Please join me in welcoming Elisabeth Staab to Debbie's Book Bag today. Elisabeth is here to support the release of her latest book, The King of Darkness. The publisher is sponsoring a two book giveaway for this title, see details at the end of the post.
ES: Hi, thank you so much for having me on your blog! So I'm a stay at home parent during the day, and I'm a romance author during the wee, dark hours of the morning. My great loves are music, books, and my Keurig coffee machine. Late at night I run around the city in a cat suit fighting crime (I may have made that one up).
DEB: Tell us about your latest release, King of Darkness. Is this a single title, a part of a series, etc.
ES: King of Darkness is my debut novel. It's about a newly ascended vampire king, his prophesied mate, and their struggle to come together for the survival of their species.
King of Darkness is book one in a series called the Chronicles of Yavn. Future books will revolve around secondary characters that are introduced in this book. In my vampires' world Yavn is an old family name. It also happens to be an acronym for Yet Another Vampire Novel which was my silly way of acknowledging that there were quite a lot of vampire books already on the market when I started writing mine.
DEB: Have you always been interested in the paranormal and vampires in particular?
ES: When I look back on it, I realize that I was always drawn to paranormal romance, I just didn’t recognize those stories for what they were until recently. Favorite fairy tale? Beauty and the Beast. The one where she falls in love with a creature who isn’t 100% human. While I was growing up, movies such as The Lost Boys and Interview With the Vampire were portraying vampires more as attractive and creatures than as overdone, horrific monsters and I found that like a lot of people I was drawn to that.
DEB: What kind of research did you do for this novel? Were there specific aspects of the book that you needed more information for?
ES: I think the thing I wound up having to research most was wine. Red wine in particular plays a big role in King of Darkness in a couple of ways: it causes a unique drug-like affect in vampires, and I also use the concept of aromas and flavors in vampire blood throughout the series similar to those in wine. Each character’s blood has a unique flavor to it.
DEB: Do you have to have specific things in place to write comfortably? A quiet house, a certain drink etc.
ES: Coffee is pretty necessary, wherever I am. When I write in the mornings it’s usually at the kitchen counter. For some reason, even though I have a desk, that’s where I’ve decided I focus best. If it’s a weekend and my husband is watching the kids I usually go to a coffee shop because it forces me to pay attention to what I’m working on.
DEB: How did you did you feel when you got the word that your first book would be published? What was your reaction...
ES: Oh God, I was so excited! At the same time, I don’t think I even believed it. My kids were one, three, and nine at the time, and I was trying to listen to the message Deb Werksman had left on my voicemail, but there was so much screaming I couldn’t hear. It was that magical time of day right before dinner when dad wasn’t home yet and everyone was crabby. The youngest two were hanging off of me and I think they had been fighting over a toy or something so I just kept playing the message over and over (and over), and I’m going “Oh, s**t, did she really say they wanted to publish my series?” I was just so sure I had misheard.
DEB: Do you have advice for new writers?
ES: The best pieces of advice that were given to me were to join the RWA (The Romance Writers of America), to write every day, and to treat it always like a job. Don’t say it’s a hobby or that you’re an “aspiring writer.” It makes a difference in the level of internal motivation with which you approach your work, I suspect. Also since I didn’t have an MFA or anything, the first year I was writing seriously as a career I took advantage of the writing workshops that RWA provides and used what I learned in them to polish my manuscript. Every time a workshop instructor offered to critique something for me, I jumped all over it. I learned a ton from that. For a writer who can’t afford RWA membership, savvyauthors.com is another good alternative, and they have both free and paid membership options if I’m not mistaken.
DEB: What are you working on right now? Or what are your plans for the future as far as writing goes?
ES: I just turned in Prince of Power, book two after King of Darkness. Next on my to-do list is fleshing out the concept for the third book in the series.
DEB: Do you have a favorite author or genre? What do you read when you have the opportunity?
ES: Suzanne Brockmann is who I return to over and over again, whether I want to read just for fun or I need an example of something craft related. I respect her highly as a writer and a person. Unfortunately I don’t get to read much these days because I just don’t have the time, but I read a lot more contemporary than I used to, and I’m getting into Steampunk a little lately. I don’t read vampires anymore as a general rule so that I can try to avoid accidental world building crossover, but I also owe a great deal to J.R. Ward and Lara Adrian because it was thanks to them that I discovered paranormal as a romance genre.
DEB: Tell us one thing about you that readers may not know?
ES: Once upon a time, I was dead-certain that my future was in Investment Banking. Quite a leap from there to vampire romance, but I can’t imagine going back now.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for two copies of King of Darkness by Elisabeth Staab.
~ You must be a GFC follower or an E-mail subscriber to participate.
~ US and Canadian addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST February 27th.
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