Like many romance authors, Mia Sosa’s affair with the genre began as an early reader. Her love of story evolved into a passion for writing, driving her to abandon her decade-long career as an attorney and consume herself with the craft full-time. It was a gamble, but one that paid off, with a prestigious award and a three-book deal. Mia joins Diverse Romance to discuss her journey, challenges, and goals.

Mia, thank you for joining us today. For many writers, writing romance is more of a calling than a choice. Tell us about your writing journey and how you became a published author.

Like many romance writers, my journey to publication began with reading and loving romance at an early age (too early, some might say). Then over the course of a few years when I was a practicing attorney, I wrote the opening chapters of several books, none of which will ever see the light of day. After a decade of practicing, reading romance, and writing first chapters, I switched gears to write full-time in 2013. At first, it was a solitary venture. I read craft books, learned about the romance industry, and completed a book that lacked both a high-concept premise and a compelling conflict. Le sigh. Then I wrote some more. Eventually, I joined Romance Writers of America, found my critique partner, Olivia Dade, and signed with an agent who helped me tighten my premise. Still, the book never sold, but I wrote more books and entered them in contests. To my shock and delight, in March 2015, I received a call informing me that one of those books was a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart contest. I signed a three-book deal shortly after that and published my first book, Unbuttoning the CEO, in December 2015.

Romance Writers of America is an incredible organization that has helped sparked the careers for many. Share more about what sparked the idea for your Love on Cue series.

My latest book is Acting on Impulse. It’s a fun and flirty romance about an unassuming man who travels to Aruba on vacation and meets a wonderful woman but neglects to tell her that he’s a Hollywood actor traveling incognito. Tori Alvarez, a Puerto Rican physical trainer from Philadelphia, wants nothing to do with Carter Stone when she learns who he really is, but when they return from vacation, Carter hires her to get him in shape for his next film role. Essentially, he puts himself at her mercy, and that’s when the fun begins.

Acting on Impulse sounds like a really fun story. What’s in store for the next book in the series?

In April, Pretending He’s Mine, the second book in the series, will be released into the wild. That story is a mix of tropey goodness: older brother’s best friend, forced proximity, pretend relationship, opposites attract, and more. Expect shenanigans.

Who doesn’t love shenanigans? If you had to use five words to describe this book what would they be? And what message do you hope readers get?

Fun. Flirty. Heartwarming. Sexy. Swoony. The past isn’t something you leave behind; it remains with you, becomes a part of who you are, and (hopefully) helps you become a better version of yourself.

In every book I write, there’s always one line that makes me think I nailed the story. Give us one of your favorites.

The first line of Acting on Impulse might be my all-time favorite: “I’m standing in the middle of an airplane aisle, inching my way to row 12, when I spot her. I don’t know her name, nationality, age, or occupation, but I know this: Someday I’m going to marry the woman sitting in 12D.”

Shifting gears a bit. There’s a lot of feast and famine in the career of an author in terms of those positives that help drive us to keep loving what we do. What’s one of your favorite comments you’ve ever received about one of your releases? Who did it come from and how did it impact you?

I will never forget my first reader email, which came from a writing friend who’d been having a bad week and was experiencing insomnia. She told me that she’d picked up my book at 3 o’clock in the morning and it pulled her out of her bad mood. She made a bunch of sweet comments about my writing, but I was just happy that my writing had impacted her in a positive way.

What are your greatest struggles as a writer? How do you handle them?

I’m really hard on myself. Mistakes are monumental. Missed deadlines are tragic. Insufficient words are grounds for chastising. I’d never make someone else feel bad about these things, but I have no problem expressing disappointment in my own perceived shortcomings. I have two daughters, one of whom is a lot like me, and I tell her that she is and always will be enough. Telling her this makes it easier to apply that same reasoning to my own actions.

What has been the high point of your career, so far?

The high point of my career so far was the publication of Acting on Impulse in September 2017. It’s the book that truly represents my “voice” as a writer, and it was gratifying to send it out into the world and receive so much love in response to it.

Have you experienced any low points in your career? How do you handle them?

I’m not sure that I can identify a low point, but I know I’ve experienced the typical ups and downs of being a writer. Some days, especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I question whether I should continue writing, and I think the process of swimming in these thoughts is itself harmful and unproductive. I pull myself out of these “funks” by focusing on the all of the wonderful aspects of publishing: the writing itself; the friends I’ve made; and the readers I’ve touched with my words.

Give us the name of a diverse author you’ve read that you would highly recommend to readers.

I highly recommend Tracey Livesay. She writes contemporary romances with strong heroes and equally strong heroines. When I read Tracey’s books, I often find myself nodding with the heroine as she makes an observation about life or the person she’s interacting with in a scene.

I haven’t read many historical romances, but I picked up Tempest by Beverly Jenkins last month and I was enthralled. The characters were so distinctive and well-developed. She’s an amazing author—and a generous and funny woman to boot.

What’s your favorite book on the writing craft?

I highly recommend Gwen Hayes’s Romancing the Beat. It’s a great tool for those of us who don’t plot every scene in our books but want to be sure their stories have “good bones.”

As authors, we have to focus on what’s out…and what’s next. What are your upcoming plans for new stories?

I’m starting on the third book in the Love on Cue series, which is tentatively titled Crashing Into Her. It’s the story of Tori’s best friend Eva and Tori’s cousin Anthony. Eva is a blast, and I’m so excited that she’ll be the next heroine to get her HEA.

Tell readers how they can connect with you online.

I’m always on social media, so readers can easily find me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/miasosaromance),

Facebook (www.facebook.com/miasosa.author), or

Instagram (www.instagram.com/miasosaromance).

I’m also a co-moderator of the 4 Chicas Chat Facegroup with Priscilla Oliveras, Sabrina Sol, and Alexis Daria (www.facebook.com/groups/4chicaschat).

Readers can also visit my website (www.miasosa.com), where they can find the latest news about my writing endeavors, sign up for my infrequent newsletter, or find a link to my email should they want to tell me how much they love me and my books. I’m kidding about that last one (sort of).

Thank you for joining us today. Please pick up Mia’s latest release in Latinx/Hispanic Contemporary Romance!