Saturday, May 1, 2010

An interview with Barbara Elsborg

Barbara Elsborg has multiple novels and short stories published with Ellora’s Cave, Loose I.D. and Ravenous Romance. You can visit with her at he blog,
Barbara's novels are available online and in print. She’s been described as having strong heroines with a sense of humor that keep her readers turning the pages and wanting more. Please help me give a big welcome to Barbara Elsborg, romance author extraordinaire.

Why do you write?

I write because the world in my head is far more interesting than the one I live in. I write because without it, I’d go crazy. I write because it’s what I love doing. I write because I hate shopping and cooking and cleaning.

What were your early influences in writing?

TV and movies. I was an unhappy child, teased because I was very tall and I didn’t have any friends. Pause for sympathy. I walked to school on my own and used to drag TV or movie stars along with me and chat to them in my head. A short step then to making up a world with me and them in it and from there to writing it down. I filled lots of notebooks with fan fiction – still have them. They all feature a tall, blonde, gawky girl and a handsome actor.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I’ve always written but I guess the idea of actually wanting to be published didn’t stick its claws in me until I was in my early twenties. I subbed my first novel when I was twenty-seven. A thriller called Unnatural Selection. I did get a personalized rejection from one publisher – who called it very dark and asked for something lighter. It’s still in the bottom of the closet. Funnily enough it features a tall, blonde, gawky girl.

What kinds of research do you do for your novels?

I don’t write anything that requires a huge amount of research. I write from knowledge and experience – well apart from the whips and chains and clamps and – er… no, I obviously don’t write from experience at all. Google is my source for almost everything, that and my thousands of books.

What are you favorite scenes to write?

Dialogue – especially snappy dialogue between hero and heroine. Other than that, I like all of it.

Do you have a favorite character?

In my stories? Charlie in Strangers. He is such a bad boy with so many faults but he is irresistible. The photo of the guy on the cover is uncannily close to how I’d imagine him. Not exact but near enough for me to love that cover.

Do you have any favorite lines in your novels?

The end. Ha ha. Awful confession I know but I can’t remember much detail of what I write. It comes as a complete shock to me when I reread a story. Did I actually write that?– are the words that often flitter through my head.
What are the hardest scenes to write?

Sex scenes. I don’t find them easy. They need to be different and it’s all been done before. All that thrusting and pounding and pressing and pushing and stroking and…oops getting a little carried away.

Please, tell us about some of your books.

~Lucy in the Sky~

When you find a spaceship in your backyard, what do you do? Choose from three:Phone the police.Scream.Go yell at the alien for wrecking your garden.Lucy confronts the inept pilot and the last option turns out to be both the right and wrong choice. She’s torn between fury that gorgeous alien hunk Three has decapitated her statue of Eros, and a longing that he enliven her boring life and whisk her to the stars. Three doesn’t give her a choice when he throws her over his shoulder and takes her into space. Lucy soon finds herself exploring alien territory in ways she never imagined.Three’s efforts to hide and protect her on the mother ship are stymied by his inability to keep his hands off the luscious Lucy. But Three and Lucy are being observed. Three’s friend Hyll has been in unrequited lust with Three for years. And he wants what Lucy’s getting. When lust turns to love, it comes from a most unexpected quarter.

* * *

I'd like to put it on record that if ever a spaceship DOES land in my garden, I'd like the alien to look like Three. If it's some monstrous blob with three eyes and green skin, the lady next door is lovely!!

~The Consolation Prize~

'You are invited to spend four days at Sunset Spa, Washburn Hall. Accommodation and nourishment provided. All spa treatments included.'It should have been a big thrill--an all expenses paid trip, but it was actually the topping on Chloe's really bad night. She'd lost her promotion, destroyed a pair of designer pumps, and turned in her notice. Washburn Hall, where her family died, was the last place she wanted to go. But Chloe's pulled towards the spa by forces beyond her control.Luka is handsome, rich, and gay. That's what he'd like everyone to think. Luka's really a Trueblood, a fertile vampire. Not a bad thing, unless being staked out in the sun and fried to a crisp is appealing. But his secret gets out. Instead of staked, he gets shanghaied--straight into stud service and chained up in a basement of Washburn Hall.Chloe wonders if the gorgeous naked man in chains is part of the all-inclusive package. Somehow she doesn't think so, but you know what? She's taking a consolation prize: free him and run. It should be simple enough. After all, the only thing between Chloe and the man of her dreams is a few horny vamps, a decent set of bolt cutters, and a step-grandmother from hell.Who said the trip to the spa wouldn't be fun?

