Meet Debut Author Elisabeth Naughton

Elisabeth Naughton quit her job as a junior high science teacher in 2003 to stay home with her kids. She now writes full time from her home in western Oregon where she lives with her husband and three children. She loves running, pedicures and a clean car—inside and out.

In 2006 Elisabeth was the grand prize winner in the Romancing the Tome contest, and in 2007 she finaled in the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest. She went on to sell her Golden Heart finaling entry, which is her debut novel, Stolen Fury.

If you’re a fan of movies like Romancing the Stone and National Treasure, or if you’ve always loved Indiana Jones but wished there was just a little more romance in his stories, you’ll enjoy Elisabeth’s books. She writes romantic adventures for Dorchester Love Spell as well as paranormals.

Be sure to check out the drawings at the end of the post.

Elisabeth Naughton

Elisabeth Naughton

•You’ve sold five books, one for every year you’ve been writing. What a way to launch a career, Elisabeth. Since I can’t get my fill of call stories, I’d love to hear yours. Where were you when you received The Call from your agent, LauraBradford of Bradford Literary Agency? How long did it take to grasp what Laura was saying? What was your reaction? Did you break glass with your squeals or were you rendered speechless?

I wish my call story was more exciting. 🙂 But it’s all mine, and in retrospect, I wouldn’t change any of it if I could.

My agent called on a Friday morning and told me she’d gotten a call from an editor, asking if she had a synopsis of my book she could send along. My agent was calling to give me the heads up about the interest and to ask me to send her a short synopsis (as the only one she had was long). I did (of course), then stressed about it all weekend.

As it turned out, I was away at a writing retreat that weekend at the beach, so all my friends got to share in my angst. The following Tuesday, we got the offer. A three-book deal for Stolen Fury and two others.

By the time The Call came, I was still too stressed to be super excited. I knew there was a strong probability we were going to get an offer, but I’d been *almost* there before, so I think I was preparing for the worst. I do remember my agent asking, “You are excited about this, right?” and me saying, “Of course.” But I know I didn’t scream or jump up and down. I did, however, walk around in a fog for a full day after. And it really wasn’t until my new editor called me a few days later to talk about the book that it really sank in. I’d finally sold!

•You sold your Golden Heart finaling romantic suspense entry in that three-book deal in February 2008. But the good news didn’t stop there. In November, Laura called with more good news. What was it like to be a month away from your first release in your Stolen series and learn that Laura had sold your two-book Argonaut paranormal suspense series?

Amazing. 🙂 There’s no other word for it. When I look back, it’s still hard to believe I sold 5 books in 9 months.

I never planned to write paranormal, but this idea for Marked hit me, and it was the first time in my writing I’d ever had an entire book come to me, beginning to end. I started writing it, then got the call in Feb. 2008 that Dorchester wanted to buy Stolen Fury. Luckily, Fury didn’t require major revisions, so before I dove into the next book in my romantic adventure contract, I finished the paranormal and sent it to my agent. We went back and forth over the summer and into the fall tweaking the world building, and she started subbing it in October.

When we got the call only a few weeks after it had been out, I can say, honestly, I was probably more excited with this second call than I was with the first one. Maybe because I knew how the process worked and what to expect. But truth be told, I love this book and this series, and I’m so so SO excited that I get to continue to write both romantic adventure and paranormal.

•December finally arrived, and your “firstborn” hit the shelves. What are some of the highpoints of the period between making the sale and seeing Stolen Fury on the shelves?

Gosh, there are so many! Every “first” was a high point. Talking to my editor for the first time, seeing my first cover, getting my first review, the first time I saw the book on Amazon, holding that very first book, which my editor mailed me and I subsequently signed and gave to my DH (because the book is dedicated to him). The first time a reviewer emailed to say, “I love this…when is the next one coming out?”, the first time I walked into a bookstore and saw it on the shelf. I could go on and on, but every first is imprinted in my mind and though I know every book I release will be special, I don’t think any will be the same experience as this first one.

•Of all the glowing reviews you’ve received—and there have been plenty—which have stood out and why?

Publisher’s Weekly. Without a doubt. As a new author, I don’t think I realized how special it was to 1) be reviewed by them and 2) to get such a great review…at least not until I’d talked to some NY Times bestselling authors who said they’d never even received a look from PW until their 8th or 9th book was out.

