Q&A With Jennifer Probst

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Q&A With Jennifer Probst 

I have the honor of doing this Q&A with Jennifer Probst who is the New York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of contemporary romance! What’s very impressive is Jennifer has written over fifty novels. Some of her novels to list is Unbreak My Heart, 1001 Dark Nights novellas, Our Italian Summer, What I Wish I’d Known Writers Inspiring Writers co-written with Erin Branscom, The Secret Love Letters Of Olivia Moretti & coming out May 14th of 2024 A Wedding In Lake Como! 

Q: Jennifer, would you like to talk about your upcoming release A Wedding In Lake Como & where the idea came from for the novel? 

A: Yes, thank you so much! First off, I adore writing stories set in Italy. My inspiration for A Wedding in Lake Como comes from two themes: friendship and first love. Female friendships can be the most complicated, thorny, joyful, and satisfying relationships in life. But it can also become possessive and toxic, depending on the roles each of us play and our pasts. I loved diving into all the aspects of best friends who bond in college and face the challenges of life together. I’m also fascinated by the power of first love—and being able to navigate growing up together while still allowing the relationship to thrive. All of these aspects come into play in the book. Three best friends re-discover themselves and face secrets and betrayals when they reunite at a lavish wedding in Lake Como. It’s full of emotion, twists, and the power of love. 

Q: What made you want to be an author, specifically a romance author?

A: I have loved romance books since my father came home from the library with a box of them when I was twelve years old! My mom yelled at him I was too young but he shrugged and said I read everything, I might as well read those. And it was love at first sight! I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was 7 – I just had this sense of knowing it was what I was meant to do so I started my first young adult novel at 12 and have never stopped. Romance gives the world hope and I am obsessed with exploring all themes of love.

Q: Italy is one of many places I would love to see one day since I love art, food and am a devout Catholic. Which places in Italy are your favorite places to sightsee & eat at?

A: I adore Italy so much and have been there a few times. One of my favorites is definitely Capri—the island is lush and romantic, with beautiful views and food. Venice is magical with the gondolas and an ancient city built on water. Florence has stunning art, architecture, churches, and culture that is a must-see. I loved Lake Como for its mansions set on a lake, and the small towns like Bellagio with shops and restaurants. I don’t think there is a place in Italy I didn’t like!

Q: When creating your characters do you take bits and pieces of personality traits from real people you know?

A: Yes, I do. I always pay attention and am curious about everything – a must for a writer. I use my own traits and patterns, especially as they change as I grow older. I take from strangers, family, and friends, with real life situations, and then spin them into a fictional world. People are endlessly fascinating and exploring humanity and our relationships with love is a never ending quest of mine. 

Q: Is it too early to ask what you are currently writing right now? 

A: LOL – NO! I am just finishing up my next book called That Summer in Sicily. It’s about a woman who loses her mom and finds she had a secret family in Sicily she knew nothing about. She travels there and discovers a whole new world. More to come – and it will be released in Spring 2025!

Q: Other than writing your contemporary romance novels, you wrote the non-fiction book What I Wish I’d Known Writers Inspiring Writers co-written with Erin Branscom. What was it like co-writing the book with her and what valuable advice would you give to any aspiring authors out there?

A: I love writing with my heart and soul so co-authoring a book for writers is something I’m passionate about. I loved writing with Erin – it was an easy flow and we reached out to forty authors about contributing essays in which they shared the things they wished they’d known. We put them together and I feel it’s such a valuable investment to all new writers – no matter what they wrote. My go-to advice has always been simple – focus on the writing and never give up. There’s a lot of noise out there and rejection for creatives, and we need to protect our love for the work and our grit for moving forward, even when people say things that hurt. Our stories are needed more than ever in this world. 

Q: Hollywood needs new original content again and it wouldn’t hurt them to do more book adaptations. Does Hollywood have the rights to your work? Whether they do or not, who would be your dream cast for the characters you created?

A: Not yet but it is a huge dream of mine to have my books on the screen. Oh my – I have so many books that would be great as a film, especially the ones set in Italy. I’m truly not sure about the casting question for A Wedding in Lake Como! My mind spins with so many options for actors and actresses and there are so many talented ones up and coming. I think I need to do more research before answering this one, lol!!

Q: Where is your favorite spot or spots to sit down and plot, write & edit your stories?

A: In my office. I have a beautiful view, a comfortable chair, my dogs, and my books surrounding me. I can write anywhere but going into my office every day is a rite of passage – I’m entering a sacred creative place for myself. Wherever that is for you, I think it’s important for any writer to carve out one. 

Q: I know this doesn’t specifically have to do with books, but it has to do with Italy. Have you seen the show Hotel Portofino on PBS? If you haven’t I think you would enjoy it. It’s based off of a true story about an English Family who runs a hotel in Portofino Italy and it covers Mussolini’s slow rise to power. 

A: I have not seen it and I thank you for the recommendation. I am going to check it out now!