Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tina Russo Radcliffe talks Indie publishing and her new romantic comedy, The Rosetti Curse! With free ebook giveaway!

Hello, everybody! Before we get to our blog guest today, let me just wander down memory lane for a moment. (Don't worry, I'm almost forty and memory lane is a lot shorter than it used to be.)
I love a romance.
I really do. I love the sweet blushes of new love, the high of knowing you're loved in return, the heartbreak of thinking all is lost, and the triumph of love conquering all.
Oh, swoon!! I could just read sweet romance ALL DAY.
Except... sometimes it starts to all sound the same. Sometimes we get a little bored with the cookie-cutter romances and wish we had something different. We can't live on vanilla cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies. Sometimes we need a little lemon granita. Maybe some cannoli. A few biscotti.
Maybe a big slice of tiramisu with an extra shot of espresso and some dark rum for good measure.
(Great. Now I need dessert. And not just any dessert. I need ITALIAN dessert! I need some biscotti! And espresso!!)
Anyway, my point is that Tina has written a romance that promises to be the tiramisu to the usual chocolate chip cookie. (Not that there's anything wrong with chocolate chip cookies. I make them all the time. But tiramisu is one of a kind and something you don't forget in a hurry. Do you remember the last chocolate chip cookie you had? Yeah, me either. And I'm sure I've eaten some in the last month, maybe even the last few weeks.)
So, that's my bloggy bit. Tina made it easy on me by having a blog post all written up so I'm just going to cut and paste it. Read on down... and then hop over to check out her new book. She's offered (so kindly!) to give out a free copy to anyone interested, so leave a comment and a way for her to contact you.
When I first heard murmurings of a Tina Indie book I was curious.... then I saw the cover and I perked up. And then I read the blurb and I did a little Jersey fist pump. I love me some tiramisu writing. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Are We Having Fun Yet? By Tina Russo Radcliffe

Here’s a newsflash. Writing is work. I keep an Excel spread sheet for my fiction, just so I can monitor exactly how much work it is. There are 426 entries on the spread sheet. The first entry is 1996. The last entry is my fourth sale to Harlequin Love Inspired books. Last week!
426 entries over seventeen years is not all that impressive. It rounds out to about twenty-five per year and that’s two a month. But it is consistent. I consider myself a working writer. I write, I edit, and I ghostwrite.
My spread sheet doesn’t include my non-fiction writing jobs: editing gigs, writing real estate reports for an environmental engineer, blog posts (medical, educational, and B2B), some with bylines, and some without. I’ve typed out menus for restaurants, and done many other assorted writing grunt chores. At one point I was writing forty blog posts a month for pay. If it exists, and I can get paid for it I’ll do it.

So you get my point here. I’ll do pretty much anything within my moral code for a check.  I admire writers who say it’s fun. It’s never been fun for me. Writing is work. It’s my job.
Something magical happened when I began working on my first Indie project.
I had fun.
I’m just now trying to figure out why. I do know that one big difference was that I wrote for an audience of one.
I was no longer writing for the readers, or the writers or the editors, the reviewers, and the contest judges. This project was for me, so expectation disappeared. The only expectation was mine. There’s nothing wrong with expectation. In fact meeting reader expectation is necessary to be a commercially successful author. But for this one project everything fell away except the writing. I don’t know what will happen with future books.
I do know that I’ve learned something valuable and Mr. Vonnegut sums it up nicely:

“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” Kurt Vonnegut
Writing my romantic comedy, The Rosetti Curse was magical and freeing. The internal editor disappeared. Of course the book had a developmental editor, and two Beta readers, but I was the publisher. The moment I realized I was responsible for every single comma and em-dash, I did have a panic attack. But I got over it and subscribed to The Chicago Manual of Style online, then immediately hired a copy editor.
And while it was still work- hours and hours and hours of work- this story was different.
From designing the cover with my cover maven, Rogenna Brewer to typing ‘The End,’ this project was my vision.
     I became empowered.
    I became overwhelmed.
    I was learning, and I still have so much more learning to tackle that it terrifies me.

