My Guest, Mr. Kelly!

Mr. DiPasqua:  The A MIDNIGHT DANCE BLOG PARTY has been a blast. Judging from the comments posted so far, it’s fair to say that our RHs have hit the mark in the hero department.

My next RH’s last name is Kelly!  (I wonder if  Mr. Astaire will be joining this dance as well).  All kidding aside, please help me welcome Mr. Kelly to my A MIDNIGHT DANCE Blog Party!

Mr. Kelly, can you tell us who you’re married to and what she writes?

Mr. Kelly: My DW (dear wife) is Vanessa Kelly. She writes Regency historical romance for Kensington Books. In addition, together we write contemporary romance and romantic suspense. CaddyGirls, was published by Harlequin’s Carina Press last year, and Hardball was published on Amazon in June.

Mr. DiPasqua: Oh, so you’re an author as well.  That’s great! Your wife’s fans would like to know more about the RH (Romance Husband) behind the author. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Mr. Kelly: I’ve worn a few hats over the years—economist, researcher, trade unionist, executive assistant, financial manager, part-time author.

Mr. DiPasqua:  Where did you and your wife meet? What convinced you that she was “the one”?

Mr. Kelly: Vanessa and I met when our two organizations (unions) were discussing a possible merger. She was president of the smaller union; I was executive assistant to the president of the larger union. We’ve since been the butt of endless “merger” jokes. Vanessa was “the one” because she was and is smart, principled, kind and funny. Oh, and totally hot.

Mr. DiPasqua:  All great qualities a man looks for. . . .Where were you when she got THE CALL from her agent/editor? What was your reaction when she told you she’d sold her first book?

Mr. Kelly: At home. Her agent left a message to call her right away, and the excitement skyrocketed from there. I was over the moon proud and excited for her, especially since it was the first manuscript she’d written. But I sure didn’t realize how much my life was going to change. The Romance World pretty much takes over, doesn’t it?

Mr. DiPasqua:  Yup. Referencing my blog post from last year, I’m still battling back dust bunnies. :)  Is the hero in your wife’s last book:
a) Just like you;
b) The opposite of you;
c) You wish it were you;
d) More like Mr. May in the NYC Firefighter calendar.

Mr. Kelly: All of the above? No, I guess I’d have to say he’s pretty much just like me, since he’s a really good guy. I haven’t seen Mr. May, but I gather Dr. John Blackmore (hero in My Favorite Countess) is seriously hot, so I expect there’s some resemblance.

Mr. DiPasqua:  On your first date with your wife, were you most like:
a) Prince Charming;
b) Prince (bad boy) Harry;
c) The Artist formally known as Prince;
d) Prince, the family pet.

Mr. Kelly: Probably D! Or Prince Nervous. But we’d actually been friends for almost five years since we started actually dating, so it wasn’t like most first dates, I suppose. Still nerve-wracking, though.

Mr. DiPasqua: Nowadays when you hear the word “ball” do you immediately think:
a) Baseball
b) Basketball
c) An uncontrollable weeping reaction from fans upon meeting your wife in person?
d) A gathering of lords and ladies.

Mr. Kelly: It has to be A, since I’ve always been a rabid baseball fan. I’m hoping for C someday, though. Legions of weeping fans, all clutching the hardcover books they’ve purchased.

Mr. DiPasqua: How long have you been a RH? (Romance Husband). What advice would you give new RHs about what you’ve learned being married to a romance author? What should a new RH do or not do when his wife is under deadline?

Mr. Kelly: Five years as RH and counting. Advice? What can I say that won’t get me in trouble? Well, okay, you should try to be a calming influence, since the romance world (and publishing in general) can often be insane and wildly frustrating. And when DW is under deadline, cook, do laundry, clean the house and take care of the kids as much as you can. And take lots of benzodiazepines.

Mr. DiPasqua: LOL . . .Okay, Mr. Kelly, you know I have to go there . . . What’s your response when asked, “So where does your wife get the inspiration for her love scenes?” (Usually by a guy smirking.)

