Today, I’m interviewing Rosanna Leo, a multi-published author from Toronto, Canada.
She has a background in recruiting and classical singing, but most importantly for the topic at hand, she is an experienced writer. Her publishers are Samhain Publishing and Liquid Silver Books.
This year, her recent novel Predator’s Fire was chosen as Top Pick with a 5-star review from The Romance Reviews. Several of her other books have been chosen as Top Pick at Night Owl Romance and Two Lips Reviews.
The topic is becoming published. I’ve always enjoyed interviews with authors who discuss their path to publication, and I used their experience as a means of research on how to go about my own. Rosanna’s answers are full of industry nuggets and are well worth the read.
Ryan: Welcome, Rosanna. I appreciate your time to be with us today.
Rosanna: Thank you, Ryan. I’m thrilled to be here.
Ryan: At what point did you realize that you wanted to become a professional author?
Rosanna: I would say I was about 12 years old, in fact. At school, I had written an essay on my grandfather’s experiences in WWII, about how much they affected him, even as an old man. The essay was well-received at school, and I won a couple of awards for it. I believe it was the first time I witnessed the power of the written word and how it can move a person.
Ryan: What are your regular writing habits/schedule? For example, what time of day, how long, what room/set-up, etc.
Rosanna: I write as much as I can. Because I also hold down a part-time job at my local library, I find I need to be focused when it comes to my writing. I don’t have a lot of time to spare, so any time I’m not at the library, I’m writing. If it’s a good day, I will plug away at it for eight hours if I have no other commitments. If I can only grab half an hour, I make the most of it. As far as location, I write in our spare bedroom. Well, hubby calls it the spare room, but it’s really my “office.” I really must get him to start calling it the right name.
Ryan: It must be advantageous to be around books for your day job, too. What is your least favorite aspect/phase of writing, and why?
Rosanna: Great question. Honestly, my least favorite part, believe it or not, is the very beginning. Coming up with an original, fun idea gives me the hives. Once I have my outline, I am good to go, but it’s not always easy creating that initial storyline. I do a lot of second-guessing during this difficult stage. Sometimes, I look back at my finished works and wonder how I ever came up with those plots.
Ryan: What do you do to get unstuck in your writing, or when you realize that you’ve reached a plot snag?
Rosanna: I have a few coping mechanisms. Firstly, I always remind myself of the final resolution. How will this story end? And then I go backwards and try to determine what should happen to get me to the end. Other times, I simply put the manuscript aside. Distance always helps me. I usually find, once I go back to the manuscript, my head is clear and ready to function again.
Ryan: How did you find your publisher? Can you tell us a bit about that?
Rosanna: I found my publisher Liquid Silver Books back in 2011 when I was researching romance publishers. Like any writer, I had already received several rejections and realized I either needed to look outside the big New York pubs or quit submitting. I ran across Liquid Silver Books online. I liked their existing catalogue and authors and decided to give them a whirl. I am happy to say they accepted me and my subsequent 11 romances. This coming summer, I have a contemporary romance releasing with Samhain Publishing, and I’m excited to spread my wings.
Ryan: You mentioned that plot ideas are sometimes a tall order. How do you come up with your plot/story ideas?
Rosanna: *laughs* Not always so easily. Most of the time, I’m inspired by something from the paranormal world, a creature of legend or a myth from an exotic land. For my paranormal romances, I enjoy taking supernatural, sometimes immortal, heroes and putting them in our modern world with very modern heroines. However, my “plot bunnies” come from so many areas. Sometimes, it’s as simple as seeing a face and wondering at the story behind that face.
Ryan: What is something you wish you knew as an aspiring writer that you now know as a published author?
Rosanna: I wish I knew how supportive the romance and writing communities were in advance. If I had, I think I would have approached this career with far less trepidation. I’d always been involved in the arts and didn’t always like the backstabbing environment surrounding it. The community of writers is so different, and I’m thankful for all the support I received.
Ryan: What strategies do you use to help motivate yourself to write when you may feel otherwise?
Rosanna: Well, because my time is limited, I can’t indulge in dragging my feet. I hope this is one of my strengths. I’m pretty focused and remind myself I have to create my own motivation. I can’t wait for it to strike.
Ryan: What book/project are you working on now? And where can we find your books?
Rosanna: You can find my books almost everywhere ebook romances are sold. Amazon, Kobo, B&N, ARE, and iTunes. My publisher’s site is lsbooks.com. As far as current projects, I have a few on the go. I just finished edits for The Stand-In, a fun contemporary coming Feb. 9th from Liquid Silver Books. My Samhain release, Vice, hits summer 2015, and I’ll be doing edits on that shortly. You can also stay in touch with me by following my blog at rosannaleo.blogspot.com.
Ryan: Again, thank you for your time. We’re glad to have you on.
Rosanna: It was an absolute pleasure. Thanks again, Ryan.