Message From The Author
I really see no reason why a demon can’t be the good guy. If that makes me strange, then so be it. I’m strange. My hero in The Demon In Me, the first book in my new Living in Eden paranormal romance series with Berkley Sensation, is a hot demon conflicted about whether or not he’s good. And I love him just the way he is.
I remember watching The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby, both horror movies that dealt with the (very) dark side of demons, Hell, and the occult. It got me thinking about how horror and paranormal romance are strange siblings in the world of fiction. In one genre the monsters are the evildoers and the bad guys, but in paranormal romance, they’re the heroes and the protectors. For the most part. Just like Spike once said about Buffy, "she likes a little monster in her man." Well, I like a little man in my monster. That didn’t really sound right, but you know what I mean!
So these horror movies placed the spark of the idea for The Demon In Me firmly in my head. When I began this project a few years back, it was much darker and more urban fantasy. It evolved into what is now on bookstore shelves — the story of a demon named Darrak who was cursed by a witch 300 years ago to be bodiless and needing to possess human hosts who rarely were even aware of his presence. From his point of view, it sounds like a very unpleasant existence. Trapped. Alone. And desperately wanting to find a solution.
Then he is forced to possess my heroine, Eden Riley, a reluctant psychic who both helps out the police with cases requiring her particular talents, and a half-owner in a detective agency she inherited from her deceased mother. She can hear him clearly, much to his surprise, but the last thing she’s looking for is an inner voice. And the last thing she expects — that either of them expect — is for her psychic energy to aid him in taking form during daylight hours, even though he’s compelled to possess her again at sunset.
Together they form an unlikely alliance — Eden agrees to help Darrak find the immortal witch who cursed him three centuries ago, in return for his Cyrano de Bergerac tutoring as she tries to woo the man of her dreams.
I had lots of fun with the idea of my heroine being possessed by a demon — and I certainly don’t attempt to make things all silly fun and games. There’s a darker edge to this book. How can there not be given the subject matter? Amidst the humor, these characters are desperate to find their individual answers ... even when it leads to even bigger trouble. They may not have asked for this mess, but now they’re in it waist deep. Together. If one suffers, they both suffer. Good times!
I also enjoy exploring the concepts of good and evil in my books — with a fairly light hand, I think. What is evil? Does being a demon automatically make you the bad guy? Does being an angel automatically earn you the good guy card? Not in my opinion. I think that good and evil is determined by the choices we make every day, no matter who we are or where we come from. And I think that every hero in a romance novel, no matter where he calls home — even if it’s, gasp, Hell itself — can be redeemed by the love of a good heroine who loves him despite who and what he is.
Then again, I’m kind of a hopeless romantic like that! I can’t help it!
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