Tuesday, September 29, 2015

An Interview with the Authors of Dark Secrets

Welcome ladies, let's get this party started.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Suzanne Johnson: I think it’s probably a side-effect of my “first career” in journalism and feature-writing, but I tend to write in short paragraphs and use a lot of sentence fragments in a deep POV, stream-of-consciousness style. Whenever my books go to a copyeditor, I have to attach a note warning them so they don’t go all crazy on me, trying to “fix” my sentence fragments! Like this. Right?

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

Megan Hart: My story for the DARK SECRETS anthology follows one I wrote previously that was called Ride with the Devil. Dance with the Devil seemed a natural sequel! 

Mina Khan: I always like to play with established conventions and in the djinn mythology you always hear about djinn being imprisoned in lamps and rings, so I wondered what if a djinn were trapped in a mirror? Then my mind went in all kinds of naughty directions and I ended up writing The Djinn in the Mirror. It was a lot of fun!

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

Megan Hart: For this story, I had the title first, then came up with the story. Usually it’s the other way around. Occasionally, I do have the title first—Dirty and Vanilla are two that come to mind where the title was definitely there before I started writing the book.

Jeffe Kennedy: It depends. In the case of Heart’s Blood, I didn’t come up with the title at all. I tried on a number of titles and none seemed to fit. Then Megan Hart read the story and suggested Heart’s Blood, as a phrase she liked from the text of the story. Perfect! 

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

Cynthia Eden: I travel as often as I can to research my books! There is nothing quite like seeing a place in person. ;) When I visit new cities, I can pick up everything about the environment—sights, sounds, scents—and I can incorporate all of those elements in my stories to (hopefully!) create a better experience for the reader.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Mina Khan: There’s not a message per se, but I do like to examine different themes in my stories. The Djinn In The Mirror, my story in the DARK SECRETS anthology, looks at choice: What it means to have choices, true choice vs. no choice, choices that turn out to be mistakes, the value of being chosen.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

Cynthia Eden: I’ve always been a big fan of Edgar Allan Poe—his scary stories hooked me early! In terms of romance, Jayne Anne Krentz absolutely made me fall in love with the genre. I read one of her books when I was just 13, and I completely became addicted to romances.

Suzanne Johnson: I try to set most of my books in places I’ve lived in or at least have visited. It helps that I’ve moved around a lot! Even then, I do a lot of “followup” research using Google Earth, which is an amazing resource for an author.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

Jeffe Kennedy: I just finished developmental edits on THE PAGES OF THE MIND and a companion novella, THE CROWN OF THE QUEEN. The novella picks up where the Twelve Kingdoms trilogy finishes. It tells of the aftermath of THE TALON OF THE HAWK, and provides a bridge to the next series, called The Uncharted Realms.   

Mina Khan: More stories in The Djinn World Chronicles, a literary short story about a woman’s life, and a dragon story. As well as some poetry and my weekly food columns...yes, I’m a busy little writer and having fun! 

Suzanne Johnson: PIRATESHIP DOWN: Stories from the World of the Sentinels of New Orleans comes out in November—the first of several adventures featuring French pirate Jean Lafitte and the cast of my urban fantasy series. Writing as Susannah Sandlin, I also have a new series starting next spring that features a lot of mystery and suspense set down in Cajun Country—the first book will be WILD MAN’S BLUFF.

Dark Secrets:
A Paranormal Noir Anthology
Rachel Caine, Cynthia Eden,
Megan Hart, Suzanne Johnson, Jeffe Kennedy, Mina Khan

Genre: Paranormal Noir,
Romance, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Date of Publication:  September 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-942840-05-3

Number of pages: Approx. 350
Word Count: Approx. 150,000

Cover Artist: Robin Ludwig Design

Book Description:

Six award-winning authors bring you this spellbinding collection of stories about dark desires, mysterious worlds, and danger that lurks in the shadows of the night. Where nothing is black and white; where things might not be as they seem; where magic and mayhem rule.

MARION, MISSING by Rachel Caine

Valentine is a detective with two major problems: he's been offered a kidnapping case that will probably get him killed, and his partner won't let him turn it down. He owes her that much … since his partner's a ghost, and he's the one who killed her. A dark, haunting noir mystery of love, hate and loss.

