1. How did you get interested in the topic that’s featured in your book?
Because I’m first generation Italian Canadian, I’ve always been interested in my roots and in Italian folklore and superstitions. I am also passionate about history, especially the medieval era. I love to tell stories about strong historical women. So I put my passions together and came up with Bloodstone Castle.
2. Tell us a bit about your background. What have you done in the past that relates to your book and that topic?
I have travelled to Italy several times in my life and I am always fascinated with its many castles, easy accessibility to the sea, and warm climate. It is only natural that I wrote a story about some fictional characters in a land I love so much. I have done extensive research into the medieval times, specifically the 10th century in order to write a family saga trilogy about Otto the Great and his family.
3. What advice would you give to someone who is interested in your topic?
If you have a strong interest or passion, then by all means you must pursue it. One can gain expertise in almost anything as long as you are willing to do the work and keep honing and practicing what you learn. In my case, I have extensively researched the 10th century and honed my writing skills through the years. If you set your mind to it, you can achieve.
4. What do you see as the benefit to participating in groups and organizations?
I am a strong proponent of critique groups for authors. Friends and family are okay to share your books with, however, they are not experts or trained as writers. All authors are blind to their own work. So when you work with other authors and help each other perfect their manuscripts through line and content edits, you will produce a far superior product than an author who works in isolation. I run a very successful on-line critique group for historical fiction at:
5. Who is the ideal person to read your book? If each person that reads this was going to recommend your book to one person, what sort of person would they want to chose?
I recommend my novel to both men and women who love a suspenseful tale told with a sprinkling of love and adventure which is a little on the dark side.
6. What do you think ignites a person’s creativity?
Creativity can arise from any source. It could come from people watching, or emotion, or a picture, or from one’s own life. When a small thought enters into your mind, don’t push it aside. Instead, examine the thought, expand upon it, let it take you where it wants to go. Then you can realize its full potential. And do not be afraid to push forward to make it real.
7. What have you found to be the biggest stumbling block for people who want to start writing?
The biggest stumbling block for aspiring writers is that they think about it but never actually sit down to do it. To write, one must write. Even if you think you can’t, only by writing will you achieve. So just do it!
Then you must immerse yourself in the writing world. Join authors groups on-line and in person. This is necessary to pull us out of our isolating work and learn about the industry and opportunities that exist.
8. How would you suggest they can overcome that?
Start small. If you write one page a day, you will have the first draft of a novel completed in less than a year. Then it will take several more months of self-editing to polish it. Think big, but take baby steps. That is the secret.
9. What do you find is the biggest motivator for people to succeed? Is it money, security, desire for fame or something else?
Money is most definitely a motivator but not a major one. I think it is the desire to succeed or the desire to be recognized and acknowledged as human beings that drives us.
10. Who is the “perfect” person to read your book?
I wrote my book for pure escape. For those who work hard every day or who have stress in their lives. My novel can sweep you away into another place and time and I hope it can help you forget your troubles for a few hours. I have sold my book to both men and women and both sexes seem to enjoy it.
11 - Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I am currently working on another Italian Medieval romance entitled Orphan of the Olive Tree. Also, I’m working on the Ottonian family saga – the first book in the series will be called A Crimson Mantle. I hope to see them on the shelves in two years.
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.