Indy Author Talk ~ Writing About Paranormal with Sharon Buchbinder

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Kiss of the Silver Wolf: Book 1 in the Jinni Hunter Series by Sharon Buchbinder

Today I will answer the oft-repeated question: “Sharon, why do you write about werewolves, jinnis, werelions, weretigers, and other weird things that go bump in the night?” This is analogous to asking mountain climbers why Mount Everest calls their name. My response: “Because they’re here, there, and everywhere.”

Paranormal events have played a role in my life since childhood. I have always accepted this alternate reality that many others do not experience or recognize. Their disbelief doesn’t dismiss my psychic experiences: dreams that come true, that I think of someone–and that person calls, and that I knew my sister was pregnant before she did. In the 1970’s while a psychology major at the University of Connecticut, I participated in telepathy experiments using the now famous J.B. Rhine Zener cards and other images. My “hit rate” as a receiver was statistically greater than chance occurrence.  Curiosity and pragmatism took me down the paths of psychology (BA), neuroscience (MA in Psychology), Nursing (AAS) and finally, public health (PhD).  So, it’s really not surprising that I’ve gravitated to paranormal romance as one of my favorite sub-genres to read and to write.

Life and synchronicity (there are NO coincidences!) conspired to enable me to meet another kindred explorer of all things weird, wonderful, and paranormal. Over a decade ago, through my husband, I became friends with Rosemary Ellen Guiley, and attended her dream interpretation workshops. As I grew into my fiction writing life, I was fortunate to have her read and make suggestions on my work. When I wanted a really badass villain to go up against a werewolf pack in my then work-in-progress, she asked, “What about jinnis?” Having no idea what jinnis really were, aside from the TV series “I Dream of Jeannie,” Rosemary connected me with a number of resources, including the Jinn Group on Facebook monitored by Robert Lebling, author of Legends of the Fire Spirits: Jinn and Genies from Arabia to Zanzibar. I read Rosemary’s books and Robert’s book, and I was hooked. Many, many non-fiction books later (if you want my resource list, shoot me an email, it is five pages single-spaced), I emerged from this cross-cultural journey with a series of what-if questions.

“What if a terrorist conjured and commanded an evil jinni?”

“What if a human fell in love and married a jinni—and had a child?”

“What if King Solomon commanded the Jinn, werewolves, and werelions?”

“What if King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba had a son?”

“What if the United States government had a branch of Homeland Security to monitor and contain evil jinnis?”
“What if the Special Agents had their own supernatural powers?”

I had an idea for an epic series anchored in the space between science, religion, and the paranormal. Kiss of the Silver Wolf introduces my new Jinni Hunter series. Edgy and suspenseful, this paranormal romance series explores diverse cultures and an array of supernatural beings. I invite you to join the Special Agents of the Anomaly Defense Division as they race to save humanity—and the people they love.

In Kiss of the Silver Wolf, Charlene Johnson is a rational neuroscientist suddenly confronted with family secrets that defy her logical world. After Charlene Johnson’s parents are killed in a car accident, she becomes guardian to her disabled brother. With no income coming in, she is forced to move to Eden, Kentucky, the one place her mother told her to stay away from. Once there, she’s certain her mother would also warn her to keep away from the dark and sexy Zack Abingdon. A man of mystery who claims Charlene is his mate. Zack has waited for what seems a lifetime for the other half of his soul. He wants a family of his own, but the woman he has his eye on has no idea he is a werewolf. However, he knows he is the only one who can keep her safe from the evil that stalks Eden. While he tries to convince her he is the wolf of her heart, she is playing hard to get, and Zack is fearful he will lose her before he can mark her as his own. While Zack and Charlene are finding their way into love, an evil jinni who has wreaked havoc on the town of Eden for decades decides he wants Charlene for his own. When she learns the truth of her heritage, Zack hopes he can convince her he is the other half of her soul before it’s too late. 

Family secrets lead a winding road to love. Will the truth set Charlene free—or kill her?

Buy Links:  Amazon  B&N  The Wild Rose Press

Indy Author Talk Author Bio

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Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. Graduating with a BA in Psychology and no job, she realized her dreams of working in the attic writing great novels would have to take a back seat to the simple pleasures of eating, drinking, and having a roof over her head. After working in health care delivery for years, she became a researcher, association executive, a Registered Nurse and an academic with a PhD in Public Health.

 

She had it all—a terrific, supportive husband, an amazing son, a wonderful job and numerous non-fiction titles, but that itch to write stories (some call it an obsession), kept her coming back to fiction. When not writing, she can be found reading, fishing, walking her dogs, or cooking and enjoying a good meal and laughter with friends and family.

INdy Author Talk QA

 

