This interview is part of our Paranormal Romance Author series of interviews where we interview some of today’s top paranormal romance authors! Be sure to check out our past Paranormal Romance Author interviews to learn more about various authors working in this growing genre!
This week's interview is with S.A. Ravel, a relatively-new author of the paranormal romance genre who broke onto the scene with her novel, Alpha Unmasked in mid-2016 followed soon after by another book, Witches of the Cove: Arcane Affairs Agency. Her newest work is a sci-fi / romance series entitled, Archan's of Ailau, which she is co-writing with fellow paranormal romance author Emma Alisyn. Their first book, Warrior Awakening came out in January 2017, and its follow-up, Warrior Inflammed, came out in February of this year.
In this interview, S.A. talks about the inspiration behind her first book, her inspirations, what she learned writing her first book, her plans for returning to the characters in her first books, and much more! Enjoy and be sure to post any thoughts or questions you may have for S.A. in the comments section below. The authors we interview do check their interviews to interact with fans!
For those who are new to you and your work, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Absolutely! I live in Los Angeles now, but I’m from Eureka, California. It’s a sleepy city on Humboldt Bay, surrounded by hills and giant redwoods. Now I’m surrounded by palm trees and swimming pools.
As a teenager I simultaneously fell in love with Anne Rice and the Star Wars Expanded Universe which made for an interesting TBR stack. I was always drawn to the balance of action and romance different paranormal and science fiction authors struck in their work, and I suppose I’ve always been a bit of a nerd at heart.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer growing up?
Not at all! I’ve always had an active imagination, but I didn’t start writing until I was a teenager, and then only with partners. I was in my mid-twenties when, on the advice of a college professor, I started to consider a career as a writer. I’m a nurse by education, though I don’t practice.
Alpha Unmasked (Greenwood Shifters Book 1) is your first foray into paranormal romance. Can you tell us more about the book?
Alpha Unmasked was inspired by a real costume ball held every year in Los Angeles. I attended the ball in the Summer of 2015, and I couldn’t get the feeling of it out of my head. It was strange to be in this fantastic, ethereal environment in the middle of Downtown Los Angeles. That otherworldly feeling felt perfect for the shadow world of shifters. The kernel that became Alpha Unmasked started there, and it was definitely at the forefront of my mind while I was writing and outlining.
When you were writing Alpha Unmasked, were there any fellow authors or books which influenced you or your story?
I would say my biggest inspirations are Anne Rice and T.S. Joyce. Both authors have very distinct views of the supernatural world. Anne Rice has always been a master of creating rich supernatural worlds with a kind of opulence to them, but T.S. Joyce excels at bringing human characters that feel real into the supernatural realm.
Looking back on your first book, is there anything you learned from it which you have since applied to your other releases?
While writing Alpha Unmasked, I was surprised by how much of the story was in the subtext, the things the characters wouldn’t say to each other. So much of a character’s personality is connected to the lines they won’t cross and the words they won’t say. Dirk and Rachel’s story moved so fast they didn’t have time to explore it, but I’m playing with that more in the future.
Since releasing Alpha Unmasked, you wrote and published Witches of the Cove. What is this story about?
I’m always drawn to stories about how romantic relationships strengthen the community around them. The great love stories, the ones that we all remember, never left the world around them untouched. Watching two people fall in love changes everyone around them, sometimes for the better and sometimes not. It’s an idea that I flirted with in Alpha Unmasked and I just couldn’t leave alone when I started working on Witches of the Cove. Belmont Cove is a community in crisis, and Lia and Parker are caught in the middle of it. True love, when we’re lucky enough to find it, lingers with a person. Witches of the Cove gives a glimpse of two people who were changed by their love, but who fate separated.
Do you have any plans to continue either Alpha Unmasked or Witches of the Cove into a series?
I’m working on expanding the world of the Greenwood Shifters right now. I’m having so much fun looking at the different players in the world and the women they fall in love with. Witches of the Cove was part of a multi-author series called Arcane Affairs Agency. I love being a part of that project. I never rule anything out, but for the moment I don’t have plans to return to that world.
Both of these books are set in the paranormal romance genre but you have also delved into sci-fi / romance with Warrior Awakening and Warrior Enflamed. Can you tell us more about this series?
Warrior Awakening and Warrior Enflamed are still very much about true love and communities in peril, but on a different planet. The series evolved from caffeine fueled conversations Emma Alysin and I had in the fall of 2016. Emma and I met early on, while I was wrapping up the first draft of Alpha Unmasked, and she’s been one of my biggest supporters ever since. When she pitched the idea of us working together I couldn’t say no. I admit I was nervous making the jump to science fiction, but it was an amazing experience. Ishaiq and Davingelo, the heroes in Archans of Ailaut, are definitely Alpha men. They are powerful, proud, and fiercely protective of their mates and the people under their care.
Do you have plans to write in any other genres besides paranormal romance and sci-fi?
Like I said, I’m a nerdy girl at heart. There are lots of stories in my head, some old and some new, that I eventually want to share, but I don’t think I’ll ever live far from fantasy and science fiction. Those genres are too much of who I am as a person.
What can fans expect from you in 2017?
I’m working on another science fiction romance right now. The hero and heroine popped into my head one night and I fell in love with both of them. I can’t wait to share that world. After that, we’re going back to the world of the Greenwood Shifters. Dirk and Rachel broke a lot of rules on their way to true love and as we learned from Cyrus Greenwood, for an Alpha every choice has a price.
Can you share an excerpt from either Witches of the Cove or Alpha Unmasked with us?
An excerpt from Alpha Unmasked-
“Rachel’s heart raced in her chest. “What do I have to do with anything?”
“Humans aren’t meant to know about us, Rachel. I can’t leave while you’re in danger. I’m not sure I can leave you at all.”
She rubbed her temples to keep the growing headache at bay. “This isn’t my fight. I don’t—”
He pushed himself to his feet and knelt in front of her, resting his hands against her knees. “I know you’ve felt it too, Rachel. When we’re together you must have felt it.”
The confidence he’d had only a moment ago was completely gone from his voice. The now-familiar warmth spread from his fingers up her thighs.
“I don’t know what I feel,” she whispered as he caressed her. She could almost see the glowing warmth creeping up her leg. It had almost reached the bend of her hip now.
“There are stories,” he whispered. “Stories of shifters who find their true partner. You’d call it… a soul mate. I thought they were just stories, but now I’m not so sure.”
She shook her head to clear away the addicting vibrations his touch sent through her. “How romantic! You make it sound like it’s just hormones.”
“It’s so much more, Rachel.” He sat higher on his knees and slid his lips along her jaw. Her body melted against him. “Tell me you feel it, too.”
As he moved closer, Rachel became aware of his immense build. He loomed over her, and she felt tiny by comparison. It should have scared her, but she knew he would die before he let anyone hurt her. She wrapped her arms around him, and her breath came in ragged gasps. He was asking her to abandon everything she’d ever known, to accept not only his world, but also him. This wasn’t a one-night stand or awkward first date. This was monsters and love and nothing she’d ever thought she’d feel. It was destiny.
He held her there for the longest time. The seconds ticked by in Rachel’s mind. What happened next was her decision.
“I feel it too,” she whispered.
We want to thank S.A. for taking the time to do this interview with us. If you enjoyed this interview, then you might want to see what past interviews we have done with some of today's top paranormal romance authors!