In this bonus episode of RomBkPod hosts Ana, Melinda, & Meka chat with special guest, queen of paranormal romance, Nalini Singh


> ANA COQUI (she/her) A lifelong genre reader, Ana grew up reading fantasy, sci-fi & mystery novels in Puerto Rico, before finally wandering into the romance section of the library in search of HEA’s after bawling through one too many dystopian novels. When she is not reading, knitting, writing about romance for Love in Panels or running #RomBkLove on Twitter as @anacoqui, Ana is a school librarian

> MELINDA UTENDORF (she/her) was that child reading Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High books with a flashlight until 2 a.m. and checking out stacks of books from the library every week. After getting sick of ‘important’ books in her English degree classes, she turned to romance and HEAs and hasn’t looked back since. Melinda spends her time doing puzzles, listening to podcasts, and helping as admin for @RomanceSparksJoy. When she’s not busy with all of that, she’s a freelance editor or talking about books as @MelindaEdits

> MEKA WHITE (she/her) is the voice behind where she writes about her adventures in reading romance and being visually impaired. Meka loves pushing books and can’t wait to share her favorites with you. When she’s not reading, Meka also enjoys singing and exploring the Pacific Northwest with her guide dog, Treble. You can follow her on Twitter @Mektastic


NALINI SINGH (she/her) I’ve worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher, but not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency, but I call it grist for the writer’s mill. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. All of my stories held a thread of romance, even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes. Creating unique characters and giving them happy endings is my favorite thing.

You can visit Nalini’s website at or follow her on Twitter @NaliniSingh or on Instagram @AuthorNaliniSingh



NOTE: These notes include affiliate links to and to support the RBP transcript project

NOTE: This episode was recorded in late August during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020



Ana [00:00:09] Welcome to RomBkPod. This is your host, Ana Coqui, and today I am welcoming to a special bonus episode–we have Nalini Singh with us, Queen of PNR. We’ve invited her to talk PNR inclusive romance and writing in 2020. Joining me today to do a special episode is… 

Melinda [00:00:30] Melinda. 

Meka [00:00:34] And Meka. 

Ana [00:00:36] Thank you. Welcome Nalini. 

Nalini Singh [00:00:40] Thanks for having me. I’m really looking forward to this. 

Melinda [00:00:43] I am so excited you’re here. We all three of us are like ridiculous super fans. 

Meka [00:00:50] Yes. Super fans. 

[00:00:51] [laughter]  

Nalini [00:00:56] It should be a good interview then. 

Melinda [00:00:58] Yes, we are. We were very excited. And so thank you so much. 

Ana [00:01:02] We’ll try not to go too much into the weeds of our nerddom. 

Melinda [00:01:06] Yes. 

Meka [00:01:07] I’m making no promises. They’re making promises. I did not sign up for that. 

[00:01:12] [laughter] 

Ana [00:01:17] Well, I was so excited that you agreed to talk to us, especially now that Slave to Sensation is going to be 15 years old next year, because Slave to Sensation is one of the books that brought me into romance. I was a fantasy reader and a YA reader and a mystery reader. And through Felicia Day’s Vaginal Fantasy Book Club was introduced to Slave to Sensation. And then I was taking out all the books that my library had I was reading over the giant Kiss of Snow with the big man chest on the cover. I think I had like a big print version of it because I was just like, I’m going to read it. So it’s very, very special to me, and I know it’s one of your, you know, most popular books. Can you tell us about what that means to you and where you’re looking at with Slave to Sensation in 2021? 

Nalini [00:02:17] It’s actually quite surreal to think that it’s going to be 15 years since it came out. And for me, because I you know, I write these books, one every year at the moment, so for me, it’s been a continuous timeline. It doesn’t feel that it was so long ago. Yeah, it’s it’s like, whoa. How did that happen? But that book is you know, it’s always going to be such a special book for me because some people don’t know this, but I wrote six books for Silhouette Desire before Slave to Sensation. And, you know, I like those books, particularly at the start, because that was my break into the industry and those books were the best I was as a writer at that time, right? They were my best work at that time. But as I went along, you know, I lost the editor who originally brought me to Sihouette. And I started to feel like I was, honestly, I was just never really a good fit. And they kept trying to, you know, I would get revision requests to… I kept feeling like I just didn’t fit into this box. But I kept trying because it was my dream to write for Harlequin and Silhouette because those were the books I grew up reading. And, you know, when I first found romance, I found Mills & Boon, which I think a lot of romance readers probably started with, particularly, you know, my generation and younger. 

Ana [00:03:57] Right. 

Nalini [00:03:58] Yeah. So, but then I got to Slave to Sensation and I was just in…I in a really frustrated headspace because I just couldn’t get these revisions through, and I was being rejected on partials, and I was like, you know what, I’m just going to write this crazy story that’s been sitting in my head for a while. I don’t even care if anyone likes it. I’m just going to write it for me. And if if you’ve heard me talk before about this book, you know, I wrote it sort of almost manically. You know, I wrote the first draft in three weeks, around, I was working in Japan at the time, so I was head a full time job. And then I would literally just come home, manically write, eat a peanut butter sandwich for, like, peanut butter toast for dinner while I watched the half an hour English language news. And then I would just write until I fell into bed, basically. And it was it just felt so good. It felt like this book was me spreading out my wings. And it really shows all of who I am as a writer, I think, because, you know, it’s got the paranormal elements, because I grew up as a science fiction and fantasy reader as alongside romance. 

Ana [00:05:18] Right. 

Nalini [00:05:19] And so with Slave to Sensation, I got to do the worldbuilding, but I also had the romance. And it just, it’s a book that just felt like, me breathing, if that makes sense. 

Melinda [00:05:32] Yeah. 

Nalini [00:05:32] There was and feel constraints. Yeah, and then I was so lucky. You know, I’ve been…Cindy Huang has been my editor since that first book. 

Melinda [00:05:43] Oh, wow. For the full 15 years? 

Nalini [00:05:46] For fifteen years. 

Melinda [00:05:47] Oh, wow. I did not know that. 

Ana [00:05:49] Yeah. The fabulous partnership to have. 

Nalini [00:05:52] Yeah. She’s amazing. And I’m like, you are never allowed to retire, so. Forever, you have to be my editor forever. But she also just really got my voice from that first book. And so, I just felt like that book is really my voice. You know, speaking without any sort of restraint or trying to be revised in a particular way. And yeah so, yeah, that that book just just just put my career in a whole different level as well. So if it had an impact, both from the storytelling perspective of what I had created, but also in terms of that was the first time I really thought, oh, wow, I might actually be able to go full time as a writer at some point in the future. 

Melinda [00:06:47] I can’t believe that you wrote it in three weeks while you had a full time job. That’s blowing my mind. 

Ana [00:06:54] It’s so vibrant and, you know, like for me, I there’s so many little scenes that stay with me, like Sascha letting the boys [inaudible] her [inaudible], and then trying to hide it from Lucas on the way out. I just the little moments, that just, are so real. To what Sascha is going through, what Lucas is going through as a pack and what he recognizes in that moment. There’s just that is full of that. 

