Author Bio: Theresa
Rizzo is an award-winning author who writes romantic crime fiction and
emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and
families through real-life trials.
Born and raised in Grosse Pointe,
Michigan, she currently lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her
husband of thirty-three years. After attaining a BS in Nursing, Theresa retired to raise four wonderful children and write.
What is the first book you read that comes to mind? Why is it so
important to you?
The Black Stallion Series was the first book that
came to mind. I’m dyslexic and couldn’t read until the third grade, and
even then it was a struggle. The Black Stallion series showed me how
worth it the effort was and it opened the magical world of living
somewhere else and experiencing something else and I FINALLY got a
horse—even if it was just in a book.
What made you
start writing books?
I always enjoyed creative writing. But when we
had children, I’d write about them and their escapades in my annual
Christmas letter and friends and family got such a kick out of my
stories, that I thought it was cool I could entertain them that way. But
it wasn’t until my fourth baby was born, that I wrote that first book.
being a stay-at-home mom is a laudable profession, I felt
underappreciated, and living for my kids and husband was sucking the
life out of me—all my fault by the way. So I started learning the craft
and business of writing, and it saved my sanity. Writing was a
wonderful creative intelligent outlet and it fed my soul and made me a
much happier person and better mother and wife.
How much of
you and/or your surroundings is a part of your stories? Is the influence
based on a conscious decision, or do you periodically recognize
yourself in one of your characters and it wasn’t planned?
little of me in all my characters. That’s the great thing about writing I
get to express my sexy, evil, mean, mischievous, catty, warm-hearted,
brilliant, funny parts of my personality through the various characters,
but they all still have their own unique personas too and do and say
things I’d never do or say.
There is one heroine in one of the
books that writers friends claimed is very much like me—and that was a
shock, because I hadn’t intended it at all, and I could see how they
would make the comparison. No, I’m not going to tell you who it is. A
girl’s gotta have a little mystery J
What author/actor or musician do you ‘fangirl/fanboy’ over?
I adore George Clooney and think JK Rowling and Suzanne Collins are brilliant authors.
What does your perfect writing day look like? Do you plan when and how
long you write, or does it happen without planning?
Seriously? I’m a former control freak—of course I plan. Okay,
so…recovering control freak. Every morning, I get up and skim my email
while eating breakfast, then sit down and read what I wrote the day
before to get back into the swing of things, then plot out the next
scene in this chart I developed to make sure each scene has a strong
purpose and accomplishes several things—like advances the plot, shows
characterization, sets up something, and ends with a good hook.
I break to go to gentle yoga or take my pup on a long walk, eat lunch
and then write another few hours. That’s the goal at least.
What genre is the most intimidating when you think about writing in it?
Historical fiction—hands down. I have HUGE respect for
historical writers ‘cause they can’t change the facts of history and
harder yet…they’ve got to know all the historical facts and get it right
or those readers know. They are savvy readers and seemingly unforgiving
of factual mistakes.
What do you like to do when you
are not writing?
What do you think your profession would be if you were
not an author?
I have a ton of hobbies. I love hiking, playing
cards, playing games with my family, reading—of course—traveling,
playing tennis, skiing, creating mosaics with my wet tile saw,
crocheting and reading some more. If I hadn’t become an author, I
probably would have done well in the business world.
What is the most touching reaction you have ever received from a fan?
had a couple of fans tell me they had to stop reading Just Destiny
because they were crying so hard the page was blurry and they needed a
break. They were emotionally wrung out–in a good way.
very touched that I was successful in drawing them into the story so
that they sympathized with the characters to that degree. I reassured
them that there would be a happy ending.
In your opinion, what is the most important feature a book needs to have?
is very, very subjective, but for me…the writing’s got to be good. As
an author, pretty picky, but if the writing isn’t good, it’s very
unlikely I’ll be drawn into the story or care about the protagonist, and
if those two things don’t happen, there’s no point in my reading the
story and I’m going to put it down.
What is the most
difficult part of writing a book, (including the preparations and
The marketing and being fairly compensated
for your work. Writing the book is the easy, fun part, but who wants to
write a book and not share it? Not many people. Who wants to work so
hard to create a great book and make no money at it? Writing and
publishing are not for the faint of heart.
Name three characteristics of your writing style that are important yet
different from other authors. The only thing that might make these
characteristics different from other authors is that they’re all
included in the same book. Most authors will have these characteristics
in their books, but perhaps not ALL of them in the same book.
- I write
very complex plots and characters because life is messy and I like my
books to be as realistic as possible—yet will always give the reader a
- Whatever writing elements I put in my books, I do it to
the best of my ability. For instance Silent Sentry has romance,
suspense, and mystery, aspects. It also has a lot of factual information
with regards to the mafia, Detroit’s decline, the engineering behind
Gianna’s invention, Prometheus, etc. Each genre has it’s own conventions
and expectations and I worked to master each. I want to make sure I do
all of them to the best of my ability.
- I write books that draw the
reader in and make them feel things. Most readers are vested in my
characters and stories.