Interview & Giveaway: Nalini Singh chats about rock stars and erotic romance
Please help me welcome bestselling author Nalini Singh!
GraveTells (GT): Nalini, thank you so much for being here on GraveTells to chat about your newest contemporary erotic romance, Rock Addiction! I cannot express how incredibly awesome this is so, to keep me from fangirling all over the place, let’s just get right down to it! *grin* You know we all want to know more about Zachary Fox!
Nalini Singh (NS): Thanks for the welcome! It’s great to be here.
GT: You’ve said that Rock Addiction was written quickly, on a break from your other series, and was an story that you just had to chase! Tell us more about what inspired this new rock star series (Rock Kiss), and more particularly about the characters of Fox and Molly.
NS: I’ve had the idea for Rock Addiction for a long time – I even wrote the first couple of chapters a few years ago. However, I didn’t feel ready to write the book yet. Then one day last year, I just had it – I knew the story, knew the characters, and felt compelled to finish their story.
Molly and Fox are both damaged, flawed characters. They make mistakes, they don’t always do what they should, but they’re also capable of incredible loyalty, of sticking through thick and thin. All they have to do is find their way to one another without allowing their pasts to hold them back – and then they have to navigate all the pitfalls and challenges that come with trying to have a relationship in the glare of fame.
GT: Rock Addiction is a stylistic departure from your other current series (Guild Hunter and Psy-Changeling) in that it’s not paranormal and in the way it focuses so closely on the couple. It feels very personal and private. What was your favorite part about approaching this story from such a different perspective?
NS: This approach suited this book – it is very much a personal, private story of two people who belong together. I loved being able to explore all the tiny moments they have together that cement them as a couple, from going for a lazy night drive, to hanging out together at an outdoor market.
In my paranormal books, the stakes tend to be world-changing so we don’t see as many of these quieter moments – which is why I so often write free “slices of life” pieces for my newsletter. 🙂
GT: Did you find it challenging to launch into a new story universe where you have to (generally) follow the rules of real life? Were there points where you were tempted to put in magical elements or step outside the logical bounds of contemporary romance?
NS: When I write, I tend to become totally immersed in that world – so in this case, I was in the world of the Rock Kiss series. It has its own rules and that includes no paranormal elements!
GT: Your books are some of the most emotionally expressive I’ve ever read, digging deep into the psyches of the characters and laying it all out in a way that makes readers feel like they’re right in the heart of it all and really know the characters on a personal level. This is a skill not many authors have been able to refine and it keeps us – well, me, anyway! – coming back for every book you release. What’s your secret?! How do you write such multi-faceted, addictive characters that readers are so drawn to?
NS: I see my characters as real people – they have many facets and aren’t ever just archetypes. They are unique individuals who live and breathe and have lives that go on after the story ends. My job as a writer is to get to know them so I can do their story justice. I do this by writing draft after draft until I know them inside out.
GT: The heat level in Rock Addiction is much higher than in your urban fantasy books and the sex is a lot more frequent. Was it a challenge to get so intimate with the characters for this series? Or do you find yourself having to hold back and cut scenes from the other series to fit that genre better?
NS: It was simply the way this book came out – it was just sexier. I had to stop myself from pulling back. Fox and Molly “speak” through their sensual connection, so it was important I allow that to happen.
Again, it comes down to character. Right now, I’m writing Aden’s book in the Psy-Changeling series. As an Arrow trained not to feel emotion, sex is a foreign concept to him and so his story is going to be very different in tone and feel to Rock Addiction.
GT: Rock Courtship – the next book in the Rock Kiss series – is coming out at the end of this month. That’s pretty soon after Rock Addiction was released! When can we expect the rest of the series to be released and how long do you expect it to be? Do you think it will be a challenge to weave your work on this series in with your ongoing development of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series?
NS: This is truly a bonus series, written around my Psy-Ch and GH books and I’ve worked out my schedule so that I can do all three.
Part of the reason RC is coming out so soon after RA is that I didn’t tell anyone I was writing these books until after both Rock Addiciton and Rock Courtship were written. I didn’t want to release one and then have readers waiting forever for the next entry. I’ve also written the first draft of the next book, and am hoping it’ll be out in the first quarter of next year.
So a lot of the work has been done already! I have to write one more book and a novella and I have notes on both.
GT: Thank you so much for being here on GraveTells today!! You were our very first Author of the Year back in 2011 and (incredibly!) your work is just getting better and better with each new release. You are one of my “drop everything and read it now” favorite authors and I am very honored to be able to chat with you about this exciting new series. Can’t wait to read more about these sexy rock stars!
NS: Thank you for a wonderful interview!
A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…
Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction. A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…
Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…
Read an excerpt
Fox hadn’t become the lead singer of one of the best-selling rock bands in history by being a shrinking violet. No, he went after what he wanted, no holds barred. And the raw promise he could feel between him and Molly? He had to know where it would lead, the need so strong he hadn’t felt anything like it since the day he’d figured out that music was his escape, the air in his lungs.
Which was why he was leaning against the wall beside Molly’s apartment at five that afternoon, a guitar by his side.
The elevator doors opened at a quarter after the hour, Molly going motionless two steps outside of it, the doors closing silently at her back. Yeah, she hadn’t expected him, but Fox was ready to work with that. Waiting patiently as she took a deep breath and completed the trek down the corridor, he drew in the scent of her, his gaze lingering on the fluttering pulse in her neck.
“How did you get past security?”
Fox smiled slowly at the blurted-out question, wondering if Molly knew how bad she was at hiding her emotions. He liked it, liked that he saw the real Molly, not an illusion she’d created to tempt him—not that she had to do anything but smile to tempt him. “I told you the security sucks.”
Unable to resist, he reached out to run his finger down one creamy cheek flushed with a mix of surprise, passion, and, he was certain, sweet, hot feminine anger. His guess was borne out when Molly unlocked her door with jittery hands and put down her handbag on one corner of the bench, her fingers trembling before she curled them into her palms. “You’re breaking the rules.”
“What rules?” Closing the door, he leaned back on it and willed her to face him. Much as he loved the shape of her from the back, he liked watching those expressive eyes whisper her mood to him.
Shoulders tight, she turned. “This was supposed to be a one-night stand.”
“Ah.” Folding his arms over the plain black of his T-shirt, he said, “How about a one-month stand instead?” He knew he had to play this exactly right. Molly was wary of him, and yeah, he could understand why. To have her in his life beyond a fleeting instant, he’d have to win her trust.
She jerked up her head. “What?”
“Why not? I like you. You like me.” He smiled—because the reason Molly had needed to jerk up her head was that she’d been staring at his chest. “Admit it.”
Sitting down on the bench, she began to unzip her boots, very obviously not looking at him. “You’re okay for a rock star.”
He wanted to bite her, then pet her until she was limp and languid in his arms. “We burn up together.” Deliberately modulating his voice—his instrument—for maximum effect, low and bedroom rough, he saw her fingers stutter on the zipper. “I’m here for a month. It’s an easy equation.”
When the words “Let me think about it” fell from her mouth, he thought she might’ve been as startled as he was, her lips parting on a slight gasp—as if to call back the declaration.
About the author
NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about a hot and wickedly tempting rock star. If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.
Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Once Rock Addiction is out, swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the book.
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