Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Please Welcome...Delilah Marvelle!

First, I wanted to welcome Delilah to my blog. I met her about a month ago at the book signing in Beaverton. She was so sweet and so supportive, especially when she found out I'm writing too. I picked up her book, read it, enjoyed it and asked her if she would submit to an interview. I also did a mini-review of Mistress of Pleasure after I read the book.

Here is the lovely interview. I hope you enjoy! She will be giving away a signed copy to one lucky commenter! :)

Question 1: Why don't you start out by introducing yourself? Tell me about who you are! :)

My name is Delilah Marvelle. And I write humorous historical romances unfit for polite society. How is that for an introduction? LOL

Question 2: How long have you been writing & when did you begin to write seriously?

I've been writing all my life. But didn't get serious about it until about 11 years ago. All 11 of those years were spent seriously pursueing getting a contract. I wrote over 40 manuscripts (ranging from short story to 800 page sagas....) and received over 200 rejections, one from my own editor.

Question 3: What made you decide to write an entire series based upon this infamous school that was created by Maybelle's grandmother?

I love to research. Love, love, love to research. And I always find my best ideas while digging my way through history. I stumbled upon Ninon de L'Enclos in an out of print history book on courtesans. She was a 17th century courtesan in France and led an amazing life. Albeit a tragic one, too. She was seperated from her son after giving birth to him. He was raised by his artistcratic father with no knowledge that his mother was courtesan Ninon de L'Enclos. Then one day, he met her. And fell madly in love with her. Though she was growing older, the men grew all the more passionate toward her. Because of her presence, knowledge, philosophies and the way she treated men. Obviously, Ninon refused her son every time he tried to bed her. He became so obssessed that Ninon knew she needed to tell him the truth. That he was in fact her son. Her son was so distraught and disturbed that he left her home and committed suicide by falling onto the blade of his sword. Other stories included slightly more amusing ones. Like how one man begged her to take him. She waved him off and said, "When I am eighty." The besotted fool took her to mean it quite literally. And so on her eightieth birthday, showed up at the door looking for sex. She was so amused, she did in fact bed him. Of course, the greatest of stories surrounding her had to do with how she opened up her bedroom to aristocratic men, not for sex, but to hold "classes" about sex, philosophy and love. I thought the idea for the time was brilliant. And I thought to myself, why not create a real school? I knew the idea almost bordered on the absurd and so I decided to make it a more tongue and cheek series, rather than a serious form of literature.

Question 4: What possessed you to write a story such as the first one (Mistress of Pleasure)?

It's definitely different in the world of historical romance. I am so pleased to hear that you think Mistress of Pleasure is different from the world of historical romance!! Because that is exactly what I had set out to do. Write something different. After getting rejected so many, many times, I finally stopped writing for the industry and simply wrote for myself. I have a naughty sense of humor (ask anyone who knows me) and having read an obscene amount of historical romances throughout the years, I noticed that although sex was present, it really didn't have a "real" presence. Meaning sex was something that was only addressed during sexual tension or during the act itself. And the rest was washed away because of story and the time period. To me, works like Tom Jones inspired me to take a historical romance by the throat. I LOOOVED the book. And given its bold naughtiness and when it was written, I decided to push the quill so to speak. For society is never as it seems. Prim and proper existed in history, of course, but that isn't ALL that existed. So I decided to focus on all things naughty and told myself not to hold back. I more or less set out to write an adult joke book, with a bit of literary flare. In nod to Tom Jones and in nod to naughty historical figures such as Ninon de L'Enclos.

Question 5: What do you like to do for fun outside of writing?

I love to cook, read, collect research books, run, kickboxing, spending time with my family and painting. I am a Jill of all trades, so to speak.

Question 6: How do you go about writing the love scenes? Are you a pantser or do you plan them out?

I am the ultimate panster. My love scenes appear in response to what my characters want. I never know when they're going to "do" it. And therein is all the fun. When I think they will be getting it on, I find that they both turn their noses. And when I think that they should be turning their noses, they dive right in. When it comes to writing my love scenes, I find that a few things HAVE to be in place. I can't have anyone in the house, for one. Because I verbalize as I write. Meaning you can hear me talk the characters through their love scenes. And because I have kids, obviously I can't have them around, LOL. There are times I know exactly the way these characters will be making love to each other and other times I sit there and wonder if it'll ever happen. Oh, and I do research. Detailed research. My husband is a proud supporter of that, to be sure.

