Elle McKay writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with feisty heroines and dark heroes.  Not the kind of guy your mother warned you about and your father bought a shotgun for.  Not the guy on the CIA’s Most Wanted List.

These are the men only the Vatican and the crazy lady down the street fear.  Always trust the crazy lady.

Creature Feature: Succubi, Incubi and Their Lusty Cousins


Stories of demons who steal a person’s soul with their kiss have been around for millennia, passed down by medieval monks and African shamans alike. In modern times, we know them as succubi or incubi for the males. Scientists may chalk these myths up to sleep disorders, but for many these demons are alive between the pages of their favorite books. So where did these creatures come from and where are they going?

Since I’ve been MIA due to penning my own succubus story with a decided twist, I’ll share a little of my research with you. Plus a little taste of “Kiss of Life and Death.” (more…)

Do Your Dragons Migrate?: Seasonality in Paranormal and Fantasy Fiction

dragons in flight2

I hate winter, especially since I moved to northern Virginia where freezing temps and precipitation rarely meet. While the rest of the northeast is getting blanketed with the fluffy white stuff, we’ve had nothing but a few flakes, plenty of sleet, and incessant rain. The kind that freezes not just the roads but the microscopic crevices in your bones and the cracks in your soul until you feel like you may never get warm again.  While impatiently waiting for spring, I retreat inside to write, catch up on my favorite TV series, bicker with my family, and even do a little house cleaning. Which leaves my mind to wander into this article: how do the seasons effect my beasties and their more human neighboring characters? (more…)

Creating Believers Can Lead to Bestsellers in Any Season

With another Christmas over, I sit staring up at the tree, dreading taking it down in a few days. Especially since it will likely be the last year my oldest believes in Santa. And once one falls off the Polar Express, the other will be sure to follow. But there is one glimmer of hope standing between my family and years of jaded, predictable, cheerless yules.

Elf on the ShelfWhen my daughter was three, we introduced a new family tradition and welcomed our very own Elf, which we named Jingle Frosty-bottom. Morning after morning through Christmas eve, she would race to find where the mischievous elf was hiding—in the branches of the Christmas tree, at the end of a long trail of candy wrappers, or on the proverbial shelf watching out for naughty behavior. She still jumped out of bed to look for Jingle this year at nine-years-old, despite the fact that our Elf on the Shelf is more kitschy that realistic.

So what would make a kid raised with 3D computer animation think this stuffed bit of felt and plastic that can’t even sit up on its own is real? Hint: it’s the same reason kids and adults alike waited in bookstores until midnight for each new Harry Potter release. (more…)

Using Chain Reactions in Novel Plotting: The Perception Effect

Books Falling Like Dominoes

I heard an anecdote by an Amish farmer at a conference last week that instantly made me think of novel plotting. While not the goal of his presentation, it certainly inspired this writer’s imagination and made me consider how I could apply such subtle chain reactions to Amish Wavingmy writing.

A local citizen outside of the Amish community recently complained to the speaker that the Amish aren’t as friendly as they once were. The drivers in their buggies don’t even wave anymore when they pass. Relieved to hear the reason, the farmer quickly set his acquaintance straight. The local Amish no longer wave to Ohio motorists as a safety precaution. So many drivers are talking on their cell phones or into earpieces that the Amish are afraid to become another distraction. A sudden movement , such as a hand wave, in a distracted driver’s peripheral vision could result in their car wrapped around a tree.

Now, some of you may think this Amish community is being a tad over-cautious, particularly if you’re one of the multi-taskers the farmer referred to, but safety statistics aren’t important. I’m not concerned with facts no matter how well documented. Perception is the key here. Regardless of whether it is sensible, perception drives people’s choices in reality and novels. (more…)

Banishing the Monster of Author Envy

‘Tis the season to give thanks, and I would like to give thanks to fellow Virginia Romance Writer Adriana Anders for not only giving me the idea for this post, but giving me some much needed perspective.  Last night, Adriana announced she got an agent, and not just any agent, but her dream agent. As someoGodzillane who recently embarked on the great agent search and hasn’t gotten that call yet, the green-eyed monster should be rampaging around my brain while I devour a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

I’ll admit the green guy did raise his head and sniff around for a sec.  I’m  only human after all. But the important thing is he didn’t linger. So what gives? (more…)