Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Guest, Mr. DeHart!


Mr. DiPasqua: Hello, everyone! The dance continues with our next RH.  Please welcome Mr. DeHart.  

Can you tell us who you’re married to and what she writes?

Mr. DeHart:  I’m Paul DeHart (a.k.a, “The Professor”), and I’m married to the exceptionally talented Robyn DeHart. She writes historical romances set in the Victorian period. The series she just finished had an Indiana Jones, action adventure cast to it (or Lara Croft Tomb Raider set in the late 1800’s, if you prefer). The first hero, in particular, was based on my e-true Hollywood story as an action adventure political philosopher.

Mr. DiPasqua: Your wife’s fans would like to get to know the RH (Romance Husband) behind the author better. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Scholar? Athlete? Businessman? Artist?

Mr. DeHart: All of the above . . . Well, I’d probably make a lousy businessman. I’m a scholar both by trade and disposition (but one who definitely has the Indy Jones vibe going for him). I’m a college professor. I work at the overlap of moral, legal, and political philosophy. Sounds, riveting, I know. It’s the same area of study in which Bill Watterson, creator of the magisterial Calvin and Hobbes, got his degree. My back up career was classical vocal performance. I figured that if I couldn’t get a job in one long-odds field, I’d take a shot at an even longer-odds field. I suppose I better start working on my Puccini in case my current job falls through . . .

Mr. DiPasqua:  You're one smart RH, Mr. DeHart.  Calvin and Hobbes is a favorite of mine.  Love the imaginary friend.  Where did you and your wife meet? What convinced you that she was the one?

Mr. DeHart: We met online, on a dating site. Apparently my profile had perfect sentences with immaculate grammar. So she sent me a snarky email. Which caused me to reply right off—apparently I like snarky. We sent a few messages, spoke on the phone a few times, and then had our a first date—at a bookstore and then a restaurant after that. We dated for just over 6 months before we got engaged. And I proposed when I realized she was the sweetest, most beautiful person I’d ever met . . . and also my best friend. I was struck (or moonstruck) by the epiphany that I wouldn’t get enough of her if I spent the rest of my life trying. Of course, she might tell you she married me for my last name . . .

Mr. DiPasqua: DeHart is a damn cool name for a romance author.  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. DeHart: We were still dating (not yet married) when she got the call from the editor at the first house with which she published. As it happens, I was in the Austin airport, returning home from a conference in Michigan. I was getting in a day late, because of scheduling snafu that caused my connection not to leave Chicago O’Hare. As I was about to drive home from the airport and collapse into my bed, my very excited then girlfriend called. It was right after she had spoken with the editor in New York. I was thrilled, of course, but not surprised—I had a sneaking suspicion that she was very talented. And it turns out she’s even more talented than I suspected. I know because I read her books; and not just because we’re married. I’m a fan. Back to the story. After dropping my luggage off at my apartment in northwest Austin, I drove the just-under-an-hour trip down to San Marcos to take her out for a night of fine dining at Red Lobster (I’m sure we had a pricey bottle of wine or champagne brought up from the Restaurant’s wine cellar reserves—Red Lobsters have those, right?). I confess that I still get excited and find myself simply impressed every time I see one of her books in the store and every time I see a review of her work in RT, The Chicago Tribune, or Publishers Weekly.

Mr. DiPasqua: Great story! Now for some multiple choice: 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.

Both a) and d). But seriously . . . My wife says all of her heroes have something of me in them. And I can see why—they’re all ruggedly handsome alpha males. Of course, my wife also says that beta males make for better husbands in real life. I’m not sure what she means by that. After all, I’m as alpha male as they come—alpha male means “of scholarly disposition,” right? Okay, now where did I put my copy of Plato’s Laws. I mean . . . Now where are my fireman’s hat and suspenders; I’m off to a photo shoot.

Mr. DiPasqua: LOL! . . . 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. DeHart: Definitely a) and b). I was also very, very smooth. That story about me stumbling and nearly falling on the way into the restaurant is a complete fabrication by those seeking to discredit my reputation as the Indiana Jones of political science. As for the bad boy part . . . well, she figured out how to write authentic bad boys somewhere . . .

Mr. DiPasqua: Nowadays when you hear the word “ball” do you immediately think:

a) Baseball
b) Basketball
c) An uncontrollable weeping reaction of fans upon meeting your wife in person?
d) A gathering of lords and ladies.

Mr. DeHart: I definitely think of the lengthy queues of uncontrollably weeping fans first. After that, baseball and the heart wrenching condition of being a Cleveland Indians fan. Next, a gathering of lords and ladies that, when rendered in written form, always requires very careful coordination. After that—the stupidity of putting King James (the basketball player and not the monarch who used to lecture Parliament on the absolute power of the sovereign) on par with MJ. Sometimes, but only sometimes, cricket (the sport, not the insect) come to mind and that only when I’m contemplating the superiority of baseball to cricket. The reason “a gathering of lords and ladies” doesn’t rank higher is because my wife’s books, historical romances though they are, tend to feature the hero and heroine traipsing through some cave or getting chased in a carriage or on a train by the bad guys.

Mr. DiPasqua: How long have you been a RH? (Romance Husband). What advice would you give new RH’s 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. DeHart: I’ve been an RH for 6 years, 4 months, and 6 days. First, there’s no such thing as a calm, easy going deadline. All deadlines—however much the project was ahead of a schedule, however many times she’s revised or even rewritten the story already—are frenzied, whirlwind, “Am I in the middle of a hurricane?” deadlines. No exceptions. Second, if she asks for help brainstorming, most of the ideas you come up with will be things that won’t work—but at least she’ll know what not to do. And every now and then you might even have an idea that makes it all the way into the final version of the book. I’ve had two. Sure, her critique partner (I think they share a brain) has had considerably more suggestions get into the final version. I’m not jealous about that . . . not at all. Third, chocolate always helps during the hurricane (or, if you live near Austin, Texas, Kerbey Lane). Also, sometimes you need to drag her out of the house to a movie or a concert or something. Fourth, the current book she’s working on is ALWAYS the worst book she’s ever written. It’s not true, of course. But that’s what she’ll say. When you reply that she said that about the last book, she’ll tell you that she really means it this time. When you say that she said that about the last book too . . . Well, it’s probably not wise to remind someone on deadline about everything they said or thought while on deadline with the previous book (or with every previous book, as the case may be). As it happens, a lack of satisfaction with the story at all the various stages of revision probably results in a better book anyway. So it’s best to come to terms with the “This is the worst book ever” mentality associated with the book presently in process. Fifth, having a wife who writes loves scenes can make for steamy romance. And, let’s be honest, what husband doesn’t want steamy romance. Sixth, it’s the best thing in the world—especially if you’re a bit of a romantic yourself (okay, so maybe I’m more than a bit). It also makes life very interesting. In what other scenarios are husbands talking with their wives about the best way to kill someone off . . . Okay, in what other legally legitimate scenarios are husbands talking with their wives about . . .

Mr. DiPasqua; 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.)

I usually just say that our steamy love life is of course the inspiration for all such scenes—and that I model for most of the covers. That usually gets a laugh—at which point I say that I was, of course, joking . . . about the second thing.

Mr. DiPasqua:  You mean that really wasn't you on the cover?   What character in your wife’s books would she say most resembles you and/or your personality?

Mr. DeHart: My wife says I’m most like Max, the hero of Desire Me, the second book in The Legend Hunters Series. I think it’s because Max is brooding, intense, and is amazingly strong. But she says it’s because Max is really smart—like, prodigy smart—and something of a smart ass. Apparently she thinks I’m a smart ass. I can’t imagine why.


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

Mr. DeHart: I would name the love story Sonnet 116, since I think Shakespeare’s words capture the essence of it:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Either that or Socrates and Jane Austin Walk into a Bar . . .

Mr. DiPasqua:  Great answers!  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’s latest or upcoming release?

