Keira: Write a job advertisement for an Eternal Guardian!
Elisabeth Naughton: WANTED: Warrior to join the Eternal Guardians order, defenders of the Argolean realm and watchers of the human race. Must be smart, hot as hell, have a strong protective instinct and be of hero status (descended from one of the original seven heroes OR a demigod). Big, studly, well-hung alpha males are given top priority. Job is lifelong commitment and requires applicant to be paired with the woman of his nightmares. Bonus: frequent hot sex.
Keira: What do you think romance readers love so much about tortured heroes? What did this add to the character of Gryphon in Enslaved?
EN: You’re right, readers love tortured heroes. I get a lot of fan mail about Demetrius, my most tortured hero to date (although I’m pretty sure Gryphon gives him a run for his money in that category). Personally, I think tortured heroes resonate with readers because they’re the ones who are so damaged, it doesn’t seem like they’ll every find a happily ever after. The harder it is to envision that happening, the more a reader roots for that particular character. Tortured heroes are also characters who don’t believe they deserve a happy ending, and watching them realize they are worthy of second chances and redemption and salvation is always fun to watch.
Keira: How are your Greek Gods different from the ones that people are familiar with?
EN: I love taking the ancient myths and twisting them around. In Greek mythology, Hades is a pretty nasty god and Zeus is the good guy. In my books Hades is still dark and evil, but he’s snarky and conniving in such a way you find yourself rooting for him in ways you didn’t expect. I actually love writing Hades’s scenes because he’s the ultimate underdog to me. He IS evil and he IS twisted, but there’s also something about him that makes you want to see him beat his condescending brother Zeus at his own game.
Keira: Gryphon and Maelea don’t start out on the best of terms… Tell us a little bit about their journey to freedom and love?
EN: Gryphon is originally drawn to Maelea because being in her presence calms him. He doesn’t hear the menacing voice in his head when she’s close. He doesn’t know why she affects him this way, but he quickly realizes when she’s near, he can think straight, and he needs that if he’s going to ever find the goddess who cursed him.
Maelea on the other hand, wants to have nothing to do with Gryphon. She senses the darkness of the Underworld in him and because of her own link to the Underworld, she knows how evil that can be. So when he kidnaps her, her only goal is to get as far from his as possible. Not only because she knows Hades is hunting her, but because being with Gryphon is a risk. The darkness inside her is attracted to the darkness inside him—darkness she’s been trying to deny her whole life. And she’s afraid of what she’ll become if she get near him.
Soon, of course, each realizes the other is not what they initially thought, and the romance really blossoms from there. They’re really both lost and wounded souls—in very different ways—but find healing in each other.
Keira: Your world building is so vivid! Was there anywhere in real life that inspired your writing?
EN: Whenever I travel I’m inspired. Traveling is one of my many passions and I love experiencing new places and seeing them through the eyes of my characters. My brother lives in Montana so a lot of the setting for the Colony in the book comes from that. But by and large a lot of it really comes from my imagination.
Keira: What were some of your favorite books growing up?
EN: I’ve always been a huge fan of fantasy and adventure so I loved the world building in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and I was hooked on the anticipation of what would happen next in the Choose Your Own Adventure books. (Remember those?) As I got older I found myself falling for character driven stories like L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. And that ultimately led to my love of romance. These days I read across all genres – and I’m currently fascinated with George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.
Keira: If you could have dinner with any author—dead or alive—who would it be and why?
EN: My critique partner, Joan Swan, of course! We don’t live close enough (I’m in Oregon and she’s in California), so we only see each other a few times a year, but there’s nothing more fun than chatting with Joan about our books and characters and brainstorming new and unique plot threads.
Keira: Please tell us where readers can find you on the web, and what’s coming next for you!
EN: Right now I’m working on Eternal Guardians book 6, which is Titus’s book (tentatively titled Scorched). It will release in early 2013. I’m also working on the sequel to Wait for Me (which is still untitled), and I’m in the process of putting together an all-new romantic suspense series loosely connected to a novella I wrote in the Bodyguards in Bedanthology, titled “Acapulco Heat.” 2013 will be a busy writing year for me but I’m excited about giving my readers new stories and new characters they can get lost in.
Readers can find me on the web at the following locations:
ENSLAVED BY ELISABETH NAUGHTON – IN STORES NOVEMBER 2012
“Do not miss this series.”—New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione
GRYPHON—Honorable, loyal, dependable…tainted. He was the ultimate warrior before imprisonment in the Underworld changed him in ways he can’t ignore.
She calls to him. Come to me. You can’t resist. But Gryphon will not allow himself to be ruled by the insidious whispers in his head. And there’s only one way to stop them: kill Atalanta, the goddess who enslaved him. But with so much darkness inside, he can’t be sure what’s real anymore. Even the Eternal Guardians, those who protect the human realms and the gods, want to exile him.
Finding Malea is like a miracle. Somehow he doesn’t feel the pull of the dark when she’s near. And he’s determined to keep her as near as possible, whether she wants him close or not. But she’s a temptation that will test every bit of control he has left. One that may ultimately have the power to send him back to the Underworld…or free him from his chains for good.
Praise for Elisabeth Naughton:
“Entertaining and smoldering.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review of Tempted
“Creative worldbuilding and ever-present danger pull the reader into this mesmerizing tale.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ star review of Enraptured
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 Oregon, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the RWA RITA© Award, the NJ RWA Golden Leaf, and the RWA Golden Heart. When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ball park, or dreaming up new and adventures. Visit her at www.elisabethnaughton.com and follow her on Twitter, @ElisNaughton.
Buy: Enslaved (Eternal Guardians)
GIVEAWAY: 1 copy of Enslaved. 1 winner, US and Canada only, enter by leaving a comment! Last day to enter: November 30, 2012.