2022 releases

The Traitor's Game
Awaken: Wolves of Timber Falls
Sorrow's Song
Wicked Nights: A TechWitch Futuristic Urban Fantasy Novel
Bite Me, Monster: A Monster Romance
Nightfall University: Midnight Coven: A Reverse Harem Paranormal Romance
Nightworld Academy: Winterfall Witch
Phoenix: The Rise
Fated Wolf
Pray for Mercy
Keeper Of My Desire
Monster's Plaything: A Monster Romance
The Sheikh's Captive Lover (Desert Kings Alliance, #2).
Wolf Fates: Wolf Shifter Romance
Crown of Shadows
Kings of Eden: A Dark Paranormal Romane
Wild Soul: A Rejected Mate Romance
The Girl Sudan Painted like a Gold Ring: Folktales from the Sea Dyaks of Sarawak, Borneo
A Wreath Of Thorns

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Enchanted Orb - T.F. Walsh, Inspiration and Cloaked in Fur

With the release of her latest book, T.F. Walsh has come to visit. Please welcome her as she talks about inspiration and her latest work.

Take it away, T.F.!

Book Release: CLOAKED IN FUR by T.F. Walsh

Eureka!  It's a word that probably has a slightly different meaning to Australians than it does to many others around the world. Of course most people recognise it as Archimedes' cry of elation when he ran down the street, naked and wet, fresh from a bath having found the solution to a problem posed to him by the king. Aussies might initially associate it with the rebellion at the Eureka Stockade. And, in a sense, both historical events can be considered anecdotal stories of inspiration. Archimedes cried Eureka when the water overflowing from his bath inspired his thoughts on displacement. And the Eureka Rebellion inspired events that led democracy in Australia.

OK, so maybe it's a long bow to draw. But for me, that long bow is a great source of inspiration. One of the things that stifles creativity, is the laziness of the brain. The brain looks for the easiest solution, it looks for the straightest route from point A to point B. And it is so used to performing this way, that by forcing it to take a circuitous route from point A to B via points C and Z helps me to find that Eureka moment. I regularly find that when I'm struggling writing a scene, or solving a problem for one of my characters, I need to explore the longer path. And I have a few tried and tested methods to coach my brain along this new path.

Physically taking my body along a long path helps my brain to start down its own long path. Taking a walk somewhere I don't normally go in my day to day activities, helps my mind to wander in different directions also. My favourite place to walk is the Nan Tien Temple which I'm lucky to live very close to. This beautiful temple and its grounds are so peaceful and unique that I always enjoy strolling through the grounds, and enjoying different sights, sounds and smells. Every now and then I treat myself to a pot of tea and the wonderful little tea shop on the grounds. I always leave looking at things from a new perspective and with my mind full of new ideas.

New thought pathways are often created when doing mundane or repetitious tasks. I have several of these escapes I like to indulge in to inspire new insights. Time management, strategy and puzzle games are one diversion I enjoy. Giving the logical parts of my brain tasks to focus on or distract them, often allows the creative parts of my brain to remain unfettered. And for extra inspiration, nothings beats playing these games while also enjoying a warm bubble bath, or at least that what I tell my hubby.
Sometimes shocking the brain with unusual experiences can also help it to find new thought conduits. Trying different or exotic foods, driving somewhere I've never been before or simply watching a documentary or movie from a different culture are often enough for me to overcome a creative block. Anything that gets those neurons firing between new and different parts of the brain can be an unexpected source of inspiration. And for me, nothing shocks my brain in more ways than B-Grade movies. The rawness and bizarreness of these mockbusters has a strange captivating effect on my mind. When my brain tries to follow the weird plot twists and unusual leaps in movie logic and general mayhem of these movies, it inspires similar thought patterns that often leave me fresh ideas and designs. But shouting Eureka after watching one is probably a stretch even for me. 

Cloaked in Fur is Available Now

As a moonwulf, Daciana never expected to fall in love with a human. Hell, she never imagined that she’d abandon her pack, endanger everyone around her, and break the worst rule possible. But she did.