Mr. Kelly: Every RH has to accept that this irritating question will be asked virtually every time someone learns your DW is a romance writer. I often mumble something unintelligible, since I haven’t come up with the perfect answer yet, unfortunately. I’ve been thinking about claiming Vanessa was a Regency courtesan before her last two reincarnations. The other question regularly asked is if we practice each love scene to make sure she’s got it exactly right (again, with much smirking).

Mr. DiPasqua:  You left us hanging on a cliff.  Now, I want to know the answer to that. (insert smirk)   Back to my questions . . . Which character in your wife’s books would she say most resembles you and/or your personality?

Mr. Kelly: Very possibly Simon, Earl of Trask, the hero of Sex and the Single Earl. Simon is something of a hard-ass in both love and business, and a little crabby at times, but he loves the heroine madly and will do anything to take care of and protect her.

Mr. DiPasqua:  If you had to create a title for your own romance with your wife, what would that title be and why?

Mr. Kelly: The Hunky Canadian Boss and the Feisty American Professor. Why? Who doesn’t love a Presents Novel come to life?

Mr. DiPasqua:  Thanks so much for participating in the A MIDNIGHT DANCE Blog Party.  One last question: What would you like us to know about your wife’s latest or upcoming release?

Mr. Kelly: My Favorite Countess is Vanessa’s latest book, and she thinks it’s her best to date. She received some amazing reviews for it, including a starred review from Booklist. But she’s also caught some flack too, since the heroine is actually the villainous from the previous book, Sex And The Single Earl. Personally, I think Vanessa does a great job redeeming Bathsheba, who was a real…ahem, piece of work in the previous book, but transforms into a really cool heroine in My Favorite Countess.

Here is a description of MY FAVORITE COUNTESS:

Spirited, stubborn, and entirely irresistible…
She is difficult, demanding, and at times, quite fierce. And Dr. John Blackmore can’t take his eyes off her. The Countess of Randolph is the most striking woman he has ever seen…and the most infuriating patient he has ever tended.
Mired in responsibility, Bathsheba doesn’t have time to convalesce in the country. She should be in London, hunting for a wealthy new lover to pay off her late husband’s vast debts, not dallying with a devastatingly handsome doctor.
But it is only a matter of time until the good doctor and the obstinate countess will have to contend with the sparks that fly between them. Once their bodies surrender, their hearts may follow…

To win you must:

1. Ask a question or leave a meaningful comment below—We’re men. We can take it. So fire away! :) Remember: the more you comment, the greater your chances at winning the GRAND PRIZE.

2. You MUST be a follower/subscriber of Lila DiPasqua’s blog (through Google Friend Connect).

3. Must be at least 18 years of age.

4. Winner will be selected at random on SUNDAY.

Ways to increase your odds at winning are found at the very bottom of this blog.

Mr. DiPasqua: Another RH will be here tomorrow! See you then! To be eligible to win the giveaways, PLEASE REMEMBER to follow this blog through GOOGLE FRIEND CONNECT.  Now, let’s hear your comments or questions!  :)
  • Hey, Mr. K : ) How nice to know that you are a “Simon”! Also good to know that even a “Bathsheba” can be redeemed ; )

    How does being an author compare to your previous work as “economist, researcher, trade unionist, executive assistant, financial manager”? Similarites–Differences? What did you learn from those previous jobs that benefits you as an author?

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  • I am soo loving these questions and answers so much fun.

    Mr Kelly

    I have your wife’s books on my must have list they do sound great. When writing a book together can it get steamy discussing how it should go and who does most of the typing

    Have Fun
    Australian resident GFC Follower Subscriber

  • Ora

    With writing books with your wife, is it difficult sometimes, ie deciding on the direction of the story, plot twist, character developement? Do you ever find that your ideas are clashing and how do you work it through so you are both happy withthe results?
    Also, since you have worn variuos hats oveer the years, how do those experiences help with your writing? And have ever used somehting in your past or something you have been privi to as a basis for a plot?

  • Saw this on Book Junkie and decided to join the fun! Its a great idea to interview the RHs of the writers. Since you are both writers, who does the housework? I mean, when you both have deadlines?

    GFC follower/international

  • Great interview. I think its cool that you write books with Vanessa. I love the title you created for a book about your life.

  • Thank you Mr. Kelly for sharing a morning with us! It is much appreciated. I’m wondering if being a RH has made you a better husband, about the same as the average husband or no change?

  • Wonderful to meet you Mr. Kelly!

    Baseball seems to be the sport of choice from DH’s. I have to say that amazes me, plus I am more a college football devotee than any other sport.

    Which I see has translated to Baseball heroes contemporary style.
    Are the pair of you going to right a football based contemp. anytime soon??

  • Mr. Kelly,

    I noticed you picked up on the one of common threads of the interviews so far and of course that is baseball but you didn’t mention your team! In our male dominated household I must be able to report back this vital information. Please advise.

    The following note is from my husband: Obviously all the people that questioned Bathsheba being villainous when she was in Sex and the Single Earl didn’t realized it was “That Time of Month”!

    When you are writing your wonderful stories together with Vanessa who has the final say on the love scenes and why do they get to decide?

  • Good morning Mr. K and Mr. D too.
    I must say that I’m loving these RH interviews and finding out so much about our favorite authors’ hubbies. I also love Vanessa’s books, especially My Favorite Countess.

    I wonder if you ever get jealous of the men that your wife writes about. I ask this, because if all us ladies are honest, we all fall a little in love with the Hero. Even some authors have been honest enough to admit that they, too, have a tendre for the hero.

    I’m a GFC follower.

    Thanks for another awesome interview.

    dpd333 AT aol dot com

  • It must be so much fun to write books together! It’s very cool. Ora’s question above is interesting and something I wonder about myself. I love the way you and your wife met, Mr. Kelly, because it sounds a little like a contemporary romance story. On ongoing one.:) I’m so enjoying these interviews and will be back tomorrow morning!

  • I’m afraid these interviews are becoming a major part of my morning routine, fantastic idea Lila and Mr. DiPasqua! My question this morning for Mr. Kelly and even Mr. DiPasqua : Are you or your wife ever tempted to read some of the book reviews and ratings on sites such as Amazon or Goodreads?

  • That Mr. Kelly! Who knows what he’ll get up to when I not there to keep on eye on him? And it’s totally NOT true that he has to take tranquilizers when I’m on deadline. Really. Not true at all. That would be me.

  • I’m always impressed when a married couple can work together, since you’d have to clean the blood off the walls if my DH and I tried that!

    And I love the Harlequin Presents comment! Why don’t they have more HP books featuring hot professors?

  • Time for “Mr. Kelly” to chime in. Thanks for all the great questions–you’re making me have to think hard about them!

    Virginia and Oda: you asked about my various jobs compared to writing–similarities, differences, what I’ve learned, etc. Well, the biggest difference for me is the relative lack of pressure when I write, and the solitary nature of writing as opposed to a hectic, pressurized workplace. The other major difference is working for myself. At work, I’ve almost always been in an “executive assistant” type of role, where you have to adapt to the needs and whims of the elected officical. Now I only have to worry about Vanessa and our agent, and that’s a piece of cake in comparison!
    My work has been great prep for fiction writing though, as I had to be very disciplined. Even more important, I had the opportunity to so many kinds of things–reports, correspndence, speeches, press releases, proposals, and so on. I also learned how to write to a targeted audience. Fiction is of course very different, but I believe the preparation at work helped a lot.

  • Helen: Can it get steamy? Uh, yeah. We both wear glasses, being hopelessly myopic, and they’re always getting fogged up!

    Kissablesweet1: Has being an RH made me a better husband? I must defer to Vanessa’s take on that (though how could it not!)