Before the sale, you spent five years writing five books, your fifth being the first to sell. And you did this while mothering three young children. How do you balance the needs of your family with the drive to create your stories? Are you able to write amidst the activity, or do you require peace and quiet? And how has life changed now that you’re living with multiple deadlines?

I write mostly at night, after the kids are in bed. I can edit and do promo work during the day, but for generating new pages, I need quiet. For our anniversary last year my hubby got me noise-reducing head phones I can wear during the day to work some. They don’t completely block the noise (so I can hear if the Gremlins are torturing each other), but they do cut back on the noise so I can get some things done during the day. So far, they’ve worked great, though I’ve yet to generate the 3-4000 words during the day I can at night when I’m in the groove.

Luckily, my deadlines haven’t been too tight yet. I tend to be a procrastinator though, so that’s something I’m going to have to work on as my career progresses. If anyone has any tips for working on multiple deadlines, I’m all ears!

•On one of your blog posts you said you’d reached the point where you were fed up with your hero, something that happens as you write each story. What do those fellows of yours do that ticks you off? And what do they do that brings about your change of heart and causes you to fall in love with them all over again?

LOL. Oh, you are totally talking about Shane Maxwell, the hero in the third Stolen book, Stolen Seduction (set to release Jan 2010). Shane is a Chicago homicide detective – jaded, sarcastic, sexy as all get out. And I did blog about him (er, complain…) several times while I was finishing Seduction.

My guys tend to be pretty manly. Hence, frustrating because they’re often hard to read, moody or aggravating in only a male-can-be way. I tend to get frustrated with all of them for one reason or another, but Shane was special. He was the first character I’d ever written who honestly didn’t believe he deserved redemption. And that was new for me, because I – as a writer, and a person – had a lot of trouble identifying with that belief. I believe in second chances. He did not. He’s a character who has a very clear line between right and wrong, and in his mind, he stepped over that line – way over – with something he did. It wasn’t until the end of the book – and after he fell for the heroine – that he saw the flaw in his thinking.

As the author, I knew that change was coming (it’s why I wrote the story), but because it took him so long to get to that point, it was a very hard book for me to write. Am I glad I wrote it? Absolutely. I fell in love with Shane in Stolen Fury – he was the heroine’s brother in book one – and I’m so glad he got his HEA (finally). But there were definitely moments along the way where I wanted to throttle him and toss him to the alligators. 🙂

•Please tell us about your debut novel, Stolen Fury.

I love talking about Stolen Fury. 🙂

Stolen Fury is the story of archaeologist Lisa Maxwell, a woman who has staked her career on collecting the priceless set of ancient Greek reliefs, the three Furies. She finds the first, Alecto, and while lecturing in Italy, meets Rafe Sullivan, a man who briefly distracts her from her goal. After a passionate seduction, Lisa wakes to an empty bed and, worse yet, an empty safe. But she’s not the kind of woman to get mad, she plans to get even…even if she has to partner up with the sexy scoundrel who swindled her. Together they’re on the run to find the last two Furies. But Lisa soon finds Rafe is the least of her worries. Other treasure hunters are hot on their trail—and they’ll kill to get to the prize first.

Elisabeth's debut novel. Her awesome cover took first place in the romantic suspense category of the Houston Bay Area RWA's JABBIC (Judge a Book By Its Cover) contest.

Elisabeth's debut novel. Her awesome cover took first place in the romantic suspense category of the Houston Bay Area RWA's JABBIC (Judge a Book By Its Cover) contest.

•Here are three questions just for fun. What would you like more of in your life? What would you like less of? And what’s just right the way it is?

I’d like more time. I never feel like I have enough. More time to write, more time to relax, more time to just “be” with my family.

I’d definitely like less stress. I bottle things up and since I’m a procrastinator, I let things go until the last minute, which leads to more stress. 😉 I could definitely use less of that.

As for what I think is just right? My family. Just right. Supportive, happy, there for me whenever I need them. I couldn’t be where I am today without them.

It’s been great having you as my guest, Elisabeth. And now, in closing, is there a final comment you’d like to make or a question you’d like to ask?

