Chat With an Author

Nalini Singh Extravaganza Day 4 – Interview and Giveaway

Hello, my name is Ana and I am a nalinisinghholic. My addiction started a bit late and only after I read Book 2, Visions of Heat. But from that moment on I was intrigued by the world-building, by the Psy-Changeling dynamics and above all I was completely captivated by the love stories within each novel. When I won a copy of the ARC for her new book, Hostage to Pleasure in a contest in her blog, I thought it was too much of an opportunity to pass – so I promptly asked if she wanted to do a chat with us and she said yes! (You will notice that I tried, as much as I could, to sneak in some spoilery questions but alas, she was on her guard.)

Here it is, so please say hello to Nalini Singh!

The Book Smugglers: Thanks for coming over Nalini. Your new book, Hostage to Pleasure is coming out next week. Can you give us a run down on what to expect?

Nalini Singh: Dorian has been an integral character in the series to date, and in HtP, we really get to see inside him. But it’s not only his story – it’s also Ashaya’s. Together, these two make a very intense couple, and the emotions in this book are strong, raw, no holds-barred.

The Book Smugglers: We have seen changelings portrayed in other series but your Psy race is pretty unique. In my mind I see it as a mix of Matrix and Minority Report mingled with a lot of computer knowledge – what were your inspiration sources to create it?

Nalini Singh: I’ve always been fascinated by psychic abilities as well as futuristic things, and one day, I started thinking – what if it wasn’t a gift, to, for example, be a telepath? What if the flip side to great mental ability was insanity of the worst kind? I can’t point to one thing that inspired me – I think it was more a case of a lifetime of interests coming together.

The Book Smugglers: In Visions of Heat we were introduced to the NetMind, a sentient part of the PsiNet that is all light and then learnt later on about the DarkMind, its dark counterpart. In Hostage To Pleasure , one word pops in very subtly that had my interest pricked: “Anthropomorphic” when they were talking about the NetMind. Do you ever plan to write a book about it? Will it ever become a living breathing character? (note: that would be so awesome).

Nalini Singh: Since the NetMind and DarkMind are linked so integrally to the flows of the PsyNet, the events of the series to date, and in the future, will have an impact. Will they ever become living entities? We’ll have to wait and see—the NetMind and DarkMind are both in the process of evolution – and you have to remember, their age is almost fathomless. Time doesn’t move with the same speed where they’re concerned.

The Book Smugglers: There is also a new denomination of Psy introduced in Hostage to Pleasure – a Traveler Psy. Vasic is a Psy working for the rebellion and I have to say I am very intrigued. Can you tell us more about him, will he become a protagonist?

Nalini Singh: Vasic is an interesting character, and one I definitely plan to develop. But it’s not time for his story yet – his story will, I think, come toward the second part of the overall series arc. Of course, he still has to survive the madness of what he does.

The Book Smugglers: Humans so far have played a minor part in your world building , this seems to be changing from the introduction to Clay’s human mate in Mine to Possess to the appearance of the Human Alliance in Hostage to Pleasure . Are they going to play a larger role from now on?

Nalini Singh: Yes, you’ll see more of the Alliance in particular in BRANDED BY FIRE – Mercy’s book. Things are slowly coming to a head, and all the players are sliding into position.

The Book Smugglers: On to the romance side of things which is where the heart of your books lies, in my opinion. You are a champion to portray the dynamics of a pack and the inner balance of the animal and the human and there is nothing more heartwarming to this reader than to see these alpha heroes completely wrapped up about their mates and how they are so protective while still reveling in their independence – a perfect combination and one that could easily have gone wrong – do you see yourself as a romance writer?

Nalini Singh: Absolutely!! Romance is at the core of everything I write – I love exploring the nuances of each particular relationship, each particular couple.

The Book Smugglers: The whole series seems to have a well-thought out arc that began in Slave to Sensation with the Psy and Changeling worlds coming to a stand off – do you have a clear idea of where this is all going? How many more books there will be?

Nalini Singh: I mentioned the series story arc above – I actually see it as a dual arc. Once part one is completed, part two can begin. So yes, I do know where the books are going, and what the end-point will be. However, I can’t tell you exactly how long it will take or over how many books. Each time I begin writing a book, I discover new aspects, new possibilities that I want to explore, so it’s not going to be a straight line to the finish – I see it more as a journey through different facets of the world, each integral to the climax.

The Book Smugglers: Now the question that everyone is dying to ask. Hawke, the Alpha wolf: is he ever getting his own book? Is Sienna going to be his mate????

