The Stories of Rachel Series


Thanks for checking out this week’s interview. If you haven’t read our last interview already, you can check it out here.

Today we had the chance to interview paranormal romance author, Rachel Hobbs, who befriended her demons and turned them into characters under her control.

We hope you have fun reading about the smoke and sunlight relationship between her two protagonists and getting to know her thoughts about worldbuilding. We did! 💜 

1 – Hi Rachel! Thank you for agreeing to do this interview with us today. Could you introduce yourself and your book/s to our readers?

Thank you for having me here! My name’s Rachel Hobbs, and I’m the author the Stones of Power series, dark demon fantasy with a paranormal romance twist. We have Ruby, a spunky but lost young woman trying to survive in a world where she’s surrounded by monsters, and Drayvex, the all-powerful Demon Lord with everything he could ever want, but who’s ultimately empty inside. When both Ruby and Drayvex make it their mission to possess the same powerful relic for different reasons, they clash in all kinds of fun and delicious ways. Cue rivalry, psychological warfare and enough sexual tension to make the worst of enemies question their sanity.

2 – You’ve got at least two books out now. But we’d love to know … What’s your author origin story?

When I was a teenager, I suffered with two as-then undiagnosed neurological conditions: narcolepsy and parasomnia. It was a period of my life where they were at their all time worst, and they were making my life a living Hell. When I first turned to writing, it was because I needed an escape. Shadow-Stained, my debut novel, became all that and more, an outlet to pour all of my demons and my frustrations into. It was the one place that I was in full control, and even after it had served its purpose, I couldn’t let these characters and their world go. My demons now worked for me, and they weren’t getting off so easily! Since then, I’ve rewrote that creative mess from start to finish and released its sequel. Today, I’m writing the third instalment in the series and planning its last.

3 – Shadow-Stained and Soul-Strung are interesting titles. Can we ask how you came up with them?

My original title for book one was in fact Crimson Touch. It was more a placeholder, born out of a need to have a working title than anything else; but it had no real ties to the story.

Ruby and Drayvex very much sit on opposing ends of the moral compass, with Ruby being a creature of the light, and Drayvex of darkness. They end up putting their differences aside and forming a tenuous alliance to tackle a mutual enemy, and I wanted my title to reflect this messy process of two vastly different beings meeting each other in the middle. What happens when light and darkness touch? Why, they leave shadows, of course.

Soul-Strung, the second in the series, follows a similar pattern of thought. It is both representative of Ruby and Drayvex’s relationship throughout the book, and the overall tone. I like the imagery that these titles evoke when I think of them, and I’m happy that they fit their respective books well.

4 – The Stones of Power series is a paranormal dark fantasy/romance. Do you – or will you – ever write outside of these genres?

The Stones of Power series has the majority of my attention at the moment, and will probably continue to be my main focus until we reach its end. However, I highly doubt that I will stick to just one genre in my writing. I have a few different projects on back burners that I occasionally dabble with, and they are all kinds of genres and sub-genres, ranging from dark comic crime to heroic fairytale fantasy, to sci-fi. Whichever calls to me the loudest will be what gets my attention next regardless of genre, and I can only hope that some of my readers will hop on over with me! I am a big believer that that the book chooses the writer. That you will always write the story that you most need in the moment.

5 – From what we understand, the main couple in the series don’t have a fluffy relationship. What do you think makes Drayvex and Ruby’s love different from other paranormal romances?

Ruby and Drayvex aren’t just predator and prey who break the mould, they’re quite literally from different worlds. Nowhere is this more apparent than when they are on the page together, trying to understand each other but missing each other by a humorous mile. But my books are known for being quite dark and edgy, and Ruby and Drayvex’s relationship is not spared this.

For all Ruby’s faults, she is a good person. She’s your typical clumsy heroine, determined to do the right thing and protect her family at any cost. Drayvex is unapologetically demon. Chaos personified and dripping with sin, he barely qualifies as an antihero, in my opinion. Sure, he’s got the charm of the devil himself, and a knack for coming through for her in spades just when you think he’s truly burnt all his bridges. But he’s not a nice guy.

