What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Rome for the Holidays?
I love Italy! I’ve always felt at home there, particularly in Rome and Tuscany. While I was researching this book I was also digging into my family’s history and I was delighted to trace a branch of my family back to Pitigliano. We had a run in with a wild boar on our most recent trip to Italy. I won’t spoil the story, but the experience definitely provided fodder for my tale.
I’m also a big fan of reality television and the over-the-top characters on shows like Bachelor in Paradise. I had almost as much fun writing my secondary characters in this book as the primary ones. I made myself snort-laugh on several occasions. The “elfie” scene in particular.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Rome for the Holidays, what would they be?
I actually made a playlist for my characters! It’s on Spotify, and the link is on my Facebook Fan page.
They bond over their mutual nostalgia for the music their parents played when they were kids. They both have a special fondness for the song “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac. It’s actually the song that inspired his character’s self help book.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I love to read RomComs but I also love historical fiction, paranormal women’s fiction and re-reading the classics. I love humorous essays too.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
I’m at a book conference as I’m typing and I’ve met so many fantastic authors so my TBR is epic right now! I’m reading the Prince and the Pauper right now though because it’s relevant to one of the upcoming books in my series.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
I loved writing the airport lounge scene, but the scene where Blaze gets stuck in the bathroom while Steff and Marco are taking naughty holiday photos was the hardest I have ever laughed while writing. It’s so great when you crack yourself up.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
I can’t write without music but I am super picky about what I play while writing. It has to match the mood of the scene and not distract me. I always have a cat on my lap for luck! My other quirky habit is going thrifting for inspiration. I pick up trinkets and items that help me “feel” my characters. Tees, souvenirs, funny mugs, teapots. It’s not stuff I would have but it’s things they would, so I bring it home and park it on my desk while I am writing.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
I met my husband in a comedy improv troupe which was perfect really. What better life partner could you have than one with whom you can say “yes and” and find a way to laugh at life’s troubles with?
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
I’d like them to remember how it made them feel, which is hopefully good!
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