Where are you from? From a small town on the Dalmatian Coast called Kaštel Lukšić. Well, at the time of my birth, that part of the land was under Venetian rule, today it’s part of province of Dalmatia in Croatia.
Tell us a bit about Rose of Crimson. The story depicts my ill-fated story of forbidden that ended in double tragedy. At least that’s how the story was told for centuries, only I know it ended on a happy note.
What did you think the first time you saw Kate Rokov? I was astonished, but that’s mildly putting it. She was a spitting image of her great-great-grandmother.
What was your second thought? Oh, you see, I saw her through some kind of time rift, so seeing her from the 17th century in her 20th century outfit did not make much sense to me.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? No. Yes. Perhaps, definitely maybe. I just finished a difficult task of dismissing her grand-grand-grandmother from my service. I was heartbroken. I didn’t know what to think. My first thought was the servant Kate disobeyed me. Then I noticed the differences and…when her image started to fade, I quickly plucked a rose from the nearby bush and gave it to her.
What do you like most about Kate? Her pure heart and spirit that no matter what life throws at her, it doesn’t bog her down. Not for too long, anyways. And I know just what she needs to pull her out of it.
How would you describe her? Tall, slender, athletic, doe like green eyes that remind me of emeralds and her hazel hair like the color of ripened wheat.
Whoa, baby. That is some description. How would she describe you? I’d like to know that, too. I know she loves my muscular frame and her gazes lock onto mine. She said she could get lots in my crystal blue eyes. Okay, my cheeks are heating now. It’s not the kind of talk men like to debate about.
What made you choose medicine for a career? To understand and help the life of mortals.
What is your biggest fear? Bad things happening to my family. I’ve already been through too much. I’m overprotective, but at the same time I’m trying to be liberal.
How do you relax? With a good book, or just gazing at the night sky.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Don Quixote de la Mancha, because of his dry humor, he reads too much and therefore not sleeping, which caused (according to the character himself) his brain to dry out. He also believed every word of the fictional books on chivalry to be true, and he decides to change the world for the better.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Hmm, when you live 300 years, you receive many advices. There’s not one I can single out right now.
Thank you, Matthias. This has been very interesting. Now, we'd like to speak with Zrinka. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? Too many to list here, but I can narrow it down to: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Call of the Wild, and the list goes on.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? The struggles of my college days as a foreign student with all my friends back home.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? Black Opal Books already published my debut novel Bonded By Crimson which is now sequel to Rose of Crimson. It’s nice that both books are now available from the same publisher.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’ve started on a romantic comedy tentatively titled “The Wedding Date”, kind of a mix between My Big Fat Greek Wedding and the Wedding Singer. My previous novel, Gypsy Stone, that’s coming out on October 30th (my birthday), is a romantic suspense and it was so hard to write. I needed some goofy, silly story to counteract the heaviness of the Gypsy Stone.
What's up next for you? Writing and more writing, oh, and reading more fabulous books.
To learn more about Zrinka Jelic and the stories she creates, go to:
To purchase Rose of Crimson, go to: