The Tales of a Contemporary Romance Writer

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Talkin' Tuesday with Lorettajo Kapinos!

Good Morning everyone! Lets see... I have the tile floor in the dining room down. My husband is going to grout the kitchen counters today, and I REALLY need a vacation with some cabana boys! LOL

Today I have one of my bestest friends in the whole world. She's made a huge difference in my life as I'm sure she will in the Young Adults she writes for. 

-What's you favorite read or series?
LK-I have to read realistic type fiction.  For some reason, my brain can not wrap around the fantasy or sci-fi concepts. I feel like I'm being tricked or lied to, ya know?  And I'd like to say I read young adult because I write it, but I'd be lying. I find most adult books too stressful to really enjoy.

-What/who got you reading?
LK-My sister-- hands down was my inspiration for reading. As a children, we'd snuggle in her bed at night and she'd read all sorts of books to me. Some of my favorites: Charlotte's Web, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and Stuart Little.  She even taught me how to read independently at age four.
Your sister is so awesome! She puts on a woppin' Christmas, too!
-Writing was a natural thing for you, but what part of it is the hardest?
LK-Are you kidding, Becc?? Writing is SO not natural for me, but thanks for thinking so. The hardest part for me has been finding just the right word to convey what I mean. If you know me, you know I LOVE WORDS, lots of them!!  Being concise is my challenge. The first draft of my current novel was 80k words.  Right now, it's down to 45k.  See what I mean?
You just cut the fluff!
-Too organized Plotter or Maniac Panster?
LK-MANIAC PANSTER! As you know, nothing in my life is organized-- it's how I deal with the everyday fluctuations that threaten to send me into insanity. My writing is no different. And, letting my characters lead the way is part of my love for writing.
You? Not organized? I can't imagine it! 
By the way everyone... This woman has an insane amount of Tupperware. I'm mean really, she got all the bases covered!

-When writing, must you hide from the kids? Where do you go and what kind of death threats do you shout?
LK-Now that my kids are older: almost 13 and 8, they're pretty good about leaving me alone. But it's been a process. I think the biggest change came when my husband gave me my own laptop. This way, there's no bargaining or negotiating to go online. Plus, it's a clear sign that I'm busy. And the next step is already in the works: MY OWN OFFICE!! (Or, I just have your kid over and I don't see mine for the rest of the weekend.)
You can have them anytime! We're completely sick of each other since moving into the temporary housing. *pulls at hair*

-CONGRATULATIONS on winning the NaNoWrMo! Please explain to our readers what it is and how it effected your writer's mind.
LK-NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month.  Every November, an on-line group challenges you to write a novel in 30 days.  That's roughly 1666 words per day-EVERY DAY!  I've tried three times, accomplished (a.k.a. won) once.  That "win" was the turning point in my writing career. Before that,  I feared I didn't have the stamina to write more than one novel. When I did and it took only a month, I finally admitted this was not a passing phase. I really could make writing a career.  

-Is there any thing we all would be shocked to know about you?
LK-I'm an introvert at heart as defined by 
1. a shy person. 
2.Psychology . a person characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings ( opposed to extrovert).  
Who are you trying to fool? LOL Just kidding! Lorettajo and I have the same birthday, year and all. We also have husbands who's names are Mark. I could go on and on but this is so true when it comes to the both of us. We seem like Extroverts but then you realize, nope, there's so much more than you originally thought!
For Fun
Wine with cheese or Beer with TV?
It depends on the time of the year. There something wrong with drinking wine in the summer or beer in the winter. SO:  wine and cheese from October to April and Beer from April to October. Yes-I'm high maintenance.
Really? *giggles*
Paperback or ebooks?
I go both ways!  However I can get my hands on a great read, I'll take it!
*giggles* She said, 'both ways!' Heeheehee

Great cook or master at ordering take out?
If burnt were a food category, I'd be a great cook. But it's not, so I am a master of take out!
LOL I'll let you borrow my apron 'Burnt to Perfection'!