Nalini [00:07:23] I mean, I should say that that was the first draft, you know, that first draft that obviously needed editing. But I do have to admit that book didn’t actually need a lot of editing. It was like I just had the story. I’d been thinking about these ideas for such a long time. And it just came out in the sort of I don’t even know what to call it. It was just I was literally obsessed, like obsessed. That’s all I thought about around my work and, you know, the weekends. That’s all I did from the time I got up to the time I fell into bed. And there are, you know, large parts of the book, you know, it went through the full rounds of edits and revisions and all that stuff. But it’s..the core of it is still very much what I wrote in that minute crash. And as a writer, every so often you get a book like that, that just comes out and it’s, it’s whole. And it has all its pieces. And it’s just, it’s just got this heart. And they’re like gifts, those books. 

Melinda [00:08:33] So I am the same as Ana, that I read it through the library too. And then I like I came to it a little bit later after it was published and I devoured that series. And then I called up to the publishing and then I just bought them like crazy because I was obsessed with them. And I mean, God bless the library… 

Ana [00:08:55] Multiple formats… 

Melinda [00:08:57] Yes. Oh, my gosh. 

Ana [00:08:58] Yeah,the library got me in the door because they, they fed that binge reading need that you have. 

Melinda [00:09:06] Absolutely. And then introduced me to all the rest. 

Meka [00:09:12] So I just wanted to mention, so Slave to Sensation is really…and this whole series is really special to me because sometimes, like if I’m in a huge book slump, it is the series that I go back to, to reread. And, and I have, like, all of the books are super great. And but I go through my favorite book binge, like the ones that I’m like, OK. One three, five, six, seven, eight… 

[00:09:40] [laughter] 

Meka [00:09:44] But I, I’ve gotten a paranormal romance because I had a really close friend, named Maiday, and she was like really huge into romance. And the, the National Library Service for the Blind didn’t have the books available, but Bookshare, the Bookshare, which is a legal book service in the  US, had it. And this is a legal idea. I hope it didn’t say illegal, a legal book service anyway. And so whenever, shortly after your, that,  that site was run by volunteers that could, because of a copyright law, like for the blind, we could scan books up onto the website and when, and we dubbed it as like whenever, whenever one of your books would come out in Psy-Changeling, we would call it Nalini Day. And it would be like, who’s going to get the book? OK, who’s going to scan it in? And then you had the proofread it because scanning,  scanning is not a, you know, a a free, you know, not an error-free process. And, and but it didn’t matter because as soon as it was up, it was like, oh my God, thank you so much for scanning this and for proofreading this. Oh, my gosh. You know, so we would dub it as Nalini Day. And now we’re just so thankful that Bookshare has a publishing partnership with your publisher. So now the book is just available. There’s no more having to scan it in. And then, you know, the i’s, all the i’s are l’s and all the o’s are 0’s. 

[00:11:23] [laughter] 

Meka [00:11:27] But your book has a special place and in my heart, and MaiDay introduced me to romance and it really got me into, she really got me into paranormal romance through your book. And I thought this is like the most unique and exquisite thing I’ve ever read in my entire life. 

Nalini [00:11:45] Oh, that is such a great story. And I also love that all of you found me in the libraries, you know, Bookshare is also basically a library, right? 

Meka [00:11:56] Yes. 

Nalini [00:11:56] And, because I used to work in libraries, that was after I came back from Japan. And actually before I leave for Japan, I worked in the library system as a library assistant. So I love libraries. And I found so many of my favorite authors also through the library. So it just feels like this really nice karmic circle. 

Melinda [00:12:22] RomBkPod loves libraries. I think that all of my favorite authors love libraries that it always  makes me feel, like, “Yes, another one!”. 

[00:12:30] [laughter] 

Melinda [00:12:32] So in Psy-Changeling, which OK, I love, so the most, one of the interesting things that you did with that series is later on in the series there was, you’ve said before that with the, you don’t have the overarching plot like plotted out ahead of time, which is amazing to me because your world-building is ridiculously just excellent. I can’t even get over how great it is. And so when I hear that, I’m astonished. But so like in book one, like in Slave to Sensation, like, did you know who Hawke was going to end up with at that point? Or is that just something that you kind of developed as the books go on? 

Nalini [00:13:19] OK, so. Okay, so what I do have when I start a series, I have the ending. So I know with the there’s a question asked in the first book, which is basically silence. And then I know what the answer to the question is. That’s how I work as a series writer. So even though I don’t plot out the whole series arc or anything. I literally have to know the answer to any question that I ask. That the main series question. And I learned that from watching television because there were some really, really good series that just had really cool concepts. And and then it got to the end and it was obvious I hadn’t thought about the answer. 

[00:14:05] [laughter] 

Nalini [00:14:07] It just all kind of went to pieces. And so I thought, okay. What I set up. I need to know where it’s going. In that sense, like I need to know the end point. And so that’s my level of planning. And it’s all in my head that I don’t plot it out on paper or anything. In terms of, and I find that just knowing the end, that’s my one piece of advice I do give to, you know, when I do workshops and stuff, I give to writers who want to write an interlinked series where there is some kind of overarching plot line. I always say, what is your answer to the question you asked or the thing you’ve set up in your world? You need to know how you’re going to fix a problem if you’ve set up a problem. So I find just just knowing that is enough for me. My brain seems to do the rest in terms of putting the pieces together. But the Hawke question, that was interesting, because I think about it, no sensible, rational writer would set it up because, ohmigod, so much drama, so much drama, there’s this age difference. And I was like. But literally, I as soon as they hit the scene together, I was like, oh, so I guess this is happening. 

Melinda [00:15:38] OK, I love that so much. 

Nalini [00:15:41] Yeah, they would just. And sometimes the characters is just it just happens that chemistry just boom. And then as a writer, I have to go with it. I couldn’t not obviously, you know, I’m the writer. I could have deleted that scene, but I couldn’t delete that scene. That was an awesome scene with the two of them together. And, and I just knew from that moment, I knew in that book where, that these two were going to end up together. But, of course, I knew it was going to be a really long time. 

Melinda [00:16:15] And then my other question about the overarching plot with Psy-Changeling, did you always plan for the season two, like the second stage of that series? 

[00:16:25] No. So when I started, I, I planned I thought, okay, we’ll get to the, I try not to spoil it for people who maybe haven’t read the series, but I thought we’d get to the end point of season one. And I thought, well, that would be the end. That would be finished. And then as I’m reaching that point, I’m like. Oh, there’s a whole big mess now. So we answered the first question. But now this is what happens now because you can’t leave, you know, the characters in the world, in this state. And so it was a very natural progression into season two. And then again, I had to sit down and think, OK, again, where am I going with this? Because as a reader, I do get frustrated when there’s no answer or there’s no climax point. And I felt like in in the first season of this new series, you did get this climax point. There were some major, major changes, you know, in the fabric of the world. Like, it’s completely different from Slave to Sensation where we started. And so, again, I sat down, I had to think about it. And I know now where we’re going for season two. So before Silver Silence came out, I knew where the end of this season is going to take us. 