A rogue werewolf is killing Daciana’s friends, and she sets on capturing the creature.  She’ll do whatever it takes to stop the beast. The police and her boyfriend, Inspector Connell Lonescu, are starting to question her involvement in the murders, which is endangering the pack’s secret existence. But when the pack alpha kidnaps Connell, revealing the awful truth about the creature and its connection to the pack, Daciana must choose between saving the man she loves and saving her pack family from certain death.

Paranormal Suspense With Strong Romance

Buy Cloaked in Fur Here:

Publisher: Crimson Romance www.crimsonromance.com

About The Author

T.F. Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney with her husband. Growing up hearing dark fairytales, she's always had a passion for reading and writing horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and young adult stories. She balances all the dark with light fluffy stuff like baking and traveling.

Author Links 

Website www.tfwalsh.com   

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Magic Thursday - Creative Currency

by Lilliana Rose

Sometimes efficiency is about doing the jobs you have the energy for.

This realisation was somewhat of a revelation for me. I’ve been so used to pushing my self forward with my writing, getting exhausted, then writing anyway until my fingers bleed, my eyes were red raw, and my back ached as if a thousand knives protruded out – well not quiet but you get the picture. The idea of completing the writing jobs that I had the energy for never entered my mind. All I could contemplate was writing hard for long hours because that would get the story out on the page, meet deadlines, and build my ‘published list’. But this approach was leaving me exhausted.

I think when I was working full time I managed to write efficiently. I had to there was no other way for me to try and get the stories written. I would have my allocated time to write in the evening and I would pelt out the words. Some evenings I didn’t have the energy to write, so I didn’t. I would try and make up the word count later in the week, but I didn’t always (most often) have the energy to do this, so the catch up didn’t happen. But the story did get written – it just took longer.

Now I have more time to write, which is great, I love it, but it’s tempting to push away other things and over focus on my writing, and I don’t think I’m as efficient. Creative energy is wonderful, fun and exhilarating but it can also leave me feeling tired – hey I’ve just poured blood and bits of flesh into the story, filled characters with emotion, no wonder I’m tired.

I’ve read we have about 3-4 hours worth of creating energy a day. That’s not a lot – not for me I’ve got lots to write. While I can push past this, if there’s a deadline, I do find this figure is about right, sometimes even less. My best creative writing is done within about two hours per day. That’s not a lot of time. I feel I should do more. But now I remind myself, ‘sometimes efficiency is about doing the jobs you have the energy for.’ I’ve just done the job I had the energy for, now I need to move onto a different job, probably a non-writing job. That is easier said than done.

What I’ve done in the past is break down big writing jobs so that they are manageable, or prioritising, but this idea of doing the job right now that I have the energy for is a little different. What do I have the energy for right now? Isn’t a question I ask myself when organising my day.

It’s about finding the natural creative flow and working with that instead of against it. But it’s your own personal flow which is important, and this is a rather personal process. What worries me with this process is will I actually get anything done? Of course if will! That’s just the enemy Fear talking as I try and change my wicked ways of wasting my energy when I work.

I also get worried if I don’t write, then oh no maybe I’m blocked. It’s that enemy Fear coming to visit again. I have to remind myself, that there’s a creative flow that can be ridden without forcing the process. I could still be tired at the end of that wave, but there’s a difference between a good tired and a bad tired. I’ve experienced this with my poetry. Poetry is good to look at and reflect on about my writing process because it's a shorter form and the process is quicker than say writing a novel. There have been times when I haven’t been writing poems and I get worried. What if I can’t write anymore? There’s the enemy Fear again. So I bind Fear, gap him tight, and do a little self-reflection. At the times when I haven’t written poetry, I’ve been busy with other areas of my life, or I’ve been writing a novel, or neck-deep in editing, so it makes sense that I don’t have the creative energy (or creative space) to write a poem. And that’s fine. Because I’m using what energy I have wisely. I don’t have the energy to write poetry right now. Then later, once the novel is out of the way, life is less chaotic, then the poems come flooding out onto the page once more. Ebb and flow. It’s more productive, less stressful if I work with this natural flow.

Here’s a slightly different analogy. When beginning my writing journey I read the book The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. Back then I needed to find time in my day to write and stick to it. She unlocked my creativity and off I went on a wave of inspiration. Now, as a more experienced writer, I can fine tune this process so that I can keep writing to my full potential.

“All actions require creative energy. As artists, we must learn to think of our energy the way a person thinks about money—am I spending my energy wisely here, investing in this person, this situation, this use of my time?”
~ Julia Cameron.

I’ve been over spending, well I have been. No wonder I’ve been so tired. I now try and use my creative spending money more wisely. It’s a bit like my spending with real money, sometimes I spend too much, but at least now I realise and then stop spending, so I can recover, ‘recharge’ and then get back into my writing.

Have fun spending your creative currency!


For your chance to win a copy (print or e-book) of my book of poetry, Creating Wings, please leave a comment below.

Life can pluck out your feathers and clip your wings, leaving you stranded and alone.

Until you remember to begin again and create a new set of wings.

You can find me at:

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

A Bite Of... Magical Gains

This fortnight, I am presenting Magical Gains - which was my first published novel (way back in 2011), and one that still holds a special place in my heart!

Can I in less than five words describe the book?

Genies, magic, humour, romance, fun.

What inspired me to write it?

Tim Tams. I was inspired by Arnotts Tim Tam biscuits. Why? Because they are delicious... no, not really (even though they are). I was inspired by an advertising campaign Arnotts had a few years ago, in which a pretty girl finds herself the mistress of a rather suggestive genie.

It made me think about the legal and financial ramifications that possessing a genie would have, if they were real. So, I decided to write a book about a world in which all magic and mythical creatures were real, but to make things 'equitable' (for the humans!) the government imposes taxes and limits on magic... Which brought forth 'Magical Gains Tax' - the excessive tax my heroine Primrose seeks to avoid, by refusing to take her genie Imran's wishes... and subsequently finding herself in a whole lot of trouble.

And here's the snippet!

[This scene occurs when Primrose finds herself kidnapped by a band of lusty satyrs...]

Primrose felt her body react completely against its will. About thirty Satyrs entered the candlelit courtyard in single file. They were draped in orange cloaks from their heads to their cloven


They were mesmerizing.

From somewhere in the town house, drums were quietly beating, rhythmically and suggestively.

As if choreographed, the Satyrs parted from their single file into the direction of an awaiting Maenad, or in some cases Maenads. The head Satyr, still draped in the orange cloak, turned to face Primrose. She couldn’t tear her gaze from him. Slowly, in time with the beating of the drums, Silenus raised his hands and lifted the hood from his head and horns. His strange amber eyes locked with hers, and the effect was electric. Her heart pounded and desire for him rushed through her body like a freight train.

Primrose had never felt anything like it.

“Come to me,” Silenus murmured, his shiny white teeth flashing in the candlelight. “Share the Revelry with me.” If it had been humanly possible to say no, Primrose would have. However, no human could have turned down the Satyr after consuming Dionysus wine. Primrose’s body was so overcome by desire and lust for him there was nothing she could do but walk numbly into his embrace.

Imran woke covered in a film of perspiration. “Primrose!”

If you enjoyed that snippet, Magical Gains (and its sequels) are available in trade paperback or e-book format at all good book retailers.

| Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | ARe | Kobo |

You can also find me at these places:


My blog: http://www.magicalgains.blogspot.com

On Twitter: @NicolaESheridan

On Facebook

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Good News Day!

Welcome to this week's good news...


Rowena Corey Daniells' fantasy novel, Besieged, is short-listed in the David Gemmell Legend Award. The cover artist is Clint Langley. You can see her cover here.

At the recent Romance Writers of Australia conference in Fremantle, Western Australia, these Darksiders placed or were recognised for their achievements in the following contests:

The Valerie Parv Award
4th Place: C. T. Green for her manuscript Onyx.

The Ella Award
Brand new this year, this is an award for a novella by a published writers.
Winner: Carolyn Wren with her novella, The Diplomat’s Daughter.


Last days to enter the Aussie Author Giveaway at Galaxy Books, folks!

All readers have to do is order a book (or books) from these stores in the designated giveaway month - either in person or online. You'll earn one entry per purchase in the Giveaway. The prize winner will be drawn at the end of the month and the Aussie Author Giveaway box of goodies will be posted to you.

