Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with Author Virna DePaul

Please join me, WildAboutBones , in welcoming author Virna DePaul as we talk about her upcoming book Chosen by Fate (Para-Ops #2) and other goodies.

Author Bio:
Virna DePaul is a former criminal prosecutor and now National Bestselling Author for Berkley (paranormal romantic suspense), HQN (single title romantic suspense) and HRS (category romantic suspense). Her recent and upcoming releases are Dangerous To Her (HRS, August 23, 2011) and Chosen By Fate (Para-Ops Novel 2, October 4, 2011). www.virnadepaul.com

Would you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a mother of three young boys, a former criminal prosecutor, and a long-time romance reader who loves to travel and see Broadway shows. I was an English lit major in college, so I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I never thought I could actually write fiction. I went through this period in my life where I was searching for a creative outlet. I tried painting, acting, singing, etc, and I was fairly mediocre at all of them. I finally decided to write a romance novel. I had one false start, but then in late 2006 I joined RWA (Romance Writers of America) and met other writers, and that was key to finishing my first manuscript.

Do you have a process or any special rituals in your writing routine?
Honestly, I don’t have a process or special ritual. I can write almost anywhere. However, if I’m having false starts, it’s because something about the plot or characters is simply not working. A friend of mine once asked whether my story wasn’t working because the hero and heroine didn’t really belong together. My mental response was a heated, “Oh, no, they belong together all right.” I couldn’t accept it any other way, but I took her words as a challenge. Finally, I figured out how to make them belong together and the story flowed from there.

You write different genres. Which is your favorite genre to write and why? And what genre would you like to try writing?
I love writing paranormal romantic suspense, but I also like the challenge of writing contemporary romantic suspense, because I have to keep things more grounded in reality. Just for fun, I’d love to try writing a historical; it’s what I find most intimidating, and I love to overcome a challenge.

How did you come up with the idea for this Para-Ops series?
I was a big fan of romantic suspense novels that centered around specially trained teams. I took a look at the paranormal romances on the shelves and realized there wasn’t a single one about a special ops team made up of paranormal creatures. I immediately pictured a book that was a mix of Xmen and Romancing The Stone.

I love the characteristics of the wraiths in the Para-Ops series. How did you come up with such an intriguing paranormal species?
Thank you! I’m so glad you find the wraiths intriguing. I did a lot of research online, trying to pinpoint what kinds of creatures had been written about and what kind of attributes had already been established amongst them. Vampires are often called the undead, so I wanted to create a character that was truly the walking dead with a twist, a female with blue skin and no pulse or brain activity.

There are quite a few interesting characters in Chosen by Fate. Can you tell us a little bit about what’s next for this series? Who, from the book, might get the lead in upcoming books?
The next book I’m working on is about Dex Hunt, the team’s werebeast, and the female vampire he met in Chosen By Fate. The story is about dark forces trying to bridge the dreams of others in order to return to earth. Then I’ll work on Lucy Talbot’s story. Lucy is the team’s mage.

Out of the books you’ve written so far, do you have a favorite hero or heroine? If so, who and why.
I think my favorite character is Knox Devereaux, the half-vampire, half-human hero in Chosen by Blood. He’s also the most controversial character I’ve written. I love him because he was my “first” published hero, but also because, despite wanting so badly to do the right thing, he has many flaws and many lessons to learn.

Who are some of your favorite authors and what are some of your favorite books? And which has made the biggest impact on your writing career?
Three of my favorite authors are Linda Howard, Anne Stuart and the late Karen Keast/Sandra Canfield. Linda Howard is the author who has inspired me most because of the way she balances compelling suspense with a satisfying and emotional romance.

Do you have a hobby or something else to help you unwind and relax when you aren’t writing, if so, what?
I like to read and travel, and watch new movies in addition to Broadway plays. If I can multitask by traveling and squeezing in writing time, too, that’s the best!

Is there something you’d like to tell your fans that no one ever asks you in an interview?
Just that this is a crazy business and most writers suffer it because their biggest dream is to bring entertaining stories to readers. Unfortunately, though most writers start out as readers, writing can be all-consuming so that reading falls by the wayside.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on next?
I’m finishing up my debut romantic suspense novel, Shades Of Desire, with HQN. The book comes out June 2012 and is the first in a series about “SIG,” the California Department of Justice’s elite Special Investigations Group. These law enforcement officers are the “best of the best,” helping other departments solve crimes across the state. In Shades Of Desire, the heroine, a world-famous photographer, takes a picture she shouldn’t have just before she goes blind; in the story, she must grapple with her new disability and her attraction to the hero, a homicide detective, as well as help him stop a killer who soon puts her in his sights. The next book in the series, tentatively titled Shades Of Temptation, comes out October of 2012, and focuses on other SIG characters introduced in Book 1.

My next Harlequin Romantic Suspense (my debut Dangerous To Her released in August 2011) comes out in May 2012, and is about a woman and her former crush, a homicide detective, who reopens the investigation of her mother’s murder; the detective is the same man who caused the heroine and her mother to fight just before her mother was murdered, obviously leaving the heroine with unresolved guilt about her feelings for the hero.

Some Fun Quick Questions:
Boxers, briefs or commando for your hero(s)? Boxers. I was going to say commando, but there’s something about a sleepy-eyed, yawning, rumpled man in boxers that gets to me.
Tea or Coffee or Soft drink? Chai Tea.
Dog, cat or ferret person? Dog first, then cat. Ferrets seem scary for some reason; probably just lack of exposure on my part.
What are you currently reading? A werewolf anthology by Sarah McCarty.
What’s the first book you remember reading? Lover From The Sea by Bonnie Drake
Do you have a favorite food or place to eat? Sophia’s Thai Kitchen
What’s your favorite fairy tale? Red Riding Hood.
What would your occupation be if you were no longer a writer? An aspiring writer. ☺
What is/are your favorite type(s) of paranormal character(s)? Why? Vampires. They’re usually elegant and charismatic, with a primal, passionate undercoat. Yummy and complex.

Thanks so much for having me here today!

For more:
A free prequel novella to the first book in the Para-Ops series is available: Chosen By Blood: Wraith's Awakening

Purchase Links:
Amazon.com Pre Order Chosen By Fate
Barnes & Noble Pre Order Chosen By Fate
Amazon.com Dangerous to Her
Barnes & Noble Dangerous to Her

Thanks so much, Virna DePaul, for taking the time for this interview.
I'm looking forward to reading the continuing Para-Ops series books.

WildAboutBones' Review of Chosen by Fate
Laurie's Review of Dangerous To Her

Giveaway and Contest Policy
Giveaway open September 13 - 15, 2011 (midnight)

Virna DePaul will be giving away a print copy of her Chosen by Fate to a lucky winner.
For US and Canada only.
To enter, make a comment and/or ask Virna DePaul a question,
along with your email address so we can contact you if you win.
Good luck, everyone!

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