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ACTING ON IMPULSE: 10 Questions for Mia Sosa

Mia Sosa doesn’t exactly remember when she first read a romance novel, but she does remember hiding a stash of Harlequin romances behind the covers of 16 magazine in middle school. After finishing college and law school, Mia spent a decade practicing law as a First Amendment and media attorney in our nation’s capital before she decided she wanted to be a writer. A 2015 Romance Writer’s of America Golden Heart finalist, Mia now happily spends her days (sometimes in pajamas) playing literary matchmaker in her home in Maryland, but she was delighted to take some time out to talk to us about Puerto Rican cooking, one of her favorite romance novels, and the best piece of advice she has ever received.

 

JOHN CHARLES: Who is Mia Sosa?

MIA SOSA: I’m a contemporary romance writer who drinks too much coffee, watches too much reality television, and can’t ever spell recommended correctly on the first try (thank you, spell check). I’m a wife, a mom, and a recovering lawyer. I’m also a new dog owner, and I’ll confess to experiencing the biggest thrill when I revised my author bio to add that titillating fact. Don’t judge.

 

Tell us about your latest book.
Acting on Impulse is a fun, flirty romance about an unassuming guy who travels to Aruba on vacation and meets a wonderful woman, but neglects to tell her that he’s a Hollywood actor traveling incognito. Our media-shy heroine, Tori Alvarez, wants nothing to do with him when she learns who he really is, but our hero, Carter Stone, tracks down Tori in the States and 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.

 

Puerto Rican cuisine plays a role in Acting on Impulse. What are your own favorite Puerto Rican dishes? 

Oh, there are so many, and I left a few clues about my favorites in the book. I’m a carnivore, so I’d have to say carne guisada hands down. It’s a yummy stew consisting of beef cooked in traditional Caribbean spices, tons of carrots and potatoes, and a delectable tomato-based sauce. It’s Puerto Rican comfort food, and I’d eat it every day if I could. Seriously. And I can never get enough cuchifritos, the morsels of fried goodness you can find at Puerto Rican luncheonettes in big cities like New York or Philadelphia. I’m obsessed with rellenos de papa, which are potato balls filled with seasoned ground beef. Gah. Now I’m hungry.

 

Your heroine Tori in Acting on Impulse is a physical trainer. Are you an exercise junkie yourself, and if so, do you have a favorite routine? 

I’m not an exercise junkie, but I do enjoy exercising, and I LOVE Zumba, which not only gets my body moving but also helps me celebrate my Afro-Latinx roots. One of my favorite scenes in Acting on Impulse is Carter’s first attempt at participating in a Zumba class. It reminds me of the first (and only) time my husband joined me for a group exercise class. In truth, my affinity for exercise depends on the weather, my mood, and writing deadlines. I once trained for a 5k and placed third in my age division. That experience convinced me that if I ever cross paths with a bear, I might be able to outrun it. Again, don’t judge.

 

Carter, your hero in Acting on Impulse, is a star on the rise. Why do you think so many of us are fascinated by Hollywood and celebrity gossip? 

When we see actors on TV or on the big screen, it’s almost always the case that they’re pretending to be someone else, so by definition, we’re not getting to know the “real them.” I think we love the idea of going behind the curtain, so to speak, and finding out celebrities are “regular” people just like us (or not).

 

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? 

When I was a kid, my mother often told me to always be proud of the person I see in the mirror, and that advice has stuck with me through adulthood. I apply it to my life in a few ways. First, it’s a reminder not to rely on my physical appearance as a measure of my self-worth. It also reminds me to make choices I can be proud of; when you stand up for what you believe in and make good choices, you’ll stare back at the person in the mirror with pride. And finally, it reminds me that in any moment, the person I am is enough.

 

What is one romance novel everyone should read and why?

For me, this is easy: Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me. In my mind, when it comes to love, there are two types of people in this world: people who believe in the fairy tale and people who don’t. Crusie herself notes that she crafted a love story between two people who didn’t believe in the fairy tale but got one anyway. I challenge anyone not to believe in the fairy tale after reading Cal and Min’s story in Bet Me; it can’t be done.

 

What do you know now as a writer that you wish you knew when you were first starting out? 

My first book was published in December 2015, so I am by no means a seasoned pro, but today, I’m more comfortable with my place in the romance industry because I’ve finally accepted that I’ll never be able to please everyone. My focus is on finding the readers who will love my stories as much as I do. Some readers will enjoy my writing and some won’t, and either outcome is okay. After all, I’m a romance reader too, so I’m on board with people falling in love with books even if those books aren’t mine.

 

What is next for you as an author? 

I’m working on Pretending He’s Mine, the second book in my Love on Cue series, which features Carter’s sister, Ashley, and his best friend, Julian. The book includes a few of my favorite romance tropes: a heroine who falls in love with her older brother’s best friend; a pretend relationship; and a couple in forced proximity. Expects lots of shenanigans.

 

How can readers best connect with you and find out more about your books? 

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

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About the Author:

The Romance Writers of America 2002 Librarian of the Year, Charles has been reviewing romances for Booklist since 1999 and is the author of Romance Today: An A to Z Guide to Contemporary American Romance. After working for the Scottsdale Public Library System for 30 years, Charles retired and went to work for Scottsdale's independent bookstore the Poisoned Pen, where he still gets to push books but has to deal with far fewer computer questions.

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