Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Interview with Virna DePaul and Giveaway - May 11, 2011

Please welcome Virna DePaul to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Virna:  I can write really fast. I wrote the partial for Chosen By Blood (my debut paranormal romantic suspense) in a weekend. Then, when an editor told me she needed the full in order to buy it, I got the full manuscript to her within a month (and that included having my awesome agent review it). Of course, I revised and polished it after it sold, but I was proud of the initial version, too. I'm thankful I don't have to write that fast regularly, and I've certainly experienced "writer's block," but I think one of the reasons I ultimately sold is because of my speed.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Virna:  Larissa Ione, JR Ward, Rhyannon Byrd, Lori Foster, Anne Stuart, Linda Howard are just a few. Lori Foster and Linda Howard have probably been the biggest influences on my writing. I love how they can balance an external plot with a romance. They both create sexy heroes and strong, relatable heroines.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Virna:  I'm a pantser with plotter tendencies. I wrote my first three manuscripts without plotting them. However, once I began submitting on partials, I learned to write a synopsis, an outline of the novel from beginning to end. I generally stick to the synopsis, but have no problem changing things as I write if I need to.

TQ:  Describe Chosen By Blood in 140 characters or less.

Virna:  Five years after the Second Civil War ends, humans and Otherborn— humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA—still struggle for peace. To ensure the continued rights of both, the FBI forms a Para-Ops team with a unique set of skills.

Leader of an Otherborn clan, half-breed vampire Knox Devereaux would do anything to find a cure for the anti-vamp vaccine slowly starving his people into extinction. When the FBI contacts him about leading a team of hand-selected Others on a mission to reclaim the stolen antidote, Knox accepts. His new assignment places him in direct contact with Special Agent Felicia Locke, the beautiful human he’s craved since their very first meeting.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Para-Ops series?

Virna:  I started writing contemporary romantic suspense. When I was challenged by my agent to write a "big book" series to increase my chances of selling, I realized I love paranormals and editors couldn't get enough of them, so why not try writing one that combines elements of the special ops teams I love, and a whole new kind of supernatural world. One where supernatural creatures and humans must band together despite years of mistrust and war in order to finally attain peace. When I came up with the idea for the Para-Ops team, I thought of it as "special ops with fangs" or a cross between X-men and Romancing The Stone.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for the Para-Ops novels?

Virna:  I did a lot of research on the Internet, including research on North Korea, how to parachute from a plane in a high tech bat glider suit, and what kinds of special ops teams the FBI has developed. In addition, I reread many of the the paranormal books I'd already read to figure out how I could make my series different.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the book?

Virna:  I love the scene I refer to above in which the team parachutes out of a plane into North Korea. I also wrote a "Fight Club-esque"/Mixed Martial Arts/Wrestling scene in which the team participates in a fighting match.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why?

Virna:  I definitely formed an idea of Knox Devereaux, the hero of Chosen By Blood, right away. I knew I wanted him to be alpha, but also elegant, honest, and honorable to a fault. His conflict and internal flaw--the inability to balance duty with desire--formed early on, as well, and helped give my story forward momentum. Hardest and why? I'd say the hardest character to write was Wraith. She's the team's ghost, and she's a blend of prickly bitchiness and vulnerability. I wanted to do her character justice by showing the pain of her background (she wakes up in an alley one day with no memory or vital signs), but also give her enough humanity so that readers can root for her as the heroine of Book 2.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series?

Virna:  I'm contracted for two books and an option book. I'm currently writing the proposal for Dex Hunt, the team's werebeast, Book 3. Fingers crossed the first two books do well and Berkley picks up the third. I'd love to see Book 3s cover as I absolutely love the first two.

TQ:  What's next?

Virna:  Thankfully, I'm lucky to write for two wonderful houses. I write the paranormal books for Berkley, but I also get to write contemporary romantic suspense for Harlequin. My debut Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Dangerous To Her, launches in September 2011. It's about an undercover cop who investigates a judge and ends up reuniting with his college love. Then in April 2012, my new series with HQN launches. I've also already self-published several novels, under Virna DePaul and Ava Meyers, and I plan on continuing to do that.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

Virna:  Thank you so much, Sally. It's been a pleasure being with you today!

