Rae: First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking an Iced Coffee with Coconut Milk. 🙂 What would you order?
Eliza: It depends on the day and hour, lol. If its morning, I’m getting a hot coffee. In the afternoon, I tend to go with ice. I am seriously into cinnamon lattes. I prefer coconut milk, but if they don’t have it, I’ll go with cream.
Rae: Thanks so much for hanging out with me today.
Eliza: Thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be here–I do LOVE coffee! Yum!
Rae: Congratulations on the release of Destination Love, how did this project come about?
Eliza: Thank you so much! I’m so thrilled to be a part of it! So, about 4 years ago, I started to write my novella, Wherever You Are, for fun, after a trip to the Caribbean. I’d showed some beginning chapters to Christi and she loved them, but then deadlines got in the way, so I never finished to story. Last year, she approached me about doing an anthology and wanted me to finish that story, so I said yes!
Rae: It’s a change from the historical romance stories that you’ve released. How did you collaborate for this?
Eliza: It’s definitely a shift from my usual historical, but it is connected with another contemporary I wrote about five years ago, The Rebound Pact. Those of us involved in the set came pretty naturally. We all belong to Maryland Romance Writers, and once a month, a few of us get together for dinner, and at some point, all of us have had dinner a couple times over the years.
Rae: How are each of the stories connected?
Eliza: Every story in our anthology has characters traveling somewhere, so when readers pick up the set, they can take a journey with our characters as they fall in love.
Rae: You currently have eight series in historical romance and also write contemporary. Can you tell us a little about each? How do you keep all of your characters straight? Do you have a “Bible” or file with all the details?
Eliza: I definitely have a series bible, its important, especially for series that end up with as many books as my Stolen Bride series has, and its spin-off the Conquered Bride have (17! and another on the way!). For historical, I mostly write sexy Scottish. I have a few Regencies, westerns and ancient history as well.
Rae: When did you know that you wanted to write historical romance? Did anything from that trip wind up in your book?
Eliza: I would say I knew I wanted to write historical romance in high school. I used to write fan-fiction using characters from my favorite romance novels. But I did it for fun and shared with friends. I continued to write throughout college, developing my own stories and characters, but only for myself, until about 2006 that I started to seriously pursue a career as a novelist. I joined Romance Writers of America in early 2007.
Rae: Have you had a chance to take a research trip to Scotland?
Eliza: I have taken two research trips to Scotland and have a 3rd coming up this fall. I have also traveled to Ireland and France, and the islands. Every time I go, I have a purpose in mind, and every one of my books is laced with information or experiences I’ve had overseas, whether its the way the bark looks on a tree, how drafty a castle is, or the shape of the stones, or the smell of the ocean, it will find its way into the story.
Rae: How often do you have to travel for research to make that you have all the smells and feels down?
Eliza: I travel every 1-2 years. I take a lot of pictures/videos and I take notes. On my trip this fall, we’re immersing ourself in a coastal village with a castle up on the hill. It’s going to be amazing.
Rae: What is the biggest obstacle of publishing as an Indie author?
Eliza: I am lucky because I have a great team on the indie side of publishing, which is key. If you don’t have a good team, your job gets a lot harder. I think its important to have people who are experts in certain areas like cover design, publicity, advertising, copyrights, editing, copyediting, formatting, distribution. I want to be able to concentrate on writing. And though the business side still takes up a lot of time, its not nearly as much as it would be if I didn’t have those people in place to help me. The thing is, when you go indie, you’re not only an author anymore. You’re now a publisher, and you have to treat your business that way.
Rae: Your covers are fantastic, do you design them?
Eliza: My cover designer has been with me since the beginning–and I’ve been with her since she started out. She’s phenomenal.
Eliza: One blog gets a lot more attention than the other! History Undressed is my baby, and I started it in 2009. I used to post weekly, but now I only get to write on it much more sparingly. However, I do have regular bloggers that post on their slotted days, and they are seriously awesome!
Rae: RWA has just ended, what were your favorite moments?
Eliza: RWA is one of my favorite times in the year! My favorite moments… there were so many!!! Rooming with one of my dearest friends (who goes with me to Scotland!), dancing at the dance party, meeting up with colleagues, sharing in the excitement of friends who won awards, chatting with first time attendees and seeing the excitement in their eyes! Best of all? It fills the well! I come home inspired and filled with an intense energy.
Rae: What was your favorite panel and why?
Eliza: My favorite panel was done by Mark Dawson on social networking. It was a wealth of information, and I learned a lot of about Facebook that I didn’t even know about.
Rae: Can you tell us when and where you will be in the upcoming months?
Eliza: In September, I will be signing my Tudor series at the Maryland Renaissance Festival on September 9th. Also from September 27-Oct 1, I will be at the Historical Romance Retreat!
***** 8 Tantalizing Tidbits *****
1. What is a must read book and why? I have a few on my list right now. Historical Fiction: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, because it is FREAKING AWESOME, and it was chosen for the Reese Witherspoon book club. For romance classics, I just finished listening to the audio book, Pride and Prejudice read by Rosamund Pike, and it was the best version I’ve read so far because of all the voices she did. My favorite historical romance, The Bride by Julie Garwood!
2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown? Vineyards! In the town where I live, we have THREE wineries!
3. Best vacation destination? Scotland! Are you surprised?
4. What is one thing readers would be surprised to know about you? I had to have a reading specialist in first/second grade, because I just didn’t get it! Look at me now 🙂
5. Hard Rock or Classical? Favorite Band or Artist? Everything and Everyone! I love music of all kinds. I literally don’t have a favorite…
6. If you had an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world where would you go? Scotland! Are you surprised?
7. What is your guilty pleasure? Wine and chocolate
8. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one? I have two tattoos. A rose on my back (I call it my Tudor rose), and on my wrist I have a one in type-set font that says, Nevertheless, she persisted, a reminder to myself to keep moving forward, to never give up in the pursuit of my dreams and happiness. This one is especially dear to me, because I got it along with four other author friends at a conference. We are now forever tat sisters 🙂
Still want to know more about Eliza? Head over to her webpage and explore!