An Interview with Author Loretta Chase

If you missed my interview with bestselling novelist Loretta Chase in the supplement of Wednesday's New York Daily News, here it is.

Loud and Proud:
Author Loretta Chase Extols Her Albanian Heritage
by Nick Leshi

Loretta Chase is an Albanian-American author of over a dozen popular romance novels and the winner of numerous awards for her writing. Her most recent bestseller is Scandal Wears Satin. In a recent interview with Nick Leshi, she shares not only new ruminations on her writing, but also her deep-seeded passion for her ancestors' homeland.

Nick Leshi: When you think of your own Albanian heritage, what comes to mind?

Loretta Chase: The first thing that comes to mind is my grandparents because they came here to America in very difficult circumstances. I am constantly amazed and touched by their bravery and what they had to deal with. They made a beautiful, strong family, here in this country. They never stopped loving Albania. They taught us to be very proud of our heritage. I guess the main thing is my grandparents, because I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them.

NL: Have you ever had the chance to go to Albania itself to visit?

LC: I did. This was while it was still under Communist rule. I was part of a group, first-generation, born in this country who were invited to visit Albania. It was quite an experience.

NL: Do you have any favorite characters of yours that you’ve written that have stuck with you over the years?

LC: I don’t have favorite characters. But I am very proud of the fact that I set my first long historical novel in Albania and I might be the only historical romance writer who has ever created an Albanian hero.

NL: What was your inspiration for that? What made you decide to tackle that Albanian setting?

LC: I think it was because of that trip to Albania. I learned much about the country. I knew about Albania in theory and my grandmother had spoken about it, how beautiful it was, but until I was actually there I didn’t get it. At the time there were so many towns and villages that had not changed in centuries so that gave me a picture of what that world could be like for someone who was living in that time period. I think really that was the inspiration – being there.

NL: Would you dabble in other genres beyond romance or are you happy with the niche and fan base you’ve established?

LC: I’ve been so fortunate in this career. I have a very loyal group of readers, I have a really great publisher. It takes pretty much most of my brain power to write one book a year, so it’s kind of hard to think of going into any other kind of writing. In the past I’ve written scripts for video, which was also really interesting and stimulating. But personally, this is my career and it’s what I love doing.

NL: What advice would you give aspiring writers?

LC: The whole thing with writing is you just have to sit down and do it! We all have ideas, but the discipline of sitting down every single day and doing your work, that’s what tends to make the difference between the people who get published and people who try to write something and nothing ever happens. The only way to learn how to write is to write, as well as to read. You just get better with practice. It’s sort of like everything else, if you want to be a pianist, you have to practice hours and hours every day, and writing is the same. Writing fiction or non-fiction or poetry or a play, it’s all about practice.

NL: Is there anything else you would like to say to the Albanian community or anyone else in general interested in your work?

LC: I think because this is the 100th anniversary of our independence, I would just like to say I’m very proud of my heritage and I’m proud of my grandparents’ country for how far it’s come and what it’s achieved in very difficult circumstances.

To learn more about the author and her projects, visit