Today I have another treat for you, an interview with Elizabeth Finn, author of the contemporary erotic novel The Devil’s Pawn. Please help me welcome her to the Journal!
Hello, Elizabeth! I’m so glad to have you here today.
Now, tell us a little bit about your new release The Devil’s Pawn.
How about a blurb!
When Ashton is left orphaned after her parents are murdered, her life becomes a hell she could never have imagined. Left to fend for herself, and responsible for a debt she doesn’t owe, she is swept into a life as a gentleman’s escort at a private men’s gaming hall.
Her new manager makes it abundantly clear he doesn’t appreciate her inexperience, innocence, and shyness. On the contrary, he despises everything about her.
Derek can be “difficult,” she’s been told. And however dark and handsome he may be, he terrifies her in a way that chills her to the bone, but leaves her begging to understand him. As they are pulled along together, more secrets and threats than either one could ever
conceive are revealed, and a common enemy emerges. This enemy will stop at nothing to bring Derek to his knees while using Ashton as the greatest pawn in his torturous game.
Will Derek be able to let down his shield of cold, harsh emotion before it’s too late? Will he be able to sacrifice himself to save Ashton, or will they both be destroyed by the secrets of their pasts?
Do you only write in this genre? If not, what other genres/sub-genres do you write in?
I have two books released at this point, The Devil’s Pawn and Brother’s Keeper, and I have a third that will be releasing in December, Restoring Jordan – all three fall in to the contemporary erotic romance category. That said, I’m just finishing writing a paranormal erotic romance that I’m really excited about, so I’m definitely bi-genre at this point. And I hope to take a stab at a historical someday. If it’s romance, I want to read it or write it!
What was your inspiration for this story?
I have tried to nail that down more times than I can tell you. Truthfully, I have no idea. I’ve been inventing stories in my head since I was just a child. The Devil’s Pawn just happens to be one of those stories that’s been floating around in my head for the last couple of years.
Titles are one of the most important things to an author. How did you come up with your title? Was this the only title, or did you have a working title as well?
I struggled with the title for The Devil’s Pawn, and I really can’t tell you why as neither of my other two recent releases were difficult at all! It ended up being a collaboration with the acquisitions editor. I had “pawn” and she supplied the “devil.” In the end, we came up with a very relevant title!
I am a fanatic about my character names. Are the character names in The Devil’s Pawn special in any way?
I’m fanatical too! That said, there’s never any real personal significance to the names I choose. I just become obsessed with finding the perfect name for my characters. I will find/replace my names more times than I care to admit until it just feels right! I love naming characters.
What was your process for writing this book? Is this different or the same as other books you’ve written?
Very similar I’d say to my usual process. I decide on the idea from one of many stories that happens to be floating around in my noggin. I set about starting and I write furiously until it’s done. I don’t let up once I’ve started a book. I spend evenings after my son has gone to bed and weekends just clacking away on the keyboard. I try not to re-read what I’ve written too much because I love getting to the end and reading from start to finish without feeling like I’ve over-read my work. I find that I’ll come across parts of my own writing, and it feels like I’m experiencing it for the first time all over again – I can truly tell if I’m happy with what I’ve written when I don’t over-read it.
Do you have plans to turn The Devil’s Pawn into a series? Why or why not?
I do not. As much as I love the stories and the characters, their story is complete in my opinion and I could bring nothing more to their relationship. I have so many stories I want to write that I can’t conceive of creating something new from that particular book.
Who is your favorite hero or heroine and why? What qualities do they possess that make them memorable?
I’m in love with my hero that I’m writing at the moment. The book is untitled, and it is my first paranormal romance. His name is Truman, and he epitomizes everything that I look for in a mate. He is jealously protective, obsessed with his one true love, and follows her through her life with no need but to protect her and see to her happiness. Oh yeah, and he’s great in bed of course. You learn a lot of moves over the centuries when you’re immortal… I really hope to be sharing Truman with my readers in 2013, so stay tuned!
What was the first author and book you read in this genre?
In terms of the romance genres, I started out reading historicals, and I loved Johanna Lindsey – anything by Johanna Lindsey.
Who has been the greatest influence on your writing?
I have many, many friends that have shared my passion for this, and reassured me more times than I can tell you that they support me. They influence me because they make me feel good about what I’m doing as a writer. It would be a struggle to go this alone without their support.
