I never read any of your work before the latest two, (and for my review of both please visit RCJReZine) so please tell us a bit about yourself and your writing career. When did you know that writing was what you wanted to do?
b2b: Delilah, that right there tells me why your heroines are so strong, loving and determined…
The book that you’re promoting now is ‘FOREVER and a DAY’ and I can’t tell you how much fun I had reading it. What was the idea behind it? The mystery was and still is unsolved and I’m on pins and needles waiting for it!!! When you write, what comes first, the plot, voice, characters or setting?
DM: I’m so thrilled you’re looking forward to the next book in the series! My ideas come to me randomly. It’s never one thing that inspires me, but life in general that inspires me. I’ve always loved the historical setting of New York after seeing ‘Annie’ and ‘Newsies’ and wanted to do my own version of it. I would say plot comes first and then I build a world and my characters around it. I’m a panster, though, which means, I don’t plot, I only write by the seat of my pants. It’s the only way I can write. Because I get bored if I know what’s going to happen and if I know what’s going to happen, then so will my readers, and so I opt for an earthier more creative approach.
b2b: You totally stomped me with that answer! I could swear I thought the character came to you first only because both novels, in my humble opinion, were character driven and very well written.
What made this such an enjoyable read for me, and I’m referring to both prequel (FOREVER MINE and ‘FOREVER and a DAY’) was these two very different yet very strong women you created. What blew me away was the strength of their convictions and it’s what made them real to me. Please tell us who inspired them?
DM: Augustine, from FOREVER MINE, is an extension of every emotion I went through when my mother and brother disappeared from my life. I never got a chance to meet my brother and my mother died before I had a chance to see her one last time. The tragedy of not being able to say good-bye to the one person you love most has haunted me ever since and even though, yes, it sounds depressing as hell, I wanted to write a story that could take the good and the bad and make it all good while still keeping it real and true to the emotions of my characters.
b2b: I am so, so sorry to hear that you had that heartache to go through and my heart [and my HUGE Serbian hug] go out to you. You have managed to touch my heart with Augustine’s anguish and pain, and now I know why.
Now, to be fair to heroes of both of these books, would you mind telling us who inspired them? How are they different from your other heroes? And speaking of, who is your favorite hero (not including your favorite ‘firefighter’ or any from your works; I’m not making you choose) from the written word (oh, and just to make it a bit harder on you, no classics either)!
DM: Haha, to be fair to my heroes, they are all inspired by one man: my husband. He has so much depth to him, I feel like, even after almost 17 years of marriage, I’m still getting to know him and it’s an amazing journey of peeling back those layers and applying them to my characters. Who is my favorite hero thus far? I would have to say Matthew Milton (from FOREVER A LADY) and not just because that’s my next upcoming book, lol. He’s Georgia’s one-eyed theiving step-son and is a gruff romantic. He sees women and the world through cracked, rose-tinted glasses. He’s hilarious and I had so much fun writing him. Without any doubt, he’s my favorite hero thus far.
b2b: It appears we’ve both hit ‘Lottery’ when comes to our spouses. I’ve been married twelve years, but we’ve been together seventeen, and truly there are no words to describe the love that still feels new and fresh. But OH-MY-GOD you’ve now got me twisting in the wind with wanting to get my paws on the next book!!! Mathew was so-so-so cool!
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s get back to the rest of my interview…
Is there a difference between, and specifically, what sets apart in your opinion the ‘traditional’ regency novels from ‘historical novels set in the regency time period’?
DM: I see “traditional” regency being very “Jane Austenish” and “Georgette Heyerish” — Complex characters with manners, lol. And sweet. Kissing is about as far as it goes. Everything is offstage physically and romantic wise.
Historical novels set in the regency dig deeper by showing more of what happens behind those parlor doors. They don’t adhere to rules. They adhere to the character and following that character everywhere, from the toilet to the bed, lol.
b2b: LOL! I’m in accord with you on that!
Delilah, what do you consider the Historical Romance canon?
DM: I really don’t like the idea of laying out any rules for the Historical Romance genre given that it should be limitless to allow for creativity, but I will say, for me, regarding historical romance I do abide by one rule: People in history were people. They were no different from the people of today in how they experienced love or hate. The only difference is that societal rules have changed. But we, as people, have not changed and so I create stories that follow those lines when I write historical romance. I think historical romance readers have a tendency to forget that.
When someone says “That couldn’t have had happened in history” I like to prance them over to my blog, A BIT O’MUSLIN so they see all the whacked up history we were never taught in school. Yes, my blog is about Sex Throughout History. And my fascination toward the grittier side of history lends to not only my stories but the humor I pull away from it.
b2b: Well said! I loved roaming around your blog and I’m sure our bookworms will as well!
What’s up next for Delilah Marvelle? I know that there are two more books in the series scheduled to come out this year, can you tell us a bit about them?
DM: FOREVER A LADY comes out August 1, 2012 and is book 2 in the Rumor Series. The heroine is Lady Bernadette Marie Burton. She was Georgia’s ‘tutor’ in all things aristocratic and I loved her so much, I had to give her a story. She’s the richest widow in England with a devil-may-care attitude. She’s basically the rake in female form. (And I had SO much fun with that!)
Matthew Joseph Milton (Georgia’s stepson) was once a respectable gentleman who lost everything, including the vision in his left eye. To keep his life afloat, he creates a gang in the bowels of New York City called the Forty Thieves. When he and Bernadette meet, let me tell you, linens rip. As do hearts. In this book, I show more of what the readers didn’t get to see in book 1, ‘Forever and a Day’.
The way I’m creating this series is that they are all a puzzle piece and when you put them together, they create an entire landscape for you to look at. The second and third book will show more of Georgia and Robinson and their lives in London, as well.
Book 3 in the series is ‘FOREVER a LORD’ and it’s Nathaniel’s story and boy am I having fun with this one! Here’s the blurb for it:
“He’s a fighter, not a lover. But that’s about to change…
Lady Imogene Norwood lived a sheltered life of quiet respectability and routine…until she debuts at her first Season. There she meets the wild and broken Lord Atwood among London’s elite. And the very shy English rose suddenly realizes that a little chaos might just be what her heart desires.
Lord Nathaniel James Atwood doesn’t believe true love exists. Since scandal tore him away from his family at an early age, he has spent his life fighting for what he wants. That attitude made him a rising star in bare-knuckle boxing, and now leads him back to London to reclaim the life that was stolen from him. But upon meeting the innocent Imogene, his beliefs are trounced…as guarding his heart against her proves to be the fight of his life.”
b2b: Oh, woman! What are you trying to do to me?! LOL!
Delilah, it has been not just fun to meet and do this with you, but an utter pleasure and joy! I hope you come back often to chat with us! I’m looking forward on stocking up my shelves with some more of your books because I’m going to need it, until the next one in this series comes along! CHEERS!