~Lightning in a Bottle~

Lightning isn't supposed to strike twice, but when the electrifying Erin Markov whirls into Felix's life she gives him more than his destroyed family home to think about. Erin's exciting and unpredictable, in and out of bed, if only he could get her to stop dancing in thunderstorms, rollerblading in the middle of the night, and leaping around on unsafe roofs. Plus she has this annoying habit of biting his neck.Erin wishes she could remember who she is. The couple who claim to be her parents leave her in a dilapidated stately home with supplies of a revolting energy drink and instructions not to go out in the sun. Then she discovers sculptor Felix living next door and life becomes far more tasty.

~The Misfits~

It's not easy being a faerie. Holly would know. She's the laughing stock of Fae, useless at magic and has wings that never cooperate. She can't understand why a high-born faerie she hardly knows would want to marry her because she certainly doesn't want to marry him. The mortal world looks far more enticing.Being a vampire bites. Crippled with guilt over his part in the death of his twin, Dominic is estranged from his family. When he rescues an injured werewolf on the run from his pack, he sees a kindred spirit in the damaged outcast.What use is a werewolf who can't scent or track? Victim of his conniving brother, Jay is viciously attacked by his pack. The wolves might not want him but once he's living with Dominic, they won't leave him alone.After a night of passion with Dominic and Jay, Holly's ready to move in with them. But their enemies are intent on keeping them apart and the trio of misfits find themselves in a fight for survival. If they can't figure a way through the web of lies and deceit that bind them, they'll lose more than their families. They'll lose each other.~Falling for you~She lives for the moon.Every month, for five days around the full moon, Jo has the overwhelming urge to jump almost every male she sees. Convinced she's gone crazy, she seeks medical help but finds none. All she can do to stop the hunger is run. One wrong step and Jo's life plummets in a direction she didn't expect. She falls into the lair of a badly injured vampire.He lives for the night.Alek can't believe the angel who's dropped from the sky. With a knife wedged in his chest and too weak to move, he'd given up and is waiting for sunrise. But when the beautiful jogger crashes into his lair, Alek finds more than a way to survive -- he finds a reason for doing so.Every dog has his day.Lyall, alpha werewolf, wants Alek dead so he can take his land. He wants Jo alive to breed more wolves. But Lyall hasn't reckoned on the power of love. Annoying Alek is a big mistake. Annoying Jo could be fatal.

Do you have a writing tip to share?

Read your work out loud. You can hear what doesn’t work more easily than you can see it. You’ll spot repeats, poor grammar, inconsistencies etc. Oh and don't drink alcohol while you write. It won't seem such brilliant prose in the morning.

Any new novels in the works?

The Small Print (Tentative title)– a paranormal ménage with a vampire, werewolf and a something else. The something else is a secret. It will spoil the plot if I say what. The premise is that you should always read the fine print on a document – otherwise you could end up in trouble. When Turner – vampire – buys a new house, he doesn’t realize there are conditions attached and his life will never be the same again.'It’s In His Smile' – is the next project. Title still tentative but it’s about a gargoyle.

Any up and coming releases? What are they and when will they be available for purchase?

Snow Play – a Quickie for Ellora’s Cave – should be out soon but I don't have a release date yet. It's a MF contemporary set up a mountain in Austria where the heroine gets trapped in an ice cave. Just so happened I freaked out in an ice cave in Austria this year. I didn't get a handsome hunk as a rescuer though.

~Snow Play~

Single on a couples get-away? Not the way to spend your vacation.Allie, the odd woman out, takes a tour under a glacier and ends up trapped in the dark. Cold and alone, she resigns herself to a night of misery. But when Zach finds unclaimed skis after the mountain has closed, he follows his instincts and charges to the rescue, bringing more than a helping hand. He brings enough heat to melt the polar icecaps and change her life forever.Fight to Remember will be my next for Loose-Id – no release date yet. A MFM paranormal – the last in my Trueblood books.

~Fight to Remember~

A twist of his body and vampire, Rhyl Markov, avoids being staked in the heart. He’s thrown into the earth but trapped between slabs of rock, he manages to avoid plunging into hell. With only the blood of rats to keep him alive, he fights not to lose his mind.

What’s my name?

For eleven years, Piper Kennedy wakes with no idea who or where she is. After she falls asleep, she forgets all personal details of her life. Each day she must read her notebooks before she goes to work and then pretend to remember the day before. Her whole life is a battle.

