Author Spotlight

We were lucky enough to have a talented author take time out of her busy schedule to chat with us.  Without further delay, letís hear from...

Elizabeth Amber

When did you begin writing and have you always wanted to be an author?
Have you ever thought to yourself as you read a book: I wish the author had turned the story in a different direction or made it more interesting by doing such and such.  Similar thoughts led me to write my own book, so I could create a world and inhabit it with characters I find interesting, then lead them into situations that intrigue me and see what happens. 

I read that chocolate is your favorite food. What are some of your other favoritesÖauthors, movies, music, and any other favorites.
I usually read more than one book concurrently.  At the moment, Iím at the beginnings of books by three authors who are new to me: J. R. Ward, Sunny, and Diana Gabaldon.  Iím enjoying all three and recommend them. 

Favorite movies include Love Actually, Gone with the Wind, Being There, Clueless, Jane Eyre (A&E), Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Shawshank Redemption, and The Lost Boys.  I love TV (selectively) and watch Weeds, Entourage, Tudors, etc.

I canít listen to music or TV while I write.  I prefer quiet. 

Museums and history seem to be a big interest for you and you have traveled to some very interesting places. Do you have one travel location that you enjoyed more than the other?

Recently, I traveled to Italy and France, visiting locations Iím using in The Lords of Satyr trilogy.  A bus took me to Villa d'Este near Rome, where Nicholas goes in search of his half-faerie, half-human bride Jane in book 1 of The Lords of Satyr trilogy.  They first meet there in the mansionís garden, which was lush and alive with the sounds of splashing water.  I wandered along the Avenue of the Hundred Fountains and saw the fabulous grand water organ.  What a lovely, romantic setting.

In book 2, Raine meets Jordan near the Rialto Bridge along the Grand Canal in Venice.  A daytrip there allowed me to get a sense of the paths the two of them traveled in the story.

In Paris, I found an old hotel on Ile Saint-Louis along the Seine River, where Lyon (book 3) will stay when he visits the city in search of Juliet, the third of the half-faerie sisters.

Your Lord of Satyr series has a historical paranormal theme. Do you intend to continue writing in this genre or do you have plans to try different genres when you finish with the series?
Once you create a world, itís hard to let go.  I have ideas for continuing the series, featuring descendants and relatives of the three 1823 brothers in the trilogy--Nicholas, Raine, and Lyon.  I recently met my editor Audrey LaFehr. Sheís enthusiastic about the series and mentioned it as one of her favorites of the season in an article on erotic romance printed in Publishers Weekly (July 9 issue).  Iíve submitted a 4th book in the series, which she has accepted.  So weíll see where things go from there.

Iíve always read in many romance genres including contemporary, erotic, and more recently, urban fantasy.  Historical and paranormal are fun because they offer the freedom of creating male characters whose alpha male side is more highly developed than might be desirable in a contemporary, non-paranormal setting.

Do you find it easier or more difficult to write stories that are connected? I know that I absolutely love stories that follow the same characters and I cannot wait to read ďNicholas!Ē
I agree!  I adore series about brothers and male friends.  Itís fun writing about sexy men bonding, supporting each other, arguing, and teasing each other.  All the things brothers and friends do.  I like writing books that are connected, yet can stand alone.  The connection makes the world the characters inhabit seem all the more well-rounded and real.

You seem very close to your family. What do they think about your writing career and have they read your work?
We all support one another and are proud each otherís accomplishments.  I have no bigger cheer team than my family.  However, they tend to read literary works.  Iím the only one in the family whoís an avid reader of the romance genre. 

How does the writing process work for you? Do you know exactly how the story is going to go from the start of does it just comes page by page?
I know the main things before I beginóthe main characters, their main dilemmas and problems, the beginning, the middle, the ending, and some key scenes in between.  But I donít make a detailed outline.  Iím one of those authors for whom over-outlining kills the fun of writing the book.

Figure skatingÖthat is an interesting way to exercise. What made you begin figure skating and how long have you been skating?
My sister is an award-winning skater on a non-professional level.  She got me interested in skating, though I donít compete and will never be as good as she is.  It keeps me limber and is an aerobic workout.  Since I donít get to dance very often, itís a good substitute.

Do you have a writing schedule you follow? Do you spend a certain amount of time writing each day?
Kate Douglas (Wolf Tales) recently told me she is careful to corral her writing-business-related activities into a couple of hours each morning.  Then she turns to her writing.  I think thatís a good plan.

Iím disciplined and make sure to write a minimum of five hours a day.  If I donít get that done during the week, I make up the missing time on the weekend.

Tell us a little about what makes ElizabethÖElizabeth.
I have a great husband and cats named Chelsea and Biscuit.  My sister and mom are my best friends, and we shop and cook together when we can. We all love animals.  I volunteer at a local no-kill pet shelter where itís hard not to adopt all the cats, dogs, and the occasional bunny that come in.

As you noted earlier, I'm a museum junkie and love history and archeology. When I was an art history major at university many years ago, I became fascinated with Greco-Roman artifacts.  All those ancient urns, frescoes, and amphorae decorated with lusting satyrs, maenads, and Bacchus (or Dionysus) celebrating the annual grape harvest inspired The Lords of Satyr series.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
If youíre just starting out and trying to find a beginning, brainstorm ideas and choose one that hooks you.  Write on a regular basis.  Be selfish in order to be sure you get some writing time.

When I wrote Nicholas, I had no idea if there was a market for the type of book I was writing or if anyone would publish it.  But I wrote the book I wanted to write.  Thatís so important. 

Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and if so, how can they contact you?
I love hearing from readers, authors, and booksellers, email me or come to myspace .  Excerpts, back cover blurbs, and photos are posted on my website.

Thanks, Gracie!





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