Rosanna Leo, librarian and author of erotic romance; interviewed by Paul Collins.
Tell us about your background. Who you are, where you are from?
I am an author of erotic romance and work in a library when not creating new worlds and characters. My background is quite varied. Although I always wrote in some way, it took me a while to realize my writing ambitions. Before that, I worked in fields as diverse as recruiting, customer service for a processed meats company, tourism and was also a classical soprano. My career path has been a fickle one, as you can see. I was born in Toronto, Ontario, and my Canadian heritage has greatly influenced my writing. Ontario is the setting for most of my books, and I relish placing supernatural characters on the streets of Toronto.
What themes does your book explore and what do you hope the readers will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke for the reader?
Because I write romance, the main theme in my books will always be love and how it does conquer all. However, I would also say another of my themes tends to be self-sacrifice. I adore exploring the idea that once a person finds his mate, he would do anything to keep her safe from harm. Several of my heroes have had to make choices like “Do I give up everything for this woman, including my life as I know it?” Once that decision is made, my characters go through some very dark moments. Nevertheless, as I stated, love conquers all, and I always provide a happy ending. This is what romance readers want. They don’t want to see a beloved hero/heroine die. We always have to find a way to help them survive whatever threatens them. As far as feelings I wish to evoke for my reader, mostly I just want them to be happy at the end of the book, and hopefully experience a few sighs, laughs and tears along the way.
What prompted you to be an author and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain person, artist, or genre?
I pursued writing in my thirties because I realized I could no longer hide my passion for it. I’d been writing in secret during quiet times, never dreaming anyone else would read my work or find it valuable. I was miserable at my job then and it was such a chore to go to work. Writing was my creative outlet. After a while, I had a few manuscripts and decided I needed to start submitting. I wouldn’t say I was influenced by one person or genre, although paranormal romance was always my preference. When I first started reading as a kid, I picked up stories about ghosts and monsters. It was inevitable that some of those monsters would creep into my own work, but I’d like to think my immortal heroes are much more appealing.
If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why?
I believe my writing style is similar to Molly Harper, Kathy Love and Meg Cabot’s adult books. My quirky humor reminds me of some of the one-liners I’ve laughed at in their books. And my heroines are imperfect, real women, the sort you’ll find in their romances as well. I don’t like writing about model-beautiful women; I prefer to create heroines who are more girl-next-door with a healthy dose of awkwardness. Those are the women who intrigue me.
Tell us about your latest work and what inspired you.
My latest romance is Predator’s Serenade, Gemini Island Shifters 2. This series is set in the fictional community of Gemini Island, a remote area in northern Ontario. All the action takes place at the Ursa Fishing Lodge and Resort, a resort that caters only to shape shifters. In the first book, my hero was the owner of the resort. In this second book, our hero is his rock star brother Soren Snow, a famous percussionist and bear shifter. There are three things that Soren truly dislikes: kids, their mothers, and the great outdoors. He’d forced to confront each of these things when his brother calls in a favour, and asks Soren to assist a troubled tween shifter at the resort.
While there, he meets the boy’s mother, Gioia Clementine. Gioia is a no-nonsense, single mom who happens to be the human mom to a shifter child. And as much as she dislikes the cocky Soren Snow, she’ll do anything to help her child. Their chemistry soon overrides any mutual disregard, and Soren realizes Gioia is his mate.
Unfortunately, someone else wants her too.
Find Rosanna Leo on Facebook