What did I do last night?
Werepuma, Keir Sparks, is bound to a demon who operates a deadly fight club with only one leaving the ring. After seven wins, Keir hopes eight is his lucky number but the faces of the dead fill his mind when he hears his name chanted by the bloodthirsty crowd.

When will this end?
Three lives are set to collide. Rhyl’s memory returns while Piper’s remains elusive and all Keir wants is to forget what he did.
The Power of Love is an emotional roller coaster and a little known Elsborg treasure. I had the fortunate opportunity to read this novel in its early stages. I have to say it’s one of my favorites and I promise it’s a story readers won’t soon forget. Barbara, can you tell us a little bit about Joe and Poppy and what inspired the Power of Love?

~Power of Love~

Joe is a lost soul.When Joe is killed in the line of duty, the result of a blunder by his girlfriend Poppy, he ends up stuck between worlds, not quite in heaven, not quite in hell. Heaven is Poppy lying in his arms, hearing the sound of his name on her lips as he makes love to her, again and again. Hell is the knowledge that to save Poppy, he must convince her to let him go.Poppy is a soul lost.Joe was Poppy’s heart, her soul, and since he died she’s lost it all, including her sanity. Everywhere she looks, he’s there—talking to her, touching her, sharing ice cream, showers and making love to her like there’s no tomorrow. But tomorrow does come, and letting go of Joe could destroy her.Sometimes love lasts a lifetime. Sometimes love reaches beyond death. Sometimes…love lasts forever.

* * *

This isn't a sad book, it's largely a funny book! It was great fun to write though I should have remembered the challenges of writing about an invisible character. My WIP - has someone who's invisible throughout.I wanted to call this book Letting Go. Unusually for me I had the idea of the theme before I started writing. What normally happens is that at the end I have a moment of revelation where I realize that there IS a thread running through the story that links everything. I assume I do it subconsciously!! But this story - I had the idea of a woman who loved her boyfriend so much that after he died, she kept talking to him, kept him part of her life. She feels responsible for his death because she physically let him go. So its the story of how she has to learn to let go and how Joe has to learn to open his heart to love. That sounds sad and morbid and it isn't!!

What kind of research did you do for the Power of Love?

I had to find out a little about the British police force but other than that, it came pretty much out of my head. Apart from the sex. That's all made up. Oops.

How about an excerpt?

Joe awoke at sloth speed, facedown and dribbling into his pillow. He slid his cheek a couple of inches onto a dry spot. His eyelids fluttered but stayed closed. Too much effort. His back itched—no, ached. Shit, it really ached. Joe gradually became aware something was very wrong with his back. It hurt like he’d been hit with a barstool. What the fuck had happened last night? Had he been hit with a bar stool? He tried to roll over. Pain shot down the length of his spine, spiraling into his legs and he froze. What the hell had he been doing? Joe pressed his face deeper into the pillow. Damned if he could remember. His head didn’t swim, nor did his stomach so this wasn’t a hangover.

Memories trickled through the thick sludge in his brain, filtering into pockets of sense. An accident. Yeah, come to think of it, he remembered…falling. Joe lifted his head and blinked. He must have hurt his back. What else? An exploratory hand between his legs ushered a sigh of relief. Backache he could cope with, but not damage to his wedding tackle.

Joe tried to shrug off his duvet and it flopped back in place. He sneezed in the disturbed air and howled at the knife-like pain between his shoulder blades. Howled seven times as he sneezed seven times. What the hell was wrong with him? He wasn’t in hospital, this was definitely his room. Joe levered himself out of bed.

His body felt heavy and sluggish and whilst that wasn’t entirely unusual for a guy who liked sleeping, Joe prided himself on the fact that he was physically fit. He rubbed his eyes and yawned. One roll of his shoulders and a flurry of activity erupted behind him. The next moment Joe lay sprawled on the carpet and everything had gone dark. His eyes were open so why had the light dimmed? He forced his dull brain to cooperate. The duvet must have fallen over his head. He reached up and touched a feather. No wonder he’d sneezed. He was allergic to feathers which was why he’d purchased a synthetic-filled duvet. Joe felt the fluttering of alarm.

Every movement slow and careful, Joe got up again. He might not be firing on all cylinders but he knew he wasn’t alone. Someone was behind him. Joe tensed. Fuck, a burglar. Now his brain worked too fast. Someone had broken into his apartment. Someone was in his bedroom. That someone had fucking knocked him over. That someone was dead.

