I am a ‘newbie’ to this author and while I am ‘on the hunt’ for her back list, she’s impressing the shit out of me with her new Rumor Series. It’s easily one of the best series in romance I’ve read and every book I own is a keeper. But what impressed me about Delilah Marvelle beside her writing, is how utterly charming and sweet [not to mention sexy] she is in person. She even makes me look good! People, if you’ve never read her, please try to remedy that ASAP! Check out my reviews of the Rumor Series here. Oh, and if you want to contact her, you can find her on FB, Tweeter and at A BIT O’MUSLIN blog! Okay, okay!!! Here she is!!!!
b2bMelanie: Hello Delilah! Can you tell I am ‘over the moon’ by having you stop by?!!! Tell us, are you enjoying your summer so far?
Delilah Marvelle: LOL!!! I most certainly am. I usually take the summers off, so I *really* enjoy my summers :D
b2b: How exited are you with the latest Rumor book ‘Forever a Lady’ that just came out?
DM: VERY. Especially in light of the premier showing of the BBC show COPPER. I’m hoping people will see the magic of New York City of the Five Points. I love the history behind it.
b2b: OMG! My DH is NUTS about the show! He was the one that told me about it, so now we have a TV show we can watch together. I wonder if I could talk him into reading your Rumor series ;D
It’s no news to my readers how much I enjoy reading the ‘behind the story’ notes of any book, so tell me more about your research and ‘behind the story’ of ‘FaL’…
DM: Few people know that I grew up in Chicago within a lower class, gang infested neighborhood where walking down the street in the wrong colors or a certain headband could get a girl raped or killed. I got beat up a couple of times for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I got sick of being bullied and eventually banded together a group of friends (both guys and girls) who were my age. One of them, Greg, turned out to be my best friend. He looked out for me and I looked out for him and it not only made us closer but made us realize something: we could rise above anything if we were surrounded by the right people. I eventually left that neighborhood at 13, leaving my best friend behind, and moved into a better community. Greg and I lost touch and to this day, I often wonder what happened to him. But those years spent on the street bonding with him and others who struggled to rise above the intimidation and gang violence affected my life. Forever.
Although the story of FOREVER A LADY is a nod to my favorite New York movies like Annie and Newsies and Cinderella Man, at the heart of the story, it darts into the corners of my own life and my youth. It was all too easy for me to imagine and research what life would have been like back in 1820s and 30s New York in the slums, when a man loses everything and is forced to survive against thugs. I remembered the anger, the disbelief, and the desperation of others to want to become more but unable to. I was lucky to have gotten out when I did. The hero of my story, Matthew, is an homage to my childhood. I wanted to give my best friend of old, Greg, a story. I imagined what his life turned into and wanted him to be happy. Giving him a lady who could make all of his dreams come true was part of the equation. He deserved a happily ever after and it is my hope, that with FOREVER A LADY, I did him justice. Because it doesn’t matter how you grow up, all that matters is how you come out of it and the person you become as a result of it.
Now as far as research goes, I went to New York several times to not only see the areas I was writing about (which only one building exists from my era and it wasn’t worth seeing, lol), but to access the New York City library in person that has newspapers and maps from the 1830’s that helped me flesh out the stories I was looking to write. I wanted everything in the story to be not only historically accurate but authentic. Research for FOREVER A LADY took me about 2 months.
b2b: WOW! I think you should write your memoirs! Tou know, the first ‘picture’ I had in my head when I started reading your book, was Leonardo DiCaprio and the movie ‘Gangs of New York’ which I caught again last week.
Just in case someone out there hasn’t read any of your books, [like I said, I am one of the brand, spanking new fans], would you tell us a bit about them and what’s coming up for you in the future? Will you be releasing more of your backlist or will you concentrate on the future books?
DM: I basically write really steamy and sometimes brow raising historical romances that infuses history with the idea that people in the past were no different from us. They were just surviving with a different set of societal rules. I love infusing real history, humor, adventure and anything I can cram into a book that no reader will be able to predict.
My next book coming out is FOREVER A LORD (Dec. 20th). It’s the last of the Rumor Series and features a hero who is a bare knuckle boxer who was kidnapped as a child and learns to cope with who he really is while trying to mold himself back into the world he was taken from. I have an e-release only coming out with Entangled this Nov. 1st, as well. It’s an anthology that Maire Claremont and I are doing together called ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A DUKE.
After that, I am returning to a former series of mine, The School of Gallantry, in March 2013. It’s a school led by an elderly courtesan who educates men on the topic of love and seduction. It’s cheeky, less serious and I’m just having a lot of fun knowing I’m returning to my original series. There are three more books left to write in that series.
b2b: Oh I can’t wait! For all of them! I just got done with the first of ‘The School of Gallantry’ book ‘Prelude to a Scandal’ and I loved it!
Which one of your books was the hardest and which the easiest to write and which touched you the most?
DM: The easiest book to write was my first book, MISTRESS OF PLEASURE. It was all tongue and cheek and just flew right out of me. I had so much fun giving into bawdy humor and just letting whatever needed be said be said, lol. The hardest? I would say my upcoming release FOREVER A LORD. Whenever it comes to finishing any series, you have to ensure that you’re not only tying up all loose ends, but making the end of the series end with a bang. I’m always trying to outdo myself and needless to say, it was hard to do, but I somehow pulled it off, lol.
b2b: Which is harder to write, sensual or humor filled scenes?
