Adrienne Giordano is an author who is unbeatable with the stories that she writes. Romantic suspense with at times laugh-out-loud humor and a ton of emotion with “real” characters, she is an author who I would continue to read because I just love what she does with her characters, the plots and of course the romance.
I first discovered or rather stumbled across Adrienne Giordano’s work on Netgalley when her debut and the 1st book in Private Protector’s series Man Law became available from Carina Press. Since I fell head over heels in love with the book’s glossy cover and then Vic Andrews, his Man Laws and Adrienne’s way with the words I haven’t looked back.
For those who may not know her, Adrienne lives in the Midwest, is married and has a son. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense and women’s fiction. She is a co-founder of Romance University blog, is a member of Romance Writers of America, Windy City RWA, Kiss of Death, and RWA’s Women’s Fiction chapter.Adrienne can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads as well!
So without further ado, please give a warm welcome to Adrienne and make her feel at home at MBR’s Realm of Romance.
MBR: Welcome Adrienne to my little corner of romance on the World Wide Web. And thank you so much for taking the time to do this. So onto my first question, did you always know that you wanted to be a romance writer?
AG: I knew from the time I was in high school that I enjoyed writing. In college, I wrote a story for a creative writing class and I was hooked. After that, I always fiddled with writing, but it wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that I started to think seriously about writing a novel. I’ve always been an avid reader and enjoy the romance genre (of course!) as well as the mystery/suspense genre, so I thought it would be fun to tackle a romantic suspense.
My first book, which I lovingly call my practice book, will never see the light of day. You can beg, but I will never (ever!) let anyone read it. Writing a novel is like anything else. The more you practice, the better you get. Let’s just say I learned a lot of hard lessons about plot structure and characterization with my practice book. It’s 135,000 words of chaos! That’s a lot of chaos. :)
MBR: So why romantic suspense? I see most authors try their hand at either historical romances or contemporary romances before moving onto write romance with elements of suspense.
AG: As I said above, I’m a big fan of romance, mystery and suspense so I gravitated to romantic suspense. The challenge of romantic suspense is weaving the relationship in with the suspense angle. I always strive to have the challenges the couple faces on an emotional level slam up against the challenges in the suspense angle. In Man Law, Vic Andrews is a security contractor for the government. When the government wants to neutralize a terrorist, they call Vic to do the job. Vic is a loner with a dangerous job and, for this reason, has chosen not to marry and have a family. The heroine in the book, Gina, is a young widow whose firefighter husband was killed in the line of duty. She has no interest in being with a man in a dangerous profession. But she and Vic have been friends for a long time and they are drawn to each other. When one of Vic’s assignments goes wrong, the target selects Gina and her kids for revenge.
With this book, I had a man who thrived on no-strings relationships fall in love with a woman with three young children. For her part in this, Gina broke her own rules by falling for a man in a dangerous profession and then that profession put her children in danger.
I also love romantic suspense because I get to chase bad guys and blow things up. :)
MBR: So what made you come up with the Private Protector’s series? Did you have a sort of epiphany one fine day and decided to write the series or was it just good old fashioned planning, plotting and some more plotting that lead you to this day?
AG: None of the above. LOL. The series actually started with Roxann Thorgesson, the heroine in Risking Trust. I have a newspaper background and thought it would be fun to write a story about a woman who is forced to assume control of her family’s large newspaper after the sudden death of her publisher father. To add to Roxann’s conflict, I threw her ex-boyfriend (and love of her life) Michael Taylor at her. Michael walked out on Roxann twelve years earlier and now finds himself a suspect in his estranged wife’s murder. He goes to Roxann and offers her an exclusive on the story in exchange for helping him clear his name.
While writing Michael and Roxann’s book, Vic Andrews started yapping at me. If you haven’t read Man Law, he’s one of those characters who likes to make himself heard. I had such fun with him in Risking Trust, I decided to give him his own book.
Then, when writing Man Law, I began wondering why Monk (a secondary character in Man Law) always wore a do-rag. To satisfy my curiosity, I gave Monk his own book (A Just Deception). It’s a long-running joke around my house that Monk’s book was inspired by a do-rag.
After finishing A Just Deception, although all the books are stand alone novels, I realized I had a series going.
MBR: Every writer has a story to tell about how they reached the publication of their 1st book. What would yours be?
AG: My story is about my need to recognize when a change had to happen. For five years, my books had been making the final rounds in contests and editors and agents were giving me great feedback, but I wasn’t getting any offers. I kept coming close, but never quite got there.
At that point, one of my trusted writer friends received an offer from Carina Press, the digital arm of Harlequin. I had never submitted to an e-publisher before, but loved the idea of being under the Harlequin umbrella. I was conflicted over submitting to Carina because I’d been hanging on to the dream of holding my printed book in my hand. Finally, my husband, in all his grand logic said, “Is it about getting published or holding a book in your hand?”
That question was the “aha” moment I needed and the next day I sent Carina my book. Eight weeks later, I had an offer. Soon after, they bought the rest of the series.
So, for me, getting published came from me re-evaluating my approach. It’s been an amazing ride!
MBR: The 3rd published book in the series, Risking Trust actually serves to be the 1st book in the series. If given a second chance, would you change the publication timing such that Risking Trust be published first?
AG: Oooh, this is such a good question! I love it. I’m going to say no, I wouldn’t change the timing. When I originally submitted to Carina, I submitted Man Law first. I knew Risking Trust had some characterization issues, so feeling that Man Law, the second book in the series, was the stronger book, I submitted that one.
When the offer was made for Man Law, I told my editor I had two other books in the series and she asked to see them. Carina made an offer on A Just Deception (book three), but wanted to see revisions on Risking Trust before they made an offer.
My wonderful editor gave me a detailed revision letter and I immediately went to work on a rewrite. Michael and Roxann have a special place in my heart, and I was excited to update the book with the writing skills I’d acquired since first drafting it. I had a ball rewriting Michael and Roxann’s story, and I’m thrilled that readers are enjoying the little time warp we put them through.
MBR: So let’s talk about your heroes. Vic Andrews, Peter Jessup and Michael Taylor, all serve to be equally enticing in their own way. The one reason I love your books is the fact that you let men be men in your stories, not just how the fairer sex views them to be. Who would you say serves as your inspiration when you create your male characters?
AG: First, let me say, I’m an Italian girl from Jersey. Need I say more? LOL. I grew up surrounded by alpha males. Many of my friends are married to alpha males. I’m married to an alpha. Alphas sort of come naturally to me. :)
Men overall are really fascinating creatures. They communicate differently than women do and I’m always entertained by it. One of my favorite lines from Man Law is when Vic is admitting his worry over his cover being blown and Michael says “Are we having a moment here or what?” These two are the closest of friends, but they don’t go for any big, emotional chats. They have their own ways of telling each other they care.
Overall, I try to make my male characters strong, but not obnoxious. They all tend to get chest-bumpy now and again, but they’re also reasonable when they need to be and quite loyal.
MBR: Vic Andrews and his man laws cracks me up every time. And his character is one that is certainly an unforgettable one. How did the Man Laws come about in the first place?
AG: I always tell people I want to be Vic when I grow up. He has irreverence about him that I had fun with. There are not a lot of gray areas with him. If someone asks for his opinions, they should be prepared for the realities of those opinions. LOL.
The man law concept came about at a friend’s birthday party where a guest stood to offer a toast. In the toast he declared a man law that his wife would no longer be allowed to go shopping with the birthday girl. I had already started thinking about Vic’s book and decided he would be ruled by his own set of (sometimes) whacky man laws.
MBR: And this question is just about VIC ANDREWS. Who would you choose to play Vic’s character if you ever have the chance? (Already dreaming here)
AG: Okay, girls, brace yourselves. Physically, Vic is a cross between McSteamy on Gray’s Anatomy and Sawyer on Lost. If I could put Sawyer’s hair on McSteamy, you’d have Vic. He is smoking hot!
MBR: OH MY GOD!! (breathes deeply) That brings me to your heroines, Gina Delgado, Isabelle DeRosa and last but not the least Roxann Thorgesson who in their each individual stories face huge obstacles, stumble upon the way to their HEA but still make it in one piece. And I loved every one of them. Who would you say serves as your inspiration to write characters who are strong, a bit sassy and loyal to a fault?
AG: When it comes to heroines, it takes a strong woman to deal with the men in my books. When these guys are on a mission, they want nothing more than to take control and fix whatever situation they face. They’re also protective and will deal accordingly with anyone aiming to do harm to the people they care about.
I think because the men are bossy, they need women who aren’t afraid to tell them if they’re acting like idiots. For Roxann, she loves verbal swordplay, so she is not opposed to debating issues with Michael. For Gina, well, she’s raising three kids on her own. She’s pretty much seen it all and when Vic is acting up, she has no problem urging him to rethink his approach. In A Just Decpetion, Monk is dealing with PTSD and, in Isabelle, he finds someone who has her own catastrophic emotional issues. Together, they learn to help each other.
MBR: Have you get any plans to write just a plain old contemporary romance for your fans? Or would you continue to stick with Romantic Suspense where you certainly seem to have found great success in?
AG: I don’t know that I’d ever write a straight contemporary. I honestly think contemporaries are some of the hardest books to write. With a romantic suspense, there’s a crime or some situation that needs to be resolved. If there’s a bad guy, the writer’s job is to bring the bad guy to justice in whatever form it takes. Every scene in the book should be a stepping stone to making that justice happen. The plotter in me loves that.
I do have a women’s fiction book that I’m fiddling with. It also has a mystery element to it though, so I think I’m naturally drawn to the mystery/suspense genre.
MBR: So what’s one genre of romance that you would never ever write?
AG: I freak out every time I have to write a sex scene, so I don’t see myself writing an erotic. Usually, when it’s time for the sex scene, I write ADD SEX SCENE here and then I go back to it at a later date. I like the sexual tension aspects, but when it comes down to actually writing the sex, I avoid it as long as possible! LOL.
MBR: Any romance writer has read tons of romances before proceeding to write the genre. So may I ask, who is your favorite romance author or who are your favorite authors in general? And what type of books do you prefer to read to unwind? And is there any author whose work inspires you?
AG: Suzanne Brockmann is my favorite romance author. I love her voice. Outside of the romance genre, Harlan Coben is my other favorite author. He writes amazing thrillers. When I want a book I know is a good read, I look for one of my keeper books from either Suzanne or Harlan.
MBR: So what’s your favorite way to spend your “me-time”?
AG: I love to grab a book and hit the beach. I grew up on the Jersey shore and spent my summers on the beach. For me, there is nothing more relaxing than salty-air and warm sand.
MBR: What’s the one thing that you can’t picture your life without?
AG: My family.
MBR: I see that Billy’s story is up next in Private Protectors. When can we expect to get our hands on his story? And what’s to come after Billy’s story?
AG: The tentative release date for Billy’s book is September 2012. Like Vic Andrews, Billy is quite the handful and I’m hoping readers who enjoy Vic’s personality will like Billy. He has to learn to filter in his book, which is something he’s not very good at. I’m also working on a novella that features Janet, the tech geek from the Private Protectors series. I’m having fun with her.
After that, I’d like to write a book that features Lynx, who is Vic’s friend at the State Department. Lynx always seems to pop up in my books, so he may need a story of his own. I’m still noodling that one.
MBR: So that brings me to my last and final question. What would your advice be to those who are aspiring to become writers?
AG: Keep writing, stay focused and find ways to keep your spirits up during the tough times. There is nothing easy about getting a book published, but when it happens, it’s an amazing sense of accomplishment.
MBR: Thank you so much Adrienne. It has certainly been a fun experience.
AG: Thank you for having me here! And thank you for all of your support of this series. It’s such a special feeling to have readers and reviewers praise my work.
- There will be two giveaways happening. Both open internationally.
- You can enter for both giveaways. If you are entering for one of them or both please state so in your comment.
- Adrienne herself will be giving away an e-copy of Risking Trust her latest novel. She would also be giving away a pair of bullet earrings and a bullet key chain together with character trading cards.
- The other giveaway happens to be a 20 $ gift certificate from either Amazon, Barnes&Noble or Samhain. The winner gets to choose from which online store he/she wants the gift card.
