In the Spotlight feature kicked off in April 2015 and is an opportunity for authors, editors and publishers (basically anyone in the book industry (yes, even bloggers!)) to connect with fans. There is an option to do an interview, guest post, feature a book sale or book release or a cover reveal. Best of all, it’s free! All you need to do is click on the image to reserve your spot!
Now on with the show!
In the Spotlight with Elizabeth Barone!
Welcome to Second Run Reviews, Elizabeth! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started.
In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.
Untamed and curly since 1988. #Spoonie living a #ChronicLife with arthritis. Author of #NewAdult romance Savannah’s Song.
Congratulations on the release of Savannah’s Song earlier this spring! What a wonderful accomplishment. It’s always fun and nerve wracking release a new book into the world.
Please tell a bit about your journey to becoming a published author. What’s been the best things about it and the worst?
Sometimes you get nudged to a path. I’ve pretty much been shoved. Growing up, I always wanted to be a novelist but didn’t think you could make a living doing it. I chose the next best thing: writing code. I worked long days and all I wanted to do was write, but I didn’t have the time or energy. Then, in 2007, I started displaying symptoms of arthritis. I was nineteen.
By the time 2011 rolled around, I could no longer work a regular nine to five. That summer, I self-published a short story that had previously been published in my college literary journal. I was hooked, but still didn’t think writing was a lucrative venture. I started working in retail. In December 2014, my arthritis got so bad, I left the workforce for good and started writing full-time.
Now I’m my own boss. I can rest when I need to, or even work from my bed. And best of all, I’m living my dream. Turns out, you can make a living writing. I’m happier than I’ve ever been—even on the bad pain days.
What an amazing journey! I can’t imagine being diagnosed with arthritis so early in life. I was diagnosed with asthma in December of this past year. I understand the struggles of trying to do what you normally do and not give into your illness. I learned in May, it’s probably not a good idea to go sprinting through the airport to catch a flight.
Tell us a bit about your latest release. What inspired you to write it? Why should fans of Second Run Reviews consider reading it.
The South of Forever series is about a ragtag band of young musicians trying to make it to the top. Each book focuses on one of the belles of the band and her love life (or, in some cases, lack thereof). The first book, Diving Into Him, follows Jett, the band’s lead singer and a recovering alcoholic. She’s trying to rebuild her career after her addiction nearly destroyed her entire life—and she’s determined to stay away from her ex-boyfriend, the band’s guitarist Koty. But the heart wants what it wants, and soon Jett must stop running from her fears and face her desires.
The second book, Savannah’s Song, follows Savannah, the keyboardist’s girlfriend. She’s given up nearly everything to support her boyfriend’s new career. When she’s offered an exciting new opportunity to get back into the art scene, though, Max is less than supportive. She knows something’s up, but the secret she discovers will not only destroy their relationship, but also his life.
I wrote the South of Forever series because not only am I a total music junkie, but I also really wanted to explore the ups and downs of a budding artist. I have a tiny bit of experience in that department, haha. It’s exhilarating but you also make a lot of sacrifices. The women that support the band are all very young—in their lower to mid-twenties—and even though they’re determined, life has a way of reminding them that they’re just a drop in the ocean.
Sounds like a great series for music lovers!
What types of books do you enjoy reading the most? What three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?
I’m kind of all over the place, actually. Growing up I read a lot of horror. Now I’m hooked on contemporary romance. I love anything with realistic, flawed characters. The quirkier, the better. I love everything Joe Meno writes, but Hairstyles of the Damned is a must for anyone who loves YA and rock ‘n’ roll. I also highly recommend J.C. Hannigan and Tracie Puckett—both contemporary New Adult romance and suspense authors. J.C. Hannigan’s Damaged Goods is a beautiful tearjerker, and Tracie Puckett’s Running Scared is superbly fast-paced, thrilling, and fun.
This is one thing I love most about this feature! I have never heard of any of these books or authors before. I just looked up Hairstyles of the Damned and that is definitely one I want to check out!
What is your current obsession? Any secret obsessions you would like to share?
