I m sure I would choose the Georgian and Regency periods in England. I love the clothes, I love the music, and I adore the poetry. I think it was a very exciting revolutionary time to be alive. And I would go directly to make friends with Miss Jane Austen.
When writing do you have a playlist of music you like to listen to? What are a couple songs on it?
It depends on what kind of a scene I m working on. I play a lot of classical music, and I play a lot of music from various period movie soundtracks. If I have a particularly introspective scene, I like to listen to a piece called Sentimental Walk, from the movie Diva. It s a very atmospheric, impressionistic, slightly melancholy piece that never fails to put me in the right frame of mind.
For SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT, I listened to a lot of different Indian Raga music, and soundtracks from Bollywood movies. My favorite was the soundtrack from the movie Umrao Jaan, which had some songs that really fired my imagination.
And if I have a kiss scene, I tend to start off with Faith Hill s This Kiss, and then move to Sixpence None the Richer s Kiss Me, which is sweet and summery and perfect for the hero and heroine I m writing right now.
What do you do when you think nobody is watching?
I talk to the dog, and I read her parts of my stories out loud. I read all of my stories out loud, start to finish to try and make sure that the voice and tone of the novel is consistent, or moves consistently from one tone to the next.
What was your favorite childhood book?
My clear favorite was The Wind in the WIllows, by Kenneth Graham. I grew up in the country, running around the woods and clambering through brooks, and that story, with its band of animal heroes just fired my imagination. And I think the tale really did have a lasting impact I think almost every hero I write has some characteristics of my first love, the indispensable, unflappable Ratty, who loves simply messing about with boats.
What is your favorite addition to chocolate?
My favorite combination is chocolate and caramel. With a dash of sea salt. Perfection.
What does your husband/significant other say about your writing sensual romance stories?
Oh, the Indispensable Mr. Essex is just fine with that. :) I know the poor man takes more than his share of ribbing, but he handles it superbly. When people ask if I get my inspiration from him, he always says, Hell, yes. And he is very, very proud of my career and my success. He helps me all the time with website maintenance and technical issues. And he brings me a foamy latte to my bedside every morning when I pick up my laptop and start writing. Every morning. Indispensable.
What about your family and/or do they read your books?
My children were too young to care when I started writing, but they are supportive. They just think of writing as my job. My oldest daughter is especially helpful, and I think she may have been bitten by the writing bug as well. She loves to help me plot out problems with my stories, and name characters.
Besides myself, I think my biggest critic/supporter would have to be my mother. She s a fairly proper individual, and supremely well-educated, so she tends to be a little more critical than the average reader. But when she thinks I've got it right, there is no one who is a bigger fan.
Besides your own, what is one of your favorite series to keep up with?
I read almost exclusively historical romances. I am a HUGE fan of Julie Anne Long s Pennyroyal Green Series. And I also gobble up Courtney Milan s Brothers Sinister series. And Heather Snow s brilliant Sweet series. And Christina Brooke s Ministry of Marriage series, and her new ones as well.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren't writing?
I like to think that I would have continued on with my archaeology career (I have an MA in Nautical Archaeology the archaeology of shipwrecks), and eventually become an academic, teaching at a university and doing field work in the summers. I wanted a break from archeology when I started my family, and I just fell into writing romance. But once I got started, I think it is absolutely the perfect career for me.
Do you have any hobbies or activities you enjoy doing?
My favorite activity is taking family ski trips. We really just enjoy each other s company, and we have a terrific time skiing together. Some of my absolute favorite memories with my kids are leading them, and now following them, through challenging terrain.
What is something you do to de-stress?
I like to garden. There is something both creative and emphatic about pulling weeds and putting things right in the garden. And since I write in a big, sunny room overlooking my garden, it helps to have something lovely to look at. :)
We all know about muses...what do you think inspires you to allow your creative juices flowing?
Haha. I think deadlines are inspiring. :) I really believe that writing is a muscle, and to keep it toned and working well I need to use it every day. Some days are a harder workout and some days are lighter. Some days I just fly, and others I crawl, but I do it every day. So that if real inspiration should strike, I ready and writing.
10 Fun Facts (things the fans don't know)
- I am a dog person.
- I like bourbon over ice.
- The first rock concert I ever went to was Cat Stevens.
- The last rock concert I went to was Arctic Monkeys.
- I love to sing out loud in my car.
- I love long car trips with the Indispensable Mr. Essex.
- I am an early riser.
- I believe girlfriends are like vodka for your soul.
- I believe love is love, and everyone should get to try it.
- I have no tattoos.
Here is the link to our review of Elizabeth's book Scandal in the Night