My parents still live in Italy. The lockdown there has been very strict. As everyone in Italy carries identity cards with their details, I had an idea. What would happen if a man still had his estranged wife’s address on his identity card?
I imagined the police stopping him in the street and forcing him to go ‘home’ to his wife’s flat. How would the two of them react being trapped together, if there was still had a strong sexual chemistry between them? This is how the first short story was born. Then I thought of other people who might be forced together by the lockdown and be attracted to each other, and the other stories were born.
Interestingly, the most popular have been Lockdown With My Boss, Lockdown With My Brother-in-law and Lockdown With My Ex, while by far the least popular has been Lockdown With My Husband. I should have expected it, shouldn’t I?
Now that summer has arrived, I’ve started a
new series called Steamy Sicilian Summer Nights but I think that I might
still add new stories to the Lockdown series when I get new ideas.
2) Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
I plan my characters beforehand and I have
a pretty good idea of where the story is going, but sometimes the characters
take the lead and guide me somewhere else. When that happens, it’s a lot of
3) What is your writing process? Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants (Pantser) or a combination of both?
When I have a rough idea of what the main
points of the story will be, I start writing. I need to know what the
characters want, what stops them from having it and how they’ll get it in the
end. The rest comes up as I write.
4) Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen, laptop and a comfy place.
I don’t have a strict ritual, but I find that listening to certain music puts me in the right mood. The soundtrack for the Lockdown series has been I’m Not the Only One by Sam Smith. I find this song extremely sexy and I’ve listened to it on repeat more times than I can count. I also find it easier to write the hotter scenes at night, when everyone is asleep and I’m all alone.
5) Do you have a favorite line or scene in any of your books?
I love the opening scenes of
Lockdown With My Ex. I love Alessio’s Italian swearing and the banter between
him and Chiara. These two are clearly very much attracted to each other even
though he calls her a rompipalle, a ball-breaking pest, and she’s so fed
up with her body’s reaction to him that she’s contemplating giving up the
shared custody of their dog so that she won’t have to see him again.
6) What’s your favorite thing about being an author/writer?
I love spending time in other people’s
lives, even when they are not real people. I love feeling what they feel, enjoying
what they enjoy and taking the readers with me into the world I’ve created. I
feel a special connection with the readers, because we’ve shared something.
7) If you could choose, which published author would you like to brainstorm
with and why?
I’d love to work with Talia Hibbert. I’ve
just discovered her and am enjoying her books.
8) Do you have anything you would like to say to your current readers or to those that haven't yet read your work(s)?
I love to hear from you. What you’ve liked about the stories, what you didn’t like, what or who you would like to see in my next stories.
I haven’t got a website or social media yet, but I’m thinking of setting something up soon and in the meantime I’ve been communicating with my readers through Booksprout. Or you can sign up to my newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/a88e0fdf15f7/leasiciliana
9 9) What future projects are on the horizon for you?
I want to write something longer, like a novella or a novel. It’s hard for me because I’m an impatient person and I can’t wait for my characters to come to their happy ending and to share the story with my readers. With a novel you have to wait a long time before you can share the story with the readers. I guess that I’ll just have to grow up and learn patience. Thank you for having me in your blog😊. Lea x
Steamy Sicilian Summer Nights series:
Racy Lockdown Romances series:
Excerpt from Lockdown With My Boss
Palermo, Sicily. 10th March 2020
I’ll be home soon. Back in my apartment, all on my own, away from my white-hot boss. I can’t wait. But right now, I’m standing with him in the queue to check out of the hotel, not at all far away from him. In fact, too close. I can smell his aftershave and it makes my skin tingle and desire pool in my belly. After this, we’ll have to sit together in the taxi, and on the airplane, and on another taxi again… Argh.
It’s not fair. Men like Lorenzo Treviano shouldn’t be on the board of a company. They should be models who pose for the covers of magazines, surrounded by women who are as beautiful as them and can fall for them without fear of being inadequate.
Because everyone knows that the law of hotness is never broken other than with money, prestige or power, and unfortunately I don’t have any of them, while he has them all— hotness included.
It’s not fair for a plain little woman like me to be the secretary of a man like Lorenzo. I should have never accepted the job. Instead, I’ve been smoldering every day, nine till five—and often beyond—for the past three years. Sometimes I wonder if I should wear a bib to catch the drool. While my colleagues drink coffee for their breaks, I drink iced water, to keep my blood cool. What else can I do when I spend all day enveloped in such powerful male pheromones?
And now this conference… As if working for Lorenzo from nine till five without touching him hadn’t been hard enough, I’ve had to spend breakfast till night with him. Last night, when we were standing at the bar, we were so close that it took all my willpower not to reach out and run my fingers over his chest to feel if it was as hard as it looked under the tight shirt. Can you imagine if I’d done it, if I’d felt the guy up?
And why, instead of a conference on garden vegetables, I should have to accompany him, why a sex toys conference?
“Why is the checkout queue taking so long?” I ask. The hall is filling up and nobody seems to be leaving the hotel. Some people are even going back to the elevators.
“There seems to be some problem,” he rumbles in his deep manly voice. The guy is a workplace safety hazard for all my senses.
When we finally get to the concierge, the man pulls an apologetic face. “Before you decide to check out, I need to inform you that all flights are cancelled.”
“What the cazzo?” Lorenzo grates.
We whip out our phones. He’s right. Italy has gone into lockdown. There’s no way we can get to Milan, not today.
“We’ll keep our rooms, then, please,” Lorenzo says.
The concierge twists his mouth. “We’re running short of rooms. It would be very helpful to us and other people who are due to check in later today, if you could share a suite, if you don’t mind. It has separate bedrooms. We would charge you half the price, as a thank you. It would help us ensure that we don’t have to turn away anyone, in this emergency,” the concierge says.
No, no, no. Sleeping in the same hotel as Lorenzo is already too close for comfort, sharing a suite is definitely too much. But it would be heartless to insist to have my own room, if it means that the hotel will turn away other people. Can I suggest I share a room with these other people instead? No, that would sound crazy. Argh.
“I have no issues with that. What about you, Viv?” Lorenzo asks breezily.
Damn. How can he always be so cool about everything? Of course, it’s because he’s not drooling after me. If I refuse, I’ll look like the difficult, heartless woman who makes trouble for everyone just because she’s a prude. I have little choice. “It’s fine by me too.”