Crossing Into Other Realms with Anna DeStefano + Giveaway

I was in the midst of writing about dream worlds that cross back and forth between sleeping and waking reality, and the psychic twins struggling to master their power to control both realms, when it struck me. Once again, characters in my books, this time Dark Legacy and Secret Legacy, were taking fantastical journeys that paralleled my real-life ones.

Sarah and Maddie Temple are forced to give up their “every day,” to survive the psychic battlefield their minds have become. Its quickly apparent that owning and controlling and perfecting their otherworldly talents is the only way they, their lovers and the lost child who belongs with them will survive. Denying what they see and learn in their dreams means disaster to both them and the realm of other psychic families being targeted by ruthless government scientists.

My situation as I branched out from my classic romance roots to write what’s evolved into psychic fantasy is much more pedestrian. I wanted to create more into my stories: more at stake, more deeply flawed characters, more than the “here and now” I’d shared with my readers so far. I started to write a thriller, and all the pent-up fascination with dream theory and parapsychology and metaphysics that I’d loved since I was a kid but never embraced on the page came pouring out. Denying what I was seeing wasn’t an option. It would have meant letting down not just my stories, but the creativity and the expectations of everyone who’d put so much faith in me.

So I crossed over fully into The Psychic Realm, the contemporary fantasy world I’ve created for the Legacy series. With the support of my agent and editor and publisher, who all said, “just write it and we’ll make something amazing happen with what you create,” I let go of what was familiar and expected, and leapt blindly into a place I’d never been but had always dreamed of conquering. Fast-forward three years later, and the second book in my series, Secret Legacy, is debuting as sci-fi/fantasy—a genre I was obsessed with as a kid but never thought I’d find a home in as a fiction writer.

It’s not an easy ride, for either my psychic twins or us writers, risking everything for a chance that comes with no guarantee. It’s a bumpy road of trial and error and discovery, because we don’t know where we’re going—all we know is that we can no longer stay where we are. We can’t give up this shot to do and be more.

Writing cross-genre doesn’t mean your readers from one “segment” of your writing world will automatically love what you’re doing in another. Heck, I don’t love everything that came to be in my first book. But I’m totally hooked on writing outside the lines and discovering without a safety net, and believing that every new thing that I attempt is another chance to get it right. And Secret Legacy, especially how the twins’ journeys in the first two books in this series are resolved in its final chapters, is by far the best ending I’ve ever crafted. Everything I love about classic romance and contemporary fantasy is right there in those priceless moments, coming together in a powerful way that wouldn’t have been possible with a more mainstream, “safe” project. And just think how easy it would have been for me to never have stepped into the scary dream that made all this possible.

The Legacy series is about family, like all my classic romances are. Yes, there are twins, and we share their struggle to love and protect each other despite their troubled relationship. But more than that, we explore the baggage so many of us carry around from our formative years, and how we have to deal with it and conquer our lingering fear of it and release that time, before we can evolve beyond the damaged places that still claim too much. The suspense/thriller elements of Dark Legacy and Secret Legacy are at times in your face, then in other scenes they’re so subtle you’re not quite certain why you’re on edge. It’s not a comfortable ride, and that challenge, though perhaps not the most marketable approach to take, is an intentional choice—these kinds of stories are meant to keep us off balance.

The scientific basis for the dream theory I use, though I’ll go into more detail about it and other metaphysical and parapsychological principles in future Legacy novels, isn’t the main focus of my first two novels. It’s a backdrop for the human drama that it fires into crisis. And the fantasy elements I’ve chosen…high fantasy is what hard-core readers love, but that’s not what I’ve written, either. It wouldn’t become that, no matter how hard I tried. My journey through this realm was determined to be about creating a near-there contemporary world where bizarre and eerily powerful things happen. Things that are real enough, you could almost imagine them happening to someone in your life, or even to you. Not exactly what readers expect from fantasy, right?

Even the romance I love to write became an outside-the-box adventure with these novels. I’m giving you flawed characters in this series. People who aren’t necessarily likable or even heroic when you first meet them. But if you dig these kinds of stories, I suspect you’ll feel for them and empathize with their frailty and the fundamental way we all find ourselves broken at times. And I’ve done everything within my power as a writer to make sure you’ll be rooting for them every step of the way. How Sarah and Richard and Maddie and Jarred learn to love each other is nothing short of heartbreaking for me. My hope is that you find their journeys just as mesmerizing.

Yes, it’s been a risky venture. But I wouldn’t have missed this ride for the world. I’m daily amazed by the readers I hear from who are looking for something new and different and unusual (even as I hear from those who wished I’d taken a safer route). A lot of people want something bigger, it seems, just like me. Something not as safe and familiar and comfortable as all the rest. Something that stretches its wings and flies in the face of all we know and expect, taking us on the fantasy ride of our lives.

So my question for you today, both readers and writers, is what dreams do you straddle? What amazing “other” realms do you want to explore, while you keep your base in the here and now? How have you accepted your calling to live outside the boundaries of the “real” world you know, and dream into being something that would never be without your passion for more? And finally, since we’re talking about crossing genres and realms today, tell us about the authors you love who’ve gotten this sort of thing right. What cross-genre, leaving the everyday behind, novels have captured your imagination and made it soar?

Giveaway: One lucky commetner will be selected at random to win the Legacy series in the format of her choice.


