Please join me in welcoming guest blogger Mirella Patzer। I asked Mirella some interview questions which she has answered below। If you have more questions for Mirella just leave them in the comment section! Thanks for being here today Mirella!
In medieval Italy, two men face each other with ruthlessness and intensity. Enter their world of splendour and depravity, of passion and wickedness. It is Italy’s most dazzling and dangerous age, and as Duke Amoro of Genoa and Duke Ernesto of Savona match wits and cunning, it is a dance the death to decide which one of them will win the hand of the beautiful Countess Morena and the hidden treasure of Bloodstone Castle.
I am the eldest daughter of Italian immigrants who came to Canada in the late 1950’s. I have visited Italy on several occasions during my life to meet my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who live there. From a very young age, I fell in love with Italy, its history, its beauty, its culture. I have always felt cheated – that I wasn’t born there. The longing never leaves me. But my life and my immediate family are here in Canada. So I indulge my yearning for my Italian roots by researching and writing about Italy. As far as the medieval era goes, I think I was born with a strong interest in the Middle Ages. As a child, I read every fairy tale book in my library several times over, year after year. I loved reading about princesses, queens, kings, knights. I have carried that with me all my life except that now I read and write medieval era novels. My heart will always be in medieval Italy.
2. Did you have to do a lot of research for this book?
I have been researching 10th century Europe since 2003 because I’m writing a trilogy / family about Otto the Great and his family. But writing a true historical based on actual persons can be quite challenging because one must stick to the facts. And it takes years. I cannot change history so I know the plot and how it will end. But the creative side in me demanded to be set free – I needed a detour – a reprieve from so much fact, so I decided to write something purely from my own imagination. Thus was born Bloodstone Castle. To save time, I deliberately kept it in the 10th century so that I could focus on letting my imagination run wild and still keep historically accurate to the times without having to do a ton of new research.
3. How long did it take you to write Bloodstone Castle?
It took me about 2 years to write it on a part time basis. I had a full time career as a manager of several departments at a local police department, so I wrote after work and on weekends. During the writing of Bloodstone Castle, I was blessed with the birth of my grandson. In July 2007, I was able to take early retirement. I can only still write part time however because I care for my grandson on a full time basis while my daughter is going through law school. The day will come, however, when I can devote full time hours to my writing. But for now, I’ve never been happier. I have the best of both worlds – my grandson and my writing with no official day job.
4. What do you think is the hardest part of writing?
It takes a great deal of energy to be creative. And it takes several re-writes before I deem a chapter good enough to progress to the next. I change and fix almost constantly. Many author friends tell me to just write and not worry about polishing and editing until after one is finished their first draft. I’m too much of a perfec
tionist to take that advice, so writing takes me a little longer than most. I’m very critical of my writing and it takes a lot effort before I am pleased with the product I just completed.
5. The easiest?
I find editing and polishing the easiest. Once I have written the bones of a particular chapter, I love going back over it to add sights, smells, descriptions, reactions, details. That’s when the scene really comes alive for me.
6. If you could be one character in your book who would it be and why?
I think I would be Smerelda, the wise woman and healer. She is mature, educated, self-assured, and knowledgeable. Wisdom comes with maturing. I agree with Oprah when she says that women in their 40’s and 50’s are enjoying some of their best years. I’m nearing 50 and I have never loved my life as much as I do now. I’m very blessed to have such a wonderful, supportive husband and daughters and the freedom to pursue my passion – writing.
7. What has been your most inspiring moment as an author?
I wrote a short story entitled Down Three Steps. It is a true story about an spiritual experience I had at my brother’s grave in Italy. My brother died as an infant before I was born and before my parents immigrated to Canada.
8. If you could give other authors or aspiring writers one piece of advice what would it be?
Just do it. Just write. Figure out what it is you need to do to get writing and do it. For me, I knew I needed a laptop. So I went out one day, bought it, and I’ve never looked back. If it means buying a desk, or finding a quiet space, or buying a special pen or paper, get it and write. And don’t worry about whether it’s perfect or not. Once something is written, I recommend joining a critique group or online critique group which will help you hone your skill. Persevere. All is achievable if one sticks to it.
9. How are you enjoying your book promotion tour so far?
I am enjoying it immensely. The book tour allows me to meet other authors and readers and learn from them. I’m an avid reader too, so it’s wonderful to be able to share what I’ve learned too. The Internet truly is a modern miracle.
10. Have you had any interesting fan moments?
Yes, I have and it is very gratifying. I love receiving email from a reader to let me know they want to buy my book or have read it. It’s gratifying to know that my words have provided someone with a little entertainment or provided them with a tiny escape from our sometimes very stressful lives.
Thank you very much for allowing me to spend time with you and your readers. It was a true pleasure to be here.