About Virna's Books

Chosen by Blood
A Para-Ops Novel 1
(May 3, 2011)
Five years after the Second Civil War ends, humans and otherborn- humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA-still struggle for peace. To ensure the continued rights of both, the FBI forms a Para-Ops team with a unique set of skills.

Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders

Chosen by Fate, A Para-Ops Novel 2, will be released in October 2011.

About Virna

Virna DePaul is a former criminal prosecutor whose debut mass market paranormal romantic suspense novel, Chosen By Blood (Book 1 in the Para-Ops series), comes out May 3, 2011 by Berkley Books but is available for pre-order now! In addition, Virna writes contemporary romantic suspense for Harlequin Romantic Suspense (Dangerous To Her, September 2011) and HQN (new series launching April 2012). Virna has also self-published several novels, including "A Vampire's Salvation," "This Magic Moment," and the craft book "Love Writing: How To Write And Publish Your Romance Novel Without Losing Your Perspective, Passion or Sanity." Visit her at

Virna's Links

Radio Interview with Virna on How She Really Does It

The Giveaway


What:   Virna says: "I'd like to give away to one random commenter a Para-Ops tote filled with a Para-Ops mug, chocolate, sunglasses and other goodies, including a copy of my vampire e-novella, A Vampire's Salvation.  Open to international participants."

How:   Leave a comment answering the following question:

What is your favorite supernatural being?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)  Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Thursday, May 19, 2011****. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

**** The giveaway closing date has been extended by one day from May 18, 2011 to May 19, 2011 due to the Blogger outage.


  1. My favorite supernatural beings are vampires. They are dangerous and sexy!!! I just got your book and I have to say you ot raving reviews on Amazon.. I cant wait t start reading it today. you can contact me at Thank you!!!!

  2. Ohh this is great. Oh right now it is a toss up between the vampires and demons. I have always loved Vampires they will always be my first love but I am finding a new found respect for demons as well. this is amazing!! I cannot wait to read it!

    I am a follower

  3. Vampires are moody when hungry. Shifters suffer from PMS. My favorite paranormal creature right now is Wraith.

    Who do I write/talk too. I want names. I want book 3.

    Thank you Virna, and Qwill.


  4. I don't have just one favorite supernatural but I love vampires cause they are always just way to HOT for their own good and sexy! I also like demons because most of the time they can do some pretty cool stuff.
    I am a follower!/butterflytats82

  5. Hello, Virna! What an awesome giveaway...
    My favorite, and I have to admit I haven't read many para/rom books, would have to be Christine Feehans, Carpaithians and her Leopard shifters...

    Thanks agian

  6. As far as supernatural beings go I'm a sucker for vampires and demons. I love the balance of sex appeal,morality, and protectiveness. Characters that are supposed to be evil, but have this sweet, loving, loyal side just turn me to mush. I have a weakness a mile wide for vampire warriors.
    I can't believe I forgot to follow you on twitter :( Ah well I've started following the Qwillery,Virna, and retweeted the giveaway.
    Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry)!/blood_crystal

  7. LOL, vampires naturally! Love the fangs!

    I am a follower.

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  8. Depends on the book or movie. I would have said vampire until the last couple of months, now I'm thinking the warm blooded shifter might have the edge.

  9. My favorite supernatural creatures are the Fey. I know they can be a lot of trouble, and sneaky, but they are so fun, too! As a side note: I went to my public library online page to request some books and Chosen By Blood was their new book choice on the front page, so congratulations!! I put in a request for it right away because it sounds like such a good book :)

    Julie Witt
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  10. Carla, Thank you ordering my book! I hope you enjoy it. I agree, vampires just have that sexy edge!! :)

    Kristen, Thanks so much! It's hard not to love demons given what Larissa Ione, Cynthia Eden, etc do for them!!! They're the exotic vampire, in my mind. LOL

    Ruth A., MY WRAITH??? I'll assume so and do a WOO-HOO!! Thank you, Ruth. Yes, she's pretty compelling, I think. :)

    Alycia, Looks like we're all in agreement so far. Vamps and demons. The ultimate bad boys who, no matter how hard they try, can't control their primal instincts!!! Whew! :)

    Tammy, I just read Feehan's Savage Nature. I agree, those leopard shifters are HOT! Thanks for stopping by!

