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Friday, August 17, 2012

Author Spotlight: Elise Marion (Interview/Giveaway)

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Please give a warm welcome to our August Author Spotlight, Elise Marion.  We are so happy to have her here today on Book Lovin' Mamas.  We got a chance to interview her.  If you don't know who Elise Marion is...you are about to find out.  =)



1.  Tell us 5 things about yourself that readers do not know. 
1. I am almost 6 feet tall. In fact, my height served me well during my last year of high school and first few years of college when I moonlighted as a runway model and pageant queen.
2. I am a shopaholic and have a very serious shoe fetish.
3. I am ADDICTED to Grey's Anatomy. Seriously! Seriously. I don't miss an episode!
4. I am a habitual nail-biter.
5. I love dogs but secretly think that cats originate from Hell.

2.  Tell us a little bit about your newest book, The Lady Knights of Barony.
Of all of my books, I think that I am most excited about the release of The Lady Knights of Barony. This book is a spinoff of book 2 in the Kings of Cardenas Series, and honestly was not something I had planned. After the release of The Second Son, I got a lot of feedback from readers through reviews and personally written emails and Facebook posts that raved over the impact that the lady knight characters had on them. While I had done a bit of research while writing to create realistic characters, I never imagined that I would have to immerse myself as much as I did in preparation for this book. This is why the book is dedicated to my readers. The fans of the series asked for it and I delivered, and I have to say I am proud of the result. I think readers will be happy with it, and hopefully what I've written will live up to the high expectations I set in the second book.

3.  What was the hardest scene or scenes to write in your newest book? 
There was no particular scene, but one thing that I did try to work very hard on, was creating warrior women that were both tough and vulnerable. Blending the feminine and nurturing nature of a woman in with a hardened and seasoned warrior took a lot of work. I had to really put myself in their shoes and think 'what would she do?', instead of 'what would I do?'.

4.  What kind of research did you do for this book?
Because two of the lady knights are based on real warriors featured in the world's history, I did a lot of reading on both the Amazons of the ancient kingdom of Dahomey, Africa and the onna bugeisha (female equivalent to the samurai) of Edo, Japan (now Tokyo). It was all so fascinating, learning about the ideals and morals of the cultures, especially considering the attitudes that our society now has toward women serving in combat in the armed forces. In Dahomey, the African Amazons were esteemed even higher than the men, and were noted to be some of the fiercest fighters in history. I read books and articles about both cultures including their customs, diets, and styles of dress. I also did a lot of reading up on Martinique, an island in the West Indies that was colonized by the French in the 1400s. The blend of cultures there is amazing and includes French, African, Indian, and Asian heritage that just boggles that mind. The Lady Knights find themselves on this island--I won't tell you why :)--and it makes for a very rich and different flavor that the first books. 

5.  What's a typical working day like for you?
Talk about hectic! I am a stay-at-home mom of two children (both who are under the age of 5) and the wife of a hard-working military man. There are also two dogs in the mix. My day consists of balancing my household work with my writing work. I get up, cook breakfast for my kids, get everyone dressed, feed the dogs, run a few loads of laundry while writing or editing, do lunch and put the kids down for a nap, do more writing and editing or take some time to promote my books using social media and other sites, get the kids up from their naps and make snacks, fit cleaning in wherever I can, maybe read a little if I have time, make dinner, get the kids ready for bed, spend time with my husband, and then if I'm not too tired, stay up late into the night writing after everyone's gone to bed. The staying up late part is something I only do when I'm under the gun to finish a book on time....hey, a girl's got to sleep, right?

6.  Do you have to listen to music, etc…to write?   
I actually prefer it quiet when I write, which makes it hard when kids kids and husband are awake. If there is music, it has to be instrumental, or the lyrics will bother my thought process. I do like to have a drink on hand--preferably coffee or Coke and a chocolate bar doesn't hurt either! :)

7.  Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
My favorite book of all time is The Color Purple by Alice Walker.
My favorite romance writers are Julia Quinn and Johanna Lindsay.
This year, though, was all about the Hunger Games for me! I adored the books and have found a new love of all things Young Adult!

8.  Who designs your books covers?  (I know who does…but some of our readers are dying to know…  =)   ) 
I actually got very lucky on the cover design front. My father is a graphic artist and he is awesome! He designs all of my covers after I've provided him with the appropriate images. All I have to do is send pictures and tell him what the book is about and he does his thing. It's amazing how well he knows me and the covers turn out the way I envisioned them every time! 

9.  What kind of advice would you give an inspiring writer?  
Don't. Give. Up. If I had given up when the big publishing houses rejected my work, I would still be wallowing in self-pity and wondering why none of them believed in me. You don't need anyone to believe in you when you believe in yourself! I would encourage anyone thinking that they want to go the independent route of self-publishing to be prepared to WORK! When you are your own boss, you have to make yourself sit down and do it. Write, edit, promote, do it all over again the next day. With the way the publishing business is changing, a good writer has the potential to become a successful author, but only if they're willing to put in the work.

10.  What are you currently working on?
I am looking ahead to finish the Kings of Cardenas Series, as well as my Paranormal Series, Angels Among Us. There is only one book left in the Paranormal Series, unless some other secondary characters makes themselves known. As for Kings of Cardenas, well, here's a sneak peek at what I've got in store:
Book 3: Gypsy Rose (follows the story of Tatiana introduced in books 1 and 2)
Book 3.5: The Mistress (ever wonder what happened to Damien's spurned mistress from book 1? this short novella shows Davina in a new light!)
Book 4: The Gypsy (follows the story of Desmond, introduced in books 1 and 2)

Fun Questions:
11. If you could travel to any place in the world for a day where would you go and why? Probably Italy so that I can shop for fabulous shoes and indulge in authentic Italian food!

12.  If you could meet one famous person and have dinner with them, who would it be and why?  (alive or dead) Hmmm, that's a tough one! Probably Cate Blanchett because she is one of my favorite actresses of all time! I loved her in Elizabeth and Lord of the Rings. In fact, I would want her to come dressed as the elf queen Galadria and talk to me in that haunting voice the whole time! Yes...it's weird, but this is my fantasy, isn't it?



I first picked up a pen with with dreams of writing at the age of 12. I’ve been writing ever since and have found a love of romantic stories both sweet and sensual.
I am a woman with two jobs. My first job consists of taking care of home and family, which includes a busy Army husband, two rambunctious kids, and two very active dogs. When I’m not doing that I’m stretching the imagination with stories of people from all walks of life (and worlds) falling in love.
I love coffee, chocolate, music (listening and singing), shoes, jewelry, and food! I am always in the kitchen whipping up something new or watching the pros do it on TV.

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Now here's your chance to enter the giveaway of
the first two books of the Kings of Cardenas Series.  
Just fill out the Rafflecopter below.
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1 comments:

laurie said...

wonderful interview. i enjoyed it!

parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

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