Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Deb Herbert: Why I write paranormal romance

Upon learning I write paranormal romance, people often look perplexed and one of the first questions they ask is – ‘Why’?

My short answer is a shrug and a cryptic remark that ‘it’s fun.’   The longer answer can be found in my tagline that describes the kind of books I write:  “Where love, like magic, casts its own spell of enchantment.”

I’ve never outgrown my love of fairytales and mythology.  One of my fondest memories in Girl Scouts was reading about the housekeeping elves in the official Brownie’s Handbook.  I still remember a song we used to sing at meetings that was about fairies:

White coral bells
Upon a slender stalk
Lilies of the Valley
Deck my garden walk.
Oh, don’t you wish
That you could hear them ring
That will only happen
When the fairies sing.

It’s the possibility of magic that tingles my creative drive and curiosity, the speculation that there is more to reality than we can perceive through our senses.  

My debut novel, Siren’s Secret, is the first book in a trilogy about a secret clan of shapeshifting mermaids living in a Southern Bayou.   Do I really believe that half-fish, half-human creatures populate deep waters that no man has yet traveled down?  No.  But who knows what really exists in the depths of the oceans or beyond our galaxies where humans have yet to explore.  The human brain is a marvelous organism that by its very nature loves to seek answers and pioneer new ideas and concepts. 

And as far as the romance part of the writing equation – I’ve always been a sucker for love stories.  As a teenager, Harlequin books lined my bookshelves and I devoured them like candy.  The very first book I ever wrote, at age twenty, was a Harlequin romance.  I was newly married and we lived pretty much paycheck-to-paycheck so there was no money in the budget for a typewriter.  (Yes, I am dating myself here!)  My husband promised that if I actually wrote a book, we could purchase a manual typewriter.  I wrote that romance longhand on legal pads and he held up his end of the bargain.  (I don’t think he believed that I’d really finish it.) With a bottle of white-out by my side, I laboriously typed up the manuscript and submitted it to Harlequin, sure of a brilliant success.
Weeks later, my manuscript was returned with an editorial comment that blasted my book’s premise that a thirty year-old man would really fall for a teen-aged girl.  Yeah, looking back now I realize that was more than a little creepy!  I still have that truly awful manuscript in a desk drawer.  Every now and then I pull it out and read the first page which poetically describes the changing color of leaves in autumn.  Hardly mesmerizing material.  So often I’ve vowed to throw it away, yet my hands pull back from the trashcan and back it goes into the bottom desk drawer.

Fast forward to the present . . .  after retirement, I took up my old dream of writing.  How fitting that my first publishing contract is with Harlequin.  Life can be mysteriously circular at times.

I would love to hear why you read romances or paranormal romances.  What draws you to them as a reader?   Have you ever had something mysterious or eerily coincidental happen to you?  Let me know, I’m always hunting new stories and you may end up in one of my books!

In Debbie Herbert's debut novel, there are two secrets, each one with a deadly consequence…
Shelly Connors's worlds—on land and in the sea—are turned upside down when an evening swim turns into a nightmare. On a sweltering night deep in the bayou, the mystical mermaid witnesses a horrifying act. With a monstrous killer now hot on her trail, her life and the lives of her kin are in jeopardy.
Terrified of becoming the next victim, Shelly has no choice but to turn to Sheriff Tillman Angier. Tillman has had his intense gray eyes on the sultry honey-haired beauty for a while. The feelings are mutual…and impossible to ignore. But he's determined to solve the murders, and he knows Shelly's hiding something. Can she trust him with her deepest secret?

Debbie Herbert writes paranormal romance novels reflecting her belief that love, like magic, casts its own spell of enchantment. She’s always been fascinated by magic, romance and gothic stories. 
Married and living in Alabama, she roots for the Crimson Tide football team. Unlike the mermaid characters in Siren’s Secret, she loves cats and has two spoiled feline companions. When not working on her upcoming book, Siren’s Treasure, Debbie enjoys recumbent bicycling and motorcycle riding with her husband.
A past Maggie finalist in both Young Adult & Paranormal Romance, she’s a member of the Georgia Romance Writers of America. Debbie has a degree in English (Berry College, GA) and a master’s in Library Studies (University of Alabama).    


Eli Yanti said...

I'm fans of love story too that's why I love romance story and paranormal story, meeting with incrediable creature :)

Debbie Herbert said...

Hi Eli! We are kindred souls. :)
Debbie Herbert