    Faith, Hey there! Yes, it's the sweet, sugary, vulnerable side that hides underneath the evil exterior that makes me melt. Because it's just that one woman who can bring it out (in addition to family members and children, I suppose). :-) Thanks for the follow, too!!!

    Robin K, Fangs are great phallic symbols, don't you think! No wonder they're sexy! Thanks for posting!

    Anne, My were character, Dex Hunt, certainly gives Knox a run for his money. Weres are just so brutish and brooding until temporarily tamed. :)

    Julie, I love the Feys in Karen Marie Moning and Kresley Cole's books! And OMG!!! Thank you so much for telling me about your library online page. That's so thrilling to hear!! Yay!! :)

  11. Right now I'll go with Demons. They can do just about anything and shift into anything. Awesome :)
    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  12. Vivien - Demons are multi-talented. Larissa Ione even makes scales sexy! LOL

  13. Were's I think lol. This has changed over the years. As a teenager loved elves with a passion (think lord of the rings was to blame) actually to be more precis was the thought of a half elf ranger that got me.

    Now though it's the were's probably slanting towards the cat weres in particular.

  14. emmad - my brothers used to play D&D and I always thought the elf rangers were hot. :)

  15. I don't have one favorite... I absolutely love unicorns! I have never given up on my childhood dream of riding a snowy white, shining unicorn like the princesses in fairy tales. I also love vampires, they seem so sexy and intriguing. I would love to listen to someone who has literally lived through history.

  16. left a link

  17. my email is Thank you so much for this giveaway!

  18. Krystal, Unicorns! How cool. Kay Hooper wrote a book called "Summer Of The Unicorn." It's on my keeper shelf! :)

  19. I would say mermaids. We need more literature with them!
    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  20. Well, I think you can guess what my favorite paranormal being is. The vampire. There is just something about vampires thats struck a cord with me from the beginning. I'd love to read this book.
    +1 GFC: LadyVampire2u
    +1 Comment
    = 2 Entries
    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

  21. Dragons are my favorite supernatural beings!! Vampires run a close second. I can't wait to read this book it sounds great!!

    +1 comment
    +1 follow on gfc

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  22. vampire, they r my first love . and always be, . and all supernaural beings

  23. Mine would be magicians. I'd love to have magical powers. *wishful sigh*

  24. Hey Verna! I'd have to say that my favorite supernatural beings are vampires. Something about the blood sharing...

    GFC follower
    Shared on FB


    rootml1 AT hotmail DOT com

  25. My favourites are the big cat shifters. Leopard or lion I think. I am definately a cat person !
    1 for comment
    1 for GFC follow

  26. Oh this book sounds great! Thank you for the wonderful interview.
    OK I am going for the dual natured shifter and how about a wolf. I want the run and the paws, there is a lot of gardening to be done around here.

    terilhack at gmail dot com

  27. I would have to say that my fav supernatural characters are the mythological characters. They are the selkies, the dragons, the mermaids, the
    The interview was great! I cannot wait to check this read out.

    +1 comment
    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

  28. Shifters are my favorites, especially the big cats.
    GFC follower

  29. Vampiers..

    gfc follower

  30. at the moment my favorite supernatural beings are shifters :) but it's really difficult to choose.
    greetings, Ina

    inale87 at gmx dot at

  31. ohh, gorgeous cover caught my eyes! Mmm, my favourite supernatural beings are...damn, I don't know! I like sexy demons and ambiguous vampires. But as far as the character is really interesting and compelling, I'm fine with anything!

    GFC follower

    alaisgirl at libero dot it

  32. My fave are usually the weres. Mostly cat or wolf. I'd love to win this book. It really looks so good!

    I'm a follower
    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

  33. +1 twitter and GFC follower
    +1 comment
    +1 tweet:!/michelledluvsu/status/71003779486584834

    My fave supernatural beings are vampires! They are SO sexy and cool:)
    But I also adore shadow hunters and demon killers:)

    starlightgirl678 at aol dot com

  34. I like all supernatural creatures. But my favorite is still the vampire, followed by shifter.

    -tweet -!/DonnaS1/status/71063743265640448
    -blog link -

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  35. I like shifters...big felines more than werewolves.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

    GFC follower