In my newest release, Kiss of Snow (Berkley), the protagonists, Hawke and Sienna, appear utterly wrong for each other at first glance. Hawke is much older, the alpha of the largest changeling wolf pack in the country and a man marked by painful emotional scars caused by the Psy (a race of psychic people who have been conditioned to feel no emotion), while Sienna is not only a young woman but a powerful Psy struggling with the escalating strength of a deadly power that could cost her everything. Each time they meet, the two incite frustration, anger, and pain in one another
And yet the chemistry between them, both physical and emotional, is beyond explosive. They are so very right for each other where it counts—in the heart, in the soul—that everything else falls by the wayside. That doesn't mean their journey is in any way easy, but their eventual destination makes all the heartache, oh, so worth it. Because two people who arouse such violent emotions in one another also carry within them the capacity to arouse joy of the same heartbreaking depth.
Writing their story, in spite of the frustration they caused me on many an occasion, as they fought and tangled and teased one another with the knowledge of two people who see through each other to the core, stripping away secrets and exposing vulnerabilities, gave me the same wild joy. I love walking into a new world and exploring its crooks and crannies, love being surprised when I find hidden facets, or unearth mysteries. But most of all, I love watching my characters grow and develop from page to page, book to book.
With Hawke and Sienna, that development, that emotional journey, has encompassed 10 books. We've watched Sienna grow from a teenager desperately trying to find a foothold in an unfamiliar world unlike anything she'd ever before known, to a strong, capable young woman who knows exactly what she wants out of life. Hawke, too, has changed, the rage that was so apparent in him in the very first book tempered by the experiences he's had over the series to date—specifically his intense reaction to Sienna—until he is willing and able to make himself vulnerable on a level that doesn't come easy to an alpha wolf.
I've always been a traveler, with plans to explore every wild road and every wonder in our world. But this journey I take with my characters, it's the best one of them all. Writing is so very right for me that even when it's hard, it's still the only thing I can imagine doing, the only thing I want to be doing. As with Hawke and Sienna and their hard-fought journey to one another, every single step is worth it.
Nalini Singh is the New York Times bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter paranormal romance series.