Today, I welcome author Diana Rubino to my blog. Her time-traveling novel, Dark Brew, was released in July 2016.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books, and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaisance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. My urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. I live on Cape Cod with my husband Chris. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano and devour books of any genre.
Where were you born and where do you call home?
Born in Jersey City, NJ, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, and now call Cape Cod home with my husband.
Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?
I am now writing bio novels with no fictional characters, and have written 4 so far. I just began my next, which will be about Susan B. Anthony. I enjoy writing about strong women who shook things up, and call my books The Sassy Ladies Series.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I outline very thoroughly. I still use Donald Maass’s Writing The Breakout Novel Workbook, because it makes me explore every aspect of the storyline and characters, getting right down to minute details.
Please tell us about your current release.
My last book to be released is Dark Brew, a time travel romance.
What inspired you to write this book?
The story took 12 years from start to finish. I’m a longtime member of the Richard III Society, and in the spring of 2004, I read an article in The Ricardian Register by Pamela Butler, about Alice Kyteler, who lived in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1324, and faced witchcraft charges. After her trial and acquittal, she vanished from the annals of history. I couldn’t resist writing a book about her.
How did you come up with the title?
I originally called it Strange Brew, but thought Dark Brew was more dramatic and compelling. It refers to the herbal brews Kylah, the modern heroine, mixes and drinks to transport her to 14th century Ireland, to solve the mystery that consumes her life today, and her past life then.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I thoroughly researched Druids, because Kylah is a practicing Druid. I also researched Alice Kyteler…I found a book about her trial that explained all the details about how the church influenced the court in 14th century Ireland.
Did you base any of your characters on real people?
Alice actually lived, along with the judge, her lawyer, her husband and stepsons who lived in 14th century Ireland, but all my characters in modern times are fictional, not based on anyone.
Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?
I’d say Kylah is my favorite, as she’s determined to travel to her past life to right an injustice, and she’s very brave to attempt living in those times, which were very dangerous.
Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
The black moment occurs when Kylah is accused of murdering her husband Ted and arrested. I don’t want to give anything else away.
What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?
Time travels (I’ve written 3) are difficult in general, and since Kylah is the reincarnation of Alice, I found it difficult to describe what she experienced emotionally and physically as she traveled back in time. I also found it difficult to write the scenes in which she’s accused of murdering her husband, because she was innocent. It made me realize how much injustice is in the world.
If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
I would like to be Eliza Jumel Burr, who became the richest woman in New York City, a very astute businesswoman, and solved two murders. She led a fascinating life.
If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?
I’ve always wanted to spend a few days in the court of Richard III, and see what life was like in 1483-5.
Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?
I always have a jar of nuts at my side to munch when I get peckish. And always a glass of water in reach.
Do you have an all time favorite book?
Oh, so many….but one of my faves is THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF HENRY VIII by Margaret George. She puts you right there in Henry’s world. A CROWN FOR ELIZABETH, which I read in high school, is also another favorite.
I read a trilogy of novels when I lived in London, which are set in London, the first is THE L-SHAPED ROOM by Lynne Reid Banks. I read these over and over, never grow tired of them.
What book are you reading right now?
I usually read two or three at the same time, so I’m reading THE ROGUE LAWYER by John Grisham and
George Washington A Life in Books by Kevin Hayes, about the books Washington had, combined with a timeline of what was going on in his life as he acquired each book.
If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?
Neither are alive–Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens.
Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.
I’m a big believer in the paranormal and have gone on many paranormal investigations, though I have no psychic ability.
A time travel romance
Learn from the past or forever be doomed to repeat it.
Accused of her husband’s murder, Kylah McKinley, a practicing Druid, travels back through time to her past life in 1324 Ireland and brings the true killer to justice.
Two months of hell change Kylah’s life forever. On her many past life regressions, she returns to 14th century Ireland as Alice Kyteler, a druid moneylender falsely accused of murdering her husband. Kylah’s life mirrors Alice’s in one tragic event after another she finds her husband sprawled on the floor, cold, blue, with no pulse. Evidence points to her, and police arrest her for his murder. Kylah and Alice shared another twist of fate they fell in love with the man who believed in them. As Kylah prepares for her trial and fights to maintain her innocence, she must learn from her past or forever be doomed to repeat it.
About the Author
My passion for history has taken me to every setting of my historicals. The “Yorkist Saga” and two time travels are set in England. My contemporary fantasy “Fakin’ It”, set in Manhattan, won a Romantic Times Top Pick award. My Italian vampire romance “A Bloody Good Cruise” is set on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean.
When I’m not writing, I’m running my engineering business, CostPro Inc., with my husband Chris. I’m a golfer, racquetballer, work out with weights, enjoy bicycling and playing my piano.
I spend as much time as possible just livin’ the dream on my beloved Cape Cod.