Joe whipped round and watched in horrified fascination as everything sailed off his bedside table. His Ferrari alarm clock hit the wall with a high pitched whine, followed by a glass of water and his watch. Joe whipped the other way and the music system on his chest of drawers sailed halfway around the room before crash-landing on the carpet. Joe seethed with fury. The fucker was wrecking his room. Where the hell was he? Joe spun again and three black and white prints of mountain peaks flew off one wall to smash on another.

He yelped. That hurt. Not just the ruined pictures. Him. It had hurt him. Joe glanced down at his naked body, a rapidly diminishing morning woodie and dark grey feathers.

Feathers? “What the fuck?”

Staggering to the wardrobe, he flung open the door to look in the mirror. A pale face stared back, his unruly dark hair wilder than usual. Joe looked down. Jonny and his two pals seemed okay, only now rather timid and retiring. He tried not to look at the other things he could see, but there was no way to ignore them. A fleeting hope a pinch might wake him, dissipated like snow falling in a puddle. This was no dream. Overnight, he’d grown wings. Fucking hell.

Barbara, I’d like to thank you for taking time to do this interview. Barbara will be giving away a copy of The Power of Love to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment under her interview here or the announcement for this interview at any of the below listed blogs or all of them. One comment per blog, please. Deadline to enter is midnight on Friday, May 7th. One prize—four chances to win:

Thanks to everyone for stopping by. If you haven’t yet read any of Barbara’s books, I highly recommend you give them a read. Barbara’s books can be found both at Ellora’s Cave (link) and Loose I.D. (link) You won’t regret it.Best,D L Jackson

Thanks for having me, Dawn. I suppose I should mention my one and only non-erotic book - which is out 29th April 2010 with Cerridwen Press. The only one I can tell my mother-in-law about. My own mother is no doubt spinning in her grave at my depravity. Sorry, mum! Anyway - Digging Deeper - is a romantic comedy set where I live in West Yorkshire. Largely based on the disasters of my own life - though not the unexploded bomb- it's the story of how two people seem fated not to be together. It's the funniest thing I've written and modesty aside - I could really see it as a movie - should anyone out there be interested. It has everything - homicidal sheep, singing reindeer, nurses stuck in windows, tanning booth accidents.....


  1. Wow, there was a lot of me here!! Hope I don't bore people to tears! Thanks so much for the chance to talk, Dawn!!

  2. There's nothing boring about you, chickie.

  3. Every plotline keeps me riveted, every character stirs intense emotions, the one word I'd never associate with Barbara is forgetable. Having read everything out there she's written, I can't say there's a favorite because each unique novel has me falling in love, in hate, bursting out laughing, sometimes crying all over again. One of the few authors I'd buy based on her name alone, I've complete faith that happy ever after will come after an intense ride.

  4. Excellent interview! Barbara is one of the most prolific authors I've ever had the pleasure to read. The Misfits was my first introduction to her worlds, and I've been hooked ever since. Her male characters are hot, slightly flawed, not quite good sometimes but not quite bad, and all are completely irresistible. Her female characters really speak to female readers--they have realistic outlooks and actions and problems, and really speak to the core of insecurity that's inside each of us.

    If you haven't read Barbara Elsborg yet, trust me--check out Strangers, Mistfits, and Fight to Remember, and you won't be disappointed!

  5. I love the sound of Barbara's books and will be adding them to my wishlist soonest :D

  6. What a fabulous interview -- thanks for sharing! Your books sound wonderful and I can't wait to read them now!!

  7. I really like Barbara's books, they are fun and hot.
    Thanks for a great interview

  8. Thanksso much, guys!! I better keep writing then!

  9. My first taste of Barbara’s unique style was Lucy in the Sky. Having never really read this genre before, she turned me onto it wholeheartedly. I eagerly look for anything Barbara’s written. From the paranormal to outer space to vampires and werewolves, I’d even read her grocery list. Witty and funny, she knows how to draw you into the world of her characters and make you believe you’re there.

  10. This is a great interview. I'm always on the hunt for great authors and great stories. The problem with Barbara's books is that I can't decide where to start! I want to read all of them.

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  12. Thanks to all for leaving a comment and checking out Barbara's work. Now it's time to announce our winner.
    *drum roll*
    The winner of Power of Love is Ilona.
    *\0/* *\0/* *\0/*
    Please contact Barbara at bjelsborg @ (deleting any spaces), with your email address and she will forward the e-novel.

    What's next? An interview with Sara Brookes. She's got a new release on May 10th and she's graciously giving away a copy to one lucky reader of the blog.
    So, be sure to stop by May 10th and check out her interview for a chance to win her newly released e-novel.