Mr. DeHartTreasure Me, the last book of my wife’s brilliant Legend Hunters trilogy released this past March. You don’t have to take my word for how amazing the series is. Just ask John Charles, whose reviewed Robyn’s stuff in Booklist and the Chicago Tribune. Or ask Kathe Robin of RT Book Reviews, who gave Treasure Me a 4 ½ star, Top Pick and a KISS Award. The first book of the series, Seduce Me, won an RT Reviewers Choice award and a Readers’ Crown award from RomCon. Last week she also released, in e-format Her Gentleman Thief, which is on Kindle and Nook for 99 cents (and who wouldn’t buy it at least twice for that price).

Mr. DiPasqua:  I'm still laughing out loud at your wit, Mr. DeHart.  Thanks for coming out!  Okay, folks, check out the giveaway that's being generously offered!

GIVEAWAY:  We’ll give away a digital copy of Her Gentleman Thief as well as a book of the readers choice (from Robyn’s backlist) either hard copy or ebook.(Note: Hard copies only for those who reside in Canada or US. Digital copies open internationally).

Mr. DiPasqua:  You sure that's not you on the cover?




RULES:
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: Don't forget to return tomorrow. Another RH will be here! Now, let's hear your comments or questions! :)

55 comments:

Virginia C said...

"Scholarly Alpha" sounds just about perfect for a romance hero. They don't come better than Indy...or Harrison, for that matter!

However, Betas are certainly worthy of romantic fantasies. I would like to see a Warrior Alpha Heroine partnered with a hunky, nerdy Beta Hero. They would have to team up in order to save their fabulous fantasy world from dark, demonic invaders. Opposites attract. She lights his hidden fires. He smoothes her rough edges. Kind of a supernatural "showgirl and the professor" type of romance. Oooh...I love it when those spectacles get steamed up...then they come off!

A Beta may start slow, and then build momentum. After a time, you may not be able to see any other man in your mind but your Beta. You will note and cherish each little lovely Beta quirk, and those idiosyncrasies will somehow become eroticisms. Your "nutty professor" may just become your "naughty professor", and you will definitely need, may even demand, extra tutoring : )

Mr. & Mrs. DeHart, keep those romantic sparks flying!!!

US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

MichelleKCanada said...

Awesome interview! I love that you met online. I'm going to have to share this link with some single girlfriends who aren't sure that guys of quality are online. You easy debunk that myth. You're adorable!

I haven't read one of your wife's book so great contest for me to enter.

MichelleKCanada
@AnotherLookBook
http://anotherlookbookreviews.blogspot.com/

another_look_book_reviews at hotmail dot ca

The BlogHore said...

Great interview boys! I loved it. FYI - I would totally buy a book titled "Socrates and Jane Austin Walk Into A Bar".

Can't wait for tomorrow's interview!

Kathy Ireland

carolyn said...

This is so much fun! I'm loving this blog. Mr. deHart, your definition of 'alpha' made me laugh out and I too would definitely buy 'Socrates and Jane Austin Walk into a Bar'. Of course, I'll also be buying Her Gentleman Thief - great title, great cover. Looking forward to being here tomorrow!

Heather said...

I have bookmarked this blog for my RH to read..

I am having so much fun reading about you husbands and how you support your wives.

Carol L. said...

Loving the Wedding Pics. This is so much fun. I love the answers. I'd like to know if anyone is giving Jimmy Thomas-the cover model on Her Gentleman Thief away ? lol I'm looking forward to reading tomorrow's .Thanks for sharing.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

kissablesweet1 said...

Since you are a huge fan of your wife's work Mr. DeHart, how do you keep from peeking while she's working on her next book? I think the fact you took her out to celebrate THE CALL was wonderful considering how tired you must have been. Shows an understanding husband (to-be at the time).

CrystalGB said...

What a cool interview. Your wedding photo is great. Has your wife ever been a guest speaker for one of your classes?

May said...

Love the wedding photo and love Calvin too... My worry is that I'll have a little boy like Calvin one day and I'll end up being like his mom in the comics...

Johanna R Jochum said...

I'm going to love reading about my favorite authors husbands! What a fun idea! Thanks for sharing with us today! I love your title suggestions!

evjochumo[AT]aol[DOT]com

Elizabeth said...

Indiana Jones of political science.
I like it :)

elizabeth_14@hotmail.co.uk

Thea said...

Hobbes is imaginary??? You dudes are rockin my world.