    Tamsyn: We don’t really clash when it comes to deadlines. My deadlines so far are minimal–mainly around editing and other production issues. When it comes to housework, we share–even with deadlines. I can only cook two edible meals, so Vanessa has 90% of that chore. I compensate by being Mr. Laundry Man, doing a lot of cleaning, most of the yardwork, etc. It works for us!

    CrystalGB: Thanks!

    Oda: We don’t clash over story ideas and plot, at least not so far (fingers crossed). Vanessa and I talk incessantly about our writing, about books, about publishing, etc. Every day we take a long walk (often 2 miles) and frequently work through ideas regarding characters, plot and so on. Since we’re writing in a genre that is overwhelmingly read by women, I defer to her on many things. The phrase “a woman wouldn’t think that way” is frequently heard!

    Thanks for all your questions. Will be back soon to answer more!

  • Hi Mr Kelly!
    I have enjoyed reading your interview. Do you and Mrs. Kelly plan to continue writing together? Which do you enjoy writing more – contemporary romance or romantic suspense? Have you thought of writing a thriller (romantic, of course!)? Thanks!
    kabooks at hotmail dot com

  • Johanna Jochum

    Hi, everyone! I just want to say that I read Sex and the Single Earl and fell in love and I can’t wait for Bathsheba’s story! (Did I spell that right? LOL!) I love a bad girl turned good story! I have had Caddygirls on my wish list too! I will be getting soon! Thanks for sharing today! I love these DHS posts!


    fan on facebook

  • kissablesweet, Mr. Kelly has been a pretty awesome husband from the beginning of our marriage, and didn’t really need much training, er, help from reading romance novels. But the fact that we now read and write them together has injected a lot of fun into our lives. Plus, it cracks me up to watch him diligently scanning the latest romance titles in the bookstore. He’s usually the only guy in the romance section, and he tends to get some pretty strange looks.

  • To think that not all the men in the romance section were there for the comfy chairs to sit in (while reading their true crimes or news magazines). Kudos to Mr. Kelly!

    GFC follower
    ironss [at] gmail [dot] com

  • Great interview, Mr. Kelly. And can I just say that I love that you know what a Presents title would sound like. Perfect!

  • Landra: I like college football a lot, and because we spend a lot of time in Florida, I’ve adopted the Florida Gators as my team (along with the Jacksonville Jaguars). We might write a football-based book. I’ve actually written a few chapters of an English football (i.e. soccer) book that mostly takes place in the U.S. I think it’ll be fun.

    Jeanne: Right–the team. (Here I’m about to alienate most of the male readers!). Okay, I’m a Toronto Blue Jays fan. Huge surprise, EH?, since I’m Canadian! But I’m also a Phillies fan. Vanessa has 3 brothers in the Philly area and I’d be toast if I didn’t root for the Phillies!

    As to who gets the final say in crafting the love scenes, I’m sure you know the answer that one :) But if it were targeting a mostly male audience, maybe it would be different.

    Diane: Thanks for your kind words about Vanessa’s books! Do I ever get jealous of the heroes in her books? No, but I suspect they may be a little jealous of me :)

    Carolyn: Writing books together is awesome. We have so many projects we’d like to do together, too–exploring new areas within the romance genre.

    Maryella: Great question! Yes, unfortunately we are both prone to checking both the Amazon and Goodreads reader reviews and ratings fairly regularly. Many writers say not to, and that’s probably good advice. But we do like the feedback, even when it makes us want to pull out our hair.

    Rebecca WS: Yes, I’m all in favor of more books featuring hot professors! As a matter of fact, we have exactly that book on submission to publishers now. The heroine is a university math professor, and the hero is the security chief (and ex-Marine) at a Vegas hotel casino. We had so much fun writing that one!

  • Great interview Mr Kelly.
    Facebook follower

  • M.

