“Inspiration and Influences” is a new series of articles in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their…well, Inspiration and Influences. The cool thing is that the writers are given free reign so they can go wild and write about anything they want. It can be about their new book, series or about their career as a whole.
Today our guest is Paranormal Romance writer Nalini Singh. Nalini Singh is the creator of the hugely popular and consistently good Psy-Changeling series, as well as the new Guild Hunter series. Her newest book, Branded by Fire , the sixth in the Psy- Changeling world, will be released on July 7th. She is also one of Ana’s favourite authors and Ana loves Nalini Singh’s books so much she has become a Nalinisingh-a-holic.
Without further ado, please give the floor to Nalini Singh:
Inspiration & Influences
a.k.a. In which Nalini rambles…
I once saw a little girl walking along the street with her mother. She was bouncing in that way kids do and her dress, a pink dress with a ruffle around the edge, lifted up with each bounce. Her shoes were white lace ups and she had on ankle socks. And her smile, it said she adored her mother more than anyone or anything else in the world.
One day, I’m going to write a story about that little girl.
For me, inspiration comes from everywhere, from pieces seen, life lived, and thoughts had. With my changelings, I remember being unhappy that in all the shapeshifter books I was reading at the time, all the movies I’d seen, being able to change shape into an animal was considered a bad thing, a thing to be fought.
Wouldn’t it be completely AWESOME to turn into a leopard and go prowling through the jungle? Imagine what you’d be able to smell, how fast you’d be able to run, the way the wind would ripple through your fur.
(Original Image from Wikipedia )
So my changelings adore both halves of their selves. And it doesn’t hurt for them to change—because they are both.
As for the way they move…I did a lot of research on big cats, but I also remember watching a neighbor’s cat prowl really, really slowly through the grass, stalking imaginary prey. I didn’t move myself until the cat pounced. A miniature predator not so far from his bigger cousins.
In Branded By Fire, you’ll get to meet some winged changelings. I think they’re completely cool. Flying’s probably the super power I would most like to have. So it was kind of inevitable I would one day write about angels. Thinking back – the first story I ever won a contest with, was a short story titled “Angel.”
I’ve grown and developed as a writer since then, but that passion for worlds beyond our ken has always remained. I think, for me, inspiration is not something you ever put limits on – it’s present all around us, every day, in different forms. Yesterday, I saw another neighbor’s cat racing down the road like a streak of white lightning…only to come to a stop for a man who appeared to be a stranger. She even let him pick her up. Who was this man? Do you think he can talk to cats?
Nalini Singh is the NY Times Bestseller author of the Psy-Changeling series. Born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand, Nalini has been writing as long as she can remember. Her stories always held a thread of romance (even when she was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). She loves creating unique characters, loves giving them happy endings and she even loves the voices in her head. There’s no other job she would rather be doing.
You can read more about Nalini Singh on her website here
A HUGE thank you to Nalini for the article!
We have one copy of Branded by Fire to giveaway to one lucky winner. The contest is open to residents of the US and Canada, and will run for 48 hours only – as we know how anxious you all are to read it! To enter, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm on Thursday July 2. Winner will be randomly picked and announced on this post on Friday morning.
ETA: Thanks to all that commented!
Using Random.Org , we picked the winner: comment number 9, Samantha! Congratulations!!
The contest is now closed!
TeresaJune 30, 2009 at 2:41 am
Great interview. Don’t enter me for the giveaway (I’m european)
Once The Book Smugglers ~ "Branded By Fire" By Nalini Singh Book Giveaway/July2 - CoolCanucks.ca - CanadaJune 30, 2009 at 3:44 am
[…] Book Smugglers ~ "Branded By Fire" By Nalini Singh Book Giveaway/July2 The Book Smugglers Blog Archive Guest Author and Giveaway: Nalini Singh on Inspiration and Influence… […]
Cindy WJune 30, 2009 at 4:15 am
I want this book!
Nalini, you are one of the nicest authors around! Thanks for being “available” to us you’re great!
Tracey O'HaraJune 30, 2009 at 4:34 am
I am ineligible to win the book because I’m in Australua. But wanted to say Nalini herself is one of my inspirations. Being from Australia and the southern hemisphere myself.
CaitlinJune 30, 2009 at 4:37 am
I love this contest
LesleeJune 30, 2009 at 5:07 am
I would love to win because the Psy/Changeling series rocks!!!!!!!
But I also wanted to say that Nalini Singh is such a wonderful writer, I would buy her take on the phone book or the IRS Tax code cause she could make it wonderful and impossible to put down. She also has such a lovely online persona that makes her a joy to read about. So looking forward to Riley and Mercy!
