Linda Thomas-Sundstrom is an award-winning author of both light and dark paranormal romance and urban fantasy. For this interview the teacher-by-day-writer-by-night talked about her new series and why she loves writing it. Thomas-Sundstrom said, “I write paranormal romance for Harlequin's Nocturne imprint, both full novels and novellas, and love that, but I also wanted to get back to my urban fantasy roots in between book releases from Nocturne. Some friends and I decided to turn out a new fantasy series of novellas, and mine were born. These are not short stories, but novelettes, and the fast pacing of the novella format is what I love best.”
The second novelette in the series, “Hot Holiday,” was released on Nov. 1. In "Hot Holiday," the Dark Side has put out a hit on Santa Claus and sent their secret weapon, a Recruiter named Wanda, to seal the deal. But Wanda might not be fully prepared for Santa's hot, heavenly bodyguard. With a lead-in like that, one has to wonder where the idea for a hit on the man in the red suit came from—and how he got a bodyguard. Thomas-Sundstrom said, “I'm fascinated with the concept of darkness, and our fear of things that go bump in the night. I write about those things in most of my books. For this series, I was driven to explore not only the blatant differences between dark and light, good and evil, black and white, but the grey ground in the middle, where both dark and light sometimes have to touch down and then deal with the discomfort.”
Shaking things up—unsettling both sides—is what Thomas-Sundstrom says she wants to do. She might have accomplished her goal. She added, “My new series is titled ‘Dark vs. Light,’ and the Urban Fantasy genre gives me the freedom to twist this grey zone any way I want to. Not heavy stuff, but slightly quirky. ‘Trapped in Stone’ was the first release, in September, and November 1 was the release date for ‘Hot Holiday.’”
As a writer with a day job, Thomas-Sundstrom has the tricky task of keeping her life in balance even as she strives to unsettle both the dark and light sides of the universe. When asked how she did it, she said, “I barely do [smiling]. But, I am getting better at juggling, though. I teach at two colleges, have a family, volunteer in my community, face really tight deadlines, and care for what amounts to a ranch in the country. All of which I am profoundly grateful for. By remembering how grateful I am, and managing my time as best I can, the balance seems to work most of the time. Plus, there just is no time left in this schedule to even consider a nervous breakdown.”
“Hot Holiday is delightfully entertaining all the way through . . . enchanting . . . with potent scorching desire and unique characters that are unquestionably Linda Thomas-Sundstrom's best to date.”— Single Title reviews — Amelia.
Linda Thomas-Sundstrom’s website is at www.lindathomas-sundstrom.com.
Terry Ambrose (terryambrose.com) writes mysteries and thrillers. His latest funny Hawaiian mystery, “Kauai Temptations,” was called “More delicious than a Coconut Mocha Frap” by New York Times Bestselling author Jenn McKinlay (www.jennmckinlay.com).