That said, any man who recites Shakespeare is AOK in my book. Wow, you give me hope, boys.

Hugs, thea

Landra said...

Phenom Interview! Mr. Dehart quotes Shakespeare! Robyn is a lucky lady.

Now to my question:
Mr. Dehart, morally is reading romance novels cheating on a spouse?

I know it's silly but you be surprised of the different arguments I hear when this question is posed by friends and hubby's of said friends.

Thanks for all of the great information and awesome wedding photo.

Rebecca WS said...

Mr. DeHart, or I should probably say, Dr. DeHart, you are too funny! I too would read Shakespeare and Jane Austen walk into a bar, and beta males definitely make better husbands, as do profs.

jeanette8042 said...

Great interview and I loved your personal romance title Socrates and Jane Austin Walk into a Bar haha

GFC follower
Fan on Facebook/Jeanette Juan
Joined Lila's Yahoo Newsletter group
lilazncutie1215[at]yahoo[dot]com

ShanaGalen said...

Very funny, Mr. DeHart! Since you are of the scholarly persuasion, and I know you enjoy reading, did you read romance before you met Robyn? Do you read any romance authors besides your wife? if not, who are your favorite authors?

Robyn DeHart said...

Oh my, what's that saying about when the cat is away, the mouse will play? You boys are incorrigible. Glad everyone is enjoying my DH's answers. Right now The Professor is at school teaching summer classes, but he'll be back this afternoon and will check in to answer all of your great questions.

Lila DiPasqua said...

Hi everyone! I just wanted to stop by and thank you, Mr. DeHart and Robyn. We're all enjoying this interview very much. It's a pleasure to have you both here.

Thanks to all the commenters! It's as fun reading your responses as it is reading the interviews! Glad everyone is having a great time!

Hugs,
Lila

Jeanne M said...

Mr. DeHart -
First of all thanks for mentioning that your favorite writer is Plato. I am printing out your interview to show my husband. We have been married for 41 years and when we first met one of the first things he asked me was "What is the most intresting author you ever read". I told him that Plato's Dialogues describing the trial and death of Socrates was wonderful and he should read it. He almost didn't ask me out again.

I'm so glad that I "discovered" Robyn and read The Treasurer Hunters trilogy. Please send her my thanks for the many hours of reading pleasure she shared with me. (I'm sure you must have helped with quite a few of the scenes because I could see a man's point of view in them so thanks to you too.)

My husband is even more of a baseball fan than you are (of course his "team" is the Red Sox). We have the advantage of not having to pay the big prices up in Boston because their minor league team is right here in Rhode Island and the tickets are really inexpensive. He likes baseball so much that a few years ago he became an umpire. Okay it's for Little League, Babe Ruth and Connie Mack but it's still baseball.

My question is if you could get box seats to any baseball game what two teams would you like to see playing at the game? (I've got sons and grandsons so I know which questions to ask).

Di said...

Mr. DeHart - very thoughtful responses - here's my questions:

1) you mentioned singing - how often do you sing to Robyn?

2) Your response to the question on suggestions to other RH's was very thorough - did you have that all thought out before this interview or did you really think them thru when asked the question here?

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Cathy P said...

Mr. DeHart, I loved your interview! Your reference to Socrates and Jane Austen walking into a bar was priceless and I loved your Shakespeare's Sonnet 116. How did you propose to your wife? You RH's rock!

Ora said...

I loved your answers. I believe every woman wants a ruggedly handsome alpha male with a scholary disposition. What the use in having the eye candy if you can't have a conversation with them.

Kati R said...

What an interview! =)

Good choice on Kerbey Lane!

Q: Some authors create a playlist for their books while they write. Do you sing to Robyn when she's writing?

_____
GFC: Kati R @Romancing Rakes
romancingrakes(at)gmail(dot)com
US

gamistress66 said...

love the advice ;) and think it's great you're a big fan of your wife's work. does she let you read as she writes or only after edits?

follower (FB-da kenney & blog)/newsletter group/US

gamistress66 (at) aol (dot) com

Na said...