Where are you from?  Does the area you live in influence you writing?
A ~ I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Connecticut. I have family all over the south, including Stanford, Kentucky, population 3,487. Baltimore has been my home for twenty-five years, so I love using the city in my stories. In Kiss of the Silver Wolf, the story takes place in Baltimore and Eden, Kentucky, a fictional small town near Stanford. 
Tell us your latest news??
A ~ I’m very excited to announce that Kiss of the Virgin Queen, the sequel for Kiss of the Silver Wolf, is in preliminary galleys. We are hoping for a release in mid to late October from the Wild Rose Press. 
When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
A ~ I’ve been telling stories since I was a child—and got in trouble for it. Now I tell stories and get rewarded! I started out writing horror, mystery, and sci-fi. My first full length novel, Some Other Child, was inspired by the idea that every family has secrets—but some families have darker secrets than others. A mystery with romantic elements, in this story the main character, Sarah, searches for clues to a sexual predator at her job as a researcher, her mother is injured and in a coma, her elderly aunt disappears. Sarah is arrested for her aunt’s murder and must find the culprit. While searching for clues to exonerate herself, she unearths decades old family secrets and re-unites with her lost love.
What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
A ~ Katherine Neville, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, George Orwell, Agatha Christie, the Nancy Drew team of authors, Ken Follett, Connie Willis, and a plethora of others. When I was a kid, I cleaned out our town library of science fiction and mysteries.
Tell us about your characters and how they came to be?  Have they been in your head for a long time?
A ~ Some characters have been living with me all my life. My grandmother was one of the most loving, caring people in my life. She also happened to be deaf and non-speaking. Wherever it is suitable, I like to include a deaf character in my stories. Aunt Ida in Some Other Child was modelled after my grandmother. The loving nanny in Desire and Deception is deaf, as are many of the children in Kiss of the Silver Wolf, including Charlene’s brother, Joey. Charlene has a lot of my educational history—my undergraduate degree is in psychology and I minored in biology. My master’s degree is in psychology, with research in neuroanatomy. In addition, as someone who has had a lot of careers, I’ve met a lot of characters at every level of the organization. I often take over the top traits from one and combine them with another. And, I also have my comic relief characters, like Trotter, the pig in Kiss of the Silver Wolf.
What motivates you to write?
A ~ Curiosity. I love research and the “What if?” question. With each book, I invest a lot of time in research before I begin to outline the plot. Obsession took about two years of research, Kiss of the Virgin Queen took four. I love to spin the tidbits I find into my stories. I have complicated plot lines as a result and no excuse not to write!
What is the hardest part of writing?
A ~ Waiting for feedback. Whether it’s from critique partners, beta readers or the ultimate reader, I’m biting my nails waiting for comments, suggestions, and reviews.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
A ~ Every time I write something, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, I learn something new. I’m such a research junkie, when I learn something interesting, intriguing or funny, I have to share it with my husband. He’s a patient man.
Where do you get your ideas?
A ~ Asking the “What if?” question gets my wheels spinning. Researching my stories sparks new ideas for plot bunnies and characters. Last winter, I spent almost a week at the National Archives in College Park conducting research on primary historical materials for my next book which takes place during World War II. Reading cables between India and Burma from Detachment 101 has given me so much material and ideas for storylines and plot points, I may never get out of WWII.
What does your family think of your writing?
A ~ My family is incredibly supportive and helpful. My husband is my first reader, he literally gets each new chapter as it comes off the printer. He’s a physician, so he’s very helpful in giving me his expertise. My sister-in-law, who ran daycare centers and after school programs for decades, helped me set up the kidnapping in Obsession and gave me the chain of events that could lead to a child being handed over to the wrong person. My son and daughter-in-law are very big cheerleaders!
What is the best advice you would give to aspiring authors?
A ~ Get rejected. That means you’re submitting! If you never get rejected, that means you’re not working at it! Do get a day job that pays and has benefits and don’t give up writing. Writing is an art and a craft. You can learn the skills, the basics, the technical pieces, but the voice and the story are yours. Write, submit, learn from the rejection, rewrite, submit, learn from the rejections and when you succeed, celebrate and be nice to the people who helped you along the way.
What book are you reading now?
A ~ Aside from my research books about the OSS in Burma in WWII, I have two novels in progress. I’m reading the Einstein Prophecy by Robert Masello, an adult thriller set during WWII, and I’m listening to the very funny, snarky, and inventive Dying for a Living by Kory M. Shrum. I’m an omnivore.

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INDY Author Talk Extra

Excerpt

Jethro cleared his throat. “And this is Zachariah Abingdon.”

Charlene expected to see someone the same age as Jethro and Rebekkah. She caught a whiff of soap and some unrecognizable musky spice and jumped, startled to find him standing at her elbow.

The younger man flipped shocks of silver hair away from his piercing blue eyes. A trail of heat blazed in her face and ignited a fire in her core. He gazed down at her, an amused hint of a smile playing on his full, sensuous lips. “Call me Zack.”

She felt as if he had reached out and caressed her cheek. He took her hand, and a surge of energy jolted her. Did he feel it, too? Dry-mouthed, she squeaked, “Are we related?”

He smiled, showing beautiful white teeth. “No. Is it a problem?”

Warmth filled her chest and suffused her face. She stared down at his large hand still clasping hers. She didn’t want to let go. How long could you hold a stranger’s hand without being inappropriate? “No. Not at all.”

Jethro cleared his throat again, and Zack grinned at her, a sly expression on his face as he slid his fingers away. She glanced down, half-expecting to see a visible red glow where his touch lingered on her skin.

“We should let other people speak with you.” Jethro pressed an envelope into her hand. “There are no orphans among our people. Come home. We can help you take care of Joey in Eden.”

Goose bumps ran up her spine. How did he know about her brother? Eden. Her mother had warned her. Who exactly are these people? She stared at the odd trio in their old-fashioned garb as they moved toward the memory table and whispered to each other. She couldn’t make out the words, but the tone sounded pleased.

Pleased by what? She examined her new bangle. Feathery-scripted Js twined across the surface. Joanna.

As she puzzled over the dark metal, a dumpling of a woman lunged at Charlene and pulled her into a bear hug. The brassy-blonde reeked of cheap perfume, and her nose bore the signs of time spent with a bottle.

“So sorry,” she slurred. “Tragic.”

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