For “the date” in Billion Dollar Date, I headed to Switzerland on an 8-day tour starting north in Zurich and ending in the Italian-speaking Canton of Ticino in Lugano. Side note, although it sounds quite exotic– heading across the world for book research– in reality, I’d already planned a trip there with my family and decided it would be a perfect locale for Enzo and Chari’s date.
Although my mother scolded me for having my notebook in the bus while the picturesque landscape flew by, Enzo, Tristano and his other siblings began to take shape in my mind. Like most authors, pieces of me are found in my debut contemporary romance. DeLuca family Sunday dinners become twenty-person affairs in the book, for instance. As we drove south, I jotted down names and places, not knowing which would make the cut. For example, Enzo’s sister’s name, Lusanne, was inspired by a town we passed called Lausanne, a beautiful name which I learned was once ruled by the Dukes of Savoy.
Of all the places we visited, two became my new favorite places in the world. French speaking Montreux and our southern-most destination, Lugano. I learned about cantons (states) and that there are four national languages in Switzerland– French, German, Italian and Romani. We visited the apartment where Albert Einstein revolutionized our understanding of space and time in Bern. We tasted wine at Lavaux Winery with views of Lake Geneva and the French and Swiss Alps surrounding us. How could I not be inspired to include such places in my first billionaire romance novel?
Although it might be some time before I’m able to return, we can let the the characters in Billion Dollar Date take us there instead. You can subscribe to chat with Enzo (FB Messenger) for updates and/or become a BM Insider (email) for sneak peeks.