(An Eternal Guardians Novella)
by Elisabeth Naughton
Ari–Once an Eternal Guardian, now he’s nothing but a rogue mercenary with one singular focus: revenge. His guardian brothers all think he’s dead, but he is very much alive in the human realm, chipping away at Zeus’s Sirens every chance he can. Until, that is, he abducts the wrong female and his identity is finally exposed. It will take more than the Eternal Guardians, more even than the gods to rein Ari in after everything he’s done. It may just take the courage of one woman willing to stand up to a warrior who’s become a savage.
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An Exclusive Interview With Elisabeth Naughton:
~ with Jillian Stein of Read Love Blog
I loved Ravaged. Ari and Daphne went through such a range of emotions and their chemistry was amazing. What made you choose them for your novella?
I’m so glad you enjoyed RAVAGED! Ari was a character who was introduced in TWISTED, the book seven in the series. I knew from the moment Ari came on the page that he had a story that needed to be told. He’s an Argonaut, and Cerek’s father, but everyone in Argolea thinks he’s dead. What happened to him? And why does he seem so unbalanced?
Ari’s story at this point in the series is also a set up for the next few books. I don’t want to give too much away, but I think readers will figure out who gets the next book based on the ending of RAVAGED.
Now, I may have been living under a rock, but this was the first story in your Eternal Guardians series I’ve read and I’m now hooked! I love the mythology aspect. Do you find you stay true to myths or sometimes make up some of your own?
I love that you were able to pick up RAVAGED and immerse yourself in the Eternal Guardians world without feeling too out of sorts. My goal as an author of a continuing series is to make each book strong enough to stand on its own. I hate jumping into a series mid-stream and being totally confused!
As for the mythology, I’m a huge Greek mythology fan. For every myth there seem to be multiple retellings. Some with the same endings, some with different endings. I try to stay true to the myths in spirit, but because they are just stories, I’ve found it fun and interesting to twist those myths to fit my world and storylines.
Speaking of which, how do you keep all of the relationships and family lines straight? DO you have a “bible” as some authors do?
I have a very detailed spreadsheet that lists every character in the series, who they’re related to, what they look like, what their powers are, and major historical moments in their lives. I used to be able to keep it all straight in my head, but the older I get and the longer this series goes on, the harder it is for me to remember the minute details. (Don’’ even get me started on who has what eye color.) So yes, it is a “story bible” in a way, just not as pretty as some story bibles I’ve seen.
Now, I have read, and also love, your romantic suspense series. Do you ever find it difficult to switch gears when going from writing one to the other?
Not really. In fact, sometimes it’s a relief to switch gears. The Eternal Guardian books are pretty dark. Each character lives with some pretty heavy emotional baggage, and the overarching storyline can get very intensive. I love writing these books but need a break now and then to keep the content fresh. I think if I were to write only the dark, twisted storylines I might not be able to keep coming up with new and different threads.
Interestingly, I find writing romantic suspense a real challenge. In my Eternal Guardian world, my characters can use magic and lightning fingers to get out of bad situations. In the real world, they can’t. I love being able to switch back and forth between the real world and the mythological one because the different series force me to look at writing differently.
I love how you wrote in your bio that the road to becoming a writer wasn’t an easy overnight success for you. It’s very inspiring! If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring authors, what would it be?
My advice for new authors is always the same: don’t give up. If being published and having a continuing career as an author is your goal, you’ll get there if you don’t give up. I’ve met numerous writers who were incredibly talented but who didn’t have the persistence to make it in this industry. And I’ve met mediocre writers who stuck with it, learned the craft, worked hard, and eventually became a success. Talent is not everything in this business. It might make the journey easier, but in the end, the writer with the persistence to stick to her goal is the one who will succeed.
I’m dying to know….does your copy of Scarlett: The Sequel to Gone With The Wind have a special place in your home?
