Saturday, 12 January 2013

Interview with Romance Author Zrinka Jelic

Today I am delighted to welcome once again romance author Zrinka Jelic.

Hello Zrinka and thank you very much for coming on my blog to talk about your new release "Treasured Chest".

1)     I loved "Bonded by Crimson". Is your new book a paranormal romance too? Can you give us a flavour of the story and the characters?

Thank you, Marie. I’m glad you love my debut novel. No, my new book, “Treasured Chest” is a historical romance. It’s a pirate's romance, or as one of my reviewer put it, untypical pirate’s romance. You see, the pirates are women hiding from the law on the ship called the Strega (witch in Italian and in Dalmatian dialect). The story takes place at the end of 18th century, and as well as the end of the Venetian Republic, which is just mentioned in the story. The captain of the Strega is Sirena, the name she takes when she gets her post, but her real name is Carmen. She rescues a young man, Captain Marko Lucin, stranded on the desolate islet, not knowing he is there deliberately to get close to her. From there on, they embark on the adventure in search of “Treasured Chest” her predecessor has hidden, only to discover the treasure is not always gold and diamonds.

2)    What a coincidence! I too write about a pirate’s lost treasure in my new historical romance, “The Lion’s Embrace”, to be published by MuseitUp Publishing next month. The pirate in question was the legendary Barbarossa, who roamed the Mediterranean Sea and wreaked havoc from Algeria to France, from Constantinople to Spain during the 16th century. Where did you draw your inspiration for your new story?

The story was first to be included in an anthology some writers were putting together at the time a fourth instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean hit the big screens. But I discovered that I didn’t know how to write short stories. I need infinite number of words to develop the story and characters fully. So I ploughed onward and the next thing I knew, I was beyond 40,000 words and the story kept on going. It was finally completed at 75,000 words. 

3)      What is the best time of the day for you to write? Do you have a study, an office or a quiet room or can you just write anywhere? Are you a tea or coffee addict when you write?

I mostly write in the evening after dinner, when everyone’s fed and kitchen’s clean. I have a couch and a little table to myself and often kids interrupt me with their questions or asking for snacks and what not. When I write I like to keep the space clean and I’m always afraid I’ll spill my coffee or tea on the keyboard, so if I need a break, I step away from my computer.

4)      Are you inspired by music, and if so, which music do you particularly like to listen to when you write?

Music is my greatest inspiration, I like to listen Lloyd Andrew Weber, or epic music like “Two Steps From Hell” to Croatian music, especially if I’m writing a scene set in Croatia I need something to transport me there. So I can get the scenery, the scents and the sounds just right.

5)      Tell us a little about your journey to publication.

As many, I started solo, never expecting anything to come out of it. I pestered my friends and family to read my work. But I did discover something. Avid readers often don’t know about writers’ terms such as Point Of View, head hoping, or passive vs. active language, or again deep POV and plot holes. And neither did I. Fortunately, I came across a person who is a member of Romance Writers of America. She directed me to their site and I joined. Eventually, I joined their online specialty group Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal or better known as (FFnP). I made lots of internet friends and learned a lot about the craft of writing. Through them, I became a member of Savvy Authors. There are open pitches to editors, and I pitched my debut novel to a few. There were no takers until editor from Black Opal requested the first three chapters. After that she requested the full ms and a few days later I got a publishing offer in my inbox. I was thrilled beyond belief. I had to re-read the email three times before it started to sink in. I was going to get published!

6)      And finally, what is your next project? Are you working on a new story?

Yes, I am working on a new story under the title “Love Remains”. It’s another paranormal novel dedicated to all working women who juggle family and career, but especially those who chose to forge the family for the sake of their careers. It explores on the question of “What if?” So the heroine, a career oriented woman with no desire for a husband and children, returns home from a business trip and finds a hunk cooking her a dinner and calling her “honey”. But her pot boils over when she discovers two children she had no idea she gave birth to. As she struggles to return to her normal life, she falls in love with the guy and the kids and now is afraid she’d be yanked back to her solitude. When that does happen, she will stop at nothing to find him and her kids.

Treasured Chest

The last thing Captain Sirena expected to find on a desolate island was...him! When Carmen Ventura takes up her post as commander of the Strega, she becomes the new Captain Sirena, the legendary pirate most people think is just a myth created to scare children. Her first quest is to search for the “treasured chest” hidden by her predecessor. But before she can even begin the hunt, she runs into Marko Lucin, captain of the Levant and Carmen’s most insane adventure yet.   How can the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen be a bloody pirate? Never one to pass up an adventure, especially where pretty women are concerned, Marko finds his ultimate challenge in Carmen. Not only does he fall for her courage, spunk, and intelligence, but the lady pirate can also help him get what he wants—the famous treasure everyone whispers about.

His only problem—how long can he play the charming captain before she discovers his true intentions?

Thank you very much for answering my questions today Zrinka and best of luck with 'Treasured Chest'. You can find "Treasured Chest" at: Amazon Print & Kindle:

B&N Print & Nook:





  1. Great interview, Zrinka. Nice blurb for Treasured Chest. It's next on my TBR list. I can't wait to read the adventures aboard the Strega:)

    Good luck,

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Debbie. I'm sure you'll enjoy the adventures on the sea as much as I loved writing them.

  2. Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Marie. I always love to "visit" merry old England.

    1. It's a pleasure to host you, Zrinka. Good luck with 'Treasured Chest'!