Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with Author Virna DePaul

Please join me, WildAboutBones , in welcoming author Virna DePaul as we talk about her upcoming book Chosen by Fate (Para-Ops #2) and other goodies.

Author Bio:
Virna DePaul is a former criminal prosecutor and now National Bestselling Author for Berkley (paranormal romantic suspense), HQN (single title romantic suspense) and HRS (category romantic suspense). Her recent and upcoming releases are Dangerous To Her (HRS, August 23, 2011) and Chosen By Fate (Para-Ops Novel 2, October 4, 2011). www.virnadepaul.com

Would you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a mother of three young boys, a former criminal prosecutor, and a long-time romance reader who loves to travel and see Broadway shows. I was an English lit major in college, so I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I never thought I could actually write fiction. I went through this period in my life where I was searching for a creative outlet. I tried painting, acting, singing, etc, and I was fairly mediocre at all of them. I finally decided to write a romance novel. I had one false start, but then in late 2006 I joined RWA (Romance Writers of America) and met other writers, and that was key to finishing my first manuscript.

Do you have a process or any special rituals in your writing routine?
Honestly, I don’t have a process or special ritual. I can write almost anywhere. However, if I’m having false starts, it’s because something about the plot or characters is simply not working. A friend of mine once asked whether my story wasn’t working because the hero and heroine didn’t really belong together. My mental response was a heated, “Oh, no, they belong together all right.” I couldn’t accept it any other way, but I took her words as a challenge. Finally, I figured out how to make them belong together and the story flowed from there.

You write different genres. Which is your favorite genre to write and why? And what genre would you like to try writing?
I love writing paranormal romantic suspense, but I also like the challenge of writing contemporary romantic suspense, because I have to keep things more grounded in reality. Just for fun, I’d love to try writing a historical; it’s what I find most intimidating, and I love to overcome a challenge.

How did you come up with the idea for this Para-Ops series?
I was a big fan of romantic suspense novels that centered around specially trained teams. I took a look at the paranormal romances on the shelves and realized there wasn’t a single one about a special ops team made up of paranormal creatures. I immediately pictured a book that was a mix of Xmen and Romancing The Stone.

I love the characteristics of the wraiths in the Para-Ops series. How did you come up with such an intriguing paranormal species?
Thank you! I’m so glad you find the wraiths intriguing. I did a lot of research online, trying to pinpoint what kinds of creatures had been written about and what kind of attributes had already been established amongst them. Vampires are often called the undead, so I wanted to create a character that was truly the walking dead with a twist, a female with blue skin and no pulse or brain activity.

There are quite a few interesting characters in Chosen by Fate. Can you tell us a little bit about what’s next for this series? Who, from the book, might get the lead in upcoming books?
The next book I’m working on is about Dex Hunt, the team’s werebeast, and the female vampire he met in Chosen By Fate. The story is about dark forces trying to bridge the dreams of others in order to return to earth. Then I’ll work on Lucy Talbot’s story. Lucy is the team’s mage.

Out of the books you’ve written so far, do you have a favorite hero or heroine? If so, who and why.
I think my favorite character is Knox Devereaux, the half-vampire, half-human hero in Chosen by Blood. He’s also the most controversial character I’ve written. I love him because he was my “first” published hero, but also because, despite wanting so badly to do the right thing, he has many flaws and many lessons to learn.

Who are some of your favorite authors and what are some of your favorite books? And which has made the biggest impact on your writing career?
Three of my favorite authors are Linda Howard, Anne Stuart and the late Karen Keast/Sandra Canfield. Linda Howard is the author who has inspired me most because of the way she balances compelling suspense with a satisfying and emotional romance.

Do you have a hobby or something else to help you unwind and relax when you aren’t writing, if so, what?
I like to read and travel, and watch new movies in addition to Broadway plays. If I can multitask by traveling and squeezing in writing time, too, that’s the best!

Is there something you’d like to tell your fans that no one ever asks you in an interview?
Just that this is a crazy business and most writers suffer it because their biggest dream is to bring entertaining stories to readers. Unfortunately, though most writers start out as readers, writing can be all-consuming so that reading falls by the wayside.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on next?
I’m finishing up my debut romantic suspense novel, Shades Of Desire, with HQN. The book comes out June 2012 and is the first in a series about “SIG,” the California Department of Justice’s elite Special Investigations Group. These law enforcement officers are the “best of the best,” helping other departments solve crimes across the state. In Shades Of Desire, the heroine, a world-famous photographer, takes a picture she shouldn’t have just before she goes blind; in the story, she must grapple with her new disability and her attraction to the hero, a homicide detective, as well as help him stop a killer who soon puts her in his sights. The next book in the series, tentatively titled Shades Of Temptation, comes out October of 2012, and focuses on other SIG characters introduced in Book 1.