NB. Due to postage costs, entry is restricted to Australian readers.

Participating authors: Bec McMaster, Christina Ashcroft, Erica Hayes, Keri Arthur, Kylie Griffin, Kylie Scott, M.J.Scott, Rowena Cory Daniells, Shona Husk. 

Hearts & Talons Tour features $350 in prizes 
Publisher Clan Destine Press (CDP) is celebrating the release of Cheryse Durrant’s debut novel The Blood She Betrayed with three months of fabulous giveaways, as part of Durrant’s Hearts and Talons Tour, starting this week.
Prizes include an $AU50 Amazon gift voucher, an $AU50 CDP book pack, an $AU130 heart-shaped crystal pendant, and swag and signed paperbacks, while one lucky winner will have a character named after them in Durrant’s second Heart Hunters novel, The Ghost She Killed.
Also, all readers who pre-order the paperback through CDP before its October launch will receive a personally-signed copy by the author.
For more details, visit Cheryse's website. 
The Blood She Betrayed eBook will be available from CDP, Amazon, iTunes and Kobo from next Wednesday, September 4.
Please email Durrant via cheryse(at)quietdawn(dot)org if you wish to be invited to her eBook launch party on Facebook on Friday, September 6.
The paperback will be available from all good Australian bookstores from October, but pre-order from CDP, if you’d prefer a personally-signed copy.


Christina Phillips' fourth book, Tainted, is set in mystical Roman/Druid world and is due for release on 28th August 2013.

A dangerous love Rome will never allow…
Driven by the knowledge he failed to protect his king and embittered at losing the woman he loves, Celtic warrior Gawain despises the lust he feels for the beautiful Roman patrician, Antonia. She is everything he’s never wanted in a woman, yet she ignites his passion like no other. Despite the danger of discovery he embarks on an illicit liaison with her, determined to uncover the reason for the infinite sorrow that haunts her eyes.
Newly arrived in Britannia from Rome, Antonia is inexplicably drawn to the cold, tough Celt whose touch stirs a desire she long thought died at the hands of her brutal former husband. With Gawain she learns the pleasure of sex and his unexpected tenderness thaws her frozen heart. But she hides a deadly secret that could be her undoing, and knows her growing feelings for him can lead nowhere. Yet when a shadow from her past threatens her future Antonia is torn between the Empire of her birth and betraying Gawain, the man she’s grown to love.

Demon Chained if the fifth book in Erica Hayes' Shadowfae series. It's available on NetGalley and is available via pre-order through Smashwords. The book is set for release on 18th September, 2013.

Jewel is a djinni of the lamp, an enchanted slave, bound to her owner by dark magical cravings she can't resist. She burns for freedom, and when her lamp is stolen—by Tam, a hot and dirty bad-boy thief—she vows to be rid of her new master at any cost. Even as she plots Tam's demise, the lamp's dark fascination makes her long to claim him as her own.
But the last thing Tam wants is a spellbound djinni who can't say 'no'. Cursed by a demon to suffer living death, he's tormented by undead longing for pain, pleasure, any sensation he can get. To have this exquisite, besotted Jewel at his bidding is pure torture… because Tam refuses to succumb to her magical allure.
Not when he knows she can't truly be attracted to an ever-dying freak. And not when he’s already on a mission from his cruel demon master: capture and deliver one djinni...
Warning: this novel contains a feisty magical heroine, a besotted fairy best friend and the hottest wise-ass dead-guy hero in town.


Betrayed by Christina Phillips received 4.5 Stars & a Reviewer Top Pick from Night Owl Reviews.
"Betrayed passed all of my tests. It had action, romance... this book was fantastic!!"

Christina Phillips has also received a 5 Books Review from I Feel the Need, the Need to Read for Tainted.
"The author is a genius story teller...  To say I loved this book is an understatement.  This book is a must read!  5 books!!!"
Full review here.


Christina Phillips is participating in a Cover Reveal Blog Tour for Tainted and holding an international giveaway - for more details and to enter the contest check out her Cover Reveal Page!

