Catherine Spangler

I have a confession to make. I’m not an organized, methodical writer. I’m also not very observant, except when I see emotional exchanges (emotions ring my chimes). I don’t ask myself (or my characters) deep probing questions, and my story ideas don’t generally come from thought-provoking articles or real-life situations. I tend to drift through life, responding more on an intuitive level rather than from a logical, mental perspective. Okay, so I’m a ditz. I admit it. I’m also a chocolate slut (saw that on a button today), an “Official Kilt Inspector” (thanks to Sandy Blair), and a coffee addict . . . See how much focus I have? I get off topic very easily *g*.

So I don’t consciously create my stories. They come to me in dreams, in thought snippets, in inspirational flashes. And they never fully form until I’m actually writing. I am an organic writer, a true “pantster”. But I know the stories come from my psyche, and they’re the product of everything I’ve ever read or seen (I believe this is true of most writers). I have an extremely active subconscious that is constantly processing information (again, we all do). But since I’m not a very externally focused person, my internal process drives my stories, which is why I can’t tell you exactly how those stories come to be.

One thing is certain about my current Sentinel series, books which are dark, edgy, and sexy paranormal romances that some people are calling “paranormal thrillers”—the underlying premise came from my life-long fascination with the psychic Edgar Cayce and with Atlantis and metaphysical subjects. In the usual, scatterbrained creative process that works for me, the idea just came to me (probably after my subconscious worked feverishly on it for a few years).

Enter the Sentinels, reincarnated Atlantians returning to Earth after thousands of years. Their sole purpose is to track down Belians—evil Atlantian entities who were responsible for the destruction of Atlantis. Reincarnating into the Earth in large numbers, Belians thrive on blood, death, terror and chaos. They have found violent venues as serial killers, drug lords, gang leaders, brutal dictators, any form of incarnate evil. The Sentinels are sworn to stop them. They have one edge—a small group of psychic humans known as conductors. These humans can link psychically with Sentinels and enhance the tracking of Belians. The linking process is called a conduction, and involves the rise of energy through the body’s spiritual chakras, creating a powerful sexual surge. Most conductions involve sex.

In TOUCHED BY FIRE, Marla Reynolds is a conductor, although she doesn’t know it. When she meets ultra-sexy Luke Paxton at a Houston bar, she’s upended by the powerful sexual attraction between them, not realizing it’s the pull of a matched Sentinel and conductor. Luke knows what it is, though, and realizes Marla might be the only person who can help him track a Belian serial bomber.

But Marla is resistant to Luke’s charms. She’s been emotionally frozen since a brutal attack on her sister eleven years ago, and knows Luke is way out of her league. She avoids him, which drives him to a desperate act to get her cooperation—kidnapping. Even then, Marla proves to be one of his biggest challenges and more than a match for him.

I can’t tell you exactly where Luke came from, except he was a minor secondary character in the first Sentinel book, Touched by Darkness, and I have a tendency to get very attached to secondary characters. And Marla . . . well, I have no idea, except I like heroines who aren’t quite perfect, maybe even a little ordinary like the rest of us. Real women who overcome real challenges, with that inner core of strength that women innately possess.

Ultimately, after the story has unfolded and I write “The End”, all I can do is thank my muse for coming through for me. And celebrate with chocolate and maybe a glass of wine . . . while new ideas drift to me.

Please visit me at http://www.catherinespangler.com to read excerpts, check out my contests, and vote for your favorite book video (there are four different ones), or at http://www.myspace.com/catherinespangler.

Happy reading!

~ Catherine

So step into the hidden world of the Sentinels, and surround yourself with the ancient magic of Atlantis, and the suspense of hunting ultimate evil—and of course, the empowerment of love.