Writing paranormal romance: Harlequin Nocturne author Debbie Herbert

177_authorphotoToday we’re lucky enough to have Harlequin Nocturne author, Debbie Herbert visit our blog, talking about why she writes paranormal romance. Debbie’s also giving away two Kindle copies of her fabulous otherworldly romance Siren’s Secret.

Why I write Paranormal Romance

Upon learning I write paranormal romance, people often look perplexed and one of the first questions they ask is – ‘Why’?

My short answer is a shrug and a cryptic remark that ‘it’s fun.’ The longer answer can be found in my tagline that describes the kind of books I write:  “Where love, like magic, casts its own spell of enchantment.”

I’ve never outgrown my love of fairy tales and mythology. One of my fondest memories in Girl Scouts was reading about the housekeeping elves in the official Brownie’s Handbook.

It’s the possibility of magic that tingles my creative drive and curiosity, the speculation that there is more to reality than we can perceive through our senses.

My debut novel, Siren’s Secret, is the first book in a trilogy about a secret clan of shapeshifting mermaids living in a Southern Bayou. Do I really believe that half-fish, half-human creatures populate deep waters that no man has yet traveled down? No. But who knows what really exists in the depths of the oceans or beyond our galaxies where humans have yet to explore. The human brain is a marvelous organism that by its very nature loves to seek answers and pioneer new ideas and concepts.My debut novel, Siren’s Secret, is the first book in a trilogy about a secret clan of shapeshifting mermaids living in a Southern Bayou. Do I really believe that half-fish, half-human creatures populate deep waters that no man has yet traveled down? No. But who knows what really exists in the depths of the oceans or beyond our galaxies where humans have yet to explore. The human brain is a marvelous organism that by its very nature loves to seek answers and pioneer new ideas and concepts.

And as far as the romance part of the writing equation – I’ve always been a sucker for love stories. As a teenager, Harlequin books lined my bookshelves and I devoured them like candy. The very first book I ever wrote, at age twenty, was a Harlequin romance. I was newly married and we lived pretty much paycheck-to-paycheck so there was no money in the budget for a typewriter. (Yes, I am dating myself here!) My husband promised that if I actually wrote a book, we could purchase a manual typewriter. I wrote that romance longhand on legal pads and he held up his end of the bargain.  (I don’t think he believed that I’d really finish it.) With a bottle of white-out by my side, I laboriously typed up the manuscript and submitted it to Harlequin, sure of a brilliant success.

Weeks later, my manuscript was returned with an editorial comment that blasted my book’s premise that a thirty year-old man would really fall for a teen-aged girl. Yeah, looking back now I realize that was more than a little creepy!  I still have that truly awful manuscript in a desk drawer.  Every now and then I pull it out and read the first page which poetically describes the changing color of leaves in autumn. Hardly mesmerizing material. So often I’ve vowed to throw it away, yet my hands pull back from the trashcan and back it goes into the bottom desk drawer.

Fast forward to the present . . .  after retirement, I took up my old dream of writing. How fitting that my first publishing contract is with Harlequin. Life can be mysteriously circular at times.

I would love to hear why you read romances or paranormal romances.  What draws you to them as a reader? Have you ever had something mysterious or eerily coincidental happen to you? Let me know, I’m always hunting new stories and you may end up in one of my books!

You can find Debbie and her books in the following places:

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Website

~THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED~

WIN A KINDLE COPY OF SIREN’S SECRET! Just leave us a comment below saying why you like to read paranormal romance, or tell us of an eerie or mysterious event that’s happened to you.

Good luck!

39 thoughts on “Writing paranormal romance: Harlequin Nocturne author Debbie Herbert

  1. Lisa Scullard

    All real-life romance is mysterious and magical to me as it hasn’t happened yet! Paranormal romance is more fun to read while the more down-to-Earth ones don’t have quite the same escapism. Loved the mermaids in Pirates of the Caribbean 4, so I’m looking forward to this one :) x

    1. Sha Post author

      I must be one of the only people on the planet who hasn’t seen Pirates of the Caribbean! Maybe this could be a weekend of Mermaids – Johnny Depp, followed by Siren’s Secret . . .

