Before I became a writer, I was an avid reader. Romance books weren’t the first genre I tackled, however. As a child I was more interested in the classic fairy tales, although you could argue that Cinderella and Snow White are fundamentally romantic stories. I did like to scare myself occasionally, and would dive into Hansel and Gretel, Bluebeard or Red Riding Hood for the thrill of a sleepless night.
As a teenager I started reading adventure books. Then, in my late teens, a friend lent me my very first romance novel – and I was hooked. Many years have passed since then, and hundreds of romance books have been held in my hands. This doesn’t mean that I neglect other genres as I still enjoy a good mystery, thriller, fantasy or sci-fi story.
More recently, I decided to write novels as well as read them. I didn’t make a conscious decision to write romance books – I just wanted to tell a story. My first novel, A Deal with a Stranger, happens to have a romantic theme, with hints of mystery and surrealism.
I am Italian by origin. I was born and raised in Sardinia, but moved to the UK in 1996; I now live in Cambridgeshire. I’m married to an Englishman and we have a daughter. I’ve spent half my life in Italy and the other half in the UK, so I’m a bit of a hybrid, sort of 50/50. I hope I’ve managed to keep the best of the Italian traits and acquired the best of the British ones. But who’s to say? What if the opposite were true?
I guess that experiencing life in two different countries has given me a fresh perspective on many things, and I try to bring that to my stories. The world we live in can be quite tough at times, so I’m keen to write novels with a feel-good factor, in the hope of making my readers smile occasionally. Spoiler alert: my books will always have a happy ending. If my readers really have to cry, it’s got to be for a good reason, such as empathy with one of my characters, not because I made them feel bad about something or, worse, they hate my book.
And going back to why I write romance books: well, a good love story with a happy ending can have that magical, heart-warming effect. It can make you smile and feel good. It’s quite a challenge for any writer, so can I rise to it? I’ll let my readers decide.