    Dear Mr. Dipasqua (& Lila) – I am loving this creative approach to release publicity, and even more, this FAB FAB FAB support of spouses for their author wives *le sigh* . Good on you both. Looking forward to seeing the Dipasqua nuptial photo, after the tease of Mr.’s fingers only around the book cover! Great way to build anticipation

    mayamissani AT yahoo DOT ca

  • M.

    P.S. – I became a follower. Wasn’t sure if I had to specify.


  • Hi Mr. Kelly, great interview. I din’t know that you were co-author with Vanessa on CaddyGirls. Is it hard writing together?

    Danielle @ Ramblings From This Chick

  • Hi Johanna! Yes, you spelled Bathsheba’s name correctly. It’s a bit of a tongue twister, isn’t it? And it was really fun to take the proverbial bad girl and reform her. She’ll always be a little bit wicked, though, which is just how John likes it!

    Yes, Danielle, we co-wrote CaddyGirls. In fact, we just published another one, Hardball, which is now available on Amazon and Smashwords. This one has a hot baseball hero, which is not surprising since Mr. Kelly loves baseball!

  • What a great interview! I just have one question. Do you read all of your wifes books after she is finished writing them?


  • I am really enjoying reading about all the RH. Mr. Kelly, you knew Vanessa for 5 years before dating. How long did you date before you popped the big question? I think it’s wonderful that the two of you can write together!

  • Na

    I am having quite a ball meeting all these RHs and getting their insights into the life of a romance husband. I’m glad to see the romance authors living out their happily-ever-afters in their daily life.

    Hi Mr. Kelly, it’s nice to meet you. Ialways enjoy reading all the interview your wife hosts on her blog. I have discovered so many new authors from her. I also know you have worked on a few books with her, such as Hardball. When you are working on one book together, what is a typical writing like? Do you take turns writing or write at the same time after drafting up the scenes together?

    GFC follower,

  • Hi Mr. Kelly! Loved the answers to your interview questions. I’d say YES! to telling people that Vanessa was a Regency courtesan in a past life. Would love to see the reaction on that person’s face. =)

    GFC: Kati R @Romancing Rakes

  • I so enjoyed your interview, Mr. Kelly. Love the title to your romance! Mr. DiPasqua will be here later to chat a bit. Thanks so much to Mr. Kelly and Vanessa Kelly for being here and for offering that wonderful giveaway! :)

    @Maya–LOL. What can I say. The man is a tease. :) So glad you’re enjoying this unique event!!


  • Karen: Yes, we’re going to continue writing together, and have a number of projects in progress and planned. We love both contemporary romance and romantic suspense, though I lean a bit more to the latter. I find RS a tremendous challenge. Plotting suspense is hard enough, and when you have to weave in a love story and an HEA, well, it’s tough! I would also like to try a thriller. The RS I’m working on now might even be called a thriller by some.

    Sheree: Thanks! I head for the comfy chairs whenever we enter a ladies clothing establishment. Thank God for them.

    Robyn: Aw, thanks. I’ve actually read some Presents, along with Blazes, Desires, Intrigues and others. Lot of good stuff in Presents, though the titles can make your eyes pop out of your head.

    Elizabeth: Thanks!

    Danielle: I don’t think it’s hard to write joint books (at least for us), though you do have to be flexible. It’s also more time-consuming.

    Virginia: Oh, for sure. I read all Vanessa’s books, short stories and novellas. Not only that, I actually do some work on them (light editing).

    Cathy: Less than two months after we started dating, I recall that we were making hotel reservations for the wedding! We knew each other so well by the first actual dinner date (at “La Roma” restaurant–doesn’t even the name sound romantic?). I think we both knew right then that “this was it”.

    Na: Here’s the way we work. After we block out the basics of the book and do an outline, I write the first draft on my own while Vanessa continues to focus on her historicals. There’s lots of consultation going on, but she doesn’t become “hands on” until the second draft, when she takes over and fixes all my misfires. And that’s when stuff like “emotion” gets into the mix!

