Colleen Houck Book Club discussion

Romina Russell
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Past Chats > Chat with Romina Russell

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message 1: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Welcome to the group! Romina will be answering questions in July in this thread only. In the meantime, if you have a question for the author or just want to introduce yourself feel free to do so in this thread.


message 2: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
What is your favorite book conference?


message 3: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
What's the best piece of advice you ever received? It could be about writing or about anything, really.


message 4: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
What are your favorite types of books to read?


message 5: by Trudy (new)

Trudy Dalton (trudyjeanne7) | 63 comments Has there ever been any movie based on a book that you thought was better?


message 6: by Trudy (new)

Trudy Dalton (trudyjeanne7) | 63 comments How old were you when you discovered your love of writing?


message 7: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
What are you working on right now?


message 8: by Miranda (new)

Miranda (moodreaderdiary) | 26 comments Who are some of your favorite authors? Any particular book(s) you'd recommend?


message 9: by Trudy (new)

Trudy Dalton (trudyjeanne7) | 63 comments Who are your biggest inspirations inside and outside of the writing community?


message 10: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Colleen wrote: "What is your favorite book conference?"

My favorite book conference has to be Ontario Teen Book Fest in Ontario, California, run by the incomparable Courtney Saldana. So much love is poured into this event for both authors & readers. My favorite part is "speed dating," where there's a sea of tables packed with readers, & each author gets the chance to pop by & chat for a few minutes with each group. Plus, authors get personalized swag, which is always a way to woo us--my year we received glossy spiral notebooks with our book covers & a collection of author trading cards that feature our faces on one side & literary stats on the other!


message 11: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Colleen wrote: "What's the best piece of advice you ever received? It could be about writing or about anything, really."

The BEST advice I ever received was from one of my CPs (critique partners), back when I was getting rejection after rejection for my books. (Note: Prior to publication, I completed 5 novels, ALL OF WHICH were rejected.) I was tired of picking myself up after hearing NO after NO after NO, & I was ready to give up.

That's when my CP said to me, "If I told you you're 100% going to published one day--I can't tell you the exact date, but I can guarantee it's in your cards--what would you be doing RIGHT NOW?"

& I said, "I'd be writing, of course!"

Then she looked at me, & I realized what I had to do. So my advice to you is, no matter what you're pursuing in life, don't let the NO's stop you--HOLD ON FOR YOUR YES!


message 12: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Colleen wrote: "What are your favorite types of books to read?"

I've always loved the Victorian genre, but these days I'm a sucker for a compelling & all-absorbing YA fantasy series. I'm a TV binge-watcher, so I really like stories that don't end & characters I can grow with for years to come.


message 13: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Trudy wrote: "Has there ever been any movie based on a book that you thought was better?"

Hmm, I love Lord of the Rings, & I'd probably have to say I'm a bigger fan of the films than the books, but that's only b/c I haven't re-read them since I was a teen. Maybe if I did, I'd change my mind.

I also absolutely love The Hate U Give film, but I wouldn't say it's better than the book, just different. Same with Hunger Games #1.


message 14: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Trudy wrote: "How old were you when you discovered your love of writing?"

I was 9 years old when I discovered nothing in this world could touch me as deeply as a well-placed word.

My family immigrated to the US from Argentina when I was 5, so I went right into ESOL classes to learn English. In 4th grade my teacher read to us from Where the Sidewalk Ends, & I truly heard the English language for the first time--& I fell achingly in love.

The first thing I wrote that year was a poem, in Spanish, & my teacher submitted it to the Miami county fair, where I won first place. I haven't stopped writing since!


message 15: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Colleen wrote: "What are you working on right now?"

I'm currently in revision mode for my newest novel, a YA fantasy called WOLVES OF NO WORLD that's heavily influenced by my immigrant identity & myths from my native Argentina.

The log line is: When her mother is arrested by ICE, a 16-year-old girl who thinks she's hiding in Miami because she's an undocumented immigrant discovers it's not just her U.S. residency that's "illegal"--it's her entire existence.

The book is essentially a treatise on labels, & it explores the dehumanization that takes place when we call a person "illegal."

If you'd like to add it to your tbr: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...


message 16: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Miranda ❤️ wrote: "Who are some of your favorite authors? Any particular book(s) you'd recommend?"

Ack, too many to list! So I'll just stick to recent YA releases I've loved:

What They Don't Know by Nicole Maggi
Children of Blood & Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Stolen Time by Danielle Rollins
Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera
The Final Six by Alexandra Monir
Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

I'll stop there for now!


message 17: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Trudy wrote: "Who are your biggest inspirations inside and outside of the writing community?"

JK Rowling, Emma Gonzalez, Malala Yousafzai, Anne Frank, Oprah, Hillary Clinton, Martin Luther King, Jr. . . .


message 18: by Trishla (new)

Trishla Saran | 6 comments How did you come up with Zodiac? What inspired you to create story about the 12 zodiac signs? And will we ever get to see Rhoma, Hysan or Mathias again?


message 19: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Trishla wrote: "How did you come up with Zodiac? What inspired you to create story about the 12 zodiac signs? And will we ever get to see Rhoma, Hysan or Mathias again?"

I always wanted to write Sci Fi, but I was casting around for a concept that was more FI than SCI--& it was my editor who suggested combining astronomy with astrology, & thus ZODIAC was born! I love sociology, so I was drawn to the idea of these 12 (or 13?) archetypes & exploring what kind of world each population would build for themselves based on their particular set of values. As of now I've no plans for a 5th book, but only the stars of the Zodiac know what the future holds. . . . <3


message 20: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 78 comments If you weren’t an author what do you think you’d be doing instead?


message 21: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Ashley wrote: "If you weren’t an author what do you think you’d be doing instead?"

Hmmm. I think I'd still be involved with storytelling in some form. Prior to ZODIAC, I was writing & producing movie trailers, so I think I'd probably have moved on to working in movie/TV development or production in some capacity. (Though if I'd had the science & math smarts, I totally would've wanted to become an astronaut!)


message 22: by Trudy (new)

Trudy Dalton (trudyjeanne7) | 63 comments What part of life scares you the most?


message 23: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Romina wrote: "Colleen wrote: "What is your favorite book conference?"

My favorite book conference has to be Ontario Teen Book Fest in Ontario, California, run by the incomparable Courtney Saldana. So much love ..."


I love speed dating workshops! They're so fun. I've never been to Ontario. I'll have to look up that conference.


message 24: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Romina wrote: "Colleen wrote: "What's the best piece of advice you ever received? It could be about writing or about anything, really."

The BEST advice I ever received was from one of my CPs (critique partners),..."


That's some great advice. Love it!


message 25: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Romina wrote: "Colleen wrote: "What are your favorite types of books to read?"

I've always loved the Victorian genre, but these days I'm a sucker for a compelling & all-absorbing YA fantasy series. I'm a TV bing..."


What's funny for me about TV binge-watching is that I have a really hard time watching YA anything. It feels too much like I'm working. My mom loves Hallmark but the storylines feel too predictable. Love the romance though. I hate cop shows normally but I really need to escape what I do so I end up watching Law and Order: SVU. Not sure why that one doesn't bother me. Lately, I've really been getting into PBS shows. They don't give you enough shows in a season but they are fantastic if you like historicals. Poldark is yummy!


message 26: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Romina wrote: "Trudy wrote: "Has there ever been any movie based on a book that you thought was better?"

Hmm, I love Lord of the Rings, & I'd probably have to say I'm a bigger fan of the films than the books, bu..."


I am a HUGE fan of the old school Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Also, I love Mary Poppins. I'm also a sucker for pretty much any adaptation of Anne of Green Gables.


message 27: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Romina wrote: "Trudy wrote: "How old were you when you discovered your love of writing?"

I was 9 years old when I discovered nothing in this world could touch me as deeply as a well-placed word.

My family immi..."


WOW! Have your books been translated into Spanish? Do you like the translations? I'm fluent in American Sign Language but I'd love to be able to speak Spanish.


message 28: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Romina wrote: "Colleen wrote: "What are you working on right now?"

I'm currently in revision mode for my newest novel, a YA fantasy called WOLVES OF NO WORLD that's heavily influenced by my immigrant identity & ..."


Love it! Adding it now.


message 29: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Romina wrote: "Miranda ❤️ wrote: "Who are some of your favorite authors? Any particular book(s) you'd recommend?"

Ack, too many to list! So I'll just stick to recent YA releases I've loved:

What They Don't Know..."


I've only read two of those so far. I've got to add some more to my list.


message 30: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Romina wrote: "Ashley wrote: "If you weren’t an author what do you think you’d be doing instead?"

Hmmm. I think I'd still be involved with storytelling in some form. Prior to ZODIAC, I was writing & producing mo..."


Did you do your own book trailers?


message 31: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Trudy wrote: "What part of life scares you the most?"

Growing up, I think. It takes me a while to settle into each stage of life, & often by the time I start to get the hang of things, I've aged into the next stage! ;)


message 32: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Colleen wrote: "Romina wrote: "Colleen wrote: "What are your favorite types of books to read?"

I've always loved the Victorian genre, but these days I'm a sucker for a compelling & all-absorbing YA fantasy series..."


I LOVE SVU!! I've rewatched the series too many times to count. I really love procedurals, but in particular with this show I'm enamored with the idea/ideal of Det. Benson. In real life the perpetrators of crimes against women & children too often get away with it, so to me she represents the kind of empowerment we need. <3


message 33: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Colleen wrote: "Romina wrote: "Trudy wrote: "How old were you when you discovered your love of writing?"

I was 9 years old when I discovered nothing in this world could touch me as deeply as a well-placed word.
..."


That's so cool! Yes, the Z series is in Spanish, & I got to review the translation which was a surreal & awesome experience!! My mom actually prefers the translation to the original, which is pretty hilarious. & annoying. LOL!


message 34: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Colleen wrote: "Romina wrote: "Ashley wrote: "If you weren’t an author what do you think you’d be doing instead?"

Hmmm. I think I'd still be involved with storytelling in some form. Prior to ZODIAC, I was writing..."


No! Unfortunately, I can write & produce trailers, but I can't edit them--though it would be fun to team up with an editor & give it a shot at some point!


message 35: by Trudy (new)

Trudy Dalton (trudyjeanne7) | 63 comments Do you write a specific amount each day when writing for a novel or do you let the words flow naturally at their own pace?


message 36: by Romina (new)

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 15 comments Trudy wrote: "Do you write a specific amount each day when writing for a novel or do you let the words flow naturally at their own pace?"

I tend to let the words flow naturally UNTIL the deadline creeps up on me, & then I'm basically writing round the clock. But when I'm not under contract & just starting something new, I'm pretty casual about my word count.


message 37: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Romina wrote: "Trudy wrote: "What part of life scares you the most?"

Growing up, I think. It takes me a while to settle into each stage of life, & often by the time I start to get the hang of things, I've aged i..."


That's probably the way it should be. Keeps things interesting.


message 38: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Romina wrote: "I LOVE SVU!! I've rewatched the series too many times to count. I really love procedurals, but in particular with this show I'm enamored with the idea/ideal of Det. Benson. ."

Detective Benson is a great character. I've loved watching her grow in the series.


message 39: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
No! Unfortunately, I can write & produce trailers, but I can't edit them--though it would be fun to team up with an editor & give it a shot at some point! ."

You totally should. I think you'd be great at it!


message 40: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Romina wrote: "I tend to let the words flow naturally UNTIL the deadline creeps up on me, & then I'm basically writing round the clock. But when I'm not under contract & just starting something new, I'm pretty casual about my word count. ."

I'm the opposite. I'm very rigid about word count. A half-day is 2K and a full-day is 4K but I don't actively write every day. When I do write, I throw myself into it and don't want to be bothered by anything else.


message 41: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Thank you all so much for chatting with me and Romina this month. Our chat winner is Trishla! Join me next month when I feature another amazing author and keep reading. ;)


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