Barbara DeLeo stopped by the virtual offices today to chat about her new release, Contract for Marriage. Check out what she has to say about her new Indulgence romance!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Barbara DeLeo] A short, blonde Scorpio with four kids, a husband, dog and a thousand stories in her head, who loves long weekend lunches with friends.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Contract for Marriage?
[Barbara DeLeo] Contract for Marriage is about what happens when you have to compromise your own needs for those of someone else. Christo wants to acquire the villa where his mother’s been housekeeper for forty years so she can stay on in the only home she’s known. Ruby wants the same house too—for her unborn baby so it can have links to a family that’s been lost. Both Ruby and Christo must trust each other to get what they want, but first they must revisit a past littered with lies and deception.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Barbara DeLeo] I started with the characters and how they could have come from the same home that meant so much to them. Having Christo as the son of the housekeeper and Ruby the daughter of the estate owner threw up a whole set of “what ifs” when I began thinking about a teenage relationship between them. Creating a believable situation where they were both entitled to an equal share of the house was a challenge, but once I’d done that the whole story came into focus.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Ruby?
[Barbara DeLeo] Determined, Creative, Vulnerable
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three activities would Christo never engage in?
[Barbara DeLeo] Flower arranging, Gossip, Giving up
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Christo had a theme song, what would it be?
[Barbara DeLeo] I did it my way.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Ruby won’t leave the house without.
[Barbara DeLeo] A piece of jewelry that she’s made herself.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Barbara DeLeo] Books and movies. I’ve been a big reader since I was very small and I love the feeling of being lost in a story. When I was very small my dad used to go to the library every Friday night and we’d wake up Saturday morning to a pile of books on each of our beds. I still feel that excitement when I open a book for the first time. I’m also a very big movie fan —not action or adventure or sci-fi, but stories of real people living real lives. Seeing the way other authors, screenwriters and directors tell their stories has a big influence in me finding my own creativity.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Barbara DeLeo] Silence, a tidy space, my super-dooper Scrivener writing program.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Barbara DeLeo] The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Barbara DeLeo] The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Barbara DeLeo] I love walking in the hills behind my house, catching up with my girlfriends over a glass or three of wine, and reading.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Barbara DeLeo] I’m at these places:
Thanks so much for having me, Manga Maniac Cafe!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
You can order Contract for Marriage from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below.
Barbara DeLeo’s first book, co-written with her best friend, was a story about beauty queens in space. She was eleven, and the sole, handwritten copy was lost years ago, much to everyone’s relief. It’s some small miracle that she kept the faith and is now living her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.
After completing degrees in Psychology and English then travelling the world, Barbara married her winemaker hero and had two sets of twins. She still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, with not a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.