I’m privileged to feature an interview with Mirella Patzer, a Canadian author who specializes in historical romance fiction. This interview is also featured on my blog at http://charlieray45.wordpress.com. She writes sweeping historical, with a touch of romance, set in an exciting period of world history. But, why don’t I let her speak for herself.
- What got you started writing historical romance fiction?
To tell you the truth, I never intended to write historical romance. What launched my interest in writing was my desire to write about my family’s history during World War II Italy. The Battle of the Moro River occurred on my grandfather’s vineyards, lands that are still owned by my mother and her sister. 2000 Canadian soldiers died, but the won and freed my mother’s town, San Leonardo, from the Nazis. It is a tale of survival and devastation as experienced by my mother who was an eight year old child. The family had to live in caves because their home was bombed. I haven’t written the story yet, but it is definitely on my list of future books to write. Before I do so, I want to visit those caves and experience the November cold and rain my mother had to live through.
- Why do you write about the period that you chose for your stories?
Because of my strong Italian roots, I have a great passion for historical fiction set in the medieval era. Almost all the novels I have written are set in Italy between the 10th century and 17th century.
- How much research did you do for Orphan of the Olive Tree?
I have been working on a biographical novel entitled The Prophetic Queen, a novel about saint and queen Matilda of Ringelheim for approximately 10 years. Years of medieval research into Italy and Germany have created a comfort zone for me because I’ve acquired so much knowledge. So, it was easy to place the story in Italy. I did about 6 months research into superstitions, the Battle of the Monteaparti Hills, and the daily life of peasants and knights during that time. All the rest came from previous learning I acquired because of my research.
- Are your characters based upon historical figures, or totally made up?
All the characters in Orphan of the Olive Tree are purely fictional. After being steeped in so much research for my biographical novel, and trying to write with a high degree of accuracy, I wanted to work on another project that would allow me some creative freedom. I let my imagination run free and unfettered, and the result was Orphan of the Olive Tree, which is my biggest seller!
- Do you write in other genres? If so, which ones?
I stay strictly with historical fiction, a great passion of mine. My novels so far span from the 10th century to the 17th century, however, I would love to write a western one day and have a story forming in my mind. I would never write a contemporary novel, simply because I find historical fiction more challenging and love the research.
- What are you currently working on?
I am currently polishing and completing the final edits of The Prophetic Queen, which will need to be divided into two books – The Scarlet Mantle and Crown of Discord. I anticipate the release date to be 2015.
- Any writing advice you'd like to offer my readers?
Yes, I have two pieces of advice that I do my best to follow.
First, if you are an aspiring author, but afraid or unsure about getting started, the best advice is “just do it!” Writing is a constant learning curve. Do not be afraid of failure. Your writing skills evolve the more you write and through feedback gained from critique groups, writing groups, or other authors.
Second, always pay yourself first. What I mean by that is it is easy to get distracted with life and daily tasks such as email, blogging, critiquing, reviewing books, or other distractions. Train yourself to sit down and write for an hour or two first. Pay yourself. Then move on to these other tasks! That will keep you moving forward in your writing career.
I’d like to extend a big thank you to Charles Ray for discovering my books and for his kind invitation to visit his blog.
For more information about me, my books, and my blogs, here are some links: