A Perfect Ten with Staci Troilo

This week, I have the distinct pleasure of featuring Author and Blogger Staci Troilo on this edition of A Perfect 10.

Please enjoy this week’s edition of A Perfect 10

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. FlorySteve BoseleyKayla MattMae ClairJill SammutDeanna KahlerDawn Reno LangleyJohn HowellElaine CouglerJan SikesNancy BellNick DavisKathleen LopezSusan ThatcherCharles YallowitzArmand RosamiliaTracey PaganaAnna DobrittKaren OberlaenderDeby FredericksTeri PolenDarlene FosterRobert Rayner, C.C. NaughtonSherry RentshlerLinda BradleyLuna St. Clair, Joan Hall

Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com


Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing energizes me. I love when a seed of an idea bounces around in my head and I get to cultivate it and watch it grow on the page. Editing, however, exhausts me. Editing for my clients isn’t a problem, but when I’m revising my own work, it takes a lot out of me. I don’t think that’s unusual, though. I think most of us struggle to edit our own work—that’s one of the many reasons writers should work with an editor.

Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?

No, I don’t, nor do I think I ever would. I’m a multi-genre author, so I did consider it. But I have enough trouble maintaining a single platform. Maintaining two or more would be a nightmare. Besides, I do see some cross-over in my audiences, so it doesn’t hurt me to have a single name as a brand. And I used my real name, not a pen name. I’m not embarrassed by the genres I write in, and I’ve noticed that some people from my past recognized my name and became loyal readers. In my case, name recognition was a benefit. So, no, I’ll never use a pen name.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?

While I do think you have to be confident to publish, I think there’s a difference between confidence and ego. And ego is a huge detriment. When you think you’re above reproach, you won’t take constructive criticism. And we can all benefit from the informed opinions of others. That’s how we learn and grow.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Scrivener. The price is laughably low for a program, especially when you compare it to, say, Microsoft Word. And writing in Scrivener lets me keep all my information in one file—research, character sketches, scene descriptions, outlines, and the text itself—rather than in several documents that I have to print out or switch back and forth to view. I can’t say enough good things about it. I write faster now, and I think better, because of it.

What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?

Success would be earning a regular income that could replace a fulltime job or my freelance work. I have not achieved it yet, but I’m working hard toward that end.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?

Like I said, I’m a multi-genre author, and research is largely depended on the genre. For my Medici Protectorate series (a contemporary romance saga with a paranormal element), I did a lot of online research on the Medici and on alchemy. For my Cathedral Lake series (a contemporary suspense/family drama with medical and legal aspects), I did a little research, but I mostly asked doctors, lawyers, police, and military veterans questions. I tend to only do minimal research before I write, but as I’m writing, I’ll dig deep into situations that present themselves. Yes, it takes time out of my writing, but it does enable me to get the most relevant details answered and saves me a lot of time by keeping me from investigating things that I won’t need.

How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?

I decide if I need a modern name or one more appropriate for a different time period, then I start looking at online name generators, baby name books, even sports rosters, family/friend names, and film and television credits. I don’t think I’ve ever regretted a choice. By the time I start writing, that character’s name fits perfectly with who the character is.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

I think I’d have to say the intimate scenes in romance novels. It’s hard to make sure they are evocative without being cheesy and still manage to impact both characters’ arcs and advance the plot. There’s a lot to accomplish with such a small yet impactful scene.

If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?

1jFirst, Jesus (yes, I know that’s cliché, but come on… He’s Jesus!). Because His words are already so powerful on the page, but hearing them aloud and in person would have to be life-altering. I’d ask Him if I’m going to make it to Heaven, and if not, what can I change to assure my place there.

2gSecond, my grandfather. Because I lost him when I was too young, I miss him every day, and I’d love to catch him up on everything he’s missed and see his reaction to it all. I’d ask him what Heaven is like, because I know he’s there.

Iron Man 3Third, Robert Downey Jr. Because he is one of the best talents on the planet, and I would love to exchange ideas with him as well as experience his humor first-hand. I’d ask him if there was a chance on earth for us to collaborate on anything, particularly on a script based off one of my works. (But I’d settle for working on any project with him. He’s brilliant, and I know I’d learn a lot.)

4bjAnd finally, fourth, Billy Joel. Because his music has always spoken to me. If I was lucky enough to be eating at a piano bar, I would ask him to play something for me. Sometimes it’s not about learning but rather just experiencing beauty in the moment.

What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?

Marketing is hard. If there’s a magic formula, I haven’t found it. I’d have to say my newsletter has been most beneficial to me. I have signups on my website, some social media platforms, even in my email signature. Getting those names and communicating with these fans has been the best thing for me, because those people have confirmed that they are interested in my work, and cultivating my relationship with them keeps them interested.

About Staci’s Books:

I’d like to promote my Medici Protectorate series. Books one and two (Bleeding Heart and Mind Control) are already out, and book three (Body Armor) comes out this summer.

dual adSeries Premise: The four Notaro sisters are the secret legacy of the Medici, famed rulers of Italy. Michelangelo promised his Medician benefactor that he’d always watch over the family, and as such, he formed the Medici Protectorate to guard them throughout the generations. Now, Italy is in political turmoil and revolution is imminent. The people are calling for new rulers, and the Notaros are poised to assume control. But a nefarious opposing faction wants the power for themselves. Never was the family in more jeopardy. The four sisters are protected by the Brotherhood—four elite warriors of the Medici Protectorate prophesied to keep the family safe until they fulfill their destinies. They journey around the world in an effort to keep the family safe and the future of Italy secure.

