My guest today is Deborah Blumenthal, whose most recent romance novel is Mafia Girl. This is a contemporary romance about a strong-willed young woman who has no intention of allowing her life to be overshadowed or controlled by the "family business" or anything else. Mafia Girl demonstrates that organized crime and true love can share the pages of a romance novel and entertain readers into the bargain. And, there is also Italian food. Who doesn’t love that?
Please welcome Deborah Blumenthal . . .
Q: What is your favorite romance genre, and why?
A: I’m a big fan of contemporary romance. The closer to reality, the better, for me.
Q: Do you remember the first romance novel you ever read? What did you like best about it?
A: I think I started with Janet Dailey’s books. I loved her men, and I loved escaping into worlds that were far more sophisticated and romantic than my own.
Q: Is there any romance author you particularly admire, and if so, why?
A: Nora Roberts. She’s got it down.
Q: How do you begin thinking about a new story, with the characters or the plot?
A: I start with a general idea of the story, and then develop the characters. As far as the plot twists though, I never plan them out ahead of time. I prefer to have the characters lead me through the story.
Q: When you craft a hero, are you incorporating traits from men you know, or are you writing about a man you have never met, but would like to?
A: My male characters are usually based on pictures of male models I see in magazines. In other words, pure fantasy.
Q: When you craft a heroine, is she mostly the real you, the you you wish you were, or is she someone totally different?
A: My heroines are closer to the earth than my male characters and they incorporate traits from me as well as people I know. All the neurotic stuff definitely comes from me.
Q: Many authors have said that writing the first pages of a new story are the hardest to write. Do you find that to be the case?
A: Definitely. The opening pages set up the whole book and force me to crystalize my thoughts about the story and the characters, so it takes a while to get it right.
Q: Did your latest romance just flow as you wrote, was it a battle to capture in words, or something in between?
A: I had a lot of fun with MAFIA GIRL. It was one of the few books I’ve written that really wrote itself. Gia is tough, smart, outspoken, and brassy, and I let her pull me along.
Q: When you begin to write, do you know how the story will end, or does that come to you as part of the process?
A: No, I never know how a story will end. If I did, I’d be less interested in it.
Q: If one of your novels could be made into a movie, which one would you pick and who would play the leads?
A: Definitely MAFIA GIRL. Maybe Elizabeth Gillies as Gia, and Rupert Friend as Michael.
Mafia Girl Blurb
Blumenthal has taken her journalistic experiences and wrapped them into a sparkly yet tension-filled story of a gutsy young woman determined to be her own person in spite of her family’s notoriety. Filled with detailed descriptions of decadent Italian meals, gorgeous clothes, heart-stopping violence, and sweet yet lusty love and desire, Mafia Girl will find a wide variety of readers, some intrigued with the Mob, others seeking a love story. BOOKLIST
Buy Links for Mafia Girl:
About the Author
Deborah Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of eighteen books for children and adults. She has been a regular contributor to The New York Times (including four years as the Sunday New York Times Magazine beauty columnist), and a home design columnist for Long Island Newsday. Her health, fitness, beauty, travel, and feature stories have appeared widely in many other newspapers and national magazines including New York’s Daily News, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Self, and Vogue.
Blumenthal lives in New York City.