My daily passion is cooking. I went to a technical high school and majored in culinary arts, but didn’t like the craziness of a commercial kitchen. In my kitchen, though, I fall into a relaxing rhythm. I’m constantly crawling Pinterest for recipes and experimenting. I’m actually writing a small town New England contemporary romance that’s set in a bakery. The best part is, I get to ogle recipes and call it “research.”
Guilty pleasures? Well, it’s not really a secret, but I’m hooked on the Outlander series—both the books by Diana Gabaldon and the Starz show. I can’t get enough of Claire and Jamie. It’s funny, because when I read the first book, I wasn’t really sure about it. By the third book, I was done for. Now I’m staying up ‘til 4am, binging the first season. I have a problem.
I have a feeling, if you and I lived closer, we would be close friends.
I took a bunch of continuing education cooking classes about 10 years ago and am obsessed with cooking shows on Netflix (Chef’s Table is AH-MAZING!). I have a huge crush on Anthony Bourdain and I totally miss Top Chef (we gave up cable years ago). I also have a crush on Alton Brown and have seen his stage show.
Obsessing about Outlander is not a problem. Best show on TV (although might be tied with Game of Thrones—I haven’t watch the latest season of that yet). The novels are beautifully translated for TV. While I was suspect of the casting, I love every single one of the characters (or hate them. BLACK JACK!). I am #TeamFrank as well as #TeamJamie. And I am most looking forward to Season 3 now as Book 3 is my favorite in the series.
I’ll stop now. I could go on for hours.
What is one question you wish I would have asked, that I haven’t?
Aw, but I liked your questions!
Oh, thank you. *blushes*
Okay, next time, ask me how I’m doing with my Yankee Candle addiction. My dad and husband are slightly alarmed; meanwhile everyone else seems to be enabling me and buying me more. I have no desire to recover.
*laughs* Noted. I guess this means you’ll come back! WOOT!
Any last thoughts or wise words you want to pass along?
Whenever you’re going through a particularly hard time, some people like to say “You’ll come out stronger after this.” And you kind of want to kick them in the teeth, because you’re positive you’re never going to make it out. It’s just going to go on and on. But when you get to the other side, even if only a few miles out of the woods, you can look back and see the change crystal clear. You made it. And you are stronger.
Wow. That is so true. I have been in that situation many times.
Elizabeth, thank you much for being In the Spotlight this week. I certainly hope you will come back and tell us about your next release. I’ll make sure to ask you about your candle collection and we can swap thoughts on Outlander Season 3….”Sing me a song of a lass who is gone…”
Synopsis: Sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll—that was Jett Costa’s old life. After her wildly popular band falls apart, she’s determined to remain sober and rebuild her career. There’s just one problem. The only person who still has any faith in her is her ex-boyfriend Koty, and Jett isn’t sure that she can keep her hands off him.
Maybe living together wasn’t such a great idea after all.
She may have been sober when she made that decision, but she definitely wasn’t when she agreed to play a show on behalf of a band that no longer exists at one of the biggest bars in Boston. Now she has less than three weeks to get her new band together. Can she ignore the sizzling sparks that fly between her and Koty every time they play?
Diving Into Him is the first book in the South of Forever series, a steamy contemporary New Adult romance that follows a fledgling rock band on its way to the top.
Synopsis: Ever since artist Savannah Santos started taking care of her boyfriend’s daughter, she’s had less time to paint. At first, it seemed as if Max and Chloe were the family she always wanted. But as Max grows more distant, Savannah starts to think encouraging him to join South of Forever was a huge mistake.
Especially when he’s less than supportive of Savannah’s burgeoning art career.
Something is definitely going on with Max. He’s completely indifferent toward his daughter and Savannah, who is determined to find out the truth. When the secret she discovers is so much worse than anything she ever imagined, it tears her heart to pieces. Can Savannah rescue her family from destruction, or will she lose Max and Chloe forever?
Savannah’s Song is the second book in the South of Forever series, a steamy contemporary New Adult romance that follows a fledgling rock band on its way to the top.