Elizabeth Noble on Reader Voices and appreciating reviews, and a tantalizing excerpt from *For the Long Run*

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After being bullied into the closet by his conservative senator father, Jay Molloy reconciles himself to a life of one-night stands instead of the loving D/s relationship he craves. When he meets the man of his dreams, trained Dom Eric Keger, all Jay dares to hope for is a quick fling. Eric has other ideas. He’s been hired by Jay’s father to run security at the family’s hunting resort, but now he has his heart set on Jay.

When murder victims begin to turn up at the resort, Eric and Jay start an investigation, but chasing down the killer proves less frustrating than dealing with Jay’s abusive, homophobic father. Exploring their new relationship would be hard enough on their own, but Eric and Jay also have to deal with politics, Jay’s fake fiancée, and a murderer who may be something more than human.

Elizabeth Noble started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Being able to share her works with Dreamspinner is really a dream come true. She has a real love for all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural and a bit of an unnatural interest in a super-volcano in Wyoming.

Elizabeth has three grown children and is now happily owned by three mutts, a foster mutt, and two cats. She lives in her native northeast Ohio. When she’s not writing she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three. When at work she meets all sorts of interesting characters who often find their way into some story or another.

Visit her at her website, on her Facebook page, and her blog. You can contact her at elizabeth(dot)noble19(at)gmail(dot)com.

Q: How important are character names, to you, and how do you go about naming them? What about titles?
A: Titles are more important to me than the character names. I can’t write a book unless it has a title, and the title has some meaning to the story. I may be the only person who gets that meaning, but that doesn’t matter…lol

I don’t really have a system for naming characters and honestly some of them just come to me. Others are names I like (I keep a list of names I hear or see that appeal to me), and they almost never have some deep, hidden meaning. I’ve scouted through the data base at work too, picking out both first and last names for future use.

Q: In what locale is your most recent book set? How compelling was it to set a story there? Do you choose location the same way every time? How?
A: For the Long Run, which is released on September 12, 2012, takes place in a fictional town, on a fictional hunting resort in Montana. I chose Montana because a lot of people go there for big game hunting. One character grew up there, the other moves there. Part of the plot needed larger areas of secluded territory, which was another reason I chose Montana.

Q: How much power do you give your characters in steering the story line?
A: I don’t know as I consciously give them power, but I think they end up with it anyway. As a book is written and I get to know the characters better how they might react in a given situation becomes clearer. Sometimes that directly conflicts with the plot. Obviously something has to change and in most cases it’s the plot.

Writing in a series, which is my preferred style, characters grow, mature and sometimes change completely with their life situations more so than in a single book. It’s a balancing act, fitting fluid characters within plots and giving each equal importance.

Q: What is the most satisfying element for you in writing gay relationships, and why?
A: Not everyone writes same sex relationships, I like stepping off the beaten path so to speak. I love the fact that my characters are given a voice and in some small way help to break down prejudice and promote equality. It’s nice being able to take steps to a time people aren’t labeled.

I don’t think anyone will disagree that men and women are different. They think differently, act and react differently to different situations. Exploring how men face life and challenges as a couple is fascinating to me.

Q: Are readers involved in making your fiction—do they suggest stories or say what they’d like to read?
A: Good heavens yes! I’m deliriously happy when I received requests or suggestions from readers and ask for them any chance I get. I write for two reasons, one to please myself and two to please my readers. I have four published novels and one novella and every one to some extent was reader inspired.

Q: Describe the ideal relationship between author and readers.
A: One of my favorite things to do has become the chats where I can interact in some way with readers. Some people seem to be intimidated and hesitant to email or participate in a chat and I wish they wouldn’t be. I may always be a writer, but I wouldn’t be an author without readers.

I love the sorts of sites that allow and encourage interchanges between the authors and readers. I’m adding a section to my website for comments/suggestions/wishes in general and I hope readers will take advantage of it. It’s a blog style and called Reader Voices, I’d love if you’d stop by with a comment/suggestion or request.

Q: What do you find useful about reviews?
A: Reviewers by nature are critical and detail oriented. What I enjoy the most about reviews is seeing someone notice little details I’ll add to a character or storyline, even if they don’t like that detail they did notice.

I appreciate their honesty and the fact they took the time to not only read one of my books but to make comment on it, good, bad or indifferent. Most reviewers give examples of why they liked or disliked a book. Invariably what I think is the big appeal for a character or book really isn’t and what I might worry is a weak point is what reviewers seem to home in on as what they liked the best. That becomes an invaluable tool while plotting a book and makes me try to look at something from different ‘directions’ so to speak.

Q: I’m well known for demanding to know an author’s opinion about which of their characters is the sexiest, and I’m making no exception for this group. Who, how, and why?
A: The sexiest of my characters and my favorites are the ones whose stories are being told at the moment. Right now, that is Todd and Nick Ruger. Tomorrow it might be Cole and Dreyden, Jonas and Blair or… Comment by LS–I am amazed how many authors cheat on this question! Yes, Elizabeth, I mean you. Great non-answer, though! 😉 )

Q: What are the fifty hottest words (approximate the word count) you’ve ever written, in your opinion. (Be sure to include citation).
A: I don’t know if they’re the hottest, but they are among my favorites. They are taken from the last few paragraphs of Chained Hearts.