Angela T.June 30, 2009 at 5:13 am
Great article. Looking forward to reading Branded By Fire.
msaggieJune 30, 2009 at 5:31 am
Thanks for the lovely interview with Nalini. I am really looking forward to Branded by Fire. And when will the next Guild-Hunter book be out? Both are marvellous series.
SamanthaJune 30, 2009 at 5:36 am
Count me in! 😀
ChrisJune 30, 2009 at 5:37 am
I am so looking forward to this book!
KMontJune 30, 2009 at 5:58 am
Please don’t enter me int he contest. Just stopping by to wave at the Smuggles and Ms. Singh! *waves*
What’s this about a prince that shoots lasers out of his eyes? 😀
CaitieJune 30, 2009 at 6:02 am
I’m so excited for this book! I’ll be stalking my local bookstore on July 7th for it for sure, lol:) It would be great to win a copy instead though, so please enter me:) Thanks for the great contest!
CrystalGBJune 30, 2009 at 6:17 am
Great post. I love Nalini’s books. Branded By Fire is on my wishlist.
PennyJune 30, 2009 at 6:42 am
I think Nalini Singh and her books are fantastic! Thanks to The Book Smugglers for hosting this post and for Nalini for sharing her thoughts! I cannot WAIT for Branded by Fire to come out!!
I Heart Book GossipJune 30, 2009 at 7:07 am
I would love to be entered please. Thank You so much for sharing!
ElyaneJune 30, 2009 at 7:09 am
Great interview. Please count me in.
RoxyJune 30, 2009 at 7:21 am
One of my favorite authors! Thanks for the article.
Christina GJune 30, 2009 at 7:28 am
Please count me in.
MollieJune 30, 2009 at 7:32 am
This is such a great series!
HeenaJune 30, 2009 at 7:36 am
I can’t wait to read this book! I too have become a nalinisinghoholic. The excerpts and snippets are awesome. JUST CAN’T WAIT!!!
CybercliperJune 30, 2009 at 7:36 am
Great Post. I love Nalini’s work and can’t wait to read her newest Psy/Changeling book. Getting your hands on a copy of Branded by Fire is like winning the lottery!!!
Natasha A.June 30, 2009 at 7:59 am
I am just finally starting the psy series. I just finished the first, and I am rereading the second (I grabbed it a while ago not realizing it was a series). They are great books!
Book JunkieJune 30, 2009 at 8:10 am
So excited about this one, please count me in! Thanks
Lisa N.June 30, 2009 at 8:15 am
I am also a member of the “Nalinisingh-a-holic” group. I can’t wait to read this book and thanks for the chance to win a copy!
Penney WilfortJune 30, 2009 at 8:16 am
Thanks for being here today I enjoyed reading the blog.
maritzaJune 30, 2009 at 8:17 am
ooohhh me me me! *raising hand and jumping on toes of white keds* I want it I want it! Puuleeese let me wins it.
Oh I’m a Nalini Singh-o-holic too!! I have at least 1 of all her changling series cuz I’ve worn out the originals (I donate them to hospitals for after I buy a second one).
danniJune 30, 2009 at 8:31 am
Absolutely love the Psy/Changeling series and your Guild Hunters series. Angel’s Blood is definitely one of my favorite books of this year. I can’t wait to read Riley and Mercy’s story.
Kitten22June 30, 2009 at 8:38 am
This looks great! Please enter me!
BookcrossingKitten22 AT gmail DOT com
CeliaJune 30, 2009 at 8:38 am
Thanks so much for the interview! GAHH! Winged changelings? I am not sure I can wait…
NadiaJune 30, 2009 at 8:55 am
Interesting re: leapard pics. 🙂 I watched Planet Earth & totally felt inspired by looking at all the exotic animals & plants, etc. 🙂
ErinJune 30, 2009 at 8:58 am
I am counting the hours until this one comes out. Nalini, you are an autobuy. No question.
Donna SJune 30, 2009 at 9:01 am
I would love to be included.
bacchus76 at myself dot com
Nicole DJune 30, 2009 at 9:23 am
Count me in!
katiebabsJune 30, 2009 at 10:00 am
((KALEB)) *KB out!*
Sandy(Strlady)June 30, 2009 at 10:02 am
I am anxiously waiting for this new release! I fell in love with the series just recently and have been devouring each installment as soon as I can get my hands on them!
Elaine C.June 30, 2009 at 10:22 am
I love watching my little fur-babies and all their beautiful, funny cat antics so that is an inspiration I share.