LOL. Well, yes and no. A few years ago we had a puppy who decided he was bored enough to eat an entire bookshelf. Yes, Scarlett: The Sequel to Gone With The Wind was on that shelf. I kept the book even though the hard cover has bite marks all over it and is pretty well shredded. Luckily, though, he didn’t eat the inside. And when I look at that book on my shelf now, I see that it’s really a reflection of my journey in this business. I’ve taken plenty of hits along the way, but the core of my writing—and my goals—is still the same.
What would we find on your desk right this minute?
Oh man. You do NOT want to know. My desk is a huge mess. I was just contemplating cleaning it but I’m not sure I have the strength.
Here goes though…
A bag of gluten free chewy granola (for snacking),
A Game of Thrones daily calendar (I need my Tyrion Lannister quotes!),
Several zip drives, including a Bart Simpson’s Zip drive I so don’t remember using,
An empty can of Diet Coke and another full can of Diet Coke,
A stack of papers I’m afraid to sort through,
A pile of receipts I need to file,
An Eternal Guardians coaster,
And a cup of flowers someone broke off my plants outside (probably my rambunctious boys.)
Do you have any writing quirks? Like a special place you have to write in or a fave snack you have to have at arm’s length?
My favorite writing snacks are chocolate and Diet Coke. I know….so not healthy, but they keep me going.
My only other “quirk” is that I really can’t write in my office. I have this great home office but when I’m in there I’m usually focused on the business aspect of writing—paperwork, promo, interviews (like this one…I’m currently sitting at my desk), etc. When I’m in my creative writing mode I have to be somewhere soft and comfortable—a comfy chair, a soft bed with my feet propped up, a blanket over my lap to keep me warm.
Can you give us a hint on what you’re currently working on?
I have several projects going at the moment. I’m currently working on the next full Eternal Guardians book. I’m not going to say who it’s about just yet. I want readers to have a chance to figure it out in RAVAGED. I’m also working on a new romantic suspense series for my publisher (more to come about that soon, hopefully) and I also have a super secret project in the works. And that doesn’t even take into account the three other books I have percolating in my head. I seriously need to clone myself so I can get all these stories written!
Thanks so much for having me today, and I hope when readers get a hold of RAVAGED they fall in love with Ari and Daphne as much as I did.
Happy reading to all!
Elisabeth Naughton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. From Elisabeth: “I was never one of those people who knew they wanted to be an author at the age of six. I didn’t have imaginary friends. I didn’t write stories in my journal or entertain my relatives by firelight after Thanksgiving dinner. For the most part, I was just a normal, everyday kid. I liked to read, but I wasn’t exceptional at it. And when my teachers complimented me on my writing abilities, I brushed them off. I did, however, always have a penchant for the unique and absurd. And as my mother told me all throughout my childhood, I should have been an actress—I was a drama queen before my time.
“Years ago, my husband bought me Scarlett: The Sequel to Gone With The Wind. If you ever saw the book, you know it’s a long one. I sat and read that thing from cover to cover, and dreamed of one day being a writer. But I didn’t actually try my hand at writing until years later when I quit my teaching job to stay home with my kids. And my husband? After that week of reading where I neglected him and everything else until I finished Scarlett, he vowed never to buy me another book again. Little did he know I’d one day end up sitting at a keyboard all day drafting my own stories.
“My writing journey has not been easy. I didn’t just sit down one day, decide I was going to write a book and voila! sell my very first attempt. As most authors will probably agree, the path to publication is filled with hours of work, pulling all-nighters I thought I’d given up in college, sacrifices, rejections, but a love I discovered along the way I just can’t live without. Instead of a big, thick book to read by lamplight (I do read much smaller ones when I get the chance), I’ve traded in my reading obsession for a laptop. And I’ve never been happier.
“I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a wonderful family and fabulous husband who put up with my writing—and obsessive personality—even when life is chaotic. More than once my kids have been late to swimming or baseball because I needed just five more minutes to finish a scene. Their support and encouragement mean the world to me. I also have amazing friends and a support network I couldn’t survive without. So to all of you out there who have encouraged me along the way, sent me emails and fan letters, phone calls and congratulations, I just want to say, thank you. You make this whole writing gig that much more enjoyable. I truly wouldn’t be here without you.”
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