Nalini Singh: Hawke is definitely getting his book, and you’ll get to see a whole lot of him in Mercy’s book as well. As for the second part of your question – you’ll have to wait and see 😉

The Book Smugglers: BRANDED BY FIRE is the next book in the series and it’s Mercy’s book. Chapter one was available with Hostage to Pleasure’s ARC and can I just say – I was very surprised at how hot it was – the sexing starts really early in the story contrary to the other books – that is a ballsy decision. Any info you can share? A release date perhaps?

Nalini Singh: Actually, the mass market of HOSTAGE TO PLEASURE will have an excerpt of ANGELS’ BLOOD – the start of my new series. We decided that after the ARCs were already printed. But since I know I might get pelted with rotten tomatoes if I don’t share a Mercy excerpt, the BRANDED BY FIRE chapter will be available on my website at the start of September.

As for what happens in the first chapter – it really was the only way the book could start given these particular characters. For example, in CARESSED BY ICE, the first love scene isn’t until a ways into the story. That’s because an early scene simply wouldn’t have fit who Judd and Brenna were. In the same way, Mercy and her hero are two dominant, wild, changelings. Getting physical (in more ways than one) is far more natural to them than holding back. It might be the hottest Psy/Changeling book to date – you guys will have to decide!

There’s no confirmed release date yet, but it’s been tentatively scheduled for July/Aug next year.

The Book Smugglers: You also have a new series coming up, unrelated to the Psy-Changeling world! Details please!

Nalini Singh: ANGELS’ BLOOD comes out March next year, and it’s about Elena, a vampire hunter who bags, tags and returns escapee vampires to their masters…the angels. These angels are dark, sexy, and more than a little dangerous. Raphael, the Archangel of New York, is the most dangerous of them all…and he wants Elena to do a job for him, a job that might just get her killed. But then again, failure isn’t an option. No one denies an Archangel.

It’s a darker, more edgy world, more urban fantasy romance than paranormal romance. However, it is still a romance – because as I said, that’s what I love to do. I’m really looking forward to seeing what readers think of this new world.

The Book Smugglers: And was it difficult to get away from the Psy-Changeling world?

Nalini Singh: They’re two such different worlds that no, it wasn’t hard. It’s more a case of using different sections of my writing muscles. And I like being able to switch between them – having different things to work on keeps my writing fresh I think.

The Book Smugglers: You live in NZ but your main market is the US – is it hard to conciliate such distance?

Nalini Singh: Not really, especially given the Internet. I feel very much part of the publishing world – I think being involved in blogging helps. I’ve met so many great people that way. Plus, I try to make the US conferences pretty regularly, so I get to see my editor and agent, as well of course, my readers.

The Book Smugglers: What are you reading right now (and revisions/edits do not count!)?

Nalini Singh: I’ve been on a bit of a reading binge and have recently finished Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs, an ARC of New Blood by Gail Dayton, and Warrior by Angela Knight – all excellent. Last night I picked up Mistress Under Contract by Natalie Anderson and am really enjoying it.

The Book Smugglers: A naughty question – which piece of writing, of any genre, of any era are you most envious about and would like to have written yourself…

Nalini Singh: Hmm, what a difficult question! Not only do I devour books, I’m an English major who focused on Shakespeare and 17th to 19th century lit for the most part, so I’ve got centuries of writing to choose from! I don’t think I can choose just one piece, but I will say I’ve always loved Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice. It’s so clean, and yet says so much.

The Book Smugglers: I had other questions like who is the Ghost? Is Kaleb good or bad? Will we ever see a book for Amara? But I guess it would be way spoilery? LOL. So I guess this is it! Thanks so much for agreeing to take part in one of ours Chat with an Author!

Nalini Singh: You know you don’t really want me to answer those questions anyway *g* Thanks for inviting me to chat – I’m looking forward to learning all about being a Book Smuggler!

Nalini Singh is passionate about writing. Though she’s traveled as far afield as the deserts of China and the temples of Japan, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her the most. She’s beyond delighted to be able to follow her dream as a writer.Currently writing the USA Today & NYT Bestselling Psy/Changeling series, and with another exciting new series set to debut next year, Nalini lives in beautiful New Zealand. To find out more about her work,please visit her website at

So this is it, folks. We have a copy of Hostage to Pleasure to giveaway: all you have to do is leave a comment ! (Contest runs until Sunday noon.)


