Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today: Mystery, action, chills, and thrills spiced with romance and desire. ELIZABETH NOBLE lives by the adage “I can’t not write.” She doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t make up stories and eventually she learned how to put words on a page. Those words turned into books and fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M fiction. A part of every day is spent living in worlds she created that are filled with intrigue and espionage. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural.
When she’s not chronicling the adventures of her many characters, Elizabeth is a veterinary nurse living in her native Cleveland, Ohio. She has three grown children and now happily shares her little, brick house with two spunky Cardigan Welsh Corgis and their feline sidekicks. Elizabeth is a fan of baseball, basketball (go Cavs and Guardians) and gardening. She can often be found working in her ‘outside office’ listening to classic rock and plotter her next novel waiting for it to be dark enough to gaze at the stars.
Elizabeth has received a number of amateur writing awards. Since being published, several of her novels have received Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Jewel Cave was a runner-up in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category in the 2015 Rainbow Awards. Ringed Love was a winner in the Gay Fantasy Romance category of the 2016 Rainbow Awards.
J. Scott Coatsworth: Thanks so much, Elizabeth, for joining me! Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
Elizabeth Noble: First of all, thank you, Scott for having me here today!
I have a full-time day job, but I still consider myself a full-time writer.
Could I live off my writing alone, no. However, I spend several hours a day working on some part of my writing. If I’m not actually writing, I’m working on plots or promotion or editing.
Does having to go to work four days a week affect how much writing I can accomplish in a week? Sure, it does. Does it stop me from finding ideas in the world around me, no. I have a physical notebook and a digital one on my phone, so I’m able to jot down scene ideas or research data anywhere. I can’t do any actual writing at work but depending on the subject I can get some research done.
JSC: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
EN: The short answer is, yes.
The complex answer is, yes!
I’d say I’m about 70% pantser. I don’t have extensive outlines, in fact the only time I really did outlines was when I was writing something with someone else. I do have what I refer to as overviews, and general list of what I want in a book or series. How I fill in the gaps between the list items is a complete surprise.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
EN: The first thing I have to have is a title. I’ve only deviated from an original title twice. The first was the last book of The Sleepless City, the series I wrote with Anne Barwell. The final book was supposed to be titled Checkmate. The publisher we were with at the time asked for a change because they already had a book coming out with the same title. Checkmate became Shifting Chaos. The second was Whiskey and Moonshine which started with a much different plot and title.
The other thing I need to write a book is to know how it ends. I’ve written the ending scenes before the middle of a book more than once. I go through my list of what should happen, writing toward my pre-determined end. I did the same with my Sentries series. It’s six books long and I knew from book one how that series would end. Getting there was an adventure!
Sometimes how the items on my list are completed changes, but that list always remains the same. How extensive my lists are varies from book to book. Endosymbiont (Book 3 of The Vampire Guard) is a longer, more complex story but only had four things on my list. Jewel Cave, a much shorter book had a longer list of ‘must haves’ for me to complete.
JSC: Where do you like to write?
EN: Most of the time I’m in my office, a space I created in a second bedroom years ago. I have a wonderful, comfortable chair and two desktops, so I can write, research, and watch TV at the same time.
When the weather is nice, I take my laptop outside and sit on my patio in the back yard. I’ve been known to take my laptop to my kitchen to do some work while I cook or eat.
JSC: What’s your writer cave like? Photos?
EN: I call it my fangirl room. I have posters from favorite shows and movies as well as my book covers framed and hung on the wall. There are bookshelves in there with books and collectibles. It’s also become the home of my dog training equipment.
JSC: Who does your covers, and what was the design process like?
EN: TL Bland is my cover artist for all my indie published books. She’s also my friend and beta reads/edits for me. She’s great and the more I stay out of her cover making process the better the covers turn out. She’ll ask me for details about character looks and if I have any photos for examples. Other information she wants in detail is the general theme of the book, is it dark, funny, paranormal, and so on. With Scintilla I’d found a photo of the cover model and thought he’d be perfect and luckily, she was able to use him. Since one MC, Brandon is a magical human capable of wielding electricity, I wanted something on the cover to represent that.
For The Vampire Guard series she created a background that is actually a screen saver used by the organization. Fun fact, the sword on the cover of Quarry is from her personal collection.
JSC: What secondary character in Scintilla would you like to explore more? Tell me about them.
