Friday, July 31, 2009

Interview with Elisabeth Naughton

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Elisabeth Naughton. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called STOLEN HEAT. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

STOLEN HEAT is the second book in the Stolen Trilogy. It’s Pete’s book. As soon as I wrote him in FURY, I knew he had a story to tell. He’s gorgeous, rich and straddles the fence between right and wrong. And he’s got a history. One that changed his life forever.

Antiquities dealer Peter Kauffman walked a fine line between clean and corrupt for years. And then he met the woman who changed his life—Egyptologist Katherine Meyer. Their love affair burned white-hot in Egypt, until the day Pete’s lies and half-truths caught up with him. After that, their relationship imploded, Kat walked out, and before Pete could find her to make things right, he heard she’d died in a car bomb.

Six years later, the woman Pete thought he’d lost for good is suddenly back. The lies this time aren’t just his, though. The only way he and Kat will find the truth and evade a killer out for revenge is to work together—as long as they don’t find themselves burned by the heat each thought was stolen long ago…

STOLEN HEAT is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

I actually didn’t. My publisher picked this one, but I love it. And it fits the book…perfectly.

Would you describe your book as a cozy, mystery, suspense, or thriller?

I’d call it a suspense. But a couple of reviewers have called it a thriller.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I love RS. I love the way in a good RS the suspense and romance are woven tightly together. Lose one and you lose the other. I love the way danger and mystery can bring two people together and bond them for life. And for some strange reason, murder and mayhem keep popping up in all the books I write, so RS is a perfect fit for me.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

Well, like I said, this book really grew out of the first. The more I got to know Pete in STOLEN FURY, the more I realized he had a story to tell and a past that still troubles him.
As for this particular plot, I love archaeology and the search for ancient cultures and clues to our past. And I’ve always had a fascination with Ancient Egypt. Pete’s an antiquities dealer. He travels all over the world. I picked the one area (Egypt) I wanted to know more about and went from there.

Do you have all the key suspense/mystery elements thought out before you begin writing?

No. I usually know the set-up of a book before I begin writing – that action scene or scenario that gets the entire suspense plot rolling – but rarely do I know all the twists and turns of the suspense and mystery before I write the book.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

Tons. But I love research and could happily spend hours looking up facts and locations and historical information. For this book I spent a lot of time on travel websites, Egyptian historical websites and looking up info on terrorists and INTERPOL and the CIA.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

Pete and Kat, the two main characters. Theirs is a brutal reunion story. Lots of emotional heartache (on both sides), lots of hurt and plenty of betrayal, but at the core, a love story that was meant to be.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

I’ve tried character sheets and interviews, but they’ve never worked for me. Usually when I start a book, I just start it. I’ve found the best way to get to know my characters is to write. Their back stories and quirks come to me as I’m writing until they’re as much a part of me as I am. This generally means I have some heavy character editing to do in the first third of the book – the time when I’m feeling them out – but it works for me, so I’ve learned not to fight it.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Too many to count!!! At the top of the list would be Judith McNaught (I love the way she develops characters that leap off the page and won’t let go of the reader), Elizabeth Lowell (she’s the master of research as far as I’m concerned. I feel like I learn something new with each of her books), and Susan Elizabeth Phillips (her books are like comfort food…something you want to devour again and again).

I also love LM Montgomery, JRR Tolkien (master of world-building) and anything written by my critique partner, Joan Swan. (She inspires me daily.)

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

I’d have to say online appearances like this one. Any way you can spread the word about your book is good. And letting readers get a taste of me and my books has been more beneficial than all the money I spend on ads. If I touch three people who go on to tell someone else about my books, then I’ve been successful.

What do we have to look forward next?

Coming up next is STOLEN SEDUCTION, the third and final book in the Stolen Trilogy, releasing January 2010 from Dorchester Publishing.

Here’s a sneak peek at the book:

Hailey Roarke was never interested in her family’s fortune. That’s why she became a cop. But with her father and now her cousin dead, she’s suddenly on the wrong side of a police interrogation. The only way to clear her name is to solve the riddle before the real killer. Without getting killed herself.

Detective Shane Maxwell can’t deny the spark of lust he feels every time Hailey is near. But the woman is clearly hiding something. Trusting his gut—and the heat in her eyes—he joins her on an elaborate global treasure hunt staged by her late father. Caught between a sizzling seduction and a maniacal murderer, for Hailey and Shane the biggest reward of all will be making it out alive.

Thanks Elisabeth!

To celebrate her book release, STOLEN HEAT is offering a free copy of STOLEN HEAT to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

A previous junior-high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton now writes sexy romantic suspense and paranormal novels full time from her home in western Oregon where she lives with her husband and three children. Her debut release, Stolen Fury, was a 2007 Golden Heart Finalist and has been heralded by Publisher's Weekly as "A rock-solid debut." When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ball park or dreaming up new and exciting adventures.

Check out author’s website at



Kim Watters said...

Good morning Elisabeth. Thanks for joining us again. Stolen Heat sounds like an intriguing read. Are there any scenes that you had to cut before the final edits? Any trips to Egypt in the near future:) Have fun today.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Elizabeth. Great interview. Stolen Heat sounds good. I love the professions you chose for your characters.

Linda Andrews said...

Hi Elizabeth. Stolen Heat sounds great! And I love pretty much anything Egyptian, especially stories about antiquities. Guess I read too many Elizabeth Peters mysteries. Did you get to travel to Egypt to do your research? And did you find out anything during your research that you just had to include in your book?

Erin Quinn (aka Erin Grady) said...

Elisabeth--your trilogy sounds great. Congratulations on your release!

Emmanuelle said...

Hi Elizabeth. Great interview again. Am I being excidingly greedy if I'm already anticipating book 3 !!! What have you donne to me Elizabeth !!!!!;-)

Susan said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I enjoyed the interview very much! Stolen Heat sounds exceptional.

Cathy M said...

Well I can say that all your guest blogs this week have been a success. You've gotten me really excited about this series, and the fact that I now can read the first two books back to back is a major bonus.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Hi Kim, thanks for having me here today!

I edit as I go, so if a scene doesn't work, I generally know it before I get all the way through the book. However, I did add a lot of scenes after my agent read the original ms. We brainstormed what was missing and I went back through for another pass. Her suggestions made the book much stronger.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks for the comment, Crystal. :)

Hi Linda. Unfortunately, I didn't physically go to Egypt, though I'd love to. However, I spent hours and hours researching so I feel like I went. As for what I found out...Egypt's history is so rich, there were oodles of things I learned in my research. Some of it got into the book, some of it didn't. But I had a great time researching.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks, Erin!

LOL, Emmanuelle. Not greedy at all. I love hearing that! I also love book three, so hopefully you will too. And just think...only five months until SEDUCTION releases. :)

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thank you, Susan!

Aw, thanks so much, Cathy. I hope you enjoy the books. These are some very fun characters.

Anonymous said...

I love romantic suspense, also. Congratulations on your release. Great Interview.

LoAnna aka Cierra James