Adrienne Giordano is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. She is also Carina Press’s romantic suspense author.
Her new novel RELENTESS PURSUIT is the fourth in her Private Protector’s series. ITW chats with Adrienne about her new novel and the importance of having great editors and a soundtrack.
Since RELENTESS PURSUIT (Carina Press) is the fourth book in your Private Protectors Series, what have you learned from the previous that has made you a better writer for this book?
Having an editor has helped me become a better self-editor. I’ve gotten better at recognizing early on when a scene isn’t necessary or needs to be moved. Also being able to recognize flaws in earlier drafts, makes the revision process much easier. I’ve also learned not to get emotional about the process. Well, maybe not too emotional.
How do you create the perfect match for Billy Tripp?
I find a woman who has a ton of patience and then a little more in reserve! Billy is not easy. His brain is constantly active. And if he’s not moving or being a cut-up or getting into someone’s business at all times, he gets bored. He does nothing halfway. If he loves someone, he loves them unconditionally and always, no matter what, has their back. He also has a huge heart and a desire to see justice prevail. I paired him with Kristen Dante, the ultra-responsible general manager of her father’s billion dollar hotel. She’s a sharp business woman, takes no guff and is used to dealing with high maintenance people. Billy makes her laugh like no one else can, but she teaches him a few lessons in filtering his thoughts.
You share a playlist of each novel with your readers on your website. How important is music to novel writing for you?
I don’t listen to music while I’m writing. I need quiet or I get distracted. If I’m stuck on a scene though, I’ll grab my IPod and head out for a walk. The songs on my playlists for each book are fairly varied, but they help me develop a picture in my head of what the characters like, how they feel about each other and what drives them. I’m currently building the playlist for my next book and the range of choices is somewhat perplexing. I’m chalking it up to the characters being complicated. J
What track on your playlist would be considered the book theme song?
For RELENTLESS PURSUIT, I’d have to say “Home” by Blake Shelton is the book’s theme song. Billy is someone who hasn’t found the place he calls home. His base is Chicago, but his job as an operative keeps him overseas for long stints, so he doesn’t consider Chicago home. When he arrives in South Beach, the level of activity there, the people he meets and the overall feel of the area call to him. Throw Kristen Dante into the mix and, for the first time, he feels like he’s home. For Kristen, South Beach has always been home. It’s the place she wants to stay and she needs the man in her life to be okay with that or the relationship probably won’t work. She knows that about herself and it’s one of the things I latched on to when developing her character.
Why did you set RELENTLESS PURSUIT in a Miami luxury hotel? What will be love and discover about this setting?
I wanted to balance Billy’s sense of adventure with someone who likes routine. Originally, I had Kristen being a single mother, but then changed it to her being a workaholic with little time for nonsense. I made her the general manager of a luxury hotel because (for the suspense angle) I needed her job to be demanding and not have a set schedule. A little tidbit about the hotel is that I modeled it after Wynn in Las Vegas. Once I had a picture of the hotel in my mind, I needed a location that would appeal to Billy’s fun side. By the end of the book, I wanted the character to have found his home. South Beach offered the chaotic fun he thrived on and was the perfect setting for a luxury hotel.
What suspense authors inspire you?
I’m a big Suzanne Brockmann fan. I love authors who can weave humor into a suspense book. Give me some snappy dialogue and I’m a happy reader. My other favorite author is Harlan Coben. I think I’ve read NO SECOND CHANCE a dozen times.
What do you love about writing for Carina Press?
I love, love, love my editor. I call her the fabulous Gina Bernal. She has a unique way of understanding where I want to go with a scene even if I mess it up along the way. She’ll always say, “I think I know where you’re going with this, but…” I’m lucky to have an editor who understands my humor and is able to tell me when I’ve gone too far (or not far enough). I’m also incredibly grateful to the marketing team at Carina. They’ve been a tremendous help to me over these past two years.
What will we love about this novel?
I think readers will love Billy’s journey. He’s a guy who is always brutally honest and typically gets in trouble for it. He usually winds up wondering what the heck happened that got him into trouble in the first place, but he always tries to fix his own messes. Secretly, I think I’d like to be Billy Tripp for a day and just say what I’m thinking. Scary thought, but I think it would be fun to be unfiltered for a day.
Why do you write romantic suspense?
As a reader, I enjoy various genres, but my favorites are romance and mystery/suspense. As a writer, I like the challenge of weaving a growing relationship in with solving a crime. I’ve also written a mystery book, which my agent is currently trying to find a home for.
What would you like to share that I haven’t asked?
About a year ago, my pal (and fellow ITW member) Tracey Devlyn came to me with an idea about promoting each other’s work. We teamed up with Nancy Naigle and Tracy March and started Romance and Suspense.com. Tracey Devlyn writes historical suspense, Nancy writes small town suspense and Tracey and I write contemporaries. We came up with the tagline Suspense…any way you like it and we’re off and running. It’s a fun way to help spread the word about my terrific author pals. Plus, we get to brainstorm marketing ideas with each other. So check us out!