Name: Valerie Clarizio
Where are you from: Beautiful Door County Wisconsin
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:
I’ve been married to my husband, Rick, for almost twenty-five years. We have two spoiled cats, Sammie and Bud. I write part-time (wish it were full-time) and I work full-time as the Finance Director for my City. I attended Lakeland College where I earned an MBA.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My newest novel, Plan Interrupted, was released on November 3rd. It is a contemporary romance with suspense elements.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Years ago, I worked both a full-time and part-time job while going to school at night to obtain my MBA. I was rather busy at the time, and when I completed the MBA program I suddenly found I had a lot of excess time on my hands. A friend of mine handed me a Janet Evanovich book and said, “Here, read this.” I quickly declined the book because the last thing I wanted to do was read anything since I’d just spent years reading text books. I had never read for pleasure before. My friend insisted I read the book. I did, and I was hooked. Throughout the next year, I read every book written by Evanovich at the time, even those under her pen name, and then I read some more books. I think I read somewhere in the neighborhood of 53 books during that first ‘reading’ year. One night I dreamt up a character named Nick Spinelli, a quirky detective, and I thought to myself that Evanovich could have a field day writing about this guy. Then I thought, heck with Evanovich, I’ll do it myself. That said, I penned three novellas in the Nick Spinelli romance mystery series and published them via Melange Books, LLC. I am currently working on the fourth.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It was when I signed that first contract with Melange Books, LLC.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
When I learned that reading could be pleasurable and I dreamt about Nick Spinelli 😀
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not sure that I have a specific on but one of the first readers to contact me about one of my books said that I have the Debbie Macomber flair for writing. What a compliment!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It was pretty easy to come up with a title for my newest release, Plan Interrupted. The book is about a woman who has a very specific plan for her life but when she meets the widower and his children who live next door, life as she knows it, or plans for it to be, is totally turned upside down. Hence, Plan Interrupted. It just seemed to make sense.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There’s more to life than a career.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I think the entire book is realistic. The good, the bad, the in between can happen to anyone.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
To some extent, yes. I think writers incorporate bits and pieces of people they know into their characters, as well as, their own experiences and the experiences of those around them.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I love romantic suspense books and humorous, quirky romance books such as Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, and Maddie Cochere’s Two Sisters and a Journalist series. As for a mentor, Virginia McCullough, a lady I met through my writer’s group has been a wonderful mentor to me.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m between books today. I hope to soon start 14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson (Women’s Murder Club).
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Virginia McCullough writes lovely women’s fiction novels. Her characters seem so real-life and you can’t help but root for them to overcome their issues and find happiness.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’ve been working on the first book in the Jacobs brother series. I’ll soon send it off to my editor and hope to release it in the spring of 2016. The story is about a twenty-two year old man who inherits his five younger brothers when their parents are killed in a car accident. To add to his stress he’s also responsible for managing the family dairy farm. He hires the neighbor as a live-in nanny/housekeeper. I’m sure you can see where I’m going here 😀
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have a small, very supportive, circle of friends that have been very supportive of my writing. There are four of us and we call ourselves the Fab 4. LOL
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love for writing to be my career but for now I will keep returning to the day job.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
As of right now, no. But you know how it is – hindsight is twenty-twenty, I’m sure something will surface that I’ll want to change.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I sort of answered this in an earlier question. When I read all those Janet Evanovich books and dreamt up my Nick Spinelli character I decided to take the writing plunge.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s a little teaser from Plan Interrupted:
She placed her hand on his thigh and stroked it. He tensed, then reached down and lifted her hand and wove his fingers among hers. If she kept rubbing his leg he would need to kiss her, and if he kissed her it would lead to the kind of kiss they shared the night before her New York trip. With another kiss like that he feared he wouldn’t be able to stop at kissing; he would have to have her, and if he took her…he would be in for the long haul. Was she ready for that? Was he ready for that?
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Proofreading the final version several times is challenging for me. At that point, I’ve read through the story so many times I fear I’ll miss finding any remaining typos because it’s so familiar to me.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Janet Evanovich is my favorite author. I love the fact her books are quick easy reads and I think she has a quirky sense of humor.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I haven’t yet, but it sounds like a wonderful idea. I should have traveled to Ireland for research for my third Spinelli novella, but didn’t.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Caroline Andrus, Melange Books, designed the covers for the Nick Spinelli romance mystery books, and I did the one for Plan Interrupted. I’ve also done the covers for the two books I recently got the rights back to but I haven’t re-released them yet.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Edits, they take so long sometimes.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That when I’m on a roll I can’t type as fast as I’d like 😀
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Persistence – Stay with it and get the book done. I tend to hit a point when writing a book where I think the story just isn’t working but I stick with and the kinks tend to work themselves out. So don’t get discouraged.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I can’t thank you enough for your support!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I’m not sure this was the first book I read but the first one I remember is one by Judy Blume called Blubber.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Watching cat and dog videos on Facebook can make me both laugh and cry depending on the animal’s situation.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I wouldn’t mind meeting author JA Konrath. He seems to have one twisted mind. I think conversation with him would be interesting.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Well, I hadn’t given much thought to this before. I’m not sure but I probably won’t have a head stone anyway. I’ve told my husband to dispose of me via the most inexpensive means possible and save the funeral/burial money for something fun. Now, whether or not he will listen to me I don’t know.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
The hubby and I do some hiking. We like to visit state and national parks.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
My current favorite TV shows are Castle and Sleepy Hollow. When it comes to movies I watch all kinds but the movies of the 80’s are the best: Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, etc.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I like Pizza, the color blue, and classic country or music of the 80’s.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d probably just be the accountant that I am.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
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