Monday, January 28, 2013

Krystal Shannan Interviews - Zrinka Jelic @Firetulip #romanceauthorinterview

Please Welcome Zrinka Jelic to the blog today!

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I live in Ontario, Canada, with my husband and two children. A member of the Romance Writers of America and its chapter Fantasy Futuristic &Paranormal, as well as Savvy Authors, I write contemporary fiction—which leans toward the paranormal—and add a pinch of history. My characters come from all walks of life, and although I prefers red, romance comes in many colors. Given my love for my native Croatia and the Adriatic Sea, my characters usually find themselves dealing with a fair amount of sunshine, but that’s about the only break they get. “Alas, some rain must fall in everyone’s life.”

Did you always want to be an author? 
No, becoming an author came as a surprise to me, and everyone else. I really didn’t have a clear direction in life, other than reading books. 

What made you choose to write romance? 
I love happily ever after endings. I guess after seeing “The Wedding Singer” for thousandth time I’ve decided to put some of my ideas to page. And slowly the story began to develop but I didn’t have readers for it. I’ve tried some online sites where unpublished authors post their work in progress and peers read it and rate it. But didn’t go over so well. 

What is your favorite part of being a writer/author? 
Everything, from starting that opening chapter, through the middle of the book, to writing “the end” to sending my work out to publishers, and yes, even the rejections. 

Tell us a little about your book. 

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?

What inspired you to write it? 
At first this was supposed to be a short story for a pirate anthology, but then I’ve learned that writing a short story is a whole different game from writing a full length novel. So I decided to develop it into a longer story, a novella perhaps, but the plot kept on going and 19 chapter plus an epilogue later, it was completed. 

Do you plot and outline or do you just write?  
I jot down a quick synopsis when I get hit with an idea for a story, but don’t refer back to it. Often I just let my muse take the reins and guide me and I have to confess, I get surprised where she takes me. 

Plotter or Pantser? 
From the above you can conclude I’m a panster and write from the seat of my pants. 

Can you tell us about the process of getting your first book published? 
I entered an online open pitch to an editor from Black Opal Books on SavvyAuthors. I kept checking to see if there’s any new developing happening on the page, but for about two weeks didn’t see anything new so I kind of forgot about it. Then when I remembered to check again and saw she’s requesting first three chapters of my manuscript and a synopsis. My heart just thudded but I read the chapters one more time to check for the last minute typos or what not, got the synopsis in order and fired it off. In about three weeks there was an email from the editor asking to see the rest of the novel, so I put that together and sent if to her, but didn’t expect to find another email with a publishing offer. 

What advice would you give new authors?  
Never give up, you don’t know what you have until you finish the manuscript and get it out there. 

What have you learned about the business? 
It’s very competitive, it’s harder to find people willing to read your book than it is to write it and publish it. 

Do you have another book in the works? 
Always. My work in project is titled “Love Remains” and it’s a story of what if. When a single, career oriented woman returns home from a business trip and finds a husband and two kids, she discovers there’s more to life than the promotion and raise in her pay. 

What do you like to do in your free time, besides read and write of course? 
I like to work out at the gym, go for walks, bike rides, scour the shopping malls for deals. 

Where do you dream of going on vacation? 
Anywhere on the Dalmatian coast, like Dubrovnik or island of Korčula, a birth place of Marco Polo. 

Boxers or Briefs? I’m partial to either it’s what’s inside that counts. 

Cookies or cake? Cake for sure

Pizza or hamburger? Burger in summer on occasion. 

Beer, Wine, or mixed drink? Not much of a drinker but if I have to choose, then a light beer or a fruity wine. 

(Hero/Heroine Character Questions)
What were your first impressions of each other? 
Carmen/Sirena “I didn’t trust Marko at first. Of course, I was a pirate then with a hefty price on my head. But he proved worth keeping around.” 
Marko “When I saw her for the first time, standing on the deck of the enemy ship, I thought ‘that’s a woman for me’ but had to devise a clever plan to get to her without her slashing my throat. Which she nearly done, during our sword match.” 

What’s your favorite characteristic of each other? 
“He’s still a little boy who likes to be scalded.” Whispers “Boys will be boys.” 
“She has that truth extracting stare I’m powerless against.” 

What are your plans for the near future?  “Raise our crop of kids.” 

Be sure to leave a comment for Zrinka to enter to win a copy of  Treasured Chest!

Where to find Zrinka


  1. Thanks for hosting me on your blog today. It's always so exciting to reach out to new audience.

  2. Great interview, Zrinka! I'm almost done with Treasured Chest and want to tell everyone that I love it. Time, however, has been my enemy these last few days and I haven't had a chance to finish it. Hopefully tonight :)

    1. Thanks Debbie, I'm so glad you're enjoying the read. I know it reads fast but take your time and savor each page.

  3. I love interviews. I get to learn a little bit about the author that I didn't know. Your book sounds great, and from what I've read from others it is a fast read. One I won't want to put down.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Lynda. Yes, many say they weren't into pirates or historical novels but it was the action/adventure and the unexpected plot twists that kept them glued to the book.

  4. You kind of forget that actually writing the book is only the beginning. Then you have to find the readers.


    1. Yes, that's true, Mary. I'm finding it the promotion takes most of my days, just to get the word out. But once you figure the wonders of Internet it gets easier. It's a learning curve and the trick is not to fall pray to the marketing groups who promise this and that but in reality they don't have the customer base to support it.