Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Author Feature: Delilah Marvelle

Current Read: Mistress of Pleasure by Delilah Marvelle

Happy Wednesday, everyone! We are all ready halfway through the week and September is almost gone. It seems like once we hit September it is a slippery, downhill slide toward the holidays. Does anyone else feel that? :0)

If you are sliding all too quickly toward the craziness of the holidays, today is a perfect day to grab a cup of tea or coffee, take a deep breath and settle in for an interview with our "Word Wizard". Today I am talking with Zebra debut author Delilah Marvelle! Check out Delilah's book below:


Granddaughter of a renowned courtesan, Maybelle de Maitenon has no interest in her grandmother's school in London where gentlemen receive instruction -- in the art of seduction. Her only desire in life is to remain independent, free from men and the shackles of marriage. But when Maybelle lays eyes on Edmund Worthington, the Duke of Rutherford, at a soiree, and hears of his scandalous reputation, she decides he's the perfect person for her to have a tryst with no strings attached...


Unbridled passion has again muddied Edmund Worthington's family name. After his very public dalliance with the strikingly beautiful and sensual Maybelle, his mother insists he marry her. But much to the Duke's surprise, Maybelle scoffs at his proposal. Never has he encountered such a brazen -- and maddeningly irresistible -- woman. But when Maybelle's grandmother falls ill, forcing Maybelle to take over the operation of her school, Edmund devises a plan to make her his. He enrolls in the school, where no one other than Maybelle must give him expert lessons in carnal pleasure...

You can read an excerpt from Mistress of Pleasure here.

And, now, here's my chat with Delilah (a most delightful one at that)!

Tell us about your first book, Mistress of Pleasure.

Mistress of Pleasure is what I like to call "a humorous historical romance unfit for polite society" LOL. Here's the elevator pitch: Granddaughter of a renowned courtesan, Maybelle de Maitenon has no interest in her grandmother's school in London where gentlemen receive instruction -- in the art of love and seduction. Her only desire in life is to remain indepedent, free from men and the shackles of marriage. But when Maybelle's grandmother falls ill, forcing Maybelle to take over the operation of the school, she discovers that men are in fact creatures of habit and simply need to be re-educated. Then Edmund Worthington, the Duke of Rutherford dares to enroll, looking to alter not only her lesson plans, but her very heart....

Sounds amazing (and I can attest, it is! I'm in the middle of it right now). For those of you unfamiliar with the term "elevator pitch", it is something authors put together and practice so that we are ready to explain our book to anyone in the time it takes to ride to a floor in an elevator. :0) Can you tell us a little about your journey to becoming a published author?

It's been a looooong journey, to say the least. Almost 11 years that include over 40 manuscripts and over 200 rejections (one from my own editor). I was of the firm belief that if I kept writing and writing it would eventually happen. Obviously, I had my ups and my downs (oh, so many downs...), but I kept on writing and writing and writing. I eventually finaled in the Golden Heart twice, in 2005 and 2007. Finaling in the Golden Heart is what ultimately sold me, I believe. Not just because I was a finalist, but because of the people I was meeting. Fellow Golden Heart Finalists and winners. Victoria Dahl, who was a Golden Heart Finalist and winner in 2005, basically gave me the chance of a lifetime. She wanted to know what I was writing and when I told her, she thought her editor, John Scognamiglio at Kensington would love it. So she queried him for me. He wanted the full. I sent the full out and 9 days later, I received "the call." After waiting almost 11 years for that call, not having to wait 3 months or longer to receive it was pure heaven. It all happened so fast. And here I am today!

How exciting and what a wonderful story! What are you working on now?

I am currently working on book 3 of my 5 book School of Gallantry Series, called Moment of Pleasure. With each book I write in the series I get more and more involved and I'm already dreading the fact that I will be ending this series because I love these characters so much.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

I love to run, kickbox, spend time with my kids, read, research, cook, and paint. And if I had more money, I would traveling a heck of a lot more.

Oohh, I'd love to do more traveling too. How do you research your historical romance novels?