Book One, Bleeding Heart: Gianni, a warrior destined to defend the secret legacy of the Medici, protects his charge Francesca from a prophesied assassin. Their worlds collide in passion and violence, and he must conquer her fears and his demons in time to save them both.

Book Two, Mind Control: Vinnie copes with his own identity issues while he struggles to protect the one prophesized Medici descendant, Jo, who refuses to embrace her heritage. With lives in peril, can they find the strength to overcome their tragic pasts, or is it too late?

Book Three, Body Armor: Nico works to increase his powers and save the Notaro family matriarch, but his private agendas put his charge Donni’s life at risk. When secrets and lies result in three abductions, the group will need to place their trust him to save them all.


About Staci:

Staci Troilo has always loved fiction, ever since her parents read her fairy tales when she was a young girl. Today, her interests are much more eclectic. She loves getting lost in sci-fi battles, fantasy realms, horror worlds, suspenseful intrigues, and romantic entanglements.

As goes her reading, so goes her writing. She can’t pick a single genre to focus on, so she doesn’t even try. She’s proud to say she’s a multi-genre author.

When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with family and friends, possibly cooking for them, or maybe enjoying an afternoon in the pool. To learn more about her, visit http://stacitroilo.com/.

Connect with Staci:



Newsletter Signup



Additional Social Media Links

55 thoughts on “A Perfect Ten with Staci Troilo

  1. This “I write faster now, and I think better, because of it.” Yes. I don’t use Scrivener, I use StoryBox, but the two are very similar, and like you, I believe I’ve become a better, more efficient writer as a result.

    Liked by 2 people

      • There are a number of dedicated writing tools out there but I believe Scrivener and StoryBox are the ‘best’ in terms of what they do and how they do it.
        I’m a pantster, but using StoryBox has allowed me to organise and structure my writing from the bottom up. Plotters, however, can still structure their writing from the top down. Win-win. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Don, I’d just like to offer my profound gratitude for hosting me today. Some of these questions were new to me (and I’ve done a lot of interviews), and answering them was revelatory. Interacting with your followers has been fun, too. Many thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve heard so many good things about Scrivener, but I haven’t taken the plunge. How did I know before I read it that you’d have your grandfather and RDJ listed? Saw Spider-Man yesterday and RDJ had some great moments – as usual.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Short Fiction: The No in Noel |

  5. Staci, I loved your answers to the four people you would choose to meet and your reasons for choosing them. I grew up listening to Billy Joel, love RDJ and also lost my grandfather when I was young. As for our beloved Lord…wow! Imagining sitting at his feet and hearing his teachings as the first disciples heard them!

    Don’s interview questions are great and your answers made this read like a casual conversation over coffee. Thanks to both of you for a fabulous interview!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links |

  7. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Allan Hudson | Author Don Massenzio

  8. Thanks for this interview, Don! Staci is a generous and creative colleague. I’ve come to depend on her solid advice as both a fellow author and as an editor. Staci, loved your answers. Some of it I knew, but I learned a few new things as well. Your dedication to detail in your work is admirable.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Author Robert Eggleton | Author Don Massenzio

  10. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Paul Scott Bates | Author Don Massenzio

  11. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with P.C. Zick | Author Don Massenzio

  12. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Joy Lennick | Author Don Massenzio

  13. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Patrick Roland | Author Don Massenzio

  14. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Mary Carlomagno | Author Don Massenzio

  15. Pingback: Come and be interviewed | Author Don Massenzio

  16. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Kathleen Jowitt | Author Don Massenzio

  17. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Michele Jones | Author Don Massenzio

  18. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Maline Carroll | Author Don Massenzio

  19. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with J. Bliss | Author Don Massenzio

  20. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Alethea Kehas | Author Don Massenzio

  21. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Angelique Conger | Author Don Massenzio

  22. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Colin Guest | Author Don Massenzio

  23. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Rebekkah Ford | Author Don Massenzio

  24. Pingback: A Perfect 10 (Bonus Edition) with Andrew Joyce | Author Don Massenzio

  25. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Deborah Jay | Author Don Massenzio

  26. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Win Charles | Author Don Massenzio

  27. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Ritu Bhathal | Author Don Massenzio

  28. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Robin Leigh Morgan | Author Don Massenzio

  29. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Marjorie Mallon | Author Don Massenzio

  30. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Marina Costa | Author Don Massenzio

  31. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Lynda Filler | Author Don Massenzio

  32. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Lorinda Taylor | Author Don Massenzio

  33. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Aidan Reid | Author Don Massenzio

  34. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Lizzie Chantree | Author Don Massenzio

  35. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with J.M. Goebel | Author Don Massenzio

  36. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Kent Arceneaux | Author Don Massenzio

  37. Pingback: A Perfect 10 with Victoria Zigler | Author Don Massenzio

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s