Question 7: What sort of advise do you have for new writers or people who've been writing for a long time without success?

Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER give up. The moment you do, your dream is lost. I have a wise friend who once said, "We all have a magic number over our heads. We just don't know what our number is." So while some people's magic number is number 1, 2 or 3 (lucky bastards), there are those, like myself that it was submission number two hundred and something. So while you are waiting for your number to be called out, hone your writing and hone your skills. That way, when you do get that call, you'll be not only ready, but willing.

Question 8: Who are your writing idols?

My writing idols would have to be Edith Wharton, Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.

Question 9: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go & why?

London. Because it is the place I am drawn to, the place I write about and a place that sets me into my writing world with no effort whatsoever.

Question 10: If you knew you only had one day left on this earth, how would you spend it?

I would spend it with my husband and kids on a tropical beach. So that my toes are warm and my heart is happy and at peace.

Question 11: I met you at the signing in Beaverton. Do you like doing signings? What's your favorite way to be in contact with your fans? Least favorite?

I love doing signings! You meet people you normally wouldn't meet (like how fortunate I was to meet you!) and you're surrounded by books. My favorite way to be in contact with my fans would be through my newsletter. I have so much fun pulling together newsletters for my fans. I am a visual person and so my newsletters are very playful and visual. I hate newsletters that are only words. They don't make me feel anything. Least favorite? I suppose there wouldn't be a least favorite. Because as long as I am in contact with my fans, I have to say that I am a very happy gal.

Question 12: What is your favorite color?

My favorite color is pale powder blue. Like the color you see on the walls of a Georgian room. Something about that color makes me all giddy and happy.

Question 13: What are your thoughts on sex in romance books? Do you like them hot? Sizzling? Tepid?

I am of the belief that the romance cannot come full circle without a good love scene. Because that is real life. We didn't all magically appear. Yes, even our parents had sex. The bottom line is, what do two people do are crazy about each other end up doing? Well, they have sex! I love the one line in the Guru in which the hero says, "The universe isn't being run by a big perve." Meaning sex is natural. Sex is good. Now mind you, everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to their idea of "making love." That I will not argue. As long as I feel the author has captured the passion between the two characters, hot and heavy sex is not necessarily a must. I will admit, however, that I do love a good hot sex scene. But not for the sake of hot sex. It's all about how hot the characters are that in turn makes me want them to have hot sex. I have been disappointed quite a few times by hot, hot characters who then close the door on my face and don't let me watch. I can't help but feel neglected. I like to watch, LOL. Because in turn, I learn.

Question 14: What is the best thing a fan has ever done for/to you?

I have to say the best thing a fan has ever done is drive in from another state just to get me to sign their book at a booksigning event. That just blew my mind.

Question 15: Actually, not a question, but can you tell us about your book and your plans for the series? Any tidbits?? :)

