Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Medieval Italy in Bloodstone Castle by Mirella Patzer

Today we'll travel to medieval Italy through the pages of Bloodstone Castle by Mirella Patzer. We've talked about many elements of her book this month during her virtual tour, but setting is one of my absolute favorite parts of a book. I'm not talking about adding an inn because the character is hungry and needs a place to sleep. I'm talking about a setting that is accurate, real and actually feels like a part of the story. That's what you find in Bloodstone Castle.

The banner to the side is not the final banner that we're using to promote Mirella's tour, but I had to include it here because it shows a picture of the castle which is an important part of the setting.

Why did you pick the setting you used in your story? I'm not looking for -- "because I live there". I want you to dig deep and tell us...

I was born in Canada to Italian immigrants. All my life, I have felt the pull of Italy. I yearn to live there, but strong family ties bind me. Writing about Italy is the next best thing to living there because it allows me to research, to learn, and to experience Italy through the eyes of my characters.

Why you chose that particular setting?

I wanted to write an Italian historical romance and I wanted the heroine to live in a castle. So I Googled Italian Castles and discovered this picture of a castle in the Cinque Terre region of Italy, specifically in the town of Portovenere. This was my inspiration and I created the entire plot and story of Bloodstone Castle around it.

The sea has always fascinated me. The castle at Portovenere is surrounded on three sides by the Ligurian Sea. The entire Cinque Terre region is isolated yet one of the most beautiful regions in Italy. Because the castle is easily accessible by sea, I decided to make it an ancient Roman stronghold. This then led to the idea of secreting an ancient Roman treasure beneath it.

What does the setting add to the story?

The setting allowed me to visualize the castle and territory. The characters all live within a one or two day journey from each other. This made it easy for them to interact and they could travel from one place to another without slowing the pace.

Could you write the same story in a different setting?

This is a difficult question because I built a story around the picture of this castle. But I suppose I could use a different setting, although the names and titles of some of the characters would have to change.

Why or why couldn't you use a different setting?

In this particular case, I don’t think the story would have the same affect in a different location. I wanted the castle to be accessible by land and sea and I wanted it to be a stronghold of the ancient Romans. I also wanted it to be somewhat isolated. I think it would be difficult to find another castle with these exact specifications that are intricate to the plot.

Did you use a real place as a basis for your setting?

Yes and no. The towns of Savona and Genoa are real, but the castles there are pure fiction.

Is there anything else about your setting that we need to know? Feel free to share.

Although the castle is real, the caverns beneath it are purely fabricated from my imagination.

Please provide your website link.

What is the link to buy your book?

You can purchase my book at any of my blogs or sites at:

Or at Amazon at:

You are encouraged to stop at each blog visit and post a comment for Mirella. Each comment enters you in a drawing for a free print copy of the book at the end of the tour. So, visit Mirella, learn more about Bloodstone Castle and post comments. Mirella looks forward to getting to know her readers.


Mirella Patzer said...

Good morning everyone! I've just booked on this morning and this was my first stop. I'll be checking in throughout the day. I'm in Whitefish Montana and wil be leaving for Poulson Montana later today. And I've got one of those dreaded summer colds so I'm feeling a bit under the weather today. Can't believe how much beter the prices are in the U.S.

Nikki Leigh - Author said...

Summer colds are the pits - hope the warm weather will help.

Just curious what prices are better in the US :)

Nikki Leigh

Mirella Patzer said...

Hi Nikki,

Food prices from the grocery store and over-the-counter drugs, and books, are so far better priced. Also, your gas is cheaper. And that's saying a lot because I'm from Alberta where trillions of barrels of oil wait to be pulled out of the ground. They tax our gas so that we pay tax on the tax.

I'm at the KwaTaqNuk Resort on Lake Polson and our room literally is on the shorest of the lake. It's spectacular country. We have a little balcony off the room where I'll hang out this afternoon and either read or write. I'll check back later too. I'm already tired of eating so much. Today's a rest day - tomorrow we're on to Coeur d'Alene Idaho for two days.

Nikki Leigh - Author said...

I guess its encouraging for us to hear that prices are better. But, I can tell you that 6-12 months ago they were much better :)

I saw a TV show the other week and they were talking about how the US pays about 12-15% tax on gas - in areas in Europe, people are paying 60-65% tax. That's insane. Prices in the US are much more than we're used to and I'm really happy I work from home, but our gas prices have been better than most other places for as long as I've been keeping an eye on the prices.

Nikki Leigh

Mirella Patzer said...

Here in Montana, gas prices I saw today was $3.99 a gallon. In Calgary, we pay $1.32 per litre which translates to 4 litres = 1 gallon. In some places in Canada it's $1.50 per litre, so here in the U.S.A., it's still better than other areas.

I've had fun visiting this blog today. I'll try to check back once more before bed. We're pretty exhausted. Up early, drive, walk, eat - all with a 2 year old. I"ll need a vacation from the vacation.

Thanks for hosting me!