Who is Lila DiPasqua – Give us the low down.
I was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’m married to a wonderful, totally supportive man and we have three children. Formerly a law clerk, I used to work in a high-end law firm and specialized in litigation. It was a fast-paced, high-stress career. I worked on some big cases, and I even had my life threatened – twice. I quit after my first child was born. I think I have the best job in the world now. I get to write love stories about gorgeous men and strong women in historical settings. Best of all, I get to share my historical romances with readers.
Awakened by a Kiss is your debut book. What was your road to publication like?
I didn’t start pursuing publication until my youngest entered school. Having three children in under four years had pretty much kept me from stringing coherent sentences together. I joined my local RWA chapter, took writing classes and met my critique partners. I got 2 offers of representation from 2 amazing agents for Awakened by a Kiss. Within a few short months, my agent sold the book to Berkley. In fact, it was around this time last year that I made my sale! It took six years from the time my baby started school to the time I landed my first publishing contract.
What inspired you to take fairy tales we all know and love, and give them a twist with an erotic flair?
I’m a history geek. I really love the time period when fairy tales like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty were written. Seventeenth century France was as elegant and refined as Regency England, with a healthy dose of salaciousness that made it easy to give the tales a steamy twist. King Louis XIV had a glittering court and a libido that wouldn’t quit. His courtiers, like their King, were connoisseurs of the carnal arts. Setting the book in this very time and place where the genre of fairy tales was born seemed fitting. It was such a romantic, sexy time! We have French lawyer/writer Charles Perrault to thank for those fairy tales that are near and dear to our hearts. He was the first to write down folklore and put morals to his stories. He was the creator of The Tales of Mother Goose. Awakened by a Kiss is based on three of his famous fairy tales, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots.
Your book includes three short stories. Do you have a favorite amongst them? Any heroes or heroines who gave you more trouble?
Honestly, I love each story equally and for different reasons. In Sleeping Beau, I just adore bad boy Adrien d’Aspe, an infamous rake and illegitimate son of the King. Legitimized by His Majesty, he’s treated like royalty. That is until Catherine comes along and rocks his world, in more ways than one. I adore Nicolas and Anne in Little Red Writing. Anne is a writer and passionate about her books. I love how she completely unravels strong, ambitious Nicolas. As for Bewitching in Boots, Elisabeth is smart and loyal to those she loves, and hopelessly in love with Tristan. Not the kind of woman to sit back and wait for a man to make his moves, she takes matters into her own hands.
You recently attended the debut conference, RomCon – what was that experience like?
It was a blast! It was low-key and I got the chance to sit and chat with reviewers, readers and other authors in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. I think everyone enjoyed themselves. I personally had the best time at the Speed Dating and Sexcapades. Sexcapades was one of the most popular events!
If you had to pick one of your heroes to be your husband, which one of the three would it be?
Okay, I know this is going to put a big grin on my husband’s face, but all three heroes are my husband, in one way or another. Yup, I’m a pretty lucky woman. Each hero in this book has aspects that were inspired by my husband. I’d be happy having any of the three gorgeous men in Awakened by a Kiss as mine! But if I absolutely had to pick….hmm…I think I’d choose Tristan. Tall, dark and handsome. The strong silent type. Head of the most prestigious corps in the land. And a man known for his skill at wielding his….er….sword. ;)
Tristan would be my choice too! ;) What’s up next for you? Will you continue with the fairy tale theme?
The Princess in His Bed will hit the shelves three short months after Awakened by a Kiss. The Princess in His Bed is a collection of three more Fiery Tales, only this collection is inspired by fairy tales written by Hans Christian Andersen. The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Princess and the Pea are scandalously retold and renamed, The Lovely Duckling, The Marquis’ New Clothes, and The Princess and the Diamonds.
Plus, I just made a new sale to Berkley. The Fiery Tales series will continue into 2011. This new book won’t be a collection, but a full length novel based on one classic fairy tale. I’m cooking up something steamy, yet romantic. I can’t wait for this book!
Name three things you must have with you when you write
Coffee. Classical Music. Laptop.
What is the last book you read?
Love and Louis XIV, The Women in the Life of the Sun King, by Antonia Fraser. Told you, I’m a history geek. I love any books to do with history!
What fictional hero do you lust after the most?
Chest hair – smexy?
LOL…*some* chest hair = smexy. No chest hair = smexier.
Lila is offering up TWO signed copies of Awakened by a Kiss. To enter, leave a comment or question for Lila.
Open to US/Canada through Thursday, July 22nd.
