Please welcome Elisabeth Staab to the virtual offices today. Elisabeth is celebrating the release of her latest novel, Prince of Power. Check out what she has to say about her new book, and after, enter for your chance to win a copy!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Elisabeth Staab] Well, I started hunting zombies back in the early 18…no wait…that’s my secret bio. Let’s see…
Aside from writing and vampires I am obsessed with music, caffeine, and documentaries, and I can turn almost anything into a dirty joke.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Prince of Power?
[Elisabeth Staab] Prince of Power is the sequel to my debut novel, King of Darkness. Anton is a wizard, an enemy of the vampires, who fell in love with the half-sister of the vampire king after he was sent to kidnap her. Tyra is a vampire-hybrid who spends her days helping the less fortunate and her nights killing Anton’s kind. From the start, it would seem like their relationship is doomed to fail. Their story is about whether or not their love can triumph and survive the war between their species.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Elisabeth Staab] I liked the idea of an enemy/outsider falling in love with one of the good guys, the challenges that would bring, and also the hero/heroine role-reversal. A more beta hero, a badass heroine with a little bit of a death wish. However, from the very beginning, Anton has driven this story. I “met” Anton early on when I was writing King of Darkness. He was in a dark room waiting to be tortured for defying his father on a mission. He kind of “told” me as I wrote that his mission had been about Tyra, that he’d effed up on purpose, and why. I had seen Tyra already with a fighter named Siddoh, but I realized that their relationship was in the past. Anton made it clear that he was the one for Tyra. So almost from the start of King of Darkness I knew where Prince of Power would go. That it would be Anton and Tyra’s story. And an enemy coming in from the outside, falling in love with a vampire? Talk about conflict!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Tyra?
[Elisabeth Staab] Fierce. Determined. Loyal.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Anton had a theme song, what would it be?
[Elisabeth Staab] Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” – There’s actually a really great scene near the end of Prince of Power where Anton and Tyra have a fight. A literal, physical fight while the snow is falling and she gets so mad at him that she tries to set him on fire. For me, the song fits both of them literally and symbolically. So it’s a little ballad-y for a hero, but for me this song was perfect for Anton and his overwhelm of emotion for Tyra. Not to mention her pyrokenisis. I made a whole playlist for Prince of Power, but this was “their” song.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Anton won’t leave the house without.
[Elisabeth Staab] Actually, I think the great thing about Anton is he pretty much can leave home with nothing. He was raised without much so his material needs are few. Even as weapons go, he has a supernatural ability, the power to heat things from the inside-out, and the power to heal, so he’d be okay in a pinch. If there were anything he wouldn’t want to leave home without, I think it would be Tyra.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Tyra’s pockets?
[Elisabeth Staab] Never. Hmm. Makeup or accessories. Aside from something to pull her hair out of the way when she’s fighting, it’s not really her bag. Keys. She can teleport so she doesn’t need them. Food. She’s awful about remembering to eat.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Tyra’s greatest regret?
[Elisabeth Staab] Not knowing her mother. Not making peace with her father before his death. Those are difficult burdens.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Elisabeth Staab] From reading alone, Suzanne Brockmann and JR Ward are the biggies. I discovered my love multi-POV multi-story arc novels thanks to them. Going all the way back to my teenager-hood though I read everything from Christopher Pike to Stephen King and I think you can see a tiny touch of those darker influences. I watch tons of comedy movies and stand-up, and even though I write dark I like to slide humor into my writing to breathe a little light into the darkness. Also, I’m incredibly lucky to have Damon Suede and Mary Calmes to trade beta reading with, and their suggestions have influenced my creative process heavily. I’m a far better writer thanks to them and I’m very grateful.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Elisabeth Staab] These days, my laptop and reliable childcare are the two things I absolutely must have. Anyone who has tried to write a love scene while two toddlers are doing battle in the background will understand! Music and coffee are extremely helpful pluses, and I used to be pickier about my writing space, but lately so long as my kids are safe in their beds or with someone I trust enough that I can relax and let the words flow, I’m good.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Elisabeth Staab] The last thing I read that really blew my mind was Broken by Megan Hart. I cried a good deal of the way through reading, and her books always leave me feeling conflicted. They’re intensely erotic and beautifully written, but emotionally they put me through the wringer.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Elisabeth Staab] Sati, by Christopher Pike, I think I read it way back in middle school or high school or something. I think it was probably the first thing I read that wasn’t required by my literature class. The “adult” ideas that it presented (about a woman who claimed to be God) in a both funny and philosophical way were very eye-opening.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Elisabeth Staab] Well I don’t get a whole lot of down time. What little I do have is spent with my kids, or reading, or watching a rare movie with my husband. When I can find a friend who’s game I actually like to go out and grab dinner, drinks, and dancing, but these days we’ve all got kids so that dicey, lol. Usually it’s reading. Which is fine, because then I can go anywhere.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Elisabeth Staab] Web: http://elisabethstaab.com
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
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