Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Day in the Life of... Elisabeth Naughton


Welcome to Stitch Read Cook's weekly feature!!

A Day in the Life of.....

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!

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A former junior high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton traded in her red pen and test tube set for a laptop and research books. She now writes sexy romantic adventure and paranormal novels full time from her home in western Oregon where she lives with her husband and three children. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the prestigious RITA® awards by Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, the Golden Leaf and the Golden Heart. When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ballpark or dreaming up new and exciting adventures. Visit her on the web at www.ElisabethNaughton.com


A Day In the Life of Elisabeth Naughton

When I was younger (much younger), I thought authors lived the glamorous life. You know what I’m talking about…the celeb lifestyle you see on TV. Mansions, butlers, personal trainers…someone to walk your dog and not complain about having to pick up the dog poop. (Can you tell I have kids?) I’m sure there are some authors out there who live this elite lifestyle (a few BIG names come to mind), but for the average author that life is just a fantasy. (And boy can we fantasize…we are, after all, writers.)

Even though I don’t live in a huge mansion and have someone picking up after me 24/7, I do feel totally blessed because I get to write for a living, which is my passion. Very few people get to do what they love, and I know I’m lucky in that I not only write but I get paid to do it. (A plus!) I also get to work from home, which is another boon. Of course, there are days when working from home is a total struggle – like this week when my kids are home for Spring Break (or any day in the summer when they’re home for weeks at a time!), but I’ve figured out how to make due. (Or at least I try.)

A typical day for me starts around 7:30 AM. I’m a night owl and am often up late working. My husband gets up with the kids, takes the oldest to school while I sleep. Most days he brings me tea in bed (yes, he’s a true romance hero) and I take a half hour to leisurely wake up and watch the morning news while I sip my steaming drink. 

Between 8 AM and 9 AM I’m getting the other two kids ready for school. Their school is the latest starting school I’ve ever heard of—they don’t start until 9:15 AM, if you can believe that—so I often feel like a good chunk of my morning is gone by the time they end up leaving. I check emails in between getting them dressed and fed and out the door. By 9:30 I’m back from dropping them off and—depending on the day—either jump in the shower or head to yoga for an hour to try to de-stress.

By 10:30 I’m at my desk working. Since I’m on the West Coast and NY shuts down by 2 PM my time, I check emails first, respond to anything pressing, then shift to working on my books.  Depending on my deadlines, that could mean plotting, researching, writing, doing revisions or copy edits and even formatting. Right now I’m starting a new endeavor with a handful of other NY published authors so a good chunk of my time is spent dealing with getting our new website up and going and putting out last minute fires.

When I’m writing, I shoot for 3,000 words per day. Several author friends and I participate in what we call 1k1hr—which translates to one thousand/one hour. For an hour you don’t check email, twitter, FB or the web. You just write. At the end of the hour we compare word counts. On a good day I can get over 1500 words in that hour. On a bad day I don’t respond to their instant messages until I’ve hit that 1000—no matter how long that takes me. (Me? Competitive? Nevah…) The 1k1hr is a real help for me because I’m easily distracted by social media, email and the Internet. Two to three 1k1hrs and I’ve hit my goal for the day and feeling good.

When the kids get home from school (3:30 PM-ish) and the noise level jumps, it’s hard for me to concentrate so I usually move to responding to emails I read in the morning (the non-pressing ones) and editing for my critique partner(s).  After dinner I try to spend time with the family, but once the kids are in bed I’m back at work again editing/revising until at least 11 PM (usually 12). And then, of course, at the end of the day I grab my Nook and play a round of Scrabble to clear my head or read a chapter in the latest book I’ve downloaded.

For some this might sound boring, but for me, every day is a challenge. Figuring out how to make the next book work is a puzzle I love fiddling with. And every day something new seems to pop up – some new opportunity, some new offer – and I’m changing directions, working on something totally different that I never expected. I love that I never know exactly how the day is going to go, but I also love that I have the flexibility to make it all work. And the days when I have a book release or hear from a reader how much they love my latest work…those are the days I love my job even more.

