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In the Author Spotlight & Contest

Elaine Corvidae

CONTEST: Everyone who posts a comment between now and March 15th, 2009, will be entered into a contest to win their choice of one of my backlist in PDF (ebook) format. On the 16th, I'll randomly select a winner from among the posts.

AL: Hi Elaine! Thanks for being In the Author Spotlight this week.

EC: Thanks so much for the opportunity, Ann.

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you. (This is just a brief in your life that has nothing to do with writing, or books you’re working on.)

EC: I’m fortunate to have been able to start writing full-time at the beginning of this year, so I spend most of my time in front of the computer. Otherwise, I hang out with my wonderful husband and our four adorable cats. I take a trip to the gym most days, go hiking every once in a while, and brew beer. I'm pretty boring, actually.

AL: Wizards, fae, barbarian warriors, oh my. Such a wonderful imagination. Are you like most writers, especially in fantasy, where your head’s in the clouds working on new tales?

EC: I’m not sure if my head’s in the clouds, but I certainly spend a lot of time thinking about whatever books or stories I’m working on. Working out at the gym is a particularly good time to listen to my iPod and let inspiration have its way with me.

AL: What do you have currently for us to read?

EC: I currently have eleven full-length novels, a novella, and several short stories available. My latest release is a short story, “Demonheart,” that’s sort of a reverse beauty-and-the-beast story. The heroine is a demon—a creature summoned from an alternate world—who falls in love with a human man from afar. She hides from him, so that he knows her only as a disembodied voice, which speaks to him when he’s alone on his balcony. Her fear is that, if he finds out what she really is, he’ll only see her as a monster instead of a woman.

For those readers in search of a bargain, my science fiction novel, Exile’s Burn, is available as a free download. Exile’s Burn tells the story of a telepathic stowaway on a ship full of space pirates. I like to think of it as “Babylon 5 meets Pirates of the Caribbean.” There is also a paperback version for sale. Both free download and links to buy can be found here: http://www.onecrow.net/ExilesBurn/exile.html

AL: Besides writing, what other things do you like to do in your spare time?

EC: I love to hike. I also spend a lot of time reading and surfing the internet. I also enjoy visiting microbreweries and discussing craft beer brewing.

AL: What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?

EC: One day my husband and I were driving down the road, and passed a truck with a wheelchair in the back, and my husband said: “I wonder why they don’t call it a wheeled chair." For some reason, my brain clicked, and Duncan, the hero of Winter's Orphans, was born. At this point, I can't even imagine him not being in a wheelchair, as it's so much of his character, but it might not have happened that way if we hadn't driven past that particular truck.

AL: If you had to write yourself as a heroine, what kind of heroine would you be? What would you be named?

EC: Wow, that's a hard question. Out of the heroines I have written, the one most like me is probably Mina from Winter's Orphans, in that she swears, drinks, and is very decisive. In some ways she's my most flawed heroine, so make of that what you will.

I'm not nearly as violent as Mina, though.

A year or so back, I realized that all of my series have at least one character with an animal name (Owl, Fox, Rat, etc.), so statistically speaking, there's a good chance I'd have an animal name.

AL: Now to follow up with the last question, as the heroine of your book, why do you fall in love with the hero?

EC: The same reason I fall in love with them anyway! All of my heroes are "the good guys" because they have a real compassion that shows itself in a strong protective streak towards people and creatures that can't protect themselves. Pook of Prince of Ash and The Sundered Stone is the most obviously "heroic" in this way, ready to lay his life on the line for people he's never met, but it's there in all of them. Another thing they all have in common, that I find attractive, anyway, is that although they all have their flaws, once you really push them to the limit, you run up against a real core of inner strength. I'm not talking about the chest-beating illusion of strength that depends on what other people think about you, but the real "I know who I am and I will not yield" kind of character.

AL: Star Wars, Star Trek, or neither?

EC: Star Trek. I remember my family watching reruns of the original series when I was little, and The Next Generation came on TV when I was in high school. I’ve seen the original Star Wars trilogy, and even enjoyed the first two, but I was never really all that into them.

AL: What’s the best movie you’ve seen recently?

EC: That would be Coraline. Great story and fantastic creature design. I do wish we’d learned more about her friend Whyborn, though.

AL: You have just won five thousand dollars! But...you have to spend it all today. What will you buy?

EC: I'd probably spend it on books, good beer, and possibly some DVDs. I have simple needs.

AL: Please share a favorite quote with us.

EC: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke. I see this as a call to action, and a reminder that if you see injustice and cruelty, to speak out against it, or else become complicit in it. It's a theme I've explored in a couple of my works, particularly Tyrant Moon, where the heroine is seeking redemption for not taking action when perhaps she should have.

AL: Thank you so much Elaine for sharing with us today.

EC: Thank you for inviting me, Ann! It was great fun!

