Jean Booth’s Origins of the Supernaturals series combines Atlantis, magic, shapeshifters and other supernatural creatures into today’s modern world.
We talked with Jean about her characters and the inspiration behind the world she’s created in Changed.
Fans and readers who enjoy paranormal romance, shapeshifters, and reading Christine Feehan (Leopard series) and Nalini Singh (the Psy/Changeling series) will enjoy the Origins of the Supernaturals series by Jean Booth.
About the book:
How much can one person sacrifice?
After drowning in the Bermuda Triangle, waking up mated to a supernatural Changer, and being thrust into an entirely different world than she’s always known, Natasha has lost her way. Separated from Raif, her soul mate, she has no one to turn to. In her quest to gain control over her new Changer abilities, she seeks out Stephan—a vampire and the most powerful supernatural creature on earth—to show her the ropes.
After leaving her family and human life behind, Natasha is determined to learn what it means to be Atlantean—which proves to be more staggering every day. Stephan guides her to embrace her Changer side and find her strength, which she’ll need when an ancient prophecy turns her into a target, and she learns there’s more to her relationship with Raif than she could have imagined.
Caught between the Atlantean race and the life she gave up, Natasha continues to make sacrifices no one should ever be asked to make.
Give us a brief overview of the world you created in the series. Origins of the Supernaturals is currently based in three locations: present-day Nevada, Florida, and Atlantis. Nevada and Florida were relatively easy for me to play pretend with because I’ve lived in both states. Taking bits of what I know with what I want for the series makes it more fun when people can recognize areas. Atlantis was a bit trickier.
Plato describes Atlantis as an island with interlocking rings; more technologically advanced than other continents of its time. I took it a step further with magic. Picture a ringed island with four smaller islands at the cardinal points, surrounded by a shimmering dome that both protects and hides the continent and all the beings under miles of ocean. In this protected land, creatures survive that we’ve never seen or heard of – creatures and plant life that have been extinct for thousands of years. They’ve lived and thrived for centuries, adapting to the ocean’s depths and the false sun depicted on the dome’s surface.
Bioluminescence enters life in a cellular fashion to change the very base of what we used to be into something strange, unique, and mysterious. Stories are told of the Surface Dwellers, nightmare beings that slaughter without magic to frighten children from ever wanting to leave the safe haven they’re trapped in. And yet, history is skewed; myths are created, and beings crave exploration. A story is told of one who would unite Atlantis with the rest of the world. The inhabitants are equally awed and fear the return, because what good could come from joining the magicless humans other than to rule them?
Describe Changed in ten words or less. Natasha learns to become one with her dual nature.
Why did you name the series Origins of the Supernaturals? I’ve read hundreds of stories of Supernaturals mixing with humans – after the coming out revelation and always wondered what that looked like. But no one talked about it. I envisioned quite the event and thought I’d tell my version of how things happened to bring about the general knowledge/acceptance of Supernaturals in our society. In order to do so, I had to create a backstory and bring us into and out of the revelation.
Your series features many types of supernatural beings. Which is your favorite and why? I’ve always been a huge fan of vampires, ever since I was a kid. This changed when I read Bitten by Kelley Armstrong. I did everything I could to soak up all I could about werewolves. Now I’m not sure what my favorite is. They have different characteristics, but I think that at the end of the day, I’d like to be a shapeshifter. Not just a wolf, but a true Changer. One that could transform into anything. Want to fly? Be a bird. Want to explore the depths of the ocean? Adapt and Change. The possibilities are mind-boggling. But there’s still that mystery that is so intriguing about vampires.
Why did you use Atlantis in the series? I’ve always had a fascination with the myth and mystery of Atlantis. There had to have been a continent that sank, but why? What were the people like? What kind of mischief did they get into that caused their demise? Scientists have said that the ocean takes up about 71% of Earth’s space, yet 95% of that is completely unexplored (NOAA). It is entirely plausible that continent(s) and sentient creatures exist there and we just can’t fathom how or why – yet. With the limited information provided on Atlantis and Plato’s writings, I thought that would be an excellent tie-in to the questions surrounding the Supernaturals.
What authors have influenced you? So many in different ways. Alexander Dumas is my favorite – his writing of plots, patience, and the culmination of things put in place opened my mind to the possibilities of what I could do as a person. Steve Alten showed me how much I appreciate fact in fiction to make the fiction actually plausible. And then there are my Supernatural writers: Laurel K Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, Christine Feehan, Carrie Vaughn, Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Sherrilyn Kenyon, J.R. Ward, and I’m sure there are others but those are at the top. Each of them creates intricate stories that are as plausible as they are not. Some days I’d like to live in those worlds. And I hope that people read my work wanting that escape with a desire to live in them as well.
What do you feel is the most important step for an author when preparing to start a new writing project? Carve out time to actually write. Find out what works for you as a writer and make time for it. Have everything you need on hand, so you won’t procrastinate and simply put words on paper. For me, I have to have three bottles of water and a bag of M&Ms and a minimum of three hours to write without interruptions. It can be super difficult, but if writing is important to you, you have to make time for it.
You wrote an award-winning zombie novel, Zombie War. That genre was a big departure from this series. Do you have plans to ever revisit that world, or write another horror novel? It wasn’t as big of a departure as you’d think. While zombies are the only creatures talked about in that book, it’s still realistically paranormal. And for me, sex and violence are just opposites of the same coin. If you can write about the brutal decapitation of a body, blood spurting and eviscerations, then you should be able to counter that brutality with love, intimacy, and sex.
Zombie War 2 is in the works, but on the back burner while I finish the Origins series. It wasn’t planned, but after talking to a lot of people who’d like to see another installment, I have a decent outline and am excited to rejoin Sarah and see what happens next. I am also working on a supernatural serial killer story. I find that working on multiple books at once helps to release tension. Feel like being a bit mushy – Origins; need to release some pent-up anger – serial killer; feeling fun/campy/like being scared – Zombies. There was actually a period where I was so engrossed in writing Zombie War that I didn’t realize six hours had passed or that my husband had come home. He walked into my office and scared me with a simple hello.
Who is your favorite character in any of your books and why? Victoria in the Origins books. She wasn’t meant to be what she became. For me, she’s the most personal, the one character that truly understands me. And she started out as a minor, unimportant, basically throw-away character. But she’s so much more than that.
Name one fact about yourself that will surprise people you know. I’m terribly shy. Most of my friends met me under the guise of “work Jean,” where I didn’t have to be personal, open, or whatever. And once the friendship was there, I wasn’t shy or awkward. But there are a few who have seen me speak in public, or at a party before I recognize anyone, and they’re always surprised at how shy I truly am.
What is next in the series? Created is next. It’s the beginning of Victoria’s story and how she became a created vampire. But she has a secret that only Stephan knows, a secret she’s worked hard at keeping for over four hundred years.
Read the First Two Chapters of Changed
Available Formats & Purchasing Information
Hardcover, 978-1-64397-042-4, $23.95
Trade Softcover, 978-1-948540-95-7, $13.95
Ebook, 978-1-948540-96-4, $7.99
Booksellers, Librarians, and Retailers can purchase copies though Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Bertrams, and Overdrive.
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About the Author:
Jean Booth resides in Nevada with her husband and cats. When she’s not out risking her neck on the back of her motorcycle, she enjoys the calmer activities of reading, gardening, and spending time with her friends and family. She worked in health care for most of her adult life before deciding to finally share the stories that have been living in her head.
In addition to the Origins of the Supernaturals series, she is the author of the award-winning Zombie War, which received the 2015 USA Best Book Awards for Fiction: Horror.