  2. Mandy Cowley

    I always love a good romance, and the beauty of paranormal is when the author creates an imaginary world and sucks you in until you find yourself believing it could actually be real ;) Siren’s Secret sounds very intriguing by the way….

    1. Debbie Herbert

      Hi Mandy,

      Glad you find it intriguing – it was so much fun to write. I chose mermaids because to me they symbolize feminine power and strength.

      Have a great day!

      Debbie

  3. Suzy Turner

    I ADORE paranormal romance and I’m a sucker for fantastical tales combined with mythology. I mean mermaids? You can’t get much cooler in my book ;)
    Your cover, by the way, is GORGEOUS!!

    1. Debbie Herbert

      Thanks, Suzy! I love my cover. Harlequin went all out for me and hired a model for an underwater photo shoot. The next book in this series, Siren’s Treasure, will be published in October and I can’t wait to see the cover on that one.

      Mermaids rock,

      Debbie

  4. carol covato

    I love paranormal books! Nothing like sitting down to a good book that puts your imagination to work!

  5. Tina McClay

    I like paranormal because authors do not have to conform to any rules. Anything goes and as a reader, I love to read the unknowns

  6. Poppet

    Without a doubt paranormal rocks, it’s the one romantic genre where anything and everything is possible. The scope is endless and it’s wonderful having escapism which creates that alternate reality feeling for a reader. best of luck with your new release!

  7. Tammy C.

    I find paranormal romances captivating. They’re different from traditional romances, and that makes them new and interesting.

  8. Laura Drake

    Debbie, LOVED your book – Andy ant wait for the next one!

    How boring the world would be if we had unraveled all it’s mysteries! I love that we can’t know. I love that there are still undiscovered treasures!

    1. Debbie Herbert

      Thanks, Laura. High praise from an author of your caliber! Folks, when you want a contemporary romance that will transport you to another place, Laura Drake’s books are immersing and fab.

  9. D.B. Sieders

    Loved reading about your writing journey! I read paranormal romance for the fun and because I’m a mythology nerd :)

    I loved ‘Siren’s Secret’ and can’t wait for the next book in the series!

    1. Debbie Herbert

      Thanks, Dana! Looking forward to your future mermaid book. :) In case you missed, I found out yesterday that my next book in the series will be released in October. So excited!

  10. B.Lloyd

    Eerie and mysterious …. hmm; well, there was the rocking chair that would move by itself – this is by heresay, as I was a babe in arms at the time… then there was the haunted house in Edinburgh – a family member woke up to find two figures standing at the end of the bed in the early hours of the morning; meanwhile, the haunted bungalow in Ghana – a child’s voice, a tap on the back (nobody there !) and so on. Vipiteno was interesting; I awoke in the early hours to the sensation of a weight on the end of the bed ….(full story here if you dare: http://lloydanon.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/the-old-inn-love-to-spook-blog-hop-1/) ;)

    1. Debbie Herbert

      Very spooky! Love the background and pictures in that entry too.

      I haven’t seen anything weird since junior high school when I saw a skull and crossbones in a friend’s eyes. Wonder if she might have had trick contacts or something? It was creepy.

      Thanks for sharing your story, B!

  11. Wendy Beck

    There were house elves in your brownie handbook! Whoa.
    I read and write paranormal bc… well, I’ve experienced too many things that don’t fit our boxed up ideas of how life works. I’ve read Siren’s Secret, and it’s one that belongs in any Harlequin collection. (I can picture those shelves you had!) Love those mermaids! (I bought the book, so no need to include me in the contest.)

    1. Debbie Herbert

      Oh yes, the house elves cleaned the house while everyone was asleep. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one or two of those around? :) My family imagines I am the cleaning fairy.

      Thanks for the endorsement Wendy and look forward to your 9th Life trilogy being in print soon!

      Debbie

  12. Kelly

    Paranormal romance allows me to get lost from reality, to take a much needed break and to fall madly in love over and over again!!

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