Kathleen Korbel’s Dark Seduction into Paranormal Romance!February 15, 2008
I came into paranormal romance by accident. Well, sort of. I was writing a series about ‘salt of the earth’ people from Wyoming, the first of which, Jake’s Way, was about a man named Jack Kendall who had held the family farm together by his fingertips to see his siblings raised. I introduced his two sisters and brother and knew they each needed their own stories.
For some reason, the minute I realized that, I knew that his brother Zeke, a field anthropologist, was going to end up in Ireland and run afoul of the Faerie Queen, just so I could write the scene where Zeke explains to his Wyoming rancher brother Jake how he, Zeke, had been kidnapped by Irish fairies (and yes, as a matter of fact, I had as much fun with the scene as I thought). I’d meant it for Silhouette Intimate Moments, the line in which all the other books resided. Little did I know that Silhouette was going to start the Nocturne line.
“Please,” Executive Editor Leslie Wainger said (at least in my version), “wouldn’t you like to be a launch book for Nocturne instead?” I assured her that was probably the silliest question I’d ever heard. Of course I would!
“There’s only one problem,” she answered. “Nocturnes are dark.”
“As in, not as funny and light as this book is.”
“But my fairies are funny,” I protested.
“Not in the world of Nocturne, they aren’t.”
Hmmmm. Several thoughts came to me at once.
A) If you know anything about real Irish fairies, they can be very dark. They would probably also be incredibly sexual.
B) If I wrote about an entire new world of faerie, I could make one heroine into three sisters, and maybe even take it farther.
And that made the decision easy. And what I found is that I adore the world-building of paranormal. My fairies did end up being dark. And funny. And very, very, very sensual.
I do admit that I got caught up in the research aspect (I’m a fiend for research). “But what if I get the fairies wrong?” I feared, since much of the information I had on the world of Faerie contradicted itself. When I asked one of my good friends she gave me that look, like my hair was on fire, and said, “Eileen. It’s like the Quantum Leap Time Travel Rules. You. Make. Them. Up.”
It was a revelation. So I created two battling clans of fairies. One already known, the Tuatha de Dannen, a matriarchal clan, and the Dubhlainn Sidhe, a patriarchal clan, and I set them at each other. I created an entire universe that I adored playing around with. I made my three sisters heirs to the fairy throne. And I sent in a couple of humans to mess things up. And oh, yes. Lots of lovemaking. I guess I wasn’t thinking when I first visited my fairies, because I know perfectly well that they’re a race devoted to pleasure, beauty and joy. Sometimes they just have an odd way of going after it.
Then Leslie Wainger dubbed the series DAUGHTERS OF MYTH (I wanted to
call it Mab’s Daughters, but we weren’t sure enough people knew that Mab was Queen of Fairies). And my series was born.
The first book was Dangerous Temptation, in which my oldest fairy daughter, Nuala, falls in love with — yes, you guessed it — Zeke Kendall, the anthropologist. It’s based loosely on the folk story Tam Lin, in which Zeke has to triumph over three challenges given him by the faerie queen (and they’re quite tough, too) to win Nuala.
My February release, Dark Seduction, follows the middle sister, Sorcha. While searching through the land of mortals for a lost power stone of Faerie that must be recovered before the balance of life is unalterably destroyed, Sorcha trips (literally) over Harry Wyatt, who not only refuses to believe in fairies, but has a very personal reason why he shouldn’t. Poor Harry. He doesn’t stand a chance.
The third sister, Orla, was the villain of the first book. Well, I couldn’t leave it like that. So she shows up in September 08 in Deadly Redemption, when she pays her penance for an abortive attempt at the fairy throne by being sent to the Dubhlainn Sidhe as a hostage bride. Her new husband, Liam the Avenger, is no happier with the arrangement than she is. I have to admit, redeeming her was the most fun I had in the series. And believe me. I had fun.
I just want you to remember as you read this, that vampires and shape-shifters aren’t the only terrible beings out there. Fairies are pretty fearsome, too. Oh, and if you’re still stuck on the Shakespeare version, or the Leprechaun thing? Not so
much. The Tuatha resemble more the elves in Lord of the Rings. And they have better parties.
At least in my universe.