The first I’d heard of softly spoken and wickedly talented Nalini Singh was during last year’s GenreCon organised by the Queensland Writers Centre.
I added Wild Embrace (with the following cover), to my Speculative Fiction/YA/Fantasy/Paranormal Romance book pile:
As my glasses fogged up on the plane home, I realised more research on this author would be necessary.
Sixteen books later (you can never be too careful about these things), I’m a little more familiar with Nalini’s work. BTW her book covers generally look like this:
Who is Nalini Singh?
Born in Fiji, raised in New Zealand and having lived and worked throughout Asia, New York Times Best Selling author Nalini Singh’s travels are as colourful as her resume, which includes professions ranging from lawyer to a general hand at a candy factory.
She’s exceptionally prolific, with well over 45 books listed on her website.
I’ve read a few of her Rock Kiss and Guild Hunter titles but it’s the Psy-Changeling Series which has me well and truly hooked.
The Psy-Changeling Series
It’s the year 2079 and you’d be forgiven for thinking that by now we ‘humans’ had moved beyond violence and petty prejudices but sadly no.
‘Pure Psy has begun to see the other races as ‘unclean’ for want of a better word.’
The characters come from one of the four ‘races’: Human, Psy, Changeling or The Forgotten. All have histories to unpack, wounds to heal, loyalties to unravel and yes, scalding hot bodies to reveal and explore.
The art of the long series
Having just finished Heart of Obsidian which is the twelfth book (not counting novellas), I can honestly say this is my favourite one to date, so how does she keep the series ‘fresh’?
For me it comes down to:
- using multiple genres – each book smoothly transitions from crime to romance to thriller to speculative fiction which keeps the overall formula from getting stale
- playing the long game – excellent plotting, seriously I’m at book 13 and the story arcs seeded in book one are still unfolding (Ming, your pages are numbered buddy)
- the cliffhanger ending – the pace increases steadily in the last third and then you’re left hanging on the last sentence
- sex for women – nice to have erotic scenes written with women in mind, just listen to Ep53 of Book Thingo for a discussion on why strong female characters and a range of ages can really work
- keeping in touch – although a new couple takes the stage in each book, previous characters don’t simply disappear, they continue to grow older, have children and play a play in the narrative from time to time
- great writing – she glories in using language to paint her characters in the most delectable human shades imaginable and then some.
To learn more visit Nalini Singh’s website, where you’ll find ‘behind the scenes‘, merchandise, newsletters and even a great section for aspiring writers.
If you’re in Sydney on Sunday, 8 April, 2018, you can meet her in person from 11AM – 1PM at Galaxy Bookshop, Level 1, 131 York Street, Sydney NSW 2000.
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