I want to thank Lindsay for having me at Murders and Mysteries to talk about how I built my paranormal world. The second book in my paranormal series, Embrace the Highland Warrior, will be out in just a few days. This book continues with the Connor Clan and will wrap up some mysteries left over from the first book, and introduce a lot more.
I’ve always been fascinated with the paranormal, things that can’t be explained, but when I started writing it never occurred to me to write a paranormal story. Since I’ve always loved mysteries and romance, that’s what I wrote…romantic suspense. But almost immediately, my love of the supernatural started seeping into my writing. I was playing around with an idea of someone finding an ancient warrior who was buried but not dead. About this time, I had a dream that I couldn’t shake. It was about evil hiding in plain sight behind a handsome face. I won’t go into all the details, but this dream rattled me to the bone. And the idea for Awaken the Highland Warrior was born.
In keeping with my dream, I needed evil creatures hiding in plain sight behind pleasant faces, hence my demons. Building on that, I borrowed Michael the Archangel, the warrior angel, said to battle evil forces among us, strong enough to cast Lucifer and his dark angels
from heaven. But I wanted Michael working behind the scenes, ordering my warriors on their missions.
My warriors, where would they come from, who were they? They had to be powerful warriors, human, but super strong. Who better than highlanders, with their reputation for fighting so fiercely and passionately to protect their clans? My warriors needed that same passion and protective spirit, but they fight for all of humanity. In this world I’ve created, there are warriors on every continent, but this series deals with the highland warriors.
And we ladies like our highlanders. We picture them all as handsome and strong, but even if they weren’t as braw as the models gracing the covers of the highlander books today, please let us enjoy our myths.
So I had my plot, evil demons disguised among us, trying to destroy humans, and I had my fierce highland warriors, as well as an archangel orchestrating the battles. Now I needed women who would meet these warriors toe to toe and lip to lip. I love a strong heroine; not a men-are-scum, trash-talking heroine, but a woman who knows she’s just as good as any man, and that he’s also just as good as her. One who’s smart enough not to sit around
waiting for a man to rescue her, but also smart enough to know that everyone needs help. And since I love hidden things, I started with a historian who’s obsessed with finding hidden things. The second heroine has discovered that her whole life was one big lie, and just when she thinks she’s over the betrayal, it only gets worse. I decided that the warriors and their mates would be destined, which made it all the more fun. My tagline sums it all up. Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil, and Destined Love.
Now that I had the pieces in place, I had to create the rules. This is fun, but it gets tricky. You need to be specific enough to make it believable, but vague enough to allow to story to broaden. I’ve layered the mysteries in each book and some are woven throughout the
series. Sometimes it feels as if the warriors are part of my family. I hope that readers have as much fun reading these stories as I had writing them.
Here’s a blurb for Embrace the Highland Warrior:
Cody McBain’s family spent over two decades protecting the identity of a powerful female warrior who was targeted by an ancient demon when she was a child. Fearing for her life, they even kept the secret from her, but years later, when she discovered that her entire life had been a lie, she turned her back on her clan and Cody, who had
been her best friend since childhood. Now, the demon who left Shay for dead has
discovered her empty grave and is looking for vengeance, believing she possesses an ancient book he has sought for centuries. But the vampires also want the book.
Shay knows she can’t fight this evil alone, so she returns to her clan and the Scottish Warrior who betrayed her…the only man she’s ever loved, where she discovers that betrayal isn’t always what it seems. Sometimes it’s far worse.
And if you’d like to read an excerpt, you can check it out here on my website.
Do you have a favorite paranormal legend or myth? Or one that just irks you? One commenter will win an autographed copy of Embrace the Highland Warrior, along with a copy of Lindsay’s new book, A Body in the Attic when it comes out.
And if you get a chance, stop by my regular blog, Mysteries and Margaritas where author Kerri Nelson is guest blogging for me today about Cliffhangers, and talking about her new book, Courting Demons.
Yes folks, I’ll also be throwing in a copy of A Body in the Attic which has an interesting history in itself. Many time we are asked where we get ideas for our stories. Well, the idea for my book actually came from an exchange of comments with Anita back in April
of this year when she was promoting her soon to be released Awaken the Highland
Warrior. In the comments she started talking about attics and the secrets they could hold.
From those back and forth comments the seed was planted for my story. I felt it only right that I include Anita in the story. Since I don’t use real names of people I know, unless they are either a victim or villain, in other words people I don’t like, I took the ‘A’nita and
‘C’lenney and came up with Annabelle Carlyle.
That’s all I’m allowed to say about the story, except, expect to see Dakota at his best to date.
Anita Clenney grew up an avid reader, devouring Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books before moving on to mysteries and romance. After working as a secretary, a Realtor, teacher’s assistant, booking agent for Aztec Fire Dancers, and a brief stint in a pickle
factory (picture Lucy and Ethel–lasted half a day)…she realized she’d missed the fork in the road that led to her destiny. Now she spends her days writing mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil and Destined Love. Anita lives in suburban Virginia, outside Washington DC, with her husband and two kids. You can learn more about her writing at www.anitaclenney.com