The three writers have graduations and weddings to plan and attend, so we're taking a short break.
Next month, look for our new promotion – The Summer Book Bash! We're teaming up with Cruise Planners agent Janet McLaren to get you the summer read you need! We'll be giving away a digital copy of one of our books each week. You won't want to miss this!
And now . . . Tell us your story, Roberta!
What genre do you write?
I write contemporary romance. I try to keep it clean, and even if I decide to put sex scenes, they’re definitely not graphic, steamy or hot, but they’re very sweet and romantic. I’m a sucker for romance but I don’t really feel the need to read hot sex scenes to enjoy a good book, so that’s what I try to do in my own writing too. I love writing a romance that’s sweet and romantic, without erotica or alpha male, although these two things seem to be very popular nowadays. I guess I’m a bit old-fashioned on that.
How long have you been writing and how many published works?
I’d say for approximately 15-18 years. I’ve been writing since I was a teenager, although my love for books and writing started when I was a child. Back then, when I was in school and loved writing essays, I didn’t realize writing could actually be a job, so I never give much thought to it. I started writing fan fiction when I was in high school, but I never thought I’d ever publish any of my stories. I seriously started thinking about publication in the past three-four years, when I realized that maybe someone could be interested in reading my stories, which had in the meantime evolved from fan fiction into novellas, and I decided to challenge myself and write a full-length novel. So far I’ve only self-published one novel, but I’m currently going through the second draft of a new novel, which I hope to release by the end of the year.
Of the novels you've written, which is your favorite and why?
I don’t really like to say a novel is my favorite, because all of them are my babies and it would be like asking a mother who’s her favorite child. But I can say that the novel I’m working on now is really special to me, because it was something I’d started writing a few years ago, when a sad event hit my family, and I’d used writing as a therapy to help me get over the pain. It was a sort of first draft at the time, and it was written in my language (Italian) but I’ve recently decided to revise it, translate it and update it a bit, so I’m really loving the way it’s coming along. I guess so far this is my favorite novel, but only because it’s very close to my heart for personal reasons.
Do you have a favorite character from your work?
I like all of them, each one for a different reason. It could be a trait of their personality, something funny they said or did, the way they look, but I can’t really pick a favorite character.
Where do you get your story ideas?
I’m a daydreamer. I daydream a lot, really bad. And I love happy endings. I’m a sucker for books and movies with happy endings, so I’m always looking for a happy ending in my everyday life (although getting one is not as easy as writing one!). This gives me the opportunity to keep looking around and find new inspirations for my stories. I can get inspiration in the line of a song, in a person I see on the street, or even in dreams. The next novel I have in mind (which I already started writing some months ago, and will probably be my third book to be published) was inspired by a dream I had. When I woke up I had the characters clearly visible in my mind, and I wrote down a short description and the emotions I was feeling at that moment, and I plotted a whole story from those few notes. It might sound crazy, but I can actually say that I’ve actually dreamed the awesome male character in that novel into life. J
Is there anyone in particular who has influenced your writing career?
I’m a big fan of Rosamunde Pilcher, Maeve Binchy and Nicholas Sparks, in the romance genre. I can definitely say that their books have influenced me and they also made me realize I wanted to be a writer, although I’m not a full-time writer yet. But maybe one day I’ll get there, fingers crossed!
What do you do when you're not writing?
I’m reading! I have a day job I’m not fond of, so I don’t have much free time, at least not as much as I’d like to. But I’m a real bookworm, so when I’m not writing I’m most probably reading. Or I’m dedicating some time to my other hobbies, which include creative activities like painting on ceramic, knitting, creating jewellery with beads, things like that. And I also love listening to music.
What's one thing about you that most people don't know?
If I told you now, everyone would know! J So I guess I’d better keep it a secret.
(To be honest the real answer that came to my mind was: I have no idea, so I’ll just make up something that sounds intriguing just to keep the reader hanging… Okay, I guess this proves I’ll never have a career in writing suspense novels!)
What's next on your writing journey?
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m working on my second novel and I’m really looking forward to hearing what readers think about it. It’s a contemporary romance with a little “angelic” theme. You can find the blurb on Goodreads, the title is Hugged By An Angel http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17306091-hugged-by-an-angel
Feel free to add it to your to-read list! J
My debut novel “The Melody In Our Hearts” is available in paperback and ebook. You can find it on Createspace, Amazon (all marketplaces) and Smashwords. If you do get to read it, please leave a review so I get to know if you liked it. Any constructive criticism is always very welcome!
Createspace paperback: https://www.createspace.com/4089809
Amazon paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1481208454