Rosanna Patruno is the Author of Hidden Heir and today’s featured author interview
About Rosanna: From her youth spent in Puglia, a wild region in the south of Italy, Rose has retained a love for the culinary preparation of beautiful natural products. And when still a teen, she decided to become a writer without knowing anything about this world; Rose never imagined for a moment what her path would be. At the age of twenty she defied the path laid out by her patriarchal family and escaped, leaving her family and this region behind, to follow her own passion – that of art and literature to discover Paris. There she took art classes, immersing her creativity between anatomy morphology and the art of watercolor along with Theater, which sharpened her sense of observation and her art of human portraiture – two skills she offers in her writing. Later, she developed her knowledge of pre-Christian myths, a passion she shares with her husband. Her life as a writer comes from a well of decisions and encounters: “A novel may begin life as an anecdote, but sharing is where it is truly born. It is not something that we premeditate. But the desire to have amusement and excitement can only stem from our original creations for which the inspiration flows from our own memories – the surprises of life”.
What is your book about?
A witch who cannot spell-dry a pair of socks (let alone turn someone into a frog!) dreams of breaking into Finance. Alas, it’s hard to focus on your Macroeconomics essay when your mum wants you to drop everything to work for her, your Magic can put you six feet under any time, AND shady characters want you to be the Dark Side’s cookie.
But at least she has a cinnamon macaron of a boyfriend to help her through it all.
What do you hope other people will take away from reading your book?
Well, most of all, a good time; the book is mysterious, fun, funny, and a little bit scary it’s a roller coaster ride that won’t mess up your hair.
I also hope it’ll offer a broader view of the world; it’s a story bridging characters from different cultures and ways of life in a world of magic. It’s like feasting on Italian tiramisu, French macaron, and the UK; I’m not sure I suspect Inga brought a lot of macarons in her luggage to London. But it’s also a rejection of the saved princess, an admiring female that was one of the few things I didn’t like about many stories. I wanted to write about a strong female lead who didn’t need a man except on her terms.
Also, using magic to show how the world can be changed and can make people you wouldn’t think face discrimination overcome it. But the biggest takeaway, I hope, is a smile, a warm feeling, and perhaps a desire to try some good patisseries.
I would love to tell you that each library in every high school & city town hall already has a copy of it, allowing readers to read it quietly with a nice cup of green tea and a little French macaron.
However, at the moment I’m writing this (02/04/2023), the ebook and paperback links are not out yet, but you can subscribe to my newsletter to know when they’ll be available on Amazon.
What is the best way for our readers to connect with you? (website URL, social media links – we do not publish emails)
I’d like to say just to send me an owl, but the poor birds might refuse to come my way. You know, my father enjoys hunting, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if he shot down the owl with my Hogwarts admission letter! Some birds have a long memory and pass down info about good and mean humans from hen to chick.
I also love receiving snail mail: the pleasure of seeing a little letter in my box, discovering new handwriting, and the emotion one can find in words used. I have a whole box of old 19th-century letters, some still sealed, and it’s always an emotion to hold them, admire the downstrokes and upstrokes written from purple ink with sometimes a simple quill pen, but well, one should live with its time.
What was the most difficult part about writing the book? The most rewarding?
If you count that first short story, give or take some weeks, it’d be ten years. However, if you look at the multi-chaptered version, it’d be eight years. I enjoyed it; but sending it to editors and friends for constructive feedback took a little longer.
The most challenging part was when I decided to give a 180° turn to the mother’s character.
But mothers are notable characters; I should know I am one. And you can’t give birth to a masterpiece without a solid mum in there somewhere.
Brainstorming and research were easy; but putting it all together and writing it not so much; it made me examine my relations with mum and covered a range of genres from comedy to tragedy, with a bit of horror in between. It was my therapy, and therapy takes time to work through.
Also, if I look at past versions, two dropped subplots weren’t easy to write about (although one will appear in Book 3), be it because they were a venting of some private matters or because the events I had to research and write about made me physically sick. So that’s a good way of keeping you on tenterhooks till book 3.
What came easily?
Some things came to me very naturally.
The first one is the setting. When constructing “today’s magical society,” I knew that having it would make some things stand out, known as platform 93/4 or Hogwarts Express in this world. Sadly or thankfully, I had History to take inspiration from when thinking about how magical elements would transform society. WW2 was the logical choice for the turning point, as the association of Nazism with occultism has been part of popular culture since at least the early ’40s. What would happen if Indy had used the Ark in Raiders of the Lost Ark?
Another one is Biagio. I wanted to break from the mould of the “Alpha Male” even if it slowed down the romance plot. I wanted to write about a better man, not a Beta man.
What’s next for you?
When you have so many characters, they won’t let you sleep. They call out to you at night, wanting to tell their stories. A book can be the most demanding baby to raise and care for. Luckily, the sequel needs some editing, but book 3 is still in its first draft stage, so you can send me a word of encouragement and macarons.
As I said before, I can see four books in this series, and as it’s got an organic, growing plot, I can see where it’s going. But unfortunately, it would help if you waited to see these books published before reading them. I have to write them, and I can get impatient waiting for Inga, Biagio, and all the characters to get on with things before I can know how things turn out and write them down. On top of that, some of the mentions of food in the book have made me contemplate a cookbook. But the only way I’d get that written is if Biagio in the story wrote it down.