Friday, June 3, 2011

And Then There Were Twenty

Author Barbara Elsborg Reaches a Major Landmark with the Release of CHOSEN

Some crimes can never be forgotten.

Kate Evans doesn’t take risks. She chose her apartment with care—a safe district with a good neighbor—a place where she can live a quiet, unassuming, under-the-radar existence. Then she makes one mistake and opens her door to accept a delivery of flowers from a secret admirer and her life will never be the same again.  [Read more here.]

Barbara Elsborg is one of the most talented and prolific authors I know. Novel after novel, I’m always promised genuine, flawed characters, terrific conflict and a love story that dives and soars with emotional twists and turns. The release of CHOSEN on June 3rd will mark two important events in Barbara’s career—her twentieth novel and her first venture into Romantic Suspense.

Barbara’s work includes a Top Ten in the P&Ed Readers' Choice Poll for Best Erotica Novel of 2009, a #1 bestseller on Amazon and dozens of five star reviews of her work! (Links to many of her reviews are posted on the Barbara Elsborg Online Fan Club web site.)

Here’s a recap of her releases:

1. Perfect Timing
(e-book) April 30, 2008; (print) March 11, 2009
Daisy Leaf was named one of the Favorite Female Characters of 2008 by Book Utopia.

2. The Consolation Prize
(e-book) August 11, 2008
The first of the Trueblood vampire sibling series from Loose-Id.

3. Falling For You
(e-book) November 18, 2008
The second of the Trueblood vampire sibling series.

4. Something About Polly
(e-book) January 21, 2009; (print) Sept 2009
A companion book to Perfect Timing featuring Jake's brother Adrian.

5. Lightning in a Bottle
(e-book) February 24, 2009
The third of the Trueblood vampire sibling series.

6. Anna in the Middle
(e-book) March 27, 2009, Ellora’s Cave Spectrum
A companion book to Something About Polly introducing Jax as a main character.

7. The Power of Love
(e-book) May 20, 2009, Ellora’s Cave Twilight
An amazing tale of angelic love after death.

8. Susie's Choice
(e-book) July 31, 2009, Ellora’s Cave Spectrum
Three all-new characters in a sizzling and touching menage story.

9. Doing the Right Thing
(original version e-book) September 24, 2009, Ellora's Cave Moderne
Original version is no longer available. New version released January 6, 2010
Addie, Will and Ed return in a sexier, steamier version.

10. Lucy in the Sky
(e-book) October 21, 2009 Ellora’s Cave Aeon
A sometimes zany, sometimes suspenseful and always sexy science fiction romance.

11. The Misfits
(e-book) October 27, 2009 Loose-Id
The fourth novel in the Trueblood vampire sibling series.

12. Strangers
(e-book) Dec 2, 2009; (print) Feb 2011 Ellora’s Cave Moderne
A contemporary love story extraordinaire!

13. Fight to Remember
(e-book) Loose-Id
The fifth and final book in the Trueblood sibling series.

14. Digging Deeper
(e-book) January 13, 2010, Cerridwen Press
Can archeaologist Beck survive the mayhem that calamity Flick brings to his life?

15. Finding the Right One
(e-book) January 27, 2010 Ellora’s Cave Moderne
The sequel to Doing the Right Thing follows right on the heels of the first book.

16. The Small Print
(e-book) October 1, 2010 Ellora’s Cave Twilight
Vampire historian Turner has trouble in his attic...and in his past.

17. Kiss a Fallen Star
(e-book) March 4, 2011 Ellora’s Cave Moderne
Caspar is an outcast until he meets the one woman who might help him rebuild his life if an unforgiving world allows them to find love.

18. An Ordinary Girl
(e-book) April 6, 2011 Ellora’s Cave Moderne
Can a haunted war photographer and the survivor of a living nightmare find redemption and extraordinary love?

19. Rocked
(e-book) May 24, 2011, Loose-Id
A girl, her boss...and their gargoyle.

and now...

20. Chosen
(e-book) June 3, 2011, Decadent Publishing
Kate is chosen and forcibly abducted by a diabolical kidnapper with a startling claim. How can she escape when she must protect the secret?

(A very special thanks to author Cate Masters for designing the special 20th banners shown above!)

Recently, I had an opportunity to interview Barbara about her authorly pursuits.  Here's what she had to say.

Q: First of all, major congratulations on achieving this incredible milestone. What are your thoughts as your 20th novel is released in just a little over three years? Did you ever think you'd be here, and in so short a time, at that? In other words, how do you do it?

Barbara:  It’s strange because I hadn’t been keeping count of the number of books I’d had released. I feel amazed that I’ve reached twenty. Wow, twenty!!! Since my first was only published in 2007 – that does sound rather a lot, BUT I had written some of them before 2007 so I’m not quite as prolific as it might look.