Anna DeStefano is the best selling author of classic romance and contemporary psychic fantasy for Dorchester Publishing. She’s won and finaled in numerous national contests, including twice winning RTBookClub’s Reviewer’s Choice Award. She speaks and blogs regulary about both her writing experience and the fascination with metaphysics and paraspychology that led her to create her Legacy Series’ contemporary psychic world. Join Anna at her blog each week for Dream Theory and Psychic Realm updates, as well as her running series on How We Write Wednesdays (HoWW) and the writing industry favorite Publishing Isn’t for Sissies (PIFS).

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21 Responses to Crossing Into Other Realms with Anna DeStefano + Giveaway

  1. Barbara says:

    Love books about family, twins, special bonds, romance…..Can’t wait to read this one! Thanks for the chance!

  2. Stacia Russell says:

    I have only recently discovered Anna’s books, and am so excited about reading this one. Please keep the wonderful books coming! Thank you! 🙂

  3. MARY BRANHAM says:

    I love your books so I an anxious to read these new ones . Sounds exciting. Love books about twins anyway.
    So good luck with your new series.

  4. Thanks for stopping by everyone, and for the lovely enthusiasm for the second book in this exciting series!

    I hope you enjoy reading Sarah’s adventure as much as I enjoyed writing it ;o)

    Sweet Dreams!

    Anna

  5. Sharon S. says:

    Would love to win this book. I enjoy your work!

  6. Rose Angel says:

    I have always wanted to write about the control of mundane magic power (the ability to empower small subtle changes) and the consequences of public exposure, peer pressure and what it does to an everyday family’s life.

    Your books sound great and I am going to look for an audio version of them (I cannot hold a book to read.).

    • Allison Carroll, Editorial and Web Coordinator says:

      Hi Rose,
      Dark Legacy is currently available in audio book ( http://dorchesterpub.com/store/product.aspx?ProductID=1712 ) and the sequel, Secret Legacy, will be out in audio book later this month.

      In fact, if you want to listen to the first chapter of Dark Legacy FREE, click here:
      [audio src="http://www.darkdesiresaudio.com/sounds/DarkLegacyChapt1.mp3" /]

      Happy Listening!
      Allison

  7. Tewanda says:

    Both books look great. Can’t wait to read.

  8. Estella Kissell says:

    Love stories about family.

  9. Linda says:

    Both books look great. Can’t wait to read.

  10. Erika Galpin says:

    I love the idea of crossing sci-fi with another genre. Sci-fi is one of the few genres left that haven’t been explored by writers. Your books sound awesome. I love that you are trying something different. Congrats on your release, Anna 🙂

    • Allison Carroll, Editorial and Web Coordinator says:

      Congrats Erika! You’ve been randomly selected as the winner of the Legacy series giveaway! Please email contests@dorchesterpub.com and let me know which format (trade paperback or e-book) you prefer and, in the case of the paperback, the shipping address you would like your prize to be sent to.
      Cheers,
      Allison Carroll
      Editorial and Web Coordinator

  11. Linda B says:

    I’VE KNOWN ABOUT ANNA FOR A COUPLE YEARS, BUT SINCE I MARRIED SCROOGE IT’S VERY HARD TO BUY ANYTHING! LOL

  12. Janice Abel says:

    Justl istened first chapter of Dark Legacy – a thriller- Dream curves that took me to new highs. Liked the crisp language. Die – etc. Good back ground of Prologue. Yes, thanks and you can’t help but want more.

  13. vesta44 says:

    I’ve been reading science fiction/fantasy for about 40 years now (I’m 57) and have branched out into the paranormal/supernatural romances in just the last 8 years or so. I hadn’t heard of these books until now, but I’m intrigued by the concept behind them and very interested in reading them. Will have to see if they’re available for my Nook as I just don’t have room for any more physical books.

  14. Janice, I just listened to it, too, for the first time. Shiver. It’s hard, when it’s your words, to fall into the story. But eventually, it got me ;o) Pretty cool! I’m thrilled you liked it, too!

    Allison, thanks for sharing the snippet. I’ll be sure to put it out there in social media for others to trie…

  15. Vesta, they are on Nook. I had coffee with a friend on Sunday who downloaded Secret Legacy onto her Nook right in front of me. Now that’s a boo-rattling moment ;o) If you get yourself a copy, please let me kow what you think!

    Everyone else, thanks again for the enthusiasm. As you can tell, I’m super excited about the aventure of bringing this “near-there” paranormal to life. Be sure to keep in touch ;o)

  16. susan leech says:

    This sounds so good and I would love to be the lucky commenter who wins. I have read a few books of Anna’a and they are good…no they are…great. susan Leech garysue@dejazzd.com

  17. Linda B says:

    HAPPY MONDAY ALL AND STILL TRYING TO WIN.

  18. Charlotte Zimmerman says:

    Hi Anna,
    I can’t wait to read this book. I have always had an interest in anything Physic,I believe in it and really research any books or papers I can find on the subject,that is one of the reasons I particularly love your writing!

  19. Allison Carroll, Editorial and Web Coordinator says:

    I’m here to announce the winner of the Legacy series giveaway. Congrats to Erika Galpin! You’ve been randomly selected to receive a free copy of both Dark Legacy and Secret Legacy. Please email contests@dorchesterpub.com and let me know which format (trade paperback or e-book) you prefer and, in the case of the paperback, the shipping address you would like your prize to be sent to.
    Cheers,
    Allison Carroll
    Editorial and Web Coordinator

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