Today I’m tossing protocol aside and interviewing my alter ego. I’m tying this in with my Positivity Post for June 20, because I have much to be grateful for. You, dear readers, also have the where-with-all to discover your positive thoughts and blessings if only you will search them out. So grab a seat and please listen in, as I step out of the box regarding writing, moving into character, and rocking my positivity.


I’m Susan Jean Ricci, author of the romantic comedies Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems and The Sugar Ticket. I’m also the behind-the-scenes keyboardist for several short stories including, A Super Sandy Christmas, Heart Marks the Spot, The Christmas Cardinal, Two Miracles For Christmas, and my latest blush romance My Sexy Chef.


Q: What has been your most formidable challenge with your writing career thus far?


A: Avoiding procrastination is right up there with time spent on social media. Don’t get me wrong, I love my twitter family and Facebook, but for a person with an addictive personality, the concept of nosing around those sites is extremely alluring. While I realize these outlets are a great way to gain new fans and friends, disciplining my time more effectively is key to writing more stories, which is a huge positive.


Q: If you were to go back and do things over again, is there something you’d change about your professional history?


A: No, not a thing. Writing rants for the newspaper when I was raising a family was a true learning experience and I got a big kick out of seeing those rants published. Much of my work was centralized on being an advocate for the Handicapped or the Military, albeit in writing. I took advantage of problems I saw going on in the community or the government, and used them to further educate those who would listen. I wrote several magazine articles regarding true to life issues, such as parenting a teen after divorce, things like that. Of course, writing the next best seller was always the feather tickling my behind, but I’ve come to the conclusion timing is everything. I just want to write more entertaining stories about the DeMatteo’s and NOT have them published posthumously.


Q: Tell us about your characters, Cindy and Jay, from the Cindy’s Crusades Series. Are they based on real life people, or did they begin chatting you up when you sat down at the keyboard one day?


A: Cindy Layton was (and is), a real pain in the ass. Her persona evolved when I tried writing a journal while dating Joe. Instead of letting me keep my journal the way I wanted to, she kept interfering with my thoughts constantly. I finally caved in and let her take over. Without giving away any spoilers, it was a great relief when Jay DeMatteo showed up. He kept Cindy out of my hair for a while. When I decided to write a sequel, there she was, starting all over again with me. By that time, though, I’d grown very fond of her. As far as Jay goes, he’s a great guy, has enough patience for both he and Cindy, and is so easy on the eyes, Cindy grows amorous whenever he smiles at her, which is often.


Q: Ah, so do you and Cindy have some traits in common?


A: Oh, definitely. We both appreciate our mates in serious ways, both mentally and physically. SUPER positive!


Q: If you could chose between a hot guy and a good dinner out, which would you prefer?


A: Yikes, I’d take the hot guy, as long as he was my hubby!


Q: Anything special you’re working on right now?


A: I’m writing a nonfiction piece about what life is like when a person has a handicapped sibling. I have a handicapped brother, and when my mom passed I became his guardian – a role I’ve been fulfilling my entire life. I’m positive this nonfiction piece will help others who’re experiencing the same issues I have in the past and currently. For fun, I’m also penning the sequel to My Sexy Chef  - the WIP is called Chaos in the kitchen.


Q: What have been your proudest moments during your writing career?


A: If I hadn’t met and married my husband Joe, there wouldn’t be a Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems, let alone a sequel and the rest of the short stories I write for Annie Acorn Publishing. I’d have to say he was the determining factor that sent me into the publishing arena. I’m so proud of him, and I rely on his encouragement to keep me focused. My other proudest moments were when I was offered a contract to become a Women’s Pen author in the Annie Acorn Publishing Company and the time Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems made semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Reviews 2013, Best Indie Author Book Awards in its genre. Goes without saying I’m also thrilled to be writing blog posts for the Positivity Blog Tour, and so grateful Mistral Dawn invited me to participate.


Q: Name two little known facts about yourself.


A: I was an aerobic dance instructor and had my own business for five years. I’ve also sold real estate.  


Q: One last question – What do you keep in your office that inspires you?


A: I have a post-it note my mother wrote to me. It says, Hey, Sue, more later! <3 Keep writing – You know! I found the note in her desk after she passed away when I was going through her things. I have it taped to my printer, and I include the note in my print books, in the acknowledgments section.


Thank you kindly for stopping by and I’ll leave you with this:  Search out your deepest blessings and be grateful for them – you deserve the happiness you’ll garner from your discoveries. Now, Rock YOUR Positivity!