Knowing Nalini

I’ve been writing in my head as I garden. It’s a fine cold winter’s day here, so I’m making the most of the great weather - and using it to think about other people’s successes. That’s one of the nicest things about being a writer - you don’t just enjoy your own success, but all around you friends are having their own great moments.

I’ve titled this blog Knowing Nalini because she’s someone I’ve known for many years, and it has been a total pleasure to watch her go from success to success. I’m talking about Nalini Singh of course. I ‘met’ her at my first Romance Writers of New Zealand conference. Sitting up by the stage was a large blow-up ET-type alien labelled Nalini. When I enquired why, I was told that Nalini was there in spirit, but was in fact in Japan busy writing. Okay – even then she was obviously held in high regard. I found out more.

Her first book was a Harlequin Mills & Boon Desire. I still have it right here - a sheikh fantasy. Nalini’s ‘Desert Warrior’ dates from 2003, and I was obviously enchanted by her made-up kingdom of Zulheil and handsome sheikh Tariq, because I went on to write a couple of my own in the made-up Middle Eastern kingdom of Al Sounam. (I have two more planned for that series, and whereas they’re both started, they’re a long way from finished. Sorry.)

It seemed no time before Nalini was making big waves around the world with her Psy Changeling series. Big waves everywhere except New Zealand! At a subsequent Romance Writers Conference cocktail party, I noticed a pleasant looking man looking totally like a fish out of water. We have a few male writers in the organisation, and a few brave husbands who attend the conference too, but he wasn’t either of those. When I asked if I could help, he told me he was on a mission to meet Nalini to see if he could negotiate sales of her books in New Zealand. I felt like a fairy godmother introducing them. As luck would have it, she had her publicity manager with her. However, he would have found her without my help, and I’m not claiming anything except fortuitous timing!

The reason I’m thinking about her today is a very nice interview which popped up on morning TV here just a couple of days ago. Despite her tremendous worldwide success, she remains approachable and enthusiastic, and although she travels widely she still attends the local Auckland meetings and our national conferences when she can. Have a look/listen and enjoy.