Please Welcome the Fabulous Laura DiSilverio, AKA Lila Dare

By Cornelia Read, at least the intro…

The coolest thing about having a website is having a “contact” email link–you get to hear from old friends, and even make new ones. I can’t remember how Laura DiSilverio and I first started emailing each other, but the exchanges quickly turned into the kind of wonderful conversations you sometimes get to have with some cool person you end up getting seated next to on an airplane: wide-ranging, honest, funny.  And then grew into something beyond that, into a real friendship. 

I read an early manuscript of hers, which I think still is pure genius and should be published, and I got to hear updates on how things were going with her writing, her family, her friends, her kids, as she did mine. And finally, at Bouchercon in Indianapolis last fall, we got to meet in person. Can I just say here that Laura is AWESOME? She’s great fun to hang out with, and smart and funny and gorgeous, and a truly gifted writer. I am honored to call her my friend, and so excited to introduce her here to all you wonderful ‘Ratis. 

Please welcome Laura DiSilverio, writing as Lila Dare. Her first novel, Tressed to Kill, has just been published by Berkley, and is already getting scads of glowing reviews.

Publishers Weekly gave her a starred review, commenting: “Fans of the themed cozy will rejoice as new talent Dare debuts her Southern Beauty Shop series… Dare turns this off-the-rack concept into a tightly plotted, suspenseful mystery, and readers will love the pretty, plucky, smart, slightly damaged herone and the rest of the charming cast.”

Check out her fabulous website:

Describe your latest book/project/work.

The first in my Southern Beauty Shop mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime debuts on 4 May.  Tressed to Kill features five women who live in fictional St. Elizabeth, Georgia, and work in Violetta’s Salon.  I think of it as “Steel Magnolias with dead bodies.”  Lots of humor, heart and suspenseful plotting, according to very insightful reviewers and blurbers.  Buy it.  Please.


What fictional character would you like to date, and why?

I was going to answer this in a humorous way–I’m pretty sure some of the guys I’ve dated have been fictional characters—but then I asked my recently widowed, seventy-five-year-old mom this question. Our exchange went like this:

      “You know, that guy I liked in that movie we went to.”  Asked to clarify, she said, “The one in the sequel.  He had super powers.”

     Oh, him.

     “His hands turned into knives.”

     “Wolverine?”  I asked.

     “Yes!” said with enthusiasm.  “But he’d need to do something with his hair.”

     So, the answer is, Wolverine, as portrayed by Hugh Jackman, but only if he combs his hair.



Who’s wilder on tour, rock bands or authors?

If I were a hotel, I’d rather book a room to an author.  Consider:  Rolling Stones vs Carolyn Hart, Amy Winehouse vs Dave Barry, Guns-n-Roses vs P.D. James.  Writers know how to drink with the best of ’em, but it’s just harder to destroy lamps and bedside tables with a laptop than it is with a guitar.


On a clear and cold day, do you typically get outside into the sunshine or stay inside where it’s warm?

I’ve got a dog . . . need I say more?  We walk every day–in the cold, the heat, the rain, the snow, the wind, when I’d rather be reading More magazine with a glass of wine . . . you get the picture.


Talk about your vision of the ideal life.

     I’m living it.  I’m still with my starter hubby (seventeen years in June!) and we appreciate each other more as time goes on.  We have two lovely daughters who delight us with their wit and kindness and haven’t yet (they’re only 10 and 12) distressed us with any of the following statements:

            – “Come bail me out.”

            – “I’m pregnant.”

            – “I totaled the car.”

            –  (Yes, I realize there are even more frightening things they could say, but I’d rather not dwell on those things.  Don’t write and tell me about them.)

     We have our health (mostly), good friends, and get to live in Colorado.  I am blessed to write every day and get paid for it.  Life is good and I am thankful.



Dogs, cats, budgies, or turtles?

Companions, shedders, poopers, salmonella.


If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?


     What I’d like to hear:  “Welcome.  You’ve been upgraded to the penthouse suite.”

     What I’m more likely to hear: “I’m not seeing your reservation in our system.  Do you have a confirmation number?  You weren’t paying much attention when I mentioned that your reservation was tied to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  Let’s review (in no particular order):

–  Yes, your brothers count as neighbors, even though they lived in the same house with you for going on seventeen years.  Oops.

–  The year you turned thirteen and made your mom cry every day with your sulks, anger, and general shittiness stands out.  Hormones are not an excuse.  Damn.  And just when I’m old enough to start blaming them again for my bitchiness.

– Would it have killed you to coach your daughter’s soccer team just one season?  Probably.

–  And that guy in San Antonio in 1982.  What was that all about?  Just be grateful that night was pre-AIDS epidemic.  Which guy? Can you narrow it down for me?

     See what I’m getting at?  Maybe we can squeeze you in out back in the parking structure.”


Recommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise. Please provide a brief introduction about the list. You’re welcome to describe each book, as well, but that part is optional.


Five Books Given to Me as Gifts that Are Incredibly Meaningful (Mostly Because of Who Gave Them to Me)  (Yeah, I know it’s a long title, but it’s my list.)


1.     High Tide in Tucson by Barbara Kingsolver

            My father gave me this.  I think it’s the only gift buying task he didn’t abdicate to   my mom.

2.     Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

From my friends Fred and Ellen, specifically to share with my daughters.

3.     Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose

Given to me by my friend Jill who is so in touch with who I am and what’s important to me.

4.     The Cider House Rules by John Irving

From my friend Jamie who died climbing Mont Blanc.

5.     Venetia by Georgette Heyer

With this book, my mom introduced me to my life-long favorite comfort books, Heyer’s Regency novels.


Laura and I are both on the road today–she’s touring and I’m driving home to New Hampshire after the Edgars in NYC, but we will both be checking in today as often as possible. Thanks you guys, and please give Laura a very warm welcome!

13 thoughts on “Please Welcome the Fabulous Laura DiSilverio, AKA Lila Dare

  1. Fran

    Hi Laura/Lila! I’m sure we’ll be stocking your book, and I look forward to reading it and selling it!

    What a great interview, Cornelia, but I’ve gotta say, Laura, if those are the worst things you can get called on when you get to the Pearly Gates, I’m pretty sure you’re gonna be upgraded to the penthouse suite (not the "Penthouse" Suite, you understand!) immediately!

  2. Cornelia Read

    Fran, that distinction just made me laugh SO hard, which is a little embarrassing because I’m watching a pal power shop at Saks in NYC right now. Totally worth it, though!

    Louise, you are a total goddess.

  3. Lila/Laura

    Hi all–I’m taking a quick break here at Malice Domestic. Thanks, Cornelia, for letting me join the ‘Rati for a day. I’m mostly a "lurker" but find you all so insightful. Thanks, Fran and Louise, for taking the time to read and comment. I’m sure those are not the worst things I can get called on at the Pearly Gates, but they’re the only ones I’m fessing up to in a blog my mother reads. My daughters are just headed into puberty so I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to add homicide to the list within a year or two.

    Back to the panels. I’ll try to check in again later.

  4. anonymous

    L/L I am sooooo buying your book on the 4th and one for my friend who will LOVE your new "cozy" series. She has a ‘thing’ for Georgia. Very exciting.

    Q. What kind of dog do you have?

    Thank you for a cute interview Cornelia! You two women are very funny and great to start a Saturday with.

  5. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Cornelia and welcome Laura/Lila!

    Congrats on your debut and on the great reviews. I second Louise – if the book is like your answers here, it’s going to be a riot ;-]

  6. BCB

    Funny interview, ladies, well done! I agree with what others have said, Lila — love your voice and sense of humour. I’m not a huge fan of cozy mysteries, but this one sounds too good to pass up. I lived in Georgia for 10 years and can’t wait to see what you’ve done with your characters. Went over to your blog and read the first chapter . . . I’ve met women like Constance DuBois. Scary. 😉

  7. Lila/Laura

    Hi all! IMalice is wrapping up for the day–just the banquet this evening–and I’ve got a chance to do the ‘puter thing on the hotel computer which only costs $7.50 for 15 minutes. Aagh. Anyway–Anonymous, thanks for saying you’ll buy the book. Music to my ears. My dog is a Wire-haired pointing Griffon. I think there’s going to be a photo of me with him on the Romantic Times site starting Monday (?) so check us out.

    Thanks, Zoe. I think TRESSED TO KILL is funny and I hope you do too. I have a PI series coming from St. martin’s in Oct which has a little sharper edge to the humor. The first book is SWIFT JUSTICE.

    BCB–I think we all know women like Constance who go out of there way to hurt others. That’s truly scary. Thanks for checking out my web site. Maybe reading TRESSED TO KILL will convert you to traditionl mysteries. 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  8. Allison Brennan

    Terrific interview Cornelia and Lila/Laura!!! I really enjoyed it. I didn’t read ANNE OF THE GREEN GABLES until I was in college and then I devoured all seven books (I think it was seven. Nine?) My great-grandfather was born on Prince Edward Island.


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