Valerie Clarizio lives in romantic Door County Wisconsin with her husband and two extremely spoiled cats. She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
She’s lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual. Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into an outdoors enthusiast, of which her favorite activity is hiking in national parks. While out on the trails, she has plenty of time to conjure up irresistible characters and unique storylines for her next romantic suspense or sweet contemporary romance novel.
Author Interview with Valerie Clarizio
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?
I usually write early in the morning before I go to work and then sometimes after work. I also write throughout the weekend when I have the opportunity. I feel I’m most creative in the early morning hours.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
On occasion I suffer from writer’s block. Sometimes I move on to another project until inspiration strikes me on the former project. Other times I just keep writing to muscle through it.
What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?
Keep writing. Keep honing your craft. Keep trying. Publication will come if you want it bad enough.
What are your current/future projects?
I’m working on what I call the Jacobs brother series. The first book is about the oldest brother who inherits his five younger brothers when his parents are killed in a car crash. It’s a contemporary romance.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I like to read romantic suspense so that is the main genre in which I write. I do write some contemporary romance as well. I balance them by taking the projects one step at a time.
Have you ever changed a title, book cover, or even the content of your book after it was published? What was that process like?
The first book in the Nick Spinelli series was titled ‘Cookies for Santa’ and had a Christmas themed cover. It sold well during the holiday season and then hit a brick wall. The publisher suggested we change the title and cover so we did. The title was changed to Cover Exposure, a Nick Spinelli Mystery and the cover was changed to reflect a more ‘romantic suspense’ theme and also to match/brand the future books in the series.
What are your marketing, advertising, promotion strategies and which one(s) have worked the best for you? If you had to share your most valuable promotion tip, what would that be?
I’m on social media a lot to promote my books (Facebook, twitter, google+). I also do book blog tours and have bought some ads in online romance magazines. Honestly, I don’t know which one works better over another, if any.
If you are a self-published author, which platform do you prefer? (Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu, Author House, or something not mentioned), and why?
For my self-pubbed book I used Draft 2 Digital. It was so easy to use and once it was set up they distributed to the retail outlets.
What field or genre would you classify your book(s) and what attracted you to write in that field or genre?
Most of my books are romantic suspense. I like mystery, intrigue and a fast pace.
What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place like (car, restaurant, bathroom/shower, etc..) and how do you capture that moment before it gets away from you?
I’ve been known to text and email spontaneous thoughts and ideas to myself so I wouldn’t forget them.
How much influence do you believe a title, cover, content, page numbers have in purchasing decisions of potential buyers/readers?
The cover is extremely important. Without a beautiful or catchy cover the reader will probably just pass by your book.
What is your biggest fear about having a book published?
It’s scary to put your book out there for everyone to read. What if they don’t like it after you’ve poured your heart and soul into it?
Give us a fun fact about your book(s)?
I work at City Hall and many of the police officers think they are Detective Nick Spinelli, from my romantic suspense series. I can assure you that none of the police officers I work with are Spinelli but I think we could use a Spinelli on the force)
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
I like Italian and Irish names so usually I just use google until I find a cool sounding name. For Spinelli, I actually found that one in a newspaper article.
What are some events you have attended or participated in that has been a positive experience/influence on/for your writing?
I belong to the Wisconsin Romance Writers and we hold monthly meetings and have conferences. I attend as many of these as I can to learn more about the craft of writing in hopes to hone my writing skills. Additionally, they are great networking events.
What is the easiest/hardest scene for you to write, why? (Love, action, fight, death, racy, controversial, etc…)
Love scenes seem fairly easy to write in general, but then I remember that my mother-in-law and people from work may actually read the book so that makes me a little uncomfortable.
Have you ever had a book idea or characters come to you in a dream? What did you do about it afterwards?
Nick Spinelli first came to me in a dream. I dreamt about him and when I woke up I thought “Janet Evanvich would have a field day writing about this guy.” After further thought I decided that I would just do it.
What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?
The most important tool for a writer is a great editor!
What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?
Inspiration comes from everywhere – friends, family, work, the news, television…
Do you design your own cover? If not who does, why?
For my traditionally published books, the publisher assigns a book cover designer to me. In the case of the Nick Spinelli series, Caroline Andrus from Melange Books designed all three of the covers.
For my self published book I designed the cover. I had a very clear image in my mind of what I wanted on the cover.
Books by Valerie Clarizio
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