Name Cleo Scornavacca
Where are you from: I was born and raise in NJ. It where I still live today.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc :
Im married for 24 years to a man I only knew for 8 weeks. We have a daughter in college. Besides writing Romance, I love to read it. Until my writing becomes a full-time career I work as a Nutritionist and I’m I licensed Esthetician and Make-up Artist. I’m most comfortable in Jeans and a t-shirt and I were my flip-flops until it gets really cold outside. I love animals and I’m partial to Doberman Pinschers. We adopted a one year old red male last year after the death of my 13 year old Dobie Girl, Blue. His name is Brayden and he honestly rescued me.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m finishing up the third book in the Miss Taken Identity Series called The Ties That Bind. I will then start a new standalone titled Within Six Months. It’s part of a spin-off from the Miss Taken Identity Series. The secondary characters will be getting their own standalones and Within Six Months will be the first novel.
I’m part of anthology for Ataxia Awareness, Canada with several other writers. The cover reveal will take place on November 6th 2015 on my Facebook Page and the Event Fundraiser Page.
The Anthology is called This Beautiful Escape. It’s a daily read to find strength, hope and love through the written word.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing for many years, but never had the courage to send my work out there into the world. Being a product of bullying at a younger age, I allowed myself to be affected well into my adult years. I’ve written in journals etc, but never formally published a book until Miss Taken.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I considered myself a writer once I completed Miss Taken and saw my book cover for the first time.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had the premise for this book many years ago, but the characters were really part of a different novel. They were too strong for the other story so I changed it and created Miss Taken.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I actually asked this question of my street team, The Romance Room, because I was told when you query agents that you need to compare yourself to other author to give them an idea of how you write. They all said they really can’t compare me to others. I feel it’s edgy in the sense that I write what I feel and maybe, more down to earth, but at times in your face. I see the story play out as a movie and I listen to music and write from that point.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I knew from the beginning that the “weaker” twin would be kidnapped and I knew I wanted the alpha to lose control of the situation he created. I also knew that book two would have new identities revealed. So the title is a play on words Miss Taken: Miss because Dominick calls Rain, Miss Medici. Taken because Rain is in fact, was Taken. Identity because what seems familiar often isn’t as it appears.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Although it’s fictional, I would like people to see that we are all strong in one way or another. Sometimes its deep inside and we have to find it or a circumstance has to bring it out. No matter what the situation is in our pasts and no matter how broken we may feel, we can come out of it. And it’s okay to ask for help. You don’t have to do it alone.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Long beach Island NJ is real, NYC is real and someday I hope I will get the chance to visit and write in Capri Italy. But the story is totally fictional.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The locations are either close to me or somewhere I dreaming of being someday
I love the Jersey Shore and met my husband there, although I wasn’t kidnapped. and I’m not that far from Manhattan, but I’m not a lawyer or a twin and I hope someday to stay in Italy for a while and be able to write there.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? A mentor?
I would have to say author VC Andrews. I enjoyed escaping into her books. They weren’t the pretty scenario of boy meets girl, falls in love and lives happily ever after. There were many obstacles. Life wasn’t perfect. At times it was evil. But the characters grew stronger and triumphed.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I haven’t started any new books in a while. There were issues with book three. I scrapped 100,000 words started over and Im almost done. The last book I read was Break Her by author, BG Harlen. It’s not a romance but it was recommended to me by a blogger I know. This book messed with my mind and yet I couldn’t put it down. I will tell you I never read books like this, but it was very well written and I completed it in a day.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I can tell you the authors I love to read. VC Andrews, Jackie Collins, Madeline Sheehan, LB Simmons, Sylvian Reynard, Jamie McGuire, Lyra Parish, EL James, Kristin Ashley, Pepper Winters and of course my favorite Sylvia Day. Rebecca Rohman is a newer author like me and I did just put on my TBR Addison Kline, so they would be new for me.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m working on The Ties That Bind, book three in the Miss Taken Identity Series. Once completed, I’ll start work on Within Six Months. It’s one of four standalones that are spin-offs from the Miss Taken Identity Series. Each book will be the story of one of the secondary characters in the first three books. These books however will written so that you can read them in any order.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My street team. The Romance Room. It’s made up of friends and bloggers and authors that truly support me. Not just when Im writing but if Im feeling frustrated or they have something in their lives they want to share, recipes, accomplishments, books, animals, words of inspiration etc.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, even though I have to leave for work every morning to pay the bills. Writing is what I will strive to do full time, so I can leave what I have to do, to do what I want and need to do.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I love these characters and I don’t think they can be told any other way.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
When I picked up Charlotte’s Web as a kid. It was magical and it makes you leave where you are to be in a different place. I hope that my work takes people t a different place, a good distraction.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The Ties That Bind is book three in the Miss Taken Identity Series. It will have Dominick and Rain delving much deeper into what makes them act, react and love each other the way they do. The situations in the book will bring up Dominick’s need to control Rain even further and Rain’s fight to show she doesn’t want that kind of protection. More of the past will bring out what makes them tick.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Right now it’s the time. I work full-time, so basically it’s finding balance between that and staying on top of my social media pages etc. My family is very understanding. My husband is an artist and sculptor in his spare time so he respects the fact that although I may be home, Im writing.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have many favorites, but I do love Sylvia Day and not just for her writing alone. Ive watched interviewers with her and have been at events where she spoke. She gets this industry and what you are going through as a new author. What I love about her characters, especially the male characters, is that they are flawed. Many times it’s what drives them and their reactions in the stories.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Because Im a newer indie author, I haven’t had the opportunity yet to travel much for the books. I do attend conferences and workshops for my writing. I did have my first book signing at the Jersey Shore at Belmar BookCon and my next signing will be for Indies in NY in Manhattan, August 2016. I hope someday day to be able to travel for my work. I can’t wait for that day to come.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Stephanie Hobbs, owner of Steph’s Cover Design did both the cover for Miss Taken and Identity. Actually, I just wrote to her this morning to go over The Ties That Bind. She does amazing work.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
To remember that I can go with my gut and walk away and comeback and change it. Not to be afraid to let go if something seems off. It’s my baby. It has my stamp on it. I need to love it first and foremost.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned I have a voice. Although it comes through my characters, I learned to be stronger and go after what you want in life, what makes me happy. It may sound cliche, but it’s the truth, happiness has to come from within.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I’m still learning myself, but I will say that first and foremost you just need to write. Write everyday. Whether it’s an hour or ten hours, just write. This was the advice from my friend and writer Joseph Grant. So I’m passing that advice onto you.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you to all of my readers for giving me a chance. I love the emails I receive and the support. It means a great deal to me. I love you guys!!!!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
On my own, Charlotte’s Web by EB White. I love that story to this day.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My dog Brayden makes me laugh. No matter what type of day I’m having, I walk in that door and he puts a smile back on my face. My daughter will tell you I cry at almost anything. A story, a romantic movie, church, music, if I feel something I tend to tear up.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I don’t know about meeting someone from my past, But I would love if I could see my grandparents again. To talk with them and hear their voices now that I’m older. I know I will see them again one day, but if I had that choice right now it would be them.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
That’s a tough one, Here lies Cleo Scornavacca
Don’t cry, this is not the end, it’s a happily “forever” after.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I love to read, cook and be in the garden. Sometimes my husband has to drag me in the house because I forget the time when Im outside planting etc.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love romantic comedies. Something’s Gotta Give, When Harry Met Sally, French Kiss but I also love old movies, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Christmas Movies, a nd Frank Capra movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age. As far as tv, I love Home and Garden, and The Food Network. I don’t really have the time to watch a much TV. I’d rather read or put in a DVD, when Im not writing. I do watch Law and Order Criminal Intent with my husband. It’s a great series.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love to anything chocolate and I know its simple but I love chicken tenders and homemade pizza.
My favorite is black. I know, I know, its not a color it’s a shade, but it goes with everything. Whether you’re wearing jeans, or yoga pants or that little black dress.
My music is a mix. I love 1980’s Hair Bands like Motley Crew, Skid Row and Poison. I listen to the Finnish band HIM. I enjoy Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, and Adele. It depends on my mood.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I wanted to be a Veterinarian at one time. I love animals, but having to put them to sleep would have been too much for me.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do have both, but I mainly use my Facebook Page to give updates and connect with readers. Im currently working on my website so that readers can purchase signed paperbacks through there and to email me, etc.