Interview with Elizabeth Amber

Bastian: The Lords of SatyrJen: Today we are giddy to have Elizabeth Amber as our guest.  Elizabeth, will you please share a short bio with us?
Elizabeth: Thanks so much, Jen! I’m truly delighted to be here.

The scoop on me is that I’m a museum and archaeology junkie with a passion for sizzling-hot historical paranormal romance novels, and I have written six Lords of Satyr novels for Kensington Aphrodisia.

Jen: Tell us about Bastian: The Lords of Satyr and where it can be purchased.

Elizabeth: It’s a love story between eldest brother Bastian, who’s the lead archaeologist in the Roman Forum during the large-scale excavations of the 1880s, and Silvia, who’s a former Vestal Virgin—now an immortal Ephemeral—who seeks to trick him into helping her locate powerful, mysterious relics in the Forum ruins. Relics she herself lost, centuries earlier.

Bastian is available in both print and ebook at most bookstores and online bookstores/e-tailors.

Jen: What makes Bastian and Silvia unique?

Elizabeth: Silvia’s expertise is theft–of host-bodies and ancient relics. She was transformed by her goddess into an Ephemeral along with the other Virgins during the destruction of all pagan temples in the 4th century A.D. Now in the 1880s, she survives by taking hosts—the bodies of the dying—usually for a month at a time. Throughout the book, she is occasionally transformed. When Bastian first meets her, she has just assumed the form of a young boy in order to work under him in the excavations. But she never expected to fall in love with him. For she cannot have him—Bastian belongs to her dearest friend.

Jen: When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Elizabeth: Nicholas was the first novel I ever wrote. At the time, I wasn’t sure anything so hot could be published. But the story was in my head and demanded to get out and onto paper. My bff read the finished manuscript (and continues to crit my work) and suggested I try publishing it. Next stop for me was an RWA conference, where I first heard about Kensington’s erotic line. I submitted a series proposal and three chapters from Nicholas. I got a call six months later from Audrey LaFehr who made an offer for the first three Lords of Satyr novels. When those books found an audience, I got two additional contracts for more in the series.

Jen: Do you struggle with deadlines? How do you deal with the pressure?

Elizabeth: I do struggle, because I want every book to be just right, so it’s hard to let go. The pressure to finish is ever-present, and it’s not easy to balance the creative and business sides of things. Writing is my dream job though, and I feel lucky to be able to earn a living at it.

Jen: Have you noticed your writer’s voice has changed over the years due to experience? If so, how?

Elizabeth: My agent, Jessica Faust, has told me I have an atmospheric, dark voice, and I think I’m refining my voice all the time. Although I write graphic sex scenes, they’re not gratuitous. They grow out of the characters and plot. For instance, I’m pretty certain that the chapter 16 scene between Bastian and Silvia could not be plucked from Bastian and included in a different book. That love scene could only happen between these two people because of who they are and what they need.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?

Elizabeth: It’s a challenge to keep things fresh and come up with engaging hooks for each book. I don’t ever want to write the same book over and over. After book four (Dominic), I made a conscious choice to begin a new trilogy in a new setting within the existing series. The new satyr trilogy consists of: Dane/Bastian/Sevin and is set in 1880s Rome during the Forum excavations. (The Nicholas/Raine/Lyon/Dominic books were set in 1820s Tuscany.)

Jen: Are the satyr novels stand-alone titles?

Elizabeth: Yes. Also, the two clans (Tuscany/Rome) of these half-satyr, half-human men are all related by ancient blood. The clans do not mingle, so each clans’ books are very separate.

Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?

Elizabeth: I identify with every heroine and hero to some degree. Getting inside a hero/heroine/villain’s head for a while is something I love about the writing process. There’s a scene in Bastian (chapter 10) that brought tears to my eyes. That’s the first time that’s ever happened. I identified with Silvia and used the emotions of my own friendships to inspire her friendship with Michaela.

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?

Elizabeth: I’m reading dystopian YA and steampunk. A Clockwork Heart and The Hunger Games, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This stuff is new for me, which makes it fun. I read Kresley Cole, Nalini Singh, Lora Leigh, and Anna Campbell, among zillions of other romance authors. I also like nonfiction.

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?

Elizabeth: I’ve heard that the cover model for Bastian looks like a guy from one reader’s former high school. I’ve heard from men who read the satyr novels. Nicholas is the first book, and is the one I most often hear is a reader’s fave. Recently, I’m hearing from numerous readers that Bastian rivals Nicholas in their affections. That’s so nice because it tells me I’m moving in a good direction with the novels!

Jen: What’s next for you?

Elizabeth: Sevin is the next brother to get his own book. Appropriately, his book will also be satyr novel number seven. He’s the brother with a business head, who founded the Salon di Passione–a covert establishment that caters to the passionate needs of a small population of ElseWorld creatures (including satyrs), which dwells throughout 19th century Italy.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Elizabeth: Here are a few places:

Excerpts/news: http://www.elizabethamber.com/books/bastian/
Monthly e-newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ElizabethAmber/
FB: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1351688841
Twitter: @ElizabethAmber1

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Elizabeth: This is actually a question that you posed to me. I love the question, but I wanted to ask readers to answer it to find out who they envision: “If Bastian was made into a movie, which actors would you cast as the main characters?” For those who haven’t read the book–which actor or model would you see as a thirty-something, dark-haired, hunky, alpha, Italian circa 1880s? I usually find some photos of guys that look like the hero of my book, so I can better envision him as I write, so if you have any links to share (pg-rated), please do.

Jen: Can you share a brief excerpt?

Elizabeth: Sure, this is from chapter one of Bastian:

Lord Bastian Satyr was certainly a big one.

With an experienced eye, Silvia sized him up in a long, sweeping glance as she stood at the foot of his bed, her arm loosely wrapped around a bedpost.

Dark, cropped hair; broad, sculpted shoulders; a pronounced indentation running the length of his spine; powerful thighs and buttocks; flesh glistening from his exertions; knees dug into the bedcovers between the smooth stockinged thighs of his bed partner.

Michaela looked so vulnerable and feminine lying in his enormous bed, under his enormous, straining warrior’s body. Her slender calves hugged his hips. Her body was open to receive each thrust of his organ. Silvia could only employ her imagination regarding how sizable that portion of his male anatomy might be. From her vantage point, all she could see was his backside. His naked backside. His naked, flexing backside.

She swallowed, her throat strangely dry. By firelight, he was magnificent—a golden god. Which just possibly made him worthy of the woman he was riding. Michaela was her closest, dearest friend in both worlds. Had been since their childhood in Vesta’s Temple.

Silvia had always watched over her as best she could. And when it came to hedonistic matters such as these, had lived vicariously through her. Tonight was no exception.

Michaela had been born a Companion, a courtesan with the power to please any man. Like most in her profession, she had taken hundreds if not thousands of lovers over the centuries. She always chose them carefully. That in itself told Silvia that this particular specimen of manhood must be something quite extraordinary.

More at: http://www.elizabethamber.com/books/bastian/
Copyright by Elizabeth Amber

Thanks so much for interviewing me at Romancing the Blog, Jen!

Jen: I understand you have a contest for us.

Elizabeth: Yes! I’m giving away an autographed print copy of Bastian. (USA or CAN only, over 18 years.) Winner to be randomly chosen by Romancing the Blog on May 25th.

Jen:  Readers, to enter the contest you must first leave a question or comment for Elizabeth.  Then to finish your entry, you must either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to admin.bookblog@gmail.com.  As Elizabeth said, we’ll pick the winner on Wednesday, May 25th.

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