Todd believed in him, and at the end of the day that was all that really mattered to Nick. The one chain Nick never wanted to be rid of was the one around his heart that was firmly anchored to Todd’s heart. As long as he could feel that chain and its connection, Nick would never give up on himself.

Nick was loved. It was all he’d ever really needed.

Q: What are you doing now, what do you plan to write next?
A: Ahh….well remember you asked! I have a few irons in the proverbial fire. On the front page of my website I’ve been posting word counts for a few of my in progress works.

I am currently working hard on book four of the Sentries series, Collared Souls. For those of you following the series we finally—finally—get some answers about why things are as they are. Okay, in all fairness I’ve known all along, but the Ruger men haven’t and they are learning a lot!

Earlier this year I started a scifi series called Novi Orbis and am working on book one, Into the Blue. Some of the series highlights are mind wipes, worm holes, exploring the unknown and dinosaurs. There are three books planned for this series. I hope to have the first book completed by the end of this year or early next year.

I have been plotting and planning an urban fantasy series with fellow Dreamspinner author, Anne Barwell, called The Sleepless City. So far we have five books planned. There are vampires, werewolves and ghosts, oh my. We’ve diverged somewhat from traditional vampire and werewolf lore, so hopefully readers will enjoy our take and changes.

Excerpt from For the Long Run

Settling at the bar, Jay ordered a beer, preferring local brews to the bigger name brands. While he waited for his drink to show up, he scanned the menu, not sure what he wanted yet. When his beer arrived, he swiveled the bar stool around and leaned back against the bar to watch the start of the game. People filtered in and out, and the barmaid brought him a second beer along with some nachos and cheese.

The door swung open and a gust of cool air hit him. Jay glanced at the man coming through. He was tall, maybe an inch or two taller than Jay, older, with light brown hair and dark brown eyes. His trim waist blossomed to a powerful chest, round, muscled shoulders, and beefy arms. Thick thighs were encased in his well-fitting jeans, giving just enough of a hint of their bulging muscles. Jay liked a man with muscle, and he definitely had a thing for powerful legs. The guy was easily half again as wide as Jay, and he judged him to be early to midthirties, making him roughly ten years Jay’s senior.

He was gorgeous and the type of man Jay fantasized about but never really felt he could win. Jay was nice to look at but nothing like this. He considered himself more average. He was in shape, but leaner. He’d never have the sheer bulk and powerful physique gracing this man.

The man settled in a corner, out-of-the-way booth and ordered a beer, gaze skimming the bar before coming to rest on the television and the game. Jay hoped he’d looked away fast enough and wasn’t caught staring at the newcomer.

Too bad Jay was being forced into a marriage he didn’t want, to a woman he barely knew or liked. He knew exactly what he wanted but doubted he’d ever get it: a man who understood him. One who knew what he wanted and went after it, knew how to take without violence. A man who took the time to learn what Jay wanted—needed—and had the smarts to provide it.

A man like that one.

Jay’s quick glances in his direction morphed into longer looks until he realized he was staring again.

The man in the corner nodded to him and tipped his beer bottle at Jay when one team scored a basket. Jay hadn’t turned away fast enough and had been caught staring. Cheeks burning, Jay smiled back and ducked his head, breaking eye contact. A few minutes later, he took a deep breath and turned his head, looking to the side. The man’s gaze at once flicked from the game to Jay, a slow, easy smile spreading over his face.

Jay’s radar tingled. He knew that look, and it made his stomach go giddy and his cock get warm and thick. He offered a shy smile back. This man was definitely the right type of man for Jay, on a few levels.

The man tipped his beer at Jay before wrapping his lips around the bottle neck, taking a swig and watching Jay with dark, smoldering, lusty eyes. Jay gulped and looked down again, picking at the material of his jeans where they covered his knee.

Jay waited, wondering what would happen next. Was this man a man who knew what he wanted and how to get it? When the man shifted around, planted both feet on the floor, and leaned forward, gaze moving from the television to Jay and back a few times before he settled on watching him, Jay decided maybe he was indeed a man who saw what he wanted and then took it. The thought of this big man pinning him to a bed or wall, taking him and giving to him made Jay’s heart race.

Jay was never that lucky.

“Eric.” The man was standing beside Jay a few seconds later, hand extended, warm expression in his eyes and on his face.

Jay shook his hand, returning the smile with a shy one of his own. “Jay.”

2 Comments

Filed under Dreamspinner Press, featured authors, M/M romance, Writers on writing

2 Responses to Elizabeth Noble on Reader Voices and appreciating reviews, and a tantalizing excerpt from *For the Long Run*

  1. I so did not fudge! This looks wonderful, Lou, thank you so much.

    Elizabeth

  2. Hm. If you say so. But, if you did fudge at least you’re in good company, and you did it well. (And you’re welcome, Elizabeth, and I thank you for letting me probe your brain with my questions. Good stuff–all of it.

    Lou

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