EN: There are several secondary characters in the book who will have their own books later in the series. Tad and Agent Grullón, who both have small parts in Scintilla will be two of the MCs in the next book in the series, Prism. This book will have a third MC joining them!
In the third, as yet untitled, book of the El Corazon series will feature Fahim, a jinni, as one of the MCs. He was one of those characters that sort of took over whatever page he was on and surprised me by how popular and interesting he turned out to be.
JSC: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
EN: A spy. I taught myself to read backwards and upside down. I can also read from a mirror. Eight-year-old me thought that was an important skill for a spy.
JSC: What pets are currently on your keyboard, and what are their names? Pictures?
EN: I have two dogs, Finn and Taylor and two cats, Oscar and Edgar. Anyone who reads my newsletter or is a member of my private Facebook group, On the Patio, have seen photos of my dogs and know some of their story. They are both Cardigan Welsh Corgis that came to me as adults. We train to compete in Rally Obedience and Obedience. My cats just lay around the house…lol
JSC: What are you working on now, and what’s coming out next? Tell us about it!
EN: I’ve been working on Prism, book 2 of El Corazon. Each of the books in the series can be read as a stand-alone but there are characters that are in more than one book. In the El Corazon world there are magical humans and paranormal creatures. It’s an urban fantasy/paranormal romance series. In Prism one of the MCs, Elian, is a magical human who can manipulate light and color. Humans with his sort of magic are called prisms.
Elian is a county sheriff and reconnects with a past love, Tad, who is a werewolf. Tad is an unusual werewolf in that he suffers from anxiety disorder and is also a sexual submissive. Not something you find in your average werewolf. Enter Agent Grullón, also a werewolf. He’s not submissive, he is an FBI agent and he’s part of Tad’s therapy for his anxiety. Since medications don’t work on werewolves very well, Tad seeks anxiety relief from specific sexual encounters. Primal play and D/s between werewolves is intense and Rafael Grullón delivers. Yes, this is MMM since Tad doesn’t want to choose between these two men! Oh, and if you’re worried a human couldn’t keep up with two werewolves, you’d be very wrong.
And now for Elizabeth’s MM fantasy romance: Scintilla:
How far is too far to go to save someone you love?
Brandon Lynch is magical. He’s a scintilla, wielder of electricity and is in love with a werewolf—or maybe he’s just in love with the idea of loving a werewolf?
Raul Fierro is a bounty hunter and a werewolf. He knows he loves Brandon. He’s made a promise to always protect Brandon and will carry out that promise at all costs.
When Brandon and Raul go head to head with human traffickers, Brandon’s morals are stretched to their limits. Will Raul keeping his promise tear them apart?
Raul broke their kiss and whispered, “Intense.”
“We should probably leave that last part out,” Brandon said softly. He took a few deep breaths to further relax before he began to explain. “It’s a very personal thing, not something everyone will know, other than another scintilla. It’s also something I wouldn’t do with anyone other than a person I trusted without reservation, it leaves me that vulnerable. I do lose a little control when the charge is higher. If it’s too much of a jolt, sever the connection.” He stopped and closed his eyes, struggling to get his body to quiet. “To break it all you need to do is move away from my field.”
“How far away?”
Brandon held his hands a foot or so apart. “Not far. Taking one step back would be enough. If you touch me for longer than a few seconds we’ll get some extra sparking. It won’t hurt me, but it might be unpleasant for you.”
“Then you act woozy and…”
“It won’t be an act.” Brandon licked his lips again. “I will need protecting for ten minutes or so.”
Raul ran his thumb over Brandon’s cheek, nuzzled him and planted light kisses over the same spot he touched.
“No better protector than a werewolf.”
“Especially a werewolf who knotted me. Despite what he told me months ago.”
“Yes.” Raul nodded. “You’ll be in a sort of trance or look as if you are. I’ll give you orders, you’ll then provide whatever digital information is needed.” He pulled his hands away and stared down at his fingers, waggling them, making a fist then opening his fingers again.
“Did I burn you?”
Raul shook his head. “No. There was tingling, still is, no pain, it feels good. Could I be an anchor for you?”
“Organic instead of artificial. I like that idea. Yes, I think if we practice a bit it could work. My equipment kept me anchored by helping me manipulate my field and keep me stable inside the digital world. I don’t see why you couldn’t learn to do that for me.”