Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Interview with author Elizabeth Amber

Today we have with us Elizabeth Amber, author of erotic historical paranormal romances.

Welcome to RomFan Reviews Elizabeth it is a great pleasure to have you with us today. Especially for me since I love those Satyr men *looks at the covers AGAIN and fans self* ok where was I….oh yeah thank you for joining us today I am a big fan as you know……alright I am putting the books away I swear no more sidetracking *wipes away the drool* so unlady like.

It’s a pleasure to be here, Annette. I’ve been looking forward to this! And I brought you a lovely white linen handkerchief, just in case you’re still staring at the LOS covers. I love them, too. Thank you so much for helping to celebrate my May release, Bastian, The Lords of Satyr.


Tell us a little about Bastian--book six in your Lords of Satyr series--which hit the bookshelves on May 1st.


It’s a love story between Bastian--the lead archaeologist in the excavations of the Roman Forum in the 1880s--and Silvia. Silvia is a former Vestal Virgin—now an immortal Ephemeral—who seeks to trick Bastian into helping her locate a powerful, mysterious relic in the Forum ruins. Excerpt: http://www.elizabethamber.com/books/bastian/


Next in the series is the story of Bastian’s brother’s Sevin and then following will be Lucien will there be more of these hot men possibly a return to the clan in Tuscany? How are the clans related?


Good question, Annette! I began the new trilogy, which is set in Rome, because I had more to say about this race of half-satyr-half-human men, but I wanted to keep things fresh. A new location and a new, unrelated clan brought new energy to the series.


There are two Satyr clans, one in Tuscany and one in Rome. Although they're related by ancient blood, the two clans do not cross paths in the books. So each clans' books are very separate. The two clans are:


Tuscany 1820s: Nicholas, Raine, Lyon, Dominic

Rome 1880s: Dane, Bastian (May 2011), Sevin (2012)

All the books are stand-alones.

I’m not looking beyond Sevin yet, since that’s the book I’m writing now. It’s possible I’ll write Lucien’s story and I have some other ideas. I’ll keep you posted!

Those who know you or have read previous interviews or blogs know that you love museums and studying history did that knowledge help you build your worlds and the era in which you write the Satyrs in Rome and Tuscany?


Mythology and history give me character and plot kernels to build a story on. When I saw the Vestal House and Temple ruins in the Forum, I was intrigued enough to read up on the facts we know about the Virgins. I built on those facts, imagining what their lives must’ve been like. The Virgins began service to Vesta, the Roman goddess of fire, between ages six and ten. During the purging of all pagan religions in the fourth century A.D., Vesta’s Temple was destroyed. This helped create Silvia’s backstory and it informed the plot in Bastian in this way:


Silvia is pressed into service as a Vestal Virgin at the tender age of six. When she is twenty-three, as the temple burns around them during the purge, Vesta transforms Silvia and the other Virgins into immortal creatures called Ephemerals.


“Ephemeral” means having a short life cycle. Over the ensuing centuries, I decided that Ephemerals would live by taking hosts—the bodies of the dying—usually for a month at a time. When Bastian first meets Silvia, she has just assumed the form of a young boy in order to work under him in the excavations. So that she can steal a powerful relic from him.


Again, the relics did actually exist. The Virgins guarded them, but we don’t know what they were or what happened to them. So I was free to imagine what powers they might have and where they might be found.


Who or what was your inspiration to begin writing?


A passion for romance is my inspiration. I’ve been reading romance since I discovered Jane Austen, Margaret Mitchell, and Charlotte Bronte at about age 13.


Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do?


I haven’t ever had writer’s block. I do get frustrated because I have so many ideas and it takes so long to get them in book form. I obsess over each book. It takes me about six months to write one, but I would spend three years on each if I could. I never get tired of tweaking, but my editor and readers would get very tired of waiting.


Where is the one place you have never been but really would like to go?


To centuries past. I’d love to time-travel Rome in the 1880s during the actual excavations of the Forum. Back then, the enormous arches and towering columns in the Forum were half-buried, many of their secrets hidden under sixteen to eighteen feet of accumulated dirt! Italian families picnicked in the Forum back then or tried their hands at amateur treasure hunting. When I visited the Forum several years ago after writing Nicholas, I knew I’d use it as a setting in a saytr novel one day.


When you get some down time what would you be doing?