My latest book is ENRAPTURED, which releases on April 3rd and which was recently named as one of the Top Ten Romances of 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly. To celebrate the book’s release, my publisher is giving away a copy to one lucky commenter. Ask me anything to enter!
Open to residents of Canada & the US. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

42 comments:

  1. Have you got plenty of storylines liined up. We do need reassurance that we will get our Ms Naughton fix in the future,
    Also another question, would you sign it too. ( yes I am cheeky) ;-)

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  2. Welll after reading terms I can't win anyway as I am from the Uk :-(
    But good luck everyone else :-)

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    2. I'm sorry, Sheila! The books are being mailed directly from the publisher. It's their rules not mine! (FYI...on Tuesday I'm hosting a blog party on my blog to celebrate the release of ENRAPTURED and I'm giving away tons of books - including several copies of ENRAPTURED - no mailing restrictions. So check www.elisabethnaughton.com/blog to enter!)

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  4. Can your publisher reference Oregon State University in any of your press releases? If so, then our OSU Alumni Association staffers will see it and can repost the news. We don't repost news that doesn't mention OSU! We love to support our alums!

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    1. Hi Christian! I forwarded your request to my publicist. Thanks so much for the request!

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  5. Oooh, can't wait to read ENRAPTURED! I have the same problem with timezones since I'm on the West Coast too!

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    1. I could solve this problem, Brooklyn Ann, by getting up early. But alas, I'm not a morning person. LOL

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  6. Thank you, Elisabeth, for the insight into 'A Day in The Life' and the opportunity to win Enraptured!

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    1. You're welcome, Phyllis. So glad you enjoyed!

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  7. Thanks for the insight...it reminds us our real heroes are human...like the rest of he. :)

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  8. To some it might not be glamorous but that's sweet that your husband is so understanding and supportive. Mine likes to go "Your mother is right there doing nothing" when I'm trying to write. Why I always start either in the morning while kids are asleep /school and hubby's asleep.

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    1. My hubby is a sweetie, Raonaid. He gets kudos for being super supportive. Of course, my kids aren't babies anymore and they don't always need ME. That's made things a lot easier. When I was trying to write when they were smaller it was much harder.

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  9. Thanks for the insight, I hear you, we are on spring break now. I'm so excited to read O's story, hope there are many more to come! Thanks for the giveway!

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    1. I hope you enjoy, O's story, Laurie! I love every one of my heroes, but I have to admit there's something special about Orpheus...

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  10. It never occurred to me that New York shut down that early. It must be very hard to keep up with everything when you're on opposite coasts.

    I've never heard of a school starting that late either. Is it an elementary school? Maybe they think they're on to something with making sure the kids are well rested before making them learn. I hear it really makes a difference in high school kids.

    Congratulations on the early success of ENRAPTURED.
    Thank you for the post and giveaway.

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    1. Yes, Victoria. It's an elementary school. The latest starting in the district. What stinks is that when they go to sixth grade, they transition from a 9:15 AM start to a 7:40 AM start. It was an adjustment for my middle schooler (and me!) I used to teach middle school and I can say without a doubt THEY are the kids that need extra sleep!

      Thanks so much for the congrats on ENRAPTURED!

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  11. I am so glad that I found your books! How long does it typically take you to write a book? I figure you must have publisher's deadlines to deal with...and how do you keep the kid-lets from completely disrupting your work when they are are home????? BTW, I start my work at 6am, and my dear hubby has a pot of coffee made when I get up! Both our hubbies are keepers!

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    1. Karen - you've got a definite keeper!

      It usually takes me 3-4 months to write a book beginning to end. I usually have about 6 months on a deadline but I tend to be a procrastinator and wait until the four month mark to start. :)

      As for the kidlets...when they're home on break I often escape to the coffee shop to get my words in. I'm much more focused away from the house.

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  12. Who gets a book after O??? I so can't wait for Enraptured!!! Love the Eternal Guardians!!!

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    1. Andieleah - I'm so happy to hear you're enjoying the Eternal Guardians! I love hearing that!

      As for the hero in ENSLAVED (November 2012)...I'm going to mean and not tell you just yet. I will say this though...the hero in ENSLAVED plays a HUGE role in ENRAPTURED. If I tell you who it is just yet though it might ruin the suspense of Orpheus's book. :)

      How's that for being a tease? LOL

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  13. Love the covers. Are there going to be more Eternal Guardian books? I can't wait for this one it sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway.

    mythic021@gmail.com

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    1. Vanessa - yes. ENSLAVED (book 5) is set to release in November 2012 and I'm starting work on the 6th book right now.

