Friday, July 24, 2015

Interview with contemporary romance novelist Mila Rossi

Readers, I’d like to introduce you to contemporary romance writer, Mila Rossi. She’s here to chat with us (feel free to ask questions in the comments!) about her writing life, and in particular her new release, Under Construction.

Welcome, Mila. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Romania and grew up in Austria. My heart will forever belong to its capital, Vienna. I was fortunate to travel a lot, which provided the inspiration for many of my stories, both published and in the works. I’m lucky to be married to the best travel companion ever and we have lots of fun wherever we go.

I’ve had jobs that added to my repertoire of random knowledge, such as my work at a beauty supply store (which means I know a lot about shampoos), or working as an event coordinator (planned a SeaWorld party that let me spend more money than I should’ve been in charge of). I’ve also been a technical writer, editing assistant and translator (I speak Romanian and German too). For now, I’m mommy to the littlest manipulator in the world and a pretty darn good baker.

Please tell us about your current release.
Under Construction was actually released last year but due to major family health issues, I wasn’t able to promote the book at that time. I am now playing catch-up.

The book is about Lessi, an artsy woman in charge of her home renovation. Her husband wants nothing to do with the house, the reno or her. Feeling lonely and rejected, she can’t help but be drawn to Carlos, the Puerto Rican man in charge of fixing her house.

What inspired you to write this book?
As corny as it sounds, a dream. I dreamt that a hot construction worker was making a move on me and I was outraged because even in my dream, I was married. I woke up and told my husband about the dream, which earned me a headshake and a frown. From there, the story just popped into my head and pretty much wrote itself. I had a blast writing this book because I knew exactly what the hero looked like and it was easy to imagine him with no shirt on. Ha! I also wanted to challenge myself to write a story that dealt with the troubles of marriage. It’s easy to write a love story that ends with a happily-ever-after for the married couple, but how the heck do you write a story that isn’t so traditional? I wanted to tackle that problem and think I’ve come up with something decent.

Excerpt from Under Construction:
Annoyed Lessi got to work on her computer and turned on the small fan sitting on the table. The summer heat was getting to her and she wondered how the men could stand working out there.
It didn’t take long for Carlos to walk in. “I thought you were working at Starbucks,” he said surprised.
“I was going to but my laptop died. I had to come back.”
He walked into the bathroom and came back a few moments later wiping his face with a towel.
“Are you going to talk to me?” he asked.
Her brows came together in annoyance. “I am talking to you.”
“No, you’re not.”
“Yes, I am. What am I doing right now?”
He wiped his hands on the towel, crumpled it and threw it on the sofa. Lessi watched him.
“You know what I mean, Lessi,” he said and she noticed that he had been calling her by her name all morning.
“What do you want me to say Carlos?”
He looked up at the ceiling and let out an audible breath. Then he lowered his head to look at her. “We can talk about what happened when I kissed you.”
Her stomach stirred. “There is nothing to talk about.”
“Sure there is.” He took a step towards the dining table. Lessi had never been happier to own the monstrous thing.
“You can tell me how you felt and I can tell you how I did,” he said and moved closer.
She grabbed the computer mouse and moved it around. “It was a mistake,” she said without looking at him.
“I liked it very much,” he countered as though her statement didn’t matter. “Although it was such a small little kiss that it’s hard to tell if I really like kissing you.”
Her eyes darted up to his.
“I think we need to try again to make sure I can make up my mind.” He walked up until he met the edge of the table.
“There is nothing to figure out, Carlos.” She couldn’t believe those words were coming out of his mouth. “I can guarantee that you won’t like it.”
He smiled and walked around the side of the table towards her. “I’m willing to take my chances.”

Alarmed she shot out of her chair and made her way to the other side of the table, keeping the furniture between them. “Carlos, this isn’t funny.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
The story of Becca and Matt fighting it out in the Costa Rican jungle is currently in the works. Should be hopefully done in the next couple of months, depending on how generous my baby is with her time. Or my time…. Becca is a botanist going on an expedition with her research team and Matt is the security guard hired by the university she works for. Between scary tarantulas (eek!), hot temperatures, sweaty muscles and cozy tree huts, there is plenty of adventure and romance.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess when I published my first books last year, but I have been writing all my life. I just never felt comfortable calling myself a real writer unless I had official proof to show off.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I do not write all day because I have a baby always wanting attention, so I try to write as I get a free moment, usually in the mornings, evenings and sometime in between. Before the baby came along, I would write several hours in the morning and all evening long, with a break in the afternoon. I find it best to write when the house is quiet and there are no interruptions. Inspiration often strikes late and I’m typing away at midnight. Mornings aren’t fun then.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My husband convinced me that creating a mood board makes for easier writing, which it does for me. So I have pictures taped to the wall next to my writing desk of people, places, items or colors which inspire the story I’m currently working on. Whenever I get stuck writing, I look at the pictures hanging right beside me and let my imagination run wild again. It works every time.
That’s a great idea!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Lots of things. An Egyptologist, a teacher, an FBI agent (I was a major X Files fan) and writer, to name a few.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Yes. Always read with an open mind.
Great tip.


Thanks, Mila! Happy writing!

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