Ana [00:17:46] Cool. Because we want we really want to go there. 

Melinda [00:17:49] Yes. 

[00:17:49] [laughter] 

Melinda [00:17:54] Meka has a good question about girl gangs. 

Meka [00:17:58] I do, I do. So first off, I love all of your female protagonists. I, I love them all. I want them all to be my BFFs. So my question is that if, if there was a heist that needed to be planned out, you know, some villain had, was hiding something somewhere and you needed a team of super heroines to get them out from your series, who would be a part of your elite superhero heist squad? 

Nalini [00:18:36] Oh, that is so hard. There are so many good characters. I mean, you got to have a teleporter in there, right? So, who would be a good one? It would have to be one of the Arrow teleporters. And I think Brenna would have to be in there because she’s got the the computronic, she can hack things, you know, she can probably take down security… 

Ana [00:19:05] Crack the safe. 

Nalini [00:19:08] That’s right. Crack the safe. And you’ve got to have muscle. So, people who would just take down everyone, basically, so we’ve got the Arrow. Probably, I don’t know, Selenka? 

Melinda [00:19:25] Ooh, that’s a good one. 

Ana [00:19:26] Yes. 

Nalini [00:19:27] I think those two would just, you know, kick butt. And, oh gosh, I’m gonna be like, after I finish this podcast… 

[00:19:34] [laughter] 

Nalini [00:19:36] Oh, I should have seen this person, because I want it now… 

Ana [00:19:41] You can send us the annotated list and we’ll put it in the show notes. 

[00:19:44] [laughter] 

Nalini [00:19:47] And each of them will have like a, like a job to do, because that’s that’s how I roll with my heist. I just I love what I love, oh I mean Silver, imagine Silver. She would just plan everything out to the last detail. And nothing could possibly go wrong because she would have had it sorted. And I tell you what. So that the godmother of it all, and I mean this in the “Godfather” sense, would be Ena, you know, the grandmother, would just know everything. 

Ana [00:20:20] She’d set it in motion. 

Nalini [00:20:22] That’s right. 

Ana [00:20:24] She’s the one who asked for whatever MacGuffin. 

Nalini [00:20:29] That’s right. It would just be it would be amazing. And then you need to have someone in there who’s just like a wildcard, right? So someone who can just come up with things on the fly. And I think Memory would just be fantastic for that because she’s so adaptable. She’s a survivor. And she would just be like, “Right, this is what we do if things don’t go according to plan.” And yeah. So we’ll stop there because I will literally adding more characters because there’s so many awesome women in the series. I mean… 

Melinda [00:21:02] I was going to say, I feel like you can just have all of them. 

Nalini [00:21:05] Yes, that’s, that’s actually what I want to say. 

Melinda [00:21:08] Yeah. I just feel like all of them together would make the best. 

[00:21:15] [crosstalk] 

Nalini [00:21:16] I was going to say one of my favorite scenes in the more recent books is the scene in Memory’s book, where there’s a whole bunch of women together and they’re just, they’re just hanging out, being women, talking. And, it’s just it just has such a good energy. And, I really love those kind of scenes. And, just seeing women interacting, as friends, as family. 

Ana [00:21:48] I think of that scene, isn’t that where like, Ashaya is…doing the brading her hair or untangling her hair. 

Nalini [00:21:59] Ashaya is doing that, yes.

Ana [00:22:01] Yeah. And that to me is such a beautiful moment from Memory, who’s been so isolated, who no longer has, you know, her mom was taken from her. And, she gets to have this moment where somebody is taking care of her. And I thought that was a microcosm of the way your, your women take care of women in your book, whether it’s Tamsyn befriending Sascha in the beginning or, you know, all the people who take Sienna under her wing, and just, you know, just are there when mothers are gone, or family is missing. 

Nalini [00:22:36] Yeah, I think it’s really important, too. I, I really like the families in books, and not necessarily the families were born into, but the families we also create, all different kinds of families. And yeah, I love, I think it’s really important to me as a writer and as a reader. And so, yeah, I love that, that’s one of my favorite parts of writing series because we do get to see these, you know, these intricate family bonds. So you have groups of friends who interact, and then there’s overlap. And one person might go from group to group, and they might be other groups that are more sort of that’s the tight unit, and then but they also know other people, and yeah, I love all that. 

Ana [00:23:22] Well, right now you have Kit traveling the world, so that’s one of those through lines, right? Character that has been through many, many stories and many events. So you’re well known for writing complicated, challenging heroines and like some of our favorites, who will fight the death for, like Sienna and Zaira? 

Meka [00:23:41] Yes. 

[00:23:42] [laughter] 

Ana [00:23:43] We will fight for her. What does writing these women mean to you? 

Nalini [00:23:51] I’ve always been very aware, of writing different kinds of strength. So, I really want my heroines to all be unique individuals. And for us to, like, the society that they live in and to acknowledge that only one kind of strength, not only one kind of strength, is valid. So it begins with Slave to Sensation because when we meet Sascha, she is not apparently at all powerful. She is very sort of… 

Ana [00:24:30] She’s a failed spy. 

Nalini [00:24:35] Yes, she’s a failed spy. She’ss literally basically been told she’s a failure her whole life. She’s not kick-butt, like we think of heroines as like kicking butt. And yet when we get into this journey we realize she has this incredible power that comes basically from the power of her heart and her ability to feel emotion and empathy. And, and so, that I think has, is basically a really good…What’s the word I’m looking for? It’s a really good indicator of how the series is, is in terms of the female characters. So, we do get the really kickass females who are physically strong and can do battle, but they also respect the ones who are strong, like Sascha, who, who, you know, are strong in a totally different way. And then we have again, we have we have Memory coming in. We have Brenna. We’ve got [inaudible]. We’ve just got so many different types of female power and female agency. And, I’m always just really aware of making my characters both, you know, all the characters. But just in terms of the female characters, just making sure that each of them is a fully rounded person. So there’s no sort of caricatures or two-dimensional…natures. And, I think actually the best example of this is probably Nikita, because she is probably one of the most complicated characters in the entire series. 

Meka [00:26:19] Yes. 

Ana [00:26:19] I, whenever I reread, I go back and you see things that she says and then you think about them in the context of where the story goes and you’re like, ha, you know. Yeah, she’s fantastic. 

Nalini [00:26:34] Yes, she’s, as a writer, you know, she is such an amazing character to write, because,  there’s just all these layers, just endless layers to Nikita. Every time I think, “I got you,” she’s like, “Hahaha, no.”

[00:26:46] [laughter] 

Melinda [00:26:52] And then your other paranormal, which is my personal favorite, Guilt Hunters, which, like I said, Slave to Sensation was my first Nalini Singh book, but Guild Hunter is just, it’s a grittier, like a little bit darker world, I think. I just adore it so much. And I don’t know what it is about it, with Elena. I think Elena is just a really interesting character. And I just really think that Elena and Raphael are just, from the beginning, you know, they have such a cat and mouse relationship at the beginning, and then they develop and they are, you never break them up, and I love that so much. You don’t ever have the thing that romance readers hate, which would be to break them up and do the classic, are they going to, you know, not be together and then get back together, which we don’t love. So thank you for that. But the interesting structure that you do, that I haven’t really seen with many other long running, or any that I can think of. You do almost an interstitial with other characters getting their featured romance. And I personally just love it so much. I love getting, like, we get to see Dimitri get his own book. We get to see Ashwini get her book. What give you that inspiration? What, like, what inspired you to do that kind of structure with that series? 

Nalini [00:28:35] So, the Guild Hunters series is interesting, because at the time I wrote Angel’s Blood, I was writing two Psy-Changeling books a year, and I thought, you know, I’d like to write, sort-of one-off books as well, in between, because I’m already writing this quite complicated series. 

[00:28:57] [laughter] 

Melinda [00:29:00] So, let’s add another one. 

Nalini [00:29:01] Yeah, like, I shouldn’t add another one, I should just write this one-off book. So, I wrote Angel’s Blood, and I handed it in, and my editor said…And my agent said, “Oh, you know, they’re going to be like, where’s the second book?” And I’m like, “No, they’re not.” And then, my editor said, “Where’s the second book?”. 

[00:29:22] [laughter] 

Nalini [00:29:26] I think, I mean, I had accepted, I knew, I knew that this was more than a single book. I couldn’t. How could I possibly leave these characters behind? And, so that series as been an experiment from day one. If you have one of the original first editions of Angel’s Blood, it actually says Urban Fantasy Romance on the spine, because like you said, it’s a little bit different from the structure of a normal, you know, paranormal romance is just a lot more of an urban fantasy element to it in terms of the, the adventure, I guess, or the quest in there and the grittiness, the darkness. And yet it’s, it’s too romance-y, romance-heavy to be a straight urban fantasy. So, they said, “Oh, we’ll put urban fantasy romance, see how it does.” Like, nobody knew how it would do, because if you really sit down and think about it, it’s a really strange book. It’s about vampires. It’s got angels. It’s, it’s just. But, you know, I was I was like, OK, I’m into this. So I’m just going to write it. And then I was really lucky and people loved it, which was awesome. But so originally, even after I thought, okay, this is a series, I thought, well, what I really want to explore, and how it all began was, I wanted to explore the relationship between a mortal falling in love with an immortal and vice versa. And how that, how that works longer term, because I’m obviously a huge paranormal reader, particularly then, and I had read quite a lot of books where mortals and immortals fell in love, and I was always slightly dissatisfied, because I felt like, the mortal’s, immortals acted too human, like… 

Melinda [00:31:29] Not here. 

[00:31:31] [laughter] 

Nalini [00:31:31] Yeah, I’m like they’re not going to be normal because they’ve been alive for, like, you know, a thousand years or ten thousand years, and they’re just going to be inhuman. And how does that work? Where do you fall in love with a mortal? And so. It was about exploring the journey of their relationship. And I love that you mentioned how they don’t break up because that’s not the point. The point is, how do they make it work together? Because that, to me, was always the critical question of the series and how they come to a…because when they begin, you know, there’s a real inequality in their power. So, you have an archangel and then you’ve got a mortal. And so there’s just they’re just on completely different ends of the spectrum in terms of power. And it’s like, how did they get to an equilibrium where they’re actually in a relationship where there is back and forth and it’s a partnership… 

Melinda [00:32:36] And you up-end that power differential really in interesting ways throughout the series, which I love. 

Nalini [00:32:44] Yeah, it’s, it’s just fascinating, you know, working with these two. And, I’m often surprised as well because again, with my characters, I let them grow as they want to grow. But, to answer the question, you asked about the sort of intervening stories, you know, in between stories that really came naturally as I’m writing, because even when I realized, okay, this is a series, I thought, well, my point is to explore light and Raphael. So, I was thinking, I don’t know, three, four books, something like that. And then, as I wrote each of their books…So the first first non Elena and Raphael book was book four, Archangel’s Blade, and so as I wrote the first three, I kept falling in love with all of the Seven, and all these other people, and I was like, “Oh, you’re doing that thing again.”

[00:33:38] [laughter] 

Nalini [00:33:39] “You’re going to create a series.” And I said to my editor, any, I mean, she’d already taken a risk with having multiple books with the same protagonists in a romance series, which is really unusual. And then I said, “Can I do a book about someone else in between?” And she’s like, “Let’s see how it works.” So, so I did, and it’s just it been very organic in the series, as to who I feel like, it just feels like it’s their turn in the, in the spotlight. And, it links back to what’s happening in the overarching plot as well. So, that one, with the Guild Hunters series, it has really been a journey of discovery because the structure of the story and of the series, it’s just something, it’s just something different. There’s been no, we’ve taken a lot of chances along the way. And again, I have to say, I feel very lucky to have Cindy as my editor because she has always given me that chance to sort of jump off the cliff to see if the parachute opens or not. 

Melinda [00:34:54] I think it accomplishes for the reader or at least for me, it, it lets us breathe a little bit from the romance between Elena and Raphael when they’re, you know, the lead in their story, which I love them as the lead, but I also… 

Ana [00:35:11] It’s intense! 

Melinda [00:35:11] It is! 

Ana [00:35:13] Their story is intense. 

Melinda [00:35:15] And I just love how it’s still you know, we still get to see the overarching plot develop when other people are the focus. And, I just really think it’s an interesting structure and I really think it works so well in the story. And, I love seeing who is going to get the next story every single time. I’m like, “Ooh, yes, that’s excatly who I wanted!” Or, “Ooh, that’s a surprise!” It’s always fun and I love that about it. 

Ana [00:35:41] And for me, like, the short stories are what won me over to the series. I was a Psy-Changeling Nalini reader. I was like, “No…” I think I read the first couple of Guild Hunter books a couple times, and I was like, “Mmm, this is so violent I don’t know if I can take it.” And, then I read a couple of the short stories, the ones with the librarian, the historian in, in Haven and then you also, Ashwini’s story I think is the one that was like, “OK, I got to read more on this world.” And I’ve, I’ve grown to love Raphael. I always loved Elena… 

Melinda [00:36:20] Well, because Elene is amazing, thank you very much. 

[00:36:22] [laughter] 

Meka [00:36:25] I, I’m frightened for every character in the Guild Hunters series, like…I go in reading and sometimes I just stop and I’m like, “OK, Nalini still writes happily ever afters, right? 

[00:36:38] [laughter] 

Meka [00:36:41] Right? 

Melinda [00:36:42] You always have to check on that. 

[00:36:43] [laughter] 

Meka [00:36:44] I get scared. 