DM: Surprisingly, both come easy to me. What is harder for me to write about is ensuring that the history I weave in isn’t overwhelming the reader. I love history a bit too much, and so I try to ensure whatever history I’m weaving in doesn’t burden the reader or the story too much. And that, I will admit is HARD, lol.
b2b: Do you let someone read your work during your writing process and who is that lucky person and why he/she? Or do you wait ‘till it’s finished, then you let someone read it…and who?
DM: I have two lucky people, lol. Jessa Slade (author of Seduced by Shadows) and Maire Claremont (author of The Dark Lady). Both are incredible authors who understand story but also my voice. They always ground me and what I am doing while guiding me. I can’t imagine *not* sending anything their way, because they always give me ideas and how to better mold my manuscript. It’s a mutual thing we do for each other. I give them feedback for their stories and they give me feedback for mine. It’s a beautiful thing, lol. My agent, Donald Maass, also reads my stuff and gives me incredible feedback. With the team I have behind me, I feel confident when that manuscript lands on the editor’s desk.
b2b: I think Cover Art is very important to a book, almost as much as what’s inside. Tell me about the cover art of your books. They really are gorgeous. Who came up with hem? What about the older ones?
DM: The covers are gorgeous. I was fortunate enough to have landed incredible covers every time. Harlequin has an amazing art department. That said, I don’t get any say on the covers. Whatever I see is what I get. Which is why I’m thankful they’ve been amazing. The same with my older ones. I had no say.
b2b: Let’s talk titles…How hard is it to ‘name’ your ‘baby’?
DM: As with my covers, I really don’t have too much say on the titles. If they like a title, they go with it. If they don’t, they find another title, lol. In some way, I’m thankful, because I don’t think I’m really all that good at coming up with titles. So naming my baby isn’t all that hard. I have someone else do it for me :)
b2b: We all have favorite books, authors… How about you? Are you willing to fess-up?
DM: My favorite authors are the ones I work closely with. There’s a reason why I work closely with them. Because I’m crazy about their writing. Jessa Slade is my favorite paranormal author and Maire Claremont is my favorite historical romance author. Now mind you, Maire’s first book won’t come out until Feb. 2013 with NAL, but I’ve been reading her for years, well before anyone knew who she was, lol. So I feel blessed. I will also say that my favorite books are by all the dead people. Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton, to name a few. My love for history comes from writers who were actually breathing the history I now write about.
b2b: Some authors write at certain times of day or week and even a place. What’s your typical writing schedule and what gets your creative juices flowing? If you have any tips to help other aspiring new authors out there, feel free to share!
DM: I don’t write during the summers. Or at least, I try not to, as I enjoy spending the summers just hanging out with my kids. During the school year, my typical writing schedule is to get the kids out the door and start writing at 7:15 a.m. I can’t write when there are people in the house. It may sound strange, but I feel like their energy is bleeding into my ability to focus. When writing about history, one has to immerse themselves in a different world and I find it’s hard to do that when you’re surrounded by people who remind you your world is fake, fake, fake, lol. So I basically write from 7:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. I break for lunch, but it’s usually less than 10 minutes and I go back to work. When I’m on deadline, I’ll write as much as 12 hours in a day. But I usually try to keep it to the 7:15 a.m.-4 p.m. schedule. It allows me to unwind and do stuff with my family in between the madness of writing.
b2b: The Rumor series is so well written, that it made me go out and track some of your back list to keep me going ‘till ‘FOREVER A LORD’ hits the shelves (or my Kindle)! What inspired it?
DM: A number of things. My own childhood, an old article about a missing boy who re-surfaced 30 years later, and my own love for historical New York City.
b2b: What do you like to read and what’s on your TBR right now?
DM: I love reading everything and anything, though mostly non-fiction. What am I reading right now? 50 Shames of Early Grey by Andrew Shaffer. It’s a heeelarious take on the ’50 Shades of Grey’. I just love tongue and cheek writing.
b2b: Now, that ends up our ‘professional’ portion of this interview. Are you ready to get personal? Or are you going to chicken out on me?
DM: Bring it, lol.
b2b: So, tell us a bit about yourself, something personal that you haven’t shared with anyone before…you know…anything that makes you comfortable…or not…like how many times did you fall in love? Flannel or Silk? Cats or Dogs? Champagne or Beer? Rock or Classical? Movies or TV?
DM: Bring it, lol. Okay, here’s a list of dirty laundry. I don’t drink very much, if at all. If I do, it has to be a sweet drink, because the idea of drinking anything bitter or sour grosses me out. I was a Romeo in my younger years. Meaning I was in love with the idea of being in love. I fell in love a total of two times, though, out of all my dates. The first time was my high school sweetheart and the second time was true love, with my college sweetheart and 20 years later husband ;)
I have no cats or dogs. I have two children and a husband, lol. I see them all as being my cats and dogs, I clean up after and cuddle with.
Flannel all the way. Silk makes me feel like I’m personally starving children in Africa. I don’t like spending a lot of money on bed sheets or clothing for that matter. I’m more of a bargain hunter.
Music wise, alternative all the way. I love listening to music that isn’t mainstream and comes from Europe. It makes me feel like I’m branching out creatively, too, as I use music for my writing.
Movies all the way. I’m a huge Netflix nut and movie theatre goer. Whatever I can see and get my hands on, I do.
b2b: Delilah, this was such fun! Thanks for stopping by to play :D
DM: Thanks for having me, darling!!! I have a copy of FOREVER AND A DAY and FOREVER A LADY so let’s give two people a chance to win them by answering this question: What’s your favorite New York based movie? Oh, and don’t forget to stop by my blog and enter my awesome giveaway: ONE DAY with me IN YOUR TOWN!!!