Colleen M. says
Congrats on your first book!! Best of luck with it!
Colleen M (fellow HTH chapter member)
Lila, I can't wait for your sexy fairy tale books. I just love the idea that I can enjoy these in a different twist and adult imagination. Congratulations on your debut release.
armiefox at yahoo dot com
Congrats on the release. It sounds great and I am looking forward to getting the chance to read it.
Tara W says
I really enjoyed your interview. I wish you much success with your debut release.
mizztuts AT bellsouth DOT net
I grew up loving the classic fairy tales so I'm definitely going to enjoy reading your books with a different twist. The excerpts have just left me anticipating the happily ever afters. Can't wait
Amy J - Book Addict says
CONGRATS! Great interview! I love books with the fairy tale twist!
Lila I LOVE the cover of your book. sounds like a interesting read. Look forward to reading it.
modokker at yahoo dot com
Don't enter me! I just wanted to pop by and say hi and congratulate Lila once again on her full length novel. Yay!
And Lila, I'm lovin' how you drew inspiration for all your heroes from you husband. That brought a smile to my face.
Great interview.Read the review too,sounds like a really great book.
Can't wait to read your books Lila and I am really looking forward to The Princess in His Bed. That one has intrigued me since I read the snippet you posted a few months ago. Good luck with your future ventures and I truly enjoyed reading your interview!!!
Congrats on the release! It sounds so interesting, I can't wait to read it :)
throuthehaze at gmail dot com
Barbara E. says
I love the idea of taking the classic fairy tale and putting your own sexy, adult twist on it. I'm looking forward to reading Awakened by a Kiss.
Count me in
Lila, these stories sound so great! Can't wait to read them.
Speed dating was my favorite at RomCon, too! What a great convention.
See you at your book launch ;-)
J K Maze says
I just love fairy tales and yours stikes me as absolutely delicious. Congrats on the contracts. I would dearly love to read Awakened by a Kiss and then the next book.
Savannah Chase says
Lila, huge congrats on the new books. It is truly fantastic to see a fellow TRW author out there…I look forward to reading your release…Once again huge congrats
Sweet Vernal Zephyr says
Wow ! Congrats on the new releases coming up. And I am with you on the no chest hair ;)
mdwartistry at yahoo dot com
Cherie J says
Congrats in your book. I enjoyed the interview. I also think Mr. Darcy is lust inspiring. Your sexy fairy tales sound great.
Congrats on the new book release : ) And, I *have* to say this: I completly agree with you on the chest hair subject.
Congrats on your book release and the sale to Berkley!
I really enjoy stories fashioned after fairy tales.
Lila DiPasqua says
Thank you for all your good wishes, everyone! I had an absolute blast writing this book. I hope you have as much fun reading it.
@Colleen M – Thank you! Great to see one of my HTH chapter sisters here!
@Armenia — Thanks so much! I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas. Aug. 3rd can't get here fast enough! :)
@donnas — Thank you! Good luck! :)
@Monua — You're the best! Thanks so much!
@Tara W –Many thanks! I'm so glad you liked it.
Carrie at In the Hammock Blog says
congrats on the book! I love fairy tale retellings, so I'm glad to hear you will be continuing the fairy tale theme with another anthology and with a full novel!! Can't wait! thank you for the contest!!
inthehammockblog at gmail dot com
Lila DiPasqua says
@ Monique – So glad you enjoyed the excerpts! Fairy tales are the best, aren't they? :)
@Amy J – Book Addict–Thanks so much! And thank you for stopping by. :)
@ Lisa B–Thank you! I think Berkley did a wonderful job on the cover, too. I'd so love to meet the models who posed for this cover…especially the hero. *fans self*
@VampFanGirl– Your good wishes are much appreciated! Thank you! I just told my husband I mentioned him in this interview and the man snagged his laptop and walked away smiling. LOL
Lila DiPasqua says
@elaing8–Thanks so much! :)
@twistersk –Thank you! I can't believe that book two, The Princess in His Bed, is also just around the corner! It was a lot of fun to write, too. 3 more sexy stories! Plus, it has one rather unique heroine. In the Lovely Duckling (on of the stories in this book) she's a burn victim–but the hero only sees her beauty. It was inspired by something I saw on TV about 3 sisters who were burned in a house fire as infants. I hope you find it as steamy as it is touching. :)
Lila DiPasqua says
@throuthehaze — Thank you very much!
@Barbara E.– Glad you like the concept! Thanks so much!
@Vidisha — You're definitely in! Thanks for stopping by! :)
@Mary Sullivan –Thank you! I'm only sorry we didn't get much time to chat at RomCon. Congrats on your win! So happy for you, Mary!
@Joan (J K Maze) — You made me smile with your comment, "yours stikes me as absolutely delicious." Thanks so much!
@Savannah Chase – Thank you, dear Savannah! :)
Lila DiPasqua says
@Sweet Vernal Zephyr — Thank you! LOL about the chest hair comment. There's something about seeing a smooth hard muscled chest that makes the pulse race! :)
@Cherie J – Yay! Another Mr. Darcy fan! Thank you. Glad you liked the interview. :)
@CallMeKayla – Hi Kayla! Yup, another point for a clean shaven chest. :) Thanks for the good wishes.
@Estella — Many thanks!! :)
@Carrie at In the Hammock Blog –My pleasure! Thank you for the good wishes!
Looking forward to checking this book out. I work for a large Canadian book company and like to preview books so I can recommend them to my customers. Would love to win a copy.
Robin K says
Congratulations. Sound like a fantastic read!
robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com
I love Fairy tailes Gone Sexy.Can't wait to read them.
Keena Kincaid says
Congrats on your debut book. I enjoyed meeting you at RomCon, and the more I hear about the sexcapades, the more I wish I'd gone.
I Cannot wait until I can order your book. I am looking forward to reading it.
Martha Lawson says
Congrats on the book. It sounds really good. Loved the interview!
I follow on gfc
mlawson17 at hotmail dot com
Congratulations on your book. It sounds like a great read.
Congrats on your your first book! It sounds sexy!
Susan Flanders, Writer of Queens says
Lila, so proud of you. I would LOVE to win your book giveaways. (I also adored Antonia's book.) Either way, I will be picking up your books as soon as it is available. Interesting article, my friend. You will be going far.
Sharon Clare says
Congratulations, Lila. I love your idea to blend fairy tales with history. What's not to love about that!
I have been following you for a while now and I am getting excited to read your books!
I have been a fan of historical romance for a long time. Would like to read this one too.
Congrats on the release – I like what you're doing with fairy tales! :>]
Great interview. Congratulations on your debut release. Sounds good. :)
Congrats on your first book! I love fairy tales with a twist.
Lila DiPasqua says
@ Lynnette –Thank you! Glad you stopped by. :)
@Robin K — Thanks so much!
@stacey — Love that!–"fairy tales gone sexy". Thank you! :)
@Keena Kincaid — It was nice to meet you, too! You must come to Sexcapades next time. ;)
@Melissa – Thank you very much! I hope you enjoy it. :)
@Martha Lawson – Thank you! Glad you liked it. :)
@JOYE – Sounds as though you like historical romance as much as I do. Thank you! :)
@Lindy –Thanks so much!
@Sherry — Awesome! Thank you. :)
@Mary — Thanks so much! Yup, it's definitely sexy. ;)
@Susan– You're a doll! Thank you very much for the lovely comment.
@Sharon Clare —So glad you liked the concept, Sharon. Thank you! :)
@April – Fantastic, April! Thank you! I'm honored. :)
Lila DiPasqua says
@ JOYE – Sounds as though you like historical romance as much as I do! Thank you. :)
@Lindy – I'm delighted you like my fairy tale takes. Thanks! :)
@CrystalGB – Thank you for the good wishes! :)
@SaraC — I delighted to hear that! Thanks so much!
Thanks again to Mandi for graciously hosting me on Smexy Books! It was great fun chatting with everyone!
I can't wait to read your book. I have always enjoyed fairy tales and I'm sure I'll love Fiery Tales just as much :)
Congrats on your first book!
It sounds like a great read and I can't wait to check it out.
cwilliams127 at gmail dot com
OMG! I love love *love* Mr Darcy! He was the first 'gentlemans' man that I ever liked for not being a bad boy! ^_^
Kailia Sage says
I love Mr. Darcy!! This sounds like a great book!
If you had to pick one of the short stories to expand upon and write a sequel to, which one do you think you'd pick?
meredithfl at gmail dot com
Lila DiPasqua says
@ Destiny – LOL Thanks so much!
@ Chantel – Thank you!!
@Ellaanabeth — LOL Mr. Darcy *is* wonderful. *sighs*
@Kailia – Thanks so much!
@ Meredith – Great question! I've been asked by a few people to write Gabriel's story. He's Tristan's brother in Bewitching in Boots. That might be a lot of fun. Gabriel is definitely a bad boy. ;)