I got the unimaginable chance to interview Nalini Singh, my favorite author of my ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOK SERIES, The Guild Hunters Series.
First off, I’d like to send a massive thank out to Nalini Singh for taking time out of her extremely busy schedule to answer these questions. Secondly, I’d like to send a thank you to her assistant, Ashwini, who I was in correspondence with over getting the interview. She was fantastic and pushed it through for me, even though I had to wait a little while. It just shows what a little perseverance and patience can be rewarded with.
Now, without further delay, let’s get to the interview. It’s fantastic with some amazing answers and definitely worth my wait.
Once again, thank you SO much to Nalini Singh and Aswhini.
Check out Nalini Singh’s website here.
1. What inspired you to write both The Guild Hunter series as well as the Psy/Changeling series?
With the Psy-Changeling series, it was a “what if” question: What if we had true psychic abilities like telepathy that allowed us to talk mind-to-mind, or teleportation that allowed us to travel at a thought? At first, I thought it would be amazing. Then I began to consider… what if the flip side to all that psychic power was insanity of the worst kind? What would you do to survive?
Those questions drove me to write the books – to search for the answers alongside my characters.
With the Guild Hunter series, it was slightly different. I had an image in my mind of an archangel high in a tower in New York. Only, he wasn’t an angel in the religious sense. He was a warrior, a powerful being with wings and incredible power – and oh, he had a sleek black phone in his hand. An archangel who uses a modern phone? I had to know what was going on! But when I put pen to paper, it wasn’t the archangel who spoke first, but a smart, slightly snarky, and dangerously competent guild hunter.
And the adventure began, all darkness and blood and beauty.
2. Besides the characters in the books who you stated were obviously written for a friend, thus meaning the character was based off that person (or so I can assume; referencing Archangel’s Shadows with Ashwini), were any of your others characters based on real life people that you know or were they all just created/came to life in your head?
All my characters are unique in themselves, even Ashwini. I just borrowed her name. 😉 Like all writers, I enjoy people watching, but when I sit down to write, I don’t base characters on the people I know – I listen for the character’s voice, try to be authentic to that voice and to who they are as individuals.
3. When did you know you wanted to write and what made you want to start to write?
I’ve loved reading from a young age. I remember people giving me books as gifts when I was very young, because everyone knew that was what would make me really happy. And I was also always a daydreamer, happily amusing myself with imaginary adventures – and then at some point, I began to write those stories down. So I can’t pinpoint any one point in time where I realized I wanted to be a writer. It was a very natural process.
4. Beside romance novels, which I hopefully can safely assume you enjoy to read, what other genres, if any, do you like to read and what are some of your favorite books from said genres?
I totally adore romance – I read tons and tons of it across all its subgenres, from historical to contemporary to paranormal.
Outside romance, I really enjoy mysteries and thrillers. Some of my favorite authors in that genre are: Jonathan Kellerman, Kathy Reichs, & JD Robb (who also gets shelved in romantic suspense).
Science fiction and fantasy is also a lifelong love of mine. In those two genres I love: Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Tanya Huff, and a new-to-me author whose books I’ve been racing through, Jack Campbell.
Those are just a few! Like any voracious reader, I can keep going.
5. Are you currently reading anything and if so what is it?
I’m reading Half Share by Nathan Lowell, a science fiction novel. It’s the second book in the “Trader’s Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper” series.
Unlike many of the other sf series I love, this series isn’t about a grand adventure or big politics, but rather, it follows the story of an eighteen-year-old who joins a trading ship because it’s his only option. It shows how he settles in, how he goes from a “greenie” to a valued member of the crew, and his growing knowledge of what it means to be on a trading ship.
It’s a “quiet” story, but I’m really enjoying following along with the hero’s development. It feels like I’m cheering along a friend step by step through his life.
6. What are your writing habits? Such as do you have to have a cup of coffee, a scented candle, etc.
I do like to have a pot of tea every morning as I settle in, but over the years, I’ve learned to write anywhere, under almost any circumstance. On one memorable occasion, I wrote almost half the first draft of a novella while sitting on the floor of an airport, my laptop plugged into the only power point I could find that was free.
7. When you are not writing, what can you usually be found doing?
Reading, hanging out with friends, gardening, planning travel, scribbling notes for stories I want to write!
8. For a more fun question, if you were sent to a deserted island and were only able to bring 5 things (they don’t have to be realistic) and food and shelter wasn’t an issue, what would you bring?
A magical ereader that downloads any book I want and that never runs out of battery power.
An outdoor bed with hanging curtains so I could sleep on the beach if I wanted.
And a really hot genie to get me anything else I want!
9. And one final question. As my favorite series written by you was The Guild Hunter series, I am definitely curious as to when readers can possibly expect the next book to come out and if you can give any hints as to who may be featured, or the potential choices. And of course when the next Psy/Changeling novel will be released and any secrets you may be able to divulge to your readers about that book too?
The next Guild Hunter book is titled Archangel’s Heart and it will feature Elena and Raphael, and the story will link back to a mystery in Elena’s past. There are some big surprises in this book!
The next Psy-Changeling book will release in June this year and it’s titled Allegiance of Honor. This book is a reunion book that will feature many of the characters we’ve come to know over the previous books in the series, but it’ll also continue to move the series storyline forward. I had so much fun writing this and I can’t wait for it to be out! You can read an excerpt from it on my website: nalinisingh.com
Also releasing this year is Wild Embrace, a collection of four all-new Psy-Changeling novellas. An exclusive excerpt recently went out in my newsletter, but it should be available on my website soon.