Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Heart-to-Heart: Kellyann Zuzulo

Genies are on the rise! Well, in my books anyway. Match Ramsey, in particular, rises to the occasion of ARe’s 28 Days of Heart campaign … and when in proximity of a certain alluring teacher-turned-realtor named Angeline Delaire.

Angels & Genies is my fourth genie romance but the first to introduce Match and his surfer-dude angel sidekick Miguel. Together, they seek to block the entrance of evil jinni Iblis to the earthly realm. Angeline holds the key to the sought portal. The only hint I’ll give is—as any realtor will tell you—it’s all about location, location, location.
Kellyann Zuzulo
I’m so pleased to be able to share this story and especially thrilled to be spreading the word through the Daily Dose. Heather Long, who created this really fun and informative romance blog, offered up a few questions for the ARe authors’ blog tour:

Share a little of why you chose to participate in the 28 Days of Heart campaign:
Well, honestly, I wasn’t going to do it. I’d come up with the idea of creating Match a few weeks before I heard about All Romance eBook’s campaign. I didn’t initially pay attention to what the campaign was for. Got the email. Delete.

Soon after, in October, my husband and I took our kids to Ireland for a large family wedding. The emotions, stories, and adventures were unforgettable. Part of that emotion was remembering my Aunt Tina, who would have been at the wedding, but had died the previous Christmas Eve of a heart attack. We raised a glass as well to my maternal grandmother, who had died of a heart attack at 73 years old. And in a final reminder of the fragile strength of a woman’s heart, I learned that same week that my best friend had suffered a heart attack at 45 years old.

I think you probably know what’s coming next, though, at the time, I didn’t. When I got back to work the second week in October, I opened another e-mail from ARe. This time, I read what charity would benefit from the “uncompensated” efforts of the participating authors. It was the American Heart Association.

I worked like a genie flying a carpet in a hurricane and turned in my novella two weeks later, on the last day for submissions. Enough magic remained that my story was selected to be a part of the 28 days and will be released on February 24th—my grandmother’s birthday….Psyche. Not really. That would be just too weird. I didn’t need any more omens to remind me that loyalties are more important that royalties. (In fact, Granny Kelly’s birthday is October 10th, the same day as my cousin’s wedding in Ireland.)

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your stories?

I learned that emotion drives the story. I had suspected as much, but the more characters I create—even when they’re genies—I increasingly realize that you must touch a reader’s heart to keep them interested. The emotions aren’t always warm and fuzzy, or hot and titillating. They can be vengeful, tender, angry, or confused, but they must be there and they must be palpable. Otherwise, the story becomes as flat as the screen upon which it is read.

Have you become more or less romantic since you began your writing journey?
I like to think I was always romantic. But I’m Irish and we don’t show it. Maybe that’s why I enjoy immersing myself in the expression of a romance novel. The plots are rife with desire and thick with passion, ladled with a healthy glaze of sexual tension and, let’s admit it, some sex. But, again, the sex would be as empty as a bottle without a genie unless it has emotion. That’s where the romance comes from. That’s where the heart is.

You can learn about K. F. Zuzulo, her books, and the romance of the jinn at her website
Angels & Genies will be available from All Romance eBooks on February 24th.



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