Lila Shaw is the pen name for a writer of works of erotica and erotic romance. She pens mainstream romance, mystery and urban fiction under the pen name of Claire Gillian. Her stories typically involve strong-willed women and are often playful, sarcastic and even silly. She believes if you can’t occasionally laugh at the physical aspects of love, you’re taking life far too seriously…unless the condom breaks, then you have every right to fret.
Lila lives in the Pacific NW with her very funny husband and their two sons.
Julie: Welcome, Lila. Why don’t you start us off by telling us how you discovered/decided you wanted to become a writer?
Lila: Thanks for having me, Julie! Becoming a writer was something that happened to me rather late in life. I had been in a number-crunching career for over a quarter century and never written a thing that wasn’t business-related except for my annual Christmas card insert. People seemed to enjoy my irreverent recap of my family’s past year so I knew I could write and enjoyed writing humor. When I became enamored with a particular television show (which I shall not name), I discovered fan fiction. Eventually, I moved on to characters and settings of my own creation. Lila’s erotic writings evolved from my mainstream writing discards that were a little too hot for primetime.
Julie: What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
Lila: I usually have a concept in mind that sometimes I jot down but most of the time I leave as an intangible and ever-changing collection of neuron firings. I’ve tried outlining but my best writing tends to come from pantsing. Of course this means I usually write and rewrite a lot more than ends up in the finished product. From an efficiency standpoint, my inner businesswoman is constantly wagging a disapproving finger at me. My inner flower child, however, gives her the one finger salute in return.
Julie: Give us a sneak peek into the writing life of Lila and tell us about one strange writing ritual you have.
Lila: Because I work full-time, I typically write at night, on weekends and holidays between loads of laundry. I don’t think I have any strange rituals—I work at a desk, on a Mac, using Word or Scrivener, which I’m still learning. Maybe an anti-writerly thing I do is to not angst out over naming my characters. While some authors research and painstakingly select names, I pretty much go with whatever whim takes hold at the time, assuming I am not striving for a particular ethnicity or following a pattern. For example, the female stars of my Succubus Chronicles all took their first initial from a unique letter of the alphabet because once upon a time I had planned to write twenty-six stories. I wrote twenty and called it good, but that’s also why I have heroines named Yve, Willow and Violet. My heroes’ names have all been plucked from the air. One I named after a font I found in my Microsoft Word program (Helveticus from Succubus Games) as I procrastinated at my keyboard.
Julie: If you were going to cast the hero of your book, what actor would get the part?
Lila: Ooh, I love fantasy casting! For Succubus Games, I’ve always said give me Jason Mamoa for Helveticus. For my naughty fairy tale, Vixen and the Pea, I had model Marco Dapper in mind for Koldo. Lyle / Adam in Succubus Steam might be played by Henry Cavill—though I really need an emerald-eyed fellow for that. For Theo in Prometheus Unstitched I had eighties actor Lenny Von Dohlen in mind—blue-eyed and kind of nerdy.
Julie: I know you’re not supposed to show favoritism but who’s been your favorite character to write?
Lila: I really enjoyed writing Cordelia Blindbarrow–there’s another moniker totally plucked from the air–from Prometheus Unstitched because she’s this grouchy seamstress to the B-list superheroes, an old soul in a young woman’s body. She’s often been compared to Edna Mode from the Pixar film, The Incredibles, only a lot prettier, younger and sexier.
Julie: If you could date any character from any book, who would it be and why?
Lila: Assuming my husband would let me, I think it would be pretty hard to beat Noah Calhoun from Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook, played by Ryan Gosling and James Garner (oops! semi-spoiler alert). There’s a man who loved so deeply, thoroughly and steadfastly, he took my breath away.
Julie: Please share with us some juicy details about your latest release.
Lila: Succubus Steam releases January 4th from Evernight Publishing. This is the third in my Succubus Chronicles collection and is a steampunk historical set in London. The heroine, a succubus half-breed, decides to build the ultimate BOB (battery operated boyfriend) to discreetly take care of her carnal needs. London society has no idea what she is and she wants to keep it that way. She fashions her steam- and clockwork-powered automaton after an ex-lover, an incubus, who reappears to complicate an otherwise clever solution. This is a novelette that’s very steamy in more ways than one.
Julie: Well thank you, Lila for stopping by and answering my questions.
Books by Lila Shaw
Filed Under: Behind the Books