Interview with Valerie J. Clarizio

PI Book Cover FrontHow did you get started writing?

Years ago, I worked both a full-time and part-time job while going to school at night to obtain my MBA.  I was rather busy at the time, and when I completed the MBA program I suddenly found I had a lot of excess time on my hands.  A friend of mine handed me a Janet Evanovich book and said, “Here, read this.”  I quickly declined the book because the last thing I wanted to do was read anything since I’d just spent years reading text books.  I had never read for pleasure before.  My friend insisted I read the book.  I did, and I was hooked.  Throughout the next year, I read every book written by Evanovich at the time, even those under her pen name, and then I read some more books.  I think I read somewhere in the neighborhood of 53 books during that first ‘reading’ year.  One night I dreamt up a character named Nick Spinelli, a quirky detective, and I thought to myself that Evanovich could have a field day writing about this guy.  Then I thought, heck with Evanovich, I’ll do it myself.  That said, I penned three novellas in the Nick Spinelli romance mystery series and published them via Melange Books, LLC.  I am currently working on the fourth.

What is your favorite part of writing?

My favorite part of writing is the first draft.  Not only does that part go fairly quickly, it also relaxes me by providing an escape from reality.

What is your next project and when will it be released?

I’ve been working on the first book in the Jacobs brother series.  I’ll soon send it off to my editor and hope to release it in the spring of 2016.  The story is about a twenty-two year old man who inherits his five younger brothers when their parents are killed in a car accident.  To add to his stress he’s also responsible for managing the family dairy farm.  He hires the neighbor as a live-in nanny/housekeeper­.  I’m sure you can see where I’m going hereJ

What is your typical day like?

During the weekdays I’m generally writing, editing, or promoting my books by 5:30 a.m.  I write until about 7:00 a.m. at which time I get ready for the day-job.  Sometimes I write in the evening as well.  On the weekends, I usually start the day with a couple hours of writing, then I move on to cleaning or spending time with the hubby, cats, and friends.

Do you have a view in your writing space?  What does your space look like? 

I have a tiny home office.  There is one window with a view of trees.  The room contains my desk, some book shelves, a filing cabinet, and an ironing board.  Not too exciting.

Tell us about your hero.  Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.

Joe is extremely sensitive but afraid of loving again since the death of his wife.

Tell us about your heroine.  Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.

Elizabeth starts out pretty insensitive until Joe unleashes her sensitive side, then she bursts with love and kindness.

What genres are you drawn to as a reader?

I really like romantic suspense but have recently ventured into contemporary and historical.

Do you or have you belonged to a writing organization?  Which one?  Have the helped you with your writing?  How?

I belong to the Romance Writers of America and the Wisconsin Romance Writers.  Both have been enormously helpful to me in learning the craft of writing.  It was at a WI Romance Writer’s meeting that I found my first critique partner who helped me immensely with the first Nick Spinelli romance mystery novella.  Without her, I’m sure I’d still be fumbling through the tenth draft of that novella with no hope of a publisher picking it up.


Elizabeth Shaw’s professional life is going according to plan until she meets the handsome widower and his two young children next door. Having shelved her personal life to land her dream job, she disregards her romantic feelings for him. But the forces of nature have other ideas for her.

Joe Antonetti has made his children his main focus since the death of his wife. But his beautiful neighbor becomes an irresistible distraction and has him wondering if he can change her priorities.

Surrendering to their attraction for each other causes another player to step in with his own plan for Elizabeth. One that could not only end the budding romance but her life as well.

Tag Line:  There’s more to some women than meets the eye….and it takes the right kind of man to unleash her secrets.

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Clarizio Photo (1)Bio:

Valerie Clarizio lives in romantic Door County Wisconsin with her husband and two extremely spoiled cats. She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

She’s lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual. Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into an outdoors enthusiast, of which her favorite activity is hiking in national parks. While out on the trails, she has plenty of time to conjure up irresistible characters and unique storylines for her next romantic suspense or sweet contemporary romance novel.

Ms. Clarizio’s Contact Links:


Twitter:  @VClarizio




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Excerpt #1

Elizabeth leaned back against her closed door for support. She recalled how perplexed Joe looked a moment ago, and she couldn’t help but wonder what was going through his mind. She thought maybe he wanted to kiss her, and on one hand she longed for him to do so, but on the other hand he wasn’t part of ‘The Plan,’ the very plan that didn’t allow for men right now.

She raised her fingers to her lips. They felt hot. What would it have been like to kiss his mouth rather than his cheek? No need to speculate; it would be heavenly. Her heartbeat went into overdrive, causing her limbs to go numb. What were supposed to be deep calming breaths were useless.

What in the world is happening to me? Pull yourself together Elizabeth. Stay the course!

But no matter how hard she tried to will Joe out of her mind, visions of him kept passing through. Thoughts of him warmed her heart, yet made her head ache.

Stick to the plan. Stay the course. Stick to the plan. Stay the course.

Thinking the words were of no use, and she knew saying them aloud wouldn’t help either. Her head couldn’t control her heart.

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