About Elaine Gonzales
Elaine Gonzales graduated from the University of Arizona with a journalism degree and worked at The Arizona Republic for 17 years. She's an insane sports enthusiast, pop culture/news junkie and an unapologetic fan girl.
She recently released her debut novel – the romantic suspense story, Protector, and the ebook prequel, The Condition Series Vol. 1.
Find out more at
1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My son thinks I’m weird. He tells me all the time, usually when I’m showing him photos of my favorite man crushes I’ve downloaded on my phone. Little does he know, my weirdness is going to eventually wear off on him and he’s going to be even weirder. Brilliant! Besides being a devoted fan girl and a bit immature for my age, I’m a single mom who managed to find time to fulfill a lifelong dream of writing a novel. I work full-time for a newspaper publisher, I am raising a pretty cool little man, and I wish there was more time in the day. I’m exhausted most of the time…but thrilled I found my passion, at last.
2. On your website I found that you have always been plotting stories in your head and casting every character. If you had to cast Veronica and Jude who would play them?
As I wrote these characters, I pictured Eva Green and Aidan Turner. I’ve been a fan of Eva’s for a long time, but I had just discovered Aidan when this story was forming in my head. He perfectly encapsulates Jude’s loneliness and sensitivity (see: Being Human). And Eva, she IS Veronica. She’s fierce, but also has a vulnerability in her eyes that just kills me. Watch Penny Dreadful and you’ll see what I mean.
My entire fan cast is on my website. I love hearing from readers about who they think could play these characters in a movie.
3. Which storyline from the past did you love the most?
The Belfast flashback is my favorite. You learn so much about Veronica in that chapter – her pain, her convictions, and what she’s capable of. It was the most fun to write, but it was also the most emotional. There’s a scene in that chapter that when I finished writing it at 2 a.m., I just sat there crying at my computer.
4. You are a sports enthusiast. Which sport do you like best?
In my family, sporting events (live and on TV) are the center of most gatherings. I have four older brothers so a love for sports came naturally. American football is my favorite. I’ve been a San Francisco 49ers fan since I was a teenager. But, I’ll watch any type of competitive sport. I truly enjoy it!
5. Which book would you recommend for all of us to read?
One of my favorites is Savages by Don Winslow. It may not be for everyone, though. It’s pretty graphic in language and content. But his in-your-face type of narrative influenced me to not hold back on how my characters express themselves. There were a few instances while I was writing Protector where I thought I should take out some of the expletives in the dialogue, but then I would realize that is how I hear them. I wanted to stay true to that. Winslow talks a lot about writing outside the box and not following “rules” that we have no idea who set up. That way of thinking really freed me up as I wrote my story.
6. What is your favorite season of the year and why?
Not summer! I live in Arizona and it can get up to 120 degrees here. It’s brutal, but the other seven months of the year are gorgeous. Autumn/Fall is my favorite. The temperature cools down. Football season begins, and the holidays are right around the corner.
7. Veronica is a very complex character. What has been your inspiration for her?
When I began writing her, I had a very clear picture of the kind of woman I wanted her to be. I wanted her to be as powerful as a male protagonist would be in the same situation. Many times I would think to myself, ‘What Would James Bond Do?’ Yet, I wanted her to have the female qualities that separate us from men. Veronica is as confident, determined and kick-ass as Bond, but she’s also emotional, passionate and self-aware. She doesn’t wear her heart on her sleeve, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t vulnerable and sensitive. She keeps her emotions under control, which is why she’s so rocked by what happens when she meets Jude.
8. If you could go anywhere in the world for a vacation where would you go and why?
Number one on my bucket list has always been the British Isles. I’ve wanted to go to England, Ireland and Scotland since I was a teenager. It’s a huge regret of mine that I never went when I was younger, but that’s about to change. I’m planning a trip in the spring. Once I wrote my first novel and published it, I realized that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. No more excuses. I’m going!
9. If the choice was given to you to have the serum for the condition you write about. Would you take it?
Yes. No question about it. I’d be one of those outliers enjoying the benefits and experiencing life to the fullest. I wouldn’t take any risks or give the Protectors any cause to call on me.
10. What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m currently writing the follow up to Protector. The story picks up the very next day and you see how Veronica deals with the consequences of her actions. McNair has a much bigger storyline and you’ll find out his backstory. Evie, too, has a more significant role. Her relationship with Veronica is very important, and she’s so much fun to write. I love her! Oh, and there are lots more twists to come.
Veronica Farrell grew up in her own clan and she led an extremely protected life. When she was a teenager her parents told her about the condition. Her parents’ generation created a serum because they wanted to slow down the aging process. Instead of slowing it down the serum stops it completely at the age of thirty. The serum also makes people heal faster and prevents them from getting ill. The originals want to keep the serum and the effects that it has a secret. Because of that they all live in clans.
Veronica is really angry about the fact that her parents were keeping secrets and didn't let her know about the condition for so long. She also has a lot of trouble accepting that she had no choice in this matter. Veronica turns away from her parents and finds an outlet for her anger when she joins the protectors. The protectors will do everything in their power to keep the condition hidden from the world. They go to extremes if they have to. Once, during an assignment, Veronica let a man go. She was supposed to stop him from getting away, but one look into his eyes prevented her from doing that.
Many years later Veronica meets Jude again. This time he is not running away from her. Jude has never forgotten Veronica. He has been looking for her for many years but never found her until now. Jude also has the condition, but left his clan so he could live a normal life. Jude and Veronica fall in love with each other very fast. Both of them never knew that an all-consuming love like theirs was even possible.
Veronica isn't an easy person to like. She is calculated, cold and can be brutal when things need to be done. Veronica has never shied away from a challenge and will work as hard as she possibly can to match her strength with that of the male protectors. Veronica has never been able to let her anger go and she is awfully harsh towards her parents. Her actions made me feel like she is brainwashed by the protectors. When she falls in love with Jude she finally shows her softer side. I was wishing for her to open up to Jude. She isn’t a bad person, but she does make terribly bad choices.
Jude is such a sweet man. He loves with his whole heart and he is amazingly trustworthy. Jude is big on honesty and doesn’t hold back when he feels betrayed. He is connected to a group that fights against the protectors. That Veronica is one of them certainly makes things complicated. Will that be their downfall of will they be able to overcome their differences?
Protector is a true must-read. It does have some graphic scenes, so I would not recommend it for the younger readers. Elaine Gonzales has created strong characters with a lot of depth in their personalities. It felt like the characters are real people. Protector is a unique and refreshing story that will keep you interested until the final chapter. The ending surprised me and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. If you like stories with a lot of action and a fast pace, you will love Protector.
One very lucky winner will receive a signed paperback version of Protector including the necklace Veronica is wearing on the cover.