I am always researching my historical romance novels. I have basically vowed to myself that I would stick with this particular time period (1830) for at least a couple of years. This really allows me to delve into every aspect of life then without constantly having to research every little aspect. Because I have a pretty large collection of rare and out of print research books, I'm fortunate to where I don't have to wander out of my house to research. I have all my books organized according to whatever information I need. Clothing, housing, the Season, London, and so on. I love having all the information all need and tidy and at my fingertips.

Your own private library! Do you base your characters on people you know or are they complete figments of your imagination?

I have to say both. Obviously the people around me and people in history inspire me to create the characters I do. But once I start writing them, they become their own, fitting neither into the people I know or what I expected them to be in my imagination.

I love it when that happens - when characters start to truly take on a life of their own. What is different about being a published author compared to what you imagined?

Heh. Great question. (Thank you.) I must say writing under deadline is pretty intense. It's like planting a seed in the ground and staring at it each day waiting for it to grow knowing you only have a week to see it sprout. Sometimes it feels impossible and yet, those seedlings sprout. I also think the amount of time promoting one's self is something I really did not expect to do. Didn't even cross my mind. From blogs, to websites, to myspace, to signings, to workshops and so on and so on, it's almost overwhelming. And one definately has to be careful as it can lead to great promotion but to little or no writing. All in all, however, the experience is AMAZING. I am loving every single moment of this wonderful opportunity I have been given and feel so blessed.

Your seed analogy is great! I feel that way sometimes and I'm not even writing under deadline. :0) Here's a random question for you...OK, actually three: If you could visit any person in the past (real or imagined), who would it be? Why? And what would you do?

I would visit with Edith Wharton. Why? Because, to me, she was not only the most amazing writer of her time but also because of how unbelievably self educated and disciplined this woman was. And what would I do? Oh my goodness! What "wouldn't" I do? LOL I would simply be asking her question and question. About her life, about her writing and about what inspires her and even what she eats (that's the chef in me...)

Pepper her with questions...kind of like what I've been doing to you! :0)

Thank you so much, Delilah for being here today!

Delilah is offering not one but TWO autographed books for today's feature! So please pull up a chair, relax a bit and join our conversation. Also, be sure to swing by Delilah's website at It's gorgeous and entertaining! Sign up for her newsletter there as well. I love the "naughty word spotlight" and the historical personal ads that Delilah features in her newsletter.

So, let the conversation begin! :0)


BethRe said...

Wow great for you 11 years.
What did you do to celebrate once it was released?

Moongypsy said...

Great interview! Can't wait to read it. Hope you have great success with it! Kathie

Tiffany James said...


I agree! That's what I call determination. Love your question! What did you do, Delilah?


Tiffany James said...


Great to have you with us at Armchair Heroines!

I think you'll really enjoy Mistress of Pleasure!


Eva S said...

Hi Delilah and Tiffany,
thanks for more books to my wishlist (it's very long but I love to add books to it! This book sounds great, and I love series, many books to wait for. Do you already know what will be next?

Tiffany James said...


Hello! Great to see you here. Good question.


Delilah Marvelle said...

So sorry I didn't respond sooner! I was busy writing (I'm on deadline...)
My Dearest Beth,
Thank you for the wow :D What did I do to celebrate? At first I couldn't do much because my husband was out of town, but no sooner had he returned, we went to one of our favorite swanky restaurants and I bought myself a beautiful bracelet that I earlier couldn't convince my husband to buy, LOL.
My Dearest Kathie,
Thank you for your wonderful well wishes!
My Dearest Tiffany,
I LOVE your beautiful enthusiasm and cannot thank you enough for hosting me here today.
My Dearest Eva,
Thank you so much for posting. I'm always more than happy to add books to your list :D There are a total of 5 books in this series. Mistress of Pleasure, obviously being book 1. Book 2 (which is already done and slotted for Ausgut 4th 2009) is Lord of Pleasure. Book 3 is Moment of Pleasure (which I am currenly writing) Book 4 has yet to have a name and Book 5 I am tentatively calling Master of Pleasure. All the books basically follow the men who are part of the school. SO much fun!

peggy said...

sounds lika a great book.can't wait
to read it.

Delilah Marvelle said...

