Squawk Radio

Monday, November 28, 2005


Yes, it's true. Yet another Squawker has yet another book out. Prolific as rabbits, aren't they? This time up it's Eloisa James whose romance, KISS ME ANNABEL hits the shelves today. Eloisa badgered me into interviewing her. here's the scoop:

KITTY: I did the research. Your daddy is a famous hippie poet whose star rocketed to fame in the sixties. Rumor says you were raised on some rural farm thingie—can you spell C-O-M-M-U-N-E? Love-in’s, sit-ins, happenings, flower power, psychedelic movement, oh my! So tell me what was it like smokin’ the ganj with the old man and the rest of the hippies? Did you meet Timbo “Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out” Leary?

ELOISA: I did grow up on a farm, and my father is a poet, and I suppose we counted as hippies (we didn't have a TV)...but my mother was a strong break on the whole hippie thing. She made my brothers put on white shirts to come to the dinner table. Her voice issues from my mouth when I snap at my daughter for talking with her mouth full (why do I suspect that true hippies don't bother with table manners?). My father gloried in the whole 60's thing, although he forgot to introduce me to “Timbo.” Darn it. I did meet a bunch of 60's poets, most of whom had long hair and the look of someone who's smoked too much weed.

KITTY: KISS ME ANNABEL is like what? The nineteenth in this series? Is it ever going to end? And why not?

ELOISA: Four. FOUR. Is that too many for you? I love writing four books in a row. It lets me focus on a romance within each book (they stand alone) and still carry a wider story throughout. I think the key to making series interesting is connecting them by characters everyone wants to meet again -- but who are still changing. I came to this conclusion, actually, because I love Johanna Lindsey's regencies, but it was never all that satisfying to just read cameos of people I once loved, now grown up with children. I wanted them to actually be living and changing, if that makes sense.

KITTY: Well, speaking as a connoisseur du la novel romance, I gotta admit one of the main reasons I'm sticking with your series is Mayne. Gimme.

ELOISA: Writing books in series of four is allowing me to get Mayne to the point where he might -- just MIGHT -- be marriageable material. Because a guy who's slept with most of the married, female population of London is not exactly good husband material, no matter what anyone thinks.

KITTY: Okay. Let’s talk about your, ah, I guess you’d call it a style. You write knuckle- dragging, chest-thumping, over-sexed heroes with uber-‘tude. What’s up with that?

ELOISA: Gotta love it, Kitty. If you don't understand it at your age, well...picture me wiping away a tear for you.

KITTY: Babe, I ain’t complaining. Believe me. Just trying to keep the editorial distance intact. (Prima donna. Like she’d know more about men than me. In her thwarted little dreams!) What? Oh yeah. Okay. Up front, I’m in a slump. Brockway’s killed me for series. So why should I, or any one else, take the bait and buy this book? What makes it the best thing since double D batteries?

ELOISA: I've always thought that slumps were the...well, never mind that. I wouldn't want to insult you during your own interview. Brockway, huh? She burned out your gaskets? No comment. I think this is a great series because I'm trying to bring together two things from my last two series: the depth of emotion from the Pleasures series, and the female friendship from the Duchess in Love series. So far, so good. I'm enjoying it. And it's damn hot.

KITTY: Okay. You got me halfway there but let’s be honest...KISS ME, ANNABEL? Sounds like something you could read a bunch of five year olds during Sunday School naptime. Convince me.

ELOISA: See above? Damn hot. HOT, Kitty, HOT. As in making love outdoors, which is getting to be a signature of mine, which is really weird because I am a staid suburban mom.

KITTY: You know, many of the other squawkers cough: Lisa, Teresa, Christina :cough spend half their lives living on the New York Times bestseller list. How does that make you feel? I know it just about kills Brockway. She goes hyper-pissy whenever anyone mentions it (And every other day is NOT too much, Medeiros! No matter what Brockway says!) Do you think you stand a chance? Be optimistic. It’s kinda cute.

ELOISA: If you would just get over your slump and buy the damned book this week I might have a chance!

KITTY: Well, okay, I’ll buy the damn book. But I’m not going to promise to read it.You know, as much as I hate to admit it, I do kinda groove on your website. No, I’m not snickering. I really mean it. I especially like the readers’ page with the picture you took of the back of ELTON JOHN’S HEAD? Hello? What were you thinking? The man is a god and you weenie out and don’t get full frontal?

ELOISA: Sorry. Only his back. But did'ya see the picture of Bette Midler? Upclose and personal, huh? How about Glenn Close? Next month I'm doing a"behind the magazine shoot" thing because MORE is pubbing an article on me in February. It's a new part of my website and I really like it.

KITTY: Yo, well, let’s delve a little bit deeper into this magical readers' page thing. You got a free novella up for grabs for those who have “enlisted” but what’s with the whole password protection/registration thing? Are you collecting names to sell to porn sites? ‘Cause sister, I have been to the well once too often. I am tapped. No more credito on el Plastico. Got it? Not that the thought isn’t appreciated...

ELOISA: Nope. Not that anyone would want your address, Kitty. I'm sure you're already on the spammer's gold list for buying all that female viagra. I'm not selling my list, or giving it away either. But this way I can offer stuff like the free short story on my site and not have to worry too much about it getting stolen. And did'ya see the crossword puzzle? Next month I'm running a contest to make up new crossword puzzle clues from the Duchess in Love series. Give it a shot, Kitty!

KITTY: Yeah. What's a four letter word for "No way?" I'll buy the book though. I've always kinda liked outdoor sex...
Connie Brockway, 11:01 PM