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Author Interview | Meet author @TDIPaulD, purveyor of the dark and fantastic #pnr #paranormal #books

I’m super excited because today I have an author I recently met featured on N. N. Light’s Book Heaven. As many of you know, I’m a huge paranormal romance reader. I’ve read over 10,000 paranormal romance books over the years but Paul’s book is the first one I’ve read that is truly original. Trust me, you’ll want to read this book. Anyway, I liked it so much, I asked Paul to sit down with me for an interview and he graciously accepted. So, grab your favorite beverage and read on. Paul, take it away:

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

Harlan Ellison and Michael Moorcock. Ellison for his use of the language and bringing a strange gritty realism to absurd or horrible situations. Moorcock for the audacity of just how bombastic his stories are, all presented in straightforward prose, and the insanity of having dozens of novels interconnect in a massive singular concept.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

This is easy. The lead couple of Enrique and Elkie would be Diego Luna and Chloë Grace Moretz. Tom Hiddleston would be amazing as the demon Tzazin. I always saw Father Clancy Ebbs played by Danny Bruno, who isn’t a big name, but he’s spot on.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

I use names with multiple hidden meanings. These might never be known to the reader, but in my process, they’re important. Some are Easter eggs or inside jokes, and many have some sort of obscure reference. For Riftsiders (traditionally called demons), their names use regional sounds, drawing from different cultures they’ve passed through.

Have you always liked to write?

Absolutely. I had notebooks filled with writing from elementary school. I completed a high fantasy novel before graduating High School. Once I got my hands on a word processor, I had stacks of 5.25” disks filled with stories.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I’ve done ghostwriting, where I get handed a ton of info, from character bios to setting information, followed by a plot outline with chapter by chapter breakdown. This can be over 20,000 words. I’ve continued working that way. People don’t realize that plotters are actually more spontaneous than pantsers. When I’m writing an outline, if a character suddenly takes a left turn I didn’t expect, it’s really just a few minutes and a flurry of 3x5 cards to totally revamp a story. If you’re writing it as you go along, backing up six chapters to make a new development make sense is a ton of work. Plotting flows way more easily, as long as you truly know your characters like your best friends. Throwing out a few sentence outline is painless compared to throwing out 6,000 words of prose.

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I just sent the revised and edited version of the second book in the series, Riftsiders: Identity Theft, back to my agent editor. The gang is back in action with some wild new friends, new enemies and new mysteries. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be wrapping that up and tending to the current release of Riftsiders: Unlawful Possession. After that, I have manuscripts at various stages, including Riftsiders 3, a feathered dragon fantasy and a few other paranormal manuscripts. I’ll have some discussions with my agent to determine where the priorities lie.

Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

Aside from a few moving violations, not really. But, right after 9/11, I approached a traffic stop while heading to play with my band in a carful of gear. The instrument I play is a Zendrum, which kind of looks like an alien guitar with buttons instead of strings, and you tap it to trigger percussion and drums. Unfortunately, a Zendrum case looks a lot like it holds a shotgun. The police were carefully checking every car, and I had a hatchback clearly full of wires and unidentifiable equipment. And the shotgun case. They pulled me over. I had to open absolutely everything, unplugging carefully arranged patch cords and cables as dozens of other cars went by, just to prove I wasn’t building a bomb. We started our show late that night.

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

Tea. Loose leaf tea. No bags. When writing, I will go through 4-6 large mugs of loose leaf tea daily, mostly Lapsang Souchong, which smells like burning rope.

What is your biggest fear?

I have an overwhelming fear of water. I was with my daughter at a beach last year. It took her fifteen minutes to get me to walk into the ocean halfway up my calves before I couldn’t take it any more. A bunch of families on the beach cheered, because they saw what a trial it was for me.

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

This interview isn’t long enough. The forefront of my injury list is from when the front wheel of my road race bike got caught in an incorrectly installed storm drain and I went over the handlebars at over 20 MPH, my face skidding on the road. I had to be heli-lifted to a hospital for facial reconstruction. I’ve tried twice since, but I can’t bring myself to cycle again.

What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

I was a nerd. My room was divided into the planets from Star Wars, with dioramas made from all (and I mean all) of the action figures. To actually play with, Micronauts were the absolute coolest action figures around. I read a lot, buying used books for fifty cents so I could save up my lunch money and go through one or two novels a week.

Thank you, Paul, for the insightful interview. I feel like we got to know each other better. Readers, scroll down to read more about Paul’s new release…

Title Riftsiders: Unlawful Possession

Author Paul A. DeStefano

Genre Paranormal Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Book Blurb

Enrique Marin wants a quiet life after the death of his wife. Just one problem stands in the way—he's possessed by the misanthropic English demon, Tzazin. A violent night under demonic influence accidentally leads Enrique to love, and it's anything but quiet. Shy, autistic yoga instructor Elle thought allowing herself to be possessed by the very-not-shy sex demon Key would help her find love. She finds Enrique, but she didn't count on coping with the anti-demon bigotry of society. Fate—and AA meetings for the possessed—brings them together, but hostile forces, demonic and human, fight to keep them apart. It might cost them everything to keep their love alive.


