Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Interview With Author, Christine De Petrillo

Please help me welcome Christine DePetrillo today. Christine is author, teacher, wife, and animal lover. She lives in Rhode Island.

CC: Readers love to get to know authors. Please tell us about growing up. Siblings? Locale? Were you the shy kid or the tomboy? Share anything that lets readers get to know the real you.

CDP: I grew up in Rhode Island, the tiniest state in the USA. I’ve got a younger brother and all the kids in my neighborhood were boys, so I was the tomboy. I dug in the dirt right alongside them, and to be honest, haven’t stopped digging. I love dirt. The smell of it, the texture, its magical ability to grow stuff.

CC: Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

CDP: I like anything romance. Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Annette Blair, Kristan Higgins. I also read Laurell K. Hamilton when I want some darker stuff.

CC: How many books do you read a month? What are you reading now?

CDP: Well, my husband says that every time he turns around, I’ve got another book in my hand, so I guess I read a lot in a month. I just finished BLACK HILLS, by Nora Roberts. I’ve moved on to reading a kid’s book next, because I teach fifth grade when I’m not writing.

CC: I loved BLACK HILLS. Of course, I love everything Nora writes. My husband never complains about my reading, because he reads more than I do. When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?

CDP: I like to exercise to recharge and read or enjoy the great outdoors when relaxing. As far as hobbies, I like active ones—like remodeling houses.

CC: Oooh, I’ve always wanted to buy run down houses and remodel them. Would you like to share any guilty pleasures that feed your muse?

CDP: Ice cream.

CC: Yumm. How long have you been writing?

CDP: Forever, but more seriously in the last ten years or so.

CC: Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

CDP: Outside on my patio. My backyard is a National Wildlife Federation certified habitat, so I get lots of critters to cheer me on when I write. I can write with or without music and with or without company. I’m very good at tuning other people out if I’ve got writing to do. Laptop all the way. I will never be tied to a desk again.

CC: What a great place to write! Are you a plotter or a panzer?

CDP: Plotter. Got to have a road map. I veer off those roads like a DWI waiting to happen, but I need something to get organized.

CC: I totally agree. Got to have a road map, even if you take detours along the way. Do you use real events or persons in your stories?

CDP: Sometimes, but never exactly the real event or real person.

CC: Do you do your research before you begin a new project, or as you go along?

CDP: A little of both. I may research a place for a setting first to get started, or a certain career that a character is going to have, but other things usually pop up that need googling during the writing process.

CC: Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you set goals? Do you write daily?

CDP: I write every day. When I’m teaching, I shoot for four pages a day and write between the hours of 7 PM to 11 PM. In the glorious summer, I write eight to twelve pages a day and usually from noon to 5 PM.

CC: My, you use your time well. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

CDP: Mostly, a laugh and some hope that love can handle anything.

CC: What advice would you give to pre-published authors?

CDP: Sit down and write. Don’t talk about doing it. Do it.

CC: Great advice. Tell us about your latest release.

CDP: My latest release will be ALASKA HEART, coming September 24th from The Wild Rose Press. Here’s the back cover blurb for it:

Alaska is supposed to be cold, so why is Alanna Cormac on fire?

Sent on a dream assignment to Denali National Park, nature magazine writer Alanna Cormac has no intentions of falling in love with Dale Ramsden, sexy Iditarod winner. When Dale, his family, and even his eighteen sled dogs charm their way into her heart, however, Alanna’s fast-track New York instincts crumble. The Alaskan landscape and the caress of a man too good to be true ignite feelings she never had time to explore before. Feelings that have her so blissfully busy she’s unaware she’s being watched. Judged. Targeted.

She’s next.

Love will either save her or swallow her whole. Is there even a difference?

CC: That certainly intrigues me enough to buy the book. Can you give us an excerpt?

CDP: PG Excerpt:

“When you turn around, look first. You can grab your camera after. Okay?”

“Okay.” The anticipation buzzed through me. Or was it being so close to Dale?

With a little nudge, Dale spun me around, and a gasp caught in my throat. His hands closed over my shoulders, anchoring me, keeping me earthbound amongst what had to be heaven.

Rising above all the other mountains in the distance, Mount McKinley reached into the cerulean Alaskan sky like a white giant. Its peaks were arrowheads of rock encrusted in snow that glistened magically in the pink of the late afternoon sunlight. How incredibly small I was, like a speck of dust in comparison to the majesty of McKinley.

“Oh, Dale…” My voice was nothing more than a rasp. I let my pack drop to my feet and leaned back against him. He folded his arms around me and squeezed. When I thought the moment couldn’t get any closer to perfection, he loosened my scarf enough to nuzzle his cold nose against my neck. Though I initially shivered at the contact, he quickly warmed the spot with the heat of his lips.

Giving McKinley another look, I turned around to face Dale. He trailed his lips over my cheek and finally to my mouth where he did things that made my head spin. Our lips parted as we tasted, savored each other. Great Goddess, I had shut myself off for too long. Or maybe I’d been waiting. Waiting for him.

Whatever the case, Dale unlocked emotions in me. My heart thudded wildly in my chest. My skin longed to have Dale’s fingers spread across every inch of it. My lips wanted him to never stop kissing me.

“Take your pictures, Alanna.” The words were a whisper. “And let’s go.”

CC: Wow, vivid imagery! Where can readers find your books?

CDP: To order ALASKA HEART, visit me at on September 24th. Click on the ALASKA HEART cover and it’ll take to where you can buy it. My other books from Whispers Publishing are also on this site. Also visit me and six of my writing gal pals at our group blog called A Pinch of Romance at

CC: Christine, thanks for stopping by to visit today.

Don't forget the August blog tour ends on the 25th with a great giveaway of FREE books downloads and a free banner. Be sure to comment today to enter, and follow the tour each Wednesday.

Check Rae Summers blog at today where I'm Rae's guest.


Barbara Edwards said...

I liked learning about how you do research. Nice to know more about an author and how she gets the job done.

Christine DePetrillo said...

I love to research, Barbara. I'm a teacher first and the geek in me just can't resist acquiring new knowledge.


Lilly Gayle said...

Great interview! And I love research too, but sometimes, I seem to get absorbed by the internet and forget to write. lol!

Celia Yeary said...

Well done, you two. Anything historical interests me, and your methods of research tells me you're very good. Congratulaitons.Celia

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Christine,
Great interview. Alaska is one place I have always dreamed of visiting. I love research too, but mainly of the historical variety.




You learn so much about the authors from the blogs. Good interview.


Romy said...

Hi Christine,
I'd never thought of Alaska as a romantic setting until I saw 'The Proposal' so now I'm really eager to read yours and find out more.

Caroline - you are so lucky to have a husband who reads. Now if you tell me he also discusses your writing with you, I'm going to be very jealous!

Christine DePetrillo said...

I highly recommend Alaska as a vacation destination. It'll ruin you for all others. I think I went too early in my vacationing career. After Alaska, I went to the Caribbean and said, "Eh, it's the beach, big deal." Seeing glaciers is like a spiritual awakening. I want to go back some day.

Another book that is set in Alaska that I loved is Nora Robert's NORTHERN LIGHTS, which they made a TV movie of with Eddie Cibrian (sigh) and Leann Rimes.


Caroline Clemmons said...

Julie Garwood has a book set mostly in Alaska, too. It's FIRE AND ICE, a contemporary romantic suspense.

Good luck with your Alaska book!

Historical Writer/Editor said...

Congratulations, Christine! I hope your book does very well. -laura