1. So, tell us a little about yourself? What is your typical day like?
I’m a typical Italian grandma who spoils her six grandchildren. When I’m not doing the grandma thing, I’m either working in my garden, watching soccer, or playing with my three Rat Terriers.
Most days begin the same. First I get a cup of coffee. (Can’t function without it.) I feed my four dogs, read part of the newspaper, get dressed, then write for an hour or two. I’m usually a creature of habit. After my morning session of writing, I try to fit in at least two more throughout the day. Unfortunately, this schedule doesn’t always work. I will go some days without writing at all. It depends on what’s going on around my house and with family, as well as obligations to my Sons of Italy lodge.
2. When did you start to write and how long did it take you get published? How many stories did you finish before you were published?
I started writing historical romances when my three daughters were young, somewhere around 1980. I didn’t get serious about being published until the mid-nineties. I sold my first book in 1999 to Kensington.
As for how many stories I finished before getting published, I’d say close to 15, but offhand that may not be accurate.
3. What inspired you to write romance?
After reading Kathleen Woodiwiss and Johanna Lindsey, I wanted to create characters and stories of my own. So I did. And to this day, I haven’t looked back at the first or second book I wrote. They’re tucked away where no one but me can find them.
4. What genre or sub-genre do you write? Why did you choose this genre?
My first love is historical romance. I wrote historical western romances when I started out. Growing up near Hollywood, I was surrounded by make-believe. Western movies had been so popular back then, and I also grew up watching western series on tv. Then my writing evolved into Italian medieval romances. I write them because of my Italian heritage. Also, I find the 15th century fascinating.
5. What difficulties does writing this genre present?
For the historicals, the only difficulties I come across are editors and agents who believe readers don’t want to read Italian medievals. Otherwise, writing historicals, particularly with Italian settings, is not difficult at all. I love the research. It’s a labor of love.
6. What motivated you to write your current book?
Knight’s Desire came about when I went online searching what certain publishers were looking for. I found one who planned to do an anthology about knights, although it isn’t my current publisher.
7. Tell us about your other works, books, stories, etc.
I have a four-book Italian medieval series and a psychic sisters trilogy looking for a publisher. Both series are set in the 15th century.
8. What are you working on now?
I’m polishing up two romantic suspense books after which I’ll have to choose what to write next. There are four different historical romance projects I’d like to work on, but I haven’t decided which one to do first.
9. How do you write? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Is it your characters or your plot that influences you the most?
I’m definitely a pantser. I find plotting and writing an outline binding, and it forces my creativity into hiding. I always do my character workup first. Then I see where I’d like their story to take place. The plot evolves from that point with my characters leading the way.
10. What was the most unusual way you came up with a story idea? I mean, I’ve gotten a plot idea from a song I heard, from brainstorming with a classmate. What unusual thing caused you to think, ‘hey, I could make that into a story?’
One line in a conversation or an article will trigger the storyteller in me. That’s probably not so unusual.
11. If you could spend an hour talking to anyone from any time in history, who would it be? And Why?
I would love to sit down with Leonardo di Vinci. The man was a genius. The intricate way his mind worked was phenomenal and fascinating. I wouldn’t have one particular question to ask him. I’d just listen to him talk about his ideas and inventions.
12. Tell us some of the things reviewers are saying about your story or stories.
Here are a few comments:
Wonderful story full of characters you'll really care about!
Keep your eye on this author. I certainly will be. Jannine Corti Petska's future looks bright.
"Jannine Corti Petska is a magnificent storyteller who brings alive the golden glory of Renaissance Italy with a talent I genuinely envy. Read her!"
13. What is your all time favorite book?
To read? The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss.
To write? That would be a tie between Rebel Heart (western) and the books from my Italian medieval series.
14. How do you do research for your books? What’s the most interesting bit of research you’ve come across?
I start my research online. Then I choose from the 2000+ research books in my home library. I used to live at the library when researching a book. Now I hardly go because of all the resources available online. I can also connect with experts in various fields through the internet.
I couldn’t choose just one interesting bit of research I’ve come across. There is so much that’s interesting! If I had to choose, it would be a tidbit from Italian medieval history. I can’t give it away as I’m starting the research on it. But it was an extraordinary find that led to the story I’ll eventually weave around it.
15. What advice would you give aspiring writers today?
My advice it to never give up and grow a thick skin.
16. How do you like your fans to contact you?
USPS: Jannine Corti Petska
P.O. Box 284
San Luis Rey, CA 92068