Friday, February 24, 2017

#AuthorInterview with Donna Simonetta

Fellow Wild Rose Press author Donna Simonetta is my interview guest today. Donna has just released a brand new contemporary romance called A SWEETER SPOT. Donna says her characters bear a lot of similarities to her and her husband. Well, like they say, write what you know! Please welcome Donna Simonetta!

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?

I have the first two books of a projected trilogy stashed away. They were the first two novels I wrote, and as such, have a lot of beginners’ mistakes. It was fantasy romance series, where the heroine was half-witch and half-Fae, and the hero was a Weretiger. I adore this series, and hope it sees the light of day sometime. I always intend to go back and polish it up, so I can try to sell it, but demands on my time, especially now that I’ve been published, never seem to allow it.

Where did you get the idea for your new novel?

A Sweeter Spot is the first contemporary romance novel I wrote that has no fantasy elements to it, so I wanted to write something I felt comfortable with, since I was uncomfortable without having the help of angels, shapeshifters, or fairies! You always hear people saying to ‘write what you know’, and that was my kicking off point for A Sweeter Spot. While we are unfortunately NOT the grandchildren of a billionaire and a former NFL player, my husband and I do share some similarities to Magda and Jeff. Like Magda, I am a librarian from Connecticut. And my husband is a native Virginian; therefore, a true gentleman to his core, as is Jeff. When I first went to visit his family in Virginia, I remember some funny culture clash incidents and thought they might be the kernel of a contemporary romance. 

What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?

See the answer above! Having Jeff and Magda share some character traits with my real-life husband and me, makes me feel vulnerable now that people are about to read it! What if a reviewer hates them? Usually I can take constructive criticism pretty well, but if someone disses my honey? I’m not so sure. 

Do you work on more than one book at a time?

Since The Wild Rose Press published Angels Fly last summer, I’ve had to. Write now, I’m working on the third book in the Rivers Bend trilogy. A Sweeter Spot is the first, and I’m waiting to hear back from TWRP about Book 2.  When I do, then I will begin edits on it. I’m also working on a ghost story that I’m really excited about! Obligations for contracted novels have forced me to put it on the back burner, but it’s been on my mind lately, and I’m antsy to get back to work on it.

Do you have any words of advice to beginning writers?

Writing is a personal endeavor, and every writer goes about it their own way. For me, I let the first draft flow. I don’t like to interrupt the initial creative process with worry over grammar or word choice, I save that for the second draft. And once you begin to put your work out there to sell it, you need to develop a thick skin. You can’t take criticism personally. If it’s constructive, and in my experience the vast majority of criticism is, then try to learn from it and move on with your work. When I first began querying agents with the fantasy trilogy I told you about earlier, I got my first rejection within half an hour of sending my email. Half a freaking hour! I got a little teary-eyed, and then picked another agent and sent it out again. 

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

I live in Maryland now, although I’m originally a New Englander. I was born and raised in Connecticut, went to the University of Massachusetts, and lived in New Hampshire for a year. I’ve been writing about ten years now. I actually had a health scare, and it made me re-evaluate my life. I realized that I always wanted to write fiction, but it kept getting pushed aside for real-life issues. At first, my husband was the only one who knew I was writing. I asked him to read the fantasy romance I was working on and to be brutally honest with me. Fortunately, he really liked it! Then I ‘fessed up to a friend, and he asked to read what I’ve been writing, and he enjoyed it too. I knew that as men they were not the traditional audience for a romance novel, but felt encouraged to keep writing. Getting published was a long road, paved with rejection letters, but in a way I’m glad for it, as I feel that it inspired me to continue to edit and improve my work.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it? Does it help you with your writing?

I do. I have my MLS, and work part-time in the library at a private boys middle school. And, yes, it has helped my writing. It’s great to be surrounded by books all day, and we also have our regular ‘library guys’–students whose enthusiasm for books and reading is inspiring! Over the years, more female faculty and staff have joined our team, but when I first started we were a definite minority. Working in such a testosterone-heavy environment, has really taught me a lot about men–how they speak, and interact with one another–and I believe it’s helped to make my male characters more realistic.

If money were not an object, where would you most like to live? Why?

I would live on a beach. I’m not sure where, probably a Caribbean island. Definitely somewhere that stays warm year-round! Maybe it’s the fact that I lived in New England the first 35 years of my life, but I am so very over cold, snowy winters.  

How can readers reach you or find you online?

I have an author page on Facebook and am on Twitter…here are the links to find me online:


Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff's world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?


“Being cheated on is no fun. It happened to me once. Up here,” he tapped his forehead. “You know it’s not your fault. But here,” he tapped his chest over his heart. “You feel like it has to be your fault – like you could’ve done something to prevent it. But you couldn’t have. It’s all on him, Maggie. Not you.”

She picked a dandelion, whose flower had turned into a puffball, and blew on it, scattering the fluff to the wind. “Maybe. Maybe not. But thanks for the support.”

She pushed to her feet and took a couple of steps toward the river. Jeff rose and followed.

How could he be so angry at a man he didn’t even know? How could this Pierce jerk have slept around on a woman like Maggie? And the prick had even made her doubt herself in the process. It was written all over her anguished face.

He stood behind her and gently kneaded her shoulders. He turned her to face him and cupped her face in his big hands.

“This Pierce guy is the biggest fool on earth to go to someone else when he had you at home, Maggie.”

She blinked away tears, and he felt his heart constrict. Before he could think it through and decide it was a really bad idea, Jeff dipped his head and captured Magda’s lips in a gentle kiss.

Buy Links: 


The Wild Rose Press:

Barnes & Noble:

Amazon UK:

Author Bio:

After years working in the business world, my love of reading led me to get my MLS, and I currently work part-time in a school library, a job that allows me lots of time to explore my other love - writing romance! I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for letting me visit today, Jana! It was a lot of fun, and I appreciate getting the chance to tell people about A Sweeter Spot!
    : )
    Donna xo