Coffee Time Romance would like to welcome author Elaine Lowe to a little chit-chat this month. Elaine is the author of several titles, including EPPIE Award Finalist, A Scandalous Profession. This month we get to know more about Elaine and what inspires her writing and discuss her newest release, Seeds of Garnet, Available through Ellora’s Cave.
Hi Elaine! Welcome to Coffee Time Romance. How do you take your coffee?
Thanks for having me. Café au lait is my drink of choice, with just a touch of sugar. Preferably with Kona coffee if I can get it!
Tell us how and when you fit in writing around being a WAHM/Domestic Goddess?
I work lots of jobs, from transcriptionist to consultant to snot cleaning duty. Writing is more therapy than work for me, and cheaper than a psychologist! Nights, when my son is in bed and my creative juices are flowing, that's when I sit down to write. I write every single day, at least five hundred words but usually more. It's an accomplishment that makes me happy and keeps me going.
What do your family and friends think about your writing?
My husband is a big fan and a fantastic editor. He reads everything and heartily approves. Of course, I also tell him there's a little bit of him in all my heroes (it's true). My parents both read everything I write, which causes me to stutter and blush a bit, but they are so proud of me. I've had nothing but positive experiences from family and friends and I am proud of being a real published writer. It's a dream come true.
How would you describe you writing style?
I have all kinds of interests, from a background in engineering and science to a deep and abiding love of history. So, the two genres that appeal the most are historicals and science fiction. But fantasy is always a lure, and I like to include aspects of the magical within my historical novels. Scandalous Profession is pretty much a straight up erotic historical, but Match Made by Moonlight has just a touch of magic. My upcoming April release, Enchant the Dawn is a rip-Roaring Twenties ride, but there is a strong magical thread that binds the hero and heroine, and the beginning of a planned series about the Magi called Passion Magic. Seeds of Garnet goes back to my love of science fiction, and making up exotic and interesting worlds pushing the edges of possibility. But throughout my writing, I like to get into the thoughts and motivations of hero and heroine, trying to give equal time to both. After all, I love to see the man's point of view, it makes things a hell of a lot sexier for me.
Describe your work space. Are you a artistically clutterful or neat as a pin?
My laptop goes with me, on the couch, on the bed, to the doctor's office and to the café. If not the laptop, I carry a notebook with me at all times in my enormous purse and jot down ideas when they come to me. My brain is always always running and I gotta catch ideas when they come! Give me a few minutes of peace, some good music and a cup of tea (or coffee, of course!) and I'm good to go.
What is your favorite food/meal? Describe a perfect dinner.
Oh, I'm a total foodie, and I live in a place that is heaven for foodies. For comfort food, a great spaghetti Bolognese with family or a big Chinese banquet complete with Aberdeen crab and Peking duck. For a spicy kick, a great Singaporean meal with samosas and roti prata, a bread so good you lick your fingers for every last molecule of flavor. For romance, French food in a tiny and intimate bistro, with a delicate bisque, a roast chicken in a cream sauce or a perfect piece of fish, and a sinful dessert like chocolate mousse. Finish with a glass of Frangelico on the rocks and I'm ready for a long walk on the beach in my bare feet.
Your new book, Seeds of Garnet, is set on a unique planet with some interesting sapien life forms. Tell us about the book.
Seeds of Garnet is the first in a trilogy set on the planet Lithos. A ship, the DMTR is stranded in orbit around a planet known for its fabulous wealth from gem mining. With no fuel and a crew sickened by a plague that raiding pirates had infected them with, DMTR is doomed unless Dr. Matrissa Prospera can figure out a cure. She goes down to the planet, intent on stealing a tool that will help her cure the illness weakening the crew, but she is captured instead. Irav Tok, the most powerful man in the HLL Conglomerate that runs Lithos, is her captor. He wants to know what the hell is going on, and she can't tell him. But that doesn't keep them from having a mind-blowing physical connection. Matrissa and most of the crew of DMTR are Phytos, a sub-species of humans that have photosynthetic skin, while Irav is a Lithian, a mysterious sub-species that have remarkable regenerative powers and an immense lifespan. Will they learn each others secrets in time to rescue each other?
I really enjoyed created this world, and the Phytos and Lithian species, each with their own special and erotic talents. I liked the world so much I continue the story of DMTR and Lithos in my June release, Sea of Pearls, which introduces another sub-species, the Cetaleans (mermen). Another book in the series is planned for December 2008, tentatively called Veins of Turquoise, which I am currently working on.
How did the idea for this story come to you?
Originally, I was interested in participating in Ellora's Cave challenge for the "Jewels of the Nile" series, which I read about last year and will be ongoing throughout 2008. I love garnets, the birthstone for the month of January, and I was reading about garnets to learn more about this beautiful stone when I realized that one of my favorite fruits, the pomegranate, actually shares a name with the stone in many languages. I suddenly had a flash of using the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone and pomegranate seeds that Persephone eats. She is forced to stay with Hades for six months of the year, and in the world above for six months. I flipped the myth around quite a bit and made my "Hades" a much nicer guy, but that was the core of the story, a way to unite garnets and pomegranates with a spicy hot love story full of conflict and scorching resolution.
Your character Irav has, according to his heroine Matrissa, a really fine behind. What male characteristic attracts you most?
Oh, that's an easy question and a hard question all at the same time. Initially, eyes and whether the emotion reaches them are a big draw. A smile that makes you crave more. And yes, a behind that you really would like to reach out and grab is one of my personal favorites, along with nice thighs that can back up that promise with…ahem…force. A quick and agile mind, a willingness to laugh at the world and yourself occasionally, these are just as important. Then, one final ingredient - smell. I love the way a man smells. Cologne may work for some, but I want the scent of man - clean sweat from exertion being a total and complete turn on. Scent can make me go from zero to a hundred in four seconds flat!
Your book, Scandalous Profession, is nominated for an EPPIE and CAPA award. Congratulations! Tell us about this title.
I was absolutely floored by both nominations! I was dancing around my house like a mad woman. I'm heading to Portland for the EPPIE awards and to meet other authors and talk shop. Scandalous Profession was my first erotic romance, and the first book I submitted for publication. I wrote the original story as a gift for a good friend who is a single mother with a lust for redheads and a desperate need to believe in love again. She loved it so much that she insisted that I submit it to her favorite publisher, Ellora's Cave. I'm just so thrilled that so many people love the book and my characters Richard and Charlotte, single parents in Regency London who find the most incredible passion together. Charlotte and Richard are not your typical Regency characters and I think their story breathes some life into a much beloved genre that I adore.
Besides your books, do you do other kinds of writing or have other creative outlets as well?
I enjoy my blog, and frequently give juicy bits of works-in-progress. But I also love to sing, all kinds of music from classical to broadway, jazz to rock. Gardening, both flowers and vegetables, is also a fantastic outlet as well as exercise. But my number one pastime (after certain activities with my husband which are very very necessary to my happiness and sanity) is reading, anything and everything, from hot romance to philosophy, science fiction to biographies.
I want to thank you for allowing us to get to know you and your books better. And we wish you much success with your new book and the awards!
Thanks! I'm very grateful for the opportunity to talk with you and say hello to all my readers!