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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Interview & Contest with Author Elisabeth Naughton

Author Elisabeth Naughton used to be a junior-high science teacher, now she writes sexy romantic adventure and paranormal novels full time from her home in western Oregon.

I was lucky enough to read the second book in Elisabeth's Eternal Guardians series back in Summer and I have to admit that I really enjoyed it. Of course after reading Entwined, Marked went on my wishlist. I downloaded it when I got my Kindle and hope to read it very soon.

Enjoy the interview and check out the contest! Elisabeth is giving away one of her books to one lucky person!


Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your Eternal Guardians Series?

Elisabeth – Thanks so much for inviting me to be here! I love talking about my Eternal Guardians so this question isn’t a hard one ;)

The Eternal Guardians are seven warriors descended from the seven strongest heroes in Greek mythology (Hercules, Odysseus, Achilles, Jason, Theseus, Perseus & Bellerephone). They protect not only their realm (composed of the offspring of the heroes) but the human realm as well from daemons breaking free of the Underworld, hell-bent on destruction.

Amber - How did you come up with the idea for the series? Was it a long process or did the idea just come to you?

Elisabeth – The idea for MARKED, book one in the series, came to me as a “what if?” question. I knew I wanted to write something about Greek mythology. I knew I wanted to write something about a woman who was marked to save a race she didn’t know existed. And I knew I wanted the warrior who was sent to find her to fall for her, even though he knew bringing her back to his world would condemn her to death. From there, ideas blossomed, and when I sat down to write the book, threads and angles I never planned or saw coming hit me from all sides. The series erupted from that point.

Amber - The series has a lot to do with Ancient Greek. Is this a subject you already knew a lot about? or did you have to do some research for the series?

Elisabeth – I’ve always been fascinated with Ancient Greece. When I was writing STOLEN FURY, my debut release, I did so much research on Greek mythology that I knew I had to write a series somehow linked to the ancient myths. But no, I don’t know all there is to know about Ancient Greece. (I wish!) Every day I learn something new, which is a good thing. I love research!

Amber - Why the paranormal genre?

Elisabeth – Well, I will honestly say I never planned to write a paranormal series. I started off in Romantic Suspense (which I still love and write in) and I’ve dabbled in contemporary romance (which is also fun). When I had the idea for the Eternal Guardians I asked my agent if she thought I should give it a go. She said sure (I wasn’t under contract at the time), I started writing. The book flowed from there and when we finally submitted it, it sold in less than two weeks. No one was more surprised than me.

Amber - Will there be more books in the Eternal Guardians series? Are you working on anything else?

Elisabeth – Yes, definitely. I just sold three more books in the Eternal Guardians Series. Book 3, TEMPTED, is Isadora's story, and it will release in Oct 2011. I can't quite tell you who her hero is yet...it'll ruin the surprise...but those who have read books one and two will probably have a guess. I do realize the Oct 2011 release is a bit of a wait for readers, but I switched publishers so the delay couldn't be avoided. After that I'm back on a 6 mo. or less pub schedule. ENRAPTURED (book 4) will release in early 2012 followed by book 5, which at the moment is tentatively titled UNLEASHED (but we’re still tinkering there). However, to tide readers over until the next book comes out, I'll be posting info about the series and free reads on my website in the next few months, so readers should check there for more info.

As for what else I’m working on…

In June 2011 I have a novella coming out with Kensington. Acapulco Heat is a romantic suspense novella which can be found in the BODYGUARDS IN BED anthology. The book contains stories from me, Jamie Denton & Lucy Monroe. Anyone who read my Stolen books will recognize the heroine. (This story was so much fun to write!) I’m also toying with another RS series idea and a new paranormal series which is just in the “percolating/research” stage right now.

Amber - How much say do you have in the book publishing process? Eg. Do you get to pick the cover?

Elisabeth – Unfortunately, authors don’t have a lot of sway in things like covers and back jacket blurbs (unless you’re a HUGE name author!), but I’m lucky enough to have an editor who shares with me the plan for the covers and takes feedback from me and my agent. She’s also great about letting me see the back jacket blurb so I can make sure any big secrets aren’t revealed on the back of the book.

Amber - What are the good times and bad times of being an author?

Elisabeth – For the most part, being an author is the dream I always thought it would be. I love writing and drafting stories. I love taking something that doesn’t shine and polishing it until it gleams. I love playing the “what if” game and bringing characters to life on the page. And I absolutely LOVE hearing from readers who have lost themselves in my world. I have some of the best fans on the planet!

Don’t get me wrong…being an author is hard work. I’ve sacrificed a lot to fulfill my dream. And at the end of the day, there’s a lot of work that goes into being an author that isn’t writing-related, ie, promo, answering emails, blogging, book signings, judging contests, going to conferences and tons and tons of research. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. When I have to give up a day of writing to work in the office (like today), I remind myself that this is part of the job. And this is the job I always wanted.

