Elizabeth Barrett is the author of Deep Autumn Heat, a new Loveswept Romance that kicks off her Star Harbor series. Elizabeth dropped by to answer a few questions, and she brought along a digital copy of Deep Autumn Heat for one lucky reader to win!
[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Elizabeth Barrett] I’m a reader, writer and mother. I love my family and have built my life around them. I’m passionate about music (especially jazz) and food.
I think I went one character over. Should we take off the last period?
[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about Deep Autumn Heat?
[Elizabeth Barrett] Sure! The book is set on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and is the story of two stubborn chefs who find that despite their very different personalities, they can’t resist each other. Lexie Meyers wants to open a catering business as an extension of her already-successful Star Harbor restaurant, but Sebastian Grayson, a famous New York City chef and former local bad boy, is back in town and has Lexie in his sights. Sparks fly in more than just the kitchen when Lexie and Seb clash. When Lexie is threatened both personally and professionally, she turns to Seb for help…and he’s happy to oblige. The book features two hot-as-heck chefs and one delectable coconut cake.
[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the book?
[Elizabeth Barrett] I spent three idyllic summers in high school and college living and working on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. That area is gorgeous and so very romantic. When I decided to write my first book, I knew I’d have to set it on Cape Cod. As far as the specific characters, I personally love strong heroes and even stronger women who can stand up to them. I also love cooking and follow the food industry pretty seriously. The idea of a brash, charismatic celebrity chef and the spunky café owner who won’t let him run the show was just too enticing to resist.
[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the story?
[Elizabeth Barrett] Getting Sebastian to toe the line between arrogance and obnoxiousness. He kept wanting to run away with the book and it was very difficult not to let him.
[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Lexie?
[Elizabeth Barrett] Spunky, and warm, but guarded.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Seb would never have in his kitchen?
[Elizabeth Barrett] Imitation ingredients, people who can’t cook, anything that would jeopardize his health code rating.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Elizabeth Barrett] I take a lot from nature, actually. I love watching the seasons change, and the little details that can sometimes get overlooked. Like the color of the daffodil stems when they first emerge from the ground is this pale green. You look back a few days later and it’s darker. That’s what I notice.
I also closely watch people…and things…and mannerisms. I like the way people smile. Do they do it slow or fast? Do they show their teeth? Do their eyes crinkle at the edges? Do they get those little brackets around their mouths?
I don’t think this is really answering the question, so I’ll just say, “life observations.”
[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Elizabeth Barrett] My laptop, a chair that won’t maim my back, and relative quiet. White noise is okay.
[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Elizabeth Barrett] Wow. Okay – one book? From a young age, I was always really into reading. I’d just devour books. As a young woman, though, I’d say Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery. I must have read that book fifty times. It had everything I loved (and still do): a small town, a tight-knit family, and an amazing heroine.
[Manga Maniac Café] What’s the last book you read that knocked your socks off?
[Elizabeth Barrett] Oh, man, this is so tough, but if you’re forcing me, I’ll say Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. It’s a quiet, slice-of-life story and the prose is just gorgeous. It keeps resonating long after you finish reading.
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Elizabeth Barrett] Spend time with my family, read, sing, hike – the usual stuff. My kids have figured out that I’m really good at making up stories, so they usually beg for some tall tales I’ll spin just for them.
[Manga Maniac Café] How can readers connect with you?
[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!
Ready for your chance to win a digital copy of Deep Autumn Heat? Answer the question below and fill out the widget to enter! Extra entries for following. Open Internationally.
One commenter on my interview will be randomly selected to win a NetGalley preview of Deep Autumn Heat. Contest ends July 8th at midnight (EDT).You’ll need a NetGalley account, and to answer the question below:
I told you the last book I read that knocked my socks off. What’s yours?
Didn’t win? You can purchase Deep Autumn Heat and Blaze of Winter from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below: