A RITA is the annual award of the Romance Writers of America
RITA WINNER 1998
HIS BROTHER'S CHILD
Harlequin Romance: 1997
RITA FINALIST 1997
FOR THE LOVE OF EMMA
Harlequin Romance: 1996
RITA FINALIST 1997
THE UNROMANTIC LADY
Fawcett Crest: 1996
RITA WINNER 1991
SONG OF THE LORELEI
Silhouette Romance: 1990
RITA FINALIST 1989
A PEARL BEYOND PRICE
Read an interview at Night Owl about
my favourite romance!
The most romantic love story I have ever known is my own. It started when I was taking a short holiday in Venice, Italy.
I can remember sitting at a little cafe in St.Mark's Square, listening to the orchestra, watching the sun wink off my wine glass, and wondering what this magical city would bring me. Three hours later I met a tall, dark, handsome Venetian, who asked me to have dinner with him that night.
"Definitely not!!" I said. "I've dated Italians before, "and you're all hands."
He was in his thirties, and an old hand at dodging wedding bells. But that same evening he began to drop hints about the kind of woman he wanted to marry. Gradually I realized that he was serious. In the end it took him a whole twenty four hours to propose formally. I said yes. It was complete madness, but I was in love.
When I finally gave up journalism to write romances, all these experiences crept into my work.
did return to Italy for a couple of years, and rented a villa just outside
Venice. It was then that I really got to know the Italian people, and the
rest of the country.
When we first became engaged my family and friends were aghast, muttering about ‘holiday romances that never last’. But we had a happy marriage that lasted 45 years, and only ended recently when he had a fatal heart attack.
His influence in my work hasn’t ended and never will.
It is no accident that so many of my books are set in Italy. I've used Venice as a background, but also Rome, Florence, Milan, Tuscany and Sicily. I love writing Italian heroes. The legend of the romantic Italian male has a lot of truth in it. The men from this hot, colorful country have a full hearted, emotional reaction to life that makes them lovely to be with – and to write about.
When I sit down to write I know that my wonderful husband is still with me. And he always will be.
* * *
Here's a TV interview in which my husband Roberto and I talk about our own real-life romance.
~ a taste of italy at home ~