The Kiss and Thrill blog, where this was originally published, will soon be disappearing, and I am republishing my Kiss and Thrill posts here to keep a copy. This one is from January 2012.
If you follow Elisabeth Naughton or me on Twitter, you might have noticed we are friends (although it’s entirely possible you’ve assumed we are enemies, because there might be just a tiny amount of snark in someone’s Twitter stream…) and after reading her post, I want to make it clear, I adore Elisabeth. Really. I think she’s great. And brilliant. And I’m not saying that because I want to stay on her good side (but I really want to stay on her good side…).
Seriously, I’m delighted to be hosting Elisabeth today, a fabulous writer who keeps me on the edge of my seat with her Eternal Guardians series, and I’m anxiously awaiting the coming ebook release of her romantic suspense Stolen series.
A former junior high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton traded in her red pen and test tube set for a laptop and research books. She now writes sexy romantic adventure and paranormal novels full time from her home in western Oregon where she lives with her husband and three children. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards including the prestigious RITA® awards by Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, The Golden Leaf and the Golden Heart. When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ballpark or dreaming up new and exciting adventures. Visit her at www.elisabethnaughton.com to learn more about her and her books.
And now, I’m handing over the blog to Elisabeth, for a tutorial on how to electrocute your husband without getting caught…
Thanks so much to Rachel and the crew at Kiss and Thrill for inviting me to stop by today!
When talking with a friend about what I should discuss today, she gave me five words of advice: Stick to What You Know. (Ya think she knows I can go off on tangents or what?) We’ve all heard this. Heck, writers are told this when they start writing. If you write what you know you’re more inclined to get it right. But does that mean if a writer writes about murder they’re really a serial killer? (If so, Thomas Harris is in big trouble.) Or what about me? I have a series about Greek mythology. Does that mean I’m really a secret goddess? (I lean toward saying yes. Rachel…don’t answer that one…)
These days, my mantra is: Stick To What You WANT to know. I’m more inclined to read—and write—books about things I want to know versus what I already know. My masters degree is in education. Do I read or write books about teachers? No. Why? Because I’ve lived that life. It’s boring to me. What does interest me? Murder, mayhem, mythology, history, sometimes paranormal abilities, and lots and lots of romance.
Of course, the wanting to know thing can get a person into trouble. Especially one who is a writer. When I was researching STOLEN SEDUCTION, the third book in my Stolen Series, I needed to know how to kill someone without making it look like murder. I contacted an ME via email (one I’d met before and who had spoken at my local writer’s meeting) who never responded to my questions. After brainstorming with my husband—who works for a pharmaceutical company—he decided to ask a doctor he had a good relationship with. Because he wasn’t scheduled to see this doctor for a few more weeks and I needed the info ASAP for my book deadline, he sent the doctor an email. In it he explained that his wife was a writer and was working on a new book and needed to know how to kill someone medically without it looking like murder. The doctor emailed back. Three words: GET A LAWYER.
Yes, I hear you chuckling, but that response reminded me what sorts of trouble I could get myself into. I’m sure I’m on some national watch lists for the things I research on the Internet. After that, I decided not to email research questions anymore. Paper trail! (I’m pretty sure my hubby upped his life insurance too but we won’t go there.) But a writer still has to get their questions answered, right? So I decided face to face is better.
Enter the husband again. (He’s fodder for my research.) My hubby has chronic back pain and in one attempt to fix it he had a neuro-stimulator implanted into his back. The device sends electrical impulses to the area of pain and in theory is supposed to take your mind off the pain you’re experiencing. Pretty cool idea. He was given a trial device to see if it would work for him. Electrical leads were placed into his spinal column for a week. The leads came out of his back and attached to a device—about the size of a pager—that was battery charged and clipped to his waistband. The writer in me pondered this for quite some time. (You see where this is going, don’t you?) There were electrical WIRES sticking out of his spinal column. Long wires. All one would have to do to commit murder would be detach the device when he’s asleep, plug them into an electrical outlet, then reattach the device when the deed was done. It would look like he was killed by an electrical malfunction of the neuro-stimulator. A brilliant solution to a character one must off in a story. But would it work? I needed to have the hubby ask his doctor for verification. So I convinced him to do so at his next appointment. And the doctor (after laughing his ass off) said yes. In theory that would work. Then he sobered and told my husband to keep one eye open when he was sleeping during the rest of the week-long trial.
Hm…on second thought…maybe I do write about what I know. But I digress…
The same is true for what you read. Do you read what you already know? Probably not. I’m guessing you read what you want to know more of. SEALs and detectives and knights and ladies and wizards and…gasp…sometimes even prostitutes. Does that mean you are a SEAL or a detective or a knight or a lady or a wizard or a prostitute? Well, maybe, but my bet is no. If we all read (and wrote) about only what we already know, how boring would the fiction world be?
So where does that leave me? Continuing to read and research things that interest me. I’m not saying I’ll never write a book about a teacher—I did once, and you guessed it, there was murder involved (when I started asking the DH questions about erotic asphyxiation during the research of that book he told me point blank he wasn’t getting involved in THAT research question). But if I only stuck with what I already know, I—and my readers—would be missing out on a whole lot of good stuff.
A woman without a past…
After a tragic accident left her with no memory, Kate Alexander struggled to fit in with a husband and world that didn’t feel right. She’s had no reason to question what friends and family have told her, not until her husband is suddenly killed and she finds a photo of a young girl in his office. A girl who can’t be anyone but a daughter Kate didn’t know she had.
A man desperate for a reason to live…
Ryan Harrison lost his wife in a plane crash five years ago. To cope with the pain of her loss, he dedicated himself to his job and to raising their daughter. Now a successful pharmaceutical executive, Ryan has everything a man could want—money, fame and power—but he’d give it all up in a heartbeat for just one more day with the woman he still loves.
Two lives about to converge.
As Kate begins to dig into a past she doesn’t remember, evidence leads her to San Francisco and puts her on the path toward Ryan, a man who sees in her the woman he loved and lost. Kate feels a draw to Ryan, one she can’t explain, but is that feeling enough to convince her this is where she’s supposed to be? As Ryan and Kate search for answers, they uncover lies long buried, a passion hotter than either expected and a danger that threatens…even now…when the second chance they’ve both been searching for is finally within reach.
“Full of twists and turns, lies and deception, and the ultimate revenge, WAIT FOR ME is a great romantic suspense read.”
—Night Owl Reviews, Top Pick