Author Interview: Nina Romano / The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley
Welcome Readers to the Books Delight. Today we are talking with author Nina Romano about history, writing and her books. Nina is a really neat lady and I think you'll enjoy our conversation. Grab a cup of something hot and get comfy!
JMR- Welcome to the Books Delight, Nina, tell us where you live? What do you do for fun? What does the perfect day look like?
NR—Living split time between south Florida and Utah, I have the best of all possible worlds—seashore and mountains.
For fun: I watch movies, read, write, walk, travel, and dine in fine restaurants (of course not now in the time of Covid!) I also knit, but not lately. When I was young, I played tennis and skied—now I can only write about those sports.
My perfect day—I’ll have to say when I’m in Florida, it involves some activity surrounding my four scrumptious grandkids. As my husband says, All days are perfect when you’re vertical and breathing! And of course, a perfect day involves some kind of writing, reading, and cooking! I’m a people person—I enjoy talking to friends and family members. I’m not a bit timid—in fact, I’m like my Mom, an extrovert.
Although as a child I was very shy. I think one of the reasons I overcame it is being married to Felipe Romano, who always pushed me to do things he didn’t want to do by saying, It’s easier from a woman, which isn’t at all true, but I fell for it just the same. Maybe I like the dare and testing myself to see if I really can pull off whatever it is. The other thing that helped me overcome bashfulness is I started talking to strangers on the street, in buses, trains, and planes. Why not?
JMR- I read your amazing bio, a world traveler, poet, professor and more. How has your life influenced your writing? Setting choice? Genre choice?
NR—Thank you, Jeanie. I might have to answer that rhetorically and say, how has my life not influenced my writing? My settings for poetry are structured on people, landscapes, food, wine, diverse cultures, religion, and a number of other disparate things. I never limit myself while writing poetry. To me, it’s always sort of a scientific exploration into whatever interests me at the moment, using heightened language which I love. I think of all my poetry collections, the best one I’ve composed is the elegiac narrative in fifteen suites written for my Mom, titled: She Wouldn’t Sing at My Wedding.
Fiction, on the other hand, in fact all prose writing that isn’t poetry is challenging for me. It’s a study in craftsmanship, using all the tools I learned in Grad school and creative writing workshops. It also encompasses devices I’ve picked up reading on my own ever since my Mom first started reading to me as a child, not just fairy tales, but from books like A Thousand and One Arabian Nights and Hiawatha. I love stories. I love history and geography. I love research. I love romance. Hence, Historical Romance is the genre I write in.
JMR- Of all the places you’ve visited, which inspired you the most as a writer? As a human? As a poet?
NR—I’d have to say Europe as a writer, a human and a poet! Italy, of course, because I lived twenty years in Rome, but while living there I got to travel all over with my husband. Italy is a cultural mecca for so many things: art, music, language, haute cuisine, literature, theater, cinema, fashion designers—you name it, Italy has it. Living there was a vast and wide-ranging education. I am blessed for having had the experience of life abroad to instruct me in myriad ways.
JMR- Which historical female figure do you most admire? Why? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?
NR—I’m not so sure it’s admiration, but I’d sure like to ask Anna Karenina why she through it all away for love of Count Vronsky. The other fictional gal I’d like to corner is Scarlett O’Hara to ask if she’d ever loved anyone other than herself and if so, would she sacrifice her life for the loved one?
JMR- Your books settings range from China, Sicily, to the American Southwest and occur in different time periods. Do you have a favorite time period? Why?
NR—I seem to be stuck in the 1800’s, but that’s not entirely true as In America was set during the great depression and I’ve just finished writing my first mystery, a Russian thriller set in soviet Leningrad in 1956-57. I just really like history—I even once considered writing a novel set in 1700’s Spain. I abandoned that one, because The Secret Language of Women was more compelling. I don’t think place or time periods matter as much as the fact that I enjoy investigating past life experiences in different parts of the world. A future project I’m toying with is WWII Italy.
JMR- For some readers, the words Historical Romance, immediately conjures images of bodice ripping Scotsman dressed in kilts, how would you describe your books? How do you keep your history fans intrigued without losing the romance fans?
NR—I don’t think I worry too much about either the historical parts or the romantic parts of the story—they are engendered within the novel’s development. For me, Romance is a literary genre comprised of poetic and lyrical compositions. I’m a poet so writing love scenes do not have to be explicit, although some are, and I hope they’re not purple prose, erotic, or porn! But what I believe is important is to render them with grace and splendor.
JMR- Nina tell us about your latest book, The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley.
NR—Like Darby, I fell in love with Cayo! What else is there to say?
JMR- What does the future hold? More books? Tell us what you’re up to!
NR—Currently, my new WIP is a sequel to The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley, and soon I hope to see the publication of Dark Eyes and begin marketing it. The one hat that most authors hate to wear is the seller’s hat, a necessary evil. It helps if you love and admire the product you’re promoting.
I think there will be a third book after the sequel I’m writing, making Cayo Bradley a trilogy.
JMR- How can readers find you on social media and the web?
Amazon: The Secret Language of Women https://amzn.to/2MQZpNC
Amazon: Lemon Blossoms https://amzn.to/2TWqzYt
Amazon: In America https://amzn.to/2Hl2VzT
Amazon: The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley https://amzn.to/2Mawrvv
JMR- What question were you hoping I’d ask but didn’t?
NR—You asked it. I answered it. Now you, Jeanie, and the other lovely readers of this interview can figure out which one it was!
JMR- Thank you, Nina, for stopping by today and sharing with our readers. We admire your energy and looking forward to hearing more about your writing.
NR—Many thanks to you also for this delightful opportunity to discuss what I love—writing!
Here is Nina's Bio:
Nina Romano earned a B.S. from Ithaca College, an M.A. from Adelphi University and a B.A. and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from FIU. A world traveler and lover of history, she lived in Rome, Italy, for twenty years, and is fluent in Italian and Spanish. She has authored a short story collection, The Other Side of the Gates, and has had five poetry collections and two poetry chapbooks published traditionally with independent publishers. She co-authored a nonfiction book: Writing in a Changing World. Romano has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry.
Nina Romano’s historical Wayfarer Trilogy has been published from Turner Publishing. The Secret Language of Women, Book #1, was a Foreword Reviews Book Award Finalist and Gold Medal winner of the Independent Publisher’s 2016 IPPY Book Award. Lemon Blossoms, Book # 2, was a Foreword Reviews Book Award Finalist, and In America, Book #3, was a finalist in Chanticleer Media’s Chatelaine Book Awards.
Her Western Historical Romance, The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley, a semifinalist for the Laramie Book Awards, has been released from Prairie Rose Publications.
Her forthcoming novel, Dark Eyes, is a thriller set in Soviet Russia.
Readers, I know you'd like to look at Nina's Books. Here's a link: