Monday, July 17, 2017

Author Interview: Paul Lonardo

Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)

I was raised in a small state, and in small town, where family is everything. I was born and grew up in Rhode Island, where I live now with my wife and nine year old son. It’s a region of the country where people tend not to wonder too far away from their families, and if they do it is usually not for very long. Around here, you can always come home again. I ventured out to California when I was 19, wanting to pursue a career path in film and screen writing. I enrolled in a film school in Hollywood. It was quite an adventure, and an opportunity to learn about life as much as filmmaking. I returned home after a semester to focus on writing, for the screen as well as other forms. When I left again, it was also for California, although this time I found myself in Palm Springs. I had gotten degree in Mortuary Science and wanted to work and learn the trade outside of Rhode Island.  I returned to Rhode Island once more, wanting to be around my family and to start my own family. There was someone special back home that I left and was fortunate to find again, eventually marrying and having a son. No matter what else I might do, writing continues to be a big part of my life. Writing…And family.

What is your favorite genre to write?

That question is not as easy to answer as I thought. I can honestly say that I enjoying writing no matter what genre or form. I’ve been writing practically my entire life. Early on, I began telling stories in the medium of film as a teenager, making movies with my friends around the neighborhood. After attending a film school in California, I wanted to pursue the craft of screenwriting, and began writing scripts. Gradually, I turned to other forms of writing, including short fiction, typically in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. My first novel was in that vein. Certainly, I had an early interest in the paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy and horror genres. Literary influences ranged for me, but I always tended to gravitate more toward the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, as well as H.P. Lovecraft. By chance, I began doing a lot of ghostwriting and collaborative nonfiction. As much as I enjoy creating my own characters and stories, I’ve found that the truth really is stranger than fiction, and have been fortunate to work on a number of very interesting and inspired projects with people who needed assistance telling their own amazing stories. At first, I thought perhaps that writing romance was something of an experimental phase for me, but it may be something I continue. I’ve found that I really enjoy writing these stories, particularly Soul Awakening because it contains elements of some of the other genres I really like.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

I find being open to change is a form of freedom, and there is something to be said for writing in different genres and different forms. So diversity in my writing is something that I find most rewarding. I feel fortunate to be able to learn something new about an interesting person or a topic with virtually every book project.

There is also a kind of energy I feel when I get into a story when its starts to develop seemingly on its own, unbidden. Sometimes I feel as if I have to keep up with it so it doesn’t get away from me. You can’t stop until it does, or until you catch up with it, hopefully by the end of the story. It is very invigorating. At the same time, once you get to that point, and you catch up with it, you may have used so much energy in the process that no amount of coffee is going to offset that. Exhaustion sets in then. And that’s a good thing, too, because rest is really important.

Why do you choose to write clean/ sweet romance?  Do you write steamy romance as well?

I really think it is my nature, more than anything else. While there is certainly a duality at work in me, as there is an all of us, the approach to writing romance, and the preference an individual has for the type of romantic fiction they read may be something that is ultimately inherent.
My first romance, Reunion of Souls, published in 2015, was also a clean, while last summer’s release, Enchanted Desire was an erotic romance. So I have done both. Now Soul Awakening, which is probably most representative of who I am. I am very much an introvert. It’s probably one of the reasons why I turned to story-telling early in life, and became a writer. If I was any other way, I may not have found refuge in writing. Furthermore, I believe that being introverted allows me to express myself through my characters in ways that I could never imagine in real life. Writing provides an outlet for so many expressions, feelings and desires that are inhibited or restrained in some way. You hear about certain performers, actors and musicians, who are reserved and shy until they get on stage or in front of a camera. I think there are many writers who are the same way, me being one of them

How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?

Soul Awakening is my third romance title to be released over the past two years. All have been published by different romance publishers, and all in the novella range in terms of their length. I have ten other books, mostly nonfiction titles that are in print, a handful of them collaborative efforts that were self-published. So to date, the number of titles available is a good baker’s dozen. They do vary in genre, from true crime to sports, romance to horror. Over the years, I have written many short stories that have not been published, as well as other full length books in various stages of completion that, like the short stories, may one day be salvaged. You never know. I do, however, have a completed manuscript, a nonfiction, collaborative book project, which I believe will find a publishing home sometime in the near future.

If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be?   

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