The new Romance Writers of Australia website was launched over the Fremantle conference weekend. You can see the updated look to it here. You can also find out about the upcoming 2014 Sydney conference on the home page!!!

As part of the Australian Romance Readers Association ‘Author Chat’ program, ARRA Host Sharon Sherry recently interviewed Kylie Griffin. She chats about her books, including books in the planning, as well as her world building techniques and obsession with all things paranormal/fantasy. The video is now available for viewing! Enjoy!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A Bite Of... Cloaked in Fur

Forgive me, I am late again ...I have only just returned from Malaysia ....excuses I know. Forgive me.

But this fortnight it is my utmost pleasure to welcome T. F. Walsh with a bite of her book Cloaked in Fur.

Can you in less than five words describe your book?
Werewolves, Betrayal, Sacrifice, Suspense

What inspired you to write it?

I wanted to explore the idea of how far someone would go to save his or her true love. Team that up with my infatuation for all things werewolf, and my story was bornJ Plus, being born in Romania, I really wanted to show a different side to Transylvania rather than the typical vampire connection, including cultures and traditions most people are unaware of.
And here's the snippet!
“I have juice, beer, spirits, or water. No vodka.” Connell called from the kitchen.
I joined him. “Water’s fine.”
Retrieving a clear bottle from the fridge, he reached up and collected two empty glasses from the cupboard, then settled onto a stool. Following his lead, I sat next to him and grabbed my full glass.
He studied his tumbler, running a finger down the perspiring glass. “What’s going on with you and with us?” A long breath escaped from his mouth. “Your sudden disappearance this weekend, your friend’s strange behavior—like he was more than a friend—and everything from that night seemed wrong, like I was missing something. I felt like an idiot.”
My skin iced over, and my pulse thundered in my ears. His gorgeous face tightened, and his eyelids lowered as he said, “I feel like I’m just getting to know you. I don’t like secrets, but I’m so in love with you that I’m struggling to walk away. And what scares me is that I might be heading right into a wall with my eyes wide open.”
My voice softened. “Don’t say that.” I felt like the tug-o-war rope between Connell and wulfkin troubles, each needing my attention, and me refusing to give up on either of them.
He lifted his head. His hand cupped the side of my face and his thumb swept the tears from beneath my eye. I inhaled his warmness.
He said, “Please tell me the truth, no matter how bad you think it is. I can take it. But I can’t take any more lies.”
The faint tremble behind his words shattered my resolve to stay quiet. My entire life I followed orders, making everyone happy but me. Sandulf persuaded me to forget my mother with promises of a new life she would never accept, and I foolishly obeyed. I never knew my real father, but he obviously was a wulfkin from somewhere. I would give anything to turn things around and return to my real mom, to remove the grief she bore for losing a daughter. And now the alpha’s action might see Connell ripped from my heart as well.
If you liked the sound of this you can buy here:
Buying Links:
Publisher: Crimson Romance www.crimsonromance.com


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Twisting Reality to Build Another World with Eleanor Maine and Ellie Moonwater

It’s lovely to be back amongst the Darksiders. Thank you for having us, once again.

Reality and the paranormal—some would say the two just don’t mix, and they’d be a little bit right, and a lot not-so-right. We have read a lot of definitions of paranormal fiction, but the best one we found was on the teachmetonight blogspot where Sarah S.G. Frantz explains that “the primary theme of all paranormal novels is the interaction between the “normal” of our word and the paranormal” (2007, Sarah S.G. Frantz, Definition of Paranormal Romance).

So how do we incorporate patches of reality into our paranormal romances? What do we draw on? And how much do we need to incorporate for a story to be included in the genre?

We’ll answer the last question first.

How much paranormal needs to be incorporated in a story for it to be counted as paranormal?

Technically, not a lot. In reality, readers tend to like more.

Eleanor: In Hunters ofthe Nile, the only paranormal event is at the beginning when the main character falls through a hole in time while trying to escape a hunt in which she was the prey. That one time-travel event helps her enter the main setting of the novel, and without it, I would not have been able to incorporate a modern-day character into an ancient Egyptian setting. Beyond that, Callista has to use normal means to adapt to the world she finds herself in. I’m not sure I’d count Hunters as a true paranormal romance; it’s safer to call it erotic time-travel romance, which is one of the sub-genres.