    But I was having fun!

     I also gained a new respect for my traditional publisher and editor and all the behind the scenes people who produce my Love Inspired books. BTW, traditional and independent publishing should be considered apples and oranges. Don’t compare the experiences.
     There’s a healthy thing that happens when you Indie publish. You’re competing against yourself. Challenging yourself to be the best you can be in a new publishing modality, as author and publisher and marketer. It’s exhilarating. And because the birthing period is shorter, gratification occurs faster.
      Indie publishing isn’t a quick fix for your writing woes. There are no guarantees of success, financial windfalls, peer recognition or fame. But there is a satisfaction and yes, fun. Maybe you should think about having fun too.

Tina Russo Radcliffe writes romantic comedy as Tina Russo and inspirational romance as Tina Radcliffe. From Western New York, she’s lived in Massachusetts, Alabama, Germany, Oklahoma, and Colorado. She now lives in a cave in Phoenix, Arizona and comes out for coffee and writing supplies. A former Specialist 4th Class in the U.S .Army, Tina has been a registered nurse, a library cataloger, a pharmacy clerk and now writes full-time at home. You can reach her or  Her first Indie release, The Rosetti Curse, is available on Amazon for Kindle this week right HERE!

(Hi there, it's me, your hostess with the mostess. I know you already saw the cover, but I'm putting it up again because it's so nice... and it's good to have it right above the blurb. So, don't blame Tina for being repetitive. It's all my fault!)

A Romantic Comedy of Italian Proportions…
She may look good in black, but Tessa Rosetti is not testing the family curse again. Three generations of women buried the men they love and confirmed Tessa’s belief in the Rosetti Curse.
Los Angeles cop, Thomas Riley, arrives back home in Silver Ridge, Colorado, to settle his grandmother’s estate, but while he's there he stumbles into trouble in the night. If his suspicions are correct, someone's cooking up more than biscotti at the local cookie factory.
Together, Riley and Tessa renew their old bond and battle a curse that leads them on a journey of destiny to the love of a lifetime.
"The Sopranos Meets Fried Green Tomatoes. Loved this book!" Sharon Sala - author of GOING ONCE - Mira Books - October 201
If you’d like the opportunity to have a free Kindle copy of The Rosetti Curse, leave a comment and a way to contact you!




  1. I love being first!!!! Yay for the East Coast Romance Junkies!!!!!

    And I can't wait to read this book because I got to see it years ago in its infancy and L-O-V-E-D it! Yay for Teeeeena and yay for Virginia for having her reveal this sleuth-friendly, funny, and straight-shooting side of Tina Russo!

    I downloaded The Rosetti Curse yesterday to my Kindle and cannot wait to read it...

    I'm grinning in Western NY and I love that the Teenster claims Western New York as her origin.

    Now if only I could talk her into loving snow again, LOL!

    Congrats, Tina!!!

  2. Woot! Woot! Ruthy wins the internetz!

    I can't wait to read this book. It sounds like something I really NEED to read while I'm on my camping trip. Have I mentioned there won't be electricity???
    Yes, I'll be the one hiding in the car, reading on my smartphone as it sucks the life out of the vehicle's battery.

  3. Sounds like so much fun.

    Apples and oranges is a great way to look at the world of pubbing these days.

    I want this book. But I do believe I will buy it to support your indie venture!

    Peace, Julie

    1. Julie, that's my girl! Support Your Local Struggling Artist and Authors R Us!!!!


    2. Thank you, Jules and Rufus.

  4. I have the book on my's 2nd on my TBR list!

    Apples and oranges, huh? Yes, I like that better than what I've heard elsewhere - that indie publishing is 2nd best. You know, if you can't make it in the big leagues, try the farm team.

    But indie publishing is a long way from self-publishing of thirty years ago, isn't it? It's the entrepreneur venture of writing :)

    Looking forward to reading it SOON!

