Adrienne Giordano is a USA Today bestselling author of over forty romantic suspense and mystery novels. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her ultimate supporter of a husband, sports-obsessed son and Elliot, a snuggle-happy rescue. Having grown up near the ocean, Adrienne enjoys paddle boarding, a nice float in a kayak and lounging on the beach with a good book. For more information on Adrienne’s books, please visit http://www.AdrienneGiordano.com. Adrienne can also be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AdrienneGiordanoAuthor,Twitter at http://twitter.com/AdriennGiordano and Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/AdrienneGiordano.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?
I’ve had a yearning to write since I was in grammar school. A couple of years ago, my mom found one of my first “books”. I was ten (the book had the date on it) and used notebook and construction paper that I stapled together to create my novel. I still have it and cherish it. I like to tell people I have the best job in the world. I sit around all day and make up stories. I consider myself lucky that I’m a full-time writer. A lot of writers don’t have that opportunity.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
The easiest place to find me is on Facebook or my website. Here are the links:
My latest release is Into The Fire. My co-author on this project is my cousin, Mary Jo Briscione. Twenty years my senior, Mary Jo showed me from a very young age that women had powerful voices. She died five years ago from pancreatic cancer. During her last days, she told me she’d always wanted to be a writer (she was an English teacher). I was stunned. She’d been a huge part of my life and we’d talked often about my dream of writing novels, but she’d never shared her own desire to write. She had me go to her nightstand where she kept research on the Dupont Hotel fire in Puerto Rico. She’d always wanted to do a retrospective on the fire and had pages of hand-written notes and copies (microfiche!) of newspaper and magazine articles. She’d never gotten around to finishing the piece and, although she didn’t say it, I sensed she regretted not pursuing her goal of becoming a writer. I told her I couldn’t do the retrospective, but I’d write a novel about a fictitious hotel fire. I used a lot of her research and listed her as a co-author. It really has been the gift of a lifetime.
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
My author pals laugh at me because I’m a total news junkie and can remember things I heard about years ago. I’m going to date myself, but I still love reading a newspaper. Every Sunday, I sit with my coffee and The Chicago Tribune. I’m constantly running across random things that spark an idea. When I find an interesting article, I may not know exactly what it is that drew my attention, but I save it and store it in an idea box. It’s literally a banker’s box filled with news articles.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
I think all writers have their own process for what works and what doesn’t. I’m a plotter in that I like to know my middle and ending. If I know those things, I can brainstorm how to reach those points, but I’m also able to enjoy the twists that happen as I’m writing.
Typically, I write first thing in the morning after walking my dog, Elliot. He’s a ninety-pound shepherd mix, so it’s a fast-moving walk. The exercise and fresh air (especially in the winter) get my brain moving. Once I get to my desk, I usually write for about three or four hours and then I hit a wall. I like to meditate, so I’ll do that for about twenty minutes to refresh myself.
The amount of time it takes to finish a book depends on the project. Generally, including edits, it takes about five months to complete. I’m currently working on a romantic thriller that I’m having a blast with. I tend to jump from romantic suspense/thrillers to mysteries. My Lucie Rizzo series is a funny mystery series, while the Schock Sisters series and Into The Fire have a more serious tone. I like mixing it up.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
The first genre fiction book I remember reading was Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon. It’s still one of my favorites. After that, I was hooked on crime fiction. I have a bunch of authors I like. Suzanne Brockmann is a favorite. David Ellis, Lisa Gardner, Harlan Coben. They’re all amazing authors. I also enjoy non-fiction. I just finished Green lights by Matthew McConaughey and loved it. I’m currently reading ‘The Universe Has Your Back’ by Gabrielle Bernstein. With the craziness currently happening in the world, it’s helping me stay focused on the present and appreciate positive things that happen throughout the day.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
Hitting the USA Today list was a dream come true, but there are other things I’ll be forever grateful for. I’ve made lifelong friends on this journey and that’s a gift. I’m also constantly trying to improve my craft, so when I get emails from readers telling me I made their day or how much they loved my book, it’s incredibly gratifying. That’s my favorite part of this job.
Five years from now I’ll still be writing, but my hope is that I’ll be able to slow down and spend more time with my family. I love to travel and2020 made me realize how important it is for me creatively to get out and see the world.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing in terms of traditional and self-publishing?
When I first started, I’d be devastated with each rejection. Then a writer friend jokingly told me an agent “chose to resist” her work. That was a turning point for me. After that, I started looking at rejections differently and understanding that it’s all so subjective. One editor may hate it and the next will love it. We’re all human with different tastes, and I try to remember that. In terms of the market changing, I think it’s a terrific time to be a writer.
I started in traditional publishing, and it was a great learning experience in terms of editing and cover creation. I use that same process for my Indie titles. My goal is that readers won’t know the difference between my Indie books and my traditionally published ones. I’d even go as far as to say some of my Indie covers are better than my traditionally published ones. What’s amazing about the Indie market now (as compared to seven or eight years ago) are the resources. Back then, there were limited groups and organizations to help writers figure out how to run their own publishing business. Indie authors are small business owners. We’re writing, handling marketing and dealing with retailers. There’s a huge learning curve, but resources are plentiful.
8) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself?
I do enjoy it. I just received the rights back from my publisher on my debut Private Protectors series and read all the books before Indie publishing them again. I had great fun revisiting the characters and could make changes based on all that I’ve learned over the years. It’s a gratifying feeling.
9) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
Never! It really is a great time to be a writer. There is more competition now than when I started, but all it takes is one tweet or social media post to go viral and a book can hit a bestseller list.
10) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
My goal is always to entertain my reader and give them the best story I can. I’m all about characters who are honest, hard-working and try to do the right thing. I think about my protagonists like I do my friends. Are they people I want in my life? If not, I know I need to go back to plotting and make them more likable. I always also have a touch of humor in my books because laughing, for me, helps me to cope in times of stress. When I’m having a bad day, I can sit down at my desk and let my heroine make quick work of a bad guy. It’s great therapy!