[00:36:45] [laughter] 

Melinda [00:36:45] She’s a romance writer. She’s not going to let us down. I always remind myself. 

[00:36:50] [laughter] 

Melinda [00:36:53] And then while we’re on the topic of Guild Hunter, I would be remiss, and I know you’re not going, you know, tell us this, but I have to ask about Bluebell and Sparkle because I love them more than anything. And, every book I like holding my breath, and I have to ask, like, are they ever going to get their story? And, is it going to be anytime soon? And, it’s important to be together. 

Nalini [00:37:21] So, that’s probably the question I get asked the most. Like, literally right now I have to check my inbox, there’s probably a hundred emails on the same topic. And, I think someone tweeted to me earlier this week. 

Melinda [00:37:39] It wasn’t me, I swear. 

[00:37:40] [laughter] 

Nalini [00:37:41] It’s like regular. And then in my DMs and Instagram. I just, this is, it’s constant like literally every day. Somebody asked me this question. 

Melinda [00:37:52] OK, I’ve never asked it before, but I couldn’t do not ask while you were literally talking to me, I had to ask you. 

Nalini [00:38:01] I’m sorry, you know, I’m not going to answer it. 

Melinda [00:38:03] I know, I know. 

Ana [00:38:05] We, we put it on the list. We were like, well, we should ask. 

[00:38:09] [laughter] 

[00:38:11] No, what I will say is, you know, I, what I said earlier about, I let the characters grow as they want. So sometimes what I think maybe at the start is not, like I, this is in the Psy-Changeling series, I was convinced that these two particular characters were going to end up together. And, I got to this point and I was like, I’m a fool. They just have no chemistry at all. So, that character growth with these two has been really interesting and I’m just kind of going along for the ride, so I’ll let you know when they tell me what’s happening. 

Melinda [00:38:51] OK, OK. 

Nalini [00:38:51] I will say that is, both of them sort of make guest appearances in Archangel’s Sun. So, you know, make of that what you will, like, what happens in there. But yeah, right now I, I’ve always said, you know, I won’t end the series without a resolution of some kind for all of the, you know, the, the main characters. So, have faith. That’s all I’ll say.

Ana [00:39:24] All right, all right. We won’t follow you into your DMs, people lay off. 

[00:39:24] [laughter] 

Melinda [00:39:29] Yeah, I don’t recommend ever doing that. 

Meka [00:39:32] We’re not, we’re not that kind of fan. [inaudible]. We ask the tough questions, but we’re never going to be like, “Right now!”. 

[00:39:40] [laughter] 

Nalini [00:39:41] I don’t, I don’t mind their questions. Well, I can’t answer it, so… 

Ana [00:39:45] We want you to answer it because we want to read it. 

Meka [00:39:49] Exactly. 

[00:39:49] [laughter] 

Ana [00:39:53] So, one of the reasons I was so attracted to your books is because you always feature these racially diverse casts and MCs that have just sort of run the gamut of ethnicities. And I was so blown away by the cover of Archangel’s Son, and just how beautiful it was to have this Black man, or Black angel, with his beautiful wings, spread out against the sun. Did you do anything special to prepare to write Titus’s story, and if anything changed or the way you write race through your career? 

Nalini [00:40:32] So, it’s interesting when I first wrote Slave to Sensation, I actually didn’t realize I had done anything different until I started getting letters from readers saying, “Oh, wow, it’s so nice to see like a brown, you know, character, as one of the central characters and then I was like, “Oh,” this little light bulb went off. And obviously, I was a huge reader and I realized I’d never in a paranormal romance that I’d read to that point read anyone that wasn’t white. But, when I sat down to write because of who I am as a person, how I’ve grown up, so I was born in Fiji, which is, you know, multicultural. There are three main languages in Fiji which most people don’t know, and everyone speaks at least two. Right, unless you’re like, might be super elderly or in the village, you might only have one. But, basically, from my parents generation forward, everyone speaks two languages, it’s just normal. Because you speak like your mother tongue, which might be Hindi or Fijian, and then English is the binder language. So, it’s the in between language and a lot of, so my dad actually speaks quite a bit of Fijian, and a lot of Fijians actually speak quite a bit of Hindi. And I probably would have picked up more Fijian if I had stayed longer in Fiji. But, and then I moved to New Zealand, particularly to Auckland, which is very multicultural. It is considered the center of the Pacific. And so there’s lots of different kinds of people moving through the city. My neighbors, you know, everyone is just super diverse. And then I went to work in Japan. And Japan is probably the most ethnically homogenous place I ever lived. But, I was surrounded by all the people who were in the same program as me, and they came from all over the world. So, again, I ended up in this really big melting pot. And so when I sat down to write, and particularly at that time and place, when I wrote Slave to Sensation, it was just very natural to write a diverse cast because that was my world. And it just just came out that way. And obviously I became more aware of it as I went along. But the one thing I’ve always kept in mind, whatever character I write, race, ethnicity, gender, anything, I write people. So, I don’t write, for example, I don’t write the Indian girl or the Black character or the Chinese character. I write a person, and each person is unique with their likes and dislikes. And, because I’ve had early on in my career when I used to read reviews, which I highly do not recommend, you baby authors don’t do it. 

[00:44:06] [laughter] 

Nalini [00:44:07] I know you will because you can’t help yourself. But please don’t do it. 

Ana [00:44:11] Listen to Nalini. 

[00:44:11] [laughter] 

Nalini [00:44:13] I used to get criticized by people saying this is not how this particular ethnicity would act. And at the time I didn’t have the words to. Well I wouldn’t reply anyway, but mentally I was like, well I felt bad. And then I realized of course this character doesn’t act like this particular ethnicity because no one in an ethnic city would, acts all the same. You know, we’re all so different. I just have to look at my own family to see, like, the various levels of Indianness. By, how Westernized people are and how everyone interacts. And so that’s always been my guiding principle, whichever character I write. And this applies to race as well as to anything else, which is I am writing a person and each person has their own, integrity as a person. And all the elements that make them up that have subtleties. And, so one one brown character is not going to be the same as another one, you know. It’s, no one is interchangeable. In terms of how it’s changed over the years. I like to think that I’ve developed as a writer and as a person. So I have more depth of understanding, about how to write characters and how to do the research. And, you know, I listen a lot. I listen to when people speak. Quite often they don’t jump into conversations because I’m more interested in what are people saying. Like, I want to understand what people are saying. And so I hope all of that has fed into my writing. 

Ana [00:46:07] Oh, great. Thank you so much for sort of going into that, because I know that can be sort of a challenging topic to to sort of talk about, because it talks about, you know, that you shared with everything from your how you came up through life, right? What you saw, what it influenced. So thank you. 

Nalini [00:46:25] No worries. It is. I think it’s an interesting subject. But again, like you said, it can be a difficult subject to talk about. But I think particularly in this current climate, we have to talk about it. It’s you know, everything’s coming out in the open, and it’s great. We should be having these discussions,  and talking about how to, you know, write diverse casts and, just writing really vibrant worlds, right? 