But in my other book, A Gargoyle for the Hotel Gothica, I use mythical creatures and magic and incorporate them into the real world. I believe Ellie does much the same.

Ellie: Yes, I tend to use a lot of paranormal elements in Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat. Like Eleanor I draw on ancient Egypt and time travel, but I also bring in shapeshifters, sex magic, summoned monsters and an evil magician. It’s a lot in contrast with Hunters. And, I guess that brings us to the second question.

What do we draw on when writing paranormal romance?

Eleanor: Ellie, why don’t you talk a bit about what’s in Pussy Cat?

Ellie: Sure. So, for PussyCat, Pussy Cat I drew on four main paranormal things: ancient Egypt, shapeshifter lore, time travel and the idea of magic being real. I’ve always been fascinated by ancient Egypt, how people lived, what they ate, what they believed in—yeah, I guess, especially what they believed in—their legends and such. It was just a really interesting time period. I had to do a lot of research, everything from what they ate, how their houses looked, what deities they worshipped and what their marriage customs were, and somehow I had to bring a little bit of that to the story. That’s where the time-travel came in. I wanted my main male lead to be a shemsu (a group of men who advised and protected pharaoh) and I expanded the role a little so that he travelled to our reality in pursuit of a threat to pharaoh. I also had my main female lead travel back to ancient Egypt and encounter some of the beliefs and social rules of that time. The other thing I did, was do a little tweaking of that time, so that it’s not entirely accurate, and I explained it by making it a time set even before our recorded histories, when magic still existed in our world. But you managed to incorporate a modern character into a more historically accurate ancient Egypt, didn’t you, Eleanor, in Huntersof the Nile?

Eleanor: I did, and like you, it involved a lot of reading, and some net surfing. There are some excellent sites out there… and some not so excellent ones, too.

Ellie: True. Why don’t you tell us about a few of the elements you used in Gargoyle?

Eleanor: Okay, but A Gargoyle for Hotel Gothica was my first real foray into this genre, and I had the help of a theme: Creatures of the Night, and I think the story had to incorporate some element of Scotland. I can’t recall exactly. It was a few years ago. Anyway, I remember wanting to write about something NOT werewolf and NOT vampire, because I thought those two were the most common creatures of the night and I wanted to do something different. I decided on gargoyles because of all the old buildings in Scotland, and then I wanted to use a real-world setting I was a lot more familiar with, so I brought the gargoyles to Tasmania, which is where I was living at the time. There aren’t a lot of legends about gargoyles, so I used the theme of making them creatures of the night to make them only come alive at night. It’s a common theme for stories with children’s toys and such, and seemed to work here.

Ellie: And the elves?

Eleanor: Yes, the elves. Well, the fae are a strong presence in Scottish legends and tales, so I thought I would use some of that folklore to bring elves, or fae, into my world. Like the reality I use, I twisted them a little, but not too much. The fae in Scottish legends are not the nicest of creatures, so the fae in Gargoyle aren’t, either, but they are beautiful.

Ellie: So I guess that leads us back to the first question:

How do we incorporate patches of reality into our paranormal romances?

Eleanor: I think Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat has more paranormal in it than either Gargoyle or Hunters. How did you incorporate it?

Ellie: I think the most important thing when writing this genre is to be absolutely sure of your realities. For instance, the first murder is located near the Esplanade where the Salamanca Markets are held. I used my knowledge of the restaurants along there, and the fact that there is a small park as a basis for the real location, and then I tweaked that location just a little bit to suit the story by adding a few more bushes. It’s true that people can go to restaurants along there, and very true that there are some excellent restaurants located near the water, so it is perfectly believable that a couple would be dating in the area.

Eleanor: And the seagulls?

Ellie: The seagulls are real, too.

Eleanor: They really will eat—

Ellie: Uh, yup… let’s not go there.

Eleanor: But the magic is not real.

