Although motion pictures like Paranormal Activity and the Blair Witch Project have stirred up interest in otherworldly experiences in recent years, the paranormal romance genre has been rock solid in the publishing industry for long before the emergence of these popular movies.
According to the Romance Writers of America, in 2009 the paranormal romance genre accounted for nearly 18 percent of the 1.36 billion dollars in sales generated by the romance novel industry. The genre continues to grow and is expanding with the proliferation of cross-genre works in areas such as paranormal suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal erotica.
2011 EPIC Finalist Kathy Kulig is one of the authors helping to expand the genre with her works and I recently had a chance to speak with her about her latest release, Dragon Witch, from Ellora’s Cave, a leading publisher of erotica.
Please tell us a little something about the Dragon Witch novella.
Jaida Chel is guardian to Kai, the last shape-shifting dragon on the planet of Somerled. But when Captain Brayden Stokes reenters her life, not only is Kai’s life at stake, but so is Jaida’s secure position in the colony. Unrestrained passion drive Jaida and Brayden into erotic encounters beyond their imagination, and Kai is the key. When secrets and betrayals are revealed, Brayden must risk everything for one last chance at love.
The characters sound fascinating! Can you give us some more detail about them?
Jaida is a biologist and a witch, combining her herbal science with magic and trying to find her place in the colony after a disaster on a previous world nearly got her and the colony killed—her fault. She’s independent, strong-willed, and determined to save Kai’s life, the shape-shifting dragon.
Brayden is being blackmailed by his commander, many lives are at stake and Brayden has to betray the woman he loves to save them.
Where is your story set and does that influence the plotlines and characters in your stories?
Dragon Witch is set on Somerled. It’s a harsh, tropical world on the outer rim of planets. Only a few scattered colonies settle in this area. The characters are tough and independent but must depend on each other for survival. Jaida has developed an herbal concoction that she has convinced the colonists must ingest regularly to protect them from poisons in the air. She fears if they knew the truth (the concoction is only a vitamin supplement and there are no airborne poisons) she would find herself without a home.
It seems as if you would have to do a substantial amount of research for your stories. Are there are any tricks you do to keep all that information readily available?
Even in paranormal stories I do a fair amount of research. I did some research in Wicca and herbal medicine for this book even though the story takes place on a fictional world with fictional plants and herbs. For other books, like my Demons in Exile series, I read up on quantum physics to help me create the alternative universe of Anartia for my demons.
What writers have influenced your novel or writing style?
Besides romance, I’ve been a longtime fan of science fiction. Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke are a couple favorites who probably have influenced my writing. I also like thrillers: David Morrell and Barry Eisler. And tons of romance authors. A few favorites: JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Janet Evanovich.
Just for fun: chocolate or wine?
Oh, both please! Milk chocolate and white wine. Better yet, chocolate-covered cherries, my fave.
For those interested in finding out more about Kathy, you can visit her website at Kathykulig.com or blog at Kathykulig.blogspot.com. You can also keep track of Kathy at her Facebook page (Facebook.com/kathykulig), via Twitter
kathykulig or by email at Kathykathykulig.com. Kathy’s latest release, Dragon Witch may be purchased at various online locations. Also look for Damned and Desired, part of Kathy’s Demons in Exiled series. Damned and Desired was a finalist in the 2011 EPIC Awards.