Fangtastic Friday – Interview with Elizabeth Amber
Romantic Times said this of Nicholas, The Lords of Satyr: “The leading man is the sexiest one this reader has seen in a long time!” Nicholas has won, placed, or finaled in 9 RWA regional awards, including the National Readers Choice Award. Lyon and Raine are both currently finalists for numerous RWA regional awards, including the 2009 Booksellers Best award and Passionate Ink’s Passionate Plume. All the satyr novels have received numerous five-star reviews, and are in multiple printings.
ETS – Welcome to Embrace the Shadow’s blog! Please tell us a little about yourself and how the satyr series got started.
I studied Greco-Roman art history in college, and then updated the mythology to create The Lords of Satyr. This is a family of half-satyr half-human men who are driven to observe carnal rituals in their ancestral Italian vineyard, where they also guard ancient secrets. A deathbed decree sends them on a quest for endangered brides in Rome, Paris, and Venice.
There was actually a blight that nearly destroyed all of Europe’s grapevines and the entire wine industry in the 1800s. That comes into play because this threat has will have dire repercussions for the satyr brothers and their families.
ETS – Those covers of yours…holy %$&*…can I have a serving of Raine with a side of Nicholas, please? Covers are the first thing that grabs a reader’s attention. What did you think when you saw your covers for the first time? Did you collaborate with the artist and tell them what you wanted, or were you pleasantly surprised?
Although I loved the Nicholas cover immediately, I admit I was a little shocked. It’s gorgeous, sexy, and classy, and gave the series a boost right off the bat. Kensington made sure it got seen in bookstores and things took off well from there for the series. I’ve heard from many readers asking who the cover models are and jokingly pleading for them to “drop their drapes.” I think the mystery of what’s under there is more intriguing than seeing the real thing would be. (Alas, the story of my love life. :o) Nicholas won in the Houston RWA’s Judge A Book By Its Cover contest in 2008. In 2009, Lyon won and Raine finaled in the contest.
ETS – Does size really matter?
Trade books being larger than mass market paperbacks, I assume you mean? LOL Kensington publishes the Aphrodisia erotic line in trade book format, which means they’re a little larger than mass market size. Maybe this is to showcase the hunks on the covers?
ETS – Uh, yeah…that’s what I meant. 🙂 Speaking of size, we might as well move on to quantity. There’s an interesting snippet of Raine’s book on your website. Let’s take a little peek…
Though he wanted to turn away, he forced himself to look. To see himself for the half-beast, half-Human he was. To see the huge vein-roped man-penis jutting from his dark thatch, its blood-purpled head straining in search of quim. And to see its twin, a second ruddy penis angling high from his pelvis a few finger spans above it.
I admit I had to read it twice before I realized the three words that tripped my mind into numbness. SECOND RUDDY PENIS. I’ve been dying for this interview so I could ask you…say what? Where did you come up with the idea?
This aspect has gotten more attention than I ever expected, but it helped spread buzz about the series initially and then things grew from there once readers enjoyed the books and told others.
Since satyrs are the carnal followers of the Roman wine god Bacchus, I couldn’t just make them good lovers. They had to be GREAT lovers guided by unusually strong sex drives. During a wine-related ritual that takes place in their Tuscan vineyard, they change physically (under those drapes). They’re all very inventive when it comes to lovemaking, but all the sex scenes evolve organically from their characters and the plots.
In this scene from Raine, he’s determined not to have sex with a woman he desires (Jordan) because he refuses to fall in love. Raised in a Human family, who turned him out when they discovered he was satyr, and rejected by a Human ex-wife, he has been wounded by those he has loved in the past.
ETS – Most writers are avid readers. Who are your auto-buys and what authors did you grow up reading?
I grew up reading Victoria Holt, Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and Rosemary Rogers. Although, I don’t have auto-buy authors, some of the many I enjoy are LaVyrle Spencer, Jane Ann Krentz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Liza Valdez, and Lora Leigh. Emotion, sexual tension, and good pacing are what pull me in.
ETS – Romantic dinner in front of a fireplace, or a moonlit walk on the beach?
I’ll take the beach, especially if it’s a paranormal beach and three moons are gleaming. A satyr or two around would be nice, but I don’t want to be greedy.
ETS – Can you describe each hero’s personality?
Nicholas – handsome, virile, eldest brother who bears the weight of family responsibility; a creative, dominant lover who meets a woman with a secret
Raine – wounded by a Human ex-wife who fled when she discovered his satyr ancestry, he’s reluctant to love again until he meets a most unusual woman
Lyon – sexy, muscular, with a wry sense of humor; attracts women easily and is reluctant to give up his bachelorhood until he finds Juliette
Dominic – chosen as a demonhand at birth, he catches demon’s souls in his palm; yet he is scorned and feared by the very people he protects
ETS – Can you tell us what you’re working on now?
I’m writing two more in The Lords of Satyr series—Dane and Bastian. These take place a few decades later, in Rome during the excavations of the Forum.
ETS – What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
When you’re writing, try to forget the readers and just make it a book you’d put on your own keeper shelf. Be honest and critical with yourself about your writing. Consider finding a crit partner to get suggestions on your work before you submit it to a publisher.
ETS – Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us!
You’re welcome, ETS!!
ETS – You can visit Elizabeth’s Website to join her newsletter and find out more about her books:
*Erotic chapters/excerpts: http://www.elizabethamber.com
*Winners of my current contest will have their names on the dedication page in my next novel, Dane, The Lords of Satyr. See my enewsletter for details and giveaways at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ElizabethAmber/
Now, how would you like to win an autographed copy of Dominic? All you have to do is drop a comment to enter the contest. The lucky winner will be announced on June 19th, next Friday. Good luck! 🙂