Joy Mastroianni is a new author, and a brand new member of Avon Romance! Living in Springfield, Massachusetts with two sons, a dog and two cats, her new romance novel Mistaken Identity was published in August of last year by Strategic Book Publishing.
Set in the late 1800s, Mistaken Identity is a Western novel about an unconventional love story that begins when a handsome outlaw kidnaps Sarah Bradford, dragging her to the plains for family preservation. This week we learned more about the woman behind the book in this week's New Member Monday:
You recently released your first novel, Mistaken Identity. How long have you been working on this book?
I have always loved to write. Even as a child, I would go on vacation for a weekend, and I would send my friends letters as to what I did, instead of a postcard.
I wrote Mistaken Identity in one month, but it took me years to publish it. I did not know how to take that next step.
Before you were a writer, were you ever an avid romance reader? If so, what inspired you to become a creator of the works you love?
I was an avid reader for years. I read everything from romance, to science fiction, to murder mysteries. I especially loved Cassie Edwards, Brenda Joyce and James Patterson. I became interested in writing because it was a passion and fun to sit and create an adventure. I wanted to write my own stories instead of reading about them.
How did you publish your book? And how did you find the current process of book publication?
I decided it was time to get my book out there for people to read. I was going to enter a short story contest in Good Housekeeping. If I won, I would get the story published. I decided instead of that, to contact the publisher with a query concerning Mistaken Identity. The asked for a few chapters and thankfully, they decided, this is a book they wanted to publish. My publisher is the Strategic Publishing Group and I am so grateful they liked it and wanted to publish my story.
Once it was edited, the process was fast. The hard part is getting it out there. To get to the readers who want to buy my book. I am not beyond begging. I know once they start reading it they will love it. I told my son I wanted to write a review for my book, he asked can i do that and I said why not, I did love the book .I think it is a great book.
Do you have any tips for aspiring authors looking to get started in the publishing industry?
If I had one tip, it would be Don't Wait!! Get your story out there. It makes you happy to see it and know you accomplished getting your book out there. Once you see it on Amazon or Banes and Noble. It just makes you happy. I was not beyond doing a happy dance and crying tears of joy for the first time when you see that.
I have read numerous Avon Romance stories. I appreciate the quality of the books. Your readers are who my target audience is. I want to write stories people will want to read as I used to love the stories I read.
What's the next step for you? Do you have a sequel or another novel in the works?
I have written the sequel to Mistaken Identity called Chase The Wind and that will be out in the beginning of next year. I also finished a story that takes place in medieval England, Fire and Ice which will be out at the end of 2013. I am working on a murder/mystery now.
I want this to be my full time job. I have so many stories and adventures I want to write about. I want to take readers on a journey.
What's your favorite thing about the romance genre?
My favorite thing about writing a romance or any story is you can take the reader anywhere. It can take place any where, any place and part of history. It can be a real place, or fantasy or futuristic or paranormal. As long as you have romance, suspense, sex and fun, and two strong characters to take you along for the ride. As long as you have a passion and create a story, you bring your reader on your adventurous journey to some place away from their every day life. When you pick up a book, you want to be taken away. You want the story to make you forget you have dishes to wash or chores to do. You want to imagine the male character and hopefully fall in love with him. You want him and the female to succeed. you cheer them on and imagine the possibilities. It's all about imagination.
What did you like most about writing your new novel?
I want people to become involved in the characters, you love, hate, like and root for them. You don't want to stop reading to see what happens next. I want to take the reader on a roller coaster ride and once done, excited for the next ride. I want them to love the story, where they talk about it. That tells the author they liked the ride if they talk about it. That all I can ask for.
I know this is a great adventure. I added some twists and turns to keep the reader wondering what is going to happen next. I think I definitely will surprise the reader. I chose the cover for the colors first. I love color and I think women are drawn to colors. I chose the male on the front because it is a great body. The male hero has a great body and I purposely chose to not have a head, because we all have our own fantasy of what is handsome and i wanted the reader to fantasize her own hero. I can a little help with the body. It is not your average romance. It is a little darker and I can not wait for people to read it an enjoy the adventure. I dare the reader to take my ride to the 1890's and just imagine what will happen next.
I hope everyone will chose to read Mistaken identity and come along on the journey.