Hanging with friends, reading, cooking, helping animals. Although I’d like to travel to new places, I often spend vacations visiting family because we’re spread out all over the US these days. I would absolutely love to spend a month in Italy and France sometime. I did that while I was finishing my second novel, Raine, several years ago. It was an unforgettable time. I’ll always associate Raine with that trip. And also, Bastian, since that’s when I decided on the Forum as a future satyr novel setting.


Who are some fellow authors you enjoy reading?


I could write a novel full of names. This is a wonderful time in romance—so many great authors. A few of the many I enjoy are Nalini Singh, Anna Campbell, Kresley Cole, and Lora Leigh.


Any advice you would like to give to future authors?


Read other authors. And consider coming up with a shortlist of high concept book hooks for your project before you begin writing. Author Alexandra Sokoloff has an excellent blog about high concept as well as other screenwriting tips and tricks: http://thedarksalon.blogspot.com/2009/01/what-is-high-concept.html


How can readers learn more about you and your books?


Here are a few meeting places to get news and contest info:


Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1351688841


E-newsletter (monthly) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ElizabethAmber/


Bastian excerpt: http://www.elizabethamber.com/books/bastian/


Readers, I’d love to hear what you know about the Roman Forum and Vestal Virgins. And what curiosities do you have about them? If you could time/location travel, would you pick the 1880s Forum as your destination? Or when/where?


Drop a comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of Bastian, The Lords of Satyr, Elizabeth Amber’s new May release! Winner will be randomly chosen by RomFan Reviews on May 24th.


Thank you so much Elizabeth for your patience while I had another drool fest over the covers and for spending some time with us it was a pleasure and a thrill for me having you here and we hope you will come back and visit us again soon.


I would love to, Annette. The blog is so beautiful, btw. Thank you again!

29 comments:

  1. great interview♥ I can't wait to read Bastian! thank you for hosting such a great giveaway! =D

    tfalick(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Loved the interview, Elizabeth and RomFan! I confess a dearth of knowledge about the Roman Forum and Vestal Virgins--I wouldn't mind time-traveling to see them live-and-in-person, but wouldn't want to get stuck then. I would actually be curious to time travel to just about any historical time (maybe not during the plagues...)--our family's read the Little House on the Prairie books, and those would be fun to see (again, briefly) in real life. Or the time of Christ. Or Asia, during the dynasties (if so fortunate to be wealthy!). Or Regency England (again, if wealthy... life sure seems much easier with gold to ease the way!)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the time travel aspect of the book! It is hard to pick where/when back in time I'd want to go! I love to go to museums with my kids! My son is so into all of the history and mythology! Him and his friends even started a mythology club at his Jr. high this year! And of course I just adore romance so this is a perfect combo!!!
    shannonjean14(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great interview. Bastien sounds like a great book. I find the mythological tie in quite interesting and look forward to reading about the Satyrs. I am also a book cover fan and the Bastien book cover is awesome.

    rjofusATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Elizabeth,
    You give a great interview, i can't wait to read Bastien it sounds great and i love the cover.

    wtranah@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Annette,
    Your blog is so beautiful!!! Really--the colors are all jewel-like and rich! Thank you so much for interviewing me to help celebrate Bastian’s release month.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Tina,
    Thanks for coming by! I SO hope you enjoy Bastian. xox

    Flchen, hi and welcome!
    Good point about gold easing the way in centuries past. Today we have a middle class, but that wasn’t always the case in the past. And you are so right—as a woman, I would not want to get stuck in the past. The Vestal Virgins were fortunate though, to have more rights than most women of their day. They could own property and attend public events unescorted.

    Hi Shannon,
    It’s wonderful to hear that mythology is popular in schools these days. I think Rick Riordan’s series of MGs helped jumpstart this. Bastian isn’t really a time-travel book, but Silvia’s backstory does come into play. Since she has lived for centuries, we experience some of that and her past leads her straight to Bastian. In order to steal from him.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Chris,
    I’m glad you like the Bastian cover!!! I enjoy building new stories on top of existing mythology, which I embellish. When I read about the lost relics of the Vestal Virgins, I knew I wanted to weave them into one of my plots.

    Hi Wendy,
    Thanks for dropping by Annette’s blog. She gets the credit for some great interview questions. And this blog is so visually appealing that it would probably make any interview rock!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi,

    Elizabeth & Annette this was a great interview. Elizabeth I first heard about you and your books from a yahoo author's group.
    I'm so excited about reading Bastian.
    The answer to your question is if I could time travel what time period would I go to. I have to say Greece around the period they worshiped the Greek Gods and England during the Tudor Period. I'm a history fanatic so I would love to go back to those times and live the actual history.
    Thanks for this opportunity to win a free copy of the book.

