Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Author Interview: FRANCESCA HAWLEY

Today we are joined by erotic romance author Francesca Hawley who's here talking about her latest release Whirlwind Affair! (And oh my god, how much do I love that cover?) Welcome, Francesca! (Applause!)

What inspired you to write your current release?

My most recent release is a novella called Whirlwind Affair and it’s book two in the Red Stiletto series published by Ellora’s Cave Publishing. The inspiration for the series started with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. My critique partner Paris Brandon and I were talking on the phone and fell into a brainstorming session. I loved the idea of doing something similar but for grown-ups. So Paris suggested red stilettos and the idea rolled from there. After the series concept was sorted out and Ashlyn Chase and Delilah Devlin agreed to fill out the quartet of friends, I had some major trouble coming up with a story I could keep small that would work for a novella length story. Every idea I had seemed to be too complex…too long. Then Rodrigo Torbellino seduced my heroine, Erika Bergstrom and me too.

What do you find attractive in a hero?

I adore the the warrior archetype. Most of my heroes fall into this category. Whether they actively go out and slay dragons or not, they believe in honor and chivalry. They would die for someone they love and sacrifice anything—even their life—to protect those dependent on them. I also like heroes who have a good, but dry, sense of humor and they should be sexy as sin. Yum, yum. Naw, I don’t want much. Rodrigo (Rigo) Torbellino has all of those traits. He’s sexy, honorable and protective. He’s also gentle and adores Erika.

What drives your books? Is it the hero, the heroine, the conflict?

As you might guess from my fixation on my own heroes – it’s the hero that drives my stories. The hero has to seduce me, before I let them get anywhere near one of my heroines. Those ladies deserve only the best and if the hero can make me fall in love with him, then maybe…just maybe…he’s good enough to get the girl at the end of my story.

If you could pick the actors to play the hero & heroine in the movie of your current release, who could you cast?

I always cast my hero and heroine when I’m writing, it’s one of my writing rituals. I find an actor/actress or a model or athlete that fits the vision I have in my head of my characters. Sometimes it takes me awhile to find the right image (face and body), but until I find the right image I often have trouble writing. Once I can “see” my hero and heroine, we’re off to the races.

For Whirlwind Affair, I’d cast plus-size supermodel Emme Aronson as Erika and Ignacio "Nacho" Figueras, the face of Ralph Lauren’s Polo line, as Rigo. Emme, is actually a bit slimmer than I see Erika – but the pictures I’ve seen of Emme still fit.

What do you think is the most romantic moment ever from a book or movie?

I have lots of favorite romantic moments in books and movies, but my two favorites are from movies. I love the end of Moonstruck when Loretta is gazing lovingly at Ronny and her mother asks her, “Do ya love him, Loretta?” She responds, “I love him awful, ma.” And her mother shakes her head and sighs, “Oh, God, that’s too bad.”

My other favorite moment is in The Return of the King at the very end. Aragorn has been crowned and he begins his walk through the bowing and curtseying crowd. He’s stopped by a group of elves. They step aside and there’s Arwen, whom Aragorn thought was dead. His face lights up with love and lust, he steps forward and cups her face in his hands and gives her a lusty yet tender kiss. I LOVE that moment. It’s one that makes me sigh every single time I see the movie.

What’s next for you/what are you working on now?

When I was writing Whirlwind Affair, I was intrigued by Erika’s brother Andy Larson. He’s a sexual dominant who is in the closet because his parents don’t understand his lifestyle. He intrigued me because everyone in the small town of Larson, Minnesota thinks he’s just a typical nice guy, even the heroine, Karen. In fact, Karen gave him a nickname when they were in grade school together that’s stuck his whole life – he’s known to everyone as “Aw-shucks Andy.” But just like the old proverb, with Andy - still waters run deep. He’s proving to be a very fun hero to write about – and underneath the small town farmer is a warrior who protects what belongs to him and would die for someone he loves. Sigh…can you tell I’ve fallen for him? Karen is one lucky lady.

He sounds like a keeper. Thank you, Francesca, for visiting and sharing your luscious heroes with us!

Today, one commenter will win an e-book copy of Whirlwind Affair!


Natasha A. said...

Great interview! Whirlwind Affair sounds like a great read! I look forward to Andy's story!


Great, sexy cover!

Vivant said...

Gorgeous cover. I read the interview, read the excerpt, bought your book. The opening scene is great - there's nothing I like more than a hot romance with a sense of humor. I can't wait to read the rest of Karen and Rigo's story.

Francesca Hawley said...

Kelly and Vivant,
The cover was designed by the fantabulous Syneca! She gives great cover. ;-)

And Vivant - I'm so glad you liked Whirlwind Affair. Be sure to check out the other books in the series:

Bk 1 - Head Over Heels by Paris Brandon
Bk 3 - Dear Sexy Lexie by Ashlyn Chase
Bk 4 - Bad, Bad Girlfriend by Delilah Devlin

They are all really fun reads!

Maggie Rivers said...

I read Whirlwind Affair and it is truly delicious! As are all of your books, Francesca. The idea of the "traveling stilletos" is a hoot! Leave it to you to come up with that one. Not to give away any of the story, but I loved the changing room scene! Good stuff.

Francesca Hawley said...

Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the book!

Maggie Rivers said...

Francesca, tell us about the "day in the life of" - what's a writer's day really like?

Maria said...

Wow...great interview and Whirldwind Affair sounds like a great book to read. I like the idea of the brother's book too!

Nancy G said...

Thank you Francesca! I thought I was the only one who absolutely loved the Aragorn/Arwen scene near the end of ROTK. There is a backstory on the DVD about that kiss too, in the documentaries. Loved your interview, too.

Emma said...

I have loved this idea of the red stillettos since Francesca told us about it on a road trip. I can't wait to see how she and the other authors handle it. Too fun!!!

Cathy M said...

Hi Francesca, the excerpt was such fun to read. Loved the humor and the sexual chemistry between these two.

Can't wait to start his series and will go check out Head Over Heels next.

flchen1 said...

Ooh, thanks for the interview, Francesca--I'm new to reading your writing, but will definitely be picking some up now!

Beth said...

Whirlwind Affair sounds like it will be a fun read. And I will be on the lookout for Andy's book.

Francesca Hawley said...

Maggie - a day in the life? grin...

Typically I get up early and go to a librarian. I answer reference questions and help people use the internet. When I come home, I sit down and try to write. Some nights that goes well, other nights...not so much.

I love to write but it can be a real tough to come home after work and start to write. Especially when I hit a love scene. Love scenes may "flow" in the book, but they are usually a challenge to write. Is it too much? Have I used the right words to get my meaning across? Is it hot? But once my characters get together, I love writing the happy ending.

Francesca Hawley said...

Maria - I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. I am really grateful to Vivi for inviting me here today.

Nancy G - is the added info on the extended DVD? I have that but haven't checked out all the documentaries and stuff. I swear by the extended version of ALL the LOTR movies - but especially ROTK.

Francesca Hawley said...

Emma - thanks for stopping by. That road trip was a lot of fun - even though blood and gore was involved. grin

Cathy M - so glad you liked the excerpt. I had a lot of fun with Rigo and Erika. He's VERY hot and I really liked his immediate attraction to Erika.

flchen1 - thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy my books - both long and short.

Beth - I'll keep readers posted about when Andy's story is available via my web site. I hope I get it finished soon. It is definitely hot, Hot, HOT!

Anonymous said...

I can not wait to read this book. It sounds really good.

Andrea Becraft said...

I love the cover! The trio looks great!

I love the heros too!

Karin said...

I love the story of the reasoning behind the series. It sounds like the books will be a lot of fun to read.

Vivi Andrews said...

Thank you so much for visiting today and giving us an insider's look into the Red Stiletto books, Francesca!