Judi: I can’t wait to get my copy! This sounds like such a romantic book. What pulled you into this story and, as a writer, made you think, “I have to write this? What do you consider the heart of the story?
Malena: Women, especially mothers, tend to put themselves last on the list. I wanted to share the story of someone who has lost the love of her life and has focused on just “getting by” each day, but is ready to find a way to be joyful again, even through the pain. The heart of the story really is, is there love after death, and the courage it takes to not only survive but to build a great life again.
Judi: The title is wonderful. How did you come up with it?
Malena: The title came pretty quickly, early on. I love alliteration and really wanted to incorporate da Vinci since he’s the catalyst that starts Ramona’s renaissance. Since publishers have final say, I don’t get too attached to my working title, though. I do like getting credit for this one, though! Of course the book isn’t just about da Vinci and romance is only a part of the story, but I think it’s catchy and hopefully it will catch people’s eye to learn more about the book.
Judi: What great characters, and I love the play on Leonardo’s name. How do you come up with your characters’ names?
Malena: I spend a great deal of time with character names, even when I snatch them from real life. I used a lot of word play in Dating da Vinci. For Ramona Elise Griffen, you can pull “Mona Lisa” and “Grief” from her name. Leonardo is of course named after the real da Vinci and shares a lot of common traits with the genius. Pretty much all the characters have meanings in their names since Ramona is a linguist and it fits with the theme of the book.
Judi: What’s your author fantasy?
Malena: Writers already have active imaginations, so this one is a no brainer. Vision board, here I come! Hit the top 10 of the New York Times bestseller list, have a long line waiting for me when I arrive for book signings, have my books optioned for films that actually get made and made well, and a few national TV appearances to boot. TODAY show, The View, Oprah, you know. Just the small stuff, you know? Not that I’ve given any of this much thought. Not a bit.
Judi: Do you have an excerpt posted?
Malena: You can read the first chapter at www.malenalott.com
Thanks so much, Malena and I wish you all the success…and, of course, a dolce vita!
Filed under: Author Buddies, Blog Tours, Marketing, networking, Publication, Publishing | Tagged: Italian, la dolce vita, Leonardo, linguist, Malena Lott, romance, Under the Tuscan Sun, widow | 1 Comment »