Sunday, February 8, 2009

Welcome Guest Blogger, Marie-Claude Bourque!

Well, in a pinch, we needed someone to blog for today, and luckily, thanks to Shelli Stevens, I found Marie-Claude Bourque!

Marie-Claude Bourque is an American Title V finalist with her entry ANCIENT WHISPERS, a dark paranormal romance filled with tortured sorcerers, dark sensuality and gothic rituals. You can find her at and

Well, that's enough from me. . .please give a big round of applause to Marie-Claude Bourque!


Why Write Paranormal?

By Marie-Claude Bourque

When I talked to Pandem about doing a last-minute guest blog for Deadly Vixens (thank you so much for the hospitality, by the way!) and found myself with less than 24 hrs to write about something, I realized how rushed my writing adventure has been since I started my first manuscript, dark paranormal and American Title V finalist, Ancient Whispers.

In fact, just one year ago, I had about one-half of the manuscript done and had just sent out my first love scene to a RWA contest. Fast forward 3 months and I had sent my first 50 pages to Dorchester for the American Title V contest on a whim. I received an email from Dorchester asking for a full in June and spend a frantic 10 days editing the whole thing. I’ve never even had a chance to let the story rest for a while before reading it and figuring out if it made any sense. And now with the contest, my whole life is a blur.

It was less than two years ago when I picked up my first paranormal romance, Dark Side Of The Moon, by Sherilyn Kenyon. I had never even heard of paranormal romance then. I read mostly high fantasy.

But I had picked up the Kenyon book based on the cover. That hot looking guy in the long black coat and the words “Dark-Hunter” just grabbed my attention. I read this book in 3 hours, my eyes wide like saucers. It seemed so silly and yet so grabbing. (…and hot!!!! What had happened to romance since the tame Harlequin novels of my youth?)

I devoured the Dark-Hunter series in 2 months then looked for more in the same style. I graduated to Keri Arthur, then to Christine Feehan. I had just finished the first in Feehan’s Carpathians series when I finally decided to attempt writing. Armed with my knowledge of Pagan witchcraft, my love of fantasy and Julie Beard: Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Your Romance Published, I started to write Ancient Whispers.

As I started my first scenes, I tried to imitate Sherrilyn Kenyon and write witty and hot. It was an absolute disaster!!! I can do hot, but not witty!!! It’s only when I started to listen to my own voice that I realized that a lyrical and dark tone was more natural to me.

I do credit Kenyon and Feehan for having introduced me to paranormal romance and urban fantasy. I don’t read much in the genre, mostly because every time I pick up a new writer, I panic. They write so much better than I do! I always feel that I’ll never get there.

But I do read and love J.R Ward, Faith Hunter, Jeanne C. Stein and Yasmine Galenorn. They write so well, that I don’t even notice the prose anymore. And thanks to a wonderful workshop by Yasmine on Saturday, I finally heard a definition of urban fantasy vs. paranormal romance that makes sense.

And I quote: “In urban fantasy, they try to save the world; in paranormal romance, they try to save the relationship.” (for the record, Yasmine says she writes urban fantasy!).

I always return to my first love, the world of the Dark-Hunters. In fact, a copy of Acheron is patiently waiting on my night table, waiting for my life to settle down so I can finally read it.

So now tell me, as a writer, what was the first book that inspired you to write in the genre? And as a reader, what was your first paranormal love?


Thank you, Marie, for filling in on short notice! As always, any questions or reactions to her blog can be left in the comments below, along with answers to her question!

And the to DV readers, thank you for, well, reading!


24 deadly screams:

Marie-Claude Bourque said...

Hi Pandem, Sarah and Gracen,
Thanks for having me here today :)
Great blog!!!

Shelli Stevens said...

Hi, Marie-Claude! Good to see you blogged!!

Hmm I don't read as much paranormal. The first one I read and fell in love with, was a Christine Feehan book but I have no idea what is was called. But it had a very Beauty and the Beast vibe. Can anyone help me out here? :)

Since then I picked up various paranormal along the way.

Arianna Skye said...

Hey Marie-Claude! Great blog! The first paranormal I read was eons ago. I think it was a vampire series by Linda Lael Miller. Great series! I've been a historical romance gal for the longest time, and I think JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood brought me back into the paranormal fold. I also like the lighter stuff, like Katie MacAlister. Because, contrary to people's belief, not all paranormal should be dark and gloomy.


Marie-Claude Bourque said...

It may have been one of Carphatians book. Big bad vampire and a pretty girl. I remember reading the first and it was a little spooky but very sexy!

Marie-Claude Bourque said...

Good choice Arianna,
I do love JR Ward. I have to try some more funny paranormal. I have a couple of Mary Janice Davidson I want to try :)
Paranormal definitely doesn't always equal dark and gloomy :)

Barbara J. Hancock said...

When I was a young teenager, loving paranormal romance was an adventure because you really had to hunt to find them. I'll never forget finding a Linda Lael Miller vampire series. (Valerian was a dark hero I loved and I remember his name even if I can't remember the name of the books:>)

I had been a big fan of romances as well as Anne Rice and to find a combination of the two sparked an obsession for me that continues to this day.

Writing paranormal wasn't really a decision so much as a natural extension of what I had always loved. (And selling a vampire romance of my own is a dream come true!)~Barbara

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

I was reading ghost stories and shapeshifters since I was a kid. East of the Sun, West of the Moon, polar bear shifter, The Frog Prince? Yep, romance shapeshifters from even during my youth. And Dracula? Saw him at Brevard Community College when I was a teen. Fell in love with him. :)

Marie-Claude Bourque said...

You are right Barbara,
I don;t remember anything like Twilight when I was a teen. I was a big fan of Anne Rice.
I remember noticing first that vampire could be sexy when I stumble on a couple of Black Lace novels with that theme.
Congrats on your vampire sale :)
Having your dream come true must be wonderful!

Eva said...

Hi Marie-Claude!

What got me hooked with paranormals was 'Mine to Take' by Dara Joy. A sexy, fun read in an alternate universe. It was the first book that I know of that dealt with shape shifters. Sexy, gorgeous, sensual men who could shift into cats! What naughty pets they made, too! Because of their inner-cat, these men just loved their women and had special insight and understanding of a woman's own unique nature. Also, 'Rejar' by the same author. Who could ever forget Rejar with his long, glossy black hair and his sensual ways? This one takes place in Regency England.

Yep, would love to have me my own cat shapeshifter...the world would be a purrrr-fect place! Lol!!

Great blog, by the way :-)

Eve Sanders

Marie-Claude Bourque said...

I have to check those out :)
Yeah my own cat shape-shifter...yum...

Lisa Kessler said...

I read Stephen King as a teen. I love life and death, gotta turn that next page, storylines, so I always avoided romance. Not enough danger to keep my interest.

I got a little older and got sucked into Anne Rice's vampire chronicles. Loved those! Then I went searching for more vampire novels and stumbled onto Christine Feehan's Dark Fire. Wow!

I remember loving the dark and danger and then you get steamy love scenes too! I was hooked. I still lean more toward Urban Fantasy than Paranormal Romance though. I love Kelley Armstrongs Women of the Otherworld series and LKH's Merry Gentry series...

Fun blog!

Lisa :)

Anonymous said...

For the record, the first paranormal romance I read was by Kate Hooper, and it had to do with psychic FBI agents. . .it was intriguing!

Thank you again for blogging, Marie-Claude! You did a great job!


Dawn McClure said...

The first paranormal romance I read was by Shannon Drake about 6 or 7 years ago. It was about vampires and I fell in love with the genre. I can't remember the title.

Waving high to Marie-Claude. Have a great evening!! :)

Marie-Claude Bourque said...

We have a similar path. Anne Rice, then Feehan. I'm more of a UF fan as well, I tend to get my romance from Regency novel. Don't know why...
I do like Kelly Armstrong as well :)

Marie-Claude Bourque said...

Thanks Pandem. Interesting first choice. Most of us started with vampires of weres but psychics... interesting.

Marie-Claude Bourque said...

Waving back Dawn :)
Thanks for dopping by.
Yes, another vampires paranormal. There are so many out there, I wonder if someone has managed to make a list.

Anonymous said...

I did read Anne Rice first, but I don't consider those to be traditional romances, along with many other paranormal stories, including a lot of Stephen King. . .the guy is good, what else can be said? *s*

Marie-Claude Bourque said...

I learned English by reading both Stephen King and Anne Rice. And yes, even if Lestat is an interesting hero, the Vampires Chronicles are definitely not romance.

Gracen Miller said...

Hi, Marie-Claude! Thanks for guest blogging with us and for doing it on such short notice!

I was writing paranormal romance before it ever hit the market (or before I ever found it anyway). Just after I completed my first novel, I had my first son and between caring for him, a full-time job and total exhaustion, I never tried to get it published and I put my dreams on the back burner. Now, when I read those first books, I shudder at the lack of writing technique. Awful stuff.

It wasn't a book that inspired me to write paranormal romance, but rather a lifelong love of consuming anything and everything paranormal on the shelf, whether movie or book.

My first paranormal love was the Dark Hunter series as well. I've now gravitated to Kressley Cole, Nalini Singh, Anya Bast, and Meljean Brook to name a few.

Good luck with your current book and future writing. And thanks again for blogging with us. It was an honor and a joy to have you with us.

Anonymous said...

Shoot, I've read horror, since as a kid. But if paranormal romance? I think was a Christine Feehan book. Just can't remember which book it was.

Marie-Claude Bourque said...

Hi Gracen,
Thanks for your kind welcome. I am thrilled for the opportunity to pay you a little visit. How great for you to finally have come back to your first love of writing. Very inspiring :)

Marie-Claude Bourque said...

Sapphire, I wonder how many of us read horror as kids. I remember this phase when all of us teenaged girls went through this big horror movies and horror books phase...

Rae Lori said...

Great interview, Marie-Claude! And congrats on being a finalist!

I would have to say I got into paranormal via light horror by Anne Rice and R.L. Stine when I was younger. I used to eat up his dark suspense horrors and would try to grab anything that was remotely spooky. Soon I spooked myself out of the genre for a little bit lol but came back when I picked up Interview With the Vampire in my teens. I was hooked ever since! Merging that with romance seemed awesome especially with vampires, which are my fave.

Sarah Mäkelä said...

Hi Marie! Thanks so much for blogging with us. You did a great post. My first paranormal interest was in the Scary Stories books, ghost stories, and R.L. Stine. The books that inspired me to start writing was Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series waaaay back in the day. Although I got big into Christine Feehan's Dark series back there, too. LKH was definitely first.

I hope things go well with the American Title. Definitely come blog with us again sometime!