As an avid reader of the paranormal, I love spending many a quiet hour enjoying a good book in the serenity of my own home. Nothing is better than to get swept away by a story that captivates the imagination and transforms you into another world filled with fantasy and romance.

As I read through my favorite authors of this genre, as well as a few authors that did not make it onto my top 100 list, I find myself pulling out the top ten tips that turn an ordinary story into an extraordinary one. I thought I’d share them with you.

TIP #1: Build a unique world. I doubt this really needs to be stated, but I feel it is important enough to do so. When I pick up a new series, I want to read something different than what has been out there in the dozens of books I’ve already read. Find a unique twist or nitch and explore it. Your readers will appreciate reading something that they’ve never read before.

TIP #2: Watch out for the names! Fantasy awakens a reader’s sense of what if, and naturally naming characters that are not your typical John and Mary aid in that endeavor. However, it is hard to get excited (or even pronounce) names such as Xxtey.

TIP #3: Clearly state your scenes so the reader can visualize them, but don’t go overboard. If you’re in a fantasy world, tell the reader the sights, sounds, smells, touch and tastes of the world. Explore all of the senses. Readers appreciate it when an author details the setting. But, don’t go overboard. If we know a paranormal creature has transparent wings, it isn’t necessary to mention it every chapter. If we’re engaged in the story, we’ll remember that detail.

TIP #4: Create characters that are unique. If you’re writing about a paranormal creature, let them be more than a humanoid with black eyes. Let their skin be filled with scales, or give them an additional eyelid that protects them from the sun. Make them different enough to warrant being a different species.

TIP #5: If your world has paranormal creatures that secretly live with humans, explain how they can go undetected for thousands of years. Don’t just write that humans don’t know about them, because humans have charted pretty much all of the Earth. Tell/show us how they have kept their existence secret.

TIP #6: If this is a romance, give the reader a reason why these two people/creatures would be interested in each other. Make sure they meet in a realistic way. I’m so tired of reading how a librarian falls in love with a paranormal creature (usually the king of all the vampires) just because she happens to walk down a street and see him. If he were a patron of the library it would make more sense.

TIP #7: Please, no more vampire kings! Most books that have fairies, vampires, or werewolves claim that the hero is the king of their species (or the alpha). I’m not saying I want to read about a maid who just happens to be a vampire, but I’m tired of all the Kings out there. When I read a book jacket and see, “King Xxtey of the vampires….” I put the book down.

TIP #8: Romance is romance, porn is porn. I don’t mind reading sensual or even erotic romances, but don’t have your hero and heroine falling in love on page six when they met on page five. Build up a relationship, or at least give the reader something more than just sweaty sheets. This is a story where you want them to read all three-hundred pages, not just the first ten.

TIP #9: Edit, edit, edit. Then edit some more. It doesn’t matter if you’re a self-published author or one that is published through a publishing house. Write what you are passionate about and have an editing team. Yes, team. Have a content editor AND a line editor. Have some proof readers. Make sure it’s the best book you can produce.

TIP #10: Covers are important. They can be expensive to produce, but it’s the first impression a reader has with your book. Make it a good one.

Regina Morris is an award winning author and an Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Author (in the categories of Paranormal, Vampire, Romantic Series and Romantic Comedy) for her suspenseful paranormal romances that make up the COLONY series. She loves paranormal romances featuring vampires, but her personal taste is suspenseful and lighthearted – not horrific and gory.

The White House, the President, and Washington D.C. are merely backdrops to support her romance stories. They offer some suspense, but her books are romances and not political thrillers.

She has lived in many different parts of the world, and grew up on military bases. Her father was career military and CIA; her grandfather worked with the Secret Service. She graduated high school in Germany and she attended the University of Texas at Austin where she received a degree in Computer Science with a minor in math. Her specialty is social media and she loves connecting with people.

She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, two children, and two puppies. She enjoys meeting with her critique writing groups and meeting other writers in the Austin area through the WLT and Austin RWA events.

Besides writing, she has past work experience as a software engineer (current job), public speaker, sales representative (#1 National Sales Rep for an online company years ago), and is an amateur portrait and sports photographer.

Please connect with her through various social media.


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