Welcome Elisabeth! According to your bio on your website, you’ve always been a fan of books and paranormal romance in particular. What is it about this genre that makes you love it so much?
Thank you for having me!
You know, I think I’ve always been really into stuff that was a little mystical and otherworldly. I was the first person to want to pull out the Ouija Board or tell ghost stories at the slumber parties. It wasn’t until I discovered paranormal romance that I really fell in love with romance enough that I wanted to start writing. And when I started, it was definitely vampires in particular. I love the idea of two creatures bonding not just emotionally but physically. On a cellular level. They don’t just fall in love, they literally become part of each other through the exchange of a life-giving fluid. Something about that gives me the shivers. Not to mention, the forbidden, the hidden in plain sight urban fantasy aspect, the fangs, the supernatural strength and the big, sexy muscles that come along with the package. In general, I think my love of paranormal boils down to my enjoyment of the forbidden. What happens if an angel falls in love with a demon? Two members of opposing shifter tribes? The paranormal world opens up a whole world of additional new complications and excitement.
Your series, Chronicles of Yavn is a paranormal romance. So we’d like to know how much work went into creating a fantasy-filled world like you have. Did you do any research while creating this world?
I researched things people might not think about in paranormal worldbuilding. Everything from fighting techniques to car models to red wine to the phases of the moon to guns and ammo. In creating the physical world (as in the location), I didn’t research so much as “map out” because I created a fictional town. I set Ash Falls approximately in a rural but rich county in the Northern Virginia area that I’m fairly familiar with. The town itself though is totally fabricated so I had to figure out what was in the town and where those things existed. Weirdly though, in writing paranormal, it’s ultimately the real-world stuff you have to research, not the fantasy stuff. Like so many better/smarter authors have said before me, the demons/vampires/whatever kind of take care of themselves so long as you maintain consistent rules within your world.
Anton and Tyra’s story, PRINCE OF POWER is releasing this month. What can reader’s expect from book two?
I think Prince of Power is a different and much darker story than King of Darkness. While in King of Darkness I tried to put my own new twist on slightly more traditional type of vampire story, in Prince of Power I played a lot with role-reversal. We first met Anton, a wizard, in King of Darkness. Wizards steal vampires’ supernatural powers through blood sacrifice. He was about to be tortured by his father for failing to kidnap Tyra, the vampire king’s sister, because he’d fallen in love with her. So Prince of Power is about how they navigate falling in love when they’re supposed to be mortal enemies. The fun part, is the female in this book is the fighter. The male is the healer, the more emotionally available, but he’s also the enemy coming in from the outside. Lots of challenges.
Can you give us a little teaser of PRINCE OF POWER? Pretty please?
I took teaser literally, lol! This is kind of a spicy excerpt; it’s the lead-in to a love scene. I mentioned that in general Tyra is the fighter in this book, but that isn’t the case all the time. In this scene, Anton has been injured defending Tyra’s honor, and she gives him her blood to heal:
It was a sad and crazy fact that Anton hadn’t tasted a fresh strawberry until the day before being released from the hospital. He’d stayed there after being left for dead by his own supposed family. By God, he had delighted in every sweet, tangy bite.
Dreaming of them now was so vibrant that the flavor filled his mouth, accompanied by something richer. Something delightfully bitter, like a dark chocolate. He’d had some of those in the hospital too, both thanks to a patient in the next bed sharing a gift basket with him. He moaned at the delicious combination of flavors.
There had been nightmares, too. Vivid images of his father and the torture he’d received at the man’s hands, and of Tyra being held captive. Tied down like all the other vampires had been, while his father approached with a sternal saw in hand and something unseen held Anton fast. Helpless.
No amount of fighting had been enough to get him to her in time. He could still hear her screams and smell her blood. The scent was still fresh in his nose…
Something clogged his throat. Anton sputtered and was forced to swallow. It had smelled remarkably like… like…
Anton forced his eyes open. Tyra’s gaze made contact with his for just a second before she brought her wrist up to her mouth. Then the warm, comforting weight of her other hand landed on his chest and the cock in his pants throbbed harder.
