Saturday, August 06, 2011

Erica Hayes: Keeping the paranormal world fresh

When you get up to book 4 in a paranormal/fantasy series, the scene is pretty much set. You've described the world and its inhabitants, who the good guys and bad guys are, who's got magic and who doesn't. There's only so much worldbuilding you can do before you're covering old ground. So how do you keep the series fresh?

Well, in a romance series like my Shadowfae Chronicles (sure, it's strong on the fantasy angle, but having a new hero and heroine and a HEA in each book makes it romance, right?) you can rely on the characters to give it a fresh angle each time.

The series is set in a dark and shadowy underworld, a city secretly ruled by a demon lord and his gang of ruthless vampire mobsters. The magical creatures exist under a fragile shell of glamour that hides them from the human world. But the city is wracked with gang fighting, backstabbing and useless acts of violence, and there's no escape. For some, death would be a mercy, if they weren't already damned.

In book 1, SHADOWFAE, the heroine is the demon lord's indentured slave, and she wants out. For Jade, the shadow world is a prison she longs to escape. But in book 2, SHADOWGLASS, I took a different angle – the heroine is an outsider, a petty thief with lofty ambitions whom no one takes seriously – instead of wanting out, Ice desperately wants in.

In book 3, POISON KISSED, I flipped to the other side for yet a different angle on my world. The bad girl from book 2, Mina, becomes the heroine. She's tough and powerful, a gang enforcer who uses her lethal banshee magic to kick heads and take names. Mina thrives in the shadow world, but still longs for the one thing she can't have: love, and in particular, the love of her snaky gang boss, a frosty, secretive character who holds her at arm's length.

And now, in BLOOD CURSED, we meet Ember, a defiant girl who's neither physically strong nor magically powerful, and has to rely on others to protect her in the dangerous shadow world. She's deep in trouble because she fell for the wrong guy and is determined never to make that mistake again. Instead of longing for love, it's the last thing she wants.

So in each book, you get a subtly different view of the world, because you see it through another character's eyes. I hope that keeps it interesting -- and of course, no matter how dark and hopeless the world seems, love stories never get old. I hope you enjoy them!

Erica Hayes


Sonali said...

Hi Erica,

Your book sounds interesting. Can't wait to read it.

marybelle said...

I have not yet read any books from the Shadowfae Chronicles. I now see I must. Wonderful!!

Melanie Milburne said...

Hi Erica,
You are such a fabulous paranormal writer. Keep them coming!

Michele L. said...

I love the cover! Sure sounds like an exciting story!