“Tell us a little about yours,” Dante said and took a slow sip of his coffee.

Enrique slumped backward in the seat, looking to the ceiling with a chuckle.

“Yes,” taunted the lilting British accent only Enrique heard. “Do tell about me.”

“Tzazin,” Enrique said, staring into his coffee. “My demon is Tzazin Auropolus. I call him Taz. He, well, he’s kind of like me in that sometimes he just doesn’t know when to shut up. When I look at my reflection, I can see him. Always following me just behind my shoulder. Glass reflection doesn’t always work. Sometimes it does, and he insists it’s due to how natural or man-made the material is. The science of the other side doesn’t always make sense to me.”

“Now tell them how startlingly handsome I am,” Taz whispered.

“He looks like a man with gray sandpaper skin. And his eyes are this weird sickly off-yellow.”

“That’s not even slightly flattering,” Taz complained.

“But he’s got some sort of knowledge tap. It’s like having a running connection to an internet search engine.”

“I’m an archivist, you human nimrod. Show some respect.”

“Oh, he’s telling me right now I should tell you he’s an archivist.”

“And when Taz pilots?” Dante asked.

“When Taz pilots, I blackout. And end up in jail. I was told I can be out on probation if I come here to learn to control him.”

“You make that sound so one-sided,” Taz said with a snicker. “Whose fingerprints were there? Certainly not mine.”

Enrique set his jaw and placed his coffee cup on the floor.

“Yo, ain’t no one told me we got a newbie.”

Enrique turned to see a young girl with dreadlocks step into the room biting into an apple and letting the juice flow down her chin.

“Enrique, the rude teen girl is my niece, Yesania,” Dante said with a slight smile and a gesture. “You bring enough for everyone?”

“You got your doughnuts,” Yesania pointed. “But the star pitcher on the softball team has to keep in shape. Not poisoning my body with more of that shit than I have to. Oh, sorry for the language, Father. No offense. Hey, Elle.”

Elle looked up and brushed her long hair aside, smiling with a wave.

“None taken,” Ebbs said, reaching for another doughnut. “Especially since that means more for us who know what good food is.”

Yesania pulled out a chair, and it screeched across the floor. She sat directly in front of Enrique, throwing her hoodie to the ground and pushing dreadlocks from her face. She leaned forward and stared into Enrique’s eyes. “Go ahead. Show me who you got.”

“Yesania,” Dante said, putting his hand on her shoulder to ease her away.

“No, Unc,” she snapped, shrugging him off. “Show and tell. You ain’t here for some small-time imp. Show me.”

“You don’t want that.” Enrique slid his chair back.

“She wants it,” Taz said, clearly with a grin Enrique felt in the back of his mind.

“She doesn’t want that,” Enrique said.

“You show me yours; I’ll show you mine,” Yesania said in a teasing schoolgirl voice. “Lookie.”

Yesania held out her palm and blew across it as if blowing flower petals from her hand. The room filled with the smell of lilacs. A sparkling yellow dust scattered from her empty hand and hung in the air in a vaguely feminine shape that bowed politely.

“Meet Cali,” Yesania announced.

Enrique reached his hand out, curious. The sparkling dust extended what would be a hand and settled on his. It felt mildly electric and warm.

“Caliosandra,” the dust shape whispered in introduction, appearing to grow less dense.

Yesania panted and watched the dust form fall, shimmering specks vanishing before touching the floor.

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)

Author Biography

Paul A. DeStefano and his wife live on Long Island, NY, with a strange menagerie that includes a dog, a few cats, sugar gliders, a hedgehog, a bearded dragon, various fish, and several grown children that have not left.

After graduating Hofstra University with a split degree of English and Acting, he worked in the boardgaming and roleplaying industry for decades, including officially licensed projects for Star Trek and Lord of the Rings. He did not win the Origins Award for Best Miniatures Rules in 2004 and has totally forgotten that bitter defeat. When not actually playing and working on games, he is sometimes found touring internationally, giving lectures on worldbuilding and character design.

Being a professional full-time blacksmith for several years made him realize how much less painful it was to go back to writing. He’s been lucky enough to hold the Top Humor Writer badge at Medium multiple times, and has had his work narrated by James Cosmo (Lord Mormont from Game of Thrones) on multimillion dollar Kickstarter projects.

It is also worth noting that having never taken any lessons in bassoon, he still cannot play one.

Social Media Links

Twitter @TDIPaulD

Facebook: Paul D’s Tainted Dragon Inn

Insta: TaintedDragonInn


Unknown member
May 03, 2022

I enjoyed the interview, thanks for sharing it with me~


Barbara Bettis
May 03, 2022

Hi Paul. I did take lessons in Bassoon--and I still can't play one either! You have a fascinating life story. Best wishes on your latest book.


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
May 02, 2022

Thank you, Paul, for the wonderful interview. I thoroughly enjoyed your book and getting to know you better.

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