Guest Author Interview: Lilian Darcy …by Susan Lute

Women’s fiction and romance author Lilian Darcy has written more than eighty novels for Harlequin, Silhouette, Mira Australia, and Mills & Boon. Under another name she has also written for Australian theater and television.

Lilian’s career highlights include many appearances on the Waldenbooks Romance Bestsellers list, four nominations for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Rita Award, and translation into twenty different languages.

Lilian was born on Valentine’s Day, is married to a New Yorker, and lives in Australia. She has an active family life with said husband, kids, chickens, cats, music, scouting, gardening, skiing, hiking and horses. You can find her on the web at, Amazon, Backlist eBooks, and eHarlequin. Welcome Lilian!

Tell us about your publishing journey.

My publishing journey started so long ago that cell phones hadn’t been invented – or typewriters, let’s be honest. Possibly not even the printing press. Or bronze.

I was a struggling student, living in a shared house with no phone, so I never got “The Call” that other writers have such great stories about. I had a letter in the mailbox. My first publishing contract was four pages long. Now they’re about twenty-two.

I think that’s enough about the early days of my publishing journey. Moving on…

I’ve now written over eighty romances for Harlequin, with a trilogy out in Special Edition this year. The third book has just launched, and I’m quite excited about it as it’s that little bit different, with a hero and heroine who’ve been married for several years.

What I’m really loving at this point in the journey is the development of my self-publishing career, and there’s lots of news on that front. My third women’s fiction novel, Saving Gerda – historical fiction, this time – has just come out in ebook, with a print edition to follow soon. Cafe du Jour, a contemporary chick-lit-style novel which was originally published by Mira Books Australia, part of the Harlequin family, is now out in ebook and in the process of being translated into French. There was a special free deal with that book on Amazon recently, and it was downloaded 35,000 times, which I was thrilled about. All Dressed Up, another contemporary women’s fiction novel, is also out in ebook and I really hope more people will start to discover that one over the next few months. I hope to have a fourth book out before the end of the year. It’s set in Turkey, about an Australian woman and a Turkish man who fall in love even though they have no language in common. With all of these books, print editions and translated editions will follow if the ebooks are successful enough.

I love the fact that all of these decisions are under my own control, and that the feedback on how the books are doing is so immediate.

What’s the funniest thing to happen to you along your road to publication and what was the most exciting?

There’s no one funniest thing, but I do think writers are the greatest and funnest and funniest people to hang out with. At conferences, down in the bar or tucked away in a friend’s room, we laugh and groan and sigh and celebrate and commiserate, and can just talk for hours and hours.

The most exciting thing was probably getting my first two Rita nominations in one year. The phone rang on a Sunday morning and my son called me in from the garden, saying, “I think it’s Aunt Julie.” It wasn’t. It was a member of the Romance Writers of America board, calling to say I’d finalled in the Best Short Contemporary Romance category. I was over the moon. The next morning the phone rang again, over breakfast this time. In a rush getting kids ready for school, I picked it up without thinking about who it might be, and it was another member of the RWA board, calling to say I’d finalled with a different book in the Best Traditional Romance category. I was beyond the moon and orbiting Mars.

What has been the most challenging thing related to publishing you’ve had to deal with on your journey?

The need to re-invent and re-think and correct course. It’s not a career in which anyone can afford complacency or dropping the ball. In the early days I made quite a few mistakes which took a while to bounce back from. Right now, with the industry changing so fast, no one even knows what the mistakes are. I think all of us, as writers, need to keep thinking and learning and experimenting. As a reader, I think it’s an incredibly exciting time, as it’s so easy, now, to explore new authors and new genres.

Who is your favorite author, and what are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Megan Crane’s I love the 1980s! as I’m a big fan of her chick lit. I’m always on the look-out for good books in this genre. There are so many great writers I could name that it’s impossible to choose a favorite, but two of my go-to authors when I need a really satisfying escape are Jill Mansell, for warm, funny chick lit and Dick Francis for well-written crime novels with a horse-racing background and great female characters.

What’s coming up next for you?

I have three books to write for Harlequin Special Edition by the end of the year, and a lot of work to do on the self-publishing side of my career. I’m itching to write the second and third books in the trilogy that starts with Saving Gerda, but readers will probably have to wait a year or more for those. I wish I was faster! I wish there were more hours in the day! I wish I had an assistant!

Thanks so much for having me here, Su, and I’m so glad to see you getting some great books out there with such gorgeous covers.


About Susan

Author, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer.

Posted on July 3, 2012, in Auth: Special Guest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Nancy, it’s a pleasure to be here. I think one of the reasons writers love each other’s company so much is that no one else, even the most supportive family member or friend, really gets what we do and what it’s like, so when we get together there’s that sheer relief of being with people who do get it.


  2. Maggie, I hope you enjoy Saving Gerda enough to wait for “Cappadocia” – aka “the Turkish book.”


  3. Your books sound wonderful. I love the premise of an Australian woman and a Turkish man falling in love. I’m off to download Saving Gerda now to my Nook.


  4. This is a great interview. I totally agree with you that writers are the funnest people I know.
    Thanks for joining us.


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