I understand you have a new release out called Enchanted Destiny. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?
So excited to tell you about this book –it’s a fun, sexy read being released on October 1. Enchanted Destiny is a re-release of the very first paranormal novella I wrote, with expanded chapters and a cool new plot twist. Kat never believed she’d fall victim to her family’s stories about destined soul mates—she makes her own fate, thank you very much. When she walks by a construction site and admires the same sexy architect for the zillionth time in a week, the last thing she expects is to be slammed by a vision of his death.
Which activates the spell that will change their lives forever.
Jake is a single dad with a singular focus—create a stable life for him and his son. His ex-wife cured him of any desire to fall in love, but when an intriguing woman saves him from what should’ve been a deadly accident, he can’t shake his fascination. Too bad she’s crazy, claiming she’s a witch and that they’re soul mates—not exactly the “stable life” he had in mind.
Kat’s destiny comes with a deadline. If they don’t fall in love by her twenty-fifth birthday—a mere three weeks away—Jake will never find the peace he seeks and Kat will lose her magic forever.
Enchanted Destiny is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?
OMG – can I just mention how hard it is for me to come up with a title? This was a combo of my editor and I going through several rounds of titles. In the end, I’m not sure who said what, but we all agreed and all was well.
What made you decide to write in this genre?
I like the idea that there are things and people and powers we don’t understand or can’t explain away. Dealing with science all day, I work with hypotheses and statistics. Writing about the paranormal world is a great way to escape that. Plus, I can create my own world with my own rules. When I am Queen…you get the idea.
Where did you get your idea for this particular book?
Everywhere. By that I mean I draw inspiration from almost everything I see and read. But this one, I have to admit-- this one just sort of came to me as I was thinking about writing a paranormal. I had decided to start with a witch and I started going what if…and voila. Yeah, my head is a strange place, I admit.
What are your favorite paranormal research books or sites, and why?
It depends on the book I am writing. For Enchanted Destiny, I just read the Witches Almanac for some dates. For my current WIP which integrates Irish and Indian mythology (as in from India), I go to so many different places that describe the myths and stories. For the Indian myths my mom and aunts are great sources too. Despite its limitations, Wikipedia is a great starting point – it gives me links or terminology that I can spring-board from. For my eagle shape-shifter story, I am linked via FB to an Australian group that has a camera placed to follow the birth and development of two baby eagles. One died about a week ago and there I was reading FB, tears streaming down my face. But what a great resource for all things eagle!
Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?
In this story, it was Kat. She’s tall (and I’m not), gorgeous (hmm, should I admit to it) and has magic (yeah, not so much). What’s not to like? She also didn’t have a lot of hang-ups so she was fun. Usually I tend to create tortured characters who then turn around and torture me.
Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and/or world affect your character development?
My characters seem to morph as I write which is very challenging. Suddenly, I’m like…you want to do what? Geez! So I do develop character sheets. I have my own template which isn’t anything special – just takes me through the likes/dislikes, habits, temperament, familiar relationships, friendships etc. I also do a color analysis for each character. This is especially helpful when you have a very alpha hero and heroine. The color analysis helps me separate out their reactions. You can be alpha and yet react to situations differently. Since I discovered, in one deep editing pass, that both my major male characters for my current WIP apparently only knew the same curse words and also propped the wall using the exact same body position, I started adding words used, characteristic walk/habits to the character sheet. Whew!
How do you go about building your world if you use one? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?
I have to use maps and a table of main elements or I’d drive myself crazy second-guessing myself. If it’s an area that is known – for example, for one book set in Devon, England, I printed out the Google map for the area then marked in the buildings I was inventing, and drew in the river (since I changed its course a bit to suit my story). I have an easel in my study, facing my desk, and if I’m creating a town or a setting for a paranormal, I’ll sketch out the basic elements – mountains here, cliffs there, that sort of thing. Since I tend to set my books in places I have been I also have photographs from my trips to help develop the physical setting.
Do you have any authors that inspired you?
Georgette Heyer for sure. Hers were the first romances I read as a pig-tailed Catholic school girl back in India. Many of the Mills & Boon authors (we didn’t get Harlequin books at home when I was a teenager). More recently, Mercedes Lackey and her Valdemar series; Nalini Singh; JR Ward in her early BDB books; Patricia Briggs.
What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?
I’ll have to get back to you on that. I took a break from writing for several years so Enchanted Destiny is my first book after the hiatus. It’s a different world from even eight years ago. All the social media we can use is mind-blowing but I’ll be keeping watch to see what works best.
What do we have to look forward next? The sequel to Enchanted Destiny is Enchanted Desire, Gina and Eric’s story. You meet them briefly in Destiny. Gina has never been able to fully activate her magic, and she has no desire for a soul-mate, destined or otherwise.
It was a pleasure visiting. I’ll stop back by in case folks have questions. You can also come by home on the web at www.RaykaMennen.com. I’m a talker – I love hearing from folks, even if only by email.
To celebrate her book release, Rayka Mennen is offering a free e-book of Enchanted Destiny to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)
She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...
Check out author’s website at www.RaykaMennen.com. Buy beginning October 1 at major e-book sales outlets (http://www.entangledpublishing.com/enchanted-destiny/).