Mr. DiPasqua: After the fun-filled day we had yesterday celebrating the launch of Lila’s latest book, I would like to welcome you back to the A MIDNIGHT DANCE Blog Party. Today I have the privilege of interviewing Mr. Essex. Can you tell us who you’re married to and what she writes?
Mr. Essex: I am married to Elizabeth Essex and she writes sexy, adventurous historical romances.
Mr. DiPasqua: Your wife’s fans would like to know the RH (Romance Husband) behind the author better. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Scholar? Athlete? Businessman? Artist?
Mr. Essex: I am an urban planner and I own a land use consultancy business. I help people understand and navigate the land development review and approval processes. It’s pretty detailed and boring—no one writes me fan letters when I win their case in front of the Zoning Board, and I don’t think our conferences are nearly as much fun as romance writers.’ For fun I like to ride bicycles. I ride with a group of dads and we tend to ride 60 – 100 miles on Saturday mornings. I do have to sneak in and out of the house in my stretchy clothes, as our kids are not too keen on having their dad being seen in day-glo nylon.
Mr. DiPasqua: I would image that the Day-glo look might be tough to pull off :) Where did you and your wife meet? What convinced you that she was “the one”?
Mr. Essex: My wife and I first met over the phone, while I was a client of the law firm firm she was working for in Chicago, while she was in graduate school. I found that I enjoyed talking with her on the phone and found an excuse to call her most days for about two years. Finally, I talked her boss into hiring me and I came to work for the land use law practice. The first time I saw her I knew she was the one, and I asked her to marry me before we have even gone out on a date. Eventually, after a long, long courtship, she finally said yes and we eloped on a trip to Nepal, but then got married for real when we came back home.
Mr. DiPasqua: I think there is a great Romance to be written about that story. 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. Essex: I was not there when she got the call, but as soon as she stopped dancing around the house like a maniac, she called me. But it wasn’t really a surprise to me. I always knew she was really disciplined and dedicated, and I thought she was a good writer and would get signed, but it made me very proud to see that others thought the same. I am still very proud of her writing abilities and work ethic. Whoever thinks writing is easy, has not seen my wife at work in the middle of the night.
Mr. DiPasqua: 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. Essex: I would like to think the hero was just like me (or at least based on me), but the truth is that I would not make a good sea captain. In all honesty, I have never read her books as I think it would embarrass her. I have been told that they are very good, but the heroes are not really like me at all.
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. Essex: I think I would fall into the Prince Harry, Bad Boy category, but that was just a pose to get her interested in me. I was actually dating someone else when I fell for, and
proposed to Elizabeth, and once she found out about that I had a girlfriend, Elizabeth moved to another country, Ireland, just to make sure I got the message. I eventually lured her
back, but that took a lot longer than I had bargained on. I must say that I am very thankful that Ms. Essex is a patient woman.
Mr. DiPasqua: Nowadays when you hear the word “ball” do you immediately think:
c) An uncontrollable weeping reaction of fans upon meeting your wife in person?
d) A gathering of lords and ladies.
Mr. Essex: I have been transmogrified from a person who has always associated balls with sports to one who wonders what Mr. Darcy would wear to a ball. Unfortunately, I am discouraged from attending any balls, as I am not a very competent dancer. It is now apparent that I wasted my youth.
Mr. DiPasqua: You seem to be doing all right at the A Midnight Dance Blog Party…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. Essex: I have been a RH for about eight years. A couple of things to remember is that they work a lot and they read other people work a lot. This appears to be more of a calling than just a job. It is definitely not what I expected when I understood that she was going to be a writer. When she is under a deadline, I stay away and keep the young Essex sprigs away as well. It is dangerous to get between a writer and her deadline. One also must remember that if the deadline is Friday at 10, she will be writing until Friday at 9:55. I also strive to make dinners that can be served cold, as when she is in the middle of writing a scene, we should not expect to see her until that scene is in the computer.
The young Essex sprigs call that period her “writer’s coma.” We don’t always understand what she’s doing there, hunched over the computer, so do visit her Facebook page to keep up with her, although we must say, she is pretty good about attending school and sports functions during deadlines—she’s the mom who shouts HUZZAH!—but we have to recognize that she does take her work seriously.
Mr. DiPasqua: Writer’s Coma– I didn’t know there was an actual name for that condition LOL! Okay, 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. Essex: All her inspiration comes from me of course. Well, at least that is what I tell my friends. But everybody knows in the real world the hero is the guy who knows how to stick around even when things get tough, and that’s what we’ve been doing together for twenty years. I think in reality, she just has an instinct as to what is needed in a story. She knows what her characters look like and their mannerisms, and she writes scenes that are true to them and no one else. That’s why I think the scenes are romantic and believable.
Mr. DiPasqua: Which character in your wife’s books would she say most resembles you and/or your personality?
Mr. Essex: It must be the gardener? Actually, she tries to write heroes who have a sense of humor, so when a hero makes a joke to amuse the heroine, she’s usually working with material I gave her.
Mr. DiPasqua: Thanks so much for participating in the A MIDNIGHT DANCE Blog Party. You’ve been a great sport! One last question: What would you like us to know about your wife’slatest or upcoming release.
Mr. Essex: She has a new book coming out in November, which I understand is her favorite one she has written yet. It is called THE DANGER OF DESIRE, and this is what she tells me is a blurb:
An Unlikely Alliance and and Uncontrollable Desire
Royal Navy Captain Hugh McAlden is accustomed to relying upon his own wits to take on deadly, high-stakes assignments for the Admiralty, but to accomplish his latest mission, he’ll have to risk more than just his neck. He’ll have to risk everything on the dubious help of the larcenous young pickpocket with the shapely ankles who just relieved him of his pocket watch to keep her from stealing his heart.
Meggs’ prowess as a pickpocket depends upon remaining un-tethered and unnoticed. But she will give up her hard-won freedom to the icy-eyed naval officer in exchange for the chance to escape from her grim life of crime. Even as she accepts his risky proposition, she keeps herself ready to cut and run at a moment’s notice. Yet, as Meggs and Hugh are drawn deeper into the maelstrom of danger, there is nowhere left to run, and all thoughts of distrust and betrayal are overshadowed by a passion worth every risk.
GIVEAWAY: We would love to give away two pairs of copies of Elizabeth’s first two Brava books, THE PURSUIT OF PLEASURE and A SENSE OF SIN! And we’ll even send them anywhere in the world if you stop by to comment today!
To win you must:
1. Ask a question or leave a comment below—We’re men. We can take it. :) 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: What a great giveaway! Thanks again for the great interview, Mr. Essex! Now, folks, let’s hear your responses. :)