Amber – A lot of authors have 'soundtracks' for their books. Is there any music influenced your books?

Elisabeth – Of course! Music is a big part of my writing schedule. I can’t listen to music with lyrics when I’m drafting or editing but I do get ideas from songs and always have “theme” songs for my books. When I’m plotting my Eternal Guardians books, I listen to a lot of Linkin Park, Evanescence, Rascal Flatts & Bon Jovi (yes, I have eclectic tastes).

When actually writing, I love instrumental music. Some of my favorite soundtracks to write to are Transformers, Lord of the Rings, Gladiator & The Chronicles of Narnia.

Amber - What books do you enjoy reading? Do you have any favourite authors/series?

Elisabeth – I love so many books. I grew up on CS Lewis’s Narnia series and LM Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. Gone With the Wind made a major impact on me (my first romance!) and Lord of the Rings introduced me to the world of adult fantasy. In romance I enjoy many authors – Elizabeth Lowell, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Judith McNaught…and my critique partner, Joan Swan, whose first book, FEVER, releases from Kensington in 2012 (awesome, AWESOME book! Put it on your TBB list!)

Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?

Elisabeth – Gosh, that’s a hard one! I honestly don’t know that I could choose, but right now I’m fascinated with the Sirens. These females who were gorgeous but at the same time extremely deadly. You may be seeing the Sirens in my books very soon!

Amber - Thank you for being a guest on Amberkatze's Book Blog! Feel free to come by again sometime!

Elisabeth - Thanks so much, Amber. I had a great time! And because it’s been so much fun, I’ve got a book to give away! I’ll let the winner choose a book from my backlist as a prize. Simply leave me a question in the comment section to be entered to win!


Contest Time

Elisabeth will be giving this weeks winner one book from her backlist. The prize can be won by anyone in the world as the author has kindly said it is open internationally!

How to Win

Simply leave me a question for Elisabeth in the comment section to be entered to win!

No Question = No Entry

Earn more entries for each link you place about this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries! However please do not make individual postings for each entry. Please post all your entries in one post.

Advertise Amberkatze's Book Blog on your site and get an extra entry for this and every other contest!

Amberkatze's Book Blog

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You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.

Keep the contests going by using the Bookdepository.com links/Banners below and around the site!

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The contest will stay open until Sunday 28th of November 2010 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.


wanda f said...

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer? Who or what has been the biggest Influence in your life?


LSUReader said...

You mentioned several authors and books that have influenced you. (GWTW was my first romance, too!) I was wondering which current UF/PN authors you enjoy reading? Thanks for visiting. (Email in profile.)

emmad said...

Being a recent purchaser of a Kindle 3 just wondering if you own an ereader yourself and how you see ebooks? Do you think they are a help in increasing an authors audience base?

Blodeuedd said...

I am just kind of wondering, is there any genre you have not tried that you would like to?

Amelia said...

What is your favorite vacation place?

Barbara E. said...

Hi Elisabeth,
You mentioned that you had written some contemporary romance. Do you think you'll write any more contemporary's or are you going to be sticking to paranormal and romantic suspense?

donnas said...

Thanks for sharing! I loved Marked and Entwined and looking forward to reading more of your books.

A lot of authors are writing now in both adult and YA genres. Have you considered writing a YA book?

tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/DonnaS1/status/6574814462476288
link - http://donnasbloghome.blogspot.com/2010/11/contest-links-for-1121.html
sidebar - http://donnasbloghome.blogspot.com

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Raonaid Luckwell said...

When you are writing and stumble into a snag that blocks you, what steps do you do to get out of that tangle?

Do you often envision the scenrio in your head before writing it down?

Anonymous said...

Do you have a favorite character that you've written, one you wish you could revisit or add a couple of chapters about?

I love your writing and am really looking forward to reading the rest of this series as well as the upcoming short story.

I have all of your books already, so please remove my name from consideration in the drawing. :-)

Laurel Newberry

Pink Panther said...

Thanks for the lovely interview! Here's a quick question: What's your favorite paranormal movie of all time?

Thanks so much for making this international! You can reach me at luvpinkpanther@gmail.com

debbie said...

Is there a paranormal creature you just don't like, and would never use in your books?
I look forward to reading your books, they sound really good.

jen7waters said...

Hello Elisabeth!

Tricky question: imagine you could actually be one of your heroines for a day. Which one you would choose to embody, and why? ;)

Shiloh Tolbert said...

After having written the first 2 books in the Eternal Guardians series would you say that you enjoyed writing PNR more than RS or were they equal, etc?