    1. Jan,
      Self publishing being second best sounds like an okay theory... until you see all the traditional authors becoming self publishing hybrids, and all the traditional authors who are jumping the traditional ship all together. Hmmmm. Then that idea seems to crumble into jealous nay-saying.
      Glad you are wise enough to think for yourself and examine alternate theories!

    2. Jan, you rock!!!!

  5. Welcome.... to the Dark Side...
    Bwwwaaaahahahahaha /ahem/

    Yes it IS fun, yes it is a LOT of work, and you're exactly correct. Apples and oranges or... say... Oatmeal choco chip with nuts and Coconut creme pie. :)

    No wonder after 17 years you're so good.
    Love your books. Intrigued with your viewpoint here. I'm certain to relish the differences on this one.

    Congratulations Tina - outstanding.
    And thanks Virginia, for mostest hostessing today!!

    Yes please.
    may at maythek9spy dot com

    1. Hi Kc and May!

      Wow, when you put it that way... 17 years!!!

      *does the wave*

    2. Hi May and K.C. Sorry for the late reply. Internet was slow yesterday! Today...4 bars. Pass the coconut cake.

  6. Happy Launch DAY TO MEE!!!

    This is so much fun! Seeing the book on Amazon. A kick. Truly!

    1. Hahahaha! Isn't it fun??

      Scary fun! And the best is yet to come, Tina. There will be nothing like seeing your book on the top lists, where it will stay and stay and stay.

  7. I myself am tying to you from a barn in Western New York. Yes. A barn. But I do have electricity!

    1. Hm, Maybe we should change our plans and head for Western New York.

  8. An editor I sat down with at Nationals (outside of the pitch sessions) asked me why I make things so hard on myself with reference to my projects. I responded that the projects I had chosen was where the fun was for me.

    Fun is important sometimes.

    1. What an odd question! As an editor he/she should know that hard is where the genius is. Hard is where the interesting bits happen. Hard is where the break-out best sellers go.

      Lucky you that HARD equals FUN at the same time. If I were that editor I would have signed you on the spot.

    2. Me too. Writers who write in the box don't make history.

  9. This sounds like a fun read! :) And sounds like so much fun to write it, too.

    I didn't know you were from western NY, Tina; whereabouts? (I've spent all but 5 years of my life here--from east of Rochester to a suburb of Buffalo. The first 5 were in my home state of Pennsylvania.)

    Would love to have my name tossed in the ring to win a Kindle copy. Thanks for the opportunity!


  10. Woo hoo, Tina. This is awesome!!

  11. Downside is that the internet is reallly reallly slow here.

    Hey, it's Deb Kastner. Hi Deb.

    Hey Melanie...waving at you across the state.

  12. I love reading writers' experiences with indie publishing, and what goes behind it. Great cover, btw!

    1. Hi Cindy!

      I thought of you when I wrote this, Miss Funeral Potatoes and tiny Portuguese towns! Different is good, for a lot of readers.

      Hugs to you and your family!

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Sorry, this was in the wrong spot! I moved it up a bit.

  14. Hi Tina:

    I’m 10% into “The Rosetti Curse", which my mind always reads as,“The Rosetti Stone” and I like the heroine, the cop, and the grandma. I sure hope that Riley didn’t’ do anything improper in that bakery when Tessa was sixteen. You promised this is a sweet romance, right?

    You wrote: “traditional and independent publishing should be considered apples and oranges.” To writers maybe but not to readers. To readers all books are reading experiences.

    Indie books are like meals. Just because they are editable does not mean you’d want to eat them. Here’s what I’m finding with Indie books (just to add spice to the stew), if the writer does not like cooking potatoes, (description) there’s no potatoes. If the writer does not like desert (an epilogue) there is no desert. If the writer does not like fried food (a fast moving story) there is nothing that’s fried.

