It occurred to me that I should probably make a FAQ about the Preternaturals world where my stories take place. Some of these questions I’ve been asked before, some I know will come up. If you have any questions of your own, post a comment and I’ll add the question and my response to this page. Thanks!
1. In Kept it’s stated that magic users can live hundreds of years, but Greta is a therian. Will Dayne outlive her? How is that a happy ending?
Magic users in the preternatural world have variable lifespans dependent upon their power but many can live hundreds of years. Assuming they aren’t killed by unnatural causes (and let’s face it, in a world of magic, that’s a big risk). They are normal human beings, nothing genetically different about them. It’s their exposure and constant working with magical forces that slows their aging process.
Therians are “made” of magic. Depending upon their power, their lifespans are variable into hundreds of years as well. So Dayne and Greta have about the same lifespan because they are on similar power levels. I would say Greta is just a “little” stronger. But then Dayne is a bit older than her too.
Magic is pretty much what makes life “life.” It’s what makes everything run, underneath the scientific explanations. So constant exposure to the creative juice of the universe, actual unfiltered access to it, extends life. It’s basically the famed fountain of youth. But magic is kept very secret in families, and outsiders are not welcomed into it.
2. If you have beings that live hundreds of years and reproduce, isn’t this a population problem?
It can be, but magic users tend to be too devoted to what they do to mess with children. They aren’t wild and crazy procreators like the rest of us. They’ll eventually settle down to create an heir to pass the magic down, but beyond that, they use magical birth control which is pretty much 100% effective. (You’d think they’d try to market it.) And usually every single person in a family doesn’t feel compelled to pass the magic down. In a very large family you might have one or two who decides to bring a new magic user into the world and usually only when one in their rank has died. Then you have those who become total loners like Dayne.
Therians find it generally hard to conceive. There are also a lot of therians trying to pass for human and there has been a lot of cross-breeding with humans. Though there has been cross-breeding, there is very little settling down with humans. With the need to keep things secret from the humans, as well as disparate lifespans and particular needs of various therian breeds, it’s a difficult relationship altogether that rarely ends well.
Those who stick with their own species who get past fertility issues aren’t allowed to produce more than one child.
You would think a therian would have better fertility and would have dominant genes, but our plane of existence isn’t the most stable for beings like therians. Human genes tend to be dominant if a human is in the mix, and the therian lines die off. However, there are some rare exceptions where the therian is most dominant and that can cause some real issues depending on circumstances and the therian breed in question.
Also, while old age doesn’t kill off therians or magic users for a long time, there is a whole HOST of other shit that can kill them. The more power a being has the more fighting they tend to engage in. There is illness, magic, killing and fighting. The population is not in danger of exploding.
3. What about Jane and Cole? Jane is human and Cole is a werewolf (wolf therian). Does the mating lengthen her lifespan like it does with a vampire claim?
Vampires are really unnatural beings and they were created in a pretty unnatural way. (Oh come on, I’m not spoiling everything. You’ll find out in Blood Lust.) Vampire claims lengthening lifespan don’t translate over to therian wolf matings because it’s the demon in the vampire that makes the eternal life.
Something happens with Jane in The Catalyst (book 3) which lengthens her lifespan by the time it would become any kind of issue. Though that’s not why that story was written.
4. What’s going on with the political background of the world? We only see a tiny bit of it and it doesn’t feel developed out. Will it be?
Because I’m writing romance, anything outside the romance or that doesn’t play some direct role in it, is background. However, very slowly things will be fleshed out over several books.
The situation for the preternaturals is that Cary Town has become a sort of “hub” for them. There is a micro-police state going on. If it works out, it could spread to other areas. In some ways control has already been established in that therians can’t leave the city without permission. The wolves get around this with portal charms that allow them to hop through one of the demon dimensions and then back into the human world in a less controlled place. Demons can’t really be controlled, they’re more visitors on our plane anyway. The control hasn’t yet extended to vampires because vampires are pretty much running the show, at least in this country.
5. I thought Simon was running the show (the werecat tribe leader in Kept).
Yes, so did he. But let’s face it, Simon was a Snidely Whiplash. How smart could he be?
6. Will the humans ever find out about the preternaturals on a larger scale?
Yes. In the future they know (starts in book 5) and it’s a very different world because of it. Some books planned take place in this future world. Then others will hop back in time to the present.
7. Will these books always be romance?
That’s hard to say right now. There will always be a romance thread/plot in the books, but I can’t promise at this time that it’s going to be the main thread all the time. We’re going to be crossing urban fantasy, sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal romance genres. Consider each book like a recipe with different amounts of each sprinkled in. There will always be a strong thread of romantic/sexual dynamics no matter where we go though.
8. What is the heat level of the books? (sex scenes)
That’s really hard to say or forecast. Right now, sex scenes aren’t super graphic, and not every story even has one. Claimed, for example, doesn’t have a single sex scene. Some readers feel there should be more sex and some feel there should be less. And that’s how it would be no matter what I did.
I don’t know if scenes will become more or less graphic. It really just depends on the story. I’m indie so I’m not writing to anybody else’s formula but my own. There is kind of a “sexuality” that runs through these stories and so some readers feel they are more graphic than they actually are. But I’m not really into overly descriptive sex scenes. I figure you’re adults, and you know how everything works. Reading every single touch and caress in romance kind of bores the hell out of me. If I’d skim it in somebody else’s book I won’t write it in mine.
9. How many books will there be in the Preternaturals series?
The series will be 8 books total. After that, I’ll be introducing a new series that will be urban fantasy. The new series will most likely be a spin-off from this series/world. There will still be romantic plot lines but it won’t be constrained by the “rules of romance” as a genre.
I’d like to do things like a love triangle which are more common in urban fantasy but unpopular in romance, and while the ending of the series will have an HEA that I think the vast majority of my readers will be happy with… each book isn’t an “HEA” and therefore probably wouldn’t qualify as romance. Plus, I want to focus more on other things that happen in the world besides JUST the romance and sexual tension.
10. If you switch to urban fantasy after this series, will you ever be writing romance again?
I have no idea, honestly. I’m open to it. I’d just like a break from the romance rules and have an idea for a new series after this that I’m really excited about.
But there are still 4 books to go in the Preternaturals series and I’m still extremely into this world and this series!
11. Do I have to read these books in order? The Preternaturals Series can be read out of order, since each book is its own romance. However, there is background stuff and secondary characters (many of which get their own books later), so some readers may prefer reading in order. My suggestion is to read the book that most strikes your interest first and then if you’re really into it, go back and read in order. I numbered all the books for reader convenience.
The order of the series so far is:
Book 1: Blood Lust (consists of the novellas, Kept, Claimed, and Mated… yes, ideally, you should read the novellas in that order)
Book 2: Save My Soul (You could start with this book and not be confused at all because it happens in a different town from the novellas of Blood Lust, but book 3 ties things back together, so you might want to read book 1 before book 3 at least.)
Dark Mercy: (A side novella that can be read at any time, but makes the most sense right here if you are big on reading everything in order.)
Book 3: The Catalyst: This is an ensemble book with 2 romance plot lines for the price of one. It introduces Fiona and Z and features heavily recurring characters: Jane, Cole, and Cain.
Book 4: Life Cycle: This is Cain and Tam’s book. Cain is the villain in book 2 and Tam is the best friend from the same book, but it can be read as a stand alone.
More questions? Speak now!