- To enter the giveaway all you have to do is tell us what was the very first romance that you remember reading that had such a profound effect on you and made you turn into a romance reader for life!
- And as always, if you help spread the word you get 5 extra entries for each whether it be Twitter or Facebook. Just state in the comment if/whether you have done so.
- Giveaway will be open from 00:00 hours December 13, 2011 till 00:00 hours December 15, 2011 Maldivian time.
- Winners will be contacted and announced on the blog soon after. Please leave a valid e-mail address behind as a way to contact you.
- And if inquiring minds want to know, you can find reviews for all 3 books by Adrienne from here.
i’d like to be entered for the $20 Amazon code! The first romance I really fell for was Anne of Green Gables in middle school.. loved Gilbert & Anne!! Also, I tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/DesMoinesDealin/status/146478537975676928 Thanks! scg00387 at yahoo dot com
Finally! Finally I make it to one of your Giveaways in time!! :) I most definitely am crossing my fingers for that $20 Amazon gift certificate!! :)
As for my very first romance, it’s Rafferty’s Angel by Caroline Cross. Read it in seventh grade and fell head over heels in love with the yummy hero! Convicted murderer, loner, drifter, filled with self-loathing and all kinds of tortured!! Drool anyone?? :P
Glad you could make it!
Rafferty’s Angel sounds awesome! Will have to check it out since we both have the same disease :P
Enter me in the $20 barnesand noble gift card Please
Hi Adrienne! Hi MBR!
Adrienne and I met on a writing loop we belong to and became friends when I started to frequent her wonderful writing blog, Romance University. She is a fantastic writer and her books keep me riveted from start to finish. No need to enter me for the book drawing as I have all of Adrienne’s books on my Kindle.
As far as the book that’s meant the most to me, I’d have to say Home to Copper Mountain, by Rebecca Winters. I was never much of a reader, too busy with work and my children. But I stumbled upon Home to Copper Mountain in a box of old Goosebumps paperbacks at a school yard sale. I’d never read a Harlequin Superromance before. That began my love of reading romance (aka voracious addiction!)
Hey Adrienne and Wendy,
So glad you guys stopped by to share your very first romance with us!
I don’t even remember mine because I have read so many over the years.
I just remember that afterwards I didn’t want to read any other genre!
Good morning everyone! Thank you for stopping by today. I can’t remember the title of the first romance I read but I know it was a Nora Roberts book. I was hooked after that!
Hi! My first romance was Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (in German, though). My mom had it on her nightstand and I was in desperate need of some reading material, so I gave it a try and boy, am I ever glad I did. :) I can’t remember how old I was but I must have been like 15 or 16. I so loved that book, I read it to pieces.
I already own Adrienne’s latest book (but still have to read it, I know, I know ;) ), so please enter me in the giveaway for the gc. Thank you!
Tweeted about it here: http://twitter.com/#!/_ClaudiaGC/status/146637970999492609
Great Interview! I love to hear from authors.
I can’t remember the first romance book I read (I used to nick my Mum’s Mills & Boons from time to time) but the first one I remember would be Jane Eyre. Its still one of my favourite books.
Could you enter me for the gift card? I’m travelling for the next few weeks so it would be great to have some extra reading material!
I’ve tweeted about this page hereh http://twitter.com/#!/MusingBookworm/status/146717754068701184
Hi Claudia. Thanks for popping in and for picking up Risking Trust. We can enter you into the book drawing also and if you win, I’ll just swap out the books for one you don’t already have.
Hello to my pal Wendy! Gang, if you want fun medical romances, Wendy’s books are for you. I have her latest in by TBR pile, but I loved “When One Night Isn’t Enough.”
Thanks for popping in Wendy. Believe it or not, I’ve never read a Superromance. Might be time to try one.
I could say Pride & Prejudice and that would be partly true. I always liked the romantic elements in the books I’ve read and was bummed if there was no HEA.
I don’t remember which book it was that got me reading single title romance as it was a long time ago.
But it was Debbie Macomber’s Navy Wife that got me reading category romances. Which led to me discovering the Silhouette Intimate Moments line and a lot of really great authors, many of whom I followed when they started writing single titles.
Oops, meant to say I have Risking Trust, so just enter me in the gc contest.
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