Nalini Singh’s changelings are just incredible – looking forward to reading her newest in the Psy-Changeling world!
funkywaterdinoJune 30, 2009 at 10:25 am
I can’t wait to read Branded by Fire!!!
MaryKJune 30, 2009 at 10:47 am
Too funny! I know what you’re talking about though. Cats like my brother. Our family cat had her kittens on his bed. He was the only boy, besides my dad, so maybe that had something to do with it?
Can’t wait for the winged changelings! There aren’t enough of those around. 😀
limecelloJune 30, 2009 at 11:01 am
Hi Nalini, thanks so much for visiting today! What a great post, and I’ll look for the story of the cute little girl!
Winged changelings? Very interesting! I used to always want flying to be my super power, but I’d most prefer teleportation. 😀
I am SO excited about Branded by Fire! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book forever.
Teresa W.June 30, 2009 at 11:22 am
I’m enjoying this series, count me in! tWarner419@aol.com
PattyJune 30, 2009 at 11:38 am
The best part of the Changeling/Psy series, in addition to the great couples, is the fact that it keeps me guessing! Especially about Kaleb…. ❓
Please count me in for the drawing!
janicuJune 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm
At last a 48 hour giveaway I didn’t miss! Whoo hoo! 🙂 Yes count me in.
Canadian FanJune 30, 2009 at 12:36 pm
I’m so looking forward to reading Branded by Fire and seeing more of Lucas and Sascha and Hawke and Sienna. Love your count down to Branded by Fire. Can’t wait!:-)
Bridget LockeJune 30, 2009 at 1:11 pm
Whee!!! *ahem* That is all. LOL!
Seriously though, I like the way you talk about the changelings. You make them seem so real, which is what makes them so fascinating for me. I need to find myself a sexy, yummy changeling. Yummy! 🙂
Tina ChristopherJune 30, 2009 at 1:36 pm
OMG, I so CAN’T wait for this book and I’m keeping absolutely everything crossed that for once I’m lucky and get picked out of the hat;D.
oranniaJune 30, 2009 at 1:58 pm
Thank you Nalini, Ana & Thea!
Imagine what you’d be able to smell, how fast you’d be able to run, the way the wind would ripple through your fur.
Just being so at one with your senses… *SIGH*
Am so hanging out to head Branded By Fire (BBF)! Seven days to go! (Well, 10 until I can get my hands on BBF 🙂 ) Nalini – all the best with the release!
Oh, and please don’t include me in the draw 🙂
Kate AJune 30, 2009 at 2:06 pm
Great hearing from you Nalini! I’m really lookin forward to reading Branded by Fire. Count me in for the giveaway!
Christina GJune 30, 2009 at 2:27 pm
All I hope is that you don’t ever stop writing, Nalini! The world would be a much worse place if you did. I love your interpretation of Changelings (who wouldn’twant to be able to change into a gorgeous big cat, or be able to pet one up close?)
Please enter me in the contest, I live in the US.
KelleyJune 30, 2009 at 2:34 pm
I would love, love to win this book! Can’t wait to read it!
Nalini SinghJune 30, 2009 at 3:08 pm
Hi everyone! Thanks for sharing the excitement over Branded By Fire. I can’t wait to see what you all think of Mercy and Riley’s story 🙂
Onto the questions – if I miss any, please nudge me!
KMont – the prince with lasers shooting out of his eyes was a story I started writing when I was a teenager. He was very tortured. Hmm, maybe I need to dig up that notebook 😉
Msaggie – the next Guild Hunter book has actually just been shifted forward from March 2010, to February 2010, so one less month to wait 🙂
ColletteJune 30, 2009 at 3:12 pm
I love both her series and I’ve decided that being a Nalinisingh-a-holic is far better for me (and my family for that matter) than using crack. It’s all about perspective. 😀
Thanks for the interview and chance to win the latest. I’m also really glad to hear that the next Guild Hunter has been moved up! Yay to (mostly) healthy addictions!
Heather BrewerJune 30, 2009 at 3:22 pm
What a great interview.
I love Nalini’s books and can’t wait for Branded by Fire. Each book gets better and better and the most current one is always my favorite. I loved Hostage to Pleasure but I can’t wait to read this one, especially after the excerpt she teased us with in the back of Hostage to Pleasure.
Lisa F.June 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm
I can’t wait to read Branded By Fire! I love all of Nalini’s books.
Jeanette JuanJune 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm
I love Nalini’s books and hav egotten addicted to all her different series. Can’t wait for the release of Branded By Fire.
