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Today I invite you to visit medieval Italy with Mirella Patzer, author of Bloodstone Castle, released earlier this month. Mirella brings romance, adventure, murder, hidden treasure and much more.
Q: Mirella, your book sounds like a treasure hunt crossed with a whodunnit. What is the main premise?
A: Bloodstone Castle is a romantic suspense set in medieval Italy. It is the story of one woman pursued by two men. It is a story about duty and love, desperation and honor. At the root of the story is an ancient Roman treasure lost centuries earlier and believed to be buried somewhere beneath the heroine's castle, Bloodstone Castle.
Q: The book is set in Italy. Do you have a connection to that country?
A: My parents immigrated to Canada from Italy in the 1950's. I've been to Italy to visit my relatives several times and I am in love with the country, the people, and its rich history.
Q: How can people get hold of the book?
A: My book is currently available at Amazon and is available to all book sellers. In addition, the ebook version will soon be available on Fictionwise, Amazon, and other major retailers. I am currently recording the unabridged audio book version and hopefully this will be available late in 2008.
Q: Is there a sequel in the making?
A: At this time, I'm not contemplating writing a sequel to Bloodstone Castle. Instead, I'm currently working on two novels. The Orphan in the Olive Tree, another medieval romance actually written in the medieval times by a French queen. I'm expanding the story into novel length and placing my personal stamp on it by developing the characters and changing the setting to Italy. At the same time, I'm working on the first book in a series pertaining to the women of the Ottonian Empire. The first book is called A Crimson Mantle. It is complete in first draft format.
Q: What is the WORST piece of writing advice you've ever heard?
A: I once heard that the best way to write a book was to spew it out and clean up the mess later. That advice may work for others, but it does not work for me. I am more thoughtful and meticulous when writing. I take a great deal of time to develop the plot or to research. I also polish a chapter as best as I can before moving on to the next. And then after I have a first draft, I run each chapter through my critique groups to ensure the chapter doesn't have any major plot holes or problems. It is amazing how much better a chapter becomes with feedback from fellow critique partners.
Q: You're an editor for a publishing house. How did you land the job?
A: I became an editor through a stroke of good luck. I own and operate a critique group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Historical-Fiction-Writers-Critique-Group and I belong to: http://groups.yahoo.com/HisFichttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/HisFicCritique/?yguid=240809935a a group owned by Anne Whitfield, a fellow author of historical fiction. She began working at Enspiren Press. The Owner of Enspiren Press was looking for people willing to learn to become editors. Their main requirement was experience in critiquing and a strong willingness to learn to edit. Anne thought I fit the bill exactly and recruited me. I jumped at the offer because it is the kind of work where one will always learn. As I had just retired from a 28 year career as a manager for a local police department, the timing was perfect and I could devote the time to learn.
Q: What do you do when you're not reading a book or writing one?
A: I take care of my two year old grandson while my daughter is in law school. In between, I blog and write book reviews. I also love to cook for my family. I've never been happier with my life.
Thank you very much for such an enjoyable interview.