Rosanna Leo is a multi-published, erotic romance author with Liquid Silver Books who lives and breathes paranormal romance. Several of her books about Greek gods, selkies and shape shifters have been named Night Owl Romance and Two Lips Recommended Reads. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? I was always an artsy person. I began writing for fun at an early age, but also sang in church choirs and ended up as a classical soprano in a Toronto chamber ensemble. However, writing was always my secret passion. I never envisioned it as a career. While I floundered from job to job, I dreamed of writing professionally. When I was on my first maternity leave, I found I had a lot of spare time when my son napped and picked up the pen again. Soon, I had my first novel.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? Because I work part-time in a library, I don’t have unlimited time in which to write. I need to be very focused during the moments when I can write. If my kids are at school, and I have time off from work, it means my bum is in my chair and I write as much as I can. There’s no real structure. Bum in seat does it every time.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Yes, and I think we all do. The best way for me to tackle writer’s block is to get up and remove myself from my writing room. Sometimes just moving locations helps. More often than not, I do something else or concentrate on a different manuscript. Having a little break always helps one come back refreshed. Often I will talk aloud as well. While vacuuming or washing dishes, I talk through my plot points.
4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I do plot a bit and have a general idea where I want to go with each story. I think it’s very important to provide good histories for one’s characters, and I like to know my endgame. I need to know my characters’ struggles and why their romance might have challenges. That being said, I like to keep my plot fluid and flexible as well, to allow for any changes or sudden inspiration.
5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? The publishing process for me was, as I’d imagine it was for most, daunting at first. I had my share of rejections. However, I try very hard to consider any feedback a gift. A new author really shouldn’t expect success on the first try, and every publishing house will have different guidelines anyway. I made sure I always researched house guidelines and submitted according to their rules. I was also flexible as far as publishers. After the first few rejections, I expanded my search, researched the e-book world and found Liquid Silver Books. They accepted my first novel and have kindly accepted everything since. I’m so fortunate to have found them and they have really nurtured my talent. I would suggest to any new authors to persevere, but also do a lot of soul searching. If you get discouraged easily, writing might be a better hobby than a profession.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Last year I had a wonderful experience. My publisher notified me and told me BBC Radio Orkney Scotland was interested in my Orkney Selkies series. I was told they wanted to do a radio interview with me about the books, and were interested in why an author would set an erotic romance in their part of the world. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been a BBC fanatic for years, so for me to get interviewed by them was a dream come true. It was a short interview, but very fun, and broadcast on the Orkney BBC radio outlet as well as online. I will never forget that moment.
7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. My most recent series is the Gemini Island Shifters series, set in the fictional community of Gemini Island, Ontario. The setting is a resort that caters to shape shifters and in which teen shifters can come to receive mentoring from adult shifters. Each book features a different romance and employee on the resort and I’m so pleased to see how they’ve been embraced by my readers. The most recent is Predator’s Refuge, Gemini Island Shifters 3.
Blurb: Lynx shifter Marci Lennox has worked at the shifter-friendly Ursa Fishing Lodge and Resort all her adult life. It’s more a home to her than a job. When her boss goes on vacation, putting her in charge, Marci is thrilled. Finally a chance to prove she has the mettle to run a resort.
Her confidence is shaken when new employee Anton Gaspar appears. One look at the mysterious tiger shifter spells trouble for Marci and for her sex-crazed lynx. Anton is judgmental, condescending, and a little misogynistic. Unfortunately, Marci’s lynx thinks his tiger is more delicious than an oversized bag of Maltesers.
It becomes difficult for Marci to remain neutral near Anton, especially when she learns of his troubling past and unusual family circumstances. However, when dangerous incidents occur on the resort, the lynx woman and tiger man join forces to combat the threat to the lodge and its guests.
Harder still is the quest to combat their explosive feelings for one another. As they explore their mutual passion, they realize the danger at the resort is more insidious than they ever envisioned. Their dreams, their love, and their very lives are at stake.
8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I love getting outside. My hubby and I do a lot of hiking and like to walk trails. We try to get our sons out to a lot of conservation areas and parks. I love visiting beautiful gardens, although I’m a bad gardener and always plant flowers in the worst area possible. We also love traveling and visiting new places.
9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) I would suggest joining an online community that caters to the same genre as you write. One can learn so much from like-minded authors and find new networking opportunities. I would also suggest not getting dragged down by social media. As important and amusing as it can be, you don’t want to let it interfere with what you should be doing: writing.
10.Tell us about the book cover/s, how the designing came about. My publisher Liquid Silver Books arranges for my book covers, so I am spared having to make those difficult choices myself. Once a book is contracted, they send me a cover art request form on which I detail how the characters look, setting, etc. The info is sent to a graphic artist who makes my vision come to life. It is such a thrilling process, and I’ve been blessed by such wonderful artists. I’m very happy with my covers and the emotions they inspire.