Alana AbbottJune 30, 2009 at 3:41 pm
I can’t wait for Branded by Fire — the teaser on her site (which also appeared in Angel’s Blood) is such a tease!
Nalini, now that you’re writing winged changelings, does that interact at all with the way you write your angels? Or are they in completely different parts of your brain?
Kimberly B.June 30, 2009 at 3:55 pm
Great interview! I just started this series myself!
RuthJune 30, 2009 at 3:58 pm
Please put me in the hunt…I have both electronic versions and paperback versions of Nalini’s book so I appreciate the chance for Branded by Fire.
JenJune 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm
Hi ladies! Thanks for the great contest and interview. Keep up the great work!
Amy KathrynJune 30, 2009 at 4:29 pm
I just recently got around to reading Angel’s Blood (it was buried in the TBR) and I was blown away. I can’t wait for the next Guild Hunter and I love the Psy-Changling series. Nalini is an autobuy for me now.
Iswari SharmaJune 30, 2009 at 4:30 pm
Now this is indeed a lovely treat. I have been a HUGE Nalini Singh fan from day one, so winning a copy of Branded By Fire would be awesome! Thanks for the opportunity.
Nalini SinghJune 30, 2009 at 4:43 pm
Alana, they’re completely different and that flows from the worlds 🙂
UnaJune 30, 2009 at 4:51 pm
Fascinating, I am always intrigued to know what inspires writers. Thank you and please enter me in the contest.
Virginia HendricksJune 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm
I think this series sounds pretty awesome! 🙂
JaeJune 30, 2009 at 5:14 pm
Wow, this was an awesome piece on inspiration. I especially loved the image of that little girl, because stories are all around us and Nalini Singh really captured that.
AndyJune 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm
Great article, can’t wait to read Branded by Fire.
MitchJune 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm
Winged shape shifters? SWEET! I’m so excited for Branded by Fire!
EstellaJune 30, 2009 at 5:34 pm
I love the Psy-Changling books!
Count me in, please.
oranniaJune 30, 2009 at 5:49 pm
…the next Guild Hunter book has actually just been shifted forward from March 2010, to February 2010, so one less month to wait.
YAH! *happy dance*
And winged shape-shifters sound interesting. Am not sure if this is a spoiler, but are they the same size in bird form as human?
CaffeyJune 30, 2009 at 6:28 pm
So beautiful to read that inspiration for your books Nalini! Beautiful! I’d love to be in the contest! Thank you!!!
ErikaJune 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm
I def want this book! I am so excited that it comes out next week. I love the psy/changeling world!
MarieeJune 30, 2009 at 6:48 pm
Great giveaway! Please count me in.
JenniJune 30, 2009 at 6:57 pm
I’d love to win a copy! This book looks so good, and I’ve been wanting to read the series for quite some time now.
KristieJune 30, 2009 at 7:16 pm
I’d love to win a copy. I’ve been waiting for this book for what seems like a very long time!
PNRaddictedJune 30, 2009 at 7:59 pm
I just finished Angel’s Blood ten minutes ago and am suffering Singh withdrawal! Raphael is one of the most interesting dark heroes I have read in a long time. And I love that Singh’s heroines do not have to 1) give up all they ever knew, 2) obey–or pretend to–their men, and 3) become wimps because they found true love. Both of NS’s worlds are mind-blowing.
Please enter me to win the new Psy-Changeling book or I will be force to chew tree bark!
KyeshaJune 30, 2009 at 8:19 pm
Great interview! Its just making me even more hungry to sink my teeth into this newest book in the series
Pam PJune 30, 2009 at 8:51 pm
Ooh, winged changelings, I’ve always wanted to fly. Waiting impatiently to read this along with eveyone else.
Nalini SinghJune 30, 2009 at 8:52 pm
I’m loving reading all these comments! Especially since I’m working on a first draft at the moment 🙂
Orannia – that’s mentioned briefly in Branded, so I’ll leave the question for now. But we can definitely discuss it more in the Q & A after the book releases.
Fuarie AiJune 30, 2009 at 8:52 pm
^^ I can’t wait till Branded by Fire comes out! Good luck to everyone on the random drawing
Jacqueline L.June 30, 2009 at 9:10 pm
I love it when small cats prowl and stalk imaginary prey. 🙂
SweetJune 30, 2009 at 9:24 pm
I want, I want !!!!!! I’d love to win a copy
OrangebeakerJune 30, 2009 at 9:42 pm
So that’s where you get your inspiration. Cats are definitely interesting beings.
PamelaJune 30, 2009 at 9:47 pm
Winged changelings, huh? Count me excited. One of my favorite YA books, Owl in Love, is about a were-owl.
