Today I have a special guest. Please welcome Kait Nolan. Her paranormal romance Forsaken by Shadow is out in ebook now!
Forsaken by Shadow
Banished from their world with his memory wiped, Cade Shepherd doesn't remember his life as Gage Dempsey, nor the woman he nearly died for. But when Embry Hollister's father is kidnapped by military scientists, the only one she can turn to is the love from her past. Will Gage remember the Shadow Walker skills he learned from her father? If they survive, will Embry be able to walk away again?
Confession: I am a world-building junkie and have been longer than I've been writing paranormal romance.
In my prior genre, romantic suspense, I spent a lot of time (LOT of time) researching police procedure, forensics, FBI policy and the like. Writing predominantly about serial murder, I was really concerned with "getting it right" because God forbid I write something and have a professional stumble across it and not take me seriously. I bought tons of books. Two full shelves in my office are devoted to textbooks on forensics, pathology, homicide, serial killers, and psychological profiling. How many people do you know who'd buy a copy of Practical Homicide Investigation as their own birthday present? I wrote people to ask questions, lurked in forums trying to get answers. And while all that was totally fascinating to me (uber-geek here), it really bogged down the writing and held me back. All of that was a kind of world-building, and it was my absolute junkie nature that was allowing it to take over and let the story fall to the wayside.
Moving back into the paranormal (surprise! That's what I was writing when I started way back in the day) was an attempt to free myself of the obsession. Yes, in any kind of paranormal or fantasy story world building is essential, but the primary difference is that I make the rules. Instead of having to obsess over whether current day FBI would actually get involved in a serial murder in our post-9/11 society (probably not), I can do anything I want as long as I stay within the bounds of the rules I create for my world. The possibilities are limitless, and I admit, totally play into my God complex. Didn't you know a lot of writers have a God complex?
Of course, being me, I couldn't give up my obsession with the FBI, so I did the next most logical thing: I created my own. Except rather than going all X-files and making a division that investigated the paranormal in our own world, I created a group that deal with the laws governing the paranormal world. The Investigation and Enforcement Division are responsible for -- as the name implies -- the enforcement of paranormal laws and investigation of crimes in the Mirus (my term for the broader paranormal) world. They're under the command of the Council of Races (imagine a paranormal United Nations as the ruling body of the Mirus). Also under the Council's command are the Shadow Walkers, the Special Ops Force of the paranormal world, who are able to manipulate and travel by shadow. All these groups have methods and procedures, of course, but since I make the rules myself, I don't get bogged down in whether or not it's "right".
The prevailing question of the series is what happens if their greatest law -- keeping their existence a secret from the humans -- were broken on a large scale? What happens if a whole faction of the Mirus world actively seek to start the apocalypse? Not the traditional Christian idea of apocalypse with angels and demons and the 4 horsemen, mind you, but rather a literal apocalypse -- a lifting of the veil between the human and paranormal world. As much as I enjoy writing a good serial murder, I have to admit that this kind of world, this kind of setup gives me a lot more room to play.
Now that I've got you curious about my world (I hope), this is the part where I plug my book. Your sneak peek into the Mirus world comes in the form of my debut paranormal romance novella, Forsaken By Shadow. It starts when IED Agent Embry Hollister finds out that her father has been captured by human military scientists -- and the Council has no intention of mounting a rescue mission. She'll do anything, break any rule to free him. Ultimately the only person she can turn to for help is her father's protégé and her old flame, Gage Dempsey, who was banished from their world a decade before with his memory wiped. He's built a whole new life for himself as Ultimate Fighting Champion Cade Shepherd and doesn't even remember Embry exists. All Embry has to do is find him, restore his memory, convince him to take on this suicide mission, help him regain his abilities as a Shadow Walker, and if they survive in the end, walk away again to protect him from the world that wants him dead. She can do that...right?