Chasing Trouble with Sonia Stanizzo

Sonia is a writer of contemporary romance and spends most of her time dreaming up stories about couples and their road to finding love – most times bumpy but always a lot of fun!

Q.What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

I’m hoping to one day make it to the RWA conference.  Fingers crossed for next year.

Q.What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

When I started writing, that’s all I did, write.  I didn’t look into all the other stuff that went on.  Now that I’m published I feel so new to the industry I’m not really sure what’s unethical or not.

Q.Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing exhausts me.  When I have a full-on day of writing I feel drained and want to take a nap.

Q.What is your writing Kryptonite?

Procrastination.  I can think of a thousand urgent things to do before I sit myself in chair and write.

Q.Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

Absolutely!  But I’ve worked out that the reason why I’m blocked is because something isn’t right in the storyline.  Just recently, with my current wip, I was stumped on how to make a scene keep moving.  It stalled and I didn’t know why. So I thought, what if I made this happened instead of that?  And the words started to flow again.

Q.Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I only have two books out at the moment so I wrote them with what I like to read in mind.  I never thought they would actually get published.  And with the third book I’m working on, I’m again writing what I want to read.  Hopefully there are plenty of readers who like my style.  I don’t think I could write for whatever trend was happening.

Q.What do you expect form an author when reading a book, short story or article?

I want to be drawn into the story.  I want to feel what the characters are feeling, see what they’re seeing.  If it’s a funny book, I want to laugh.  If it’s suspense, I want to be sitting on the edge of my seat.  If it’s romance, I want to feel the love between the characters.

Q.How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

I try not push the hard sell with my books.  I like to keep any interaction light.

Q.Do you have any expectations of your readers? 

No, I don’t.  I never thought of doing that.  I might have to think up of something for my next book.

Q.Do you travel? Tell us about the most romantic place you’ve ever visited. 

I try to do something with the family every year.  Whether it’s somewhere overseas or in Australia.  I had to think about the most romantic place, I’ve had kids tagging along for years and it can make a lot of things unromantic but I’d probably have to say Hawaii.  That’s where I went on my honeymoon and two years ago took the kids.  It was still beautiful after 22 years.

Q.Has it (your travels) added to your inspirational well, or taken from it?

I’ve been inspired by scenery and structures while on holidays.  Some I’ve used, there’s a gazebo in my book Chasing Trouble I saw in my travels that got put in my book.  And some I’ve filed away incase I can use it for something else.

Q.Do you have any expectations of your readers?

No.  I just hope they like my books and come away feeling good after reading it.

Q.On your writing journey, what has been the lowest and the most painful moment and vice versa?

I guess the lowest is the first rejection letter.  You work so hard to write a story hoping someone will love it enough to publish and then it gets rejected.  Then the highest moment is getting the acceptance letter.  I remember when I got it, I had to read it a few times, then made my husband read it incase I read it wrong.

A 500 words excerpt.   

A crack of lightning lit up the sky, and Ava scrambled into Nick’s truck just as the thunder boomed and rattled the windows. Nick didn’t bother hiding his smirk. She was still scared of thunderstorms. He pulled back onto the road and navigated his way through the dark, stormy night.

After a moment, she said through gritted teeth, “I guess you’re going to gloat.”

“No,” he replied.

She squeezed water from her hair. “I don’t believe you. I bet you’re dying to rub it in my face that I needed help and you came to my rescue.”

“I would’ve stopped for an injured animal. Don’t think you’re anything special.”

She huffed.

Another lightning strike illuminated the sky, and she covered her ears, preparing for the thunder soon to follow. When it did, she sprung so high she almost bumped her head on the roof of the truck.

“Still scared of a little storm? We’re not going parking like we used to, so I can distract you.”

She whipped her head around and stared wide-eyed at him.

Crap, why did he have to say that? Shifting in his seat, he scrubbed a hand over his face. To change the subject, and because her shivering vibrated against the seat, he said, “There should be a jumper behind you.”

She twisted around to reach behind the seat, and her breast brushed up against his arm. He ignored the rush of heat heading south.

“Where am I taking you?”

“I have a room booked at a bed-and-breakfast. It’s called Greenhill House.” Then she glanced around the cabin of the truck and laughed with disbelief. “Is this the same truck you drove years ago?”

Nick drew in a deep breath, “Yes.”

She ran a hand over the cracked vinyl seat. “It’s not very comfortable.”

“You never complained. You used to beg me to take you parking in it so we could fu—”

“I did not!” she interrupted.

“Sorry it’s not as luxurious as your Merc.” Leaning forward, he squinted through the rain and pulled to a stop. “Shit…”

Ava followed his gaze. “What?”

“The road into town is flooded. We can’t cross.”

“Isn’t this a four-wheel drive?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

He gave a heavy sigh. “It’s too deep. We could get washed away.” Nick slammed his fist against the steering wheel. How did his day turn to shit? “You have two choices. I take you back to your car and hope it’s comfortable for you to sleep in or…” The next words clogged in his throat.

Ava sounded reluctant to ask, “Or what?”

He cleared the lump. “You stay the night at my place.”

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