No, I don’t think I did imagine I’d ever be here. I’d had so many rejections that my first acceptance – which went into my spam – came as a shock. As to how I do it – well, I’m lucky that I write full time now without the distraction of a job and I just love writing. It’s hard to tear myself away from the laptop. Husband uses whip but no – I keep typing.

Q:  A "one book wonder" you were never destined to be! I'm always amazed how you manage to create so many diverse stories, always with flawed, very human characters that I can completely connect with. Where do you find your inspiration and is there a secret to turning out so much work without resorting to a plot formula? Are you a plotter or pantser?

Barbara:  Pantser through and through and maybe that’s the secret for coming up with different stories with no formula. Though I wish I could plan a little better. It would make life so much easier if I had more concrete ideas about where my stories were going. Case in point – WIP – I’ve been ages writing the first three chapters because I can’t pin down the motivation of one of my three protags. I keep changing my mind over his attitude to love. On the plus side, since I have no idea where my stories are going, I find it exciting not knowing what’s around the corner – or in this case – on the next page. I do tend to go with the flow.

Inspiration? Everything. Music, dreams, books, films, life. I like reading books with flawed characters. I like exploring problems, wondering how people would react to different situations, imagining myself in those situations, the more bizarre, the better. Of course, in most cases, I’d freak out and not be anything like my heroines.

Q:  One of your last three releases, An Ordinary Girl, recently garnered some wonderful kudos from Whipped Cream Long and Short Reviews and was voted the book of the week. As a result, this wonderful trailer was created.

Can you tell us a little more about the story?

Barbara:  My idea for that came from my daughter’s wedding. Her photographer cancelled on the morning of the big day because she was ill – though she sent a replacement. Noah, my hero, was a replacement wedding photographer. Ash, the heroine, came about because I thought – what would be the worst type of parents in the world – not going to spoil the plot – but Ash undoubtedly has them. They’re based on reality and the details are at the back of the book. I think – An Ordinary Girl and Strangers – are my favourite books of those I’ve written. Both similar in a way – damaged hero and heroine who save each other and that seems to resonate with readers.

Q:  Any advice for writers who are still working to get their first novel published?

Barbara:  The old cliché – don’t give up. But based on my experience – check your spam!!! Also be open minded. I stumbled into erotic romance. It wasn’t what I set out to write and perhaps I’d still be unpublished if I’d continued writing for me and not the market. That doesn’t mean I don’t like what I write, I do, but I think in many ways, I’m not like most writers in this genre. My stories are less sensually driven and more character driven than many erotic romances. That’s not to say mine aren’t sexy. They are but I hope I balance the sex with the story and it’s important to me that the story would stand without the sex.

Read is my main advice for any writer – I see so many who say they don’t read. Make time. You learn from reading – any genre – it doesn’t matter.

Q:  How many novels did you have written in advance of selling your first novel?

Barbara:  The awful thing is, I can’t remember. I think six. Of those, two are unpublished romantic suspense. So let me count.....Digging Deeper was my first try at romantic comedy, then I wrote Doing the Right Thing, followed by Chosen, Strangers and following that Perfect Timing was accepted. So my my reckoning, I write about three full length books a year. Wow!

Q:  Have you ever entered a writing competition?

Barbara:  A few but not many. I’ve won two prizes for children’s stories. One was about a boy who brought a tramp home for Christmas thinking he was Santa Claus. The other was about kids in a school who thought they were talking to aliens and it was Russians in space.

I entered Strangers for a US competition and got nowhere. When I saw the ones that won, I vowed never to enter another. It confirmed for me that I don’t fit neatly into the erotic romance genre.

Q:  You've sold all twenty of your novels without having an agent. Are you happy to continue or have you considered querying agents to find representation?

Barbara:  I suppose the dream of being published by one of the big guys is still there, though I’m much less driven by that than I used to be. I haven’t thought about approaching an agent for years. Now if someone wanted to make a film of one of my books, that would be the time to find an agent!

Q:  What's your take on the recent trends in self-publishing? Is it something you'd consider?

Barbara:  I was thinking of going that route with Chosen when Decadent said yes. (Thank you, Decadent!!) I think things are still wobbling with self-publishing. There are stories of huge sales but there are more stories of not very good sales. Sadly, I don’t think the quality of your work ensures you’ll succeed. It’s a matter of hard work to get your name out there and an element of luck that you get noticed. But if the chance to self-publish had been around when I first started querying – I’d have done it like a shot.

Q:  How do you feel about the switch in genre and publisher with your twentieth novel, Chosen? Is Romantic Suspense the (or one) direction you'd like to take with future books? Any more in the works?

Barbara:  The first three books I wrote were romantic suspense. I only changed to romantic comedy because I couldn’t interest an agent or publisher with the other genre. The first I wrote in my twenties – called Unnatural Selection – and it will remain in the closet. The second – La Heroica – set in Colombia – might be worth updating. The third was Chosen. The fourth romantic suspense, written more recently, is called – Crossing the Line. I’m waiting to see how Chosen goes before I decide what to do with Crossing the Line. I do like writing romantic suspense but I’m so deep inside the genre of erotic romance, with ideas for stories still waiting for me to write them, I’m not sure when I’ll get back to write the fifth! What I like to do is write something different each time. So I mix and match contemporary with paranormal. My WIP is a paranormal – temporarily entitled All About Love – but I think that will change.

I’ve realised that success – small though it is - makes it hard to switch to a different genre. People who like my writing in the erotic romances – will they like Chosen? It’s much darker story. It ends happily – as all my stories do, but the path to reach that happiness is a hard one.

Q:  I know it's like asking you to pick a favorite child, but do you have one novel that is your favorite, the so-called "book of your heart?"

Barbara:  Still Strangers – but An Ordinary Girl comes close. Strangers is a book that made me cry when I wrote it. The hero does something incredibly cruel to the heroine and to make her still love him afterwards, feels like a triumph to me. Now I have the paperback version of Strangers, I’ve just started to read it again. I don’t often read my books after they’ve been published. I spotted a mistake in Strangers last night – grrrrrr – not a huge one but I should have caught it. Still my baby though!!

Q:  Let’s talk SFR for a minute. Lucy in the Sky was such an amazing SFR/Erotica story that we named it as one of our recommended reads for SFR (see list on sidebar at right). Any plans for more SFR novels in the works?

Barbara:  Yes, I hope my next after my WIP will be sci fi and set in Walmart. Don’t ask!! Alright then – if you insist. I had a dream. A dream about Walmart and I got up in the middle of the night and wrote it down. Of course, in the cold light of day, it didn’t seem quite so wondrous but the niggle remains to write it.

Q:  Do you read SFR and do you have any favorite SFR authors?

Barbara:  I do, but not a huge amount. But then I don’t read much erotic romance either. Favorite SFR author – well that would have to be you, Laurie, along with D.L. Jackson and I’m eagerly awaiting Arlene Webb’s sci fi romance series that she is self-publishing. The first – called Splintered Energy will be out very soon.

Q:  Do you have another novel in the works now?

Barbara:  My latest is my first MM erotic romance ‘Cowboys Down’. Set on a dude ranch in Wyoming and also in London, it’s the story of an uptight stockbroker trying to come to terms with the problems in his life who meets a cowboy who has issues of his own. I’ve written MM scenes before in the ménages I’ve done but it was an interesting challenge to have no female lead

Q:  In addition to your novels, you've also written several short stories. Can you tell us a little about them and where they're available?

Barbara:  I have a story called – The Special Gift – available with Ravenous Romance. I think it might be my favourite. It’s a short story about a woman who throws a GI Joe doll into her closet and thinks it turns into a real life man. The Bad Widow and Saying Yes are free stories available through Ellora’s Cave. I wrote them hoping they’d entice people to try my full length stories!! The other short is ‘Snow Play’ – also available through Ellora’s Cave. It’s based on my terrifying trip under a glacier in Austria. Sadly, in real life I was NOT rescued by a gorgeous hunk. I emerged almost in tears to be greeted by my poor suffering husband who a few hours later had to be whisked to hospital with kidney stones.

Q:  That must have been quite the vacation!  But once again, you found material for a unique story in your experiences.  Thanks so much for joining us today to help us celebrate your huge achievement, Barbara.  And may there be many, many more!  I'd love to do a 30th release celebration.  I can totally see a 50th in your future.  :)  And now, as a little surprise, here are...


From Author Arlene Webb
20!! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and then repeat. Someone might say, so what? Boy meets girl, or boy meets boy, or boy meets boy meets girl, etc., they fall hard, problems happen, problems get fixed, HEA, and then off to be published. The reality? Every one of Barbara’s twenty novels is unique, with a fresh complex plot. And then to raise the threshold even higher, every scene is different. Barbara not only has the ability to keep a reader on the edge of their seat flipping pages, caught up in an emotional whirlwind, it’s impossible, for me a least, to pick a favorite set of characters.

Every book of hers that I read, and then re-read, grabs me by the throat and refuses to let go. I see a cat slink by and think of Keir (Fight to Remember). I find myself debating which way to turn and think of Turner (Small Print). I see a woman with pink luggage and think of (Finding the Right One), I cringe at a news report and think, thank Christ, Jack (Chosen) isn’t real. I’d go on, but I’d have to write a book!

Barbara isn’t just an amazing author, she’s also a supportive friend who’s been with me every step of my own career. In all fairness, she hasn’t just written 20 novels, she’s guided me line by line through everything I’ve written, as well.

