Melbourne author Keri Arthur is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 41 urban fantasy and paranormal novels. Nominated many times in the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards Best Contemporary Paranormal category, she won an RT Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy, and is a multiple winner of the ARRA Award for Favourite Scifi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I’ve basically always told stories, but it wasn’t ever something I thought I could make a career of (not until I was in my mid forties!). The two careers I did have – a clerk at the weather bureau and a cook/chef at the MCG and Essendon Football Club I basically fell into.
When did you start reading romance? I came into romance via the fantasy genre. I read a lot of fantasy novels when I was a teenager, and was always left frustrated that (a) the heroine always needed saving, and (b) there was generally little emotional stuff. It wasn’t until I’d read Mercedes Lackey’s Children of the Night that I realized that fantasy novels could have a romantic sub-thread. I started glomming books by female fantasy authors (Marion Zimmer Bradley, Jennifer Roberson, Katherine Kurtz, Mary H Herbert, Teresa Edgerton, Andre Norton, to name a few) to get my emotional fix.
When did you start reading romance? I came into romance via the fantasy genre. I read a lot of fantasy novels when I was a teenager, and was always left frustrated that (a) the heroine always needed saving, and (b) there was generally little emotional stuff. It wasn’t until I’d read Mercedes Lackey’s Children of the Night that I realized that fantasy novels could have a romantic sub-thread. I started glomming books by female fantasy authors (Marion Zimmer Bradley, Jennifer Roberson, Katherine Kurtz, Mary H Herbert, Teresa Edgerton, Andre Norton, to name a few) to get my emotional fix.
When did you start reading romance? I came into romance via the fantasy genre. I read a lot of fantasy novels when I was a teenager, and was always left frustrated that (a) the heroine always needed saving, and (b) there was generally little emotional stuff. It wasn’t until I’d read Mercedes Lackey’s Children of the Night that I realized that fantasy novels could have a romantic sub-thread. I started glomming books by female fantasy authors (Marion Zimmer Bradley, Jennifer Roberson, Katherine Kurtz, Mary H Herbert, Teresa Edgerton, Andre Norton, to name a few) to get my emotional fix.
When did you start reading romance? I came into romance via the fantasy genre. I read a lot of fantasy novels when I was a teenager, and was always left frustrated that (a) the heroine always needed saving, and (b) there was generally little emotional stuff. It wasn’t until I’d read Mercedes Lackey’s Children of the Night that I realized that fantasy novels could have a romantic sub-thread. I started glomming books by female fantasy authors (Marion Zimmer Bradley, Jennifer Roberson, Katherine Kurtz, Mary H Herbert, Teresa Edgerton, Andre Norton, to name a few) to get my emotional fix.
When did you start reading romance? I came into romance via the fantasy genre. I read a lot of fantasy novels when I was a teenager, and was always left frustrated that (a) the heroine always needed saving, and (b) there was generally little emotional stuff. It wasn’t until I’d read Mercedes Lackey’s Children of the Night that I realized that fantasy novels could have a romantic sub-thread. I started glomming books by female fantasy authors (Marion Zimmer Bradley, Jennifer Roberson, Katherine Kurtz, Mary H Herbert, Teresa Edgerton, Andre Norton, to name a few) to get my emotional fix.
When did you start reading romance? I came into romance via the fantasy genre. I read a lot of fantasy novels when I was a teenager, and was always left frustrated that (a) the heroine always needed saving, and (b) there was generally little emotional stuff. It wasn’t until I’d read Mercedes Lackey’s Children of the Night that I realized that fantasy novels could have a romantic sub-thread. I started glomming books by female fantasy authors (Marion Zimmer Bradley, Jennifer Roberson, Katherine Kurtz, Mary H Herbert, Teresa Edgerton, Andre Norton, to name a few) to get my emotional fix.
When did you start reading romance? I came into romance via the fantasy genre. I read a lot of fantasy novels when I was a teenager, and was always left frustrated that (a) the heroine always needed saving, and (b) there was generally little emotional stuff. It wasn’t until I’d read Mercedes Lackey’s Children of the Night that I realized that fantasy novels could have a romantic sub-thread. I started glomming books by female fantasy authors (Marion Zimmer Bradley, Jennifer Roberson, Katherine Kurtz, Mary H Herbert, Teresa Edgerton, Andre Norton, to name a few) to get my emotional fix.
But it wasn’t until I joined the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild that I seriously got into reading romance. And then I met Anne Gracie and discovered Regency Romance (and my great love for it) and became a total convert.
But it wasn’t until I joined the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild that I seriously got into reading romance. And then I met Anne Gracie and discovered Regency Romance (and my great love for it) and became a total convert.
What was your first novel?
My first published novel was Dancing with the Devil, which was published with a small US e-press back in 2000. It was the fourth book I’d completed – and the first three will never see the light of day.
What is it about romance that has hooked you as a writer? Happy endings. I’m a sucker for them. But it’s also the joy of watching two obviously compatible people fighting the inevitable even as they fall in love. 
Do you write full-time?  It wasn’t until I sold the Riley Jenson series that I was able to become a full time writer. Until she hit the big time, I was working full-time as a chef.
Let’s talk urban fantasy and paranormal romance… I’ve always loved books filled with action, be they fantasy, horror or mystery. But as I said earlier, what used to annoy me was the lack of capable female stars in many of these books. I mean, come on, not all of us females trip over our feet while running away from the big bad. Some of us would actually grab the nearest weapon and bop them over the head with it.