Julie S said...

Did you like to read the same genre that you are writing now?


Gail said...

Hi, I'm wondering if you've always like mythology? I remember in grammar school suffering through the stories;-) Now I read all kinds of paranormal and otherworldly novels and can't get enough. I just added your books to my TBR pile and can't wait to get my copies.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Gail said...

Opps, forgot my email:

Unknown said...

Who has been your favorite character to write about?


Amy said...

What other paranormal creatures would you want to write about besides the ones you've already written about?


Unknown said...

What made you want to be a writer? Were there any books or authors that had an influence on you? Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

JenM said...

Since you love mythology I'm sure you've enjoyed researching it, but has there been any research you've had to do for one of your books that you didn't enjoy?


Kelly said...

1st I have to say Hello Fellow Oregonian!!!
Thank you for this contest Elisabeth. I have not read your books yet.. But you are now on my list and I look forward to learning about the world you write about...
okay question time....
How did you get started writting?

retwitted contest

thank you for a chance to win..
Kelly M

krisgils33 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
krisgils33 said...

For some insane reason, I'm always shocked to hear about authors reading other writers books in the same genre. I always just assumed if they spent all their time reading a certain type of book, they would want to read something different. Anyway, do you ever read a book and find it similar to an idea you had but had yet to put pen to paper?


Unknown said...

You answered that you don't know which paranormal creature you would want to be. Is there one you would absolutely never want to be?

Stephanie G

Paranormal Haven

justpeachy36 said...

Elizabeth, do you get to have any input on the cover selection for your books, several of them are very beautiful?

Please enter me in the giveaway.


Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks for all the great questions! Let's see if I can answer them...

Wanda...great question. Double finaling in the 2010 RITAs with my debut book, STOLEN FURY, is probably my most significant achievement as a write to date. But every time one of my books releases I feel that jolt of pride I felt with that first book all over again.

As for who has influenced my life the most...my hubby. He's my number one fan and the one who pushed me to keep reaching for my dream even when I wasn't sure it would happen.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

LSUReader - I don't have as much time to read as I used to (and I try not to read UF/PNR when I'm working on the Guardians) but authors I'm enjoying these days are Larissa Ione, Juliana Stone, Christina Dodd & Alexis Morgan.

emmad - my hubby just got me the new Nook color for my birthday and it just arrived today! I haven't actually opened the box yet. :) However, yes, I do think that ereaders are great for introducing authors to readers - esp. when they can try an author for free with the free downloads being offered. B&N, Amazon and Borders all recently offered MARKED as a free download which really helped introduce me to readers who might not have known about me before.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Bodeudodd - Currently I'm working in the genres I want to write it, but that doesn't mean down the line I won't want to try a YA or something else! Never say never is my motto!

Isolde - anywhere warm! I love tropical vacations. St. Lucia was gorgeous and I stayed at a fabulous resort in Mexico several years ago. Right now Hawaii is my fav tropical local simply because it's close (I'm on the west coast). I really want to take several weeks though and go to Europe. That's next on my list.

Barbara E. - right now my focus is on RS and PNR. The contemps I wrote were early in my career and I quickly discoverd my voice lends itself to a little bit "darker" writing. So for now, I'm good. But you never know what I'll want to work on next!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

DonnaS - thanks so much! Happy to hear you're enjoying the Eternal Guardians!

I don't have any immediate plans to write YA, but I used to be a junior high science teacher so I've spent my fair share of time with teenagers so I know how they think (I also have a pre-teen living in my house!). So I'm not sure...maybe down the line!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Raonaid - I always envision the scenes in my head before I write. I see them like a movie. I used to think ALL writers worked like this, but I know now from talking to them that they don't.

As for what I do when I get stuck...When I'm stuck it always means I've gotten off track, so I reread previous chapters and try to figure out where I went wrong. If I don't know what's going to happen next, I run, listen to music or just take a break and take time to "think" (and envision) my characters and scenes.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Laurel - thanks so much! I'm so happy you enjoy my work!

Hm...characters I would like to revisit...I loved Rafe from my Stolen books. There was just something dark and sexy about him. I had to force myself not to put more of him in the last two Stolen books...he has a way of wanting more scene time!

In the Eternal Guardians books I'm lucky because all the characters reappear in each book. I'm working on the 4th book now, and last night a new scene about Zander and Callia popped into my mind. Not sure yet if it'll get into the book but...it might!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Pink Panther - the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I LOVE those movies!

Debbie - I can't think of one I would *never* use. I do tend to steer away from vampires and werewolves though, simply because I think there are a lot of books out there features those creatures. But like I said before, I'll never say never.

Jen - that's easy. The heroine in my current book - the 4th Eternal Guardians book (which doens't hit shelves until spring 2012). Skyla is a siren - a female warrior who is totally hot, totally tough and totally deadly.

