Interview with Ellora’s Cave author Alvania Scarborough!

BRYNNA:  Today we have one of Ellora’s Cave’s newest authors, Alvania Scarborough, joining us.
We will be discussing her new releases, Tapestry of the Past, a romantic suspense novel with a twist available today, and Thief’s Punishment which releases on Friday. Welcome, Alvania! Tell us a little about yourself.
ALVANIA:  Hi, Brynna!  Thanks for having me.  Believe it or not, I’m really very shy.  I don’t think I could  EVER read any of my work aloud to a group, at a signing or anywhere else.  The stories I write come from a different part of me all together.  The part that has always loved a tale that is unusual and a tad … different.  Did you expect something else from someone from an area known as ‘The Graveyard of the Atlantic’?

BRYNNA:  You predominently write erotic romance, though the setting often varies.  What other genre do you write?  What made you decide to write erotic romance?
ALVANIA: I write romantic suspense, historical, paranormal, futuristic with a recent foray into m/m historical.  I’ve always loved my romance on the sensual or spicy side so I naturally gravitated in that direction when I began writing.  Erotic romance seemed the next natural step.  Another way to peel back the layers of the characters to reveal their emotional strengths and weaknesses.
BRYNNA:  Tell us a little about Tapestry of the Past.
ALVANIA:  Kalesia Brannigan has visions of murder, but when the vision is a precognitive one of her own death, she turns to ex-agent Gabriel Steele.  Gabriel has had enough of death and violence.  Now all he wants is peace, instead he gets Kalesia.  And a killer that stalks from the shadows.
BRYNNA:  Having read Tapestry of the Past I found Kalesia to be a strong and endearing heroine.  Where do you find your inspiration to create such powerful characters?
ALVANIA:  Hmm, that’s not as simple as it sounds.  I usually have an idea for a story and my hero and heroine both spring from that plot and setting.  And then I flesh out the character in more detail. I cannot think of a single instance where I based a character, heroine or hero, on a real person or fictional character.  It is more a matter of having in mind certain characteristics, strengths and flaws, and building a unique person around them.  And making sure she can hold her own against the hero.  
BRYNNA:  And of course every lady needs a sexy knight in shining armor.  How does Gabriel fit the bill?
ALVANIA: Gabriel is a protector.  It is inherent in his nature.  To me there is nothing more sexy than a man who is lethal, yet will go to any lengths to protect those he cares about, or who cannot protect themselves.  He sees his own flaws, and carries on despite them.
BRYNNA:  Thief’s Punishment releases Friday.  What can you tell us about this story, and how does it differ from Tapestry?
ALVANIA:  Thief’s Punishment is a short, hot, intense m/m read set in medieval England right after William the Conqueror becomes king. Caught with the Raven’s jewels in one hand, Marcus of Leeds knows it is far too late to plead for leniency–the Raven’s lack of mercy is legendary–so when he is offered the choice of fifty lashes or becoming a sexual slave for one month, he is stunned.  Can he do it?  Can he give his body to a man who offers pleasure…and pain?

When he discovers a thief in his bedchamber, Duncan of Ravenswood is torn between anger and lust. Despite his instant sexual response to the little thief, Duncan cannot allow such impertinence to go unpunished. And he has just the punishment in mind.

BRYNNA:  What prompted you to write a novel that is so out of your norm?
ALVANIA:  It started with a dare about writing a story involving spanking and a male/male relationship.  I love writing from the male perspective and found the idea of writing two male point of views irresistible.
BRYNNA:  Do you have plans to continue in this sub-genre?
ALVANIA:  Maybe occassionally.  If the right story and characters come along.  And a pair of men too hot to resist.
BRYNNA:  Do you have any future projects planned you’d like to share with your readers?
ALVANIA:  I am currently working on the first of a three-book futuristic erotic romance series set on Harker’s Workd, a skewed version of the American Old West, and a cat shifter series set in the near future.
BRYNNA:  I can’t wait for those.  There are a lot of unpublished hopefuls out there.  What advice would you give them?
ALVANIA:  Write.  Create stories you would like to read.  Write.  Think about your favorite books and why they work for you.  Then write.  Join a critique group or find a critique partner whose opinion you trust.  Learn the mechanics of writing, and strengthen your weak spots.  There are loads of articles by authors that explain point of view, plotting, showing vs telling and so on.  Look for them.  Then put what you learn into practice and write. Do you notice a theme?    Once you’ve written the best story you can and have polished it, then submit it.  You’ll never find an agent or sell it if you don’t take that final step.
BRYNNA:  As an e-published author, what is your opinion on the electronic publishing industry?  Do you feel e-books are taking the place of traditional printed and bound books?  Or do you feel the e-book industry affords publishers the opportunity to take chances on unknowns without the liabilty of printing costs?
ALVANIA:  I think epublishing is an evolving industry and like any growing business, it has growing pains.  You have less than professional publishers and those whose standards are every bit as high as major print publishers.  It is a writer’s job to research any publisher before submitting.  Propping up a less than reputable publisher helps no one, least of all the writer.  That said, ebooks are getting a larger share of the market each year, to the extent that several large print publishers are also offering ebooks.  As to replacing print books, I believe such a possibility is years down the road and won’t become a reality until reading devices are both convenient and very affordable.  In the meantime, I do see them gaining a respectable share of the market.
I believe e-publishing does allow a publisher to explore the cutting-edge of a market with less risk.  Take erotic romance, for example.  Ellora’s Cave proved there was a market for it and in the last few years you have major print publishers following suit.  But whether it is a print or e-book publisher, if the writing is excellent and they believe they can market it, I believe they will take a chance.
BRYNNA:  Do you have any last remarks for your readers?
ALVANIA:  Tapestry of the Past, available now from Ellora’s Cave —http://www.ellorascave.com/productpage.asp?ISBN=9781419918025
Coming soon from Ellora’s cave —http://www.ellorascave.com/coming_soon.asp
Surrender from Liquid Silver Books — http://www.king-cart.com/cgi-bin/cart.cgi?store=linda018&cart_id=6639054.91557&product_name=Surrender&return_page=&user-id=&password=&exchange=&exact_match=exact
BRYNNA:  Thanks so much for joining us here today, Alvania.  It’s been a pleasure and I know we will be hearing alot more about your work in the future.  Best of luck in your career.

Posted on Wednesday, Sep 24, 2008, 05:01 PM (UTC -5)