A Confession: I Really Do Love Flying Cockroaches by Bonnie Vanak

November 24, 2008

Bonnie Vanak has written about some creepy critters in her paranormal romances for Silhouette Nocturne: werewolves, evil shapeshifters…even flying cockroaches! Bonnie tells us about the different species that appear in her new ebook, Broken Souls, and how her werewolf hero and heroine find love — despite the cockroaches!

by Bonnie Vanak, author of Broken Souls

I live in Florida. We have giant palmetto bugs. I mean, they’re disgusting. They fly into your hair. They’re big. Scurry away faster than, well, cockroaches, when you run after them with a can of Raid.

Recently, I read an article about how the hissing cockroach from Madagascar may soon infiltrate Florida. These bugs are up to five inches long. When they’re threatened, they hiss at you.

I chortled as I relayed the fact to my green-faced co-workers.

Then I confessed my little secret. I really do love flying cockroaches. Not in my home, or in my hair (not even on a bad hair day). But wow, they’re a perfect addition for one of my Nocturnes.

For my Nocturnes, I created a race of werewolves called the Draicon. Their enemies are the Morphs, former Draicon who turned evil when they killed a close relative for greater power. Morphs can shift into any life form, including snakes, scorpions, and cockroaches.

In Broken Souls, my Nocturne Bite, Katia, the heroine, remembers how her family home was infiltrated by Morphs shapeshifting into roaches to slide between the rags she and her father stuffed beneath the door to keep them out. In that particular battle, she fled, the important promise she made to her father lost in memory.

Except for those disgusting cockroaches. She remembers those.

She must recall what promise she made, and find her father to expunge her guilt for abandoning him as he was overwhelmed by Morphs (shapeshifting from those cockroaches). So Katia performs the very dangerous, and outlawed blood candle spell to call forth her father. She does this because Baylor, who loves her and brought her to his pack, wants to mate with her. He’s given her a deadline, yet she must discover first if her father is alive. Katia believes her first loyalty is to her own blood.

The problem is, she doesn’t know what she’s calling forth. If her father is alive, will he have turned into a Morph himself? Capable of turning himself into a flying cockroach?

Sure does raise interesting questions for a family reunion.

When I created the Draicon, I knew I wanted them to have destined mates. Yet I also wanted to explore the idea of what happens to Draicon who lose their destined mates.

Are these werewolves destined to live unhappily ever after?

Not in my world. This is why I wrote Baylor and Katia’s story in Broken Souls. They are two lost, broken souls whose destined mates are gone. Facing them is the important question: what is more important, loyalty to family or love for a possible mate?

Baylor was more a villainous type in The Empath, my first Nocturne. He was suspicious of Nicolas, Damian’s beta wolf, and gave him a hard time. In Broken Souls, he becomes a true hero determined to win the love, and Katia, the Draicon who also lost her destined mate.

Baylor is determined to protect Katia and remain loyal to the core to his pack. He nearly loses his life in a Morph fight to keep his people safe. But for Katia, he will do more. He will risk not only his life, but his carefully guarded heart.

Baylor and Katia are sorely tested in Broken Souls. Yet in the end, all works out well. Broken Souls is, after all, a romance. Despite the fact that their destined mates are gone, Katia and Baylor discover that they can find true happiness.

Even with those nasty cockroaches. Because not even a nasty flying roach can separate those determined to make their own destiny to share their lives, and their hearts.



  1. Oh, Bonnie, nothing disturbs me more than when palmettos fly!! And seeing a Madagascar hissing cockroach in person once (at a kids museum) caused me to break out in a cold sweat. Your Katia is an incredibly strong heroine to withstand such horrors!

  2. Ooooooh, Bonnie. Glad you can find SOME reason to like those nasty critters. You actually make them sound intriguing. You clever, clever author. (However, as a fellow Floridian, if those hissing cockroaches move in, I’m leaving!)

    Can’t wait to read Broken Souls. The plot sounds marvelous. No surprise there. I love ALL of your novels.

  3. Hi Bonnie,

    Thanks for telling us about the cockroaches coming to Florida. I’ll have to stock up on bug spray. When I lived in Australia, we had the worst cockroaches that flew through the window and landed on the bed with a thump. And because it was so hot, you had to leave the windows open or die of the heat.
    It gives new meaning to…”Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” LOL.

  4. OMG – I love this story line. Bonnie, you weave such incredible, fabulous tales. And you got a great cover, too. I still think you are insane for having a thing for bugs – but what do I know???


  5. Thanks a lot Bonnie,
    I hate them critters. I hope they aren’t as big as the ones found in the rainforest in South America. Those darn bugs are as big as a human adult hand. You can’t get rid of roaches either. They say they can survive a nuclear bomb and have been around since the beginning of time. I’ll never forget the night I went to bed and felt something crawling up my leg. I jumped out of bed, turned on the light, and watched this huge roach scatter. I screamed, ran, and got the vaccum cleaner. I aimed the hose at it and sucked it up. There was no way I was going to kill it with my hand or foot. Not that big of a mother. Can you tell I hate them? LOL

  6. Oh, Bonnie… Only you could make me smile when I’m reading about palmetto bugs:-)
    Cockroaches zinging left to right could also be used in a productive way to teach a character how to dance. Whatcha think?

  7. I have been in Florida for over 25 years now. When I first moved here a native Floridian told me that when you can stomp on a Palmetto bug barefoot to kill it, you are officially a Floridian. Darn, but don’t think I ever will be one!

  8. Hissing cockroaches? Egad! The flying devils are bad enough. Makes me shiver to think about them. Bring in the exterminator!

  9. LOL everyone, the hissing, giant cockroaches must be stopped! Imagine if they went nuclear, like the old Godzilla movies, and grew to 10 feet tall. I think there will be several new exterminating businesses cropping up if the roaches make it to the Sunshine State.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it!

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