I’m a romantic at heart. Though I don’t believe in love at first sight, I do believe you can fall in love quickly. I met my hubby of 23 years on Dec 27 and on Jan 4 he said we’d be married as soon as I had time to get used to the idea. I told him he was crazy, but I felt he was correct. Authors Ray and Cara Bertoia remind me that true romance is out there. Let me stop before I give away too much. It’s their story to tell.
Tell us a little about yourselves:
Ray and Cara Bertoia, are a couple that now live in Palm Springs, Ca. Cara was born in Charleston, South Carolina and Ray hails from Glasgow, Scotland. You have to hail when you come from Scotland. They have been professional croupiers for years. Cara drove to Lake Tahoe after college, and dealing was the best job going. Ray trained up in London and then became one of those itinerant dealers you find in any casino in the world. He has dealt in Moscow, cruise ships and Freeport in the Bahamas.
Tell us something few know about you:
Cara: I quit my corporate high-tech job to runaway to sea, on Princess Cruises.
Cara: I married him the next week.
We walked 500 miles across Spain, carrying a movie camera. We knew that we were going to make a movie. We knew nothing about what we were doing but we wrote scripts and interviewed people along the road, and we made a movie. We have sold our movie in over 58 countries.
Cara: I entered The Week’s, “What Next?” contest.
They asked us to come up with a bumper sticker for the new Google car that can drive itself and I automatically replied. “Look Ma. No Hands – or Feet!” receive an honorable mention.
Ray: I love to make movies, we throw big parties and film them, I do wedding videos for friends, and instead of the annual Holiday card we make Holiday videos. Here is a link to our favorite one: Christmas in Beverly Hills.
What genre do you like to read:
Cara: I like real stories about people going through life. It really isn’t literary writing sometimes I find it a little to earnest. I am more of a Bukowski girl. I love anything by Lionel Shriver, her latest book was So Much For That was about the American health care system. Her characters are just nasty enough to keep me interested, no cookie cutter characters for her.
Ray: I like historical fiction. I like to learn something when I read. I learned how to build a cathedral in Pillars of the Earth. My favorite book.
As a couple we read Steve Martin’s novel, Shopgirl and were so surprised by how much we liked it. Then we rented the movie it was great too. This movie is set in Los Angeles and we love going there on our days off. His writing style is easy to read and his books contain meaningful insights about life.
When did you begin writing?
Cara: I always fancied myself a writer, but when I joined the casino industry I read so many bad stories and watched so many awful movies that I wanted to tell the real story of being a dealer. For instance, there is no COOLER, that was made up to promote a very cliched movie. When I moved back to Boston I went to grad school for writing. I quit grad school to become a croupier for Princess Cruises. I like to write from my experiences and life around me and that experience is the foundation for our book.
Ray: I just came along for the ride.
Cara: He helped flesh out my book and gain a male perspective.
It took us a year to write our novel, a few more for all the rewrites. Cara started it in a class from UCLA and her teacher liked it so much that she became her editor. But these stories have been cooking away in us for a long time.
Tell us about your latest novel:
Cruise Quarters – A novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships is a fun, fast paced tale of working in the casino aboard a Regal Cruises cruise-ship.
The crew of the Regal Star resemble a mini United Nations, hiring people from all over the world. But unlike the UN, Regal Cruise’s employees present a united front above decks as they attend to their passenger’s every need. Below decks though, that is a different story.
Book a cruise and travel with the crew as they work, play, feast, and fall in and out of love, all while the ship sails around the globe, stopping at exotic ports of call. Along the way, sight-see in Venice, shop in St. Martin, and take an eco-cruise down the Amazon. Let the crew tell you their own stories as they sit in the hallway in the wee hours of the morning. While the ship travels to new destinations, tired and tipsy they share tales of love and betrayal and the way that travel has changed their lives.
You can find our eBook on Amazon.
Ray and I also produced a movie on walking the 500-mile “Camino De Santiago.” When we were researching the Camino we could never find a good practical guide on the terrain and the trail, the things a person would experience every day, although there was plenty on the architecture and history. To fill that void we made a movie of our journey. Here is an excerpt of the review from the Camino website, Ultreya. “Their fantastic video really captures the Camino, the sound of the wind and the rain, the fun and banter of meeting new friends.” It is a thrill to come home and find orders from such diverse countries as Japan and Denmark. The website address for our movie is: http://www.caminovideo.com/ and will also be available from Amazon later in the month.
If you could change on thing about your writing career thus far, what would it be?
Cara: I would say I wish I had taken it more seriously when I was going to Grad school and writing for the local paper but I guess there is nothing I would change because I had to experience everything I did in order to have something to write about it. I also would have never met Ray if I had stayed at my regular job in Boston.
What do you find the best and worst about being a writer?
Cara: The best is getting told I am funny; the worst is actually having to sit down and write.
For the next year we are going to try and promote this book. See where we can take it. We have a book on the back burner that we have been playing around with. What would happen if America divided into two countries?
You can reach us at: Ray99262@yahoo.com. We are always looking for a new walk to video. So if you know of one, let us know.
Thank you Cara and Ray for taking the time out of your day to introduce yourselves and your work. I love cruises and look forward to reading a book from insiders.