If you’ve followed my blog for a while, it should come as no surprise that I love everything A. Zavarelli writes. Her Boston Underworld series is a TJ Top Fave and includes one my all time favorite book boyfriends. That’s right ladies, Reaper is mine! Hands off!
By some miracle, this brilliantly talented author didn’t balk at my tendency to stalk her on Facebook and has graciously agreed to answer my interview questions. So without further ado, check out our interview below. Enjoy!
◄◄ Interview ►►
TJ: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
AZ: I first realized I wanted to be a writer at a young age, but I didn’t have the confidence to start writing until I was in my early twenties and even then I couldn’t show anyone those early works. I started ghost writing full time and did that for about a year and a half before I decided to try it for myself.
TJ: What is your writing process? Do you start with a detailed plan, plot outline, and character analysis?
AZ: I spend about a week doing a character profile for each main character and really getting to know them before I start writing. I used to be a pantser and would just write wherever the wind blew me, but now I do use an outline to keep the story more organized.
TJ: Was it nerve-wracking to hit the publish button the first time? Is it still?
AZ: The first time was terrifying. And I had some formatting issues with the very first book, and of course I thought it was the end of the world. But now I am much more relaxed about it. The scariest part for me is sending out ARCs and getting that initial feedback.
TJ: Are your characters strictly fictional or can you see yourself or others in them? If so, which character is most like you?
AZ: I definitely use bits and pieces of others and myself in my characters. I’m almost scared to answer the second question because of course it’s going to be two of my craziest characters. But I feel like I included a lot of my personality in both Ronan and Scarlett’s characters.
TJ: Boston Underworld is my favorite series! Reaper in particular really stands out for me. What was the inspiration behind the series? Did you always plan to write it as a series or did it develop organically?
AZ: Thank you! It honestly just started out as a very small idea when I was on one of my daily walks. I was listening to Shinedown’s the Crow and the Butterfly, and it all snowballed from there. At first I knew I would write a second book about Ronan’s character, but I never expected to write a five book series. So the rest definitely developed organically.
TJ: Another character that really stands out for me is Scarlet from Saint – Boston Underworld Book 4. Did you worry at all while writing her character? Ever have anxiety about how your readers will react to a character?
AZ: Scarlett was absolutely terrifying to write. Hard female characters are not necessarily always well received, and there was definitely a pretty strong reaction to her initially. I have constant anxiety while I’m writing about the storyline and characters and how they will be received, but at the end of the day if I let that fear rule my writing I don’t feel like I’d be doing the story justice. All I can do is write the story to the best of my ability and hope that somebody will love these characters as much as I do- damaged or not.
TJ: What do your friends and family think of your books?
AZ: Most of my friends and my family don’t really understand what it is I do with the exception of a very close few. Those that do think it’s pretty cool, and of course it’s awkward as hell when your mom wants to read a book you’ve written with sex scenes in it.
TJ: Do you have an Irish accent? Any ties to Boston?
AZ: I don’t have an Irish accent or any ties to Boston really with the exception of having a few friends who lived there that I visited.
TJ: I’m currently listening to Echo (which is fab, by the way). Do you listen to your books? If so, what thoughts go through your head while listening?
AZ: I always find it extremely weird to listen to my books on audio before I approve them. It’s really weird to listen to some of those scenes out loud and think… oh god I wrote that.
This will probably sound really strange but the way that I usually know a book is done is when I hate it. When I’ve literally gone over it so many times I couldn’t possibly read it again, that’s when I know I’m ready to send it out to my betas. So if I had it my way, I wouldn’t read my books (or listen) to them again. When I’m done, I’m done. I still cringe when I think about the first books I wrote, because my writing has come a long way since then. But it’s all part of the process.
TJ: I read that you love to travel. What’s the most exotic or intriguing place you’ve visited?
AZ: I’d have to say probably driving the Great Ocean Road in Australia and seeing the Twelve Apostles. They were amazing, and even the photos really can’t do them justice. But I’m going to Ireland and Germany in June, so I guess I will have to see if I can top them 🙂
TJ: Share a secret with us or a random fact about A. Zavarelli.
AZ: Random fact- I cannot stand the smell of black licorice. If anyone ever wanted to torture me, just put me in a room full of that.
TJ: Are you a romance junkie or do you read other genres? Have you ever considered writing in another genre?
AZ: I love romance. That’s what I started out in as a reader, so that’s why I love to write it. But I do also read thrillers and the occasional mystery. I don’t know if I’d ever want to write in another genre, but I haven’t ruled it out.
TJ: What advice do you have for other indie authors or new authors in general?
AZ: My advice to new authors would be- Don’t expect anything to happen overnight. Don’t even necessarily expect it to happen with your first or even your third book. You have to work hard to build that reader base and it takes time.
Also, the thing that I cannot stress enough is that other authors are not competition. Find someone like minded to share ideas with, vent your frustrations with, talk craft with, and to be a friend. You’re going to need as many as you can get in this industry 🙂
TJ: Can you share any tidbits about your current WIP?
AZ: So I’ve already announced that I’m working on a darker beauty and the beast themed book, but I also have something else in the works. I’m doing things a bit differently this time around and working on two books at once.
The second book is a lighter theme than what I usually write, and it’s somewhat of a comedic second chance romance based off a popular dating app. I’m really excited for this book too.
Check out her newest release, Salacious on February 28, 2017
◄◄ Where To Find A. Zavarelli Online ►►
Mailing List: http://www.subscribepage.com/AZavarelli
◄◄ Where You Can Find A. Zavarelli in Person►►
Love and Fifty Sacramento, CA February 10th
Spicy in Spokane, WA March 4th
Submit and Devour Miami, FL May 27th
RARE Berlin, Germany June 17th 2017
A Dark and Seductive Affair Charlotte, NC July 22
Books in Bourbon Country Louisville, KY August 19th
Shameless Book Con Orlando, FL October 21st
The Traveling Bookshelf Plano TX Nov 4th
For the Love of Books New Orleans, LA Feb 10th
RARE London February (date TBD)
For the Love of Books Boston, MA March 3rd
For the Love of Books Austin, TX May 12th
RARE Rome June 23rd
Romanticizing Cancun Cancun, Mexico August 3rd
Four Brits Book Fest August 11th
This was such a great experience! My heartfelt thanks to A. Zavarelli for agreeing to answer my questions! For my readers, I’ll be featuring her books all months, so look forward to more teasers and reviews. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.