Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Elizabeth and congratulations on the release of ‘Warrior’s Surrender’. What was your inspiration behind Warrior’s Surrender?
I wanted to explore the theme of a woman who has lost everything returning home to find everything changed. How would she cope with going home and find nothing remained of her previous life? Moreover, she is forced to wed a man she who she considers her enemy.
What is it about that particular time period that attracts you as a writer and has this period always held your interest?
I have always had fascination for the medieval period. One of my favourite books is Life In The Year 1000 which took historic records of the time to build a picture of what a calendar year in Medieval England was like.
There are so many myths about the Medieval period – they were primitive, smelly, stupid – but that is so far from being the case. Academia flourished, monasteries dedicated to science established the principles of scientific method based rationale that a rational God created a rational world that could be understood rationally.
I also wanted to create a realistic and relatable setting for Warrior’s Surrender
How do you go about researching your novels so as to make setting and events authentic?
I always start with the premise that whether you’re looking at life today, 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, people live, laughed, loved, fought, just as we do today, the only thing that changes is technology. So I look at what people used. What did their beds look like? What about the flooring? Cups… plates… transportation… eating… all of it provides opportunity to add richness to a story by describing what your character see and how they interact with their environments. The internet really has changed the world, there is so much material from universities and specialist societies, it really has made research so easy and such a pleasure.
To add further authenticity, I like to add real historical figures and foreshadow actual historical events. In Warrior’s Surrender, real historical figures include William Walcher, the Bishop of Durham whose lasting legacy is Durham Cathedral, another figure is Ligulf of Lumley, a Saxon Earl who warned of an impending Scottish invasion which was largely ignored by Walcher – and it led to a bloody end for the both of them…
What is your favourite historical event during the Medieval Period
Although set much later than Warrior’s Surrender, my favourite historical event in the Medieval period was the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. That one document, limiting the powers of the monarch and paved the way to the parliamentary democracy we enjoy today.
What does your writing space look like?
Umm, er, actually it’s a mess. I don’t write there anymore. When I get some holidays I’m going to file away all the taxpapers and receipts and reclaim my desk. Now I write on the sofa with my feet up.
How do you manage a busy full time career with writing?
It takes a lot of organisation. I’m so pleased to have a supportive husband. When I’m full on writing mode, I write for three hours a night during the week and up to 12 hours over a weekend. Needless to say, I don’t have much of a life!
What would we find on your book shelf / e reader?
A mixture! I’m re-reading I, Claudius and Claudius The God by Robert Graves for my next full-length historical romance which will be set in the 3rd Century AD. In the same vein The Barbarian Bride by Eva Scott is on my list. For a complete change of pace, I’ll be reading Honor’s Debt by Noelle Clark and Engaging The Enemy by Susanne Bellamy on my Christmas break.
Which authors have been your biggest inspiration?
Oh, so many! Anna Campbell, Rebecca Brandewyne, Julie Garwood are the big names in romance. But I have to confess, I get inspired by every book I read, every author has created something wonderful and unique and I love to understand how they create their stories.
Can you tell us a bit about your works in progress?
I’m part of a Christmas anthology called A Season To Remember with Noelle Clark, Susanne Bellamy and Eva Scott. It will be a free download for Christmas. It’s been a pleasure to work with these amazing authors.
I’m currently writing a short story for a Valentine’s Day anthology for my publisher, Etopia Press, called Moonstone Promise, it is part of the late-Georgian set Moonstone Obsession universe and gives a happily ever after to one of my favourite supporting characters, Toby Jackson, the friend of Moonstone Obsession hero Sir James Mitchell.
I have a full length sequel to Moonstone Obsession called Moonstone Conspiracy that will be going to my publisher soon, for consideration. I take one of the villains from the first book, Lady Abigail Houghall who is transformed ‘from a Jezebel to a Rahab’ to become an English spy during the French Revolution.
If ‘Warrior’s Surrender’ was to be made into a movie, who would be your ultimate cast?
I love this question!
My dream cast is:
Hero Sebastian de la Croix: Ian Somerhalder
Heroine Alfreya of Tyrswick: Julianne Hough
Villain Lord Drefan: Simon Baker
Heroine’s Man-at-Arms Larcwide: Kevin Sorbo
Heroine’s maid/companion Diera: Margot Robbie
If there are any producers out there looking for a great property, then this it is. Trust me, real “Boffo” (box office success guranteed). Er, sorry about that, I got a little carried away!
Finally, could you give us a sneaky peek at one of your favourite parts of ‘Warrior’s Surrender’, please?
I’d love to! I have so many favourite parts!
Here is the set up: Sebastian and Alfreya are part of a search party looking for a missing shepherd and his son after severe spring floods. The father has been saved but the boy has been swept down the swollen river…
As Frey rounded the bend, only a couple of hundred yards away from the roiling junction of the tributary and river, she saw that Sebastian had overtaken the fallen tree, but only just.
Before she could catch her breath, Sebastian leaped at the tree.
He made an unsteady landing on the trunk, the action propelling the tree toward the other bank, where overhanging branches impeded its forward progress. The young boy’s hysterical screams grew louder as Sebastian edged himself nearer and stretched out his arm.
Fear for her love, —this man who was hers, heart, mind, body, and soul, —beat a relentless tattoo against Frey’s ribs. Over the roar of the rushing water, she could see him speaking words of encouragement to the lad who clung to a limb in a deathly grip. The child reached out to him and, in a swift movement, Sebastian hauled the boy onto the trunk.
She could see the youngster was badly cut and grazed, and the tree rocked with the movement, threatening to throw them both back into the water.
“Frey!” Sebastian called, his voice even, but his expression tight. “Get a line over here now! It’s not going to hold.”
Her? But what could she do that he in all his strength could not?
Her hesitation was only fleeting, but it was observed by Gaines, who was the first to catch up with them. Frey could see the expression of disgust that flitted across his face as their eyes met. Gaines hated her, that much was clear, despite the effort she had made to be a good wife to Sebastian and to unite Tyrswick.
She raised her chin. No matter what he thought of her, she was the baroness and, by God, she would use every inch of her authority.
A future with words was always on the book for Elizabeth Ellen Carter who started writing her own stories when she ran out of Nancy Drew mysteries to read when she was 10. Using her mother’s Olivetti type writer with the italic keyboard, she spent endless school holidays making up her own stories and then using the Dewey Decimal System to arrange and categories her bookshelf.
Somewhere around the age of 13 she determined to become a journalist and at 17 was awarded a cadetship to the Gold Coast Bulletin. She covered news, council, education, health but had the most fun as the paper’s entertainment and features reporter covering film, TV and music. Best of all she met her husband there and together they started a small award-winning media, marketing and advertising agency and now she works as marketing manager for an international organic skin care company.