His affection for Ruby is his one redeemable quality, and Ruby is constantly reminded of this throughout the books. Their feelings for each other don’t sit well with either of them, and they’re not willing to accept them without a fight. Ruby and Drayvex take enemies to lovers to a whole new love-hate, push-pull level, I think. Their relationship is toxic, and their reluctant love for each other is the sweet poison that they just can’t seem to quit.

6 – There seems to be a fair bit of world building in the series. What would you say is the hardest part of the world building process?

When it comes to worldbuilding, there are two types of writers, I think: those that do it because they have to, and those that do it because they want to. For me, the process of creating entire fantastical worlds from the ground up has always been a joy. With this in mind, one of the problems I face is that it’s all too easy to get carried away.

Of course, fantasy is a genre where you have a fair bit of leeway when it comes to worldbuilding details. But there’s a difference between building because it’s relevant to the plot, and building just for the pure indulgence of, oh look at this. Aren’t these three-hundred-and-sixty-eight variations of demonic-alien plant life fascinating? Reigning in my inner child is often harder than it should be.

And then there’s the other kind of problem I sometimes face – keeping track of every little detail in my fantastical worlds for the sake of consistency. This is the lesser issue for me though. As my husband would tell you, I have a memory like a goldfish when it comes to everything but my writing!

7 – Outside of writing stories, you also have a blog. Can you tell us a little bit about the kind of content you include on your blog?

My blog is as sporadic and as lawless as my mind! I never know what I’m going to talk about next until I’m sitting down with a blank screen, asking myself what’s on my mind. But as well as those spontaneous passion posts, I post writing updates on a semi-regular basis, book reviews, and have also been known to post flash fiction stories. I’ve just started a series of blog posts delving into the worldbuilding behind the demon planet Vekrodus from my Stones of Power series. My website is my playground.

8 – Besides blogging, do you have any other skills, projects, or hobbies that you’d like to share with us?

Reading is a hobby all writers are expected to keep, but I’ve always been a bit of a book worm. I like to have two books on the go at all times and have recently taken out an Audible subscription. I can’t wait to get stuck in with those. As much as I try to mix up my genres, I always lean more towards fantasy. Let’s just say I read what I write, and I write what I read! I also enjoy cooking, and like to experiment with new recipes that my husband ends up being the guinea pig for. Being creative in the kitchen is a different kind of satisfying to creating at at keyboard.

9 – Not all of us knew we wanted to be authors from the beginning. What was your childhood dream job?

When I was little, I told everyone who would listen that I wanted to be a vet. I was animal mad, and would go on to be fascinated by anatomy and physiology. Having said that, writing stories has always been a passion of mine, even at a young age. I did it for fun, and it didn’t occur to me that being an author could be an actual career path until much, much later. It wasn’t until I was looking at the disjointed pieces of what would go on to be Shadow-Stained that I had that lightbulb moment. You could make it into a book, said my then-boyfriend, now husband. And boy, was that a glorious lightbulb. I’ve not looked back since!

10And last but not least, if you had to describe yourself in three words, which would you choose?

Independent. Kookie. Optimist.

Basically, I’m a dark mind with a sunshine soul. 😉

Thank you again for letting us bombard you with questions, Rachel. We especially loved your quote about books choosing their writers and how we always write the story we need the most at the time. We wish you all the best with your books in the future!

As previously mentioned, Rachel Hobbs is the author of the Stones of Power series. You can buy the first book here and the second book here via various booksellers.

You can find Rachel on Twitter and Goodreads too!

Like this interview with Rachel? Here’s our very first author interview. If you’re an author who’d like to be interviewed by us too, get in touch here!

Thank you for reading our interviews. We hope you enjoy them. Subscribe to Seriality for an email update when we post out the next one. Hope to see you next week!

~ The Seriality Team 🖤⚪

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Published by Sakinah Baksh

Author. Former Hijama (cupping) therapist. INTJ. Cancer. Neutral Good. Tea-lover. These kind of tags are everywhere. Almost everyone has them on their profiles. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. After all, these labels prove that we're not alone. They showcase the similarities between us. I'm more interested in what makes us different ... Are you?

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