Friday, April 11, 2014

Author Spotlight Interview with Theresa Rizzo

Theresa Rizzo is an award-winning author who writes 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 years. She’s raised four wonderful children who are now scattered across the country.
Theresa’s debut book, He Belongs to Me was a finalist in the General Fiction Category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards!  Her second book, Just Destiny, will be released March 31, 2014.

Find Theresa on the web at, or connect with her on Facebooktwitter or Goodreads.
Purchase Just Destiny at Amazon,  Barnes, NobleiBookstore & Smashwords.

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
There are so many blessings in being a writer. I’ve spent 18yrs learning the craft and business of writing.

I LOVE epiphanies that come from learning something that takes my writing to the next level. Being a control freak, I love playing God. I can create the perfect man and then when he screws up, as men are apt to do, I can make him suffer in a dozen different way (and not go to jail) before giving him his HEA. How great is that?

I love getting reader notes telling me how my story affected them. Connecting with readers is an unanticipated delight. I love the creative and intellectual stimulation of writing, but most of all . . . the real blessing in writing for me, is the amazing people I’ve met on this journey.

Writers are funny, wonderful, generous, lovable, entertaining people. Through my volunteer work with multiple writers organizations I’ve  met a lot of great people and THAT’S the real blessing. I made this great video about my writing journey to help me remember the fun I’ve had and to celebrate this blessing.

Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?
I write emotional love stories that tug at readers’ heartstrings.  Fans of Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks would probably enjoy my books.  My recent release,
Just Destiny, is a love story wrapped in suspenseful courtroom drama.

It’s about a grieving young woman, willing to risk embarrassment and possibly revealing long-held family secrets in court, for the right to conceive her dead husband’s baby, and her lawyer, best friend’s struggle to help her, despite his reservations.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
I think people in general tend to be too judgmental. Through relatable characters and an engaging story, I want my readers to walk in another’s shoes and realize that most personal, emotional issues are a LOT more complicated and difficult than they first appear and we should try to be a little kinder to people would struggle through them, because, but for the grace of God, there go I.
I’d rather be more sympathetic and helpful than have to face the difficult situations I put my characters in myself.

Are any of your characters based on real people or events?
The idea for my stories come from real events, but the characters are completely products of my imagination. 
The inspiration for He Belongs to Me came from a newspaper article about a young couple where the boy was accused of shaking his baby to death. When it went to trial, the young man was undisputedly acquitted,
 but I couldn’t help but wonder how this tragic experience had irreparably changed them. 
How could they go on and salvage their marriage? How could their love survive? His son died in his hands. How could he not subconsciously feel like he had killed the baby? How could they move on to create a
 happy family with this horrible legacy? Hence, He Belongs to Me was born.

Just Destiny was conceived over dinner with my my sister and brother-in-law. I’d cut out this article in the
 newspaper about a woman being sued by her deceased husband’s family to keep her from having his baby after he was dead.  
The idea of having your dead husband’s baby seemed bizarre, but still it struck me as a frivolous, ridiculous lawsuit.  I figured it wasn’t anybody’s business, after all once you get married, your body’s mine and mine’s
 yours, right?
My attorney sister got this puzzled look on her face and said, “Actually that’s a really interesting legal issue. 
 I wonder if sperm is considered property . . .”  
And then my brother-in-law looked at her, saying, “I’m not sure I’d want you to have my baby after I’m 
So we discussed some legal and moral implications of the situation and what had initially seemed so 
incredibly simple and private suddenly became complicated and intriguing, propelling me to do some
research into the legalities and morality of the issue.
I was so fascinated with the idea that I had to build a book around it.

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  1. Hi Bernadette, Thanks for interviewing me and having me on your lovely blog!

  2. Looks like a good book. It' on my TBR list.

    1. Hi Lesli, thanks for stopping by. Enjoy Just Destiny!

  3. Theresa Rizzo sounded so interesting so I went to her FB page and liked. I certainly will be putting her books on my TBR list.

    1. Hi Eleanor, Thanks for stopping by and visiting my FB page--look forward to chatting with you more there. Hope you enjoy my stories!