Jen: Today we welcome Lily Danes to Romancing the Book. Lily, will you share a short bio with us?
Lily: Lily Danes is a native Californian who loves cold weather, snow, and rain. A recovering city girl, she now lives in the Sierra Nevadas, where she gardens, knits, herds cats, and plans DIY projects she’s too lazy to complete. She has few practical skills and would be absolutely useless in the zombie apocalypse.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Lily: In Sins of Her Past, a self-made millionaire’s homecoming is complicated when he’s forced to work with his evil ex-wife, the woman who walked away without a word.
I arrived at this story in a roundabout way. I introduced the heroine in Kiss of a Stranger and immediately loved her. Bree is a confident, smart badass who rocks her job in the tech world. The first question I had to ask myself if why a woman like that would choose to live in a small, isolated town with few opportunities. As soon as I found that answer, the story revealed itself to me. Then I just had to pair her with a hero as confident and smart as she is and let the sparks fly.
Though it pained her to give up without a fight, Bree pictured the check that would be deposited at the end of this week, the one with all those extra zeroes. That kind of money bought a lot of compromise.
She’d still make Marcus work for it. “Fine. I’ll need my own assistant. I run on caffeine and sugar, and you can’t expect me to drop my work every time I need a bowl of mini Snickers.”
Marcus glanced at her waistline.
“Snark burns a lot of calories,” she told him. “I want a keycard, because I set my own hours, and most of them will be after midnight. If someone needs to contact me, they will, in order, email, text, instant message, and then video chat. I’ll growl at anyone who knocks on my door without an appointment, and I don’t pick up the phone for anyone but my best friends and people who share my DNA. Also, I want a private screening of The Princess Bride in the theater.”
“As you wish.” The man didn’t skip a beat. “But I expect daily timecards so I know when you’re working. We have an on-site cafeteria and a juice bar. Try to consume a few vitamins. If I call, you’ll pick up. If you don’t, I’ll come looking for you, and I don’t care if you growl at me. I seem to recall enjoying that.”
Jen: Describe your writing in 3 words.
Lily: Emotional, sexy, funny.
Jen: Who has influenced you as a writer?
Lily: Buffy the Vampire Slayer—or at least the writers, particularly Joss Whedon. The show broke so many rules at the time in the way it mixed tone and genres. The angst/humor blend really struck a chord with me. I love that contrast of strong emotions, because life is rarely just one thing. Also, the show was proof that there are big rewards for taking creative risks and playing outside market expectations.
Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there one you’ll probably stay away from? Why?
Lily: I already write urban fantasy as Mia Marshall, but I’d love to write fantasy romance next. As soon as I figure out how to add a few more hours to each day, I’m all over that.
I doubt I’ll ever write horror. Writers spend so much time living in their book worlds, and I can’t imagine spending six months thinking of new ways to terrify or disturb readers. You’d find me cowering in a corner at the end of it.
Jen: If you were able to travel in time, where would you go and what 3 things would you take with you?
Lily: I’d go about twenty years into the future. I mean, there are history books and documentaries telling me about that was, but I’m dying to know what will be. I’d bring my notebook, because I’d need to jot down ideas and stock tips. I couldn’t go tech-free to the future, so I’d bring my phone and hope it wasn’t completely obsolete. Then I’d add sunscreen, because climate change is no joke.
Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading now?
Lily: So so many. Off the top of my head, some current auto-buys are Kit Rocha, Alisha Rai, Tessa Dare, Lisa Kleypas, Kresley Cole, Ilona Andrews, and Anne Bishop. Right now, I’m reading The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson, because I was craving a big epic fantasy book, and Everything I Left Unsaid is at the top of my to-read pile.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Lily: Later this month, I’m releasing a book in the Camp Firefly Falls shared world series set at adult summer camp (all the fun of camp, none of the adult supervision!). After that, I’m putting my head down to write my first solo romance series. I can’t wait to get started on that!