Pages

Friday, March 30, 2012

A scary place to live…


On of the questions authors are always asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?” This isn’t always easy to answer because most writers have very active imaginations, and scenes non-writers see take on a whole new visual when you look at it from the writer’s perspective. For me, ideas come from all over—song lyrics, movies, sometimes even documentaries. But by and large, my ideas come from every day life. Today is a perfect example.

At the moment, I’m sitting in my dad’s pool house, watching my kids (AKA…Gremlins) jumping around in his outdoor hot tub. We’re in Washington and it’s spring break, which means it’s cloudy and rainy and COLD, and to say you couldn’t pay me enough to get out there and soak with them is an understatement. But from the confines of the little pool house my dad built, I have a safe perspective to view the festivities. Or terror…depending on what you see.

There is, of course, yelling (muffled, thankfully, by the pool house walls), screaming, splashing, dunking (even though I told them not to). Most parents would be concerned about safety and their kids damaging something, but not me. No, the writer in me is envisioning Greek myth monsters swimming under the surface, shooting out of the water and releasing a steady stream of fire across the unsuspecting inhabitants on the shore in their cozy little houses. (Yes, that would be me in the pool house!)

I know, that sounds a little psychotic, doesn’t it? But a writer’s brain is often a scary place to exist. When we’re in the car and I’m staring out the window, my husband will often ask me if I’m okay. It’s not uncommon for me to spend hours staring out at nothing, but in my head everything is happening even though from the outside it looks like I’m zoning out. Characters are talking, scenes are taking shape, normal everyday events are twisting and morphing until what’s I see isn’t what’s really there but is what I’ve created in my mind instead.

Sometimes I wish there was a cure for this. My brain is constantly working whether I want it to be or not. But most of the time, seeing the world from a whole different perspective lends itself to exciting stories and unique scenes. And at the end of the day, for a writer, that’s a pretty cool thing. Even if it means a simple, relaxing hot tub becomes a boiling lake of acid and lava. (Yes, that scene is morphing even as I type!)

My latest book is ENRAPTURED, the fourth book in my Eternal Guardians series, releases on April 3rd and was recently named as one of the Top Ten Romances of 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly. To celebrate the book’s release, my publisher is giving away a copy to one lucky commenter. Ask me anything to enter!

***
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 by 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 ballpark or dreaming up new and exciting adventures. Visit her on the web at www.ElisabethNaughton.com

***Elisabeth's winner is Dina!!  Congratulations!  Please email your full name and mailing address to totebag@authorsoundrelations.com.  Thanks!***

45 comments:

marybelle said...

This was a fabulous & fun glimpse into your way of thinking. Keep writing. The only cure I think.

Artemis said...

Elisabeth,

First of all, congratulations on your new release and I wish a great, long run for this awesome series. With that being said, how many books do you have planned or would like to see in the Eternal Guardian series?

Lil said...

I chuckled while reading your post. Tell me, do your kids know that their antics can turn into such interesting scenes in your mind?

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

pamerd said...

Hi

Great interview. It is fun to find out where ideas come from. I am caught up on this series - it is so good. I am excited to read the next - loved Orpheus in the other books.

Thanks for the chance
Pam
tpibrew@msn.com

Raonaid Luckwell said...

* Laughs * Love how you can encorporate such antics or simply allow your mind to venture.

With my boys... * cringes * Though, not sure if you ever had this happen but I always get ideas when I'm in the bath or washing dishes. I swear my muse is water based. LOL

PS - Pressure Joan to write Mitch's story sooooooon!

Raonaid at gmail dot com

Phyllis M said...

Thank you Elisabeth for your...insight, strange as that might be. LOL. But where would your readers be without that amazing imagination of yours. :) I would like to know what made you take the step to leave your teaching and begin to write?

brandypm at optonline dot net

Barbara E. said...

Very interesting post. Have you discovered a way to shut down your brain occasionally to give yourself a break? :D

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Stay_Cee said...

I love your series. :D I am curious, how many books are you planning to write for the series??

stacey (dot) marin (at) laverne (dot) edu

Maureen said...

With all the scenes you see you must never be bored.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Kim H said...

I love you series!!!! Can't wait until Enraptured is out April 3rd. How many books are going to be in the series.

khayes4100@comcast.net

Laurie said...

Hmm, maybe I should start envisioning my kids antics in a different light, like you do. Who has been the most fun to write, who has been the most difficult? Thanks for the giveway!
lfacchini(at)tampabay(dot)rr(dot)com

Elisabeth Naughton said...

LOL, Marybelle. I think you're right!

The DH asked me the other day if I'd quit writing if I ever won the lottery. My answer? "No. It's the only way I can get these characters and scenes out of my head."

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks so much, Artemis!

To answer your question--ideally I'd love to write a book for each of the guardians--and a few others (like Nick) who are technically not guardians but are major parts of the series. (Orpheus was one such character.) I know how the series is going to end regarding the war between the gods and the Argoleans...I'm just not sure how many books that will take. Don't worry though, if it wraps up sooner than books left to write I have plans for a spinoff series. :)

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks, pamerd! So glad you're enjoying the Eternal Guardians!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

I LOVE the bathtub! I lock myself in there on a routine basis. And every time fingers reach under the door and a voice calls, "Can I come in now?" I see snakes ala Medusa trying to break in.

And LOL about Mitch! I'll be sure to tell Joan (she's probably sick of me asking tho... LOVE Mitch!)

Elisabeth Naughton said...

LOL, Phyllis. Yes, strange. A good word.

I actually took a year's leave of absence from my teaching job after my second Gremlin was born. It was during this time I started writing - up until then I never had time and really had no plans to write. But three months at home and (as much as I loved my Gremlins) I realized I needed to be doing something with the scenes in my head. I mean...up until then I thought ALL people walked around with weird scenes and dialogue running through their minds. I had no idea it meant I was supposed to be a writer! So I tinkered with some book ideas when the Gremlins were napping and at the end of the year I loved what I was doing so much, I decided not to go back to my teaching job.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks, Stay_Cee! So glad you're enjoying the Eternal Guardians!

Right now I know the next two book plots for sure. After that things are a little hazy, but I do know how the series will end. The number of books will depend on whether or not readers are still asking for more!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Nope. Never bored. Never alone either. That creates all other kinds of issues...

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks Kim! So glad you're enjoying! See my above answer(s) for this question.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Parenting definitely takes on a whole new meaning!

Hm...most fun to write. I have to say Orpheus - because he I SUCH a smartass. Since I tend to have a naturally sarcastic personality, I really identify with him in a lot of ways. And some of the dialogue he's got is just super fun to play with.

As for most difficult...definitely Nick. In a lot of ways he's really closed off. In every book I (as the writer) learn something new about him. I had a lot of readers wanting to read his book early on, but I didn't want to force it. And now I'm glad I didn't because Nick isn't who I thought he was at the beginning of the series.

andieleah said...

Who's book comes after Orpheus's ?????
www.goddess197829c@aol.com

Laurie said...

I have enjoyed the dialogue between your characters! Now I'm really curious about Nick!

Chrisbails said...

What a great cover. This book looks great. Have read the first book from this series and loved it. Would love to win and read this one also. Thanks for the giveaway.
My question for you are: What is your favorite genre to write? Do you prefer to write stand-alone or series? And any upcoming books or new series that you are bringing out?
christinebails@yahoo.com

Elisabeth Naughton said...

No, Barbara, unfortunately I haven't. Scrabble on my Nook distracts my brain for a while but as soon as I put it down those voices and scenes come right back. :)

Dina said...

Hi Elisabeth, love the cover also, do you have anything to do with picking the models? ;)

thanks
Dina

donnas said...

Congrats on the new release! I love this series.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks for the kudos, Chris! I hope you enjoy ENRAPTURED.

My two favorite genres to write are paranormal and romantic suspense. I started off writing RS, switched over to paranormal but am still working on RS on books on the side. My most recent RS is WAIT FOR ME, which released in December 2011. You can find out more about this book at www.elisabethnaughton.com/books/wait-for-me.

As for series vs stand alone. I like both, but I'm a series junkie so I really have fun working on series books. I love growing one character to the next and seeing how they change. I also love overarching plots so you'll find those in most of my series books.