FEMME FATALE by Cynthia Eden

PI Mick Swayne has seen it all—his clients have included liars, thieves, and even killers. He thinks he can handle anything and anyone. Then she walks into his office. Savannah Moreau is beautiful, seductive, and…a vampire? The gorgeous vamp hires Mick to help her track down a killer who is hunting in Chicago, but as Mick slips deeper into Savannah’s paranormal world, he wonders if he can really trust his new client…


When the devil starts the music, you'd better get ready to dance.

Kathleen Murphy has sold her soul to the devil. Fame, fortune, success...everything she's ever dreamed of is hers, and all she has to do is the devil's bidding. When love comes knocking, the last thing in the world she wants to do is involve Jake in her twisted world, but the devil's started up the jukebox and Kathleen has no choice but to learn the steps.

THE CONSORT by Suzanne Johnson

Faulkner Hearne, the captain of the ruthless Fae Hunters, finds his duty at odds with his heart when he’s ordered to capture the consort of Faerie’s cruel Prince of Summer when she flees across the veil into modern New Orleans. Can Faulk turn Liandra over to a certain death at the hands of the prince, or will he risk a war with Faerie in order to save her? An all-new novella set in the Sentinels of New Orleans multiverse.

HEART’S BLOOD by Jeffe Kennedy, a Twelve Kingdoms novella

A dark fairytale retelling of a princess robbed of rank, husband and even her name.
Nix is nothing. The Princess Natilde—her former waiting woman—attacked her on the journey to wed Prince Cavan, stripping her of everything and taking her place. With no serving skills, Nix becomes a goose girl. Perhaps if Nix keeps her promise never to reveal who she really is, Natilde won’t carry out her vile threats. Prince Cavan entered his arranged marriage determined to have a congenial, if not loving relationship with his future queen—for the sake of both their kingdoms. But, his wife repels him more each day and he finds himself absurdly drawn to the lovely Nix....With broken vows, anguish and dark secrets between them, Cavan and Nix struggle to find the magic to restore what’s gone terribly wrong... if it ever can be.

THE DJINN IN THE MIRROR by Mina Khan, a Djinn World novella

A paranormal Cinderella story with a young witch as the heroine and a wicked, sexy djinn instead of a fairy godmother....Dahlia, the step-daughter of a power hungry wizard, promises to free a djinn trapped in a mirror if he rescues her from impending death. But Ashmael the djinn has his own agenda: to trick & seduce his way to freedom. The only problem is he ends up falling for Dahlia. Can he win his freedom and save the girl?

About the Authors:

Rachel Caine is the New York Times, USA Today, and #1 internationally bestselling author of more than 45 novels that span the categories of horror, suspense, urban fantasy, science fiction, media tie-in, historical, and young adult. She’s also the author of more than 100 short stories.

Twitter: @rachelcaine

Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Cynthia is also a three-time finalist for the prestigious RITA® award. Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over fifty novels and novellas.

Twitter: @cynthiaeden

Megan Hart is a USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author who writes in many genres including mainstream fiction, erotic fiction, science fiction, romance, fantasy and horror.

Twitter: @megan_hart

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series as well as The Collectors romantic suspense series, including Lovely, Dark, and Deep, winner of the 2015 Holt Medallion and the 2015 Booksellers Best Award winner for romantic suspense. Her new Wildlife Wardens romantic suspense series begins in 2016 with Wild Man’s Bluff.

Twitter: @suzanne_johnson

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, an erotic  contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, the fantasy series The Twelve Kingdoms, and the erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under. The first of the Twelve Kingdoms books, The Mark of the Tala, has been nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose, has been nominated for best fantasy romance of the year. Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Twitter: @jeffekennedy

Award-winning author Mina Khan grew up in Bangladesh on stories of djinns, ghosts and monsters. These childhood fancies now color her fiction. She daydreams of hunky paranormal heroes, magic, mayhem and mischief and writes them down as stories. She is the author of the Djinn World Chronicles, including The Djinn’s Dilemma and A Tale of Two Djinns, as well as Wildfire, a paranormal mystery with cowboys and dragons.

Twitter: @SpiceBites


miki said...

Congratulations for this new release!! i really enjoyed it

thank you also for answering these questions and letting us know a little more about your writing process and future releases

Liz S. said...

Always enjoy these interviews. Congrats on the new release-I'm about halfway done and really enjoying it!

Bube said...

Congrats on new release!
Thanks for sharing this great interview :)

Mary Preston said...

All fabulous thank you!!