Thanks for the giveaway!
bridget3420June 30, 2009 at 10:02 pm
Count me in 😀
KristineJune 30, 2009 at 11:24 pm
I would love to be entered yo win! I can’t wait until the book comes out!
YingJune 30, 2009 at 11:52 pm
Loved the interview. Eee…! I’m excited about Branded by Fire like everyone else. Plus, there’ll be winged changelings…!
Chris J.July 1, 2009 at 12:09 am
I can not wait to read Branded By Fire! 🙂
and winged changelings…Fabulous!!
Great interview/blog , Loved it! 🙂
Please count me in!
Heather F.July 1, 2009 at 2:37 am
Really awesome interview! I can’t wait to get Branded by Fire, I absolutely fell in love with this series when I read Lucas’ and Vaughn’s books. Winged changelings… that sounds awesome!
Please count me in for this giveaway!
Beverly GJuly 1, 2009 at 3:59 am
awesome interview and congrats on ur upcoming release everytime i read reviews on this book i wanna read it more and more so please enter me in to the contest
MirandaJuly 1, 2009 at 4:56 am
Sweet interview. I am looking forward to the winged characters! Please enter me in the contest.
Thank you – Miranda
wonderingsJuly 1, 2009 at 5:03 am
Ooooh, yes please! But I’ll surely be prowling the bookstore next week.
Jake LsewhereJuly 1, 2009 at 6:40 am
Looks like a good book, please enter me into this drawing.
Thanks for hosting this giveaway.
AnonymousJuly 1, 2009 at 7:08 am
I know exactly what you mean about the cats! My roommate has a cat and most of the time I’m just sitting on the couch observing her “prowl”. They are like mini-tigers 😀
I love your series because the characters and their world is so well developed. It’s almost like you would be able to recognize the characters if you passed them on the street 🙂
As a kid, I would watch this series called Beastmaster. The main lead could communicate with animals. I envied him so! 😀
NatashaJuly 1, 2009 at 7:09 am
(please ignore the previous comment. I forgot to put my name before posting and now I can’t delete it 🙁 )
I know exactly what you mean about the cats! My roommate has a cat and most of the time I’m just sitting on the couch observing her “prowl”. They are like mini-tigers
I love your series because the characters and their world is so well developed. It’s almost like you would be able to recognize the characters if you passed them on the street
As a kid, I would watch this series called Beastmaster. The main lead could communicate with animals. I envied him so!
michelleJuly 1, 2009 at 7:21 am
I love this series!!
JamieJuly 1, 2009 at 7:40 am
I can’t wait to read about Mercy and Riley!!
LiliJuly 1, 2009 at 7:45 am
I’ve been waiting for Riley’s story since he first walked onto a page of Slave to Sensation. And now it’s almost here (yet still so far)! I’m so glad we’ll be able to see other shape shifters.
DagnyJuly 1, 2009 at 9:34 am
Great kitty! I want this book.
Rena MorrisJuly 1, 2009 at 9:34 am
Great interview Nalini! I can not wait for this book!! *fingers crossed*
RainaJuly 1, 2009 at 12:42 pm
Totaly agree about the shapeshifter thing. How could that not be cool?
Diem LeJuly 1, 2009 at 2:04 pm
I LOVE NALINI SINGH!! Please enter me to win an ARC of Branded By Fire. It would so make my month.
ZahraJuly 1, 2009 at 7:35 pm
Winged changelings?! Now I REALLY can’t wait! And about that man…who knows? Please enter me for the contest! 😀
Lori TJuly 1, 2009 at 11:37 pm
I am really looking forward to Branded by Fire! I would love to be entered.
ChristineJuly 2, 2009 at 12:12 pm
Please enter me… I’m a certified nalinisinghaholic and would love to win a copy of BBF!!!! Thanks. 😀
ChristineJuly 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm
Alas, I missed the deadline. 😥
ErinJuly 2, 2009 at 9:30 pm
Count me in! I’ve been drooling over this book since the first blurb went up.
PattiJuly 2, 2009 at 10:33 pm
Please enter me in your drawing.
budletsmom at yahoo dot com
AnaJuly 3, 2009 at 1:24 am
Thanks to all that commented!
Using Random.Org , we picked the winner: comment number 9, Samantha! Congratulations!!
Red84October 13, 2009 at 1:42 am
This problem is one that has plagued other large industrialized cities for years. ,
Crazy56October 23, 2009 at 1:33 am
The opportunity to ask questions is equally shared amongst the members of the house, excluding ministers. ,