  • Tasha
    August 29, 2008 at 1:29 am

    I really can’t wait to start reading your books. I am seeing you all over the place lately and it just makes me want!! 😀

  • Nalini Singh
    August 29, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Tasha, it’s part of my nefarious plan to take over the world *grin* I hope you give my books a go 🙂

  • laurawilson25
    August 29, 2008 at 3:03 am

    Comment, comment, comment!
    I love this series and I can’t wait until Hostage to Pleasure comes out!

  • I Heart Book Gossip
    August 29, 2008 at 4:13 am

    I would love to be entered into the contest.

  • Cindy
    August 29, 2008 at 4:15 am

    I would like to be entered into the contest.

  • C.C.
    August 29, 2008 at 4:16 am

    Please enter me into the contest too.

  • Katiebabs
    August 29, 2008 at 4:55 am

    So Nalini, when you take over the world, what will be your first rule as Queen? 😛
    I have nothing to ask of say that hasn’t already been said to Nalini. She makes my heart go pitter patter.

    ((KALEB)) 😛

    No need to enter me for HTP because we know the story of the traveling HTP arc. lol.

  • Mollie
    August 29, 2008 at 5:32 am

    Great interview! Excited about this new series! Can’t wait for HtP!!!!!!!! 🙂

  • Carolyn Jean
    August 29, 2008 at 7:15 am

    What a fun interview, and your new series sounds wonderful! I have only read Slave to Sensation of your current series, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest. As a late comer, I guess I can read them all at once now.

  • CrystalGB
    August 29, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Hi Nalini. Great interview. I am loving this series. I can’t wait to read Dorian’s book.

  • Jaded Bee
    August 29, 2008 at 7:57 am

    Eeep! Please enter me in…I can’t wait to read this book. *wiggles with impatience*

  • Tracy
    August 29, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Great, great interview!

    CJ – get on those books girls – you will NOT be disappointed!

  • Buffie
    August 29, 2008 at 9:49 am

    I can’t wait to get my hands on Nalini’s latest book. IMO, this series is the TOP paranormal series out there. Nalini, there is just something about they way you write your heros that my words cannot begin to describe.

  • Ana
    August 29, 2008 at 11:27 am

    I have no problems with Nalini taking over the world as long as I am allowed to have a small corner where I will live HEA with Judd. *lesigh* Or Dorian. Or Hawke. hummm Riley….

    Tasha, you must! CJ please hurry up and catch up!

    Katie, this thing with Kaleb is getting out of control. what if he is eeeviiiiil?

    Everybody else, Dorian’s book is GREAT! : )

  • Katiebabs
    August 29, 2008 at 11:28 am

    If Kaleb is eviillllllllll he can use my mind and blow it.

  • Thea
    August 29, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Great interview, Nalini and Ana 🙂

    I haven’t read any of these books yet, but Ana bought me a copy of Slave to Sensation, so I suppose I’ll have to get crackin’ soon!

  • Ana
    August 29, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Yep. That’s me. Spreading the luuurve.

  • Kerry
    August 29, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Great interview. I can’t wait to read Hostage to Pleasure. And Branded by Fire too, but I’m going to have to wait for that one, aren’t I? Sigh.

  • Nalini Singh
    August 29, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Laura, I heart Book Gossip, Cindy and CC – entered!

    Katie – My first rule? I’d make all hot men attend RWA conferences *grin*

    Mollie, Crystal, Jaded Bee – hope you enjoy it!

    Carolyn Jean – reading a series back to back is fun sometimes. I did that with JD Robb when I first discovered her.

    Tracy – thanks!

    Buffie – thank you so much 🙂

    Ana – what about Brenna? She might take it badly if you tried to steal Judd *g*

    Katie – LOL!

    Thea – enjoy! And Ana, thanks for the spreading of the love. 🙂

    Kerry, yep, a little wait. But it’ll be worth it!

  • Ciara
    August 29, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Great interview! “there is nothing more heartwarming to this reader than to see these alpha heroes completely wrapped up about their mates and how they are so protective while still reveling in their independence” SPOT ON. That is exactly why I love Nalini’s heroes and why I chose The Changeling world for “if you could be in any world from any book, which would you pick” question from DIK. I want to be a leopard pack mate. Purrrrrrr!

    (don’t enter me in the contest. I’ve read HTP and it was great!)

  • Ciara
    August 29, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Nalini – is your new series in the first person? and if it is, what are the challenges and opportunities of writing in the 1st person versus the 3rd. Or if it isn’t, why do you think Urban Fantasy is typically in the first person and why did you choose not to write in it? Do you think 1st person narration is a hinderance to romance because readers get a one-sided view of the relationship?

