To finish off National M/M Book Month, I’m thrilled to interview M/M author Barbara Elsborg!
Barbara Elsborg lives in West Yorkshire in the north of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Vulcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide.
After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.
She writes in a variety of genres including MM, MMF and MM – contemporary, paranormal and sci fi romances. Her books feature quirky characters, and she hopes they are as much fun to read as they are to write.
More about Barbara can be found on her website/blog – www.barbaraelsborg.com
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A spy. I really wanted to join the foreign office and be an undercover operative. But I told so many people, it sort of ruined my chances. Apart from which, I couldn’t cope with being tortured. I used to think I could but husband pointed out, they’d only have to threaten my kids and I’d say anything. Or tickle my feet.
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 with boredom. I write because it’s what I love doing. I write because I hate shopping and cooking and cleaning.
Who (if anyone) has been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?
More of a what. My first real memories of writing were in my teens – when I filled notebooks with fan fiction. I was a TV addict and a movie expert. I still have the 200 or so stories I wrote. My first serious writing started when I’d left university. I wrote about a girl who was abused by her step-father and ran away to New York only to be snagged by a mafia boss and then seduced by his son. It’s a rip-roaring tale of sex, drugs and violence and lies at the bottom of the closet for when I need a good laugh.
Apart from an obsession with television in my teens, which sparked off the fan fiction, books in general have been my inspiration. Every book I’ve ever read has inspired me in some way, though some authors are so good they make me think I can’t write at all. (Compared to them I can’t) I can never say who’s my favorite author because there are so many and I don’t always like everything they’ve written. I have maybe 20 or 30 that are automatic buys for me.
Do you ever read reviews of your books?
I’d love to say no, I never read reviews but I’d be lying. It’s lovely of course to hear nice things being said. If I ever get down, I might browse GR or Amazon to read something nice about one of my stories but of course, my eye inevitably gets drawn to the comments that aren’t so kind. How I can be so gutted by one ‘didn’t like it’ or ‘you’d have to be mentally ill to like this trash’ comment when I can see ‘loved it’ or ‘best book I ever read’ above, I do not know!
I don’t let reviews influence my writing. If I saw comments that continually said the same thing – such as – why does she always make her heroes so stupid – THEN, I’d listen and rethink but I get completely opposite remarks about the same book. For instance – for a recent book someone said there was no angst, and another review said love the loads of angst in this story. Reviews are just opinions and everyone is entitled to say what they think – but hopefully in a civilized way. I haven’t liked books that others have loved so I have to expect the same reaction to my stories. I can’t please everyone.
How important to you are your titles?
I can’t start writing until I’ve fixed on one and I can’t make the story work until I’ve fixed on the right one. I suspect a lot of authors are the same. Sometimes I know them before I sit at the laptop, other times, I’ll brood for hours.
It’s a good idea to choose a title no one else has used but not that easy with romance books. Mackerchar’s ‘The Romance of Leprosy’ lacks that something – it probably dropped off. Oops. Sorry.
I need to pick a title with zing! Not like Rossi’s ‘The Sex Life of the Foot and Shoe.’ Which I suspect is not sexy at all.
Plus choose something that appeals. Unlike Joseph’s ‘A Letter to the Man who Killed my Dog.’ That doesn’t sound like it has a happy ending.
I don’t know how other authors come up with their titles but I find listening to lyrics helps. Robbie Williams in particular. If that fails, I just ask my crit partner and she comes up with something. Thanks, Arlene!
Cowboys Down – just popped into my head. I wanted something with Cowboys in the title but it was hard to find one that no one else had used.
Every Move He Makes – inspired by a song Every Breath You Take by The Police
With or Without him – also inspired by a song – With Or Without You by U2
Bloodline – well that just popped into my head too. It’s a vampire and faerie story to do with er – blood!
My first but not my last paranormal MM – about a faerie and a vampire – plus I threw in a talking horse and a zombie among other things.
No one can tattoo better than Inigo, a two hundred year old vampire, who works on human and supernatural skins. But he’s never tattooed a faerie and when a bunch of them insist he comes with them to tattoo one of their kind, saying no proves not to be an option. His skin is Oberon, the faerie king, and Inigo fears this will be the last tattoo he’ll ever do.
The moment the faerie Micah lands in the faerie king’s bed chamber, he knows the guy is trouble. But if he’s to save his sister and his family, let alone the job he’s paid to do, he has to stay in Faerieland and endure Oberon’s sadism. When he’s thrown into a starving vampire’s cell, covered in blood, he fears this day will be his last. But Inigo finds Micah’s blood too delicious to give it up by killing him.
Pretty soon, he’s feeling that way about Micah himself.