One of the greatest joys in my life is opening a fresh chapter written by this woman whom I’m come to love dearly. Congrats, Barbara, on a truly impressive writing career that I, selfish person that I am, hope never ends while I’m still breathing. And now, happy dance time. Yippee!!! Chosen is published!!!

From Author D.L. Jackson
I love all her novels. My personal favorites are Strangers and The Power of Love--of all her novels I feel they are the most heart felt and you really can feel the emotions and pain she puts her characters through. I'd like to wish her a huge congratulations and I can't wait to see book 100, which I know is right around the corner, with the amazing way she kicks them out.

From Award-Winning Writer Donna S. Frelick
Congratulations and best wishes, Barbara, on achieving publication of your 20th novel!  Quite a milestone, and one we all aspire to--that title of successful working writer. I love your work, but most of all, I love your generous spirit and the encouragement you offer your fellow writers.  Here's to your second 20 and many more!

~~*~~   Congratulations, Barbara!   ~~*~~

To commemorate the release of her 20th novel, a random commenter will be selected to receive their choice of any of Barbara Elsborg's e-book releases!  Please share your thoughts, congratulations or wishes below.


  1. Congrats on the release of your 20th. :)

  2. Barbara,

    I am so glad to see you've decided to publish Chosen. The style is so different from your romance novels, and the story is wrapped in intensity and suspense. It was a privilege to critique the story, and I'm very much looking forward to reading the novel in its final form!

  3. Wow, congrats to you on your 20th release Barbara! All your books intrigue me. I'm glad to see an author stretch herself beyond the norm, and across genres. Kudos to you on that. Here's to another 20!

  4. Great interview, Laurie, really lovely. And wow, what an awesome book cover and banner from Cate Masters. Most of all, hugs and congrats to Barb!!!

  5. Wow, I'm overwhelmed! Truly!! Thanks so much to Laurie for arranging this interview. Thanks for the comments from my peers and my friends!! I feel so lucky that I've be able to do what I always wanted to do - write stories and have other people read them. Particular thanks to long-suffering neglected husband and the faithful dog who reminds me every now and again, I need to get up and play with him.

  6. A tip of the hat and hearty applause here. Twenty books is amazing.

  7. Congrats! Wow, 20 books. It still amazes me as I struggle to juggle the handful I have on my list. Keep going and let me know when you're back in Florida!


  8. Thanks Fred and Marie. Florida in the fall!! It's been so hot here in the UK today, it was like being in Florida! I shouldn't complain.
    I meant to say thanks to Cate too for the cover graphic! I feel like I'm making an Oscar Speech. I'd like to thank the dog in that case for keeping me company while I type!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Wow, Congrats! That's wonderful. This was a terrific interview. I like the "check your spam" tip. Sometimes I forget to do that.

    Keep going! Barbara, I hope you reach 50 books!

  11. Barbara, I did not get back to Laurie in time to include my comments in the post, but I wanted to say ... You are a force, truly. What an amazing accomplishment. I am in awe of this kind of productivity. A commitment to writing that carries on year after year no matter what else life may be throwing at you.

    Congratulations on your latest, Chosen.

    And let us know when you sell your first film rights, because I, personally, cannot wait to see Charlie on screen. :)

    Laurie, awesome interview.

  12. Thanks Anna and Sharon! Ah Charlie on the screen. My dream!!!!

  13. Wow! I'm impressed, I had no idea how prolific Barbara is. She’s one of my favorites and none of her books has ever gone under the dud category on my Kindle lol. I had no idea how prolific she is and now I have a whole bunch of brain candy added on my TBR list!

  14. Congratulations Barbara!! I adore your books and love your characters. I think "Strangers" is my favorite too, although I'm reading "Ordinary Girl" right now and it might just be coming close to toppling "Strangers" from top spot!

  15. Congrats, Barbara! Love your stories, keep writing!

  16. Thanks, everyone!!!
    Yep, I think An Ordinary Girl is vying with Strangers!! I finished reading Strangers last night. OOh it is weird to reread something you wrote a long while ago. I didn't actually remember penning some of the lines!! And the book is so big. Made my wrist ache.

  17. LOL Barbara. I often have those "Did I write that?" moments on re-reads (usually its a good thought, occasionally...not).

    I want to thank everyone who has joined us so far for the celebration. Comments will be open until Sunday at midnight (Mountain Daylight Time) for the chance to win your choice of one of Barbara's 20 ebooks.

  18. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to join us for Barbara's 20th Novel Celebration.

    The winner of her choice of any of Barbara's e-novels is Emmie Dark. Congrats, Emmie! Please contact me about your selection.

  19. Rocked - on its way to Emmie. Thanks to all who commented!!!! I just had my 21st accepted!


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Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.