Elizabeth Amber Is Writing Under The Influence

Elizabeth Amber shares the affect of "When Art Influences Writing" and how her trip to Italy didn't just inspire a series, it "sparked" her Lords of Satyr series!

  A few years ago, my husband took the trip of a lifetime — two months in Italy plus a stop in Paris. We moved fast, trying to see everything. When we began the trip, I had already written the synopsis for the Lords of Satyr series and was working on the chapters for book one, Nicholas. I was on the lookout for locations that would inspire me and that I could use in the books I would write. The series in order is Nicholas, Raine, Lyon, Dominic, and Dane (June 2010). Dane begins a new trilogy within the series. These are the photos I took on that trip that inspired particular settings in my novels:


  An estate called Villa d’Este in Tivoli, Italy is a setting I used in the first novel, Nicholas. Here, Nicholas first meets Jane, who is posing as a fortuneteller to earn enough coin so that she and her sister might escape her evil aunt. This building façade displays the huge water organ. The row of fountains known as the 100 Fountains. Beautiful! But not easy to reach. We had to take a standing-room-only bus ride for about 45 minutes each way from Rome. RT Book Reviews said this about Nicholas: “The leading man is the sexiest one this reader has seen in a long time!”


  This reclining hermaphrodite was the inspiration for Jordan, the heroine in Raine. After our trip, I did some reading about how hermaphrodites lived in the 1800s. Some infamous ones earned a living by traveling a circuit from city to city, where they were put on view to be studied by an audience of medical men. I empathized with these people, who were ridiculed and rarely found a stable, loving partner. In Raine, Jordan’s mother blackmails her emotionally into acting the part of male so that they might keep their inherited fortune.


  This is a high-relief sculpture that depict satyrs.



Dane’s olive grove is on Aventine Hill, which overlooks the Roman forum. Numerous scenes in the book occur there because his brother is in charge of the ongoing excavations. This is also the location where Dane and another sibling disappeared years ago. Dane returned a year later but can remember none of the missing time. His sibling remains missing, and the clock is ticking.



RT Book Reviews gave Dane, (Kensington, June 2010) 4.5 stars and a Top Pick!

You can read book excerpts at my website.

- Elizabeth Amber


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(The above photos are copyright Elizabeth Amber.)