Melinda [00:46:50] And, I just want to say that it’s so, it’s really, it’s so important. I mean, I, so, I buddy read, I buddy read almost all of your books with somebody else, but my friend… 

Ana [00:47:00] Hi Mel! 

Melinda [00:47:00] Yes, “Hi Melanie!” My friend, Melanie and I read, we read Rebel Heart and together. And she was just so blown away by it. She was like because she’s Bengali. And she was just like her review is basically just like, ohmigod. She couldn’t believe that. You know, the characters shared her same last name and she just felt so seen. And, you know, just sharing that experience with her while she was reading it. She was extremely blown away. She was like, this has never happened, like in the whole history of the universe, that she felt so incredibly seen by just one book because it was just, she just felt incredible to be able to, you know, be seen like that while she was reading. And it was a really important experience for me to share that with her. And I mean, now we read all of your books together, but so it was just I just it’s really important. And I just thank you for that. 

Nalini [00:48:04] Yeah, I know. No problem. You know, I’m hearing something like that. You know, it feels good to me, too, because I, I still remember the first time I saw an Indian character in a book and I was just like, I still remember where I read that and, you know, which book and everything. So, I think these things do matter. We might not realize it at the time, when I read it, it was, I was so young. But they do matter in the long term. 

Ana [00:48:34] Yeah, absolutely, especially when there’s so many books that are set in so many vibrant places that are all white. So it just sticks out to you when you’re somebody of color or somebody who like, I think, on your mental health rep. You definitely have shown us all sorts of different ways that people overcome trauma. And I think people who have experienced different kinds of trauma. We than, we we see it. That is not one size fits all. Everybody has different ways of responding to pain and to brokenness and all that kind of stuff. So, yes, thank you. 

Nalini [00:49:09] No worries. I think I will say one thing. I do think in terms of that, I do think I’ve definitely grown as a writer and as person in my understanding of that. And that, I think is inevitable because, like you said, Slave to Sensation was, and will be fifteen next year. So there’s a lot of time. So a lot of growth in that period. So, yeah, I think that does come through in the books as well. 

Ana [00:49:38] Yeah, I mean, I think it’s interesting, you know, most recently with Alpha Night, you with Ethan’s story, you really focused on consent and creating boundaries and all that kind of stuff, which is a very different place than where Lucas and Sascha were in Slave to Sensation. So, yes, thank you. 

Melinda [00:50:00] And then, I think Meka has a question about recommendations?

Ana [00:50:07] Oh, isn’t it the writing in 2020? 

Meka [00:50:07] But first…

Melinda [00:50:07] Oh, sorry, I’m totally wrong. 

[00:50:11] [laughter] 

Meka [00:50:12] Melinda’s like, “Give me the books right now!”

Melinda [00:50:14] So sorry, that’s me. 

Ana [00:50:16] That’s coming, it’s coming. 

[00:50:17] [laughter] 

Meka [00:50:20] So, so I think that we can all kind of agree that 2020 is sort of a dumpster fire. And if, and if 2020 were a paranormal entity, it would be the overarching villain that we’re all struggling to get through. But my question for you is, you know, what is it like for you to, you know, I know that a lot of readers right now, and I’m probably one of them, I can’t really read a lot of contemporary right now, just because I feel like if I read a contemporary, I’d be like, “OK, well, first off, you’re not six feet apart.”. 

[00:50:59] [laughter] 

Meka [00:51:00] And, and secondly, I don’t know that you can be trusted because of your profession. And so, so, you know, that’s how I kind of read contemporaries right now. And hopefully there will come a day. But my question is, what is it like for you as an author to, you know, be, to be writing in this 2020 dystopian hellscape that we’re in right now? To be writing paranormals, especially. 

Nalini [00:51:31] It’s, um. I think…so, particularly with the first, you know, back at March and April. So in New Zealand, I think it really hit about the start of April, I can’t remember the exact dates, but we went into a Level Four lockdown, which was basically, you know, total lockdown. Like, we, we were allowed to go out for a walk or something to get exercise and then like to the supermarket to get food. And that was about it. And I mean, like that you could make a doctor’s appointment kind of thing, like a really essential stuff, but otherwise…we were just in absolute lockdown. And, it was, that was probably the strangest time because it was just a shock to the system. And, I was really distracted at that time, just in general as a writer, just really difficult to concentrate. And I think a lot of people probably had that problem, because I was just constantly checking the news, like what’s happening, what’s, what’s happening today or what’s happening this minute. Like, I was just completely, you know, refreshing the news feed, and, it took a while, I think two or three weeks before I finally sort of settled, and one of the first things I figured out was that I need to stop that news cycle thing. And once I sort of got off that, and even Twitter, I had to get off Twitter for like long periods of the day because it just, it was just so much. It was,  it was the same, everyone was basically talking about, you know, the pandemic 24/7. And, and I had to go back to the reason I write in the first place, which is I love writing, and books and stories have always been the place I retreat to, to find calm, to find joy. And, and so, once I got past that sort of shock phase, I dove back into my worlds again, and it’s been actually really good because, in these worlds, you know, there are certain rules, and, things happen in a certain way and there are structures. And, so I think in that way it’s been really good, writing in a paranormal world. And, I do think it’s easier for me than it is for contemporary writers. Oh, see, I do write some contemporary books, but I am I’m not writing one right now. And, because I’ve had a lot of discussions with my friends who are contemporary romance writers and they’re all struggling because they like, at what point do we have to make this a part of the world that we’re writing? When does anybody actually want to read it? Like we escape into books, so do we want this realism in there when we’re all living the real, the real world? So for me, writing paranormal, I think has just been, it’s, it is a good place to be as a writer. Being able to go into those worlds and the, you know, the creativity of the world-building, and not having to think about the present world and how to integrate that into my world. 

Meka [00:55:19] Yeah, for sure. And do you, do you find, do you think that maybe you like that in general, there are some subjects that would that are easier to tackle in paranormal then than they would be if you were to include them like in a contemporary novel? 

Nalini [00:55:38] Oh, for sure. I mean, growing up as a science fiction and sort of fantasy reader, I saw that over and over again. I saw…things in those books that I never saw in contemporary fiction, because it’s easier to address something with, I think, a layer of distance, and that distance is provided by the fantastical world or the dystopian world or the paranormal world. And then we’re more willing to look at difficult questions and face them. So, yeah. 

Meka [00:56:13] Yeah, for sure. I know, I know that there are some things I’ve read in paranormals, I’ve been like, “Oh, wow, they tackled that so beautifully.” I see the message you’re leaving here. 

[00:56:24] [laughter] 

Meka [00:56:27] So and my other question for you. First off, I just want to address our listeners. If you, if you have you know, right now social media can also seem like a hellscape. If you did nothing else, snooze all of your friends and family and go on Facebook just for Nalini Singh’s Friday Book Club. 

