Teri is here to talk about her book, Royally Roma, the 1st book in her The Royals series. Book 2, Royally Romanov, will be out in July!
Click here for more information about the book and the current reviews.
Q: Where did you get the inspiration for this story?
Royally Roma was inspired by the movie Roman Holiday
, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. I’m a huge fan of classic books and films. Roman Holiday
is the very first old movie I remember seeing. I fell instantly in love with it, and its bittersweet ending has stuck with me all this time. I was excited about giving the story a modern spin with a gender reversal and a happier twist at the end. I believe the best stories are timeless and can work in any decade. I also wrote this book immediately after my own trip to Rome. It’s such a lovely place, so inspiring. I can’t wait to go back there someday.
Q: Royally Roma is the 1st book in The Royals series. What connects all the stories together?
All three books in The Royals series are based on classic, old Hollywood films that have a royal theme. The second book in the series, Royally Romanov, is inspired by Anastasia
. The third, Royally Wed, is a modern-day version of the Fred Astaire movie, Royal Wedding
Q: How did Julia feel when she realized her client is none other than the Crown Prince of Lazaretto?
Julia doesn’t realize who Niccolo is until he’s spent two nights in her bed, so her feelings are pretty complicated. Plus, she might have accidentally kidnapped him…
“You mean the Crown Prince of Lazaretto is behind that door? Right now?” Chiara stared at Julia’s flat. “How on earth did you pull off such a miracle?”
Julia sighed. “I sort of kidnapped him.”
“You kidnapped a prince?”
“It’s not as bad as it seems. I didn’t know he was a royal when I kidnapped him.” Why had that sounded so much better in her head?
“How could you not know? He’s practically as famous as Prince William.”
“I don’t read tabloids, remember? I hate gossip.”
Chiara nodded. “And you’re not even on Facebook. I forget sometimes that you’re basically a nun. It’s so weird.”
Julia frowned. “No, it’s not.”
“I hate to break it to you, but yeah. It is.” Chiara shrugged.
What difference did it make, anyway? Only one thing mattered at the moment—the prince in her bed.
As quickly as she could, Julia spelled out the events of the past weekend. Most of them. The more personal details weren’t relevant to the big picture. At least not as far as anyone else was concerned.
“I don’t get it. I just don’t understand why he would leave the hotel with you. Unless there’s more you’re not telling me.” Chiara smirked. “He had his way with you, didn’t he? You slept with him! You lucky thing.”
Julia cleared her throat. “I did not sleep with him.”
“You’ve got the man who occupies the top spot of Europe’s most eligible bachelor list in your bed, and you’re telling me you didn’t sleep with him?” Chiara stared pointedly at Julia’s closed door.
“It’s not like that.” Julia waited for lightning to strike her dead for being a liar. At least if it did, she wouldn’t have to worry about how to extricate herself from the mess she’d gotten herself into.
When lightning failed to appear, she was almost disappointed.
“This isn’t how it looks.”
Chiara laughed. Hard.
“Shh. You’re going to wake him!” At the moment, a conscious prince sounded much worse than a sleeping one.
Chiara shot another long, lingering glance at the door. “You didn’t sleep with him. Then you’re either crazy or stupid. I’m not sure which.”
“Crazy or stupid? Those are my only options?”
“I’m willing to throw hopelessly naïve into the mix. Really, Julia. How could you not recognize him?” Chiara grabbed a copy of
Novella 2000 off the table just inside the door and shoved it at her.
Niccolo—stared back at her from the cover, looking as he had when she’d first seen him on the piazza at the hotel. The same moody gray gaze, same perfectly shaped lips, same close-cropped beard. The abrupt disappearance of the beard should have been the clincher. She’d had her doubts about his outlandish fake name, but no one dashes out of the Coliseum for an emergency shave. Not even men named Mano Romano.
God, she was an idiot.
