posted on October 7, 2015 by Suzanne Johnson

Noir Villains, Paranormal Style

by Suzanne Johnson

DarkSecrets2When I think of a “noir” villains, actor Jimmy Cagney comes to mind. A “goodfella” type, wielding a gun that he keeps hidden beneath his overcoat. He hangs out in dark alleys a lot.

When author Mina Khan issued the challenge early this year to five other authors to contribute to an anthology of new novellas that might be considered “paranormal noir,” we all decided to leave it up to each author to decide, exactly, how we might interpret that.

The result, in the new DARK SECRETS anthology, is a broad range of stories whose heroes and villains span the spectrum from faerie princes to, well, some really awful humans.

* In MARION, MISSING, author Rachel Caine’s ghost story leads her P.I. in a racially charged 1940s postwar Texas to face down one of the most awful humans you could ever hope to avoid meeting.

* In FEMME FATALE, Cynthia Eden’s world-weary human P.I. slips into the dark paranormal underworld of vampires, and quickly finds himself trying to figure out who’s the villain…or villainess.

* In DANCE WITH THE DEVIL, ole Satan takes center stage for author Megan Hart’s heroine Kathleen Murphy. Man, talk about getting in over your head!

* In my own novella, THE CONSORT, my hero goes to the realm of Faerie and then back to the back alleys of New Orleans’ French Quarter to thwart the bad guy, the Summer Prince.

* In her retelling of the Grimm fairy tale “The Goose Girl,” author Jeffe Kennedy also enters a fantasy world for HEART’S BLOOD, where her noir villain is a former woman in waiting to a princess who has ideas of herself becoming queen…at any cost.

* And in DJINN IN THE MIRROR, author Mina Khan takes the classic tale of Cinderella into the modern paranormal world with a young witch who must rely on the help of a powerful Djinn in order to escape her own evil stepfather. (Of course, the djinn has his own agenda, which has nothing to do with helping an emperiled witch.)

Other than being villains, I guess our villains have only their villainy in common. And not a single one utters that immortal Jimmy Cagney line, “You dirty rat!”

DARK SECRETS can be purchased in mass market paperback or eBook
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Suzanne Johnson

Suzanne Johnson

The Unofficial Bio:
I am ridiculously nearsighted, have a weakness for reality shows (anyone for a marathon of “Ice Road Truckers?”) and am somewhat obsessive-compulsive. Well, okay, my critique partner calls me “Rain Man.” I like to color-code anything, am obsessed with the search for the perfect daily planner, and love listening to Canadian French folk music.

The “Official” Bio
Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series from Tor Books: ROYAL STREET, (Book 1), RIVER ROAD (Book 2), ELYSIAN FIELDS (Book 3), and PIRATE’S ALLEY (Book 4). BELLE CHASSE (Book 5) will release on Nov. 8, 2016. She is also the author of a holiday short, CHRISTMAS IN DOGTOWN, a novella and collection of stories, PIRATESHIP DOWNTHE CONSORT, that was part of the Dark Secrets Paranormal Noir anthology.

Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the multiple award-winning Penton Vampire Legacy paranormal romance series: REDEMPTION, ABSOLUTION, OMEGA, and ALLEGIANCE, and a standalone spinoff, STORM FORCE; The Collectors romantic thriller series, LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP and DEADLY, CALM, AND COLD; and a paranormal digital short, CHENOIRE. Her new Wilds of the Bayou series with Montlake Romance begins with WILD MAN’S CURSE, releasing April 5, 2016, with book two (as yet untitled) following in late 2016.

A longtime New Orleans resident, Suzanne is a veteran journalist with more than fifty national awards in writing and editing nonfiction for higher education, including the Robert S. Sibley Award for the best university magazine in the U.S. and Canada, for the Rice University magazine. She currently works at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., and is plotting a return to the Gulf Coast within the next sixteen months.

Suzanne is an active member of Novelists Inc., Romance Writers of America, and is a member of the Southern Magic, Kiss of Death, Georgia Romance Writers, and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapters of RWA.

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