Friday, December 10, 2010

Pens Welcome Author Virna DePaul!!

Virna DePaul is a former prosecutor whose debut paranormal romantic suspense series, The Para-Ops Novels, launches on May 3, 2011 with Book 1, Chosen By Blood, Berkley. It’s about a unique special ops team, its vampire leader, the human female he’s forbidden to love, and the mission that can save his clan.

This month, every person who pre-orders Chosen By Blood will get a free full-length e-novel by paranormal romance author Tina Folsom. See

Thank you so much to the Pens for inviting me to be a guest here today! I’m proud to be in the same writing chapter with such talented, inspiring, and kind women.

“[A]ge is not just about surviving, it's about flourishing.”

That’s a line in a Psychology Today article that discusses how women only get better with age. Of course, the line actually starts with “Old age” and I felt compelled to change it. No matter my age, I will refuse to consider myself “old.” I’m shooting for “experienced.” Well-developed. Enlightened. Seasoned.


Ah, that’s a nice one. At the end of my days, I want to be bursting with a juicy nectar that can only come from living an honorable, authentic, and bountiful life—one that can only come from trying. And I don’t mean a half-hearted, brief or intermittent kind of trying, but the kind of trying summed up here:

"Life is not a journey to the grave to arrive safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming "WOW! What a ride!" (Ian Coress)

So I guess you can say I aspire to be a ripe piece of fruit with collagen to spare, but one that’s otherwise banged up, bruised up, limping and smiling like crazy.

I turned 40 last spring and, although I’m not happy about the extra pounds that are appearing far more easily or the wrinkles that seem to show up overnight (hence the need for extra collagen), I have to say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, even though sometimes I still struggle with bouts of anxiety and insecurity. I’m more in touch with who I am, even as I constantly try to deepen that knowledge. Not everything I’ve learned about myself is positive (not even close), but for me, discovering the nuances is exciting and getting past the difficult times is empowering. It seems that as the years pass, I discover more things I like or am willing to do, things I’m not willing to put up with, or things I am capable of.

I believe my writing journey reflects my progress towards ripening, both personally and professionally.

By pursuing my passion for writing, I’ve learned some ugly things about myself, but I’ve learned to appreciate certain aspects of myself, as well. While most people see me as “nice” (I used to hate, hate, hate that term in high school), dedicated, a little quiet (and I am all those things), I am also bold, passionate, hedonistic, and funny. I’m stubborn and ambitious and driven. And yes, I am a slob, impatient, neurotic, quick-tempered, incredibly insecure, and often selfish, too.

But even so, I like myself. Because I’m trying.

The same can be said for my writing. After several setbacks submitting straight romantic suspense stories, I decided to write paranormal, a genre I read but had never even considered writing. Turns out I not only love writing it, but a publisher thought I was really good at it. Since then, I’ve tried my hand at contemporary romance, first person urban fantasy, and even erotica. I’ve enjoyed writing all of them but, best of all, I learned I can write all of them pretty darn well. That doesn’t mean I’ll ever publish in those genres, but who knows? The point is I wrote things I never thought I could because I was willing to take a chance and try something new.

My stories are generally darker, but in my contemporary romance and urban fantasy, my writing voice is notably more humorous.

And of course, all that passion I told you about? I think I express it in my life in general, but what happened when I refused to hold back and instead went balls-for-the-wall and wrote an erotic novella?

I surprised even myself. But no matter what, the essence of who I am, the good and the bad, is in whatever I write.

I plan to keep on writing, keep on improving and growing, and keep on flourishing with age. I’ll try until the ride is over and I’m not going to let anything or anyone derail me.

Virna just self-published her debut erotic novella under the pen name Ava Meyers at It’s set to move at only 99 cents. Here’s a brief description of Copping To It.

Read the excerpt at

When Claire meets undercover cop Ty Williamson, she fears revealing her inner vixen. Then she's captured by a gang of bikers that Ty has infiltrated. Ordered to have public sex with Claire, Ty just wants to get her to safety - until he sees the desire burning in her eyes. Now Ty will prove he wants all of her: the good with the bad. In fact, the badder Claire is, the better they'll be-together.

Guess what? Virna will randomly draw names of two commenters who can pick either a prize listed at OR an e-copy of her erotic novella!!!! Comment away!!!!

You can find Virna on the web at and


Rachael Herron said...

I absolutely love this post. It's gorgeous and bold, just like you, and it makes me want to emulate that! Thank you!

Gigi Pandian said...

Virna, you're completely right that life just keeps getting more interesting with age! (Although I can't quite believe you're 40.)

Virna DePaul said...

Hi Rachael and Gigi, I'm glad something in the post spoke to you both. And awww, thanks for the compliments. :-) You guys are awesome, too!

Susan said...

I can't believe you're 40 either! You look marvelous!

A few weeks ago, I began exploring adopting a policy on aging that goes beyond tolerant and accepting to enjoying the fact that I'm getting older.

Seriously, I know more. I do more. I love more fiercely.

who could ask for anything more?

Virna DePaul said...

Hi Susan! You're my hero! I'm not quite to enjoying it yet but hopefully soon! :)

Annie Solomon said...

Great post, Virna. I am many of the things you mention and writing has helped me see they aren't as bad as I thought. Best of all, aging (and a great husband who always makes me laugh at myself) has given me a sense of humor about it all. So keep on keeping on. I hope you reach your battered, worn, lusty goal!

Virna DePaul said...

LOL -- a husband with a sense of humor is key, Annie. I'm lucky that way, too. KOKO, XOXO LOL!

Lee Lopez said...

I loved it when I turned 40..Really I did. I felt like I landed and got life. I think that can reflect in writing, which I'm sure it does in yours. Suddenly, it's like things are a pit clearer.

Virna DePaul said...

Hi Lee, I'm so glad you had that experience. I hope my growth is reflected in my writing. Best of all, I think it enabled me to take a chance and start writing in the first place. Thanks for posting!

Sophie Littlefield said...

hey sugar i've got 7 years on you and i just feel more confident and capable every year. the 40s are GREAT. glad you could join us. and that cover of yours - gorgeous!!!!

Virna DePaul said...

Thanks Sophie! I hope to be more like you when I grow up. :) I love, love, love my cover. Thanks so much for having me here!!!

Tina Folsom said...

You don't look a day over 39, my dear!

Jill James said...

Virna, everything you said is so true. We have to push ourselves, see how far we can go. No one leaves this life with regrets of doing too much, just too little.

Virna DePaul said...

Ha, ha, Tina! :) Thanks for stopping by. You, too, Jill! I love the idea of being exhausted yet happy at the end. Nothing will be perfect, but that's okay, too!!! Remind me that the next time I'm agonizing over a wip!

Unknown said...

Great post Virna! You do not look 40--and older is BETTER in so many ways :) Your career path is an inspiration to everyone working toward publication. :) :)

Virna DePaul said...

Thanks, Lisa! You inspire me, as well. Thanks for inviting me to blog--I've had a great time here with the Pens!

Vanessa Kier said...

Virna,your boundless energy and generous spirit are an inspiration to all of us on the high side of 40. You go girl!

Kristin Miller said...

Great post! Can't wait to get my hands on that novella. :)

I truly hope to be in your shoes someday...and from reading this post I think those shoes are going to be red and stiletto and FABULOUS. (Do you own a pair of those, by the by? I'm a size 9.) *wink

Virna DePaul said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Vanessa and Kristin. And, Kristin, thanks for believing I could actually stay upright in a pair of stilettos!! Maybe someday! :D

Maris Bennett said...

It wasn't until I hit my 40s (and even beyond) that I became truly comfortable and confident within regarding who I am. I began not to stress over who liked me (or didn't), or what people thought of me. I became more assertive, wiser, more tolerant, and less afraid to put myself out there and stretch past my comfort zones. With age comes acceptance of ourselves (and of others, too)and the understanding of what matters (and what's insignificant). Parenting can add to a woman's maturity. I know it did with me. Great post! Thanks for putting it all so well.

Unknown said...

Aannnddd...thanks to the random generator, comment number 12 and comment nubmer 17 are winners!!!

Tina Folsom and Vanessa Kier won prizes from above. :) Virna will be in touch!

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