If you could have one wish granted just for you (not world peace, LOL), what would you wish for?
Peace, and no, I’m talking about world peace… Life can be so daunting and challenging and exhausting, and more than anything, I strive for the personal freedom of being at peace with myself, my life and my choices… Sounds corny, but hey – you asked the question!!!
What is the most exciting/daredevil thing you’ve ever done?
Hmmmm…. That is so hard to nail down and not because there is so much to choose from, but because there is soooo little to choose from. I got nothing… I stole some gold t’s from a cousin’s house when I was a child and I got in trouble and had to return them… That’s pathetic, isn’t it…
About the Author:
Elizabeth Finn is an Iowa native, where she lives with her husband and son. By day, Elizabeth is a Human Resources Specialist, but by night, she checks her professionalism at the door and immerses herself in the world of writing erotic romance. Look for more to come from Elizabeth Finn.
Once in the fitting room, Derek takes the chair again while I start to remove my clothes. I intentionally wore ugly, stretched-out, white cotton underwear that is entirely too big on me in the event he should be here. My mouth isn’t the only thing that can get me into trouble—my sarcasm knows no bounds when I’m unhappy.
As he sees the appalling excuse for an undergarment, his eyes move up to mine, narrowing darkly at my obvious defiance. I look coolly back at him before looking away dismissively. My anger and resentment of him from the humiliation he subjected me to the previous morning, not to mention his treatment of me over the past two weeks, have charged me into a bold, fiery bitch that no longer cares what retribution I might face. While my tongue usually gets me in trouble, today I decided to let my underwear do the talking.
Jacob enters with an armful of dresses for me to try on, and he cringes as he takes in my defiant granny panties, hated the world over by men, including, apparently, gay men.
He turns to Derek, and with a scrunched-up face, he worries out loud. “The dresses aren’t going to lay right over those…” He tosses a nod in my general direction.
Derek wastes no time at all reassuring Jacob and striking back at me. “No worries. Ashton was just taking them off. She won’t be wearing underwear anymore.”
I glare defiantly back at him as I drop the loose fabric to the floor. He returns the glare for a moment before letting his gaze travel down my body to my sex, and as it lands there, smoldering with heat, I turn abruptly from him, intentionally showing him my backside instead. I look to the mirror in front of me, and I catch his eyes flit away from me in annoyance. He worries his lip with his thumb and index finger as he contemplates, and the slightest of smirks crosses over his mouth. Jacob is standing by looking from one to the other of us, obviously wondering just exactly what he’s gotten himself in the middle of.
Derek finally looks back to Jacob. “Get on with it.”
I try on one after the other of the dresses. Some are perfect; Jacob pins in additional alterations in others. Derek sits by, bored, only glancing up from his cell phone occasionally. One such occasion is when Jacob remarks that I’m “just not curvy enough for this one.”
Derek looks up to Jacob, but he shifts his eyes to mine before commenting, “Yes, well, if you can figure out some way of making her look female, you let me know.”
Jacob again lets his eyes pass between us, seeming to wonder all the while what he’s missing. As I hold Derek’s eyes with my own, my anger falters, and the pain that is behind my fury pushes through. I try to wrangle my tears into submission, but it’s no use. In defeat, first one, and then another spills from my eyes and slides down my cheeks. Jacob regards my state and excuses himself from the room.
I stand on the hemming block in the center of the room, refusing to look at Derek. But he’s looking at me, and as my hurt continues to work through my entire body, I let my tongue do what it does best. “Why do you hate me so much?”
He says nothing, but stands and moves to me. Reaching around behind me, he pulls the zipper of the dress down, and then, returning his hands to my shoulders, he pulls the straps down, exposing first my small breasts, and then the rest of my naked body as it falls to the floor.
He leans in to my ear and speaks. “You don’t know anything about me.” He then takes me by the hand and pulls me to stand in front of the mirror, and leaning to my ear once more as I watch him in the mirror, he speaks gently. “Lean forward and put your palms on the mirror.”
Fantastic excerpt, Elizabeth! This sounds like one hot novel and I’m sure it’s going to be flying off the virtual shelves. Thank you so much for visiting Jenna’s Journal today.