[00:56:45] [laughter] 

Meka [00:56:46] Like it is, it is so delightful, you know, clear out your timelines, snooze everybody, and, and I get them on Thursday afternoons because I often forget that you live in New Zealand and I’m like, “Oh yeah, it’s Friday book club time!” It is like the greatest thing, you ask all these great questions about, like what are you reading? And everybody, I just love everybody in these comments. They are reading so many different things on any given day. It’s like someone’s reading contemporary or historical or, you know, maybe a cozy mystery or a paranormal thing. And there’s so much love for your books in those comments to, like, “I’m on my 18th read of Blaze of Memory.”. 

[00:57:33] [laughter] 

Meka [00:57:36] And I love, I love your Friday Book Club. And I love it so much. 

Nalini [00:57:43] Oh, thank you for that. I actually really love it, too. I have gotten so many recommendations off the comments. So I started that because I’m like a really bad book club person. So I would you know, I the idea of everyone reading the same book and then discussing it, I just found it really difficult. So to do a book club where it’s like, we can just all talk about all the different books we read. And, and what I love is that it’s grown over the years into this community and then I like that people chat among themselves, recommending books to each other. And yeah, and sometimes the comment thread so long, you know, I can’t read every single one, but I do my best because that’s just some really, really good books that I’ve found just from, just reading the comments and seeing people keep recommending this book or, “Oh, that sounds really interesting.” So I’ll pick it up. And, thanks for that, I’m glad you love it. 

Meka [00:58:38] You’re welcome. So, you all need everybody on Facebook, you just need to join Facebook just for the Friday Book Club and snooze everybody else. 

[00:58:47] [laughter] 

Meka [00:58:49] The other thing I love is that you give book recommendations yourself. And I just, I just love that about you. And I just get excited, even if it’s like, something really scary that I maybe I might not necessarily read, I’m just like, “Oh, I’m super enthusiastic. Let me give this to my, let me tell my friend about this who loves horror, because I’m too scared.’ So, I was wondering, do you have some exclusive book recs for us? 

Nalini [00:59:16] Yes, absolutely. I actually wrote it down because I was like, I’m going to forget like something if I don’t write it down. So, you know, look at my list. 

Meka [00:59:23] All right. 

Nalini [00:59:24] So what I’m going to do is give you some recs. If you follow me in social media, you’ve probably already heard me talking about most of these books, because I’m going to give you some recs for stuff that’s either new or new to me, so more recent things than, like, you know, really classic kind of stuff. So, one of my discoveries this year was P Djeli Clark, who writes some fantasy, I would say fantasy, I guess. It’s the first book I read was of his was A Dead Djinn in Cairo. And it’s set in this nineteen twenties, I think, Cairo, and somebody basically opened a doorway and all these magical creatures came in, and, and it’s based around this investigation into a dead Djinn. And it’s fantastic. I mean, it’s a novella. And I’ve read all three of his novellas because they’re just so fantastic. The world-building is amazing, because a novella, you know, you’ve got very short period of time to build a really immersive world. And I am just sold, like, I was on his website looking for when the next thing was coming out. And he’s got a full length book scheduled in 2021. And so I will be like my preorder is going in… 

[01:00:58] [laughter] 

Nalini [01:00:59] And it’s just like, get me this book as soon as it comes. And hey, if anybody knows anyone at Tor and wants to send me the book, welcome, you’re welcome to do so. 

[01:01:08] [laughter] 

Nalini [01:01:11] But no, he’s just, he’s just a really, really good writer. And I, I hope that lots of people pick him up. So two of us novellas that I read is set in that Cairo sort of world that he’s built. And then the third one is called, The Black Gods Drums, and it’s set in New Orleans. And again, with those, you know, this sort of fantastical elements to it, just a really fantastic writer. And that was someone I sort of discovered this year. And another writer that I love is Sonali Dev. 

[01:01:48] [crosstalk] 

Nalini [01:01:53] So, I think she’s just such an excellent writer. She has so much emotional depth to his stories. Honestly, sometimes I need to be like, take a break, because I think, “This is too emotional, Sonali, I can’t handle it,” but then like I come back because I must know it happens. But, her latest, Recipe For Persuasion, so she is doing these sort of retellings of Jane Austen, and Persuasion has always been my favorite Austen. You know, I think Persuasion has the most romance novel arc. Like it has the, you know, the breakup and then getting together, it has the black moment, it’s got the happy ever after. And so I was really excited to see what she would do with this retelling, and she just did a wonderful job. And while I loved the heroine, the one the hero makes this book for me, because he is just, he’s, he’s trying to be all angry and like sort of, you know, like the whole Persuasion thing where he’s come back and she rejected him before. But honestly, he’s a big teddy bear. He’s, he’s into her. And I’m just like, oh, you’re so adorable. So, yeah, this book I, I loved. And, another one as an author that I read for the first time was Sharina Harris. I read her Imperfectly Happy, which is more women’s fiction than romance, but it’s got like multiple romance storylines in there, and so I think if you’re a romance reader going into this book, you would still be happy. 

Melinda [01:03:34] I’m reading that right now, it’s really good. 

Nalini [01:03:37] Yeah, it is, isn’t it? 

Melinda [01:03:38] Yeah, it’s really good. I saw her on one, I think Alyssa Cole’s first Date Night, and I thought she was great and that made me pick up the book, so I just started reading it like two nights ago. 

Melinda [01:03:48] With me it was, I saw the cover I come across, I don’t know, Twitter or Instagram or something, and it’s like this ice cream cone, you know, upside down, split. And I was like, oh, that that looks kind of cool. So I just looked up the blurb and it spoke to me. So, yeah, it is really it was really good. I like how she sketches all four characters really well. So they’re all different people. There’s no sort of blending of characters, and I just thing that’s so well done. I’ve got two more. Should I keep going? 

[01:04:19] [crosstalk] 

Nalini [01:04:25] So, another one I recently, very recently read was, and this is a mystery is Kelly Garrett, Hollywood Homicide. And I just, I, again, I think this this came up in a list of like mysteries. And I was looking for mystery. And the cover just caught my eye. And then I read the blurb. And, so basically, it’s, I don’t know if you would, it’s classified as cozy mystery, I wouldn’t call it cozy, but it’s more like she’s not a detective or anything. She, she’s basically an ex child actress, um, child star. And she’s been on like a…well, she’s a child actress, I’m just trying to think, she’s been on a, like, ad, she’s really well known and. But anyway, she’s she’s sort of out of that now. And she decides to go for this some reward for finding a clue to a crime that helps get it solved. And so she’s riding around Hollywood trying to solve this crime. And it’s just really, the atmosphere is just well done. And I read the author’s bio, and she was actually part of the industry in Hollywood. So it feels very real. Like all the elements that she’s got in there. So in just the cast is really fun, because she has her friends. And, you know, there’s other people that come into the story. And I was just like, OK, I must get book two. And this is my life because I love series of any kind. And my final one is, OK, so for some reason, I completely missed the fact that this that Ms. Beverly Jenkins wrote this contemporary small town series. 