    When you are used to Traditional reading experiences (an 88 piece orchestra) chamber music (four players) may seen a little thin – but still competent and enjoyable. That’s my early take on reading well edited Indie books.

    Now to quote Ricky Nelson: “You can’t please everyone so you might as well please yourself.”

    To which I say: “If you write to have fun and to please yourself, don’t complain if you sell only one book.”

    One other little thing: in Italian E is ‘and’ and È is ‘is’. If you can typeset these in your indie book, then it is worth it. I’d only mention this for these two words in Italian.

    Right now “The Rositte Curse” has pulled out ahead of four other books I’m currently reading on my Kindle. That’s the fastest start I’ve had a book take in a long time. Can't wait to see what happens.


  15. Thanks for the kind comments, Cindy W. It's a quirky little romantic comedy.

  16. Vince, I think that's Stephanie Plum and Joe Morelli behind the counter in the bakery. No worries. Tessa and Riley would have been slapped silly by Grandma Rosetti if they tried that.

    1. Dying laughing, because Grandma Rosetti would have done just that!!!!

      Gotta love me a good Italian Grandma!

  17. Loved your blog, Tina. I agree that it's very liberating to write for yourself. The downside is helping your book--particularly if it's a little bit different--find its audience. But with a GREAT cover (love Rogenna's work so much I hired her to do my next trilogy covers), a GREAT cover quote (adore my book signing neighbor Sharon Sala (at RWA we were in alphabetical order) and fun, fun premise, your books should be flying off the virtual shelves.


    1. I think once you find your niche, things really can take off. It's the finding that can be difficult, and that's where the old idea of 'platform' comes in.

      Having a ready-made group of readers is a good idea. Since Tina's branded this a romcom with an Italian/cooking twist, I think she's got her readers lined up.

  18. Vince said:

    "When you are used to Traditional reading experiences (an 88 piece orchestra) chamber music (four players) may seen a little thin – but still competent and enjoyable. That’s my early take on reading well edited Indie books."

    To which I say, what a lovely and insulting metaphor! It's not the usual way I'm told that my books are 'less than' but I appreciate the creativity.

    He also said: " Now to quote Ricky Nelson: “You can’t please everyone so you might as well please yourself.” To which I say: “If you write to have fun and to please yourself, don’t complain if you sell only one book.” "

    Writing for the readers is a good way to hogtie your writing. If you want a spreadsheet, I can give you one, but writing for myself and thumbing my nose at every one else has been lucrative indeed.

    To literary originality and personal happiness, onward!

  19. I would love a free copy of the book!
    I am excited to read something different!

  20. Happy release day, Tina!!!!! And now I understand why a successful published author would go the indie route a bit better. Don't enter me in your giveaway 'cause kindle for pc is doing it's thing right now. Woohooo!!!!

    1. That's what I loved about this blog post! Tina really gives some good insight to some of the creative pluses attached to self publishing.

  21. Laughing all the way to the bank, Virginia!!!!

  22. I'm so excited to see this post and realize today TODAY is the day! No need to put me in the drawing, I'm clicking my way over to Amazon.
    Congrats and best of luck in your new venture, Tina.
    I'm liking what you said about the fun. It sort of validates something for me. Back in the beginning ( waaayyyyy back) writing was fun for me. It was the dark ages before Internet and I was only writing for myself because I didn't know anyone else or know any better.
    Later it became work, but back then it was pure creative bliss with no pressure or expectations.
    Okay, so now I'm clicking over to Amazon.

    1. I think fun is completely underrated! And being happy. And making a living doing something you love.

  23. The cover is stunning! I can't wait to read this! No need to throw me in for a free copy. I am already scrambling for my Kindle to BUY.
    Best of Luck Tina! (Although, something tells me you aren't really going to need it). :)
    Thank you ladies for all the honest information...and the laughs! I am learning so much from those of you who have bravely ventured into the wonderful world of writing before me.
    Y'all are all amazing!

