Today I am very happy to welcome back to the blog the wonderful Lila DiPasqua‘s whose steamy fairy tale inspired historical romances are hot enough to set the pages on fire and romantic enough to make you sigh with pleasure. The 4th book in Lila’s Fiery Tales series Undone was just released and if the gorgeous cover is not enough to tempt you I can tell you the story is extraordinary as well! (Don’t believe me? Read my review.) So it is with great pleasure that I interviewed her (poor Lila had to go through dozens of questions and she did them all with grace and a smile), this time we discover which fairy tale is her personal favourite and how she choreographs her steamy love scenes. So read on to discover more about Lila DiPasqua and her wonderful novels! (and of course there is a Fantastic giveaway at the end waiting for you )
Stella: Hi Lila, welcome back to Book Lovers Inc! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Lila: I’m thrilled to be back for another visit! I write scorching historical romances for Penguin/Berkley as well as self-published works under the brand name, Rock*it Reads. This brand is made up of a group of New York published authors who have created the brand, Rock*it Reads our self-published books. We’re passionate about self-publishing and we’re putting RiR logo on our book covers to reassure readers that these books will have the same professional quality as our traditionally published novels.
We’re really excited about it! And we’ve partnered with Barnes & Noble to write a regular column to highlight other self-published books (not our own!). Our column is called LOVE ROCKS and we’re all about giving love to self-published works and helping readers discover new and wonderful reads from the self-pub world.
Stella: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Lila: I’d say I’m a little of both. I write a general outline before I start a book, and then I begin to research—if it’s a new area of history for me. Before I start the book, I’ll know the characters, and I’ll have some scenes drafted out. That’s when I dive in and let the muse take me where it wants. It’s a little scary and exciting at the same time.
A typical writing day will start after I grab my coffee from Starbucks. I write mostly during the day. Depending on the deadline, I may write in the evening, too. I try to write a certain number of pages per day, but some days the muse abandons me. (She’s so evil). I visit Facebook or Twitter until she returns.
Stella: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Lila: A real book lover is generally a lot poorer in the wallet. LOL I think a real book lover wants to be surrounded by books. Own them. Lots of them. They’re the ones who will lend out their books only on the sworn promise that they will be returned. Or else. lol A real book lover will buy more books, even though they have a TBR pile as tall as Mt. Everest.
Stella: You are a historical romance author, and to be precise a fairy tale-historical romance author. Why did this subgenre appeal to you, what attracted you to HR? Why do you prefer it to others, like contemporary romance? Do you think you’ll want to write contemporary stories some day?
Lila: Who knows? I may write a contemporary romance one day. Or a paranormal. But my pull to historical romance probably comes from the fact that I fell in love with fairy tales as a child (the first romance I ever read was probably Cinderella), and the first full-length romance novel I ever read happened to be a historical romance, when I was a teen. I’ve been hooked on romance novels ever since. I love sweeping readers back in history. For now, I’ll stick to writing steamy historicals with delicious rakes and the heroines who make them lose their hearts.
Stella: You pen the Fiery Tales steamy historical romance series, which are all based on a classic fairy tale and can be read as standalones. Would you like to tell our readers about it a bit?
Lila: The term Fiery Tales is something my husband thought up and Berkley liked it so much, they kept it. It was a fitting name for the series as the series is all about scorching retellings of those fairy tales we all know and love. And though the love scenes are hot, the romance/emotions are just as passionate between the hero and heroine in these books. I love writing passionate love stories!
AWAKENED BY A KISS and THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED are each anthologies (three classic fairy tales retold in each of these books)
A MIDNIGHT DANCE – is my fresh and different spin on Cinderella. You see, our cinder-girl is determined to find her prince charming—and make him pay. This is a fun, steamy story with a wonderfully strong, smart heroine and a delicious hero who will melt your socks off.
UNDONE—This is my latest release. My retelling of Rapunzel. UNDONE is the most emotional book I’ve ever written. I’ve received many emails from readers about how much they loved the book—and how it made them cry. But no worries! There is definitely a happily ever after for our hero Simon and his beloved, Angelica.
Stella: Your latest novel Undone (the 4th book in your Fiery Tales series) was released this month, congratulations! Can you tell our readers what they can expect of it?
Lila: Simon, born a commoner, is entangled in a serious, deadly web of intrigue and court politics. He’s a privateer for his country and has always wanted to rise from his station of birth and become a titled gentleman and an officer in the King’s official navy. Until now. When the story starts, he just realized he’s got to walk away from his lifelong dream and the powerful man who has a hold on him and his men. If only the mysterious beauty Simon thinks he’s rescued wasn’t such a distraction. The desire that burns between them is untamable and irresistible.
Stella: Would you like to introduce the hero and heroine to our readers?
Lila: Once upon a time there was a commoner who was anything but common. Tall, dark and dangerous, and at last wealthy, Simon Boulenger lives like an aristocrat, but has a troubled past. And even more trouble in his future.
Especially the day he meets a damsel in distress—Angelica. But our Angelica is a mysterious beauty. And this woman born into the aristocracy, posing as a commoner, intends to keep her secrets to herself.
Let the games begin!