Ellie: No, the magic isn’t real. And I wanted it to be a new thing for our characters, so that they’re just learning how magic works, and so are the readers. I made a lot of my own magic rules up, but I’m sure there are other authors who have come up with similar ideas. The trick with making up your own lore is consistency. I decided that magic could only be seen by people with the genetic make-up to do so. I gave magic from different sources, different colours and flavours—something for the detectives to recognise and detect. I decided that spells from a specific person had specific traits that could be recognized in addition to the usual colours of that kind of magic. These traits don’t vary, so I had to make sure they didn’t vary in the story.
Eleanor: And the shapeshifters?

Ellie: Yeah, well, I wanted my characters to have something extra to worry about. Being shapeshifters brings its own difficulties in a world where shifters are usually encountered as threats. The characters have to be careful with this aspect of themselves as they don’t know how society will react, and are worried about losing their jobs, amongst other things. I had to remember to think of the impact that magic and the appearance of shapeshifters would have on society. What mechanisms would be needed to provide rules on how shapeshifters would be treated? What rules would be applied to them? Because the characters don’t know these things, and society is new to magic, there’s a reasonable amount of uncertainty and caution.

Eleanor: I guess this would be especially so, after the change of rules to do with journalism and reporting magical incidents.

Ellie: Oh, especially so. I mean, reporters are now forcibly ‘quarantined’ until an incident they photographed, witnessed and tried to report has been investigated and the authorities have decided if it can be reported and how much.

Eleanor: ‘Bag him and gag him’.

Ellie: Exactly. Now imagine how a shapeshifter with the abilities Kitty, Charles and Sera have, might be treated.

Eleanor: I guess there’s good reason for them to be cautious.

Ellie: Yes.

Eleanor: And that brings us to the end. Before we go, we’ll sum up some of the ‘rules’ or guidelines to incorporating paranormal elements into your realities, or reality into your paranormal.

  1. Do your homework: if you’re going to incorporate a real location or known historical facts into your story, make sure you get them right. If you want to incorporate a mythical creature, make sure you know the myths and legends and reflect them.
  2. Don’t be afraid to tweak: Nothing has to be one hundred per cent accurate. For instance, locations change. You might want to acknowledge how it is, by noting in your story how it ‘used’ to be, and then doing your alterations, or your changes might be so minor no explanation is required. You might want your creature to be a little different to the stories. You can throw a metaphorical nod to the stories by highlighting the differences, or putting in a pseudo-scientific explanation, or pointing out that storytellers don’t know everything. But, however you handle it, remember you can tweak a real location or setting and you can change “known” facts about a monster if you incorporate it in a believable or logical fashion.
  3. Write like your paranormal is everyday known fact. Sometimes paranormal elements are well enough known in the world that the characters don’t consider it different or strange, and you should remember to incorporate it as though it’s a normality if you are writing from their point of view. For example, a character might lose another housepet to a wendigo, and think something like: Goddamn wendigos. When was I going to remember I had to get the cat in before dusk? I mean, how many more did I have to lose?
  4. Know the rules of your world. Think about how things fit together. What are the characteristics of magic, elves, trolls, shapeshifters? What effect to do they have on the world around them? What mechanisms does society have in place for controlling, interacting with and looking after them?
  5. Be consistent. When you give specific characteristics to a paranormal element in your world, don’t go changing it, without having a very good reason for doing so. Consistency is what will make your world believable.

Happy writing all :-)

Eleanor Maine is another Canberra writer. She enjoys telling stories of paranormal and urban romance, including work once published under the pen name Ellie Moonwater ('Hunters of the Nile' and 'A Gargoyle for Hotel Gothica'). Her favorite technique is to take things that aren’t quite real, and wrapping them in the trappings of the world we know. Time travel, werewolves, magic and vampires all form part of her favorite subjects, as well as history and places she can visit and then shade with paranormal color.

Eleanor Maine’s work can be found at http://cmsimpsonpublishing.blogspot.com.au/
As Ellie Moonwater, she loves writing erotic tales of paranormal and fantasy romance set on faraway worlds or in faraway lands. Sometimes she wanders into the realms of erotica, and sometimes she explores ideas that make some people uncomfortable, but her characters are her love, and their wish is her command.

You can find Ellie Moonwater at: