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Author Interview with Ingrid Michaels

I have the privilege of having the wonderfully talented Ingrid Michaels stopping by Redheads again today. I absolutely love having her here and love being able to have the chance to read some of her works. She was gracious enough to let me pick her brain for the second time with her newest book, Giovanna's Dilemma.

Hello again, Ingrid! Thank you for joining me today.

Hi, Crystal. It's my pleasure to be here! Thank you for inviting me back. I brought a batch of my world-famous Nearly No Fat brownies! I hope you like them. You can get the recipe on my blog. I also have a gluten-free and nearly no sugar version!

Okay, let's get to it! I've read your latest romance novella and I want to pick your brain!

Pick away! Just leave some for me to use later. :-)

Tell us about the hero and heroine in Giovanna's Dilemma.

Well, first of all, there are two heroes and twoheroines. Actually, *counting on fingers* make that three heroes and two heroines.

Odd numbers make the best drama, don't they?

Definitely! Who wants everyone to pair up nicely? Where's the fun in that? *laughs*

So, um… who are they, the heroes and heroines?

Right! Lol. The story starts with JP and Karen out to dinner. They are celebrating their three-month dating anniversary. Two Canadians living in London, England, they met at the National Gallery, where JP works as an Art Historian. His present, on this special night, is a one-of-a-kind lecture he has prepared especially for Karen. He takes her to the National Gallery and launches into the tale of Giovanna Cenami, Giovanno Arnolfini, and Pieter Baes, who is Jan van Eyck's young assistant.  

How did you come up with these characters?

I've taught Art History in the past, and I've known about The Arnolfini Portraitsince, I would guess, grade ten. So it's been on my mind for quite a while! I did quite a bit of research on the painting and thought I could improve on the historical interpretation a little. *laughs* Well, I guess I didn't so much improveit as create what I hope is a series of plausible events to flesh out the main characters a bit. So, I wanted to develop that romantic story between Giovanna and Pieter, and I needed a knowledgeable Art Historian to tell the tale. And I thought a contemporary romance could be used to compare and contrast with the historical romance of the painting. That's how JP and Karen came to be.

By the way, what does JP stand for? You never tell the reader his full name.

I never really settled on what "JP" actually stood for. Sometimes I thought it was Jean-Paul, or John-Paul. Other times Jean-Pierre. In the end, I decided to leave it simply as JP.

Besides thinking about this painting for a few years… where did you get the idea for this romance?

Just from looking at the painting and wondering about the characters; putting myself in Giovanna's shoes and wondering how she must have felt, at fourteen to come from a wealthy family and to be betrothed by her father to Arnolfini, a man much older than herself. I asked myself: what if she was in love with someone closer to her own age? Wouldn't that make a dramatic story? But who might the boy be? Very little is known about the details of these characters' lives, so I invented Pieter Baes, a young Flemish boy, quite smitten by Giovanna's Tuscan charms. And of course, I could not pass up the opportunity to explore a teen girl's over-the-top drama as she stands there and poses for this master painter. :-)

Why did you combine the two genres: contemporary and historical? You have to admit, that's a bit unusual.

Yes, and I also used multiple points of view, as well. The romance that takes part in the present and bookends the historical tale is from Karen's POV. And the historical POV is third person. I wanted both stories to co-exist and to also be separate from each other. And I wanted to explore by contrast the two romances. I thought this way, both stories shed some light on each other.

They certainly did! Tell me, is this your first historical romance?

Yes… well, it's my first published historical romance. Book three of my Diagnosis Love series will also be a historical romance. And I also have a literary novel that will be set in the past.

Did you enjoy writing in this genre? I only ask because everything else you've written has been either contemporary or paranormal.

Yes, I did enjoy it! What I didn't like was the research. I just don't like to do any more research than I have to. :-)  But I particularly enjoyed the challenge of making my vision fit both the reality of the creation of the painting and the historical accuracy of the finished product. I mean, I wasn't setting out to create an "alternate reality" story, so I had to make sure that by the end, my romance coincided with the established historical facts… to some extent at least. *laughs*

What are you currently working on?

Besides my continuing Diagnosis Love novella series, I'm working on a short literary novel centered on art, featuring a romantic triangle between a young artist, his agent, and an art critic. This novel is almost fully drafted, after eight or so years of kicking around in my computer, so I'm totally psyched! I am also editing another romance novel with the working title: Her Father's Sins. This novel originally had Bahdria as the prologue. It deals with a woman who inherits her father's Big Pharma pharmaceutical company and in the process learns what an SOB the industrialist really was. She wants to make reparations to the business people he duped, and in the process she meets a wonderful man named Gabriel who lost his research company, his family, everything, to her father in a hostile takeover.

Do you have any current releases?

Funny you should ask! Noble Romance Publishing just released my sweet, contemporary/historical romance novella Giovanna's Dilemma. It tells the tale of Giovanna and her betrothed Arnolfini. Most people know her as the pregnant-looking woman in Jan van Eyck's masterpiece The Arnolfini Portrait.

So, is she pregnant?

*Laughs* It would make quite an interesting sequel if she were!


"Ooh. I get to see my man at work! I love it. Come on, big guy, let's hear this amazing lecture. Educate me." I wrapped my hands around his neck and whispered seductively.

JP stared at me, his face turning shades of red. He was so much fun! I could do this forever. I kissed his cheek and released him.

"I hope you like it. It's a special lecture. I wrote it with you in mind. In fact, wrote it for you."

"Aw . . . that's so sweet! But keep the technical details down to a minimum, would you? Unlike you, I haven't been studying Art History for the last sixteen years."

"Great!" JP turned me around, and we walked to an empty bench set against the back wall.

He sat down beside me. At a distance of some twenty-odd feet, van Eyck's work looked completely different than when I stood up close.

"I thought we could start from back here and then move up, you know, to change our perspective."

"Of course, because perspective is everything in life, isn't it, sweetie?" I patted his hand encouragingly.

Slipping into lecture mode, JP took my hand, much in the same way the fur-coated man held the preggo's hand in the painting; I was touched to see how nervous he was. This sweet, passionate man, who researched and lectured on art for a living!

He cleared his throat. "This is one of van Eyck's most famous masterpieces. It tells a very romantic story."

"Really? That stodgy guy doesn't look like much of a romantic," I said.

JP chuckled. "Oh, no. This painting doesn't merely depict a romance between Giovanna Cenami and Giovanni Arnolfini."

I thought about this while I studied the painting. "Well, the only other thing is that little terrier standing guard between the couple. And this is a portrait painting. I know that much from having dated you these past months."

"Ah . . . the lady doth listen."

I teased him. "Of course the lady listens! Just because she doesn't care doesn't mean she doesn't listen. So, tell me then, oh learned one, where is the romance in this painting, if it isn't between the old man and the young woman whose hand he's holding?"

"Allow me to show you." With a wry smile, he launched into the love story of Pieter Baes and Giovanna Cenami.

Do you have any upcoming releases?

Yes! Noble Romance Publishing is releasing Retrograde – Diagnosis Love II on June 25th.  Lovers of paranormal romances with kick-ass heroines and smexy vamps (that is, lovers of Diagnosis, Love) will absolutely love Retrograde! It is part two of the projected Diagnosis Love five-part novella series.

Purchase link:

Where can readers find you on the internet?

Twitter –!/IngridMichaels

Face Book –

I'm also on Goodreads, Pinterest, and pretty much everywhere else! :-)

Thank you so much for joining me!

Thank you,Crystal. It's always a pleasure to be here and to spend some time with my favorite reviewer! Have another brownie!

Don't mind if I do. *pours massive glass of milk*

Make sure you enter to win a copy of  Giovanna's Dilemma below and keep a lookout for my review right after this one!

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1 comment

  1. Hi Crystal! Thank you for your wonderful thoughts! I'm glad you enjoyed the story. :-)