Boy, have we got a treat for you today!!
Joining us is debut historical author Lila DiPasqua. Lila's first book, AWAKENED BY A KISS, was just released on August 3, 2010, by Berkley Sensation. It is a wonderful collection of three stories based on classic fairy tales which Lila has graciously spiced up and is calling "fiery tales". And believe me they are fiery!!! I absolutely loved the book and my review will be post here on Wednesday, August 11.
Please give a warm welcome to the delightful Lila DiPasqua!
Lila, thank you so much for joining us today. First off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born at Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’m married to a wonderful, totally supportive man and we have three children. I adore history and travel. I’ve been to four continents so far. Formerly a law clerk, I used to work in a high-end law firm and specialized in litigation. I quit after my first child was born. Now I’m blessed to have the best job in the world. 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.
Wow, four continents? You sure do get around. I know you are very excited about the release of your debut book. Please tell us a little bit about AWAKENED BY A KISS.
AWAKENED BY A KISS is the first in my Fiery Tales series. It’s a collection of three classic fairy tales, scandalously retold. I’ve taken Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots and have given them my own romantic and sexy twists. This steamy historical romance anthology was inspired by Charles Perrault’s fairy tales. He was the creator of The Tales of Mother Goose, and I set this book in his lifetime – when the genre of fairy tales was born!
I think the book blurb describes it best:
Three classic fairy tales--"Sleeping Beauty," "Puss in Boots," and "Little Red Riding Hood"--cleverly retold with enough sensual twists to prove wickedly ever after does exist...Once upon a wicked time...
Sleeping Beau: Five years ago, notorious rake Adrien d'Aspe, Marquis de Beaulain, was awakened by a sensuous kiss-and experienced a night of raw ecstasy that was branded into his memory. Years later, he spots his mysterious seductress-and this time, he has no intention of letting her go...
Little Red Writing: Nicolas de Savignac, Comte de Lambelle, has been assigned by the King to uncover the secret identity of the author writing scandalous stories about powerful courtiers. He never expected his investigation would lead to his grandmother's house, or to a ravishing woman who would stir his deepest hunger...
Bewitching in Boots: Elisabeth de Roussel, daughter of the King, is accustomed to getting what she wants-and she wants Tristan de Tiersonnier, Comte de Saint-Marcel, an ex-commander of the King's private Guard. A recent injury has forced Tristan to leave his distinguished position, but Elisabeth is determined to make him see he's every bit the man he once was-and more than man enough for her...
I have to say that I just love your twist on fairy tales. Where did you get the inspiration for turning classic fairy tales into sensual romance reads and why are you drawn to classic fairy tales?
Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are the first romances I ever read. Charles Perrault was the first to write them down. Taken from folklore, he added morals to his fairy tales and soon the genre of fairy tales became wildly popular. I know a lot about the time period in this book, when fairy tales were created. It was a time that was elegant and opulent with a healthy dose of salaciousness. The realm was ruled by a lusty King, and his court, like their monarch, were connoisseurs of the carnal arts. The pursuit of sinful pleasures was a pastime. Sex, an art form. That made it easy to give these stories a sexual spin.
We LOVE call stories here at The Romance Dish. Would you share your call story with us?
I actually never got “the call”. My agent sent me “the email”. We’d been emailing back and forth that day about various projects. Then about mid-afternoon my agent sent me another email. I opened it, read it and screamed. It was summer vacation, and my kids were home. Startled, they came running into my office. After assuring them that I hadn’t fallen, seen a spider, or lost my mind – I reread the email three more times before I was sure I’d read it correctly. Berkley was interested in my historical romance AWAKENED BY A KISS! It took a few more days until the deal was finalized. I officially sold to Berkley the day before I was to attend the Romance Writers of America conference last year. I packed, jumped on a plane, and arrived in Washington still reeling. I had an amazing time at the conference. It was such a thrill getting to meet my wonderful editor and agent in person!
WOW, I bet you were on cloud nine during the entire conference. Did do anything special to celebrate your sale?
I celebrated with family and friends when I got back home. A nice restaurant. Champagne. And dark chocolate! Lots of dark chocolate.
I understand your second book THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED will be released November 2, 2010, and that you have sold another fiery tale book scheduled to be release in October 2011. Congratulations on these sales!!!
Thank you! I’m so thrilled and excited that the Fiery Tale series will continue. THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED features more scorching fairy tale retellings —“The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Ugly Duckling, and “The Princess and the Pea,” wickedly retold and renamed, “The Marquis’ New Clothes”, “The Lovely Duckling” and “The Princess and the Diamonds”. This book is based on fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen.
In 2011 a very different Fiery Tale will hit the shelves! This book won’t be a collection, but a single fairy tale retelling. Which one, you ask? One of the most beloved fairy tales of all – Cinderella – as you’ve never read before! It will be just as romantic and steamy as AWAKENED BY A KISS and THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED. This Cinderella tale has a sinfully delicious hero and a strong quick-witted heroine who will make him lose his heart, not to mention some scorching hot love scenes! And yes, there is a ball, a glass slipper and a loveable, yet highly opinionated fairy godmother and a cast of eccentric secondary characters to keep the hero and heroine on their toes.
Oooooo, both of those sound utterly delicious!! I can't wait to read them!!
Since you will now have three books published in just over one year, how do you manage your daily life, what with being a writer, mother, wife, and traveler? What is a typical day for you?
I take the kids to school and grab a coffee at my local Starbucks on the way home. Coffee is a must. I walked through a snow storm to get coffee once. I do most of my writing when the kids are in school. At times the muse disappears on me. Then I visit on Facebook and Twitter until it returns. Like most mothers, I juggle career and family. And I never ever miss out on an opportunity to jump on a plane and travel. In a few weeks, I’m going to London, England. I can’t wait!
What authors do you reach for when you need to just escape life? Do you have a particular book that is a comfort read for you?
Loretta Chase, Lisa Kleypas, Elizabeth Hoyt, Cheryl Holt and Kathryn Smith, to name a few. Any of their books are a treat to my soul.
Those are some wonderful authors and ones I truly enjoy too.
You attended the RomCom Convention in Denver. How was your first experience at a conference as a published author?
It was wonderful! I had so much fun! I’ve been to the RWA conference many times, but always as an aspiring author. It was so exciting being at RomCon, and talking about my book with others who love romance! I met so many lovely people. My favorite events were Speed Dating and Sexcapades.
Speaking of RWA, it was such a delight to meet you in Orlando. Please share with us one of your favorite moments from this year's RWA?
There were so many wonderful moments that happened at RWA this year. But there was one particular moment I'm sure I'll never forget! This year I got to participate in my first Berkley signing! I didn't have books, as AWAKENED BY A KISS wasn't released until Aug. 3rd (and the signing was on July 30th). But I had bookmarks and sample chapters to sign, and well, I had to pinch myself. Looking around the room, I couldn't believe it! I, me, moi was part of a signing with these uber-talented authors --- including The Nora Roberts! I even got to speak to her briefly before the crowds came in. It was an awesome event and a dream come true!
It was a wonderful experience to meet THE Nora, but I can't imagine how you felt signing in the same room as her!!
Now it's time for the Quick Six:
1) Plotter or Panster? A 50/50 split
2) Jeans or skirts? Both.
3) Cake or pie? Cake
4) City or countryside? City
5) Coffee or Tea? Coffee
6) Baseball or Football? Hockey. (Sorry. I’m a huge fan!)
Lila, thank you so much for spending some time with us!! As I said before, it was a pleasure to meet you in Orlando and I look forward to your next collection of fiery tales. Before you go, would like like to ask our readers a question?
Do you have a favorite fairy tale movie adaptation? If so, what is it and why do you like it so much? It can be animated or not.
Two lucky commenters will win a signed copy of AWAKENED BY A KISS!
To learn more about Lila DiPasqua and her fiery tales, please visit her website.
You can read an excerpt for AWAKENED BY A KISS
You can read an excerpt for AWAKENED BY A KISS
Check out Lila's fabulous book trailer for AWAKENED BY A KISS: