Friday, May 15, 2009

Welcome Writer Keri Stevens...

According to perennial optimist Keri Stevens, "Leap! . . . and love will catch you." She writes contemporary, paranormal romantic fiction, and loves talking with other readers and writers. Her novel excerpt from Stone Kissed placed first in the first-round judging of the Wisconsin RWA's Fab Five contest. Visit her at

Am I paranormal enough?In my work-in-progress, my heroine talks to statues, and they talk back. Her nemesis (a distant cousin) is a succubus who, ahem, loves her men to death. As descendants of a family of witches and weird women in a small town, the neighbors aren't too surprised by their powers--but the rest of the world is your normal, garden-variety every-day universe. My heroine is as normal as a girl can be when she's spent most of her life half-convinced that she is insane. My hero has a hint of power of his own--but just a hint!I love my story and am having a blast writing (and revising) it. But the paranormals I read go much, much further afield from "normative" reality: Ferocious warrior women with martial arts skills to rival any CGI character take on zombie gargoyles in a post-apocalyptic universe in which the heroes (and all of their happy parts) are much larger than life. Even the comedic novels layer in multiple paranormal elements: The witches ride Harleys with talking dogs (love that book, Angie Fox!), the vamps, weres and zombies (they are cropping up everywhere!) compete on Family Feud against cyborgs from the future.So what about you? What do you like? Do you like your paranormal universe tightly regulated, as if it could be real? Or are you more of a free-and-easy, anything-goes, give-me-all-the-fantasy-I-can-handle kind of reader?(And don't worry--no right or wrong answers here! I'm too close to the finish line on this book to substantively change it. But. . . who knows what I might do with the next one?)



Treethyme said...

Great to see you here, Keri! I love paranormals of all kinds -- dark or funny, hot or...well, they're all hot, aren't they? I tend to think of the world-building stories as more urban fantasy or sci fi than romance, although I know that's not strictly true. Especially in a fun story, I like the surprise of the unexpected, and to me, that works better where everything else is normal. I like to take a normal heroine (or one who thinks she's normal) and put her in a situation where she loses her bearings. I like to read and write that kind of story.

As to those authors who build worlds, I'm envious of their talents, and I like to read those, too. I tend to associate world building with the darker stories, for some reason. I love Shana Abe's dragons and their world, love the sort of parallel universes created by Kresley Cole and J.R. Ward.

I love the magic in Sarah Addison Allen's books, Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen, and I get a kick out of Vicki Lewis Thompson's Hex stories, set in Big Knob, Indiana.

It all works for me! (And I'm waiting to read your story...)

KAK said...

"They live among us..." ::insert spooky Twilight Zone music here::

I'm all for the fantastically paranormal traipsing blithely through our every-day-ho-hum-you're-wearing-what-in-public lives. Why not? It's a lot easier to accept than what I wished I hadn't seen on public transportation IRL.

Teresa Medeiros said...

Let's hear it for Keri Stevens--the funniest Tweeter on Twitter! :)

Keri Stevens said...

I roll on the floor like a happy puppy when Kresley Cole puts out a book.

KAK--you know, when I think of what I have seen on public transport, I think my book may indeed be rather mundane! ACK!

I am rolling on the floor like a happy puppy right now (which makes typing really hard.

Ladies--my captcha is "gropeess." YES! That's the best one EVER!

(Oh and new friends--I'm KeriStevens on twitter)

Jenn Stark said...

Hey, Keri!

I'm one of those tightly-regulated girls (but don't let it get around) :). I like my worlds to have rules that are actually followed, even if they aren't the rules our world follows. If it starts to get too "loose", world-building wise, it just doesn't seem like the stakes are real--there's too much opportunity for someone to randomly sprinkle fairy dust, or for a wandering god to stumble in and blast everyone to bits. :)

Loved your blog!


thelittlefluffycat said...

I don't write romance, but I do write fantasy -- and I think it's much more powerful when it's based on the idea that magic is right there, a finger-tip away, in the everyday. That we're walking on the sidewalk of normality, and happen to stumble a foot off, there we'll be, somewhere else.

Keri Stevens said...

I think you make an excellent point about a world having to follow its own rules. It seems to me the looser you are, the harder it is--if fairy dust sprinkling is possible, then no--there's no conflict!

L.F. Cat,
I like the idea of "just a foot off the sidewalk." I've seen it done well, and I've seen it done poorly--once again, because the author did or did not define well and follow the rules of their universe (after all, once we are "somewhere else," I, for one, still need to be grounded!)

Hmm. Feeling very structured tonight!

(The webiverse agrees--captcha is "alskings" Doesn't get more rule(r)-ish than that!)