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Mixing Genres in Florence, Italy

April 14, 2013

Author_Picture_Beate_Boeker_at_waterI’m delighted to introduce my friend and fellow writer, Beate Boeker. Beate has been a traditionally published author since 2008 and offers many full-length novels and short stories online. Several were shortlisted for awards (Golden Quill, National Readers’ Choice Award, Best Indie Books of 2012). She is a marketing manager by day with a degree in International Business Administration and her daily experience in marketing continuously provides her with a wide range of fodder for her novels, be it hiliarous or cynical. While “Boeker” means “books” in a German dialect, her first name, Beate, can be translated as “Happy.” With a name like Happy Books, what else could she do but write novels with a happy ending? Now, let’s hear from Beate.

It all started with my thirtieth birthday. Wildly determined to make this event memorable, and not being a partying kind of gal, I decided to go on a trip to Italy with my husband. Due to my day job, I had met a wonderful Italian couple who manufactured high-quality leather items for my employer. Spontaneously, I decided to take up their suggestion to come to Italy and booked a short trip.

It rained the whole time, but I was blown away by the beauty of that city. It felt to me as if the Italians celebrate beauty, and not only in big stuff like museums or buildings, but in every detail. How they plump up a cushion. How they decorate a bit of mint next to a chocolate cake (and I’m not talking about a pricey restaurant here). How they pile ice-cream cones into each other until they look sprays of water coming from a fountain. How they burst into song on your birthday (the waiter at our hotel did, and boy, could he sing!).

I was hooked. My Italian friend later opened her own bed and breakfast right in the ancient center of Florence, and again, I found beauty in every detail when I came to stay with her. She’s a great cook, a wonderful singer, and an amazing woman. I loved every minute of my stay, and spontaneously, I decided that even if I couldn’t live in Italy at the moment, I would transport myself to the spot by placing my next novel right there.

Originally, I wanted to write mysteries because they were always my favorite genre. However, when I started out as a writer, I realized that this whole business of killing people led me onto thin ice. I had no idea about police procedures, let alone poisons and other methods of killing people. Having decided to write in English and not in my mother tongue German, I felt I had bitten off more than I could chew, so I started out with romances. After all, I had a solid base of first-hand experience with love!

After several romances and being published by Avalon Books, I realized that now I boeker_littlebitofpassion[1]could “stomach” a murder or two, literally speaking, though I’m still careful when doing my research. I’m writing cozy mysteries, and sometimes, my research leads me down dark alleys that go straight into horror and prevent me from sleeping. My first novel set in Florence, A New Life, starts out as a romance and turns into a mystery in the second part. My series, Temptation in Florence, is a cozy mystery, but there is a bit of romance as an arch over all the books of the series. Personally, I love the mix of both genres and that’s why I’m writing it.

There’s an excerpt of Delayed Death on Sandy’s website that shows how the delayeddeathheroine Carlina, owner of an upscale lingerie store and Commissario Stefano Garini, the hero, get to know each other better. It’s one of my favorite excerpts because it develops both, the romance and the mystery.

Thanks, Beate. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.

Readers, I hope you’ll check out Beate’s excerpt. It’s a perfect example of her unique blend of mischief and humor.  In other words, it’s a hoot – sure to make you smile. Here’s the link:

Here’s a link to Beate’s Amazon author page:

10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2013 11:55 AM

    Thank you for welcoming me, Sandy! I do appreciate it!

  2. April 15, 2013 12:12 PM

    Beate. I’ve been to Italy twice but haven’t made it to Florence yet. What a wonderful setting for a mystery. I read your excerpt and couldn’t stop laughing. I’m off to hit the buy button and load it on my Kindle. Thanks for starting my week off with a big smile on my face!

    • April 15, 2013 1:41 PM

      Oh, Cindy, I’m so glad to hear that you laughed about it. That was my goal! I hope you’ll continue to chuckle throughout the book . . . and that you’ll make it to Florence one day. It is a wonderful city!

  3. April 15, 2013 4:50 PM

    I so enjoyed reading about how you came to mystery/romance writing, and you already knew that I loved the plot of your Florence books!! What you said about the Italians knowing how to celebrate beauty really rang true for me as well.
    Wishing you all the best with your series and here’s hoping there will be many more novels ahead :).

  4. April 16, 2013 1:14 AM

    Thank you, Marilyn. Your “Summer in Europe” is on my TBR-pile!
    The second in the series Temptation in Florence was also released, and the third will follow soon. 🙂

  5. April 16, 2013 4:24 AM

    One of my favourite places in the world Beate although fortunately no dead bodies so far. I love your thinking…start with romance and move on to murder. I feel like that too at times:-) Good luck with all your terrific books

  6. April 16, 2013 7:59 AM

    Lovely post, Beate! Makes me want to book a ticket NOW. When you write about Italy, it’s almost like I’m there – you bring the entire feeling of the country alive. All I can say is – write faster!

  7. April 17, 2013 1:30 PM

    I had to chuckle when I read your comment, Sheila. Let’s hope only a few romances end with murder 😉 – in fact, in A New Life, the murder is sandwiched in between – we have a happy end after all!
    Janis, that’s the nice part about writing of a dream-town – you can go back in thought! I wish we could all meet there one day – wouldn’t that be fun?

  8. April 17, 2013 3:10 PM

    A meet-up in Florence – what a nice thought. Count me in.

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