After ENRAPTURED, I have a new series starting in May 2012 called the Firebrand series. It's about three djinn warriors who have been imprisoned by an evil sorceress. The first book--BOUND TO SEDUCTION--can be seen here: http://www.rockitreads.com/bound-to-seduction/ The next two books--SLAVE TO PASSION and POSSESSED BY DESIRE--are scheduled for summer and early fall 2012, respectively.

And after THAT...the fifth Eternal Guardians book--ENSLAVED--releases in November 2012.

Vanessa N. said...

Congrats on the new release. Great coers. Thanks for the giveaway.

mythic021@gmail.com

Linda McDonald said...

Congrats on the new release in your awesome series Elisabeth! And yes, another hot cover. My question is: do you have any type of routine for when you write, or no routine at all?

csolinda(at)hotmail(dot)com

Wolfswan1 said...

Hi Elisabeth

Congrats on the new release, I love this series although I have not had the pleasure to read Entwined yet *sobs* it is unavailable and out of stock everywhere. I have notifications set up to know as soon as it is available and I am getting my copy of Enraptured end April *yay*
My question, do you base some of your characters on people you know, how ever vaguely?

Thanks for the chance at this great giveaway.

sarie101 at webmail dot co dot za

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Wolfswan1- so glad you're enjoying the series!

As for Entwined, I'm assuming you're looking for a print copy? You can't get the print copy with the old cover anywhere, but you can get it with the new updated cover here:

http://www.amazon.com/Entwined-Eternal-Guardians-Volume-2/dp/1468143565/ref=sr_1_3_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333310943&sr=1-3

And even better? It's on sale right now.

I hope you enjoy!

As to your question...no, I try not to base characters on people I know but sometimes...it does happen (subconsciously, I'm sure.) LOL

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Lil, I've tried to respond to this like four times and it keeps deleting my comment. Must be gremlins in the system...LOL

No, my kids don't know that they "inspire" scenes. Though they'd probably think it's cool, knowing them. ;)

Elisabeth Naughton said...

andieleah - check above for my answer to this question. :)

Elisabeth Naughton said...

I wish! Wouldn't that be a cool job?!

I do get to give my opinion once a cover is done, and sometimes they make the changes I ask for, sometimes they don't. For example, on the original version of ENRAPTURED the necklace (the Orb of Kronos) Orpheus is wearing wasn't right. When I pointed that out they easily made the change. Other times I've asked for things and haven't gotten them, but for the most part I'm thrilled with the covers for the EG series.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thank you! So glad you're enjoying!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks, Vanessa!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks, Linda!

Every day is different for me depending on what I need to do. The only routine I shoot for is getting in 3K words per day on whatever I'm working on. That doesn't always happen though.

*yadkny* said...

Hi Elisabeth!
Thanks for giving us a little more insight into how you get your ideas... I guess inspiration can strike just about anywhere:) And CONGRATS on your soon to be released!

What are currently reading or the last book you read?

yadkny@hotmail.com

Michele L. said...

Happy April 1st Elisabeth!
I loved your blog! I always enjoy reading how authors come up with their ideas on writing stories. That is my biggest fear when writing is not having a unique plot come to mind. Is there a genre that you have always wanted to try and write? I recently fell in love with the paranormal genre. I never used to like it but there are so many books now to chose from that inevitably you will find one you like. I like vampire romances, ghost hunters, dragon slayers, etc. My list is growing as I discover new ones!
Many congrats on your new book! Lovely to have you here!

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

Can't wait to read this book!! Where do you get your ideas?? :D

stacey (dot) marin (at) laverne (dot) edu

winnie said...

Since this is the 4th book in the series, I was wondering if the story arc for this book was always in the works since the beginning or did it come to you as you were writing books 1-3?

Thanks for the giveaway!

chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

CYP @ A Bookalicious Story said...

I'm quite curious with this for almost all romance authors, be it paranormal, historical, fantasy, etc, are the heroes you write about your ideal man? Do you get self-conscious when someone else reads about your book and comes to any of the romantic or sex scenes?

Haha, anyway, thanks for the giveaway!

CYP
cypsays_hi[@]hotmail.com

Eli Yanti said...

cant wait to read this book, congrats on the release Elisabeth.

Dina said...

cool, I so enjoy Elisabeths books