    Teresa K.
    tcwgrlup41(at)yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you Elizabeth I do love the new site thanks to Carla and Cyrene and the creative minds.

    Wendy- Don't let her fool you if Elizabeth wasn't such a joy to talk to the questions would be much harder to come up with.

    Tfalick, flchen1, IandSsmom, ChrisS, Teresa K thank you for stopping by.

    ~Annette~

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Teresa,
    Thanks so much for dropping by RomFan.
    It's nice to hear that my books were mentioned on an author yahoo group! And that you're excited about reading Bastian. Yay!
    Since you're a history fan, you are probably watching Borgias? And you probably watched Tudors, which I really liked. It would be fun to visit the time of the Tudors or ancient Greek times--for a day or two at least. To encounter the sights and smells firsthand.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great interview I am realy looking forward to reading Bastian
    flanagan@mebtel.net

    ReplyDelete
  13. In high school, I always enjoyed reading about mythology (greek, roman, norse -- didn't matter loved it all). While most of what I once knew is lost in the dark lost section of my brain now-a-days stories that use some of that info to create a "new" version peaks my interest. Congrats on the great reviews and honors for the prior books.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Cky15:
    I love reading this interview.
    I have always loves mytholgy all of them.
    I am not sure what I would like to go to.
    But reading the books place me in that time.
    I love the way Elizaeth Amber describes the
    places that are in the story.
    Love her books.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am so please I was introduced to your books! I have enjoyed them tremendously! I also remember a mention of an idea for future books. I think the interviewer had mentioned it would be great if we had a peek at modern Lords. I think that would be great! Thanks for a great interview. I always learn something new.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hello, All.

    I enjoyed the interview; it was interesting and entertaining.

    I discovered this series 2 years ago and plowed right through the books. I can't wait to read Bastian.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi, Elzabeth:
    I started reading Bastian on the first day of its release and I loved it! It might be my favorite, to date or maybe, neck and neck with Nicholas. Thanks for a great interview and I can't wait for Sevin's story.
    Mara
    marajbrandon@earthlink.net

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Elizabeth.... I truely enjoyed Bastian and looks forward to Sevin!! In the mean time, I would LOVE to win an autographed copy!!
    Betty

    ReplyDelete
  19. ** fans oneself ** that cover is surely smokin !! Id personally love to time travel back to the 1800's to rome !! Just for a visit !! It seem the vestal virgins had it alot easier then most woman in those days !! ALl the way of everything is so different yet so intriguing !!! Loved the interview ladies !!! I really enjoyed it !!! Congrads on the new release Elizabeth !! Looking forward to many hours of smexy satyrs and a great adventure back in time ;)

    kat
    kittee_cat@bigpond.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow, I was just scrolling and noticing once again how gorgeous this blog is. Great design and colors, don’t you guys think?

    Wanda, hi! Good to see you, sweetie. Thanks for stopping by. I really hope you enjoy Bastian. I like all of my books to be distinctly individual, and I think I can this one fits that desciption. Xox

    Hi gamistress,
    I know what you mean. My interest began way back in sixth grade when mythology was introduced to me in lit class. “Dark lost section” – I like that description of a brain. I can relate sometimes! I really enjoy building these books on the existing framework of mythology. I hope get a chance to try them. And thanks for the congrats! I really appreciate that.

    Hi CKY, Thank you for loving the books! I hope you’ve enjoyed Bastian, too. I love the 1800s in Italy as a setting, and am glad you do as well. Xox

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Toni,
    THANK YOU for enjoying the Lords of Satyr novels! I think someone did mention a modern setting for the satyrs and I think that would be intriguing. I always like trying something new. Maybe after Sevin and Lucien…

    Hi Tracey! Good to see you sweetie. I am thrilled that you plowed through them. I’m like that too. I love finding an author I like, who has already put numerous books out there that I can read. I so hope you enjoy Bastian, too! Xox

    Mara, hi,
    I’ve heard similar comments from other readers, which I love. Thank you! I’m so glad you love Bastian! Thank you for coming by to tell me. You rock!!! I hope you wind up liking Sevin as well.

    Hi Betty,
    Good to see you, too! Thank you for enjoying Bastian!!! Good luck in the giveaway. Sevin pubs in 2012 and I’ll try to keep everyone posted. He’s the brother with a business head, who founded the Salon di Passione, where ElseWorld beings congregate during the Calling. I’m loving writing his tale.

    Katrina!
    Thanks for stopping by Annette’s blog. Her interview questions rocked, didn’t they! Maybe you and I could plan a time travel trip back to the time of 1800s Rome. I think it would be more fun with a friend, so we could figure things out! Have a wonderful night and weekend. xox

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love the interview! I am SUPER intrigued by Elizabeth Amber's books and the fantastic plots...really, how awesome are the ways she weaves a story? It was great to take a peek into her mind and learn a little more about her writing process.
    Lyon is my favorite Satyr of all time but Bastian came in a VERY close 2nd. I absolutely love the new book!!
    I can't wait for the next book.
    Holly Hill
    Lewisville, TX
    hhill889
    @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I so wish I could have the cover of Bastian as a wallpaper for my work computer, but I don't think the women would get any work done and the men would have self image issues. TOO HOT, MY GAWD! All the men in the series are UBER masculine!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Helen Elizabeth G. says..

    Hi Elizabeth!!

    I am so excited that Bastian is coming out soon!! I loved the interview!! I don't know much about vestal virgins, (other than what I saw on Xena!) Haha, :) anyways I love that when I read your books I can go from one to the other without worrying about having read them in order, even though I have! Thank you for stopping by and to your remaining ?'s:

    -Readers, I’d love to hear what you know about the Roman Forum and Vestal Virgins. And what curiosities do you have about them?

    - Exactly who decided on Vesta being the leader of these particular worshippers and why would they need to be virgins? If Vesta was a goddess of what amounts to home and hearth, at least that is my understanding, why is being a virgin so important?

    If you could time/location travel, would you pick the 1880s Forum as your destination? Or when/where?

    -If I could time travel, (and know I could always come back for potty breaks and tooth brushing...) I would totally visit the 1880's and then maybe go over to the America's and head out west and explore the real wilderness of the times!!! I could go for some cowboy action!!

    Thanks again,

    Helen E. G.- (Don't you just love the name Elizabeth??- haha love sharing something with an author I absolutely adore!!! Have a great one!!!)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you for the links - always appreciated. I love the fact that the books are stand alones but also part of a series. I look forward to reading them all.

    marypres@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I would for sure travel back to the same time as you Elizabeth! I would LOVE to see anything come out of all that dirt! Also love your books and writing style and you know I will always follow you and your satyrs

    Julie
    Kc9ibu@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Can't say that I know much about the Roman Forum & Vestal Virgins, probably only what I've learned from movies. I love books like yours because I do actually learn something about history, besides enjoying the read!
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Holly,
    I always love hearing that one of the novels is a fave. Awesome that Lyon is yours! And equally as awesome that Bastian was runner up!!! I’m so glad you like the plots. I really like plotting and like keeping things fresh—not writing the same book over an over. Thanks so much for your kind words about Annette’s interview, and thanks for coming by to comment! xox

    Anon,
    LOL about wallpapering your work computer wall and the effect on your co-workers. I love it! And I do love UBER masculine heroes! Thank you so much for stopping in to read the interview.

    Helen, hi,
    Oh, yeah, Xena! I’m really glad to hear that the satyr novels are stand-alones in your view. I think they are, too, but it’s nice to have this confirmed. How fun that we share the “Elizabeth” moniker!! I do love it.
    Great questions for the group, Helen. In particular, I’ve wondered about the need to be virginal (which crops up in various theologies.) I think it was believed that the Vestals needed to remain pure so they could better focus on their duties. And that only the more pure among us could be entrusted with the relics and the guardianship of Rome itself.

    Hi Mary,
    You’re welcome. I do hope you enjoy them! xox

    Hi Julie,
    You’re a sweetheart. Thank you so much for this. I bet all that excavation work is tedious, but I wouldn’t mind sitting in the shade on a picnic blanket as we watch Bastian and his crew do the hard work. It’s a date!

    Hi Di,
    Thanks for coming by! I know exactly what you mean. I enjoy writing and reading fictional novels, where I learn something about history as well. I can really get lost in research and reading nonfiction. But I’m always writing a love story first because I read for the romance! xox

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great interview. I love Elizabeth's series. Can't wait to read Bastian's story.

    Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot}com

    ReplyDelete