Interview: Nalini Singh
Nalini Singh is the New York Times bestselling author of the Psy/Changeling and Guild Hunter series. She is an Antipodean, born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. Nalini recently won the Favourite Paranormal Romance, Favourite Fantasy, Sci-Fi or Futuristic Romance, and Favourite Continuing Romance awards at the 2010 Australian Romance Readers Association Awards. In Australia, Nalini’s novels are published through Gollancz.
First of all, congratulations on your awards at the Australian Romance Readers’ Convention! Your series are certainly taking the paranormal romance/urban fantasy world by storm.
You were first published as a romance author before moving into the paranormal subgenre. Have you always been interested in this particular style of writing, or is it relatively new for you?
I’ve always loved science fiction and fantasy along with romance, so writing paranormal romances was a very natural progression for me. Even when I was published in contemporary romance, I was always working on my paranormal ideas as well.
Do you prefer writing series or standalone novels?
Series – I love to see my characters develop and grow over a much longer period than it’s possible to show in a single novel. The world, too, gains more depth with each new book in a series.
You’ve travelled extensively – do you find inspiration in the places you’ve been?
Yes, absolutely. Sometimes, it’s as simple as seeing a location and knowing that I’d like to set a book there (for example, California, where my Psy/Changeling series is set). And sometimes, the energy of a place will inspire me in a less obvious, but just as intense a way. At heart, travelling feeds my soul, and my art.
I notice on your website you cite Shakespeare’s Othello as one of your favourite books. Do you see your writing as inspired by this tragic tale?
I’ve been a voracious reader since childhood, and I always say every book I’ve ever read has had some influence on me, teaching me things about writing, and about story.
As for Othello in particular, I think the writing in the play is beautiful, the emotions haunting, the way Shakespeare showcases human frailty, brilliant. BUT, I always want to rewrite the ending to make it not so much of a tragedy! I want so desperately for Desdemona and Othello to make it – clearly, I was always meant to write in the romance genre.
The covers of your novels follow a very strong theme; at least the ones released here in Australia certainly do. Do you have a lot of input into your cover design? What is your favourite cover from all of your publications?
I do have input in terms of cover ideas for my U.S. covers, but not for my Australian covers.
I think I’ve been very lucky with my covers – which means choosing a favourite is impossible. I love the different concepts that have been used not only in the U.S. and in Australia, but also in several international markets.
Which book would you recommend for those who haven’t yet read any of your work?
I would suggest either Angels’ Blood or Slave to Sensation. Both start off a series, and are very different from one another. Slave to Sensation is very much a paranormal romance, with a hint of sf, while Angels’ Blood is more urban fantasy.
Long excerpts of both books are available on my website, and I’d recommend readers try those chapters, as they give you a good idea of the feel of each series.
Do you have any other shorter releases coming up, like your novella in the Burning Up anthology?
Yes, I have a Guild Hunter novella in the Angels of Darkness anthology (out in October), and I’m currently working on a Guild Hunter novella that’ll be released in 2012.
I’m also contracted for two more Psy/Changeling novellas. As you might have guessed, I enjoy writing novellas. They allow me to explore parts of my worlds that might not fit into the main storyline(s), as well as giving me an opportunity to spend more time with intriguing secondary characters.
What is next on the agenda for you? You’ve got two more Psy/Changeling novels out from Gollancz in April – can we expect more from this and the Guild Hunter series or have you got something new coming up?
I’ll continue to focus on the Guild Hunter and Psy/Changeling series – I don’t want to start a new series before I complete at least one of my two current series. However, I may do some special projects from time to time.
Thank you for your time, Nalini. We look forward to hearing about your continued success!