Interview with Sophia Renny

What's the story behind your latest book?
Room 1208 truly comes from my heart. Both the hero and the heroine have issues from their past that have touched my own life, though not to the same extremes. "They" say to write what you know, and I do know what it feels like to be treated differently because of the way you look, and to experience the pain of losing a loved one to tragic circumstances. But I also enjoyed indulging in pure fantasy in this book. As one reviewer (5 Stars) said: "At its heart - even with the steamy *blushing* hot sex scenes - it's a sweet, old-fashioned love story, complete with a few "it can only happen in a romance novel" scenarios. But, gosh darn it, in a world that seems to be turning more cold and cynical with each passing day, I absolutely adore a story that lets me completely escape reality for a couple of hours. I finished the story with a huge smile on my face and tears in my eyes." I couldn't have said it better than that!
What are you working on next?
I'm busy working on my next story, a full-length novel set in Rhode Island (Little Rhody) where I had the pleasure of living for several years. Just as with "Room 1208," I have fallen in love with my swoonworthy hero - or perhaps I should say heroes as there are two hunks featured in the story. Brothers, builders, toolbelts and jeans. Need I say more? I'll be sharing sneak peeks on my website:
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many! I truly appreciate GOOD writing, writing that makes me want to be a better writer. One particular author who inspires me in that way is Sherry Thomas. She's an auto-buy for me. Another is Anita Shreve. When I'm in a regency mood I steer towards Mary Balogh ("Slightly Scandalous" is one of my top 10 all-time favorite romances). Sometimes I just want a quick afternoon read and turn to my favorite Harlequin authors: Kelly Hunter is my current favorite. I also collect romance books written in the 1930's and 1940's. I have a lot of books by Anne Duffield on my shelf, and the entire Jalna series by Mazo de la Roche (a must read for fans of multi-generational family sagas).
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My "real" job has me traveling all over the country. Many of my book plots have been formulated in my head while waiting in airports! When I'm not on the road, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, playing the piano, singing, and engaging in fierce Scrabble matches with my sweetheart.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story that I can remember reading on my own was The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. I remember crying as the little house was surrounded more and more by the city. It made me realize that books weren't just about happy things.
The first book I read that made me fall in love with romance was An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott. I was about ten years old when I first read it, and I read it several times during my teenage years. I think it was from that point on that I gravitated towards romance books, more importantly, romance books with a sweet tension and slow build-up to the ultimate reveal.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes! I still have it, thanks to my mom. It's an actual miniature book I wrote on pink construction paper complete with a front and back cover and illustrations. It tells the story of a bunny rabbit and his friends. A captivating read - sure to be a best seller!
What is your writing process?
Simply this: to write whenever / wherever I can. I'm proud to say that I'm a NaNoWriMo 2013 winner, but it wasn't easy. My travel schedule gets in the way of sticking to a rigid plan. But a day that goes by without me writing something - even if it's just a paragraph - is a day wasted.
When did you first start writing?
Thanks to my mom, who saved everything I wrote, it appears that I started writing stories around the age of five or six. I wrote my first "novel" at eleven and my first "real" book at nineteen. So, you can say that I've been writing for most of my life. If the 10,000 hours rule holds true, I should be an expert by now! (Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
There is the joy of writing itself, the complete immersion in the story, losing all sense of current time and place as you write. A whole day can go by and it feels like minutes. That is the sign that you are following your true passion.
The other joy comes from giving my writing to others to enjoy (I hope).
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I spent too many years trying to get published through the normal avenues. A drawer full of rejection letters just didn't jive with what everyone else was telling me: that I'm a good writer and they love my stories. So I took the leap and here I am! The praise Room 1208 has received thus far from Goodreads and Amazon reviewers is deeply gratifying. Ultimately, I write for myself, but hearing that others love reading what I loved writing is a great motivator too.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I love my Kindle!
Published 2013-12-19.
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