Thursday, 12 January 2012

Welcome fellow UK author, Lily Harlem!

Hi Lily! Great to have you here. I interview so many US authors because I write primarily for the US market, it's fab to welcome another UK writer who does the same. I love that you live in rural England, we do live in such a gorgeous part of the world.

This is the first time we've spoken so I'm looking forward to learning more about you and your writing. Exceptional covers, by the way. Yum! ;)

Let's get started...

1) What is your writing routine?

I like to write first thing, which is odd as I have never been a morning person. I think it’s because I often wake up with new ideas, or characters thoughts and dialogue playing on my mind and I want to get it down. I am very lucky and my home office overlooks beautiful meadowland so whatever time of year it is there is always a lovely view – somewhere to gaze as I daydream, ponder plot lines and descriptions. For me its bliss to have a whole day to indulge my imagination. Housework can wait!

2) Which author/s inspire you to write?

Oh, so many, and in lots of different genres. Anyone who writes well, with fresh, snappy dialogue, intricate characters and a tale that doesn’t jump out too obviously makes me want to write. I particularly like, and this is a mixed bunch, Bronte, Hemmingway and Maya Banks. Also Natalie Dae, Kristina Lloyd and K D Grace.

3) Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write?

To read I like ménage and BDSM. To write, ménage or anything with hockey or music included, especially if I can add a sprinkle of kink! But reading or writing it’s always romantic, there is always love, trust and respect and of course consent.

4) How do you deal with criticism/rejection?

Take a deep breath and think of the next step for that manuscript, whether it’s a complete overhaul or a new publisher. I deal with it better now than I did when I first started out, though now I have editors I know well so generally understand what they’re looking for - luckily it’s exactly what I want to write.

5) What do you expect from an editor?

I would like to think that the editors I have worked with over the last few years, a couple in particular, have become friends, though of course ultimately it is a professional relationship. I value honesty, tolerance and an understanding that sometimes I don’t research things quite as much as I should first go round because I’m just in the writing zone! I come back to small details on edits, if the story just has to get out then I go with the flow and fiddle with the finer points afterwards.

6) Tell me about your latest release.

My latest book is a full length novel available from Ellora’s Cave and is called Cold Nights, Hot Bodies. I was snowed in last year - I live in a very rural part of the UK - and the characters had been rattling around my head for several weeks. But it wasn’t until I had the peace and quiet to sit and write that Ashley and Shane’s story tumbled out. It was enormous fun. Ashley is a mad fan of erotic romance, much like myself, and she was not going to settle for a guy who couldn’t live up to the heroes in her books, fortunately Shane more than stepped up to the challenge even going so far as to helping act out some of her favorite scenes! And when I got the book cover through I have to say, I was a puddle of lust on the floor – phew! – and yes, that is just how I imagined him to look!

7) Tease us with a blurb or short excerpt

Blurb - All my life I’ve been the quiet bookworm, the office mouse. It hasn’t bothered me. Immersing myself in erotic novels has kept me wriggling on the edge of my seat at work and firmly entrenched in my own fantasy world at night.

Though one thing is bothering me—my damn virginity. If only I could find a sexy bedroom expert to introduce me to the delights of having a lover. Someone handsome and charming, who can rival the hunky alpha males in my books. I have a very vivid, very well-fed imagination—he’ll have to keep up. Then, one bitterly cold night, thanks to a devious, conniving so-called-friend, the perfect opportunity to rid myself of this pesky virginal problem comes along. Before I know it, the heroes in my novels have come alive in the person of Shane Galloway, who’s pleasuring me with every trick in the book and wheedling into my heart in the hottest possible of ways.

Excerpt link (18+) -

8) Which is your favorite character in the book?

Shane and Ashley are of course my very favorites, but there is another character, Derek, who is Ashley’s boss, and to use my crit partner’s words, kind of like a ‘fairy godfather’ to Ashley. He was fun to add into the story and instrumental in Ashley’s happy ever after. I like secondary characters; they make the story real, no one lives isolated without friends or other people in their lives.

9) What are you working on right now?

My fifth Hot Ice novel. The fourth is with my Ellora’s Cave editor and this one just has to come out quick. Without giving anything away, I left a character in a tailspin and he needs my attention! Each book in this series is fine as a standalone read, but I’ve weaved the hockey players and their love interests into each new story so that the reader gets to know the whole team and say hi, like old friends, whenever they pick up the next book. It’s a fun way to write but it has meant that one player is in need of my attention! Not that I am complaining, he’s gorgeous!

10) Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists? Get a crit partner. Someone who isn’t afraid of being honest, and then if something is rubbish, scrap it, don’t be precious about every single word. Also make sure you send the right manuscript to the right publisher, if they want delicate romance and you send erotic it’s never going to happen. When I started out someone told me that the first five novels you write are all practice, it’s the sixth that will be the one. I remember thinking, seriously, how long do you think my life is? But actually looking back, it was the sixth book that I thought, yes, that is it, I am truly happy with it. That book is Shared and was my debut release at Ellora’s Cave.

Link for Shared -

11)Where can readers find you? and and

Thanks so much for having me today, Rachel, it’s been fun.

Lily x

Winner of 2009 Love Honey Award for Erotic Fiction

1 comment:

  1. Great to be here, Rachel. I hope you'll come and visit me sometime :-)

    Lily x