Meet The Author Behind The Real-Life Romance Novel Inspired By 'Jane The Virgin'

Caridad Pineiro shares her thoughts on love and female empowerment.

If you love hit TV show Jane the Virginthere's a good chance you love love. And if you really love love, you don't just love watching love stories but reading about them, too. 

While you can certainly love each of those separately, you no longer have to. Now, combining the magic of television and the magical realism of literature, the romance novel Jane Gloriana Villanueva writes and publishes on the hit TV show has come to life in our real world. That's right, Snow Falling is here — and it's just as lovey-dovey as you'd expect (especially if you will always and forever be #TeamMichael). 



While Jane Gloriana Villanueva is a fictional character (we know, we're sad about it, too), real-life and best-selling romance author Caridad Pineiro brought her story to life. 

A Plus caught up with this real-life Jane to discuss her writing process, the role of female empowerment in the romance genre, and of course, why she loves love: 

Caridad Pineiro 
Caridad Pineiro 

A Plus: What was it like writing the romance novel Snow Falling as the fictional TV persona of Jane Gloriana Villaneuva? How did you get into that character so you could write as you imagine she would? 

Caridad Pineiro: It was hard to get a feel for what Jane's "voice" would sound like for the novel and also how the narrator would be a part of a historical novel. I was lucky to have a few paragraphs that were read on the show and tried to channel Jane from those paragraphs to write the story. To stay in that character's head, I binge-watched all the shows again and also had the show running in the background while I wrote for added support. For the more important scenes, like the proposal and wedding, I watched those episodes again to make sure I really got the emotion of those scenes correctly.

A: Unlike the typical romance novel, or what many people at least think of the romance novel, Snow Falling spends a lot of time discussing Josephine's personal ambitions that have nothing to do with the men in her life. So how do you hope your contribution to the romance novel genre challenges the preconceived notions about the genre, while also changing it for the better? 

CP: I think that many modern romances explore what women want besides a relationship. In many of my novels as well as Snow Falling, I've addressed women's desires for careers, education, family ties, etc. in addition to the central theme of a romance novel, namely, attaining a happily ever after with the right partner. I hope that the romance novel genre says to women, "You can have whatever you want — career, family, and love. Nothing is unattainable for women today!"

A: What were some of the challenges you faced writing this book as opposed to your other books?  

CP: The first big challenge was writing a historical romance. I normally write romances set in modern times, although many of my vampire romances have had historical scenes as part of the vampire's backstories. I had to research 1902 Miami, but also be conscious of the language used as well as aspects of everyday life. For instance, to be able to work in the "snow falling" that happened in the big scene with Michael and Jane, it occurred to me to use a snow globe. However, snow globes were quite rare in the early 1900s and so we had to make it clear to readers that this was a very special snow globe. Also, we wanted to incorporate the magical realism of the show, which often happens via modern devices in the television show. To do that in Snow Falling, we had to think of other ways to incorporate that realism, like imaginary angels and devils that visit Jane.

A: In the TV show, Jane is artificially inseminated — something that was not medically possible in early 1900s Miami. In the book, Josephine instead chooses to become intimate with Rake and gets pregnant as a result. How did this decision impact the Josephine character and help her diverge from the Jane character writing about her?   

CP: This was one of the hardest decisions we had to make since we wanted the storyline with the baby to mirror Jane's life on the television show. There was only one way to accomplish that: by Jane/Josephine having an affair with Rafael/Rake. However, we had to make sure that Jane/Josephine was making reasonable choices and that her decision to pick Michael/Martin was justified by the storyline. Jane is such a strong, empowered and believable heroine that we didn't want to make her seem irresponsible or flighty. I hope we accomplished that.

A: Where do you hope the romance genre goes from here? What new, fresh voices and stories do you think we should pay more attention to? 

CP: I have found that the romance genre has been one of the most accepting and supportive genres for female writers and writers of color. The Encanto Latino romance line and Arabesque African-American romance line were some of the first of their kind, and romance writers and readers have also embraced LGBTQ stories. I hope that such support continues to grow and that we see more diverse stories and characters, as well as stories that encourage women to reach for their dreams, whatever they may be.

A: Has writing romance taught you anything surprising about yourself? And if so, what? 

CP: Writing romance has taught me that I'm much more of a romantic and dreamer than I thought I was. I was always the nerdy, science-minded kid growing up. Not to mention that those traits are ones that I don't normally show in my attorney day job.

A: Back to the book itself, Josephine and Martin falling in love is called a "miracle." Why did you use this word to describe their love? Do you think "miracle" describes the act of falling in love in general? 

CP: I totally think that the act of falling in love and finding the right person is truly a miracle. When you think about how many people there are in this world and the odds of two of those people getting together and happily spending the rest of their lives together, that truly is "miraculous."

A: As a Cuban-American, how have you seen love expressed through your family, your community, and your culture? 

CP: We had a small, close-knit family, but many friends that had escaped from Cuba. There was a very strong sense of supporting each other and of Cuban culture when we got together with them, especially since I did not grow up in an ethnic enclave. My grandparents were Gallego Spanish, and we also had a lot of traditions and culture from them that were a part of our lives. We likewise had a lot of Spanish friends who added to that part of our family heritage.

A: What are your most steadfast beliefs about love and how did you incorporate them into Snow Falling

CP: My one steadfast belief is that there is a right person for everyone, even if it takes work to make the partnership work.  I stress the word "partnership" there because a good relationship is one in which both people share equally in the many aspects of their lives. The hard work part was especially true in the Snow Falling story since Jane/Josephine has her misstep with Rafael/Rake, and has to fix her relationship with Michael/Martin and redeem herself.

A: What do you hope readers take away from the book (and its connection to the beloved TV show)? 

CP: I think the take away is that the happily ever after is possible, no matter how hard it may seem. For me, even though Michael left this world way too quickly on the show, I think it was still a miracle for Jane to have experienced his love. It's that old "better to have lost and loved" than not to ever have known such a great love.

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