Recently, I had the honor of interviewing award-winning author, Theresa Rizzo. We discussed her latest book, Just Destiny, and her career as a writer. You can win a copy of Just Destiny here, via a rafflecopter giveaway that I am sponsoring!
Hi Theresa, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us, what books have you written?
I’m writing my sixth book. My first book was so bad I can’t even remember the title and it’ll never see the light of day, but it was a good practice effort. My debut book, He Belongs to Me, is a story about a young mother willing to do whatever it takes to reclaim custody of her son—even reconcile with the husband falsely accused of killing their son’s twin. Then my new release, Just Destiny, and then I have one other women’s fiction book , The Lives Between Us. Then I wrote a romantic suspense I need to find a good title for, and my latest story is a rough draft called Secrets.
That is excellent! 🙂 Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Three things: 1–I always enjoyed creative writing. 2–when we had children, I’d write about them and their escapades in my annual Christmas letter and friends and family got such a kick out of my little stories, that I thought it was cool I could entertain them that way. 3– the truth is . . . though being a stay-at-home mom is a laudable profession, I found it a thankless job (at the time) and living for my kids and husband was sucking the life out of me—all my fault by the way. Writing was a wonderful creative intelligent outlet and it fed my soul and made me a much happier person and better mother and wife.
I’m happy to hear that! Are you working on anything currently? If so, would you mind telling us a little about it?
Right now I’m working on cleaning up my fall release, The Lives Between Us, which is book dealing with love, loss, revenge, and making hard choices. Here’s the description:
Grieving the loss of her beloved niece, reporter Skylar Kendall plots revenge on the US Senator who opposed life-saving stem cell research and therapy. She becomes romantically involved with his best friend, putting her in the perfect position to tear the senator’s world apart when tragedy strikes. Only, she hadn’t counted on falling in love.
Sen. Hastings’s tragedy would absolutely make Skylar’s career and satisfy her thirst for revenge, but can she betray her new love and friends?
Wow, thank you for sharing! That certainly looks like a book that I would enjoy. I will keep an eye out for it! 🙂
Were there any challenges in writing your latest book, Just Destiny?
There were a lot of challenges in writing this story. I had to do oodles of research on everything from artificial insemination, definition of death in the state of Michigan, organ donation, to Gabe’s historic watch and the specifics and legalities of postmortem sperm retrieval.
Oh, very good!
Do you believe in fate or destiny yourself?
Absolutely! I believe we each have a preordained destiny—a path we’re supposed to travel using the gifts God gave us. But God also gave us free will and we willful humans have a tendency to superimpose our will over God’s, so we get off-track at times.
Very well said!
What inspired you to write Just Destiny?
My husband was on a business trip on my birthday, so my sister and brother-in-law took me out to dinner to celebrate and I’d cut out this article in the newspaper about a woman being sued by her deceased husband’s family to keep her from having his baby after he was dead. The idea of having your dead husband’s baby seemed bizarre, but still it struck me as a frivolous, ridiculous lawsuit. I figured it wasn’t anybody’s business, after all once you get married, your body’s mine and mine’s yours, right? My attorney sister got this puzzled look on her face and said, “Actually that’s a really interesting legal issue. I wonder if sperm is considered property . . .” And then my brother-in-law looked at her, saying, “I’m not sure I’d want you to have my baby after I’m gone.” So we discussed some legal and moral implications of the situation and what had initially seemed so incredibly simple and private suddenly became complicated and intriguing, propelling me to do some research into the legalities and morality of the issue. I was so fascinated with the idea that I had to build a book around it.
Sounds like it was destined for you to write Just Destiny! 😉 That’s amazing! I wonder how that case turned out. 🙂
I’m curious, are you an organ donor yourself?
Yes Ma’am! If I’m declared dead and can still help save a life or many, I’m more than happy to do it. The way I see it, I have an opportunity to be a hero! Besides, I’m not above trying to bribe my way into heaven :).
What do you want your readers to take from Just Destiny?
Basically that we should be kinder and less judgmental of others. I believe we all do the best we can at the time and yet we get in some awfully hard, painful messes that some of us deal with more gracefully than others.
But we shouldn’t be so quick to judge harshly, ‘cause we haven’t walked in that person’s steps and often times what seems so very simple is actually quite complex.
Poor Jenny Harrison. Life really did hand her lemons. You do love to torture your characters, don’t you? 🙂
That’s just life. Okay, yeah, I do, but I will always give my protagonist a happy ending. I like to write about things I fear would tear me apart and then I get to create my own happy ending–perhaps in preparation when bad things happen to devastate me for real–as they will sometime in life–writing a book like this is there to remind me that I can endure whatever and will be able to work through it and be happy again. Just like Jenny.
Is there anything I haven’t asked that you would like to include?
I want to thank you for having me on your blog and reading and reviewing my books. The greatest challenge for any self-published author is discoverability and I am so very grateful to every single generous reader who makes the time to write me a review and tell a friend about my book or host me on their blog. Or invites me to their bookclub either in person, by phone, or Skype. Thank you so very much for your support!
Absolutely! I’m happy to support and promote excellent Authors like yourself. When I read a good book I’m happy to tell the world about it and I want everyone else to read it too. 🙂
Thank you so much Theresa for taking time out from your busy schedule to participate in this interview. I wish you the best of luck with your latest release, Just Destiny!
Theresa Rizzo is an award-winning author who writes emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and families through real-life trials. Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she now lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband of thirty years. She’s raised four wonderful children who are now scattered across the country.
He Belongs to Me was a finalist in the General Fiction Category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards!–Amazon Author Bio
Stay up to date with Theresa Rizzo by visiting her website .
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What would you do if your whole world fell apart?
Jenny Harrison made some poor choices in the past, but marrying Gabe was the best thing she’d ever done. They had the perfect marriage, until a tragic accident leaves Gabe brain dead and her world in ruins. Devastated by grief, she decides to preserve the best of their love by conceiving his child, but Gabe’s family is adamantly opposed, even willing to chance exposing long-held family secrets to stop her. Caught in a web of twisted motives and contentious legal issues, Jenny turns to best friend and attorney, Steve Grant.
Steve wants to help Jenny, but he has reservations and secrets of his own. When something so private and simple turns public and complicated, will Jenny relent? What is Steve willing to sacrifice to help Jenny?–Just Destiny, [Amazon blurb]