    1. I don't think she's going to need any luck either! Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the story. It would be great with some espresso and biscotti!

  24. Thanks so much Cristalee.

  25. Debra S! Thanks so much for dropping by!!

  26. Mary Curry! You nailed it. Writing should be fun! Thanks for stopping by.

  27. Tina, I'm late as usual, but couldn't let this HAPPY LAUNCH DAY opportunity pass by!! I downloaded the Rosetti Curse on Monday, so I'm not really THAT late. I've moved it up my TBR pile to the next book.

    I'm reading Ruth's book right now. Heaven forbid I bump Try, Try Again for Rosetti Curse.

    Would NOT be smart : )

    So proud of you, kiddo. And LOVE your cover : )

    1. Because Ruthy is always, always, always watching!!!!


  28. Not only did Tina have fun writing, but I'm reading the book now and having fun reading, too! :)

    Great post, Tina!

  29. Don't put me in the drawing. I've got my copy. TINA!!! YOU'RE HAVING FUN!!! I CAN'T WAIT TO GET TO THIS!!! YAY ROSETTI CURSE (that sounds so wrong!)

  30. Thanks, Virginia, for spotlighting Tina's indie debut!

    YAY, Tina! So excited! Can't wait to read The Rosetti Curse. Love that cover!!!

    I'm following the crowd to Amazon.

    1. It was my pleasure! I told her, "nobody reads this blog, you should go somewhere bigger" and she said that she'd "bring the party".

      And she did!

  31. Well, thank you, Audra, Missy, Mary and Debby!!

  32. I have led the crowd to Amazon.... (Wait, this post is ALL ABOUT ME, ISN'T IT?????


    Tina has amazing timing for romantic comedy, that fun reparte, the quick exchanges, the internal thought.... I'm so stinkin' glad she did this!!!!

    And Virginia, you little Pathfinder, you Trailblazer, you Example Setter!!!! I am ready to launch my second independent release, and it has been such a fun learning curve with Try, Try Again.... So I'm standing in the wings, CHEERING LOUD AND LONG!!!!! that if you've paid your dues to good writing/story-telling....

    Sherri Shackleford's Seekerville post this week was an excellent reminder of that!!!!

    Then launch away.

    And prepare to be reminded of your frailties in reviews, but also think of all the people you're reaching as you promote. THAT'S HUGE.

    An ever-widening audience is every author's friend.

    1. I don't read reviews. If I wanted to know my frailties I could ask my sister. HA!

    2. Sisters are way too good at spotting frailties. And then TELLING you.


    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Fun, fun, fun, Tina! I'm so excited about your new venture and can't wait to read your book (it's already on my Kindle)!

    And I love the idea of having fun writing again. It's still fun for me (mostly), but sometimes trying to conform to editorial guidelines and others' expectations can start to feel like a straightjacket.

    All the best with the book, Tina! Maybe one of these days I'll follow in your footsteps!

    1. Some books are like extended writing exercises, letting us spread our wings and open our voices up to the world!

  34. Go for it, Myra. Or maybe Grammar Queen could do it. Has GQ ever thought of becoming a copy editor? i'd hire her!

  35. Let's clarify.

    Writing is work.

    Indie writing is work.

    THIS PROJECT was fun! I won't apologize for that.

    The entire orchestra was applied and this project cost me 1500 dollars in editorial input and cover and formatting.

    1. Holy Smokes! $1500!

      But you'll break even in a month (or less) and everything else is yours. The ones who want to make a real living right now are the much-sought-after editors and cover artists. Those are things we writers truly need as we jump into the indie pool.

  36. Oh, bummer ... I'm late to the party, but that's only because I JUST FOUND OUT!!

    Better late than never, I suppose. But the real reason I'm late is because I am TOO busy reading a HYSTERICAL book called The Rosetti Curse -- halfway through and cannot WAIT to go to bed so I can read some more. I am highlighting laugh-out-loud lines all OVER the place!! Love it, Teenster!!