Writer Wednesday: Meet Irene Onorato!

It’s the first #WriterWednesday of 2017! WAHOO!

To celebrate, I’m bringing you clean military romance author Irene Onorato. Because nothing spices up a cold winter day (well, it’s cold here in Virginia, at least) like a love story, and getting to know the authors behind the romances is fun for everyone.

Thanks for joining us! I hope you enjoy learning about Irene and her work – and please do leave some love in the comments!

What inspired you to write your latest novel, A Soldier Finds His Way? Any real-life heroes you’d like to tell us about that might have been an inspiration to you?

A Soldier Finds His Way had been brewing in my head for several years before I wrote the first draft. I’ve always been drawn to military men, so it stood to reason my male leads would be in the service. My father had been in WWII and part of my inspiration was the stories he told me about his time overseas. Also, he and I were huge fans of the old TV show Combat! starring Vic Morrow, who played Sgt. Saunders. Go ahead and laugh, but I had a huge crush on him.

How would you categorize the sub-genre of romance you write?

My publisher listed A Soldier Finds His Way in several categories: contemporary, clean, inspirational, and Christian. But don’t let that give you the idea that there’s no action, conflict, or outright romantic moments. There’s plenty of that in Soldier. My target audience is women young and old who prefer their reading material to be profanity-free, and for romantic scenes to stray no further than passionate kissing and embracing. I stay within these boundaries for this audience.

Tell us about the craziest thing(s) you do in the name of “research” for your books:

The craziest? I don’t know if it counts as research, but sometimes, when I want to describe facial expressions or moods, I stand at the mirror making the face I envision on whatever character I’m writing about, and try to describe what I’m seeing. If I want to describe sorrow, I think sad thoughts (like how I felt when I had to put my dog to sleep, etc.), and write about how the pain goes beyond the heart, right down into the depths of my very soul. That kind of stuff.

What’s your favorite romance movie of all time, and why?

I have several favorites, and it would be hard to pick the one I like best. I’m a big fan of You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, Notting Hill (I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her…Sigh…), and Dear Frankie. The last one on the list, Dear Frankie, wasn’t a very popular movie. Gerard Butler played the lead with his delicious Scottish accent. Need I say more?

What fellow romance author(s) do you recommend reading?

I’m particularly fond of Dana K. Ray, author of A Second Chance, Beatrice Fishback, author of Bethel Manor, and Linda Robinson, author of When Love Abounds.

Dana is an up-and-coming author with several more books lined up for publication. Bea is a diverse writer whose next published book will be a cozy mystery. Linda has several published novels on the market and has just added a compilation of short stories to her repertoire. Great authors, all.

So what’s next for you? Do you have another book in the making?

Yes. A Soldier Finds His Way is the first installment of the Veteran’s Heart series. More Than a Soldier and A Soldier’s Song will follow in June and December of 2017.

*Thank you so much for hosting me on this Writer Wednesday blog. It’s been an honor and a privilege.

[ML says: The privilege has been ours! Thank you so much for joining us!]

A Bit About A Soldier Finds His Way:

Sometimes getting lost is the best way home . . .

 After a painful youth spent in foster homes, Special Forces soldier Edward Giordano has all but given up on love. Returning to New York from a dangerous mission in Costa Rica with no one to welcome him home, he knows he must find a way through his bitterness and embrace faith, or he’s destined for misery and loneliness. But he never expects that saving someone else’s life might help him save his own…

Audra Lorenzo is a first-year school teacher with a bright future. All she’s missing is a man to share her happiness. Her father wants her to rekindle her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, but she can’t stop thinking about the handsome, kind, and courageous soldier who rescued her from a near-deadly car accident…

Edward too, has not stopped thinking of Audra. After making peace with God and with his difficult past, he’s ready to re-connect with her and reveal his feelings. Edward knows that opening his heart will mean risking pain, but he’s prepared for whatever comes—from a perilous deployment to Audra’s meddling father…

Find A Soldier Finds His Way here: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

TypewriterA Bit About Irene: 

Irene Onorato was born and raised in Bronx, New York. Her father, a first-generation American whose parents were born in Italy, was an Army veteran who had served with the 178th combat engineers during WWII. He told numerous stories of battles, hardships, tragedies and triumphs. The glimpses he gave into the hearts of many American warriors would later become the inspiration for much of Irene’s writings.

In 1972, a few months after graduating high school, Irene met James Onorato, a soldier who had just returned from Vietnam. After dating two weeks, they married, raised three children, and are still happily married today.

Irene and James, both radiation protection technicians, retired from the nuclear power industry in 2014 and now reside in Louisiana.

Want to connect further with Irene? Find her here:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Author’s web page | Author’s blog