Fantastic interview. I think it's cute that you first date took place in a bookstore, that is actually where I would like my first date to be too. So many ways to strike a conversation. I'm really looking forward to reading "Her Gentlemen Thief" among her books because I like heroines who are amateur sleuths.

Mr. DeHart, being the scholarly aplha male that you are, I was wondering which part of your wife's writing process do you participate in the most? The outlining, plotting, editing or...?

GFC follower
Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

Robyn DeHart said...

Kati R, you have my favorite question so far - I totally laughed out loud when I read it - does he sing to me while I write? No. I realize you asked him and I'm sure he'll have a thing or two to say about it, but I actually like it quiet when I write. That being said, I do use my earbuds when I need to close myself into my writing world and I rely almost exclusively on instrumental movie soundtracks for my writing time. Words distract me. I'm still chuckling though at the thought of him signing whilst I try to get words on the page and here's why....let's see how to put this. The very first time I heard him sing we were in the car going out and later when my mom asked me about the signing I told her it was like riding in a car with Pavarati - beautiful and really loud. :-)

Virginia said...

I love meeting my favorites authors spouse. Love your wifes books. When your wife is in her writing zone do you leave her to it or do you demand some of her attention too?

lead[at]hotsheet[dot]com

Candy G said...

Great interview! I love how you talk about your wife, it's the way it should be!

Helen said...

More great questions and answers it is so nice meeting the men behind these wonderful authors. I have to say I have all of Robyn's books and have loved them all. Oh to have such a romantic husband.

Have Fun
Helen

Sherry Isaac said...

Hello Mr. DiPasqua!

I'm visiting because Margie Lawson told me I should look up your wife, Lila. Glad I did because Lila and I exchanged a couple of emails last month, and because we did that her name is now stuck in my noggin', and because it is stuck in my noggin' I paid attention to the post on the TRW loop.
What a cool idea to promote Lila's latest book, and how generous of you to take part in such a hands on way. Kudos to you and all the husbands. I am so impressed. Many husbands would not jump into the romance-infested waters so willingly.
Behind every romance author is a smart and sexy man. When the stars align, that smart and sexy man is her husband.
At my house, the stars aligned. Ah!

Danielle Gorman said...

I am loving these interviews. The RH's are just so funny.

Mr. DeHart, I love your wife's books and I love that you love reading them too.

iqb99@yahoo.com

Paul DeHart (aka "The Professor") said...

What great comments!

To my sweet wife . . . Of course we boys are incorrigible. We are boys after all.

To our friend Shana Galen, does Dostoevksy's Crime and Punishment count or maybe certain of Dorothy Sayers entries in the Peter Wimsey series? But, in sackcloth and ashes, with garment rent, I confess I did not read romance proper until my wife. Beyond my wife (and Jane Austen), I haven't read other authors. But I have a list of some I would like to try. Pam Morsi and Teresa Medeiros come to mind. My wife thinks I would like Judith Ivory. And perhaps I'll give Nora (is the last name even required) a try. Oh, right, and I hear Shana Galen is quite talented (is her husband into sports?). And, last but not least, I think I should probably read Emily McKay. She's my wife's critique partner. And they share a brain. So I could go on the theory that while reading Robyn, I'm reading both OR on the theory that I'll learn more about the other part of her brain by reading Emily.

Given the positive feedback, I think I'll commence work on Socrates and Jane Austen Walk into a Bar right away--or persuade my wife to write it.

Kati R and Di--I sing to her, just not while she's writing. There's one song in particular. It's Other Pleasures, from Aspects of Love. My favorite rendition is on a Michael Crawford sings Andrew Lloyd Weber album (Robyn reminds me I've been singing that to her since we were dating). I suppose I also sing Italian arias from time to time--both to my wife and just because. I'd sing the German arias more often. But all those gutturals in German diction make it sound like you're spitting or clearing your throat all the time--less conducive to romance I'm guessing.

To Jeane M.--I have found Plato fascinating probably since I first heard of him in The Chronicles of Narnia. But I've since been reading him for years. Plato has a lot of profound things to say not only about justice and the good but also about beauty and love. Even when I disagree with him, I love to read him.