My dearest Peggy,
Thank you so much for posting

kimmyl said...

Hi Delilah and Tiffany, thank you so much for a great interview! I love naughty historicals and you’ve got a gorgeous cover!

Delilah Marvelle said...

My dearest Kimmy,
So thrilled to hear that naughty historicals are in demand :D
And yes, I lucked out with a beautiful cover. Kensington did a great job capturing the playfulness and naughtiness of my heroine.

Dena said...

I have enjoyed Delilah's interview. Her book sounds really good and the elevator pitch is excellent. She sure has endured and it's amazing she never gave up, 11 years!!! WOW, I'm so happy for her.

Tiffany James said...

Hi, Peggy!

Great to see you!


Tiffany James said...


So glad you enjoyed Delilah's interview. Her book is amazing, and I am so excited to have her here at AH!

Good luck in the contest!


Tiffany James said...


I'm totally impressed with Delilah's "staying power". I haven't been at this nearly as long as she has and have definitely had my days where I felt like throwing in the towel. I'm so thankful that Delilah shared her story - it gives me an extra boost! :0)

So glad to have you here at AH too!


Liviania said...

Good interview!

So we meet the future heroes in Mistress of Pleasure, but what about the heroines?

Lee Silver said...

Hi Delilah!
I'm absolutely awed by historical fiction authors. The thought of weaving that painstaking detail into a story scares me to death! Anyway, a quick question :)

Delilah wrote:

And one definately has to be careful as it can lead to great promotion but to little or no writing.

How do you juggle your writing and promoting?


Lee Silver
"Romance With a Twist"
THE TWIST, BookStrand #1 Bestseller

Tiffany James said...


Wonderful to have you here with us at Armchair Heroines. Welcome!

That is a great question!


Tiffany James said...


Good to see you!

How funny you should ask that question! I asked Delilah something very similar in a conversation we had recently. I'll let her share!


Delilah Marvelle said...

My Dearest Dena,
Thank you for posting your amazing WOW and I'm thrilled you enjoyed the interview!
My Dearest Liviana,
Thank you for posting and for your fabulous question! In Mistress of Pleasure everyone will meet only one of the heroines. That is Lady Chartwell. She is Hawksford's lady love. In the second book, Lord of Pleasure, you will obviously meet the Hawksford's lady love, but also Caldwell's lady love. And so on. As all five books take place at the same time I tried not to throw ALL the characters at the readers at the same time. Although everyone more or less meets about 65% of the characters in book one. Needless to say, I am having a lot of fun layering all the characters throughout.
My Dearest Lee,
Thank you for posting :D Juggling promotion and writing is indeed that. Juggling. Both need a fair amount of attention. Without promotion, you have no sales and no career. Without writing, you have horrified readers and no career. What I have learned to do is spend one whole day of each week doing nothing but promotion. The rest of the week, I do nothing but writing. Obviously, things come up in which some days you will be promoting more than others. Especially during launch week, but the rule should be 4 to . 4 days writing, 1 days promotion. At least that is what has worked beautifully for me.
And last but certainly not least My Dearest Tiffany, I've said it before and I'll say it again, your enthusiasm is positively radiant and I adore you for it!

Tiffany James said...


It has been such a treat to have you here at AH!

I don't believe even my husband has referred to me as "radiant" even in reference to my positivity - which can be a bit "Pollyanna-ish" at times. :0) But I love writing and reading - what can I say!?

Thank you for your time this week and I hope to cross paths many, many times in the future!


Tiffany James said...

Hey all of you AH readers!

You've got just over 12 hours to comment and be entered into the contest for one of Delilah's books. We'll have two winners this week, so share your thoughts! :0)


Tena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tena said...

sorry I havent been by in awhile I have been working 13hours a day and Im a new granny not that Im old Im only 36 but I cant wait to add this book to my collection and I have a big book collection Im up to 428 books take care

Tiffany James said...


You know what they say - better late than never. I'm thrilled to "see" you!

Congrats on being a new granny! And - yikes - 13 hour days. Youza!

If you can, check in Wednesday or Thursday so we can enter your name in the contests and possibly add to that amazing book collecion of yours!

Great to have you with us!