Here is my author interview with the talented Ophelia Bell for The Paranormal Romance Book Ball Event. Today we will be highlighting her book Sleeping Dragons Omnibus so make sure to grab your copy if you have yet to do so.
Is paranormal romance one of your favorite genres to read and why yes or no?
I read all kinds of genres, including paranormal romance. I think the only thing that I don’t read is non-fiction, but my husband picks up the slack there. The book I am reading now is, “The Martian” which is every bit as engaging and fast-paced as the movie was. If you didn’t read the book, DO. The romance I am reading right now is Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series. I will reserve opinion on it, however. The most recent paranormal romance I read was Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon because I realized my Paranormal reading list is way too small (pretty much limited to J.R. Ward, if I’m being honest, unless you count the urban fantasies of Patricia Briggs or Kim Harrison who I love… and Jim Butcher, of course. Harry Dresden is one of my favorite anti-heroes). The most personally affecting book I have read recently was “The Girl on the Train”. I don’t have a favorite genre, but probably read more fantasy than anything else. I will read anything if it is good.
How many books do you currently have on the market that have some form of PNR in them and please give titles if you would like?
I have eighteen paranormal titles in a continuous series, beginning with the Sleeping Dragons books. A couple of them can be read out of order, but it’s best if the entire series is read from start to finish. The new series that I am working on – Immortal Dragons – is only two books in. The next installment of Immortal Dragons – a prequel titled “Dragon Betrayed” which details the origin of the villain in the series – is coming soon.
When it comes to reading and writing do you prefer standalone books or series and why for your answer?
After writing a series for a couple years I am on the fence about this. I prefer writing series because I never really run out of material or characters to focus on, but I admit standalones are easier to write. I like reading series, but I admit I’m not a fan of series that focus on the same couple for multiple books. I’d prefer to move on to another love story and have the first one wrapped up in a single volume. There are always exceptions, of course. I am a rabid fan of the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon (I’ve read the books multiple times and torture my husband weekly by making him watch the show with me). Believe me, that is a RARE thing for me. I don’t fangirl about anything really. I don’t care if it takes Diana ten more books to finish her series, I will keep reading it. My hope is to earn readers of my books that are just as rabid about reading what I’ve written as I am about reading Outlander.
Do you believe that any type of paranormal beings really exists, such as vampires, ghosts, etc. and if so which ones?
No, not really. I used to believe in magic when I was a kid (I had evidence of it, even), but now I know better. That doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy fantasizing that it is real. I may be over 40 but my mind still indulges in those little girl imaginings. The first short story I ever wrote was about a princess and a unicorn and I still love writing about fantastical creatures.
What made you decide to write in the paranormal romance genre?
I gave myself three choices when I decided to start indie publishing. One was urban fantasy, one was contemporary, and one was paranormal. The dragons were the paranormal choice and that was what drew me in the most, especially when I finally figured out how I would frame the series. Erika Rosencrans is more or less Lara Croft with slightly different goals, and with a competent team at her back that is just as invested in her mission as she is. They all have something at stake in joining her. The second my mind shifted from the original plot idea of “dragon lord takes willing virgin to save her village from destruction” to “intrepid female explorer uncovers sleeping dragon temple and awakens her perfect lover”, I knew what I wanted to write.
What do you think makes the paranormal genre stand out from other genres and why would you recommend readers give it a try?
Magic. 😀 Anything is possible in paranormal romance, and that is what I love about it. I know it might seem like a shortcut to folks who don’t read or write it, but it’s complicated as hell and exhilarating when you figure out how things work. I’m not a religious person at all, but I love playing with religious concepts and making gods actually matter. They might have a literal role to play in paranormal that they don’t in contemporary romance. In my latest series, the characters are perceived as gods, but they are overwhelmed by the same burdens that humans deal with. Gods are real in paranormal romance, and they can be made accountable, too.
If you could co-write a PNR book with any author who would you choose and why?
I’d have loads of fun cowriting with Jim Butcher. He’s one of my favorite authors and is better at dry humor in his books than I am.
Being that you like PNR do you prefer the books to be modest or a bit more on the sultry side when reading or writing in this genre?
Hotter is always better where I’m concerned. Challenge my modesty! I want to blush when I read a romance and considering the stuff I WRITE, that is a pretty challenging proposition.
What is your favorite thing about being an author in general?
I am a full-time author so this is what I do every day. My favorite thing is that I get to spend every day fantasizing about hot heroes making love to beautiful heroines and then writing about it. And then PEOPLE BUY IT. How cool is that? I agonize about whether my readers will like what I’ve written way too much, but the rewards justify my neuroses.
Do you have any favorite paranormal TV shows or movies that you enjoy watching?
I have been a rabid fan of Buffy for years. More recently “The Witches of East End” captured my attention but got canceled, which pissed me off because it was like a more current version of “Charmed” (which I watched back in the day). I love the ones that focus on female heroines. I still watch “The Vampire Diaries” when I can, just for the eye candy… the plot has kinda gone off the rails, though. Of course I loved “True Blood” when it was on. I am hoping for a dragon-centric paranormal series to pop up. I will be all over that if/when it happens. Oh, and my current favorite and not to be forgotten: “Lost Girl” SOO much to love about that show. (I watch way too much TV clearly)