29 April 2007

Welcome, Jannine

Jannine Corti Petska is our newest member, and her contribution day is the 29th. However, she's having knee surgery this week, so I've agreed to post her introduction in lieu of her regular post. -- Carrie

I was born in New York to Italian parents who didn't learn to speak English until later in life.

I grew up with "old world" values. A housewife at a time when two-family incomes were not necessary, my mother was always reading books or magazines and was the driving force behind my love of the English language. I started reading before I was five.

When I was eighteen, I lived in Italy for several months with my uncle, an Italian Air Force General, and his family. Every day, I was surrounded by the true Italian culture and exposed to the beauty and romance of Italy's historical past, which later became a focus for many of my books.

I discovered my ability for story-telling in high school, but I didn't pursue writing until years later, well after my three daughters were born. In the early eighties, while working for my local newspaper, I was encouraged to put my ideas on paper. I learned just how difficult writing a full length novel was. The first romance I wrote broke all the rules.

On a lark, I attended a romance writer's conference in San Diego. From then on, I knew writing romances is what I wanted to do. For the next ten years, I wrote stories while tutoring English, Italian, Spanish and German at a local college. It wasn't until the mid-nineties that I buckled down and became serious about getting published.

I started out writing only historical westerns. It was a time period I really loved. When I got the idea for THE LILY AND THE FALCON, the first book in my four-book Italian Medieval series, I didn't immediately write the story. It took me five years of mulling it over before I got the nerve to try a Medieval. Once I started writing it, I discovered I was a natural for writing Medievals and that it was actually much easier than writing anything else. THE LILY AND THE FALCON was published by Kensington Precious Gem in 2000. This year, it will be re-issued by Highland Press and is due out in Fall 2007. This story takes place in 1433, Florence, and revolves around the Medici dynasty.

The second book in that Italian Medieval series is SURRENDER TO HONOR. It takes place in 1440, Palermo, and deals with the beginning of the Mafia. This book is due out in Spring 2008.

The other two books are DANTE'S FLAME, 1437, Naples; and TEMPT NOT MY HEART, 1441, Siena.

I am currently a member of the San Diego Chapter of the Romance Writer's of America , RWA National, and PAN (Published Authors Network), along with many other online writing chapters.