    Kati: I’m going to try that next time. Really. Regency courtesan it is.

    Lila: Thanks! It’s been my pleasure.

  • Well done! I’m married to a Mr. Kelly too.
    I just love these interviews and you men just have to be the inspiration because you are all so charming.
    All the best,


  • Thank you for a fun and interesting interview. Can’t wait to get to know more RH’s!

    Please enter my name in the contest…


  • Oh gosh, that is too darn funny, “I often mumble something unintelligible.” Please tell me – who asks this question, the men or the women? Nice job today Gentlemen.

    cindersmaria AT yahoo DOT com

    GFC Follower
    Facebook Friend
    US Resident

  • Emma

    I’m a new GFC follower.

  • I REALLY want to read My Favorite Countess!

    Robin D
    robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

  • Mr. Kelly is currently sacked out, so I’m stepping in for him. He’s exhausted from all the hijinks with Mr. DiPasqua!

    Artemis, believe it or not, both men and women ask us those rather indelicate questions!

    Emma, from start to finish, I’d say that it took me about nine months to write My Favorite Countess. That included the period of time in the beginning when I was percolating and brainstorming the plot and characters.

    Robin, thanks for stopping by the blog!

    Mr. DiPasqua and Lila, thanks for hosting us today – it was great!

  • Michelle, thank you!

  • This/these blogs you are doing this week have to be some of the absolute BEST work of anyone, author or DH, I’d have to say your DW is standing very proudly beside you and the honor you are doing not only her and her her book, but yourself and the other DH’s and their DW’s and their books. I think this might even been a very lucky week for you! ;) Keep up the great work!

  • Forgot to say I’m a follower everywhere, from yahoo, to twitter, to fb, to anyplace I happen to see your wife’s name. My e-mail address is:

  • Hi Diane D–I don’t get jealous any of Lila’s heroes. So far there’s seven of them and I see a little bit of me in all of them. At least that’s what I tell myself. ;)

    Hi Maryella–I don’t look at reviews. I know Lila’s books are great. Though I know Lila’s taken a peek at them once in awhile. I know she appreciates those who take the time to read and review her work.

    M–Do you think I have a future as a hand model? LOL All kidding aside, I’m glad you’re enjoying this! I’m having a great time. See you on Aug. 19th for the big nuptial reveal.

    MichelleKCanada and Artemis –Thanks!!

    Vanessa and Mr. Kelly–Thanks again!

    And thank you all for stopping in. See you tomorrow!

  • Just fabulous reading through the Questions and the replies. So much fun!!!

    GFC: Mary Preston
    Follow on Twitter (+5)- maryloucoolumralph
    Fan on Facebook (+5) Mary Preston
    Joined Lila’s Yahoo Newsletter group (+5)maryloucoolumralph

  • May

    It’s great to see husbands being so supportive of their wives. I am making my husband read these blogs! :)

  • Di

    I’ve got ‘My Favorite Countess’ in my TBR pile – should I read the book that comes before it first?

  • Carina

    I am always make a late entrance to parties and this one is a blast! It’s so much fun to learn about the different lives of these talented romance authors and their wonderful supporting husbands. Mr. DiPasqua, your sense of humor and interviewing skills are so engaging! Mr. Kelly, I am impressed as well that you know all about Presents as well! Thank you for enlightening all of us.

  • Great interview and it’s great how you write some books with your wife!

    GFC follower
    Fan on Facebook/Jeanette Juan
    Joined Lila’s Yahoo Newsletter Group


  • Oh i love this! Great post! Its awesome that you two write together! My question: With both of you writing together, do you ever have writers block? If so, what do you do to get past it?

  • Great job on showcasing your wife’s new book, it sounds great! I, for one, really appreciate the fact that she’s using an former villainess as the new “heroine” of the novel… definitely an interesting read! :)

    GFC: Brenna

  • Does your wife every seek your opinion on how her hero would react to certain situations in the books that she writes or is it all a mystery until after its all written?