Megan Mulry's stylish debut, A Royal Pain, is an unusual fairy tale, but one romance columnist Christie Ridgway calls "a modern love story fizzing with bubbles of Cinderella fantasy." For anyone who watched the Royal Wedding in rapt attention—or simply lusted after those hats—this story of a Yank and a Brit is the perfect contemporary spin on fairy-tale love.

We chatted with Mulry about British gossip, sexy waiters and much more.

Describe your book in one sentence.
A Royal Pain is the story of a strong-willed, independent American woman who unwittingly falls for a British duke . . . trials and tribulations ensue.

What's your celebrity guilty pleasure? Do you love British royalty gossip?
The Duchess of Cambridge is my celebrity guilty pleasure. I try to rationalize that visits to www.whatkatewore.com are really my way of addressing matters of high sociological philosophy and help me speak to modern feminism. I'm really just there for the dresses. I'm not that into the gossip side of things . . . I'm more of a voyeur than a delver.

What are the sexiest scenes to write?
The ones at the beginning of a relationship when both characters are a little unsure; I love writing scenes that are all tingly and full of unspoken promise.

Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?
All the best people, darling! Julia Child, Christopher Hitchens, Coco Chanel, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Devonshire, Caitlin Moran, Colin Firth, Anthony Bourdain, Vita Sackville-West and some of my real-life friends to round out the numbers. David Gandy would be the waiter.

How do you conquer writer's block?
I write every day. No excuses.

What's one book your readers might be surprised to know you have read?
I am in the process of reading the 10 original Harlequin Presents by Violet Winspear, Anne Hampson and Anne Mather. Not that surprising, actually.

What's next?
Earl Meets Girl (June 2013) and L is for Lady (November 2013) are the next two books in this royal series. There's also a sexy little historical novella coming out sometime in 2013.

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