TBR: Welcome to Gina Rossi. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Gina: I’ve been fortunate to live in some beautiful places including Cape Town, the Cotswolds, and now the evocative south of France, right on the Mediterranean. It’s a dream come true and a privilege, not to mention a rich source of inspiration for my writing. I’m hugely attracted to water, be it sea, river, lake, pond, fountain or raindrop. I don’t have to be on water, or in it, but I love to be near it, so this is an ideal environment for me.
TBR: Tell us about ‘The Wild Heart’ and where it's available.
Gina: ‘The Wild Heart’, my debut historical romance, set in the Cape of Good Hope, was released at the end of June. It’s available here in ebook and paperback format:
TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Gina: Here’s an excerpt from the story:
“It’s a beautiful day.”
She dropped her hand and looked at Villion, standing on the scratchy grass beside his magnificent black horse. And caught her breath.
He had shaved. The strong features, scraped clean of rough beard, stood out, perfect now, chiselled by the dancing morning light. His eyes, locked on hers, were blue enough to fade the sky. His thick, dark hair, trimmed to unfashionable shortness by Sara, barely touched his collar. There would be a scant amount on his nape to gather into a velvet ribbon, although the notion of Villion in a ribbon, tight breeches and a velvet jacket, lace frothing at his wrists and throat, was ridiculous. Georgina pressed her lips together.
“Yes.” She swallowed the smile that curved her mouth.
“Something amuses you greatly.”
“I had imagined you at a soirée in Bath with a lace cravat and your hair tied in a velvet ribbon.”
His eyebrows shot up as she blurted the words. He shouted with laughter; a joyful burst of energy. “Is that all I was wearing?”
She coloured as he steadied his blue gaze on her face.
“I jest, madam. It was a ludicrous sight, I am sure.”
The laughter died the instant he saw her flush, but the teasing tone of his voice remained, not lost on Georgina. “You are a married woman,” he said. “But even so, I fear I have overstepped the mark. My apologies.”
TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Gina: Historical romance has always been a favourite read for me and I’ve long wanted to write one myself. Also, I wanted a feelgood story to come out of a beautiful, if turbulent, part of the world, and create a rich, unexplored setting as a backdrop. I hope I’ve given the historical romance reader something a little different.
TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Gina: I’m a pantser trying to be a plotter. I’m far too pantsy. In my WIP, the heroine is making eyes at the wrong bloke so I’ve put on the brakes and got out the post-its. It does help to have at least an outline of the story before you start, but keep an open mind for those random ideas that crash in unbidden. Writing the synopsis first is also a big help. At least you know what your book is supposed to be about, even if the characters are running wild.
TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Gina: Even with the best plot in the world, fully developed characters are vital, aren’t they? First, I work out what they look like (Pinterest is a brilliant tool for this). That done, I need to know what their secrets, regrets, complexes and flaws are - and why they have them. Once they are suitably imperfect, I add a sense of humour, no matter the size of the ego. Then I define their inner and outer conflicts and the effects those will have on their attitudes and circumstances. I find heroes easier to develop than heroines, and have no idea why. It should be the other way around, shouldn’t it?
TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Gina: “To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.” ― Arundhati Roy
TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Gina: That you are turning, or stretching, an idea - that can usually be summed up in a sentence or two - into a 90000 word novel. The idea is the easy part. The actual writing down / typing of those 90000 words is totally daunting!
TBR: What's next for you?
Gina: I’ve completed a contemporary romance set in London that has sparked the interest of a publisher in the UK, so fingers crossed, and I’ve finished writing book number three, also a contemporary romance, currently lurking in a drawer awaiting lethal edits.
TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Gina: The most challenging aspect - apart from finding the right words to write down! - is taking the whole writing thing seriously, not treating it as a hobby, doing it all day, every day, aiming for quality and quantity at the same time and saying no to all those things you’d rather be doing. By far the most rewarding is getting that word ‘unputdownable’ back at you. I’m also thrilled that I have some gentlemen readers out there. Real men reading romance, you rock!
TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
TBR: Thanks for visiting TBR, Gina. All the best to you.