An Interview with Sophia Renny

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[Original interview published in February 2014. “What are you working on next?” has been updated  as of October 14, 2019]

Old vintage typewriter

Q: What’s the story behind your latest book?

A: Room 1208 truly comes from my heart. Both the hero and the heroine have issues from their past that have touched my own life, though not to the same extremes. “They” say to write what you know, and I do know what it feels like to be treated differently because of the way you look, and to experience the pain of losing a loved one to tragic circumstances. But I also enjoyed indulging in pure fantasy in this book. As one reviewer (5 Stars) said: “At its heart – even with the steamy *blushing* hot sex scenes – it’s a sweet, old-fashioned love story, complete with a few “it can only happen in a romance novel” scenarios. But, gosh darn it, in a world that seems to be turning more cold and cynical with each passing day, I absolutely adore a story that lets me completely escape reality for a couple of hours. I finished the story with a huge smile on my face and tears in my eyes.” I couldn’t have said it better than that!
Q: What are you working on next?
A: I’m busy working on my next story, a full-length novel set in Rhode Island (Little Rhody). Just as with Room 1208, I have fallen in love with my swoon-worthy hero – or perhaps I should say heroes as there are two hunks featured in the story. Brothers, builders, toolbelts and jeans. Need I say more? I’ll be sharing sneak peeks on my website: http://www.sophiarenny.com
UPDATES: Since doing this interview, I introduced my Rhode Island Romance series. Currently, there are 2 books: If Ever I Fall and Chasing Julia.  In the three years (gasp!) since then, my real job cut into my writing passion to the extent that I couldn’t put one chapter together, let alone an entire novel. I’m so happy to share that I made the bold step to leave that job and restore my life to a healthier balance of work and real life. I’m sure many of you can relate! But during that time I never stopped my daily journaling, and writing down notes about book ideas.
Very soon, I’ll be introducing my Montana Romance series. I live in Montana, you know. And the first story in the series is sure to please both fans of the very steamy Room 1208 and the more subdued but no less sexy Rhode Island romance series.  Hold on to your hats! The first book should hit the shelves in late winter 2019.
Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: There are so many! I truly appreciate GOOD writing, writing that makes me want to be a better writer. One particular author who inspires me in that way is Sherry Thomas. She’s an auto-buy for me. Another is Anita Shreve. When I’m in a regency mood, I steer towards Mary Balogh (Slightly Scandalous is one of my top 10 all-time favorite romances). Sometimes I just want a quick afternoon read and turn to my favorite Harlequin authors. Kelly Hunter and Maisey Yates are my current favorites. I grew up on HQ romances, so they will always hold a special place in my heart. I also collect romance books written in the 1930’s and 1940’s.
Q: When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
A: Exploring Montana. Hiking. Reading. Enjoying life with my beautiful family.
Q: Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
A: The first story that I can remember reading on my own was The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. I remember crying as the little house was surrounded more and more by the city. It made me realize that books weren’t just about happy things.
The first book I read that made me fall in love with romance was An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott. I was about eleven years old when I first read it, and I read it several times during my teenage years. I think it was from that point on that I gravitated towards romance books, more importantly, romance books with a sweet tension and slow build-up to the ultimate reveal.
Q: What is your writing process?
A: Simply this: to write whenever / wherever I can. My travel schedule gets in the way of sticking to a rigid plan. But a day that goes by without me writing something – even if it’s just a paragraph – is a day wasted.

Q: When did you first start writing?

A: Thanks to my mother, who saved everything I wrote, it appears that I started writing stories around the age of five or six. I wrote my first “novel” at eleven and my first “real” book at nineteen. So, you can say that I’ve been writing for most of my life. If the 10,000 hours rule holds true, I should be an expert by now, right? (Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell)
Q: What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
A: There is the joy of writing itself, the complete immersion in the story, losing all sense of current time and place as you write. A whole day can go by and it feels like minutes. That is the sign that you are following your true passion.
The other joy comes from giving my writing to others to enjoy (I hope).

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