Interview: Hooked’s Nina Bocci on penning a Passionflix Quickie

Hooked, starring Nicola Bertram and Jamison Jones, 2021
Hooked, starring Nicola Bertram and Jamison Jones, 2021 /

Nina Bocci is a lover of love, and after years of working as a publicist she made the jump to writing romance herself. With five books and an Audible original under her belt, her latest endeavor is Hooked, a brand new Quickie for romance streamer Passionflix. We had a chance to speak with Bocci about Hooked and how it all came about.

Bocci’s first book Roman Crazy was a collaboration with author Alice Clayton, and later she started work on her popular Hopeless Romantics series (On the Corner of Love and Hate, Meet Me on Love Lane, The Ingredients of You and Me and From Hope Lake with Love). In February 2021 she released her first original story for Audible, A Vineyard Valentine, and now she has a Passionflix Quickie under her belt.

Hooked stars Jamison Jones as a doting uncle who is on a birthday dinner date with his precocious niece Phoebe, played to perfection by Juliana Clingingsworth. When Liz (Nicola Bertram) arrives for a blind date set up through the newest dating app on the market, Robert and Phoebe can’t help but notice that she’s struggling as the date devolves into a date from hell. They decide to step in to rescue her, and that’s when things really heat up.

Don’t let Hooked’s short run time fool you; it’s utterly charming and endearing and it won’t take long before you’re quite literally drawn into the story. Bocci wrote the screenplay for the Passionflix Quickie, basing it on a chance encounter she had a few years ago.

Interview: Nina Bocci talks about crafting a Quickie for Passionflix

(Culturess) How did Hooked come about? 

(Nina Bocci) A few years ago – three I think – I regaled Twitter with the awkwardness that my son and I were witnessing live at our favorite Japanese restaurant. It was very similar to what happened in Hooked. Except, the couple were college students and it was a Tinder date. BUT, all the horribleness was verbatim. He kept calling her the wrong name, he definitely had another date booked for right afterward – meanwhile, my (at the time) 10 year old was listening and horrified that it was happening. She looked so dejected, and when he went to the restroom, we swooped in to tell her to run!

Did you write the story with COVID-19 filming protocols in mind? 

No, if I’m being honest. I wrote it hoping PF would like it and eventually be able to film. I didn’t think they’d be able to squeeze it in! I was thrilled to be in on the surprise quickie. It was a little gift to the PF community and for that, I’m grateful to have had a small part in it.

Were any of the characters in Hooked based on people you know? (What I’m really dying to know is how you came up with D…)

Ha, no, thankfully! Of course, they’re all embellished for comedy purposes but let me tell you, the guy at the restaurant was very much like D. The actors were perfect.

Can you talk about the role that food plays in Hooked and in your Hopeless Romantics books? It seems like food becomes a character in your work. 

I appreciate that! I’m an Italian so food is hugely important for family and friends. It’s what brings so much of us together so I suppose it’s a helpful thread to include in the books 🙂

What are you working on now? Do you want to do more Quickies now that you have one under your belt? 

If they’ll have me, I’d be happy to! I have a bunch of short stories. I’m working on a standalone Christmas book right now that I hope to finish by the end of April. (fingers crossed)

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Hooked is available now on Passionflix, and you can purchase all of Bocci’s books here.