Interview & Contest: Elisabeth Naughton

Today we welcome Elisabeth Naughton as she celebrates the release of her newest novel, Enraptured.  And a very special thank you to Shannon, one of our review staff and owner of Cocktails and Books, for interviewing Elisabeth on our behalf.  Now ladies, take it away…

Shannon: Where did the inspiration come from for the Eternal Guardian series?

EN: The inspiration for the Eternal Guardians series really grew out of research for another book. Several years ago, when I was researching Greek mythology for my debut book, Stolen Fury—a romantic suspense treasure hunt about two characters on the hunt for an ancient Greek myth relic—I knew I wanted to write something set in a paranormal world that was steeped in the ancient myths. I had an idea for a story about a bitter warrior and a human woman who is linked to this ancient world and doesn’t know it, but the idea for the guardians didn’t really click until I was visiting a writers’ blog one day and someone commented that they’d love to read about the heroes from Greek mythology. At that moment I knew how everything fit together. While my guardians aren’t the actual heroes (like this blogger wanted), they are descendants, and thanks to this blogger, their place in the Greek myth world totally made sense.

Shannon: Were you drawn to Greek mythology?
EN: I’ve always been drawn to Greek mythology. The stories are so tragic, but entertaining, and there are so many parallels with real life. Definitely lots of lessons to be learned. Even as a kid I was a fan of the Odyssey and the Iliad, even when all my friends were complaining about having to read the books.

Shannon: What kind of research goes into incorporating mythology into each story?

EN: Since every book is about a different guardian, I start by researching the forefather of that guardian. For example, Orpheus, the hero in Enraptured, is a descendent of Perseus, and before I could write about him in depth, I had to understand where he came from. After that I try to write the story as true to the characters as I can, but I spend a lot of time stopping along the way and researching elements of Greek mythology that come up and which I want to incorporate into the books. In Enraptured the heroes descend into the Underworld and that took a lot of research (and tweaking) to get my version of the Underworld just right. The fun part about writing a Greek mythology based series is that the ancient myths are just that—myths. I can twist them around to fit my books while still staying true to the original tales.

Shannon: Orpheus has always done what was generally good for Orpheus. Did you have a plan for how he would change for Enraptured?

EN: Orpheus was never meant to be a hero. But he’s one of those characters that had such charisma on the page, I knew by book two he was going to play a major role in the series and would one day wind up having his own book. Yes, he’s selfish and does whatever the hell he wants, but underneath there has always been this good streak, even though he hides it and enjoys undermining what the Guardians are trying to do. I think because readers saw these opposing sides of him in earlier books, they fell in love with him as much as I did.

As for how he changed…when I write a book I usually know the character arc ahead of time. In Orpheus’s case, I knew he was this good guy underneath but had multiple layers that needed to be stripped away before he could see that for himself. His journey is really realizing that he’s not an evil person at heart and that he has potential for something much greater in his life. And though he has to realize that for himself, it’s really his relationship with Skyla that opens up his eyes about himself and leads him to this newfound understanding.

Shannon: In Enraptured, we learn that Sirens were Zeus’s evil henchman who served for a couple hundred years and then left the Siren corp to marry and have families. Why did Skyla never question why she was allowed to remain a Siren for so long?

EN: There’s no formal rule that says a Siren can ONLY serve for X number of years. But most are encouraged to serve and then eventually move on. In Skyla’s case, she was prepared to serve and eventually leave—even hoped for a family of her own one day—until, that is, she was betrayed by her lover Cynurus. That event was the catalyst that hardened her heart and eventually formed a bond between Skyla and her mentor, the goddess Athena. Because Athena had been betrayed by a man as well, she took Skyla’s pain and used it for her own gain. As the goddess in charge of Zeus’s Siren order, Athena is the one who encouraged Skyla to devote her life to the Sirens and made her into the warrior she is today.

Shannon: Isadora is so much stronger in Enraptured. Is it from her mating with Demetrius or from being out from under her controlling father?

EN: Both. Isadora’s confidence as queen has definitely solidified in this book. But the major transformation in her character happened in Tempted (book 3) when she figured out she was way stronger than she thought and realized that if things were going to change in their world—as heir to the throne—it was up to her to make them change. Personally, I love the dynamics between Isadora and Demetrius. He’s this big hunky warrior readers fell in love with in Tempted. Super alpha, super tough, but he knows Isadora is the true leader, and he believes in her enough to let her lead. He never tries to tell her what to do or influence her decisions.

Shannon: What’s next for the Eternal Guardians?

EN: Book five in the series—Enslaved—is set to release in November 2012. I don’t want to spill the beans just yet as to who the hero of that book is—you have to read Enraptured to figure that out—but I will say once you get done with Enraptured you won’t want to miss what comes next.

Shannon: Please share where you can be found online.

EN: I love hearing from readers! Visit me on the web at:

Website: www.elisabethnaughton.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elisabeth.naughton1
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ElisNaughton

And a brand new website I’m a part of: www.rockitreads.com (more info about this coming soon on the above sites!)

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A former junior high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton traded in her red pen and test-tube set for a laptop and research books. She now writes sexy romantic adventure and paranormal novels full-time from her home in western Oregon, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the prestigious RITA Awards of Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, the Golden Leaf, and the Golden Heart. When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ball park, or dreaming up new and exciting adventures. Visit her at www.elisabethnaughton.com to learn more about her and her books. Her next book in the Eternal Guardians series, Enslaved, will be in stores in November 2012.

Contest details:

  • We have 2 copies of Enraptured up for grabs.
  • The contest is open to US and Canadian residents only, by request of the publisher.
  • You must leave a meaningful comment for entry.  This means your comment needs to be more than “please enter me in the contest”.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT gmail.com.  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday, April 8.

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