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.