Sexy in flannel nightwear or hopin' to get lucky silk?
Sexy in flannel-- most definitely. 

Romance, comedy, or horror movies?
Ummm...none of the above. When given the choice, I'll chose animated ALWAYS.

What's your biggest pet-peeve, in the world, that makes you want to beat something/someone?
Condescending behavior-- especially toward children-- sends me through the roof. It's bad enough if you talk down to me, but please don't do it to kids. How are they supposed to learn and develop if you don't treat them with respect?
When did your love for Mickey Mouse begin?
At birth...seriously. That's exactly the reason I have him tattooed on my body.

Back to Work
-You have an insane amount of energy. What do you do to ground yourself to stay focused?
LK-I'm supposed to stay grounded AND focused??? Actually, that's an area I'm still working on. I believe in balance or the goal of achieving balance-- but it keeps alluding me!

-Do you ever feel your day job as an ER RN mentally blocks you from writing?
LK-Absolutely. I strive to write emotional pieces and emotions in the ER will burn you right out. I have to compartmentalize everything at work and that does NOT fly when writing. So, when I'm working a lot, I tend not to write a lot. But, again, I'm learning to find the balance and make it happen.

-What's the biggest misconception people have about you & your writing?
LK-Honestly? Most people don't know I write. I've only recently been coming out with that information. It's always been a private form of expression, but as I gain confidence in myself, I feel more ready to share.

-Does your husband like to brag about your career as a writer and when writing, must you hide from him?
LK-My husband has ALWAYS been my biggest fan. Yeah, he's a bragger and I love him for that. And, well, he falls under the kids category in that. He's learned, over time, that I need my space and I'm learning to tell him. And that's exactly why he's building me an office!!  
Well that, and you threatened his life! He called me in a panic and told on you so I'd know what was up when he came missing. :)

-What part of writing makes you want to pull your hair out and scream like a banshee?
LK-Absolute advice makes me crazy! I despise when I'm told what to do with my work. I love questions, suggestions, comments-- but don't tell me what I'm thinking. (A carry over from my personal weakness, I guess!) I want to know what YOU are thinking. Which seems weird when I ask for a critique, but that's how I roll.  
--On your website there is a lot music. Do you find tunes to be inspirational?
LK-YES! I have a soundtrack for my life. And it's always about the lyrics. Remember Colombia House? Yeah-- they hated me because they couldn't put me in a category. I used to order all types of tapes (yes! I said tapes!) from country to death metal to pop to folk. I love it all if it has meaning. 
She tortures me every year when we go down to Write Stuff in Pennsylvania. Gezz, make up your mind!

-What was the driving force behind becoming a Young Adult writer?
LK-I first started writing to learn about myself-- to figure out my personal story. But then, something happened-- characters appeared and started writing their own stories. And I realized that I'm not alone in this struggle of discovery-- something every teen needs to be reminded. My passion to represent a frequently misunderstood population was born.
-Any advice for aspiring writers?
LK-If you want to be great, surround yourself with greatness. Conferences, workshops and writing groups have propelled me further and faster than I ever thought possible. Writing is solitary but learning is not. And there's lots of people out there willing to share their passion with you. Go for it as often as you can.
Thanks Becc.  This was a lot of fun.  Your Talkin' Tuesday always is and I'm honored to be a part of it now!

I love you too, babe!
You can find Lorettajo Kapinos at  
Next week I'll have Cate Masters who always has magic, mayhem and a little romance. 

Have a Sparkling Day!
Rebecca Rose 


  1. haha she said "goes both ways" and "coming out" all in one post. Hmm... if Freud were alive...

    Great interview. Great advice. Fabulous look into your writerly life :)

  2. hee hee, I've been DYING to use that line: I go both ways :)

  3. I'd say that was the biggest surprise (that you go both ways), not that you write!

    Great interview. You're very inspirational to me right now!

    Sue G.