Books with Buzz: Nalini Singh Interview and Five-Book Giveaway (Contest Closed)

tangleThe minute I read Nalini Singh’s Slave of Sensation, I knew we had something special in our hands.  In the intervening six, short years, Nalini has published fifteen stories in her thought-provoking Psy/Changeling series, each of them gritty, passionate, and loads of fun.

With this month’s release of Tangle of Need, we took the opportunity to ask Nalini a few questions, and she’s coming along with some free books in tow.  Five lucky readers will have their pick of any one book from the previous 10 books in the Psy/Changeling series (not including Tangle of Need – sorry), and all you have to do to enter is comment on this post by Friday, June 8, 11:59 p.m. EST.  We will notify winners by email on Saturday morning, and they will have 24 hours to respond.  If we don’t hear from a winner within that time, a new winner will be selected.  If you review for another Web site or blog, please don’t enter.  Unfortunately, only residents of the U.S. and Canada are eligible to enter.

Now, on to Nalini!

Nalini, thanks heaps for joining us today!  Can you tell us about your Psy/Changeling series, and how your new book, Tangle of Need, fits into it?

The Psy/Changeling series is set in a world with three races:

The Psy, who have phenomenal powers of the mind, such as telepathy and telekinesis, but who have conditioned emotion out of themselves in an effort to fight the insanity that often accompanies their abilities.

The changelings, who can shapeshift into animals such as wolves and leopards. They adore sensation, live for touch, and are blood loyal to their families and packs.

And the humans, who are caught in between the other two powerful races. However as the series continues, you begin to see that the humans have an important role to play.

Tangle of Need is very much a series book – it’s not one a reader should pick up if they are new to the Psy/Changeling world. Even if you want to jump to this book, I’d recommend reading at least the first book in the series (Slave to Sensation), so you have an idea of the setup of the world.

The reason for that is that this series has a very strong overarching storyline, and a lot of threads are in play in Tangle of Need. The Arrows, Hawke and Sienna’s continuing relationship, the shifting politics of the world, these are all critical elements of the book.

However, at the heart of the book is the raw, emotional story of two people who aren’t looking for a relationship, and who certainly don’t expect to find it in one another.

Let me start off by saying that I loved Tangle of Need, and its new, more global direction.  One of the more striking things about it is its ensemble nature – Adria and Riaz’s romance is fully developed, but there are also significant scenes from old and new secondary characters.   Does the book represent the beginning of a new story arc?  And will subsequent books follow the pattern that Tangle of Need sets?

I do think of Tangle of Need as beginning a new story arc (or more precisely, the second part of the original arc), but it will be a shorter one than the previous that spanned ten books.

A lot of things are now coming together, so yes, you will see a more ensemble cast – the extent of which will depend on the book in question. However, there will always be a romance at the center, because I love exploring the mysteries of the human heart – emotion is the most powerful driver of my stories.

I don’t want to give anything away, but one thing I really liked about Adria and Riaz’s relationship resolution is that it presented a different…shall we say, possibility, one that I think breaks the previous mold.  Can you speak to that?  And will we see other relationship possibilities in the future?

As you mentioned, it’s really difficult to talk about this without major spoilers, but what I will say is that for me, the resolution is exactly as it should be – it’s powerful, passionate, and true to the rules of the world while being deeply emotionally satisfying.

As for the future – each relationship is unique, and how the couples come together depends very much on them.

This is also the first book with significant scenes outside of North America.  I particularly loved your vision of a partially submerged Venice – it’s both wonderfully imaginative and highly plausible.  That plausibility is a particular strength of your series – you present many issues that are relevant today (e.g. multiculturalism, racism, technology, sustainability).  Do you see your series as ultimately hopeful, or a warning?  And will we see more scenes, or whole books, outside of North America?

Hopeful, of course! It’s what I love about romance – no matter what, there is always hope.

Yes, you will see more scenes set outside North America – how many will hinge on the needs of the particular story. DarkRiver and SnowDancer remain key to the storyline, so at this point, we continue to have a strong anchor in North America.

Your world building is incredible, from the different changeling societies (BlackSea has my undivided attention) to the Human Alliance and all the different Psy designations.  The series shows epic planning and research, which I really respect, but I wish I knew more about the stuff that doesn’t land in the books.  Have you thought of doing a Psy/Changeling Companion, or something along those lines?  Because I’d buy it.

I occasionally think about this, but the fact is, I’d have to cut out big sections because they’d contain spoilers for the future of the series.

So, for the moment, no companion. Instead, I’ll take you traveling with me as I explore different corners of the world (Blacksea is definitely on the radar).

Your cliffhanger was evil.  Evil.  So I have to ask: When’s the next book coming out?  And how many more books do you have planned in the series?  Do Kaleb, Aden or Bo feature in them?

The next book will be out end of May next year, all going well. I already have parts of it written, and have had for some time. I can’t wait to immerse myself fully in it.

As for the number of books, I think it’ll be two-to- four books to the end of the original arc. After which, I have plans to explore aspects of the world/characters that we may not have seen as much to date (such as the falcons).

As for your final question – wait and see. ;-)

Now, you’re also the author of the Guild Hunter series, for which you’ve written four books and three novellas.  Can you tell us briefly about the series?

The GH series is very different from the Psy/Changeling series. It’s much darker, bloodier, but it is still deeply romantic.

It’s set in a world ruled by archangels, with vampires as their servants. The guild hunters are hired to retrieve these vampires when they try to escape the contracts they signed in exchange for near-immortality. The hunters are tough, highly trained, and mortal.

As for the archangels – they are true immortals, and see humans as fireflies whose lives end in but a moment. They can be painfully beautiful, cruel of heart, and magnificent in their power. And in New York, if you look up from the streets, you might just see an angel with wings of silver-edged blue sweeping above the skyscrapers.

Both the Guild Hunter and Psy/Changeling series have many things in common – alpha men, strong women, inherent violence.  But my favorite quality to your books is the multiculturalism.  It’s as if everyone’s color blind.  People hail from all races and ethnicities, and your descriptions of characters’ physical characteristics, especially skin color, tend to be evocative rather than solid (I think you once described Jason’s skin as “whispering of the Pacific”, rather than saying he looked Samoan or something).  Is this deliberate on your part?  And does your own multicultural background (Fijian Indian, New Zealand resident, Japanese sojourner, all-round traveler) play a part in it?

I think this comes from the fact that I’ve pretty much always lived in places with diverse populations, plus yes, the travel has definitely had an impact. I see the world as a vibrant, global village, and that’s how I write it.

So I didn’t plan it as such (with one caveat) – I simply sat down, wrote, and this is what came out. People are people – and in my world, some of them also hunt vampires or have the telekinetic ability to destroy a city. It’s all part of the same package.

The caveat is that with the Psy it was/is deliberate. They play with their genes, negotiate fertilization and conception contracts based on the best chance of high psychic abilities in their offspring, pull from the global PsyNet for information about potential partners. So, one of my Psy characters, for example, has a parent originally from Uzbekistan, while another has ancestry from Russia, Japan, and Scotland.

As for the way I describe things – I love playing with language, with words. So the descriptions are simply part of my writing style, and that style is subtly different between the two series – the “flavor” of each series is unique, and that comes through in the language used as much as in the plots and the characters.

Will you share with us your other plans for this year, publishing or otherwise?

By the time this interview goes live, I will be on book tour in Germany. While I’ve had a stopover in Frankfurt, I’ve never explored Germany in depth, so I’m very excited. Then in July, I’ll be in Anaheim for the RWA conference – I hope to see some of you there!

Publishing wise, I have a new release in September – Archangel’s Storm, which features the enigmatic spymaster, Jason, with his wings of midnight and the mysterious curves and swirls of a tattoo that covers the left side of his face. You can read the first chapter of the book on my website: www.nalinisingh.com/storm.php

In terms of my writing, I’m currently working on a new Psy/Changeling novella, before moving on to the next Psy/Changeling book.

Any last words?

Thank you for the lovely interview!

If anyone would like to find me online, here’s where you can spot me:

Website: www.nalinisingh.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/nalinisingh

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authornalinisingh

- Jean AAR

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38 Responses to “Books with Buzz: Nalini Singh Interview and Five-Book Giveaway (Contest Closed)”

  1. LeeAnn says:

    I, for one, am looking forward to all of them… but can’t we know the name of the novella?????? (so we can watch for it!)
    Please?

  2. LeeF says:

    Count me in!

  3. Lori says:

    Great giveaway! Of course, the issue for the winner would be which book to pick. (I’m pretty sure for me it would be Kiss of Snow, but there are others that would be in close contention…)

  4. Tawania says:

    I love this series! Thanks for the awesome giveaway :)

  5. Azucena Rodriguez says:

    Oh, I’ve wanted to read this series for some time now. It would be great to start off with a free book :)

  6. Maureen says:

    Please enter me!

  7. Leslie says:

    I love Nalini’s cats! Fantasic series, so well plotted. Did I mention I love those cats?

  8. Melissa B says:

    I ADORE both of the series ~ to the degree that I have most in both Audio AND on my Kindle. LOL, at first they weren’t releasing them fast enough for me in Audio, so had to read the book while waiting for Audio version ~ and now I’m so hooked!