To Landra--I don't think reading a romance novel is the same as cheating on your spouse. But in my case, having only read my wife, if it were cheating, I'd be cheating on my wife with my wife. She tells me she's okay with that.

Paul DeHart (aka "The Professor") said...

Oh yes, and I'll be back later. Time to take the wife to dinner . . .

Connie@pennyforpenny said...

"Alpha Male means.....of Scholarly Disposition" Brilliant - Hillarious answers Mr. DeHart! How can one not walk away laughing after reading this interview. I must be the only 'dodo' who has not had the fortune of reading one of Robyn DeHarts books as yet! Well count me a fan getting to know her RH. 6yrs, 4mnths, 6dys - wow, another fine answer! So here's my question: Which of your wifes books would you recommend as my introduction to her works? CHEERS!

Artemis said...

Mr. DeHart,
I see that you quoted Shakespeare, but have you ever written poetry for Robyn? And what is Kerbey Lane?

Another great interview today!

cindersmaria AT yahoo DOT com

GFC Follower
US Resident
Facebook Friend

Micaela said...

Oh these just get better by the day? Mr DeHart your wife is very lucky to have you or should I say you are very lucky to have her....now I know you cook and change dirty diapers ... Especaily during hurricane season... Soooo Professor how do I enroll my other half in these classes?

Also does your wife have a facebook account?

*waves at Lila*

Susperia(at)hotmail(dot)com
Canada
Facebook follower
Shared interview on group wall The book pimps

Paul DeHart (aka "The Professor") said...

I should let my wife guest lecture--to teach my students about writing as an art. Perhaps she lectures vicariously. After all, when I'm preparing my undergrads (and, anymore, graduate students), for the first essay they turn into me, I borrow lines from her revision workshop (one she's frequently given with Emily McKay)--the quotes she uses about all writing being rewriting and easy reading being damn hard writing (which has been variously attributed but which I've seen most commonly ascribed to Nathaniel Hawthorne). Or I could just let her lecture because, well, in a political theory or a Con Law class, it would be interesting to see what ensued.

As to my participation in the writing process . . . I prefer to say that I serve in the role of muse. But I suppose the truth of the matter is that I'm more involved in brainstorming--usually responsible for the ideas that won't work but every now and then for a twist or turn in the plot. I particularly enjoy brainstorming when it involves danger or murder or situations in which the sky is about to fall (but, ultimately, doesn't).

Sometimes I read and provide feedback on early chapters and proposals. When it comes to reading the whole book, I frequently read either the proof pages or the arc. I should note that she never but never but never lets me (or anyone else) read the first or even second draft of her work.

My proposal . . . Well, it involved a picnic at an overlook that features, across the hill country, a plateau with a tree standing alone. Robyn has always loved that tree. She calls it her tree. We had a picnic at a stop off of a road locally called The Devil's Backbone. Best vantage to see that very Texas, Hill Country scene. There were crab cakes and candies (from this place in Austin called Lambs Candies). And there was wine. There was also a stuffed polar bear (that I made at Build-A-Bear) with a heart pillow and the ring inside that. And, finally there was a love-proposal letter. Oh yes, and on the way to the proposal I had Eva Cassidy singing You Take My Breath Away (not the version that plays in the movie Top Gun--but an older, rather more romantic and more profound song) playing in the car. So, either I'm a romantic sap OR I knew romance writers would hear the story and so it better be good OR I was really just very much in love OR all of the above. My wife also gave me a ring as an engagement gift. It has written around the exterior Hebrew characters from the Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon). Rendered literally, the language says Me to my beloved and my beloved (or she) to me. Commonly translated, "I am my beloved's and she is mine."

As to the interview questions--well, I thought them out as I answered them. Or I'm a savant. And a humble one at that. I have a new book about to release, one of which I'm very proud--Humility and How I Attained It (apologies to the family friend from whom I stole the joke).

Mr. Shana Galen said...

Professor,

Great interview. Nice to hear about the life of a fellow RH. I totally see you as the Indiana Jones type of professor.

Mr. D,

You have thrown two great parties. More to come I am sure.


Mr. Galen

Paul DeHart (aka "The Professor") said...

