An Interview with Sophia Renny

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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
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: My “real” job has me traveling all over the country. Many of my book plots have been formulated in my head while waiting in airports or while on long train rides.  When I’m not on the road (and not writing), I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.
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. I’m proud to say that I’m a NaNoWriMo 2013 winner, but it wasn’t easy. 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).

She opens the door…

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She opened the door.

He turned to face her directly, his eyes—a clear, vivid blue—took a burning sweep from head to toe and up again. “Hello,” he said, his voice low, soft as kidskin leather.

“Hello,” she breathed.

Up close, he was taller than he’d appeared in the lounge. She was five feet seven inches in heels. The top of her head was even with the bridge of his nose. This close, she caught the fragrance of his cologne, a hint of citrus with cedar undertones. God, he was so handsome. She swayed slightly and grabbed the doorjamb to keep upright. His eyes followed the motion before returning their piercing directness to her face. He frowned in question, dipping his head towards her. “Is your offer still on the table?”

“Y-yes.”

His eyes narrowed at the telltale quiver in her voice. Several seconds that seemed like eons went by during which he seemed to be locked in some inner debate. He inhaled sharply, closed his eyes for a moment before he lightly touched her waist and gave her a gentle nudge backwards. The brief flicker of indecision—or had it been nervousness?—in his expression had vanished. “Let’s continue this in private.”

She released her grip on the doorjamb and her hand drifted down to his shoulder—his broad, strong, firm shoulder concealed under the fine, clearly expensive, fabric of his black suit jacket. It was almost like a slow dance as he continued guiding her further into the room until the door clicked shut behind them. He turned slightly to flip the safety latch, quirking one eyebrow at her as he did so. “Okay?”

She nodded.

They stood close together in the narrow hallway, his hand still at her waist, both of hers now resting lightly on his shoulders. Her unsteady breathing seemed to echo his. She’d never, willingly, been this close to a man before. She lost herself for a giddy moment in the vibrant male warmth radiating from his body. His fingers tightened against her waist, tugging her forward until her chest brushed against his. He set the knuckles of his other hand under her chin, tilting her face up and capturing her eyes. “What’s your name?” he rasped.

“You can call me…Joan,” she whispered.

His mouth twitched as his eyes took in her red hair and vintage attire. “How appropriate…Joan. Call me…Don.”

What will happen next in Room 1208?

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Joan

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She removed her earrings and necklace and placed them in the safe along with her purse. She closed the closet door, concealing her suitcase and coat, then paused a moment to study her reflection in the full length mirror. The dress was her most recent find, ordered from an online boutique that specialized in vintage clothing from the Fifties and early Sixties. It was periwinkle blue and white floral chiffon with a ruched waist and full skirt. It had a bateau neckline in front, and a deep curved back neckline that came across the middle of her shoulder bones. Matching suede periwinkle pumps completed the look.

It was a dress that spoke romance. It was a dress, she hoped, that begged an easy touch and slow hands, not one to be torn aside in a rush of passion. Oh, she wanted that mad rush eventually, but not for her first time.

Her hands shook slightly as she skimmed them down her waist and over the skirt. She loved wearing dresses. For too many years, she hadn’t been able to wear them, not without feeling like she was on a poster advertising a carnival sideshow. She’d had to content herself with cutting out pictures of dresses she liked, taping them to her bedroom mirror or tucking them in a scrapbook. Someday, she’d promised herself. Someday.

[What happens next in Room 1208?]

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