Ana [01:06:19] Yes. 

Nalini [01:06:20] And it just, it had completely, I don’t know. It was this thing that had never hit my radar. And I actually, it was a gift. It was actually at one of the Alyssa Cole events that she did, and she was talking about the Blessings series. 

Meka [01:06:37] Yes! 

Nalini [01:06:37] And I said, what is this? And she just, ohmigod. When I heard her, the setup of this, like, really wealthy divorcee, you know, she she walked in on her husband with another woman and she decided to take him to the cleaners, and then she ends up with all this money, and she buys a town, and she decides she’s going to build this community to, of people who foster children. And that’s like this sounds like my kind of thing. And I just raced through the first book. So, it’s fantastic, and I can’t wait to read the second one. I am, I’m reading a lot in print at the moment. So, just waiting until my orders come in. So I will just be, you know, inhaling the next books because I’m, I am so in love with the characters and I want to know what happens next. 

Meka [01:07:33] Yes, there are so many questions that we need answers to! 

Nalini [01:07:35] Yes. 

Ana [01:07:37] I was going to say, that’s one of Meka’s favorite series… 

Meka [01:07:41] It is. 

[01:07:41] [laughter] 

Nalini [01:07:42] OK, so now I know who I can talk to once I like…

Meka [01:07:45] Yes, come talk to me. When you read book two, we can make it like a buddy read. 

[01:07:50] [laughter] 

Nalini [01:07:52] I am so looking forward to it. Yeah. Like I just can’t like. It’s funny isn’t it. Like these random things just don’t hit you radar. And I thought I was like up with, you know, up with what people are publishing and like really like and I’m like this entire series, this entire series that I did not know somehow. But then the good news is that that means I could now catch up to a whole lot of books. I don’t have to wait. So I’m excited. 

Ana [01:08:23] Well, you have a lot of fun stuff ahead for you with the Blessing series. 

Meka [01:08:29] Yes. 

[01:08:36] [crosstalk]. 

Melinda [01:08:38] Oh wait, no, I have one more question. I wanted to ask you a question about, so you write across a whole bunch of genres, which I love because I have literally read everything you’ve written now, because I love them all, don’t you worry. So now, and then you just started doing thrillers, which I’m excited about, because I also read thrillers. And with you and like Alyssa Cole, I will basically follow everywhere. So have you ever thought about doing historical? Because I am super interested in a possibility of like a historical PNR, like something like Kristen  Callihan did with Firelight, like as a prequel to Guild Hunters, which I think would just be amazing. Have you ever thought about doing something like that? 

Nalini [01:09:29] OK, so one time I wrote an entire novella and it was a prequel to the Psy-Changeling series, OK, set in the time of the territorial wars. Sounds good, right? 

Melinda, Meka & Ana [01:09:43] Ooh, Yes! 

Nalini [01:09:45] Yeah, I wrote it. I read the whole thing. And then I told my anytime never sending you this because it’s terrible. And she said, “Can I just see it?” And I said, “No.”. 

[01:09:54] [laughter] 

Nalini [01:09:58] I said, all right, you something else. But, this, it’s not quite right. I, I have thought about it. If I ever did something historical, it would be like in one of my paranormal worlds because of actual history, I don’t think I could do because I would want to just make things up so… 

Melinda [01:10:25] I totally get. I just I love historical paranormal, it’s just really interesting. Like when Kristen Callihan did it, it was just such an interesting world, and I think in your paranormals, it would just be a  fun world to be, to explore. 

Nalini [01:10:42] Yeah, I think, I mean, I loved Kristen’s series as well. She’s brilliant. And I think it’s, um, what would you call it, steampunk, as well? 

Melinda [01:10:53] Yeah, yeah, I know that series was a little bit. 

Nalini [01:10:55] Yeah. So yeah, I have thought about it but, the closest I’ve come is writing that novella, which I still go back to every so often and stare it because I know there’s something wrong with it and I haven’t been able to figure out what. So once I do, you might get a glimpse. But in terms of the Guild Hunters series, probably the closest I’ve come is a, Galen and Jessamy’s book, which is set 400 years ago. But again, it was because they’re immortals, you know, it doesn’t have that feel of an, a historical book, if you know what I mean, because they live such long lives. I think actually Archangel’s Sun, even though it’s set in the present day because there’s such old characters, there’s a lot more about the past and, you know, how they became who they are and the relationships and things over time. So there’s a little bit of a hint, a bit. But I generally I read historical, but I generally I’m not drawn as much towards writing that. 

Melinda [01:12:14] OK. Well, just FYI, you know, the interest is there. So do you ever want to expand even more. 

[01:12:20] [laughter] 

Ana [01:12:24] We’re here for your contemporaries are here for your thrillers. 

Meka [01:12:29] Guild Hunters in space, you know, whatever it is, whatever you want to give us, we’re here. 

[01:12:33] [laughter] 

Melinda [01:12:33] Literally anything. We’re good. 

Meka [01:12:35] Yeah. 

[01:12:35] [laughter] 

Meka [01:12:38] All right. Well. Oh, my gosh. This has been so amazing. And paranormal romance is literally my favorite subgenre. I always say that we can’t ever do like Melinda and I cannot ever do a an episode of RomBkPod without me mentioning some sort of paranormal series. But Nalini, you have been so fabulous. We’re so happy that you came to join us. Thank you so much. 

Nalini [01:13:07] Oh, this is really fun. It’s been really fun to talk to people who know the books so well. 

Melinda [01:13:14] We had no doubt. 

[01:13:15] [laughter] 

Meka [01:13:15] And our joy, you just have to know our joy in life is to is to make sure that, like I told other people about, about your books and now they’re like they’re big fans. And Melinda and I, and Ana are in a Discord server that has like a whole Psy-Changeling Discord room where new readers come in and they’re like, OK, so start with Slave to Sensation. And then all they do is tell us how they feel about the books as they’re reading it. And we’re like the cheerleaders like, “Ohmigod, yes. It’s so amazing!” 

[01:13:49] [crosstalk]

Ana [01:13:51]  Bree and Donna’s Broken Circle Discord, and it’s, it’s one of the joys. Whenever like there’s a rough day, you go in there, like, “Oh, someone else!”

Meka [01:14:02] Yes! “Oh, you never read this. Oh, my gosh. You have so much to look forward to.” There’s like a Guild Hunter channel. So you are well represented in, on that server. Thank you so much for sharing your book recs, and just sharing sharing your thoughts with us. And it’s just been really incredible. And I am an unapologetic fan girl, so…

Nalini [01:14:25] Thank you guys. This has been really fun. I really enjoyed it. 

Meka [01:14:32] We’ve enjoyed it as well. And thank you all so much for listening. And we will have copious show notes for you to look at. And there are tons of things for you to read. And you just ask any of us about about these series that Nalini has been talking about. So thank you so much for tuning in to RomBkPod, inclusively yours. Take care! 

Nalini & Ana [01:14:53] Bye!