Artemis--

I have written my wife love letters though not love poems. When it comes to the affairs of the heart and written word, I'm rather better at prose than poetry. Though I have an undying affection for truly good poetry of all sorts (whether Sonnets or Epic).

Kerbey Lane is an outstanding restaurant (now a chain) in Austin, Texas. It's most known for pancakes but really everything there is good (the salsa is outstanding).

Connie--

Any of her books will do. And she might suggest Treasure Me, the final installment of her most recent series. But I say, start with the award winning first book of the trilogy, Seduce Me (they're both equally good--as is the second book). Her earlier work, including Courting Claudia and the Ladies Amateur Sleuth Society repay reading as well.

Micaela--

I do in fact change diapers. As for cooking, that's another matter. I make some of the best scrambled eggs around and a brilliant hamburger (for which I have a highly guarded, special recipe for the marinade. After that, I can very competently cook Stouffer's Lasagna and Macaroni and Cheese in the oven or in the microwave. And there is my finest meal--taking Robyn or the family to Kerbey Lane, Chuy's, or the Root Cellar. O yes, and I like to grill.

My wife does have an author's page on FB.

And . . . I can very honestly say that, when it comes to my relationship with Robyn, I'm the lucky one. But don't tell her I said that. I don't want it going to her head or anything.

Tarot By Arwen said...

What is the most romantic thing Robyn has ever done for you?

Tarot By Arwen said...

BTW, Austinite here as well and S. Lamar is my fave KL. :) They finally put the lemon poppyseed pancakes on the menu permanently. I'm happy. :)

Paul DeHart (aka "The Professor") said...

Mr. Galen (aka Ultimate Sports Fan),

Please tell my students that. Or maybe I should just start wearing the hat and carrying the bullwhip into the classroom (I'm guessing there's probably some university policy against doing the second thing).

I thought you and Mr. DiPasqua set a hi bar . . . So I did my level best to reach it. Speaking of which, we should raise mugs in a bar sometime to toast the adventurous life of RHs.

LilMissMolly said...

Loved the post. I had to laugh at the question about what do you immediately think about when you hear the word "ball"? My DOH has learned to appreciate historical romance over the years. After 20 years of marriage, he'll actually suggest watching a Jane Austen flick (we own them all and several versions). So my question is: How many times have you watched a Jane Austen flick and can you name them all (i.e., how many books did she write)?
lvsgund at gmail.com

Mr. DiPasqua said...

Hi everyone--

Glad you're having a great time! The A MIDNIGHT DANCE BLOG PARTY is definitely unique. I'm glad to see my guests' dance cards have been filled. :)

Sherry Isaac--I can't think of anything more fun than jumping into romance infested waters!! ;)

As for stars aligning, I'm the one whose truly blessed to have Lila.

Mr. Galen--You're right! Two great dance parties, and definitely more to come!

Mr. DeHart--Thanks again. Enjoyed all the scholarly...I mean, alpha male banter.

Mr. D

Paul DeHart (aka "The Professor") said...

The most romantic thing my wife has ever done for me . . . Well, there's not just one thing. There's the ring she gave me for our engagement (which she gave me shortly after I proposed and give her a ring; do you think she knew the proposal was coming?)--which has the passage from the Solomon's Song engraved on the outside. Then there's the pocket watch she gave me as a wedding present--with our engagement picture on the inside and our anniversary carved on the back. Then there's the book of love letters she's written me--with blank pages so that new letters can show up now and again. Or how about the fact that she has mastered my mom's spaghetti recipe, which years ago someone in my family acquired from an Italian restaurant in Little Italy in Cleveland, Ohio (when there was a real little Italy in Cleveland). She's also very supportive of my massive library that will one day cause the second floor of our house to collapse onto the first floor and cause my building at work to sink into the bedrock (she's even contributed a pricey volume to it on several occasions). Of course, we dread the thought of ever having to move again.

Paul DeHart (aka "The Professor") said...

