Monday, June 09, 2008

Mirella Patzer Interview on Bloodstone Castle

YVONNE: Tell me something about yourself and your writing background.
MIRELLA: I’m first generation Italian Canadian with a passion for her roots and history. I began writing in 2003 when I discovered that my grandfather’s Italian vineyards were the site of a major World War II battle where hundreds of Canadian soldiers lost their lives. This sparked my desire to write. Even though I haven’t started writing this story yet, I’m honing my skills on other historical novels.

YVONNE: What is the title of your book? Give us the basic story line so we’ll know what it’s about.
MIRELLA: My book is entitled Bloodstone Castle. It is a romantic suspense novel that takes place in medieval Italy. An ancient Roman treasure lies buried somewhere beneath Bloodstone Castle, the home of Contessa Monterossa. Amoro Dragone, Duke of Genoa, is honor bound to fulfill his father’s last wish – to marry Morena and end a century old feud between their families. But Morena is already betrothed to Duke Ernesto Boccanera of Savona whom she has never met, a man she does not know and has never met. She must choose between two men, both with different motivations.

YVONNE: What inspired you to write this book?
MIRELLA: I have been immersed in researching and writing a trilogy of the Ottonian Empire for many years. It is a true historical work of which I endeavour to relay authentically. A need to let my imagination run free and create a romance with characters and plot purely from my own imagination. Bloodstone Castle is the result of that.

YVONNE: Is this the first book you have written?
MIRELLA: No, my first novel is entitled, Heinrich the Fowler: Father of the Ottonian Empire. It is the first novel of the Ottonian Empire which is being re-written to suit a different market and different publisher.

YVONNE: How long did it take to write this book? Any interesting tidbits about your writing method or how the book developed?
MIRELLA: I began writing Bloodstone Castle in the summer of 2005 and completed it in the spring of 2007. The plot grew from a desire to write a book about a castle. I found a picture of a castle in Italy and built the plot and characters around it. The castle is real, but I only used its picture for inspiration. I completely recreated its name and history and ownership.

YVONNE: How did you publish your book? Tell me about your publishing experience and what you learned from it. Please go into detail if you wish.
MIRELLA: My first novel was published by Publish America, a POD publisher. They are great for a first time author, but because it is print on demand, the price of the book is too high to be competitive. It’s a trade paperback and is currently selling for $27.00 U.S. So it is virtually difficult to market and book stores can’t put it on their shelves because it is too high priced and sales will be low. So I’m currently re-writing the novel, adding new scenes from new research I’ve gathered and will try to pitch it to another, more mainstream, publisher.

YVONNE: Did you work with an agent? If so, how did you find the agent? Was it beneficial to you?
MIRELLA: No, I am without an agent at this time. I was lucky to find Enspiren Press, an small indie publisher. I’ve a wonderful relationship here and hope they will accept future novels. I like the fact that I can grow as an author there while the company grows at the same time.

YVONNE: Where is your book(s) available? Do you have a Web site or blog where we can learn more about you or your book?
MIRELLA: Bloodstone Castle is currently available at Amazon and other regular book sellers. It will also be available as an ebook. I’m currently recording it as a “narrator read” audio book and it will be available to ITunes and other audio book vendors.

I have several blogs: is my home site. is my blog where I post about anything and everything that strikes my fancy. is a blog specific to my novel, Bloodstone Castle. Here I post articles related to the book, the region, the characters, the castle, etc. is a site where I talk about all things Italian and encompasses a variety of Italian related topics from recipes, to books, to travel and more. is a site where I feature some of my favourite authors and their favourite cookie recipes. This blog is a ton of fun to maintain and tasty too. Here I write reviews on historical novels I read.

YVONNE: As far as marketing, do you do more online publicity or print/radio/TV promotion? Tell me some ways you have promoted your book. Give examples and links to any sites you feel might help other authors.
MIRELLA: I tend to do more online publicity, but have also had interviews with radio and newspapers locally. The most unusual thing I’ve done to promote my book was to contact various Red Hat Society groups around the Calgary area. This contact resulted in an invitation to launch my book at one of their functions where 100 ladies were present. It was great fun and wildly successful.

YVONNE: Have you hired a publicist to help promote this book? If so, what was your experience like?
MIRELLA: I consider Nikki Leigh my publicist. She has a reputation for being very hard-working and thorough. So I am pleased to have this opportunity for her assistance in arranging this virtual book tour. I have enjoyed the experience so much, that I’ve offered to be a tour guide for future authors.

YVONNE: Any other comments or things you would like for us to know?
MIRELLA: I’m just a regular, every day person who never believed I could write even though I had the desire. One day, after a luncheon with a published author, I came home, bought a laptop and began to write. I’ve never looked back. So I’m living proof that one can achieve their dreams if they wholeheartedly pursue them. All is possible.

YVONNE: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to get to know you and learn about your book. I wish you well.
MIRELLA: Thank you very much, Yvonne. It has truly been my pleasure.


Mirella Patzer said...

Hello everyone,

I certainly enjoyed being interviewed here today. I'll be visiting on and off throughout the day and I'm hoping to get some great comments. At the end of my book tour, I'll be awarding some autographed copies of my book - so post, post, post!

Mirella Patzer said...

Thank you very much for hosting me on your blog yesterday. I really appreciate your interest and your valuable time!