I always have tid bits!! Waggling brows here. Mistress of Pleasure is only book 1 of a 5 books series. A series that follows all the men who had originally enrolled in the school. A series in which all the books take place at the exact same time. Although writing 5 books that all take place at the same time has turned into a challenge, I believe I intend to make it my trademark. For I am enjoying puzzle piecing things together and my characters like to play along. So in each book there will be certain scenes that will appear throughout, but from a flipped point of view. There will also be things happening in some books that won't be explained until we get into another character's point of view. Of course, none of these books have to be read in any particular order. Because it all takes place at the same time anyway.Lord of Pleasure, which features Alexander Baxendale, the earl of Hawksford, is book 2, which will be out August 4th. Readers get to meet Hawksford and his five sisters and mother. All of them rebel rousers just like Hawksford himself. Which is creating problems for him. Aside from my favorite characters being Lady Chartwell (the heroine) and Lord Hawksford (the hero), I absolutely adore Hawksford's five sisters. Especially twelve year old Mary.She is my version of an 1830 Goth girl. Forever obsessed with death. Needless to say, poor Hawskford is seriously outnumbered by women. Even the cat is female. Book 3 is Moment of Pleasure, Jonathan Darcy Dearborn, the Marquis of Caldwell's story. And because something naughty happens in book 2, which affects poor Caldwell greatly, I won't give away any more than that. Book 4 is One Night of Pleasure, which is Lord Banfield's story. He is Adnonis who never had to work very hard at anything. Not even sex. Every woman has always thrown herself at his feet and has always met his needs. Then he finds hismelf in an arranged marriage, for he is a practical man who doesn't believe in romance or love. Only his wife won't let him anywhere near her. Which is why he enrolls in the school. Because he is at his wit's end. For book 5, I save the best for last. Yet to be titled, it is Lord Brayton's story. A 35 year old retired assassin. Who is still a virgin. And for very good reasons. Again, I always love taking the tried and true and turning it on its head. The men that we always read about in historical romances are always so bloody experienced. I mean to write about an alpha man who is alpha in every way except for the bedroom way. Which means, he's going to end up with an alpha heroine who will show him a thing or two.

Delilah's Top 6 DIK Books:

The Children by Edith Wharton
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Whitney My Love by Judith McNaught
Emma by Jane Austen
The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales by the Grimms BrothersArabian Nights

Delilah's Heroes:

My husband (for he is my ultimate hero)
Rhett Butler
Percy Blakeney
Sydney Carton
Mr. Darcy (but of course)

So, here ends my lovely interview! I hope you all enjoyed & that you have questions. Please comment & I'll put your name in the virtual hat. Name will be drawn probably sometime Friday. Depends on what happens. :)


Nicola O. said...

I just met Ms. Marvelle at a signing in Bellevue WA and was convinced to pick up a copy of her book--so you don't need to enter me in your drawing <g> but I wanted to say that I heard a ton of good things about this book at the signing. Quite the buzz.

Tracy said...

What a great interview. Thank you Bridget and Delilah.

The book has an interesting premise that really captures the attention.

Holly said...

Wonderful interview Bridget and Delilah!

I heart Rhett Butler. Yum.

I agree with Tracy, the book really does capture the attention. I'm going to add it to my wishlist.

Katiebabs said...

Congrats on your success Delilah! I had the chance to read Mistress of Pleasure and I can't wait for the next books in the series.
Don't enter me in the contest since I have the book already.

Christine said...

Wow, what a great interview! I love the premise of this book and what really caught my attention was the whole series set up. To follow these different couples where the school is what connects their lives sounds fun and very unique.

Best wishes to you, Delilah. I'm glad you finally found out your lucky number. :)

Amy C said...

Great interview and thanks for the heads up, Christine :).

I think the premise for this series is wonderful, writing about the naughtier side, rather than the prim and proper.

Delilah Marvelle said...

First off I wanted to shout out a THANK YOU for being able to be on this blog!!!

My dearest Nicola,
waving frantically! Thank you so much for picking up my book. I didn't realize there was quite the buzz. How awesome is that?! Definately let me know what you think of Mistress. I'm always looking for feedback because it is the first of 5 and I would hate to be taking this series in the wrong direction...
My dearest Tracy,
Thank you so much for posting!!!
My dearest Holly,
Yum is the only way to describe Rhett. And thank you for adding me to your wishlist!
My dearest Katie,
Thank you for the congrats AND for having already read my book! If you want a sneak peek into my series sign up for my newsletter. Starting in January, I'm sending out free pdf's of the first three chapters of Lord of Pleasure to all those signed up for my newsletter.
My dearest Christine,
Thank you for your wonderful post! I'm grateful to have finally found my lucky number :D
My dearest Amy,
Naughty rules!!! LOL So glad you think so too :p

Katie Reus said...

Great interview! The idea of your book is so unique and refreshing. Congrats & great advice :)

LesleyW said...

What a sad thing about Ninon and her son. :(

And I'm interested in a series of books set at the same time. I find it interesting to read the same scene from different characters points of view. Sometimes you're able to pick up what different characters are thinking during a scene through their speech. I quite like it when it's obvious one of them has the wrong end of the stick. :)