My next Harlequin Romantic Suspense (my debut Dangerous To Her released in August 2011) comes out in May 2012, and is about a woman and her former crush, a homicide detective, who reopens the investigation of her mother’s murder; the detective is the same man who caused the heroine and her mother to fight just before her mother was murdered, obviously leaving the heroine with unresolved guilt about her feelings for the hero.

Some Fun Quick Questions:
Boxers, briefs or commando for your hero(s)? Boxers. I was going to say commando, but there’s something about a sleepy-eyed, yawning, rumpled man in boxers that gets to me.
Tea or Coffee or Soft drink? Chai Tea.
Dog, cat or ferret person? Dog first, then cat. Ferrets seem scary for some reason; probably just lack of exposure on my part.
What are you currently reading? A werewolf anthology by Sarah McCarty.
What’s the first book you remember reading? Lover From The Sea by Bonnie Drake
Do you have a favorite food or place to eat? Sophia’s Thai Kitchen
What’s your favorite fairy tale? Red Riding Hood.
What would your occupation be if you were no longer a writer? An aspiring writer. ☺
What is/are your favorite type(s) of paranormal character(s)? Why? Vampires. They’re usually elegant and charismatic, with a primal, passionate undercoat. Yummy and complex.

Thanks so much for having me here today!

For more:
A free prequel novella to the first book in the Para-Ops series is available: Chosen By Blood: Wraith's Awakening

Purchase Links:
Amazon.com Pre Order Chosen By Fate
Barnes & Noble Pre Order Chosen By Fate
Amazon.com Dangerous to Her
Barnes & Noble Dangerous to Her

Thanks so much, Virna DePaul, for taking the time for this interview.
I'm looking forward to reading the continuing Para-Ops series books.

WildAboutBones' Review of Chosen by Fate
Laurie's Review of Dangerous To Her

Giveaway and Contest Policy
Giveaway open September 13 - 15, 2011 (midnight)

Virna DePaul will be giving away a print copy of her Chosen by Fate to a lucky winner.
For US and Canada only.
To enter, make a comment and/or ask Virna DePaul a question,
along with your email address so we can contact you if you win.
Good luck, everyone!


  1. I loved the interview! And you know, I saw the cover of "Chosen By Fate", but until this moment it didnt dawn on me that her skin was tinted blue on purpose. I think you really took your own awesome spin on vampires with this series and I really am looking forward to getting my chance to read all about it. Congratulations on "Chosen By Fate" 's upcoming release!
    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

  2. My question is, how do you manage to write in different genres? Is there one you always slip into easier?

    Lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  3. You are a new author for me but the book sounds like one that I would really like. I really love it that I find so many new authors coming to blogs like this one and reading the interviews let's us get to know the author a little bit too. I look forward to reading your books.


  4. I am working on my review for Chosen By Blood. I really enjoyed the book and I am really looking forward to reading Chosen By Fate. A few questions have occurred to me as I am writing my review. First, is the Para-Ops team complete? I keep feeling like there is room for one or two more operatives. Second, do the relationships between the operatives play a role in the future of the team? I love that Knox and Felicia found their HEA but I can't imagine the FBI encouraging the relationships that are forming. Finally, I loved the Korean lab twist in the story. Are you planning to build on that story? I felt like that was a loose end in the story. BTW, I won't even ask about Mahone. I know he has a future story and it's gonna be a doozy! Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. I am really excited about Chosen by Fate as I loved Wraith! Really I am excited to see the whole team. However, how cool that to see there is a Romantic Suspense coming soon---Virna writes awesome action so I can't wait!


  6. You are a new author to me, but in reading the interview above, my question is given the research into what paranormal characters have been written about, and you idea to add new ones to the list, what other characters will we see in future books?

    Can't wait to start reading your work.

    Elizabeth Gray

  7. Don't enter me. I just wanted to stop by and say hi to Virna *waves*

    Stephanie :-)

  8. Do you base any of your characters off of people that you know?

    Good reading ~ Escape by Fiction

  9. I can't wait to read "Chosen By Fate"! So looking forward to it! Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway!

    How many books are you hoping to write for this series?


  10. Great interview. Thanks for the chance.


  11. Hm ... another lawyer who left her profession to pursue a career in writer. As a lawyer myself, this will be a weird question: Why do you think so many of us lawyers change careers, a lot of us streaming into creative arts, like writing and painting?

