Danielle Grandinetti writes stories of finding home in hard times. Her past several books have been set during the 1930s so she’s excited about her first contemporary sweet romance. Danielle is also a book blogger at DaniellesWritingSpot.com and her writing has won the University of Northwestern Distinguished Faith in Writing Award. Originally from the Chicagoland area, she now lives along Lake Michigan’s Wisconsin shoreline where she loves quiet mornings served with the perfect cup of tea.
Harlequin: Tell us about yourself. Our readers want to know!
Danielle Grandinetti: I’m Midwesterner at heart, but also a second generation Italian-American and the granddaughter of Dutch-Swedish dairy farmers. I grew up on stories from the Great Depression alongside tales of meet-cutes and romances. That combo mixed with my own love of storytelling inspires my writing today.
H: Why did you want to become a romance writer?
DG: I love happily-ever-afters. Maybe it’s because I’m half-Italian, but I’m a romantic at heart. There’s nothing as fun to me as seeing that first spark of romance, nor as satisfying as a happy ending.
H: What were the big steps in your journey to becoming a published author?
DG: It’s been a long, winding journey. I began writing in grade school, then studied as a writing apprentice for several years after college, learning from established, successful authors. I had several short stories published, I even won an award, but I struggled to land a novel contract. I love reading Love Inspired stories, so a couple years ago, I submitted to the Great Love Inspired Author Search. I received a full manuscript request, but the story wasn’t ready. Back to the drawing board, I took a leap and rewrote the entire novel from contemporary to historical. That book landed my first novel contract and was published in early 2022. However, I still wanted to write for Love Inspired, so when the next Great Author Search came around, I submitted a new story. My second try succeeded and now I’m a Love Inspired author.
H: What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
DG: Keep writing, keep learning, and don’t be afraid to keep going after what you love. Seeking publication takes courage, so does writing. It’s hard, but so worth it.
H: What did you do when you got the call from Harlequin?
DG: To set the stage, I’m a write-from-home mom whose eldest entered school for the first time this school year. The deadline to hear back from the Great Love Inspired Author Search neared, which meant I checked my email … frequently. As my son gathered his things for school that day, I checked my email one more time only to discover one from Emily at Love Inspired. Of course, we were now running late, so I only had time to glance at the email, but it was enough to make me grin the entire drive to and from drop off – and the rest of the day.
Now let’s hear from the editor, Emily Rodmell:
I recognized Danielle’s name from a prior contest when I saw her entry in The Great Love Inspired Author Search (editors do remember you if we’ve read your book in the past) and was happy to see she entered again. When I read the synopsis and chapters of this story, I could immediately picture a beautiful cover featuring a garden (a theme of this book). I loved that the story had depth and featured characters starting over after loss and finding a way to happiness amidst the blooms of a garden. I was thrilled that we were able to buy this book from Danielle and look forward to working with her.