Stella: Can you tell us any behind the scenes secret related to Undone? (either to the writing process, or some tidbit about the characters that didn’t end up in the final version)
Lila: When researching UNDONE, I needed information on a beautiful palace named Vaux-le-Vicomte. This 17th c architectural marvel is in my book and still stands today. When I emailed my questions to the staff at Vaux, I never expected that I’d get a response from Count Patrice de Vogüé! Who’s he, you ask? He’s the man who currently calls Vaux-le-Vicomte his home. What a delightful man! He personally answered every question I had.
Stella: Can you summarize Undone for us twitterstyle (140 characters or less)?
Lila: What happens after the hero rescues the beauty from the tower? See @LilaDiPasqua steamy Rapunzel retelling UNDONE!
Stella: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read Undone?
1. There’s a carnally-gifted, delicious hero, Simon
2. There’s a smart heroine who will pull at your heart.
3. There’s a touching love story with real issues and sigh-worthy ending and love scenes that will burn up the pages.
Stella: Undone is your first self-published novel. Why did you decide to go this way? And how was the experience so far? Are you considering going this way in the future?
Lila: Publishing has been changing, and I’m evolving with it. I love the control self-publishing gives me. From cover, to content, to release date—it’s all up to me. Plus, I can control the price. And I like that very much. So many other authors have turned to self-publishing. I didn’t want to miss out on this exciting new frontier. I’m not sure what the future holds, but I am sure I’m loving self-publishing UNDONE immensely.
Stella: What shall we expect from you, what is next on your schedule? Will there be more Fiery Tales in the future?
Lila: I’m working on Luc’s Fiery Tale, Jules’s brother (Jules, the hero in A MIDNIGHT DANCE). I’m also working on a novella and new series set in Victorian England. It’s time to scandalize a new time period. LOL
Stella: Your novels were inspired by fairy tales, how do you choose which one to retell? Does inspiration strike or do you decide to retell a specific fairy tale and then try to work out the details on how you could do that?
Lila: I decide on the fairy tale first, then let my imagination go. I start to form the characters and the conflict they will face, while keeping those elements of the fairy tale we’re all familiar with.
Stella: And I know it’s a mean question, but do you have a favourite fairy tale?
Lila: I love so many different fairy tales, but I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Cinderella.
Stella: Your historical romances besides being wonderfully told stories full of pomp and glitter have heart-wraming (and heart-squeezing) romance and scorching love scenes. Are these steamy scenes easy for you to write or do they prove to be challenging at times?
Lila: The love scenes do take some extra care, I will admit. I sort of have to choreograph it first. You don’t want your hero to have three hands. LOL Then I apply all the sensations and emotions.
Stella: Quick questions, quicker answers:
Grimm or Disney? Grimm
Snow White or Cinderella? Cinderella
Which would you prefer to have a fairy godmother or glass slippers and dressmaker mice? A fairy godmother
Ugly Duckling or The Beauty and the Beast? The Ugly Duckling.
Who were you rooting for in Little Red Riding Hood: LRRH, the wolf, grandma or the hunter? Little Red.
Little Mermaid: with a happy ending or the original touching one? I’m a sucker for a happy ending.
Favourite Grimm story? Rapunzel
Favourite Andersen story? The Ugly Duckling.
Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia, something that not many people know about you?
Lila: Actually, there’s a secret in the dedication in UNDONE, which I had to put in the back of the book because it contained a spoiler. You’ll have to check it out if you want to know that secret.
A Fiery Tale
Inspired by the tale of Rapunzel, Lila DiPasqua offers a new steamy, emotionally charged historical romance in the acclaimed Fiery Tales Series . . . Rescuing this beauty from the ‘tower’ is only the beginning . . .
Maintaining her ruse as a commoner, and trusting no one has kept Angelica safe. But a chance encounter with a handsome stranger lands her right where danger lies. Now, this sinfully handsome man with arresting blue eyes and a polished manner thinks he’s saved her life, when in fact he’s placed her in great peril. She’s intent on keeping him and everyone else at arm’s length. Yet, the smoldering attraction between them is difficult to deny. And impossible to ignore . . .
As commander of a number of privateer ships, Simon Boulenger dresses and speaks like an aristocrat, and has obtained wealth. But he is still not a noble. Or an officer in the King’s Navy. His lifelong dream to elevate himself from his station of birth and attain a respectable place in society is dead. Worse, he’s ensnared in a deadly scheme, and must get out. But how is he to stay focused on his dangerous mission when the mysterious beauty has him utterly intrigued? He can’t afford the distraction any more than he can resist the carnal hunger she stirs. Simon soon discovers that she’s not only a passionate soul mate, but a woman born into privilege. A woman he can never have. But they’re in too deep. Their hearts are at risk . . . as well as their lives.
At age fourteen, Lila’s best friend sneaked a romance novel out of her grandmother’s house. After devouring it, Lila was hooked on romance novels for life. Today she lives with her real-life hero husband and three children and is a firm believer in the happily-ever-after. She loves history and enjoys traveling. She has been to four continents so far. Weaving in interesting historical facts she discovers during her travels, Lila writes stories about historical alpha-heroes and the heroines who make them lose their hearts. Visit her website for more info on her books:
Lila has generously offered a signed copy of A MIDNIGHT DANCE *and* Kate Noble’s THE SUMMER OF YOU (signed!) to a lucky commenter!
All you have to do is leave a meaningful comment about the interview and answer Lila’s question: What’s your favorite kind of hero?
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).
This giveaway is open to all!
Giveaway ends on Saturday, May 19th, 2012; we will announce the winner on Sunday.