Please introduce yourself and your book(s)
My name is Barbara Elsborg. I live in Kent in the south of England. I always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, I decided it was not for me. Volcanology scorched my feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, I spent several years successfully selling cyanide. Honestly!
I’ve written a lot of romances featuring one man and one woman, many about two bisexual men and one woman, and I now write almost exclusively about two men. I cover all sorts of genres – contemporary, paranormal, sci fi, suspense, urban fantasy and all my books have a degree of humour. I love writing banter.
Tell us about the characters and relationships in your stories
I write about damaged guys and how they begin to heal when they find love. I’ve written about teenagers growing into adults with a story that cover decades, stories about twenty-something year olds, and plenty about older guys. I put my characters in perilous situations – possible drowning, caught on the edge of a building, almost falling off a cliff, running from the Russian mafia, hiding from a stalker… I like drama, I like plots and I like to do something different every time. But in the end, love is all that matters – and all my characters discover that. I might break guys up, but they always get back together. A happy ever after is essential.
What lessons could readers learn about real-world relationships from your novel(s)?
Sadly, in real life, happy ever afters don’t always seem achievable. But I’d like readers to never give up hope. No matter how bleak things seem, and my characters have to endure a lot, there is always some brightness. I know real life isn’t like the world of romance novels, but never give up, believe in yourself, try to see both sides of an a argument, there are two (or more) sides in any relationship. No one is perfect. It’s fine to live for a while in the imaginary world of a book, but in real life, just be as kind to others as you’d like them to be to you.
What real-life relationship experiences, observations or insights have influenced your writing?
I’ve never based any story directly on reality or real people but every part of my life-experience makes its way into my stories in some way. I write from the heart. I don’t always write what I know. I’ve not been to Russia but I’ve set a couple of books there. I’ve never been shot at, but some of my characters have. I have friends who’ve lost children, husbands, partners and I’ve learned to be empathetic. I’ve learned to listen. One snippet from a newspaper led to my story about American cowboys in Russia – Cowboys Down. I once cut out an advert about an amazing job for an entrepreneur, and used that as a basis for a story. I still have that advert. My daughter applied for the job but didn’t get it. Tragically, the entrepreneur and his employee died a few years later in a helicopter crash. I’m fascinated by the world and everything in it, but people are the most interesting, the way they interact, the way they fall in love.
Are there any relationship themes or topics you want to cover in future releases?
I’m writing about a deaf character at the moment. That’s a new one for me. My mother was partially deaf but I’ve never explored what it must be like . I have plans for a story about an alien who falls in love with a human. That’s going to be challenging. I won’t write about cheating, because largely readers don’t like it. I don’t tend to write about children in relationships but I do have a idea for a story with a child involved. I don’t plan so I never know where my stories are going to go and how characters will develop. For me it keeps writing fresh and fun.