Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Interview with Elisa Paige- plus a summary of her next book!

I have recently read all 3 of Elisa Paige's published books- Stealing Time, Shadowplay and Maelstrom- and wow, were they good!

Below Elisa answers some of my questions about writing, reading and vampires!

If you were stuck on a desert island with one of your characters who would you choose?
(assuming your blood was not tasty to vamps)

Of the books already published (Stealing Time, Shadowplay, and Maelstrom), I’d choose Roddie to be stuck with on a desert island. Primarily, this is because I love his playfulness and sense of humor. It would also be nice to have a master musician for company . . . especially one who happens to be a really hot redhead with dimples, brilliant blue eyes, and a sexy Irish lilt.

In the publication pipeline is another book called Honor Bound. Luca Beltenebros, the hero, is my absolute favorite of all my characters. He’s strong, smart, super hot, and has a wicked sense of humor. He’s also a BorĂ©an, a new kind of supernatural with amazing powers.
Which of your characters do you identify with most?
Amalie is my favorite character because she says what’s on her mind and you always know where you stand with her. She’s also smart, snarky, and fiercely loyal. I identify most with Evie, though.
What (if any) music do you listen to when writing?

I’m always listening to music and am inspired by it. Each of my books has its own “sound track” – the songs that resonated most with me while I was writing a particular story.

Here are some examples:

-- The erotic song James and Evie dance to at the rave: Jasmin Tabatabai’s “Let Yourself Go Wild.” After I wrote the scene, I found a music video on youtube and thought WHOA, that's exactly what I was going for. Here's the link:

-- The dark techno song immediately following the sexy song? Shiny Toy Gun’s “Le Disko.”

-- I’m normally a pretty upbeat person, so to write Mia’s breakdown, I needed something to get me in the proper mindset. Davey Spillane’s “Caoineadh Cu Chulainn” (Lament for Cuchulain, Ireland's legendary hero) did the trick and I was a basketcase for a week.

-- Roddie’s master fiddling skills and the music he played were inspired by Scythian’s incredible fiddler, Alex Fedoryka (who’s also very easy on the eyes).

-- Amalie’s theme song: Relient K’s “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been.”

-- Nick’s theme song: Marshall Crenshaw’s “Some Day, Some Way.”

-- The music Nick plays to Amalie from beyond her fence line, night after night, until she finally goes to him was inspired by Scythian’s cover of the theme to “Last of the Mohicans.” Nick’s skill with a feadog pipe was inspired by The Chieftain’s Paddy Moloney.

-- The music I listened to while writing Stealing Time’s sequel, Killing Time (due out June 2011): Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie, as well as Robert Tree Cody ("Lakota Lullaby"), Randy Granger ("Apache Tears"), Tribal Spirit ("Tatanka"), traditional songs like "Shawnee Stomp Dance" and "Assiniboine Lullaby." If you've never checked out Native American music, I highly recommend it for its haunting beauty and the rich cultures represented.

How long did it take you to write all 3 books?

Each book takes about three months to write, edit, and polish. Because I studied classical piano when I was young, I can type 110 wpm with 100% accuracy. I also write about twelve hours a day, even on weekends.

wow, 12 hours a day! How do you keep up with friends, life etc working such long days?

While my daughter is in school, I write until it's time to pick her up in the afternoon. We hang out, do homework, have dinner, then she goes to bed, and I return to writing. Many nights, I don't go to sleep until 2:00 or later. A couple of times, I've been so engrossed, I was still writing when the sun came up. I paid for it, though, and was exhausted for days!

What was your favourite book as a child?

I read constantly and had way too many cherished books for one to be a favorite. Topping my list, though, were: The Hero and the Crown, The Blue Sword, the Dragonriders of Pern series, and the Riddle Master series. At one point, I could quote pivotal scenes from Tolkien’s books. And my big brother got me hooked on Stephen King when I was eight, at which point, I could go to sleep only if all the lights were on in my bedroom. That first book, The Shining, still scares the bejeebers out of me. These days, my brother and I share zombiepocalypse books. World War Z and Patient Zero are favorites.

What book had the biggest impact on you/your writing?

No single book, but Robin McKinley and Patricia McKillip cemented my love of the written word.

If you had a special ability what would it be?

This question made me laugh because I was actually thinking about super powers the other day when a bad-tempered driver cut me off in heavy traffic. My blood pressure spiked and I envisioned all sorts of nasty things happening to his jacked-up pickup truck. Which was when it occurred to me that, if I were telekinetic, sudden, savage impulses like that would have immediate, bloody outcomes. Which means you’d have to have incredible self-control not to allow such thoughts. So telekinesis would not the best super power for me!

I do find the idea of shape-changing very appealing. Becoming something else, especially something that could fly? That would be cool.

There are a lot of people who compare all vampire books with Twilight and think they are 'copies' of Twilight. How would you feel if your books were compared to Twilight in this way?

I'll confess that this is a sore spot for many writers who include vampires in their books, at least to those I've talked with. And while I’m thrilled that any book appealed to millions of readers and inspired the kind of passion Twilight did, I’m beyond surprised that all books that include vampires are invariably compared to it.

The oldest known document with a reference to a vampire-like being is a circa-2400 BCE tablet known as "The Sumerian King List." The first book that brought vampires to popularity was Bram Stoker's Dracula, published in 1897, and countless other books about the immortals have been written in the ensuing 114 years. Which is my history-geek way of saying that Meyers didn’t invent vampires. If anything, we have Anne Rice to thank for practically reinventing them in her fantastic Interview with a Vampire, published in 1976.

Nonetheless, my editor said it was inevitable when one reviewer compared my adult urban fantasy, Stealing Time, to Meyers’s young-adult Twilight. Which cracks me up on another level since I personally couldn't get through the Twilight series. The whole idea that ANYone would have to suffer high school eternally explains why Meyer’s vampires believe they’re damned. (Mine aren't. They’re not angst-ridden and, when given a choice, they don’t hunt animals. Nor are they dead, cold, possessing stone-like skin, lacking a heartbeat, or -- horrors -- celibate; quite the opposite, on all counts.)

So, um, yeah. (grin) Comparing one of my books to Twilight makes me kinda nuts.

If you were President for the day what would you do?

If I were president for a day, I’d order all the uber-classified files brought to me so I could find out the truth about Roswell, Area 51, the grassy knoll, Marilyn Monroe and JFK .
If you were a vamp would you drink people or just animals?

Neither. If I were a vamp, I’d set up a black market for packaged blood the way James and Leo did in Stealing Time. Biting animals wouldn’t hold any appeal since you’d get a mouthful of fur. Blech. Think of the hairballs!

In your books we have met bodach, Shucks, Aughisky, High Fae, Lesser Fae and vamps with a mention of shifters. Are there any more creatures in store for us?

Absolutely. I love the idea of multiple supernatural species trying to coexist at the same time they're struggling to find a place for themselves in the mortal world.

Here’s the first sneak peek into Stealing Time’s sequel:

Killing Time is about a bittern named Sephti, a specialized assassin whose species is the result of fae bio-engineering, and Koda, an immortal anzhenii tasked with protecting the Native American nations from supernatural threat.


The anarchist, Philippe, and his Dark Fae ally, King Reiden, go on a bloody rampage across the U.S., brutally awakening humans to the existence of supernaturals. Other supe species take advantage of the ensuing chaos and war unlike anything ever imagined explodes across the world. Because Native American elders are the only ones who remember the old ways, they’re uniquely able to defend against the escalating violence, which makes them targets for retaliation. To protect them, Koda is forced to form a hostile alliance with Sephti, a supe who represents the horrors his people have suffered over the centuries. But as the only bittern to ever escape the faes’ cruel service, no one knows better than she how to combat their assassins.

So, in addition to the vampires, bodach, and fae we’ve met in my other books, Killing Time introduces readers to Native American supernaturals like the Yar Wetar, pukwudgie, Kashehotapalo, Bohpoli, and colocolo.

Why did you decide to write a prequel as your second book in the Texas Fae series (Maelstrom) rather than a sequel?

I actually wrote Maelstrom first and Shadowplay was its sequel. But for reasons too complicated to go into, I offered Shadowplay to my publisher first. BookStrand wound up wanting Maelstrom, too, and -- because of the timing -- released it as the prequel instead. I'm thrilled that BookStrand sped up the print cycle on both, so the Texas Fae series is available in both ebook and mass market paperback.


BookGirl said...

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Ani Raye said...

Great interview Lisa!
Especially loved the Twilight comparing question...and the Island
It's not fair at all to compare any book with vampires to Twilight, is it?
So anyway, I'm passing an award to you- it's the One Lovely Blog award and you can check out the details here..