Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Guest Blog and Giveaway with Author Denise K. Rago

Blending the Normal with the Paranormal to Create a Flesh-and-Blood Character

with author Denise K. Rago

What makes being a paranormal romance writer, different, than say, a regular romance writer? How do you create characters that are simultaneously vulnerable, vain, and jealous, yet have the strength to rip doors off hinges, toss cars or move almost too fast to see and carry the power of life and death in their seductive hands? How do you create a sensual predator?

All writers look to create characters that are believable and not cardboard cutouts. Come on, we’ve all read novels filled with characters that skim the surface and, even if they’re human, leave us cold and bored, ready to move onto the next tale.

I constantly ask myself this question when writing about vampires….mortals that die young once, resurrect with incredible powers, never age and time travel while the world changes around them, and need blood to survive. How do I keep them real and believable?

If I had to choose one word, it would be empathy: the ability to identity oneself with the person on the page and therefore understand his or her feelings.

I am big on empathy and short on sympathy. Anyone can “feel” for a character. Their plight might make you sad and yet you stumble through the tale, none the wiser when it’s through because you could not connect with the character.

How can one connect with a vampire, you ask? Especially a beautiful, male monster?

Well, how do we connect with anyone? Shared experiences. My beautiful, solitary vampire, Christian Du Mauré harbors much guilt and regret over a lost love affair. Hundreds of years later, he still asks himself, how could I let her go? I could I be so blind? How many of us have asked ourselves the same question or blamed ourselves for a relationship that ended poorly, for whatever reason.

Christian impulsively follows his best friend Michel Baptiste into the warring world of the Parisian vampires, after a weak moment, but not before he thinks he might burn them both to death in his stable. He backs away from his friend while making the sign of the cross in horror. Then, in total contradiction, Christian not only follows Michel, but looks the other way when he finds Michel emerging from the boudoir of his mortal lover, Josette Delacore.

Through Christian and Michel I have tried to create a defective creature, flawed by the very nature that was supposed to be lost by immortality. Christian not only is unable to lose his mortality, his personality traits become more deeply ingrained, making him more conflicted and contradictory in nature.

His love of art, books and nature remain a part of his soul, despite his mortal death, and these very traits become a blanket he wraps around himself to keep the cruel realities of immortality at bay. He remains human in spite of himself. Through these contradictions, he mirrors us mere mortals with all our vulnerabilities, desires and defects.

Denise K. Rago is a paranormal romance author whose first novel, Immortal Obsession, was published in September of this year. You can reach Denise on her website, http://denisekrago.com, where you can also read an excerpt of her book – part love story, thriller, vampire romance and paranormal romp that takes place in Revolution-era Paris and modern-day New York.

Giveaway Time

Denise is giving away a signed copy of Immortal Obsession to one lucky reader who comments on this post

US shipping only please

Winner TBA next Wednesday


Autum Frailey said...

OMG This sounds like suck a good book. I would love to get my hands on it. Thanks for the great giveaway.


Unknown said...

Sounds like a good one, I'd love to be entered.



Miranda Hardy said...

Would really like to read this.

DreamyCowgirl @ hotmail.com

Texas Book Lover said...

Sounds like another fantastic read! Thanks! mmafsmith@gmail.com

SandyG265 said...

Being able to empathize with characters in a book is really important to me. If I don't care about the characters I'm not interested in reading the book.

Reading said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I just can't get enough of the paranormal stuff!

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Unknown said...

Sound incredible. I love me a great vampire story.

Please enter me.

ebysswriter (at) yahoo (dot) com

Taffy said...

Great giveaway! THANKS!


booklover0226 said...

Hello, Denise.

This book is right up my alley; I'm adding it to my must have list.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

tetewa said...

First time hearing about this one, sounds good! tWarner419@aol.com

Estella said...

I love vampire stories!

Estella said...

Forgot my email.

kissinoak at frontier dot com

Rosie said...

This really sounds like a great book . . . definitely something I want to read!! Thanks for stopping by.

rosie0512 @ hotmail . com

Lisa (Lisa's World of Books) said...

Oh I really want to read this!


Unknown said...

Sounds awesome!

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Sherry said...

This sounds like such a good book please count me in the giveaway.


*yadkny* said...

The cover is beautiful and it's in my favorite genre!!! Flawed creatures are worth reading about:)


Julie S said...

This sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance to win.

Vicky CK said...

I know I have to be able to "get into" the characters of the books or I just can't enjoy the read!

Sound like this one covers more than one time. How do you manage to move back and forth without distubing the flow of the book? (I hate it when I get jerked back and forth in time. That can ruin a good read almost as much as anything).

Thanks for the giveaway!


Denise K. Rago said...


In answer to your question, what I generally do to seque between the present and the past is to use a flashback. As Christian is walking in Central Park it's snowing hard and this sparks a very powerful memory. I know that it happens to me, usually with a song or a smell - sometimes, it is a memory I had long forgot and suddenly it's right there. We relive the memory along with the character and of course, learn more of the back story.
Sometimes Christian can't help himself from living in the past and through his memories we learn about his life and love affair with Josette Delacore. He has been alive for so long there is a lot inside that continues to haunt him in the present day.

Denise K. Rago said...


Thank you.
The cover photo is one I took in Central Park of the angel on top of Bethesda Fountain which is one of Christian's favorite haunts in New York City.

Denise K. Rago said...

Thank you everyone for such positive comments. It really means a lot to me.

Anonymous said...

Another new author to add to my buy list ;) Sounds like its an awesome read, great post & contest.

Judy said...

This looks like a fantastic read!! I will have to check this one out!! Great cover also


Kelly said...

Oh goodie... An new author to me.... I love finding new authors... I would love a chance to win your book...
Thank you...
Kelly M

Amy said...

Denise is a new author for me. Would love to read her book!


Tanya1224 said...

Wow! I've never heard of this book but it sounds really good. I love these blogs for introducing awesome reads. I'd love a chance to win this. I even wrote the title down so I could add it to my TBR list =) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I don't know how paranormal romance writers do the voodoo that they do to ensnare readers like me, but I am oh so glad that they do. Please enter me in the running for this totally great sounding book.

Zuradia at yahoo dot com

Tabitha Blake said...

Sounds amazing!


Denise K. Rago said...

As this contest winds down, I just wanted to thank Roxanne again for such a wonderful opportunity. As a reader first, then a writer, I find websites such as Fang-Tastic Books, such an important place to find books and new authors. I too can't get enough of paranormal novels. I have tried to write a novel that I would like to read myself, filled with flesh-and-blood characters, romance, betrayal, and the power and complexity of relationships to both heal and hurt us.
Thank you everyone who participated and happy holidays to all!

katsrus said...

I would love to win. Thank you.
Sue B

Shai Williams said...

Sounds like a really good book. Please put my name in the hat.


Unknown said...

Wow...sounds like GREAT BOOKS...can't wait to read!! Thanks for the great giveaway!!