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  14. How many books are going to be in the Eternal Guardian series?
    I love the series btw! :)

    Froggy
    froggarita@gmail.com

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    1. Hi Froggy. Thanks for stopping by!

      Right now I'm hoping to write a book for each of the guardians. That's the plan anyway. We'll see how it goes. :)

      Glad you're enjoying the series!

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  15. Can't wait to read this book!!! I hope this hasn't been asked...but where do you come up with the names of each character?? Are the names taken from people you know, or just names you come up with??

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    1. Hi Stay_Cee,

      I don't name characters after people I know. I can't! Just too weird for me. The names for my Guardians actually came from studying long lists of Greek names. Sometimes I look at meaning, sometimes I just pick names I like.

      I hope you enjoy Enraptured!

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  16. Thanks for a great post and giveaway! I just got the first three books and I can't wait to start them!

    Crap... everyone else already asked the questions I was going to :) So.... um... what was the original inspiration for this series? And what do you do to keep the inspiration going?

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    1. Thanks for the question, Erin!

      The original idea for the Eternal Guardians came when I was researching my debut book - STOLEN FURY. That book was a romantic suspense treasure hunt (and a 2010 Double RITA nominee) about two characters searching for relics of the Three Furies from Greek mythology. I immersed myself in so much Greek myth while working on that book, I knew I wanted to write a series (down the line) that had something to do with those old stories. I had a vague idea, but nothing concrete. Then one day someone on a writers' blog said they wished an author would write about the heroes from Greek mythology...and it all clicked for me. The Guardians were born thanks to research, a random comment and a wild idea.

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  17. Congrats on the release. My question would be do the books need to be read in order, or can one be read as a stand alone yet still understood?
    June
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

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    1. June, my editor and I work hard to make the books stand alone. You CAN read them out of order and figure out what's happening and how everyone's related. But - like any series - if you read them in order you'll know all the backstory about everyone. :)

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  18. Elisabeth,

    I really don't have a question. I just wanted to tell you I love your books and can't wait for Enraptured.

    Kim
    khayes4100@comcast.net

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    1. Aw, thanks so much, Kim! I LOVE hearing that!!

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  19. Your books are great! I'm looking forward to Enraptured. Which Eternal Guardians' book is next after Orpheus'?

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    1. Thanks so much, bn100!

      To answer your question...I'm not telling...yet! (Though if you go on my blog or FB you *might* be able to find the answer.) That just sounds like I'm being mean but really...I'm not. I dont' want to ruin ENRAPTURED for you! The hero in ENSLAVED (Nov 2012) has a BIG part in ENRAPTURED, and I don't want to ruin the suspense of this book for you. But trust me...by the time you finish ENRAPTURED you'll be dying to read ENSLAVED.

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  20. Congrats on your upcoming release! If your paranormal characters were to visit any fictional world where would they go? Could be a paranormal world you have in the works or another author's :)

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  21. Hi Elizabeth - so about how many weeks does it take you to write a book & keep up that schedule of 3000 words a day? And when you've finished writing a book do you take a break or go right into editing it or start on another book?
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

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  22. Congrats on your upcoming release. Thank you for sharing your day with us, Elisabeth! I could only imagine the effort that you writers put into a story, let alone a series. It sounds like you have a good schedule going though. And I'm sure a supportive family helps. As always, I HIGHLY anticipate any book in this series! I went to your blog and started to read the first chapter and had to stop myself because I would be fiending if I continued. I LOVED Demetrius and Isa's story! I will definitely be re-reading that one! I really love ALL of them, though Tempted is my favorite so far.
    I have heard from some authors that their characters speak to them and tell them how they want their stories to be told, is that how your characters are also??
    *I think I know who the next book hero is, but I won't ask. ;)
    Thank you for the chance to win a copy, but even if I don't win, I will be buying my copy. I will also be blog stalking you on release day, I'm sure. Hehe.
    Sorry it's such a long post, but you are absolutely one of my favorite authors! I tell everyone that they should read your books.

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  23. Congrats on the release. Thanks for the giveaway. This is the first time I ever heard of your books. Love ther cover.


    xzjh04(at)gmail(dot)com

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