Good grief, he’d woken from sleep aroused plenty of times, but usually not from a nightmare. How odd. And that succulent flavor lingered in his mouth, even as he shook off sleep. A lick of his parched lips, and the flavor burst on his tongue all over again.
Suspicion dawned when Tyra ran her tongue across her wrist. A drop of blood lingered at the corner of her mouth, and he gave no thought to reaching up and sweeping it away with his thumb. Or to licking the residue. He just did it. For a few beats his eyes closed again. It was the same flavor.
He didn’t have words to thank her for the gift she had just given him…
When you do get a chance to read, which authors do you like to reach for?
Oh gosh, there are a ton of amazing authors I enjoy. My “pool” of faves include Suzanne Brockmann, J.R. Ward, Gena Showalter, Mary Calmes, Amy Lane, Damon Suede, Megan Hart, Tes Hilaire, Sara Humphreys, and Megan Hart
When stuck on a scene, what do you do to get out of that minor setback?
Depends on the situation. I may try to do something else entirely like play with my kids or go grocery shopping—sometimes when you stop banging away at a problem, that’s when the solution finally comes. Sometimes I meditate or do yoga. Exercise. Stress never helps. I may try a writing prompt—write for awhile about something else to jump-start my brain. If all else fails I do my best to just write through it. Even if I’m pretty sure the writing is awful, I try to just get something on the page. So many authors will tell you, when you have deadlines you can’t always afford to wait for inspiration to strike. Especially when you’re trying to write around preschool schedules and kid fights and refilling sippy cups. Drafts can be edited, but it’s hard to edit a blank page.
How would you describe your writing to readers?
Dark, gritty, humorous paranormal romance/urban fantasy. Sexy vampires, scary wizards, and the happily ever after.
Do you plan on venturing outside of the paranormal?
… Maybe? LOL! I think I would like to, but right now everything’s a question of time. Writing one novel a year that’s 90,000 to 100,000 words long with multiple story arcs and character points of view is plenty challenging when I’ve got two kids that are at a demanding age and onlyin school for a few hours a week. Maybe one of these days when things get easier. 🙂
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see the following words:
Vampire – Sexy, romance, night time
Shifter – alpha males, full moons, growling and howling
Tattoos – I love tattoos! I have a few of my own. Big fan, especially on vampires and shifters.
Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us today Elisabeth! Now I’m sure everyone wants to see what the CHRONICLES OF YAVN is all about!
KING OF DARKNESS
This first book in a hot, edgy, dark paranormal romance series from a debut author has all the right stuff: a deep urban fantasy feel, a take-no-crap tough heroine and a sexy, arrogant vampire king who gets his comeuppance.
Isabel Anthony has lived a carefree existence masquerading as human, but when this party-girl meets the king of vampires, her world turns deep, dark, and dangerous double-quick. Thad Morgan is looking for the prophesied mate who will unlock his powers. But when he finally finds Isabel in a seedy nightclub, he thinks fate must have gotten it wrong.
PRINCE OF POWER
This Fight Is Personal…
Wizards and vampires have been mortal enemies since the beginning. Now Anton, son of the Wizard Master, has one last chance to steal the unique powers of the vampire king’s beautiful sister, Tyra…and then kill her. But when he meets Tyra face-to-face, everything changes…
Tyra will stop at nothing to defeat the wizards, until Anton saves her life and she suddenly sees an opportunity she never could have imagined…
As the sparks ignite between them, together they could bring an end to the war that’s decimating their people, but only if they can find a way to trust each other…
About the Author
Elisabeth Staab still lives with her nose in a book and at least one foot in a fantasy world. Her bestselling paranormal romance novel, King of Darkness, debuted in February of 2012. Her second novel, Prince of Power, is just out now. Find out more at ElisabethStaab.com and follow her on Twitter, Facebook and her newsletter.
SOURCEBOOKS CASABLANCA has a copy of PRINCE OF POWER
up for grabs for one US/Canada Maiden!