Shiloh - good question! I'd say they're pretty equal. I love writing both - they challenge me in different ways. There are elements that are the same between them - danger, etc. - but the differences keep me fresh.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Julie - no. Usually when I'm writing RS, that's when I go on a pnr reading frenzy and vice versa. I have a hard time writing in the same genre I'm reading.

Gail - yes, pretty much I've always enjoyed mythology, but it wasn't until I got older that I became fanatical about researching all the ancient myths.

Elizabeth - I know this is a generic answer, but it's true. My favorite character is ALWAYS the one I'm working on now. (It's also the character I hate the most too...ironic how that happens! LOL)

Aurian said...

Hi Elisabeth,
A friend recommended your books a few weeks ago, and they are indeed in my TRB. Question: will there be more books in the Stolen series as well?

mariska said...

Hi Elizabeth !

i've been wanting to read your books, but i have no lucky so far :(

anyway, have you ever thought to collaborate with another author in a book ? if yes whose the author and why ? ;)

i tweeted : http://twitter.com/becunique/status/7266673660792832

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Amy - I'm not sure. Most of my PNR is inspired by mythology and I know there are hundreds of myths I have yet to learn so...who knows?

Tore - I've always loved to read and for years I made up stories in my head as I was driving to work. It wasn't until I took a leave of absence from my job that I had the time to work on that first book, and I never stopped writing. As for authors who influenced me...there are way too many to name: CS Lewis, Tolkien, L.M. Montgomery, Elizabeth Lowell, Susan Elizabeth Phillips...the list goes on and on.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

JenM - Oooh, good question! Let's see...some of the physical aspects of murder tend to get sticky. And I've discovered asking details about how to kill someone can get you into trouble. When I was researching STOLEN SEDUCTION I needed to know how I could poison someone and leave no clues it had been murder - I wanted it to look like the victim died of natural causes. I researched and researched and couldn't find anything that worked. Finally, my husband, who works in pharmaceuticals, took pity on me and asked a doctor he had a good relationship with. The doctor, however, didn't believe my husband when he said "my wife needs to know this for her book". His answer consisted of three simple words: Get A Lawyer.

Kelly - *waving to a fellow Oregonion!* I was a teacher for many years and also coached and supervised clubs, so I didn't have a lot of free time in the evenings. I didn't actually start writing until I took a years' leave of absence after my son was born. About 3 months into my leave I realized I needed to do something to keep from going insane (I'd always worked), so I started playing with a story idea. It was fun and gave me something to do while he was napping, so I kept at it. When I finished that book-even though it was horrible and will never see the light of day-I knew I'd finally found my "calling".

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Krisgils33 - I don't have a problem reading PNR when I'm writing RS and reading RS when I'm writing PNR, but I can't read for fun in the genre I'm writing in. For some reason it just doesn't work. I do enjoy reading other RS and PNR books, though. The only ones I tend to steer away from are series that are similar to mine. For example, I like to read about demons and vampires, but I tend to steer clear of other Greek myth based series just because I don't want to be influenced by what someone else is doing.

As for reading a book and finding a similar idea to something I'm doing or plan to do...yeah, it's happened, and I'm sure it happens to many authors. There are only so many ways to do things. (But it is one of the reasons I try not to read anything too close to what I write.)

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Stephanie - I definitely don't want to be one of the daemons from my books. Ick!

justpeachy36 - no, covers are decided by the marketing department. My editor is great though and often gives me a sneak peek or tells me what they have planned. Thanks for the kudos on my covers - I've been very lucky!!

Aurian - my June 2011 Kensington release, Acapulco Heat in the BODYGUARDS IN BED Anthology, is linked to the Stolen books. The heroine in Acapulco Heat is the sister of the hero in STOLEN HEAT.

Mariska - interesting timing on this question! A writer friend and I are actually playing with an idea right now. We're not at a point where we can share anything about it, but we're having fun in our free time! It's an RS with paranormal elements so it combines both of my loves!

whitewolfreads said...

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Anything else you want to share about your writing process?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jmspettoli/status/7555929801236481

spettolij AT gmail DOT com

Unknown said...

Thanks for the very interesting interview Ladies!

Elisabeth: in the ultimate battle, who gets your vote: vampires or werewolves?

+1 tweeted here: http://twitter.com/Stella_ExLibris/status/8137215750180864

+1 posted on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=168114713219124&id=100000899165880

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

Unknown said...

Elisabeth, What are your favorite movies? garrettsambo@aol.com

bjerding said...

What do you like most about writing?


Grumpy Olde Krowe said...

I was wondering, do the characters in your sometimes surprise you by doing something you totally didn't expect?