Yes! I’m in the process of putting together a new romantic adventure proposal, and so I’d love to know…as a reader, what elements do YOU love reading in romances? When I decided to write Stolen Fury, I sat down and made a list of all things I love in a book. Now I’d love to know what YOU want to read – reunion stories, secret babies, twins, pregnancy, etc. Share what you love to read!

Learn More About Elisabeth

Visit her Web site: www.elisabethnaughton.com

Visit her Blog(s): www.elisabethnaughton.blogspot.com

and

Mid-Willamette Valley RWA

Friend her on: Facebook–Elisabeth Naughton: profile and fan pages

and

MySpace–elisabethnaughton

Leave a Comment for Your Chance to Win!

I’ll choose two winners from those who leave a comment for Elisabeth on 2/9 & 10 (and include an email address when prompted, which I don’t share), and will post the winners’ names on 2/11.

Colleen Thompson won a copy of Stolen Fury donated by Elisabeth.

Sarah McDermed gets to choose from:

A handmade beaded necklace or

a wooden plaque that reads: and they lived happily ever after . . .

JHT Blog Drawing Prizes

You could also win a First Sale Scrapbook!

If you’d like to have a chance at winning a First Sale Scrapbook created by your blog hostess, Keli Gwyn, leave a comment on any post between now and February 28. Make sure to include your name and email address when prompted if you want to be entered in the drawing. (Your information will not be shared.) Click red link above to see samples of covers and pages.

On March 1, Keli will choose one person who will have her choice of five covers on an 8×8 inch, twenty-page scrapbook in which s/he can document that long-awaited first sale. The pages will cover various milestones including The Call, signing the contract, receiving the first advance payment and holding your “firstborn” in your hands.

(No scrapbooking skills required. You just add your photos and journaling.)

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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
This entry was posted in author interview, first sale story, Golden Heart, Romance Writers of America, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Meet Debut Author Elisabeth Naughton

  1. Great interview. Elizabeth, it’s nice to *meet* you. And Keli–hello again!

    What an awesome and exciting path to publication. I’m SO jealous. 🙂

    What do I look for in a romance besides the obvious? I love reunion stories, and stories with a H/H who are best friends before they realize they’re in love with each other. A little murder, mayhem and adventure is always good, too.

    :)Becky

  2. What an awesome story, Elisabeth! It sounds very interesting. In books I guess I like deep emotional conflicts. Doesn’t matter what the plot is, really, just that the author takes me on an emotional ride and finishes with a HEA.
    Congrats on all those contracts and the great review!

  3. Ooh, a latin hero? Even better! LOL

  4. Thanks, Kit. Love Spell has some really great books.

  5. LOL. Thanks for the plug, Emily! And so glad you enjoyed the book.

  6. Hey Becky…

    Murder, mayhem and adventure. You are my kind of girl!!

    The romance in my July release – STOLEN HEAT – is a reunion story. Those are my favorite stories to read. I had no idea how hard they are to write though until I wrote one! I affectionately call it “the reunion story from hell” but I love, love, love the romance in that book.

  7. Thanks for the comment, Jessica. I’m with you on the emotional conflict. I think that’s what takes a romance from a good book to a GREAT book.

  8. Edie says:

    Eli, I loved Stolen Fury, so that’s what I love to read. lol Okay, you don’t want to write the same story all over again, and I really don’t want to read the same one.

    Truly, I like a variety. I read most of the genres, and it keeps reading fresh for me. When I read too much of the same thing, I can guess what’s going to happen next, and that’s not good. I like to be surprised.

  9. Aw, thanks so much, Edie!! I’m so glad you enjoyed STOLEN FURY.

    And thanks also for the congrats on the JABBIC. For those of you who didn’t see yet…yesterday STOLEN FURY won first place in the romantic suspense category of the Judge A Book By Its Cover Contest!

    (You can find more info on my blog…www.elisabethnaughton.blogspot.com)

  10. Keli Gwyn says:

    Congrats on the first place, Elisabeth! Way cool. Your cover rocks, and it’s nice to see it getting such positive recognition.

  11. Keli Gwyn says:

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment for Elisabeth. I held the drawing. Colleen Thompson won the copy of Stolen Fury donated by Elisabeth. Sarah McDermed is the second winner and has her choice of the two prizes I offered. Congrats, ladies. I’ll be in touch.

  12. Great interview! If my name is drawn, I’d want the copy of Stand In Groom! That cover looks great!

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