  • Nalini Singh
    August 29, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Ciara, that’s an interesting question. ANGELS’ BLOOD isn’t in first person, but it was when I first began writing it – right at the very start. Then I realized I’d begun to switch to third because I wanted some of Raphael’s point of view in there as well.

    I think first person works for urban fantasy because it tends to focus on following one protagonist. In a romance, I personally do want to see what the hero thinks as well.

    I do think it’s a case of personal choice for the writer – and it’s also a case of having a story that can be told in first vs third person. It’s almost an instinctive reaction.

  • Pam P
    August 29, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    My top favorite paranormal series, too, I read each book in the series as soon as I get my hands on them. Nalini, after all your success with the PSY series, definitely looking forward to the new one next year, too. And when you’re Queen, never mind hot hunks at conventions, let’s have them all in your kingdom, I’m willing to serve! LOL

  • Alex
    August 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Great interview! Thanks Ana and Nalini.:) I would love to enter this giveaway!
    Cannot wait to read Dorian’s story but like everyone else, I’m dying here to know more about Hawke and Kaleb. It’s pure (even if delicious) torture!;-)

  • Chris
    August 29, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Great interview, can't wait for Hostage to Pleasure to come out next week, I am waiting on pins & needles, lol, especially after the spoilers talked about in the interview. Nalini is a great author and I would encourage all who haven't read all of the books in this series to go out & get them. They just keep getting better & better. Please enter me into the contest as well. Thank you!!

  • :Candice:
    August 29, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Love the series and can’t wait for tuesday!! 🙂

    Nalini, You ROCK!

  • Aymless
    August 29, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Woohoo! Great interview guys. HtP totally rocks and everyone must read it. No need to enter me into the contest! That BbF excerpt was totally hot, had me fanning myself! Can’t wait to check out the new series!

    Blossom: You can have Kaleb, but Vasic is all mine!

    Nalini: Love that rule! Can you also make them attend shirtless?! You definitely have my vote for Queen. *g*

    Ciara: I chose the changling world live in too! Except I wanna be a tiger.

  • Nalini Singh
    August 29, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Pam P – LOL!

    Alex – delicious is the best kind of torture 😉

    Chris and Candice – thanks!

    Amy – Oooh, shirtless, good amendment to the rule.

  • Willa
    August 30, 2008 at 4:55 am

    Hi Nalini

    I have a question. I was wondering when a changeling becomes pregnant, is the pregnancy the length of a human pregnancy or of their animal within? And do they give birth in human or animal form to a baby/babies or cubs?

    Ooops – that was 2 questions! I’m sooo nosy!

    Loving the series.

  • shartyrant
    August 30, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    I don’t know if this would be a spoilerish answer or if it is something you plan on addressing later in the series, but is there any chance of the children of some of the psy/changelings having mixed “powers”? How would the Psys handle the thought of the “animals” having any sort of abilities that they have? Would they see this is as a threat to their way of life (it seems it would with some of the more “bigoted” Psys). Would a secret plan be implemented to kill those? Or would they try to take them over for “teaching” purposes? Just a question I have had in my head since SLAVE TO SENSATION. Plus, I was wondering what happens to ‘balance’ the Changeling with the Psy if there ever was a mix since you do a wonderful job of showing consquences for each ability. OR I guess is this something you will touch on in the future?

    Hope that made sense. Benadryl is kicking in so I can “breathe” again but it makes the brain fuzzy.

  • Nalini Singh
    August 30, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Willa, it’s a human-length pregnancy and the babies are human. The kids don’t get the ability to shift until they reach around one year of age. 🙂

  • Nalini Singh
    August 30, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Shar, yes, that’s something you’ll see addressed more as the series progresses, and we get mixed-race kids with Psy abilities. How the Council reacts will depend upon where the PsyNet is at that stage.

    Hope you’re feeling better!

  • Christine
    August 30, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Fantastic interview!!! Thank you, Nalini and Ana!
    For the record, I’m a nalinisinghaholic, too, and can hardly wait for Tuesday.

    Nalini, you write the most fierce and lovable alphas I’ve ever read. How could someone NOT want to be the mate of a changeling? Just unfathomable.

    I’m looking forward to reading HtP and Angel’s Blood. I’m also looking forward to reading the excerpt to Mercy’s upcoming story on your website.
    *puts away rotten tomatoes* You’re safe. 😉

  • Nalini Singh
    August 31, 2008 at 2:52 am

    Phew! LOL

  • wonderings
    August 31, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Fab interview! It's driving me batty to wait until Tuesday – reading HtP over this long weekend would have been *perfect*. But my 'homework' rereads of StS & CbI were lots o' fun. 😉

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