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Interview with A.S. Fenichel: Writing PNR

writing paranormal romance

Deception Banner 851 x 315

Thanks so much for having me on ParaYourNormal today. I’m excited to be here. Okay, I’m ready. Ask away!

Tell us about your latest book!

Deception is book two of the Demon Hunters series, though all the books can be read on their own. The book follows Lillian Dellacourt and Dorian Lambert on their journey. Lillian was in Ascension, so early readers know she is tough to the point of legendary. Her sex has not kept her from becoming one of the most feared hunters in the world. Dorian has little practical experience with demon hunting, but he was a soldier and fought the French during the war. Since joining the hunters, he has become a paper pusher. That all changes when he is assigned to keep an eye on the Lillian as she disobeys orders to uncover decades old secrets and expose the truth in a sea of lies.

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These two are polar opposites who can’t keep their hands to themselves. Dorian has been half in love with Lilly since he first heard of her through his brother’s letters about her training. Lilly thinks love is for normal people not demon hunters. Courting her will not be easy.

 What are the magical “rules” of your world, and how did you develop them?

The humans in the books are just starting to explore their magical abilities. Most of them come from witchcraft and are used to close gates in an effort to seal the demons  on the other side. The witches in the book use magic to protect The Company buildings and grounds from demon invasion.

The demons have some magic. As their master gains strength more of these abilities are revealed. They can create vortexes to move around in our world. They also have gates to their own that must be protected. They can transfer energy from humans to the master through sacrifice.

The witchcraft I researched. Most of it has to do with symbols and creating balance where there is chaos. I have several books on the subject, though a lot of it comes from my imagination. A great deal of the magic used by the demons is still a mystery and I don’t want to give any spoilers. I’ll just say that everything has its limits.

How do you develop multi-dimensional characters, especially villains?

Well, every character has a past. That’s the most important thing. If you just plop a person into a story and you don’t know why he is the way he is, then he will read like a stick figure. So, I get to know each and every character; where they come from, what their childhoods were like and how they came to be in their current situation. After that, they tell me the story.

What’s your process of invention as a writer, and how does it relate to your process of historical research? I.e., where does historical reality and imagination meet?

Great question! I keep the reality of known history in-tact. We know that England and France went to war (Napoleon) just a few years before the books take place. We know that King George was ill and his son assumed the position of Prince Regent. Also, The Palace at Richmond does exist and while considered a royal palace, had not housed anyone in many years.

So those are facts. Now what happens with demons and demon hunters can be woven in however I want. I don’t change history since most of the world has no idea demons are attempting to take over. I just give you another view of what might have happened. It could be happening now and we are blissfully unaware of the danger.

I think the historical facts make the fiction more viable. It draws you in and holds you in the mindset of “maybe this could have happened.” That’s the real magic.

How did you get the idea of demon hunters as heroes?

I had a snapshot in my head about a well-dressed Regency woman entering a garden at night. I saw the iron gate, her torn glove, the way her gown was six inches deep with mud and I wanted to know who she was and how she’d come to be in such a state.  I wrote it down, called her Belinda and waited to see what would happen. Suddenly Gabriel, her fiancé was in the garden waiting for her and he had the same questions. I wrote a few chapters before the entire epic battle between good and evil unfolded and I knew this was a series that I had to write.

What are the challenges of writing historical paranormal romance?

I have to keep within history. I want to keep the voice historical without stifling the action of the demon hunting. These are still romance novels, so I’m very careful to weave the hunting and the romance together. Each book is a story of people falling in love despite the worst possible circumstances. Each couple has their own set of obstacles both internal and external to deal with and overcome. It’s all a delicate balance and requires keeping a lot of notes, but it’s such fun to write these books.

Were there any fun/interesting paranormal facts or legends you learned in your book research?

I spent a lot of time researching demons in every culture. It’s interesting how throughout history humankind has used demons as the scapegoat for tragedy. In almost every region of the world they have a demon responsible for famine, miscarriage, insanity or violence. Our way of sluffing off responsibility or coping with the unthinkable, I suppose.

I’ve been researching the standing stones at Stonehenge lately. They will be in an upcoming book. It’s amazing how many people say they feel an energy there. I may need to make a trip and feel it for myself.

What’s next for you and your writing?

Another good question. I’m currently writing a contemporary with PN elements. It’s about a movie star and a modern-day laird. I have several proposals out for more series and once they are sold, I may have to jumble things around to meet deadlines.

However, book three of The Demon Hunters, Betrayal will be available December 8. Reece and Elizabeth’s story is wonderful. I really think people will love this one. Also, I just finished writing book four, Defiance, which is about Serena and Thaddeus. They were both in earlier books, and have great conflict. I can’t wait to share all of these with you.

It was wonderful of you to have me here today. I hope you enjoy reading Deception as much as I enjoyed writing it.


writing paranormalDeception

The Demon Hunters

Book 2

A.S. Fenichel

Genre: Historical PNR

Publisher: Kensington/Lyrical

Date of Publication: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 9781616505622


Number of pages: 232

Word Count: 78,957

Cover Artist: Morgan Pielli

Book Description:

When Demons threaten Regency London, only a Lady can stop them.

Lillian Dellacourt is beautiful, refined and absolutely lethal. She’s also the most feared and merciless demon hunter in The Company. She’s come a long way from the penniless seamstress’s daughter sold to the highest bidder, and it wasn’t by trusting a man, let alone an exiled Marquis with more on his mind than slaying the hellspawn . . .

For Dorian Lambert, Marquis de Montalembert, being sent to keep track of Lillian is no mean task. He’s wanted the fiery vixen since he first heard of her five years ago. But wooing the lady while fighting the demon uprising is no easy feat, especially when the lady’s tongue is as sharp as the Japanese sai blades she favors for eviscerating the spawn of hell.

These two will have to learn to trust each other fast, because the demon master is back, and he’s planning to turn Edinburgh into a living hell…

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Excerpt: Chapter 1

Gripping the chair arms to keep herself seated, Lillian fought an urge to leave and never set foot inside Castle Brendaligh again.

It had been a demoralizing battle and they had lost, but they had lived. They had done all they could, but still the demon master had ascended into man’s world.

“You failed and we are all likely to die because of it. I hold every person at this table responsible for the state of England. You have ruined us.” Lord Clayton’s voice grated on Lillian’s nerves.

Accounts of the battle were clear. Nearly everyone in the room had risked their lives trying to disrupt the ascension, not to mention keep the earl’s daughter, Belinda, from becoming a demon sacrifice. Making such a show of ferocious reprimands insulted their brave and selfless efforts. If not for the fact that he was her best friend’s father, she might have indulged her desire to pull a sai blade from her boot and slice his throat.

As if Lord Clayton, the Earl of Shafton, needed to attract more attention, he waved his hands. “You had one mission, to keep the master from entering our world. All you had to do was kill one demon, but you failed. You should all be shot for treason. Treason!”

His bright red face gave her hope his heart might fail and save her the trouble of killing him.

Other hunters at the table murmured, but no one spoke out.

Everyone in this room is to blame. You had the perfect opportunity to end this mess. Now

the master is free of his realm and living in ours. It’s only a matter of time before he is strong enough to destroy everything we hold dear. When your families are killed mercilessly, will you sit here so unrepentant about failing in your duty?”

“Father, really.” Belinda Thurston rolled her eyes.

Lillian missed Reece’s steadying presence. Reece might have even been able to stop his lordship’s tirade with a few quick-witted remarks. Her partner had nearly died, and now lay upstairs recovering from demon poisoning.

“Don’t you roll your eyes at me, Belinda. You are equally to blame. You were with the master for days and made no attempt to destroy him.”

Gabriel, Belinda’s husband, bristled. It was of course a ridiculous statement. The Earl of Tullering was not used to public abuse of his family. “Just a minute, my lord. You are out of order. Belinda was in no position to defeat the demon master. The information she gathered will be very helpful in our eventual victory.”