So that’s what I wrote – strong, capable women, first in fantasy novels and then in what is now called paranormal romance.

I tried for many years to write straight fantasy, but it just never fully clicked for me. So I switched to the real world, and started mixing fantasy elements with the ordinary, everyday world. I think I wrote my first paranormal romance in 1990, and I’ve been switching between that and urban fantasy ever since.
If you had to choose to become a paranormal creature, what would you be? A shapeshifting dragon! I get to fly and be fierce 🙂
Do you have a favourite of your characters? If I had to pick one, it would definitely be Riley Jenson. Not only was she fabulous fun to write, it was her series that enabled me to achieve the one thing I never thought I would – become a full time writer.
With 41 novels under your belt, do you find it challenging or easier, to come up with new work?
I’ve always had a very weird imagination, so the flow of story ideas remains around the same.
I think the only thing that has changed is there’s now a massive market for urban fantasy / fantasy romance / paranormal romance, and I’m more aware of the need to find a point of difference to all the other fab novels out there.
What are you working on? I’m currently writing Wicked Things, book five of the Lizzie Grace series. I’m also editing Burn, book three of the Kingdoms of Earth & Air series, and promoting Demon’s Dance, book four of the Lizzie Grace series.
Highlight of your career? Would have to be getting the call from my agent saying she had three publishers interested in Full Moon Rising (book one of the Riley Jenson series) and that she was going to auction with it. A very close second would be the first time Riley hit the NYT bestseller list.
What do you love about being a romance writer? I love subverting what people think romances are! When you say you write fantasy or paranormal romance, people who don’t read or don’t know the genre automatically think Mills & Boon (and probably haven’t even read M&B, otherwise they would not look down their noses at them — looking at you, media peeps). But romance encompasses so much more than just the fabulous ‘regular’ romances that follow the development of two people falling in love. Many romances also have major intrigue or mystery elements, or characters trying to save the world storylines that happen side by side with the romance. And anyone who has ever read one of my novels will be well aware that the action and horror elements work side by side with the romance, and can get as brutal as any ‘regular’ horror or fantasy novel. ♥
BUY Demon’s Dance | BUY Darkness Falls | BUY Full Moon Rising
BUY Demon’s Dance | BUY Darkness Falls | BUY Full Moon Rising
#blushmagazine #authorinterview #keriarthur #romancelandia

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