AL: If you'd like to find out more about Elaine and all the fantastical books she has for you to read please visit:

Featured Title

Even though summoned by a king to protect his throne, demons have always remained apart from the humans they are compelled to serve. Famine, a young demon woman, burns with curiosity about the lives of the humans she watches from afar. Daffyd is a human scribe, who knows Famine only as a disembodied voice that speaks to him every night on his balcony. When a plot against the king threatens Daffyd’s life, can Famine win freedom for her people--and win the heart of a man whom she fears will see her only as a monster?
The next night, Famine flew straight to the balcony, alighting on a perch just above the doors. The shadows would hide her from the man's dull human eyes, and she wanted a closer look.

He was not there, and she feared that he would not come. The longing to see him again intensified to a sharp ache, and she wondered wildly what she would do if he didn't appear.
A soft click heralded the opening of the doors, and a moment later he walked out.

Going to the balcony rail, he leaned on it heavily, his back to her. He bowed his head, and the line of his shoulders spoke eloquently of his despair.

His sadness hurt her deep inside, in a way she had never felt before. He was beautiful, and it did not seem right that anything so perfect should ever taste sorrow.

If only I could comfort him, she thought. If only I could speak to him.

Perhaps...perhaps I can.

The thought was so frightening that she almost flew away at once. Humans feared her kind. That fact had been drilled into her since her hatching. Why else did she spend every night hiding in the shadows, where they could not see her?

She could not speak to him.

"W-why do you grieve?" she asked.

Even though she had spoken barely above a hoarse whisper, he straightened sharply. "Who's there?"

"Don't turn around!" she cried, even though she wasn't certain he could have seen her in the darkness, even if he had been facing her. "I mean you no harm. I'm...I'm a ghost," she added, suddenly inspired.

"A ghost?" he asked, and she could hear the curiosity in his voice. But he did as she had told him and remained facing out toward the darkened city.

"Yes. I saw...I saw that you were sad. And I wondered why."

She thought at first that he wouldn't answer. She wondered if she had inadvertently frightened him anyway, and the thought made her heart shrivel in her chest. But at length he said, "My father died recently. I have grieved for him, but at the same time, I'm grieving for myself. I gave up much to make him proud, but as of late I've wondered about the price of my success."

Was he a noble, or a great warrior? Certainly he didn't look it. "Who are you?"

From her perch, she could just see enough of his face to catch his smile. "Dafydd of Perlance, court scribe and tutor to Her Royal Highness, Princess Indeg. Not the highest of positions, but enough to earn me a lovely--if haunted--balcony where I can at least look out on the world, if not walk in it. And who would you be, my lady ghost?"

"Famine," she said absently. His name rang in her blood. Dafydd.

"A pleasure to meet you, Lady Famine. As I have told you some small things about myself, perhaps you might do the same?"

She shrank further back into the shadows at the thought. What would she tell him?

For the first time, she saw herself as a human might. Her skin was blue-gray, not pale and soft. Her red hair was wild, tangled by the wind. Her eyes were too large, and yellow as lamps. And what human man would want to touch a woman with wings, horns, and a tail?

I can never let him see me. Never let him guess the truth.

"There is nothing to tell," she lied, even as her heart felt like it was breaking. "Your life is much more interesting, I'm sure. Tell me about Perlance--I've never been there."

He did as she asked, spinning tales of his childhood in the countryside. As he spoke, the place came to life for her: she could almost see the bright fields beneath the sun, smell the baking bread, feel the soft wool of a new-born lamb.

At last, however, he stopped. "I fear, my lady ghost, that I cannot speak with you all night, for I am still mortal and need my sleep," he said with a gentle smile. "But I hope that you will consent to speak with me again after sunset on the morrow."

Famine's heart leapt. Her beautiful Dafydd wanted to speak with her again. Or rather, he wanted to speak with what he believed to be a sympathetic spirit.

It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that I can never be open with him, that he can never see me. At least I can see him.

"Tomorrow," she agreed, and glided away on silent wings.

Available in ebook format here:


Eva S said...

Thanks for the interview and the great excerpt! I love all "beauty-and-the-beast" stories, and you have many interesting books on your site.

Ann said...

Great interview. Elaine's books are awesome! If I had to live my life over, I'd come back as one of her heroines.

Ann Lory said...

What a great compliment, Ann. That'll make any author beam. :-D

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ann! They certainly don't have boring lives, that's for sure. ;-)

Caffey said...

Hi Elaine! Its Cathie :) Hi Ann! I'm new here to your blog and your books! I see I'm missing alot of good reads. A joy to meet you!

Great on a new release Elaine!! That's so great you are able to write full time now! Do you have more and or different writing goals? I didn't get to read EXILE'S BANE yet but soon! A time when I can devote just to that book! Beautiful quote too. It was great to read your interview and the peek at the new book! Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Caffey! I do have more writing goals. For months where I'm not bogged down in edits, I'm hoping to write a minimum of 30,000 words, which is roughly a third to a quarter of a novel at the length I tend to write. So hopefully you'll be seeing more releases from me now!

Amy S. said...

Great interview! Demonheart sounds great!

Caffey said...

Beautiful Elaine. Know you do lots now! Its so great looking forward to the monthly serial too!