Saturday, September 22, 2012

Interview with Rosanna Leo!

Thank you, Rosanna, for joining us today for this fun interview!

Is there anything that you would like our readers to know about you or your writing?

Well, I am a married mom of two sons, aged 11 and 9. Like any other mom, I’m kept busy by them, but try hard to write during the quiet moments. As far as my writing, I think you will enjoy it if you have an appreciation for the geeky girl. I was one, you see. Braces, pimples, the whole nine yards, and still identify with that shy, awkward teenager. I’ve made her the basis of all my heroines. None of them are perfect. They all have a self-deprecating humor and may not look perfect. It’s what I like to read, and what I like to write. Geeky girls unite!

When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?

I think I’ve always known, but was a late bloomer. I began university with the intention of becoming a writer, even joined the college newspaper. However, I was distracted by another hobby, my classical singing classes. My opera teacher told me I should really try to pursue singing because I was good. I had to try. So I did that professionally for a couple of years, then started my family. I didn’t get back into writing until my eldest son was a baby. And boy, did I miss it!

Are there any books or authors who inspired you to write a book of your own?

There wasn’t really one author or book that inspired me most, but I love the romances of Kathy Love, Meg Cabot and Molly Harper. I love their blend of comedy and sex. These authors really taught me that it’s okay to be sexy and funny too! Those ladies keep me in stitiches!

How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?

I’ve got 4 published as of today, but a 5th has just been contracted, and I’m so excited! However, I have several short stories and other novels in various stages of development. It would be impossible for me to pick a favorite. I love For the Love of a God because it was the first published. Up In Flames is special because the relationship between H/H really resonated for me. Sweet Hell was great for me because I felt such a flow writing it. It wrote itself. And I’m fond of The Selkie because it was a departure for me. I know, indecisive me! LOL.

What do you think is unique about your book? 

The sense of humor. I think when someone picks up Sweet Hell or For the Love of a God, they’ll see the sexy covers and realize they’re paranormal, and think “Ooh. Dark paranormals.” I think some people have been pleasantly surprised at how much laughter they’ve enjoyed reading Sweet Hell. I didn’t try to make it too serious, other than my black moment. My characters are flawed, so they act it!

Are any of your characters inspired by people you know in real life?

No. Even though real-life instances and issues may inspire me, I try not to base characters on folks I know. Too dangerous! I would hate for someone to get offended!

Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

Nothing too curious, but I do love working in silence…not easy to obtain with 2 young sons! LOL. I really treasure my moments alone to write. Some writers like background noise or music, but I just need dead quiet and my cat curled up next to me. J

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love spending time with my family. We hike a lot, and adore travelling. Any time my husband and I can get away, we’re so happy! However, just getting away to the local conservation area can really recharge one’s batteries. It’s so nice to be in nature, away from concerns.

What advice would you give to other writers who are hoping to one day get their work published?

Always listen to your publisher. Even if you don’t agree, at least listen. Yes, we all know our works best, but it is so important to be open to constructive feedback and if you have a relationship established with your publisher, chances are, any recommendations they make might be useful. And when you’re starting out, you don’t want to look like a literary know-it-all. Ask questions. Be polite. Everyone wants you to succeed.

Do you hear from your readers much?  If so, what kinds of things do they say?

My readers have been fabulous to me! I love seeing their comments on Goodreads and Amazon and have friended some on Facebook. It is just lovely being able to talk to people who’ve read your work and appreciate it. It is entirely humbling at the same time. I think the best comment I ever had was from a woman whose husband said my book For the Love of a God was the “best $5 she ever spent” because it got them into bed!

Fun Questions:
Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Food: Nutella…out of the jar!
Favorite Animal: I love cats of all sizes, but mostly my cat Sweetie!
Favorite Vacation Destination: Ooh, toss up between Mexico and England
Favorite Season of the Year: Fall. Can’t beat those leaves and Hallowe’en!
Favorite Book: The Narnia Chronicles by CS Lewis
Favorite Drink: Caramel martinis from my fave Mexican resort!
Favorite Genre: Paranormal romance, baby! All the way!

Rosanna Leo has her degree in history and literature, as well as in classical singing. She currently resides in Toronto, Canada. Her favorite things are her family, libraries, and her mother's gnocchi. Rosanna loves it when the geeky, awkward girl gets the hot guy, and has made it her mission to see this happen in her books as much as possible.

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