LilMissMolly,

I am indeed aware that every Jane Austen book has been depicted in film. My wife owns them all (I think--she says most all but she got for Christmas one year a BBC collection that either included all of them or filled in all the gaps). I've seen Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice (both versions, I think), and Sense and Sensibility. I've even seen Becoming Jane. As an Indy Jone's esque alpha male I originally watched them hoping to see horse and carriage chases, much like car chases in today's action film. Imagine my initial disappointment when, lo and behold, no horse and carriage chases. Nor was there any regular dueling. But then I began watching to see Colin Firth's rather different approach to being an alpha male in the BBC Pride and Prejudice. And it occurred to me that Austen alpha males might provide a few tips for us more Indy Jones types. After all, even we Indy Jones types can use some tips or, to borrow from Victorian English, refinements.

Robyn DeHart said...

Artemis, as you might have noticed Mr DeHart is a tad too wordy to be a poet, but he is rather romantic and writes beautiful love letters.

Landra, I know you didn't ask me, but I have this disease where if I have an opinion and a platform for said opinion, I must share it. :-) But you asked about whether or not reading romance could be considered cheating and I know there's been a lot of similar talk in the news lately - the dangers of reading romance. Are we to assume too that those who read fantasy books believe in goblins and unicorns? And those who read mysteries, do they commit crimes in the spare time? I forget the statistic, but people who read romance novels are much more likely to be in monogamous relationships. Personally I think most people who read romance do so because we believe in the goodness of people and we love to watch them overcome their own personal darkness to find their own happily ever after. Love is a powerful thing, it's consuming at times and getting to ride that wave and fall in love again and again, well who doesn't enjoy that? Okay soapbox done and I'll leave and let the boys continue their fun.

Karen said...

Mr. DeHart:
How do you help Mrs. DeHart when her writing muse takes an unathorized vacation? What tricks do you use to help her get back on track? Are they similar to what you do for deadlines?
Very nice interview - I do love a dry sense of humor!
kacbooks at hotmail dot com

Paul DeHart (aka "The Professor") said...

Karen,

Well, seeing as I'm her muse and I never take a vacation, she's always inspired. But seriously, my wife's says there's no such thing as writers block. She has this quote (maybe from Jack London): something like, I only write when I'm inspired and so I make sure I'm inspired every morning at 8 a.m. Her disinclination to embrace the notion of writer's block notwithstanding, she does sometimes say that she's "stuck." On such occasions I generally try to get her to do or think about something else. Usually a good movie or a meal out at a restaurant with a chef for whom cooking is an art or, sometimes a concert will do the trick. I try to get her out of the house and to things that refill the artistic well. But I also adopt this strategy in light of studies suggesting that the brain sometimes works best on a problem with which it's been engaged (and on which it's blocked or stuck) when that problem is at the back rather than the front of one's thought processes (Princeton physicists playing pool at a bar and discovering the solution to some problems come to mind).

Paul DeHart (aka "The Professor") said...

Thanks Mr. DiPasqua for hosting the Midnight Dance Blog party . . . and, of course, to Lila DiPasqua (whose novels are also on my "to read list). This has been a great fun. And it is always a great pleasure to interact with romance readers and other RHs.

A number contributors to the thread said how much they enjoyed Robyn's books or that they were going to get a copy straight away. And I can't tell you how happy I am when I read such comments. The books comprising her oeuvre are wonderful, touching, and adventurous love stories imbued with humor, wit, and charm throughout. In particular, I hope you'll take a look at her most recent trilogy--The Legend Hunters series (Seduce Me, Desire Me, and Treasure Me) as well as the shorter Her Gentleman Thief.

Robin said...

What a cute post! I like the smart ass/smart guy combo... I do love his wife's books too!

robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

marybelle said...

I laughed. “A gathering of lords and ladies” & "the hero and heroine traipsing through some cave" rank high on best answers ever.

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Landra said...

Robyn and Mr. Dehart,
Thanks for the opinions on my question. It's fine to get on the soap box Robyn, I do too whenever that question pops up!

It was a joy to get to meet you both and I'll be devouring Robyn's books very soon.

Emma said...

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO WRITE Her Gentleman Thief? Great interview.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com

shadow_kohler said...

Hi guys! You both sound like your having fun! I am reading this post. :) Mr DeHart, when Mrs DeHart gets a call saying another of her books is getting published, how do you both celebrate?
shadow_kohler(at)att(dot)net