Last week I met Nalini Singh! I've been busy, which is why I have taken so long to write about this. I am going away for the weekend to see my Nan (hopefully I wont meet any friendly wolves on the way to my grandmother’s house – then again, I guess that depends on what author you are reading LOL) and realised its now or never! So I chose now to quickly write up a blog… be prepared for me to ramble, because I don't have time to sit down and review my entry before posting ;-p
Nalini Singh is author of the “Psy” and “Guild Hunter” series (both of which are Paranormal Romance), as well as a romance author with Silhouette Desire. I haven't read her Rom, but I do read her PR. When Ms S (I really am shit at making up nicknames, so I won’t bother today. I can't call her Bob, it will just confuse you, and Boo Boo Kitty Fish is just too damn long!) first pointed to her books, I wasn’t sure what to think. The basis of the story tended to remind me of my days reading Anne McCaffrey – not for the tone, or the premise, but because of the use of psychic “gifts” in a not so distant, not so different future. When I stopped unconsciously trying to think of them in a particular genre I loved them! We all do it to some degree, we think in clichés, to the point that when something original comes along, we spend so much time trying to make connections (unconsciously or not) rather than lauding the originality. I hate clichés and books that follow the 1-2-3 plot sequence, but at the same time, my brain likes patterns and I spend too much time thinking about the originality that I don't get to appreciate the story as much the first time as I might have otherwise. Luckily, I am a chronic reader, so if I finish a story and can't form an opinion, I go back and read them again. Which I did with Nalini’s Psy series, and now I am hooked! I bought her latest Psy novel, “Blaze of Memory” about a week or two before the signing, and while it was dealing with a non-changeling coupling (I’d come to love the changelings – the twins are sooooo cute!), I really liked the story! I was trying to decide which book I wanted Nalini to sign, and I really had a hard time trying to make a decision. I ended up choosing “Branded by Fire” because I really like how strong both characters are, and the banter that goes on between them because of that. I love how the series keeps you guessing about who the “bad guys” really are, and the constant political byplay going on around and through the stories. And yes, I have my suspicions about The Ghost ;-p
The book signing was part of the Paranormal Book Club I attend at Galaxy Bookstore (because we are awesome!) – and Nalini is the second author we have had attend. The first was Tracey O’Hara, an Australian PR author, and Nalini Singh is a New Zealander – are you noticing a theme? Aside from them both being brilliant women, with a lot of talent, and being recognised in the global market, they are also local girls, relatively speaking. It’s terrific when we kick arse overseas, because there aren’t enough Australian or New Zealanders being recognised on a global scale – we seem to be dominated by Americans and to a lesser scale, the English. They are great authors, so who is complaining, but at the same time, its nice to see some girls from our part of the world kicking arse!
[yes, I got distracted again. Heading back on topic now, I swear!]
So anyway, book club and Nalini Singh. Thank god Ms S asked for people to RSVP because the store was over run by strangers! Book club was unofficially disbanded for the night – normally we sit around in a vaguely circle formation with the snacks making the rounds while we hold a multitude of conversations about paranormal romance, authors, characters, books in general, TV/movies/pop culture and life in general. Seeing as our usual formation is cosy at best, there was no way that many people could be accommodated… okay, maybe if we cleared out all the bookshelves from the first 2 rows! A reporter from the Daily Telegraph was there, photographer in tow – she was to have a chat to Charlaine Harris this Monday, however, she hadn’t read any Nalini Singh. I suspect an exposé on the “cult” that is paranormal romance… you know how people outside the genre think we are either into the dark arts, or desperate housewives? When realistically we are just ordinary citizens. They made a big deal about Beardman being there, because he doesn’t look the type to read romance, paranormal or otherwise, and they were really interested in getting my photo, probably because I wore all black and had demons on my necklace and skeleton earrings LOL anyway, enough about stereotypes (but keep an eye out for the story some time in February!). The line was a decent size, and luckily I was browsing at the front when I saw the line forming, so I jumped inline behind Ms T and Ms C. The line was slow going, but it was casual, so we were able to have a bit of a chat with Nalini before fading into the bookshelves. This is a lot better experience for the fans compared to when we saw Richelle Mead – her “people” kept going “bip bip bip bip” like Normal from Dark Angel. You know, where you quickly pass over your book, it gets some squiggles scrawlled and its out the door for you sunshine! I preferred meeting Nalini Singh and Sherrilyn Kenyon, as it was much more relaxed and friendly. I had my copy of “Branded By Fire” as well as FyreLili’s copy of the same book (we are best friends for a reason!) and Nalini was happy to sign both, as well as get a photo or three taken with me. I then walked over to some friends from the book club and we did what we do every night, not take over the world, but talk all things books and life in general. The topic of conversation we started with was clichéd words used a LOT in romance books that we detest hehe we progressed from there. At the end of the night, after all the uninitiated (we are a cult, don't you know?!) had left, Nalini joined our circle of conversation (Little Britain quotes and all!). She was intrigued by Irving D Cactus and agreed to a group photo with him present, before we started dispersing. I can't wait for the new books!