Can you imagine a world without wine?
Corvina Guerra is a flying winemaker who dreams of one day settling down in her native Italy on her family’s vineyard. On a visit to a vineyard in Italy, Corvina makes a startling discovery: Phylloxera, a menacing plant louse that devastated vineyards in Europe more than a hundred years ago, has infested the vines.
The deeper Corvina and Brian search, the more they become convinced that Universal Wines holds the answer to everything, and the harder they pursue their investigation the more surprises pile up for both of them.
In spite of devastating consequences, Corvina and Brian vow to continue their investigation and do what they can to contain the spread of the infestation – but time is running short and they always seem to be a step behind. Unless they can find a way to stop the Philomena – vineyards around the world will be ruined for decades; potentially causing the collapse of the wine industry. Can Corvina and Brian get to the root cause and save the international wine industry from ruin?
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Steven Laine whose book Root Cause thrilled me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love mystery and crime but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for Steven Laine, a biography of the author and an interview between us both will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Steven Laine!
Steven Laine is from Ontario, Canada and has dual Canadian and British citizenship. He has travelled the world working in luxury hotels for international brands including The Ritz, Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, Jumeirah and Pan Pacific. When he was Beverage Manager of a five star hotel in London, he learned all about wine and has since visited over one hundred vineyards and wineries in Napa, Sonoma, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Lebanon, and South Africa. As the only North American ever invited to be a Member of the Champagne Academy, he had the privilege to visit and learn from the major Champagne Houses in France. His circle of friends is made up of winemakers, Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers, restaurant managers, and wine distributors from all over the globe. He is now working on his next novel, Dragonvine.
Now, how wonderful does Steven Laine sound?! The author is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between us both, I hope that you enjoy the author’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
Root Cause is a global conspiracy, wine-fuelled suspense thriller that asks and answers the question, what would happen if the gravest threat to the wine industry, an insect called Phylloxera, were to be revived and devastate world’s vineyards as it did across Europe in the late 1800s and more recently in California in the early 1990s? The story follows Corvina Guerra, the protagonist and flying winemaker, as she discovers the threat, perceives its implications and sets out to discover how Phylloxera has returned in a new and unstoppable form.
The inspiration came to me after reading The Botanist & The Vintner: How Wine Was Saved For The World by Christie Campbell, a non-fiction retelling of Phylloxera’s journey from America to Europe and its devastation of vineyards around the world. While a preventative measure was eventually discovered, grafting American rootstock onto European vines, the risk remains that Phylloxera could one day circumvent American rootstock defenses and vines around the world would once again be vulnerable to attack. With my background in wine and as a reader of many conpsiracy novels, the idea came quickly.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
Keep writing, reading, learning and dreaming. Explore the world, learn continuously, and bank as much grist for your writing mill as possible. Write what you know, surround yourself with positive people and supporters of your work, and develop a story and characters that drive you to write – if they are compelling and you can’t get them out of your head, your readers will probably feel the same.
What is the most important thing about a book?
For me, I like to start with a great idea for a story, a big ‘What If?” question. Coming up with this question drives me to answer it and everything builds from there. In the case of Root Cause, my big What If? question was ‘What if Phylloxera returned in a new form and could attack American rootstock, the only defense against the bug for European vines’. From there, I developed the protagonists and antagonists, the plotline, and the scenes in vineyards around the world. I usually know what the ending of the story looks like long in advance which helps drive the story forward to a determined conclusion. If you can see the finish line, it’s easier to run the race.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
I wish. I have a pretty demanding day job running a five star hotel so I usually write early in the morning before work and on my days off. I jot down notes all the time and sometimes may even draft a quick conversation between characters no matter where I am. As a writer, it’s critical to always have something to write on or make a recording so you don’t lose a great idea. Inspiration can come at any time. I don’t always write when inspired. Writing, like going to work or going to the gym takes effort and you have to do it even when you don’t want feel like it. I recently read a quote about how authors live in an alternate universe and I think this is true which means as a writer you’re constantly toggling between the real world and the one you’ve created in your head which takes some getting used to.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I am a voracious reader and read whenever I get the opportunity. I’m also eclectic in my reading and toggle between fiction and non-fiction. For instance, the last five books I read were:
- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
- Verses for the Dead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child [I love Agent Pendergast!]
- The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape
- The Three Secret Cities by Matthew Reilly (whom I met recently at a book signing in Melbourne, Australia)
- Champagne by Don & Petie Kladstrupp [an incredible tale of a region devastated by war yet still manages to create a wine for celebration]
Some of my favourite authors include James Rollins, Matthew Reilly, Alexandre Dumas, Stephen King, Robert Harris, Ellen Crosby, Ken Follett, Wilbur Smith, Michael Cordy, Jeffery Deaver, Chuck Palahniuk, Robin Cook, Michael Palmer, Dan Brown, James Gleick, Neal Stephenson…
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
I’ve previously written two novels which are available for purchase; Lethal Suggestions, a medical suspense thriller based on Dissociative Identity Disorder for readers who enjoy Michael Palmer and Robin Cook; and Iconoclast, a religious conspiracy thrlller similar in vein to Dan Brown, James Rollins and Steve Berry novels.
I’m also working now on another suspense thriller based in the wine industry with a working title of Dragonvine.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Steven Laine! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more about Steven Laine, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,