There was a time when wolves, starving for food, descended upon Rome. This fact is one of many triggers igniting The Wolves of St. Peter’s, the latest historical fiction by the Kingston-based author duo of Gina Buonaguro and Janice Kirk.

Janice and Gina met in a French class. While learning how to introduce each other in a different language, they discovered they were equally passionate about getting published and decided to form their own authors’ group. After several months of critiquing and editing each other’s work, they decided to write a book together.

It was Gina who came up with the idea behind their first novel, The Sidewalk Artist, the story of a woman from New York who travels in Europe. This triggered their own travels, where they found joy in researching the history and art grounded in the rich European landscape.

This, year Gina and Janice celebrate 10 years of co-authorship together.

In the beginning, they were careful when it came to criticizing each other’s work. Over time, they identified their strengths. “She tends to be a perfectionist and I tend to be a completer,” said Gina. “It’s a really good tension between the two of us, because she wants to make it perfect and I want to make sure we meet the deadline, that we finish it.” Today, they’re ruthless and honest when it comes to singling out a weak sentence.

“A zesty mix of high-class brothels and high-level corruption make The Wolves of St. Peter’s a top-notch historical thriller. Buonaguro and Kirk lead us through the murkier side of Renaissance Rome with the help of a cast of enjoyably unpleasant characters, including a grumpy Michelangelo and a serenely dissolute Raphael. Who needs The Borgias?” said Governor General’s Award-winning author, Ross King.

Gina and Janice are currently working the second installment tentatively titled The Lions of St. Mark’s. Together they’ve also written Ciao Bella (Thomas Dunne Books) and under the pen-name Meadow Taylor, The Billionaire’s Secrets and Falling for Rain.

Website: sidewalkartist.blogspot.ca