Doll Lil interviews author Elisabeth Naughton + GIVEAWAY!!!
Today we would like to welcome author Elisabeth Naughton to the Dollhouse – a former junior high science teacher, Elisabeth now writes full-time from her home in Oregon. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the prestigious RITA award from the Romance Writers of America. Visit her at www.elisabethnaughton.com to learn more about Elisabeth and her books.
Welcome Ms. Naughton to your first visit to the Paperback Dolls. I’m Doll Lil. I wanted to thank you first off for agreeing to sit down with me. I must warn you I am a huge fan of the Eternal Guardians series so if I begin to ramble please feel free to tell me to put my inner Ellen DeGeneres back in her cage. So shall we jump into the deep end?
EN: LOL. Ramble away. I’m thrilled to be here!
Okay, Fan Girl question number one. What made you want to jump into a series based on Greek Mythology?
EN: I’ve always loved Greek mythology and even incorporated it into my debut book, STOLEN FURY. In that book (a romantic suspense), the main characters are looking for three stone reliefs of the Three Furies. I was so immersed in the research for that book, I knew I wanted to do something down the line linked to Greek mythology, but I didn’t know what. At the same time I had an idea for a fantasy based series, but it wasn’t until later (after STOLEN FURY sold) when I was perusing a blog and someone mentioned the Greek heroes that the ideas meshed together.
When you sat down to conjure up the heroes did any real life men inspire you or did you look exclusively to mythology to guide you?
EN: I don’t generally use real life “images” or persona’s to create my characters. Characters come to me fully formed when I start a book. However, when I began writing the Eternal Guardians, I needed to make sure I described each of the guardians differently so I made up a spread sheet and pulled images from the Internet of men (celebrities/models) who had the look I was going for with each guy. That helped me in describing their physical appearances and I still refer to it every time I start a book.
So far who has been the most elusive hero for you to write?
EN: Gosh, they’re ALL elusive! I think it’s that whole alpha male warrior thing. Demetrius (hero in TEMPTED) was very elusive and closed off and it took a long time to get to know him. But overall (through all the books), I have to say that Nick has been my hardest male to write. He’s very closed off and I don’t even know why he does the things he does all the time. But with every book I get to know him a little more and I can’t wait to finally write his story.
Isadora and Casey both have a lot at risk in the first book and despite it being Theron’s book as a reader I felt it was Isa and Casey’s story. Did you find it difficult to keep the intertwining stories balanced?
EN: MARKED is very much Casey & Isadora’s story. The idea for the series really grew out of that triangle between Casey, Isadora and Theron. While it wasn’t a love triangle it was very much a connection between all three. For the most part I don’t have problems keeping the intertwining stories straight when I’m writing them. It’s later – when I move into the next book – and I have to figure out what happens with threads I left hanging in previous books that I can get myself into trouble. For example, Callia and Zander’s son MAX is a main character in ENTWINED (book 2) but his story doesn’t end with that book. He keeps showing up in later books, and staying true to who he is and what he went through can often be a struggle.
Just for those who have yet to read the series yet let’s go over the first three books very quickly. First is Marked, Theron’s book. Next up was Zander’s story Entwined. Tempted which was released last month gave us Demetrius. Then coming up in April we get personal with Orpheus. So far I can’t seem to make up my mind which hero is my favorite but do you have a favorite?
EN: I love them all. How vague is that? LOL. Actually, I have loved Nick from the first time he stepped on scene in MARKED. In fact, my love for him in early versions of the manuscript was so apparent, my editor made me tone him down so he wouldn’t overshadow Theron. While technically not one of the guardians, he is linked to them in big ways, and he’s been integral to each book. The fact he’s my most elusive character probably has a little to do with my infatuation with him.
I have to admit right after asking that question Nick popped into my head! It’s always been my biggest issue, care the most about the guy who needs the most fixing but won’t let you close enough to help. Of course now I know I can’t fix anybody…to be a young and clueless girl again. Which leads me to the question about upcoming female characters. Will be meeting any future heroines in Enraptured who will be integral in future books?
EN: Oooh…great question! Yes, you meet the heroine in ENSLAVED, book five, in ENRAPTURED. She and the hero in ENSLAVED don’t have a lot of interaction in book four, but readers will get to know both of them quite a bit before their book releases in November 2012. I love working in future characters into the books. Everyone is so intertwined, it’s fun to give the reader a glimpse of what’s to come.
Ok so this is such a fan girl question. Can we look forward to a companion book somewhere down the line?
EN: I would love that! I’ll have to talk to my editor about that one.
Now if you would Elisabeth, answer a few more questions…..
I just so happen to be a fan who visits your website and Facebook page. You seem to really enjoy the interaction with your fans. Is there ever been a time you have regretted having such an open relationship with them?
EN: Not so far. I don’t share everything, but I do like to let my readers feel connected to the story creation process. I will say I wasn’t prepared for how fanatical readers can get about a series. I’ve had people email to demand to know when Titus will get a book or readers email to tell me how mad at me they are about Nick’s situation after reading TEMPTED. At first those emails surprised me, but now I love them because it reminds me how invested readers are in the series.
When a movie comes out based on a book do you like to read the book first or watch the movie first?
EN: I think it depends on the book and/or movie. I think in most cases the movies never live up to the books. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, the Lord of the Rings movies (in my opinion) brought the JRR Tolkien books to life. I read those books as a kid and though I loved them, can admit the writing can be a bit dry in places. I wouldn’t reread them now, but I will watch the movies time and again (and do).
If you could go to any fictional town for a two week vacation which one would it be?
EN: Hm…that’s a hard question! Since I’ve got LOTR on the mind I’d have to say the elven city of Rivendell. It’s so pretty!
As a reader do you enjoy angst over humor? Happily Ever After or Twisty Cliff Hanger?
EN: I like both. I don’t think I have a preference. If humor is done well (like Susan Elizabeth Phillips) I’m in heaven. And I’m especially awed because I don’t think I write humor well. But I love a good angsty book, so it really depends on my mood.
EN: As for Happily Ever After vs the Twisty Cliff Hanger? Happily Ever After all the way.
Thanks so much for agreeing to the interview! I am so excited!
EN: Thanks so much for having me on the blog! I’m giving away a copy of TEMPTED to one lucky winner.
The Dolls would like to thank Elizabeth Naughton and the lovely Lil for today’s fabulous interview… Now, on to the giveaway!