Q: What kind of person is Julia Costa? What makes her a heroine we can sympathize with and root for? (since we already envy her for snagging a prince)
I based Julia Costa on a private tour guide who showed me around the Vatican Museums in Rome. I was completely blown away by the real Julia’s knowledge and passion for Roman history. She was a PhD student with an incredible work ethic. Julia Costa is inspired by her, but has her own very complicated reasons for ending up in Italy. Her father is in prison after being exposed as a Wall Street embezzler. After his trial, Julia flees the country and the constant media exposure. Rome is supposed to be a fresh start. But soon after her arrival, she falls for a handsome charmer who ends up stealing what little she has left. It’s in this vulnerable state that Julia stumbles upon her prince.
Q: Please tell us more about Niccolo La Torre and what it's like to be a prince. How about, a day in the life of a prince?
A day in the life of Niccolo La Torre is one of duty to the throne. As the Crown Prince of Lazaretto, Niccolo is the face of the royal family. The responsible royal. The good prince, as opposed to his younger brother, Cassian, the royal troublemaker. (Isn’t it always the younger royal who causes all the problems?)
Niccolo’s stop in Rome is supposed to be the last on a royal tour that’s kept him away from home for weeks. Every minute of his day is jam-packed with appearances and royal engagements. He’s been gone so long, he can barely keep track of what country he’s in. When he meets a beautiful woman who clearly has no idea who he is, he sees an opportunity to become someone else...if only for a few moments. But his charmed life has left him ill-prepared to imitate a commoner, even for a day.
Q: How do you come up with emotional scenes that tug at the reader's heartstrings?
This is something I’ve had to work on. As a writer, I love my characters, especially my heroines. Every heroine I write is basically some small part of myself, bared for all the world to see. So it’s hard for me to make my characters suffer, but I’ve learned that the end of a book is so much sweeter and rewarding if the character has to go through hell to get there. When I want to write an emotional scene, I usually try to find a way to challenge a character where he or she is most vulnerable. Kill your darlings, as they say. Then later, give them the redemptive love they deserve.
Q: If there were something Julia could do over, what would it be?
If Julia could do one thing over again, she would never trust her ex, Elio. (Ugh, isn’t this a do-over we can all relate to??) Elio took every penny she had—even some she didn’t—and now Julia is barely making ends meet. Which makes it all the more troublesome when Prince Not-So-Charming gets her fired from her job.
Q: What's up next in this series? Can you give us a sneak peek?
The next book in this series is Royally Romanov, coming in July!
In this charming modern day retelling of the 1956 classic Anastasia, a museum curator falls for a mysterious man who may or may not be a long lost heir to Russia’s imperial Romanov dynasty.
Finley Abbot is organizing the most prestigious art exhibit of her career at the Louvre museum—a retrospective of art from the House of Romanov. But the sudden appearance of Maxim Romanov threatens to turn her into the biggest laughingstock of the art world. When she finds herself falling in love, she realizes there’s even more at stake than her career. How can she trust a man with her whole world when he can’t remember a thing about his past?
After suffering a violent blow to the head, Maxim’s only clue to his identity is a notebook containing carefully researched documentation in his own handwriting indicating that he is the sole surviving descendant of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, previously thought dead in the murder of her family during Russia’s Bolshevik revolution. His struggle to put the mysterious pieces of his past back together leads him to Finley. At first, she’s convinced Maxim is nothing but a con artist. But there’s something undeniably captivating about the beautiful, brooding man who claims to be searching for his identity—something Finley can’t quite bring herself to resist. When he reveals a secret about one of the imperial Fabergé eggs in the collection, she accepts he may actually be telling the truth. But as soon as Finley and Maxim act on their feelings for one another, Maxim is confronted with evidence that calls into question everything he’s begun to believe about himself.
About the Author
Teri Wilson is a romance novelist for Harlequin Books and Gallery/Pocket Star. She is also a contributing writer at HelloGiggles, a lifestyle and entertainment website founded by Zooey Deschanel and now a division of People Magazine. Teri is the author of UNLEASHING MR. DARCY, now a Hallmark Channel Original Movie. She’s currently working on a new series of books set at a Tiffany-esque jewelry store, as well as a trilogy of royal romances, both slated to debut in 2017. She loves books, travel, animals and dancing every day.