!

Re the process – it’s funny but STS all sort of came out in this huge rush. I wrote the first draft in a manic three weeks and a large chunk of that draft made it to the final version. I just knew the world so well it poured out of me. This may be because I do a lot of thinking of things through in my head, obsessing over everything before I write. So the process itself wasn’t that different in terms of writing the first draft.

What was different were the copious notes I had to take to ensure internal consistency. This became especially important when I was writing the second book in the series (Visions of Heat). I had to follow the rules I’d set in Slave.

For example, I have pages and pages of notes on navigation in the PsyNet, stuff that I wrote and then pulled out of the manuscript because the reader doesn’t really need it to understand what’s going on. But as a writer, I needed that info to make sure I kept the world coherent from book to book and from chapter to chapter.

Nalini has a website, a blog and is a Berkley Babe. Slave To Sensation should be available at a bookstore near you.

And whilst you’re here, check out the Dear Author STS Viral Blogging contest!


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