    First, I’ve been relistening my way up to Tangle ~ I just started it. I’m thinking I need to savor it since it’s going to be SO long between books, lol ~ but your world building and characterization are amazing. I’m pulled in on SO many levels ~ and thrilled you’ll be giving us more of the Falcons and BlackSea. I have to tell you I go back and reread/relisten each time trying to get more hints on who the Ghost is…I have my ideas!

    And I love the GH series so much, too ~ it’s so different, yet your voice comes through clearly. I’m so excited for Jason’s story ~ and can’t WAIT for Bluebell’s!!

  9. Kayne says:

    Please enter me in the contest. I have seen readers raving about Nalini Singh and after reading this interview, I would love to try one of her books.

  10. Kim says:

    Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

  11. marilyn says:

    I love this series and can’t wait to read this one. Thanks for the chance to win a free copy.

  12. sula says:

    I remember when this series began that I was unable to really get into the first book (Slave to Sensation) and thus didn’t join in the series. Then I won an audiobook copy of StS from this website and absolutely loved the story as an audiobook. This plunged me into a series glom where I read every other story in the line and caught up. So thanks, AAR, for giving me a second chance to come to appreciate this series. And if I got another chance at a giveaway, I would jump at it. So I’m throwing my name in the virtual hat…. :)

  13. Tesa says:

    Very excited to hear about the new Guild Hunter book!

  14. a.h. says:

    I love the psy/changeling series! I only read most books once, so I buy few, but I’ve been planning to buy every single psy/changeling book so I can have the whole story arc at my fingertips. It is fascinating. I always talk about this series when I try to explain to non-romance readers that romance books can have complex plots and excellent world-building. The characters are also wonderful, and I cannot even begin to pick favorites (except perhaps Faith). Please enter me in the contest!

  15. Martha Lawson says:

    I would love to be entered to win! These books sound really good. She is an author that I’d love to start reading.

  16. Jane Hayes says:

    I love both of Nalini’s series and hate to wait for them to be published. I think I have reread every one at least 3 times.

  17. Susan says:

    Wow! This sounds sooooo fascinating. Ms. Singh’s talent is extraordinary. Can’t wait to read the book and if I’m extra lucky, I may even win a free copy! thanks for the interview and the chance for a free book.

  18. Barbara Elness says:

    Oh goodie, I’m planning to go to the RWA Literacy Signing in Anaheim, hope to see you there Nalini! I haven’t started this series yet, but I do have some of the books on my TBR shelf. I have a daunting task ahead of me with 10 books to read, but a very enjoyable one I’m sure.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  19. Stephanie says:

    Love the series!

  20. wenmc says:

    I have really enjoyed this series and look forward to the new book!

  21. Vee says:

    I LOVE the Psy/Changeling series (GH too, for that matter). What I really love about it is that it’s so intricate. The world-building is spectacular, but there’s never any sense of info-dump, and along the way you’re like “OH CRAP, SO THAT’S THE CONNECTION”. Good stuff :D Sometimes it’s really hard to keep track of what’s going on, so I actually would love the companion book idea.

    I really like GH too, but I have to say not a huge fan of Elena. Instead I have huge love for all the “secondary” characters, which is just as fun.

  22. MaryC says:

    Just wanted to say how much I love Nalini’s books.

    Please do not enter me in the giveaway as I have all of her books.

  23. ReneeW says:

    I love this series and can hardly wait to read Tangle of Need. Ms. Singh’s writing is so consistently excellent that she has become one of my favorite authors.

  24. Beverly T says:

    I am always looking for a new author. When I read her first book I was hooked. Great series!

  25. Diane says:

    Loved the interview and can’t wait to find out the characters of the next Psy-Changeling series!

  26. Danni says:

    I absolutely love this series. My favorite character/stories so far have been Judd’s and then Hawke’s. They one thing that’s driving me crazy is wondering whats up with Kaleb.

    danni0113(at)gmail(dot)com

  27. Cy says:

    Love all her books. Only complaint is she doesn’t write fast enough. I’m ready for the next book as soon as I finish the current one.

  28. Sara T. says:

    Love the series – reading Tangle of Need right now.

  29. Roxanne says:

    Enjoyed reading the interview. Thanks for hosting the contest.

  30. Jill B. says:

    I love all of Nalini’s books and can’t wait to start reading Tangle of Need. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  31. Koryn says:

    Count me in! Its my birthday saturday, this would be a great present! :P

  32. Wendy says:

    I love both series. can’t wait for the next book.

  33. Nazia says:

    I love the psy-changeling series! I can’t wait to see what happens next!

  34. Sherri says:

    Love this series and Guild Hunter! Thank you Nalini for sharing these worlds.

  35. [...] – Lauren Dane’s blogNalini Singh, author of Tangle of Need – The Book Pushers, All About Romance, Romance Books Forum, Galaxy BooksStacia Kane, author of Sacrificial Magic – SuvuduTami Dane, [...]

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