    Thanks for the interview! :)

    Ammy Belle
    apereiraorama @ gmail . com

  12. I read Chosen by Blood and really enjoyed it and as soon as I finished it checked for a website and found out Chosen by Fate would be coming out. It's on my wish list!

    dsadler53 at yahoo dot ca

  13. This sounds so good I would love to read this book. Thank you for the great interview and great giveaway!
    tishajean@ charter.net

  14. Very good iterview - thank you, ladies! I've had this series on the list to purchase for a while, still saving my pennies! While I'll read almost anything, romantic suspense is still my favorite; it just seems to give me more.

    My question: What are the pros and cons of being an author?

    Thank you.

  15. Great interview. I can't wait to read Wraith's story. I totally can't wait to see both her and Caleb together. I really connected to them both in the last book.


  16. Hi Virna! Kudos to you having already delved into two different and exciting careers so far in life. It makes me wonder what else career-wise in store for you. I was wondering as a former criminal prosecutor, is there any valuable skill that you have learned from being one and applied to writing?

    Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com

  17. I enjoyed reading the interview.I'll have to check out the prequel.Can't wait to read Chosen by Fate.

  18. whoo i love linda howard too!! fun to know!
    the book sounds awesome

    alainala@ hotmail DOT ca

  19. A special ops team made up of paranormal creatures sounds like a fantastic premise, and I'm looking forward to reading Chosen by Fate.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  20. Xmen and Romancing the Stone? Who wouldn't be intrigued?


  21. Awesome giveaway! Virna's writing is great! I loved Chosen by Blood!

    rootml1 AT hotmail DOT com

  22. Thanks for the interview, it's great getting to know Virna and her books a bit more!


  23. The first book was great I cannot wait to read more from this series. Thank you for coming on and telling us more about your books.

    terilhack at yahoo dot com

  24. You are a new author to me...These sound great. I love paranormals and it appears that you've taken vamps to a new level... Thanks for the giveaway!

  25. I would love to read this. I love series because it always leaves me wanting more. Do you have plans of how many in the series you will be writing?
    Thanks for the chance to win!

    mary_reiss @ hotmail.com

  26. Thank you to everyone who's commented! I'll be back in a few hours to answer questions!! :)

  27. I haven't read any of your work yet, but it is right down my dark little alley ;) When do you like to write? Day or night and how do you find time with 3 kids!?

  28. Hi Sharon, I used to have insomnia and wrote at 2 a.m. when everyone was in bed. Truth be told, I miss it! But now that all my kids are in school, I can write then. It's harder because I'm distracted by what needs to get done at the house! :)

  29. ladyvampire - Thank you for stopping by! I agree, Berkley did an awesome job on Wraith's cover!

    Bethie - I started writing contemporary romantic suspense and my paranormals have strong RS elements. Mainly, it's a matter of pulling back here and there (if I need to write a category length book) or pushing things to extremes (if I'm writing paranormal). The genres I write have common elements and that makes it easier.

    Mary, I'm glad you enjoyed the interview! Thanks for commenting.

    Jen B., I'm so glad you're enjoying CBB and thank you for reviewing it. I'm definitely leaving room on the Para-Ops team for new members and that's coming up in the series soon (and yes, as relationships form, that does affect team dynamics/structure :)). Re the lab/antidote, to the extent I can tie up threads from CBB, I'll definitely try to do that in subsequent books. And yes, Mahone..I do have something special in mind for him! :)

    Felicia the Geeky Blogger -- Yay!! Thanks so much for your enthusiasm. XOXO

    elizabeth, Thanks for your question. Different creatures will be coming out of the woodwork as the team travels overseas. In Book 3, Chosen By Sin, Dex Hunt travels to Paris and meets a Dragon-breed named Cyrus Mead with a unique ability the team can definitely use.

    Paranormal Haven...Hey Steph!! Thanks for stopping by. Looking forward to seeing you guys soon!

    Escape by Fiction: I've never consciously based a main character on anyone I know. Once, I tried to let off steam by basing a secondary character on someone I was having issues with but I didn't like that intrusion of reality into my fictional world. I truly enjoy my writing as an escape just as I hope my readers do. :)

    Amber Hughes- I'm so glad you're excited to read it! Thank you so much for your support. I'm definitely writing four and am open to more if readers are interested. :)

    Vanessa N. - Thank you! Good luck with the giveaway!

    Ammy Belle - I don't think it's a weird question at all but definitely a hard one to answer. Honestly, I think many people who became lawyers did so because we liked the idea of advocating for a just result--too often it just doesn't happen. Add on stress and having to deal with strong personality types and I think eventually many of us long "to make a difference" in a way that more equally balances brain and heart. For me, getting to control an ending so that the fair and just thing happens is huge. :)

    Diane, I'm so glad you enjoyed CBB and wanted more! Thank you!! :)

    latishajean- You're welcome! I hope you have a chance to read it!

    Karen C - RS is my fave too! As for pros and cons -- so, so many of them and I'm still learning, but the pro is getting to spin my voice into something I'm passionate about and that readers can be passionate about, too. Along with that is the con, which is facing the reality that not everyone will like my voice or my stories, and not letting self-doubt stop me from continuing to write. Thanks for the question!

    Danielle Gorman - I hope you enjoy CBF! I love that you connected to them in Book 1. :)

    Na, Thanks so much! I love your question. Honestly, I learned there's a lot of suffering in the world and you've got to work hard to create your own happiness. I also learned I can do things I never thought I could do. I can push myself and be successful even if I'm not perfect at something. And finally, I learned that sometimes people suffer needlessly when what they really should do is get up and walk away. All of those are helping me push myself as a writer but also keep perspective. At least I'm trying! Sometimes I'm still learning... :D

    elaing8, Thank you! I hope you enjoy Wraith's story!

  30. alainala, LH rocks!! LOL. Thanks for stopping b!

    Barbara E. Thank you! Hope you enjoy!

    Bethany C. - LOL. I agree!!! :)

    Megan@Riverina Romantics -- Thank you! That means so much to me!

    winnie, I'm glad you enjoyed the interview!

    Teril- So glad you enjoyed CBB. Thank you for commenting today! :)

    lindalou - I hope you'll give me a try and that you enjoy my stories. Thanks for stopping by!

    Hi Mary, I love series as well. At least four total, hopefully more. :)

  31. Everyone I know on twitter seems to be talking about this series, so it might be time to check it out! :)


  32. Ferishia--Talk is great! Thanks for letting me know and I hope you'll give the series a try! :)

  33. I loved the first book Chosen by Blood can't wait to read book 2 in this series! I actually can't think of anything that hasn't been asked already. Some really good q's

  34. This series sounds incredible. I have Chosen by Blood on the wishlist and am adding Chosen by Fate. I enjoy the spec-ops psy theme, it sounds like there will be lots of action and good strong characters. Thank you for sharing with me today and for the lovely giveaway opportunity.


  35. bluesun1218, I'm always thrilled to hear from a reader who loved CBB! Yay!!! Thanks for stopping by.

    Denise Z, Thanks for your interest in the Para-Ops team! I love blending action and emotion, and I think the series does a good job balancing both. :)

  36. Hi Virna - this series sounds really good. I'll be looking forward to reading it. I was wondering if there's any one really good factoid that you came across in your research that you'd like to share?
    Jen at delux dot com

  37. Hi JenM, Thanks for your interest. I did some research on North Korea, including its topography, since the Para-Ops team goes there on a mission. I was surprised that much of its terrain is mountains and forest and that it snows in March. :)

  38. Hi Virna,

    I am intrigued by Wraith and was wondering how did you come up with the concept?

    When I read the prequel of Wraith I felt the heartache she went through because of the physical pain she feels touching someone and not remembering who she was.

    Thank you for the giveaway!


  39. Hi Virna! I loved the first book in the series. Absolutely Fantastic! I would obviously love to win a copy of the new book. Thanks for the awesome contest and congrats on the new release. bpatrick64113@sbcglobal.net

  40. DarkBloodyVamp, I'm glad you liked the prequel! I was brainstorming ideas for different paranormal creatures and thought, what about a ghost or wraith? One that is very much the walking dead, but not in a decomposing zombie kind of way or the blood sucking vampire way. I tried to think of ways one's "deadness" would be outwardly visible, but also how it might feel to be dead/separate from society. And what worse way to keep a hero and heroine apart than to make her feel pain when he touches her? I loved Wraith because I could make her be bitchy to the extreme, knowing all along it was just hiding her pain... Thanks for stopping by!

    Barb P, YAY on loving Book 1! Thank you and good luck with the give away!!!

  41. Are you interested in working on publishing graphic novels?


  42. Hi Virna,
    I loved Chosen By Blood. Knox and Felicia were hot. While I was reading the book, I kept thinking I hope she does Wraith's story. And my hopes came true, Thank you..lol
    I am really excited to read her story.

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  43. My question is who has been the hardest character for you to write?


  44. Your Para-Ops series sounds amazing! I loved Romancing the Stone!!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com


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