Shafton pointed a fat finger. “I do not want to hear about information that will take years to decipher. You, Tullering, are by far the most culpable. You and that woman”—he pointed at Lillian—“made a conscious choice not to destroy the master.”

Lillian reached toward her boot and let the hard steel of her sai blade handle bring her comfort. One second and Shafton’s head could be rolling down the long table and land in Drake Cullum’s lap.

Besides Shafton, Drake and his assistant, Dorian Lambert, were the only ones present who had not been at the battle. Their leader, Drake, had attended to assign new orders to the hunters.

Shafton said, “You could have destroyed the beast as it rose and was weakened. I know you had the opportunity, but you chose to save yourself. It was selfish and stupid.”

Lillian could kill him and no one would be able to stop her. Of course, there were  always consequences when dealing with men in power. She’d lose her home within The Company. Yet another arrogant earl would not take her from her rightful place. She was in control. It was nothing like her youth and the titled man who’d ruined her life.

Belinda said, “They saved my life, Father.”

“It was the wrong choice, Belinda. You might have cost us our one chance to stop this.” Shafton narrowed his eyes on Lillian.

Lillian said, “I can imagine your pleasure if we had allowed your only child to become the master’s sacrifice. Perhaps we should have stood by and watched until the master, with his full power rose, from the depths of hell and destroyed us all. As it is, Reece Foxjohn is still recovering from battle and the rest of us might have been sucked into the demon’s realm. But by all means, my lord, go on and tell us how you know we willfully failed on our mission. I do not recall your life being in danger that day at Fatum Manor. You were safely tucked away in your castle while the rest of us faced death or worse.”

“You are out of order, Dellacourt.” Shafton said her name as if it were a curse.

Lillian wasn’t sure when she had stood up, but clutching the leather wrapped steel, she rounded the table toward the earl. “If you have something you want to say about my abilities, my lord, I suggest you do so. I will be happy to display them for you, and we can evaluate them together.”

“Miss Dellacourt.” A warning came from the other end of the table.

“You were not there. You cannot know if we could have destroyed the master. As far as I’m concerned, we made the only choice possible under the circumstances. Maybe if your intelligence had supplied us with the location of the gateway before the master had grown so powerful, we might have been able to seal him in.”

“How dare you imply that I failed in some way? You who completely disregard orders  at will.”

She had only ever hated one man the way she despised Shafton, and he too was an earl. At least that one was dead. Steeling her nerves, she slid the sai blade through the pocket cut in her skirt. “You speak of orders that were selfish and almost succeeded in getting your own family killed.”

“You have no right to question me or my motives.” To his credit, he faced her and stared her in the eye.

“I have every right when you point your fat finger at me.”

“Who do you think you are? I know where you come from Lillian Dellacourt. I know what you are.”

Drake Cullum pounded the table. “Shafton, that will do.” The demon hunters’ leader stood rigid, narrow-eyed. He was formidable when he was calm, but enraging him was never a good idea. He was furious now.

Had she gone too far? The idea she might have overstepped her bounds with Cullum was enough to make her relax the grip on her blade. Lillian turned and stormed from the dining room.

Shafton yelled something about not having dismissed her from the meeting.

Once in the hallway, she pulled her second blade and turned to go back in and finish what she’d started. It would be nothing to remove his pompous head from his shoulders.

Cullum stood in the doorway. He smiled at her and closed the door, baring her reentry.

Had she ever seen him smile before? No instance came to mind. She stomped toward the front entrance. She’d leave the damn castle, get her carriage, and ride like the devil back to London. Yet the one person in the world she could really talk to was a resident of Brendaligh. Holding her full skirts with both hands, she sprinted up the curved grand staircase.

About the Author:

AS FenichelA.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.

A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.

Multi-published in historical, paranormal, erotic and contemporary romance, A.S. is the author of The Demon Hunters series, the Psychic Mates series, and more. With several books currently contracted to multiple publishers, A.S. will be brining you her brand of edgy romance for years to come.

Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in the East Texas with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden. Her babies are both rescues and include a demanding dog and a temperamental cat both of which bring constant joy and laughter.

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Tour giveaway

4 ebook copies Deception



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