About the Author:
An avid reader since her childhood years and being an only child, Roberta always enjoyed the company of her fictional friends from the children’s books she loved reading, while she dreamed of writing her own stories one day.
It was when she discovered novels by authors Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy in her teenage years that she realized it was time she put down in words the stories she had kept well hidden in her mind until then.
What started as a hobby, soon turned into a real passion and a way of life, until she could no longer keep the stories to herself, and decided to get over her fears and share them with the world.
Roberta lives in Italy, but her dream is to move out of her country and live either in a thatched cottage in the Irish countryside or in a country house with a swing on the back porch, somewhere in the United States, where she would love to spend her days writing novels as a full-time job, and maybe one day even get as far as writing a screenplay for a movie.
She is already working on a second novel, while jotting down ideas for more as they pop into her mind.
MF: Share a little about Roberta the person and Roberta the writer.
RC: Roberta the person is a dreamer, an avid reader and a bookworm. I’ve fallen in love with books as soon as I learnt to read and I’ve never stopped. Sometimes I wish the day was made up of 48 hours, so I’d have more time for books. Roberta the writer is a romantic, a fan of happy endings and a perfection freak – the manuscript has got to be perfect, down to the very last comma, or I’ll never be truly satisfied with it.
MF: You mention on your blog bio that you don’t have the full support of some of the people around you. How do you deal with that?
RC: It’s tough, I can’t deny it. Sometimes I wish people would take this more seriously, and understand that writing can actually be a job. I wish they wouldn’t think that what I’m doing is simply a waste of time or that it’ll never be anything more than a dream.
MF: You’ve stated that you’ll “never be a best-selling author” because you don’t write the type of stories that are popular now. Would you mind naming a few authors you do strive to emulate?
RC: Well, I write romance, and I love reading romance and women’s fiction, so when I write I try to keep in mind the emotions that hooked me when I read books in that specific genre. Nicholas Sparks, Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy are the authors I relate to.
MF: You’ve recently released The Melody in Our Hearts, a “story about the value of true friendship, the power of dreams, and the unpredictability of love.” What inspired you to write this story?
RC: I’m an only child and I’ve always wanted an older brother. Furthermore, I’ve always felt more at ease with male friends than with female. So I wondered what it would have been like to actually have a male best friend, how things would develop. I added the musical theme (jazz and Sinatra) because I love his music and I’ve always dreamt of playing the piano (maybe one day I’ll learn, it’s never too late!). It all started from a thought: what if I had met a special friend when I was young and we’d grown up together, being as close as siblings? And I developed a whole story from that thought.
MF: What are some ways in which you promote your work? Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?
RC: I’ve only just started promoting my book. I’ve been writing about it in my blog, sharing each step of the self-publishing process, and in my Facebook page. I’ve told a few of my friends around the world – the book is in English, so none of my close friends here in Italy will get a chance to read it – and I’ve listed it on Goodreads. I’ve recently joined the World Literary Café blog and I’ve started contacting reviewers, as well as other bloggers for author interviews. I will probably think about a giveaway some time during the next months. I have to admit marketing is not my favorite part of being a writer and sometimes I wish I had gone down the standard publishing route, with professionals doing it for me. But I’m sure it’ll be exciting once the efforts start to pay back. I try not to let marketing detract from my writing time, but it’s tough with a full-time job. I try to scribble down ideas whenever I have a little time during the day and then dedicate a little more time in the evenings and over the weekends to marketing.
MF: What do you read? What do you re-read?
RC: I always considered myself a romance/women’s fiction kind of reader. Then I discovered Sophie Kinsella and I started enjoying chick-lit, too. I’ve never been a fan of fantasy or paranormal, but I read – and loved – Twilight and Fallen. As long as there’s a romance in it, I’ll read it. I re-read Nicholas Sparks and Rosamunde Pilcher’s books. And I’ll probably re-read Twilight when I have a little spare time.
MF: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
RC: Like I said, I love Nicholas Sparks, Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy best. I love the way they portrait the characters, making you feel as if you’d known them forever, and the way they describe feelings, in a way that makes them almost tangible. I love the way Nicholas Sparks depicts women’s feelings (it’s weird for a man to be so good at that, which explains why he’s a best-selling author) and the way Rosamunde Pilcher describes the settings – I fell in love with Cornwall after the first book I’ve read.
MF: What is your favorite writing tip or quote?
RC: I use a quote from Robert Frost’s “The road not taken” as my personal motto: Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the less traveled by and that has made all the difference. I think of myself as that person who’s taken the less traveled by path in life and found happiness there she wouldn’t have found taking the path everyone else has taken. Writing has been that path for me.
MF: Do you have any advice for other writers?
RC: I guess I can only say: if writing is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you think of at night, well then don’t let anyone put you off. Just do it, believe in yourself and, most of all, write for yourself, not to please others. Oh, and stay true to yourself – that’s the most important thing.
MF: If you could jump into a book, and live in that world … which would it be?
RC: Right now I’d like to jump into “Breakfast at Darcy’s” by Ali McNamara. It’s set on an Irish isle, basically with nothing but cliffs, sea and stone cottages. I’d really love that right now; besides, I think it would be the ideal place for a writer!
Jazz Star Ryan Wyler grew up in Dublin, with a dream of becoming a professional pianist and continuing the legacy of his musical hero, Frank Sinatra. When opportunity knocks and he’s offered the chance to pursue a real music career, he’s happy to accept it, unaware that what he’s actually accepting is a package deal he will have no control over. But when success keeps him away from Valerie, his best friend since adolescence, Ryan will have to question his choices.
A story about the value of true friendship, the power of dreams, and the unpredictability of love.
Purchase The Melody in our Hearts: