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Saturday, 2 March 2013

Storyteller Saturday Interview: Elizabeth Dunk

Nicola Murphy aka Elizabeth Dunk is joining us today to talk about inspiration and her latest book. If you missed her excerpt earlier this week, don't panic, Nicole is also offering a copy of Arranged to Love to one lucky winner, along with some back copies of other titles! Enter below.

What’s your name and where do you come from?
Elizabeth Dunk is the psuedonym I use for contemporary romance. My real name is Nicole Murphy, which is the name I use for science fiction/fantasy and romance. As Nicole Murphy, I’ve had three novels a couple dozen short stories published. Elizabeth is playing catch-up to that, with one novel and two short stories out. I live in Queanbeyan, a town just the other side of the border from Canberra, the capital of Australia.

Tell us a bit about your latest release.
Arranged to Love is the debut novel from Elizabeth Dunk. It’s the story of Madhuri ‘Maddie’ Singh, an Indian/Australian who loves her job as a journalist and is also committed to her culture, particularly the idea of making an arranged marriage. There’s only been one man who’s tempted her from that plan and wouldn’t you know it – the moment her parents find her a husband, Jack Faulkner returns to her life. And so things begin to unravel for both Maddie and Jack and they need to reassess what they really want their lives to be.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
It comes from lots of different places and ideas banging together. For example, I worked as a journalist for several years so I’m aware of how perfect that environment is for romantic entanglements, but I wasn’t able to pull together the perfect story. Then I met a girl who had made an arranged marriage and she was open about what it involved in the modern age. That banged with the journalism and created ‘Arranged to Love’.

What’s your biggest turn on?
Conversation. Smart, sassy, intelligent, sexy conversation. Talk to me about your views on the world, listen to mine, slowly get more intimate sharing details of yourself, segue that into talking about how sexy the other is, and then into a little talking dirty and I’ll be putty in your hands.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
Actually, I’m currently working in it. My day job is as a conference organiser. It’s something I’ve only recently got into – June last year- but I’ve been organising events as a hobby for a number of years and I really enjoy it. It’s never boring, there’s always something to do,  you meet fascinating people and that moment when the conference is happening and you see the delegates smiling faces and know you helped make that happen is magic.

What trait do you find the sexiest?
Intelligence, without ego or arrogance. An intelligence that is interested in everything about the world around them – that wants to discover, explore, discuss, and take on new information and learning. That’s sexy as hell.

How do you decide how hot or not your book is going to be?
There’s lots of factors involved. For starters – what do I want to write? Erotica, explicit sex within a romance, or something sweet? Then the characters get involved – some end up much more into sex than I planned, others don’t. Finally, the plot impacts. If I have a plot around the romance and it’s not calling for any explicit sex scenes, then I won’t write them. I think writing sex for the sake of writing sex comes across as fake and wrong and it can ruin a story.

Is there any erotic scenarios you wouldn’t write about?
Right now I wouldn’t write full on BDSM, but that’s only because I don’t feel I understand the nuances of the relationship well enough – I certainly enjoy reading it. Research is required before I get into that. Otherwise, I think that everyone has a right to their sexuality and that it’s important to be able to find yourself somewhere in a book, so I’m willing to take anything on.

Is the stuff you write about from experience or mostly imagination?
Well obviously, the basics and the emotional attachment and reaction of love and sex comes from my own life. But when it comes to the down and dirty and sometimes kinky stuff, it’s imagination – although does reading erotica count as experience? Cause in that case…

Tell us something that might surprise our readers.
For all that I write about confident women who don’t care about societal mores but chase their own sexual pleasure to the benefit of both they and their partner/s, I’m crippled with insecurity. My husband is lucky he caught me at a moment when I was feeling pretty good about myself, otherwise I could well still be single and quite inexperienced

Elizabeth Dunk is the contemporary romance writing alter-ego of Nicole Murphy, who cut her teeth writing science fiction and fantasy. A long-time romance fan, Nicole couldn’t resist attempting to sit fair and square in the modern world and bring two fabulous characters together and thus Elizabeth was born. As Nicole, she has dozens of short stories in print and published an urban fantasy trilogy, The Dream of Asarlai. As Elizabeth, she’s published a couple of short stories. This is the first novel length work under the new name and there are plans for many more. Find out more about Elizabeth/Nicole at

You can purchase Arranged to Love from Escape Publishing

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