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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

In Detail With Mirella Patzer


Mirella Patzer is touring the blog-o-sphere this month to share information with people about her book - Bloodstone Castle. Today we'll dig into the details about Mirella and Bloodstone Castle...


Tell us the book title and your author name.

Hello, my name is Mirella Patzer and the title of my novel is Bloodstone Castle.

What inspired the book?

After years of research and writing a novel about the 10th century, I needed a diversion, one that would release me from the confines of sticking to the facts and which would allow me to let my creativity run free. Bloodstone Castle is the result.

What makes this book special to you?

This book is special because it is the first novel that I created from start to finish. The characters, the castle, the plot,

it is all developed from my imagination. The only thing that is not fictional in the novel is the locations – Genoa, Portovenere, and Savona are actual locations in Italy.

What makes this a book that other people MUST read and WHY?

I worked very hard to give people something different than the usual romance novel. I wanted it to be suspenseful, mysterious, funny, and full of new ideas and scenes. I added a bit of the odd and unusual too. I wanted it to be a unique experience, a novel away from the mainstream historical romances.


What people NEED to read this book and WHY?

Bloodstone Castle is meant to be pure escapism and fun. I want the book to entertain, to allow my reader to escape life’s little stressors and discover a new heroine, a new hero, and an exotic setting.


What sparks your creativity? Any tips to help others spark their own creativity?

There is inspiration everywhere – on tv, in persons we know, in books we read. I often stumble on a tidbit of research that sparks a new idea for a novel or a scene I can put my characters in. Or I sit and watch a movie that makes me think about my own novels. Many times, I dream at night about my characters and in the morning, I have a new idea.

What has been the biggest stumbling block in your writing? Can you share some tips to help others get past similar problems?

Work / life balance is what I personally always struggle with. During the day, I care for my 2 year old grandson while my daughter is in law school. When he naps, or before he wakes up in the morning, or after he goes to bed at night is when I manage to get to work on my email and blogs, or write book reviews, or work on promoting my novel. On the weekends, I try to focus on working on my current works in progress or focusing on critiquing the work of fellow authors who belong to my critique group. It is a daily struggle but I have found keeping to a basic schedule such as what I’ve described immensely helpful. Keep aside time to write, no matter how small. For me, at this stage of my life, writing occurs on the weekened.

What do you think motivates people to become authors? What motivated you to get into this unusual industry?

I never aspired to be a writer. And to make matters worse, I never believed I could write even though I’ve been an avid reader all my life. It wasn’t until the mid 1990’s when I learned about my family’s history during World War II that the spark to write was born.

The Battle of the Moro River occurred on my grandfather’s vineyards in Italy. Hundreds of Canadian and America soldiers died there. My mother and her family lost everything because of the German occupation of their tiny town. They survived by living in caves throughout the battle and for eight months afterward while they tried to rebuild their bombed home. So before I can write this story, I need to walk that land, breathe the air in that cave, walk the past the grave stones of the Moro River War cemetary to honor the soldiers who lost their lives on my family’s vineyards. Only then can I do justice to my mother’s story. In the meantime, I hone my skills and practice my art by researching and writing my current works in progress.

Tell me about the most unusual things you have done to promote any books?

I have learned a lot about promoting books. The funnest experience I had was working with seventeen other Italian Canadian women to promote our book, Mamma Mia: Good Italian Girls Talk back. This was a sometimes sad, sometimes humorous anthology about growing up as Italian Canadian women. We fed the masses with espresso coffee and cookies. We invaded every Chapter’s store within the vicinity of where we lived. We held a book launch at Pier 21 to honor the immigration experience our parents endured.

I’m also learning to blog, to create websites, and to join writer’s groups and reader’s groups. I’ve also learned to make a book trailer. Now, I’m learning about virtual tours. I spend hours every day updating information, blogging, writing book reviews, and working hard at participating in the writing community in any way I can.

I think I must be doing something right, because the local media is contacting me this time, and not the other way around. Who says hard work doesn’t pay off?

FICTION - If there is a setting, tell us how you decided on that setting and what you did to create a complete and vivid setting for your readers?

When I decided to write an historical romance, I didn’t have a plot in mind. I wanted to set my story in Italy because of my Italian heritage. And I wanted the story to be centered around a castle. A Google Image search for Italian castles provided me with a picture of a castle in Portovenere. As I began to develop the plot, I researched the vicinity of Portovenere and I included Savona and Genoa into the story.

FICTION - What inspires you about the hero or heroine in your book? What makes them memorable for the reader? What motivates the hero and/or heroine? You can include information about both if you want.

Both the hero and heroine understand their duty and responsibility to their family. Both Amoro and Morena have loving family backgrounds with positive relationships with their parents. It is the outside influences and people that bring conflict in their lives.

My hero, Amoro, knows he will be duke of Genoa one day and when his father is murdered and he learns his father’s last wish was for him to marry the daughter of their family’s enemy, Morena. Even though Amoro feels honor-bound to grant his father’s wish, he makes the best of the situation and does his best to win her heart and make it a love match. He treats people fairly and with dignity. I admire that quality in people.

Morena is also a woman raised to do her duty. Her mother died in childbirth so her father doted on her. Despite Amoro’s attempts to convince her otherwise, she struggles with abandoning a betrothal agreement entered into by her father with the villain. She is willing to sacrifice all to protect Amoro, her true love.

FICTION - Is there a villain or something that causes friction in your story? Tell us about what or who it is and how that contributes to the story. Any details about conflict and friction is good information to know.

The villain in my story is Duke Ernesto of Savona. He is the spoiled son of an impoverished duke whose gambling habits force him to take extreme action. Ernesto is pure evil and his deeds create most of the tension from start to finish in my story.

~*~

The Complete Tour Schedule – http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/05/mirella-patzer-virtual-book-tour.html

During the tour, we encourage people to visit each tour stop shown on the schedule. Each comment on any of the tour stops is an entry in the book giveaway. Several copies of Bloodstone Castle will be given away at the end of the month. One will be given to the “best” comment, one for the “most unique and relevant” question. In addition, the blog host where the winning comments were posted will also win a copy of the book. So, visit Mirella, learn more about Bloodstone Castle and post comments. Mirella looks forward to getting to know her readers.


3 comments:

Chelsea said...

Hi Mirella and Niki, I'm enjoying the blog tour so far!

I was wondering, hoping it won't spoil the book too much, if Mirella could tell us about the most frustrating part of her novel, and how she managed to get through writing it?

Mirella Patzer said...

Good morning, Nikki and Chelsea,

So glad to hear you're enjoying the blog tour. I'm out in the west so am always a little behind in signing in to the site. But I'm here now.

One of the most frustrating things about writing Bloodstone Castle was that I made my hero, Amoro, far too much of an alpha male and this comment kept creeping up from amongst my critiquers. So I kept trying to find ways to soften him up, gentling his dialogue, and making him vulnerable. I think it workd.

So striking that balance between making your hero the strong silent type and still keep him gentle and likeable was the most frustrating part of writing this novel for me.

Mirella Patzer said...

Thanks for hosting me on this site. It was a ton of fun. I look forward to hosting future authors on some of my own blogs. I very much enjoy talking with other authors and readers.