Michelle Binfiglio’s Romance: B(u)y the Book

A blog about novels, books, reviews, interviews, health stories, and more.

Month: May 2016

Interview With Rona Sharon

In this week’s AuthorView, newbie Rona Sharon shares why she’s crazy for an Italian accent, digs a guy who does all the heavy lifting, and never fails to pay tribute to the greatest hero she ever knew.

MB: What or who inspired your novel?

Rona Sharon: I’ve always known my first book would feature a pirate. For my 9th birthday, my grandparents took me on a Caribbean cruise. Every night they screened a pirate oldie in the ship’s movie theatre – “The Crimson Pirate,” “Anne of the Indies,” “Captain Blood,” “The Sea Hawk,” “The Black Pirate…” That week has certainly left a lasting impression on a girl with a very vivid imagination.

A couple of years later, my parents took us, kids, on a vacation to Lake Como in Northern Italy. We stayed at the Villa d’Este Hotel – a 16th century palazzo – and suddenly my wicked pirate got a mysterious and very glamorous past…

Fast forward to ten years later… I am a tax specialist in the corporate world and secretly writing a full-length romance novel at night. The deeper I explore the history of pirates and Italy, the more fascinated I become with these topics.

Reading about the Algerian corsairs added the final twist to my plot. After all, I have the advantage of being intimately familiar with the scents, sights, feel, and sensual allure of the Mid East region and the Arabian Nights magic that still exists in it.

The heroine of “My Wicked Pirate” is a Grace Kelly type English lady, who dreams of sunshine and freedom. Why not have my sexy Italian pirate wine and dine her on his deck, then take her by the hand to visit an old fortuneteller in the Kasbah, and wind up making love to her on a warm sandy beach…

Add to this my being a die-hard action movies fan and “My Wicked Pirate” became a thrilling Indiana Jones-type adventure with duels, battles, and palace intrigue!

MB: What do you like most about your novel?

RS: The most enjoyable part of writing “My Wicked Pirate” was building the relationship between Alanis and Eros, the lead characters. She knows very little about him, and while she fears him, she is also intensely attracted to him.

The first half of the book is her journey into his past, his secrets, and his heart. The second is Eros’s transformation from pirate to prince as the plot thickens in Europe.

Alanis evolves from a wide-eyed traveler to a mature, sophisticated woman, who would do just about anything to save the man she loves, including help Eros come to grips with his true identity and the decisions he must make.

I hope readers will enjoy getting to know my complex Italian pirate. Italy’s fight for independence reminded me a lot of American history – and had all the flash and fury of the Renaissance period and its Machiavellian princes.

MB: Who is the most heroic person you know?

RS: My mother. She taught me the meaning of unconditional love, inner strength, courage, and compassion. She encouraged me to believe in myself and to follow my dreams. She instilled in me the importance of education – how it makes one hold his head high – and of mutual respect between people. She was the rare kind of woman who was a cuddly mommy, a fabulous cook, and a gracious hostess – a lady.

MB: Who’s your romance hero: dark brooding bad boy or white knight in shining armor?

RS: Both. It’s the duality I find irresistible. I value intelligence, candor, kindness, generosity, strength, courage, and determination in a man – and not just in this particular order. And he must be a gentleman. If he uses the “b” word with the heroine – or lets her carry heavy diet coke bottles – I’m immediately turned off.

Okay, so maybe I like the knight in shining armor type in a wolf’s skin.

Toss in a sense of humor, blue eyes with a glint of wickedness, an athletic bod, and innate sensuality – and I’m in love! Of course, it doesn’t hurt if he speaks Italian…

MB: Answer the question you wish an interviewer would ask.

RS: Interviewer: Rona, how did it feel winning an Oscar for best screenplay based on one of your novels?

Me (misty-eyed and breathless): Well, I would first like to thank…