Welcome, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Delilah Devlin for taking
the time to answer these questions for Coffee Time Romance. Today we are
asking Delilah about her story, Frannie ‘n’ the Private Dick from the Ellora’s
Cave anthology, Nibbles n Bites and also her new upcoming release called Lion
In The Shadows.
How did the storyline for Frannie ‘n’ the Private Dick come about?
Management at Ellora's Cave needed a last minute replacement when an author
dropped out of the Nibbles 'n' Bits anthology. They wanted funny vamp stories, and
since I've already written a few vamp stories with humorous elements, I jumped in. This
was a chance for me to take a vamp comedy over the top. Once I signed on, I got to
thinking about how life as a vampire would begin and what sort of adjustments your
normal, red-blooded woman might have to make to life as an undead person. That's
when the fun started!
First, she was "born" in a funeral home--waking under the brush of a makeup artist who
was readying Frannie for her funeral. If you'd like to get a glimpse of Frannie's first
waking moments, check out the first chapter of my book on my website.
When I write a story, I spend a lot of time learning my character's personalities by "living"
in their heads. I wait to hear their voices--and Frannie's was a surprise. She sounded
like Fran Drescher from The Nanny! I lived with that voice in my head all the time I wrote
this book. I think that qualifies me for sainthood!
Once I heard her voice, I knew the story had to take place in New York, and since I'm a
huge Soprano's fan I decided to make Frannie "connected". Ya know what I mean? The
rest of the story fell into place as Frannie lead me through her adventure.
How long did it take you to write Frannie ‘n’ the Private Dick?
About a month. My normal writing process is to dream about the story for a week or so
before I ever write a word. Then I take another week or two to shape the story within the
first couple of chapters. After that the rest flies.
Was there any inspiration behind writing Frannie ‘n’ the Private Dick?
Fran Drescher's deliciously irritating voice! Can you imagine The Nanny's Fran waking
up a vampire? She found the ultimate anti-aging product! And the sex? I always thought
the Brit was a little too tame for Fran's wild side--I gave her an Irishman instead!
How much research was involved for this story?
I already know what my vamp world is like--how sexual appetite is related to bloodlust,
how they transform, what special powers they possess. So the only research I did was
regarding the funeral parlor industry. Can you imagine the looks I got from the funeral
home directors I interviewed when I asked them what happens to a body during
embalming, and what a vampire would notice first about her body when she awoke?
Did you have the characters already plotted out or did they come to you as you
were writing the book?
Like I said before, Frannie's voice came to me immediately. I didn't know who the hero
was until the taxi came to rubber-screeching halt in front of her when she fell into the
street. I discovered Niall Keegan's character along with Frannie.
Do you plan on using any of the characters from this story in future books?
I had thought this would be the only "Frannie" story, but enough readers have asked for
more adventures that I'm considering seriously using her in a "Perils of Pauline" sort of
What difficulties, if any, did you have writing Frannie ‘n’ the Private Dick?
The story came without a hitch--it was crafting the first chapter into something coherent
that proved a challenge. I needed to use back flashes to tell her story--a no-no for most
novels. Back flashes can slow the pace and pull a reader out of the present. But I
needed the back story to introduce the way Frannie thinks and put the reader in her
mind-set--and to set up the punch line at the end of the chapter! If you read it on my
website, perhaps you'll appreciate just how complicated that intro was!
I’ve read the blurb from your story Lion In The Shadows, which sounds really
interesting, how soon before this story is released? And please tell us anything
After Frannie, I needed a break from comedy--it's terribly difficult to write. So I went to a
darker story I've been mulling over for some time. Lion in the Shadows is a shape shifter-
ghost-possession story. Sound confusing? Now you know get a hint of the hell I went
through crafting this story. This is a description of the Lion:
When a teen dies inside an unexplored cave, it’s Lani Kimmel’s job to bring him
out--not a pleasant job, but one she can handle as a member of the local fire
department and an expert in cave rescues. But the trek into the cave awakens a
creature that will push this no-nonsense woman’s boundaries of belief and test her
newly emerging love for one man.
Rafe Chavez, the new Sheriff in this small Texas town, has already staked a claim
on Lani. He’s a man with a goal in his sights, and he’s not letting anything get his
way--until he dreams about an Indian brave who died in that unexplored cave,
savaged by a mountain lion, and realizes he might be possessed by his spirit.
Just when Lani’s resistance to his sensual persuasion crumbles, Rafe must push
her away to protect her from a creature that has also cast its gaze upon Lani.
I did quite a lot of research into Texas cave habitats, spelunking, and cave rescue
techniques before writing this book. I already had some rappelling and mountain-
climbing experience, so that helped.
The book is still in my editor's hands, but I'm hoping she won't make me pull back
on some of the genre-pushing elements I have in this story. I seriously think this is
the hottest thing I've written to date.
Do you have any other upcoming projects in progress?
I'm working on the next story in the My Immortal Knight series. I'm heading back to
eattle this time to tell Navarro's story--he's the Master vampire who appeared in
MIK-1 and MIK-. After that I'm thinking about an alien abduction (humorous, of
course!) and a story about woman pledged to marry a warlord (a futuristic tale).
Did you always want to be a writer growing up, if not, how did you become a
I've always written, and I've always loved reading romances. My sister heard me say one
too many times, "I could have done a better job with that plot line," and challenged me to
write my own story. So I did--that's how I caught the "bug". Now, I'm obsessed.
How important is spending time with your family to you, when you do not have
The past year, I've lived under the ax of "the deadline". My family knows that when a date
closes in, they won't be seeing much of me except when I come out to refill my coffee
cup! I love my family, but I've raised the kids--my priorities are mine now! They can
figure out what's for dinner.
Do you have certain hours that you write or are they when you can manage to
I write when the muse is with me--and try to encourage her to come out and play by
sitting in front of the computer whining and cursing.
Have you ever had Writers’ Block?
Nope. Don't believe in it. I think you can get mentally exhausted and writing can become
a drudgery. That's when I meet with my sister or other writer friends and brainstorm new
ideas. After I get a kernel of inspiration, I feel rejuvenated and ready to face that damn
blank screen again.
What encouraging words would you give to aspiring authors, if you could?
You need to surround yourself with other writers. I belong to two RWA chapters and run a
critique group. No one thinks like we do. I mean, where else can you talk about muses
and characters in a story talking back to you and not wind up in a psycho ward? You
need support while you're learning the craft, so you have feedback and know you're
heading down the right track. Write the kind of story you love to read--not what you think
will sell. The time will come when some publisher will have an epiphany and decide your
kind of story is what the market is missing. Also, you'll never be a writer if you don't write.
It's that simple.
I would like to thank Delilah Devlin on behalf of Coffee Time Romance for
chatting with us and we wish you good luck on all your upcoming projects.