RoseAnn DeFranco writes contemporary romantic comedy. Learn more about her and her books at her website and blog.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I always had a desire to express myself, which started through my love of music. Previously I pursued a life in the theatre as a singer and actress with a focus on singing, mainly in musicals. When I left the bright lights and big city behind, I needed another outlet for the creative gene and writing romance became the natural medium.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
I’ve been writing in earnest off and on for about seven years and actively submitting to agents and editors for about four.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
This Brothers of Audubon Springs three book series is being traditionally published with a small press, The Wild Rose Press. I have plans to self-publish a young adult fantasy series. My goal is to have it out no later than the summer of 2014. So, the goal is to become a hybrid author.
Where do you write?
I do most of my writing at home in my office while my family sleeps. I also take to Panera once in a while when I’m in the mood for a writing sprint day.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
Given my background, you’d think I need music to write, but silence is golden. All the years of studying and performing music, I find my subconscious analyzing the music and getting lost in the story of the song. I do find a great source of inspiration from music. My main characters usually have their own theme song, and my couples usually have a song as well.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
My plots are not drawn from my life or the world around me at all. I do bring character traits from people I know or public figures. There is a larger cast of characters in the Brothers of Audubon Springs series, which is the Iuliano family. Bits and pieces of the family are representative of my larger extended Italian family. I live a bit vicariously through my characters. For example, in Return to Audubon Springs, Emma is a multi-published children’s fantasy author and her star is on the rise.
Describe your process for naming your character?
I love naming characters. When I first started writing, I couldn’t move forward until I had the perfect name. I would think about my character’s traits and then research words that embodied them using baby naming websites to find a name that translated into that trait. In Return to Audubon Springs the hero Rafe’s full name is Rafaello which means God has healed, and boy does this couple have a lot of healing to do!
Real settings or fictional towns?
The town of Audubon Springs is important in this Brothers of Audubon Springs series, which is why it’s part of the name of the first book. The town is based on a real Jersey Shore town, but I fictionalized it to suit the needs of the books.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
Emma is clumsy, but only around Rafe.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
I’m clumsy all the time.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
Oh WOW…Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I’m a big Austen fan and Elizabeth Bennett is one of my favorite heroines. The love story is timeless which is what I’d love to achieve in my writing one day.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
College. I went to school for Musical Theatre and Vocal Performance. While I recognize the contributions my theatre background has made to my writing style and process, I wish I’d gone with something a bit more practical to pay the bills! Then there was that one time a college writing professor encouraged me to change my major to Writing. Yes, do-over, please!
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
When someone is trying to carry on a conversation with me but they are in a different room.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
My husband, my daughter, my mother. Is that allowed? Guess I’m no longer stranded!
If not…chapstick, water, copy of Pride and Prejudice.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
Flipping burgers at a fast food chain. Not only was I miserable, but I wasn’t even good at it. They moved me to the registers where I proved to be even worse.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
The Hunger Games. Perfect Hero’s Journey.
What’s your favorite movie?
I’m getting stuck on this. I don’t get out much!
What’s your favorite TV show?
Once Upon a Time. I watch this show with my daughter. It’s a great show and guaranteed mother/daughter bonding time.
Who’s your favorite actor?
Robert Downey, Jr.
What’s your favorite song?
Hard one for me. It’s constantly changing. Right now it’s “Roar” by Katy Perry because it is the theme song for the heroine in my current WIP.
What’s your favorite food?
Anything ITALIAN, but I could eat eggplant every day and twice on Sunday.
Ocean or mountains?
Definitely Ocean! I love the water and have an unhealthy fear of bears.
City girl or country girl?
Can I be both? I don’t do well in nature, but the rush of the city is too much for me. Can I go with what’s behind door number three and say I’m a Jersey Shore girl?
What’s on the horizon for you?
Two more books in the Brothers of Audubon Springs are under contract and I’m currently writing a holiday novella to wrap up the series. I plan to work toward self-publication of my young adult fantasy novel, Forbidden Signs.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
While romantic comedies, the important thing about this book series is the prevailing theme of home and family. I’ve discovered this is the theme of all my writing, regardless of the genre or story. Return to Audubon Springs is a romance. It’s hot, it’s funny, but at its core, my characters are searching for a place to call home.
Return to Audubon Springs
When Emma Grant returns to her family's Audubon Springs beach house to fulfill the stipulations of her father's will, she has every intention of forcing her former lover out of the house for good. She's never fit into her wealthy family and would prefer avoiding her past, but with her brother threatening to reveal her young daughter, she has no choice.
Rafe Iuliano has other plans. The wealthy Grants tried to bribe him out of Emma's life years ago, but he's determined to prove once and for all that a master carpenter is worthy of Emma and the house.
Their ridiculous and steamy battle for the house reignites the love and passion that bloomed between them years ago. But when Rafe discovers she's kept their daughter a secret for two years, can he overcome anger and pride to claim his family and the love of his life, or will the deception drive a final wedge between them?