Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Heather Riccio

Heather has been a publicist with Entangled since December 2011, and has done marketing/publicity with the Palm Springs International Film Festival since 2008. She has an MFA in Fiction Writing and undergraduate degrees in English and Anthropology from University of California, Riverside. She also works for Bowker part-time as a market researcher, which keeps her up-to-date on book trends. On the side, Heather can also be found doing pro-bono work as the Director of Partnerships for Project Migration, a fashion accessories company with a charitable initiative, and  as the Features Editor for Urbanette magazine. Her life-long goal is to work for Entangled and write at night. Heather is also awesome.

And now:

7 Questions with Heather Riccio:

1. What are your favorite and your least favorite words?

My favorite word is “can” and my least favorite word is “can’t”. I don’t think there is anything someone can’t do. I think there are things we are scared of (people’s reactions, rejection, spiders, heights, cockroaches (*shudders*) etc. We are all afraid of something) I would like to think I’m the type of person who will always go for it.  I don’t want to be one of those people who always says, “What if…or if only…” If it pans out, it pans out, and if it doesn’t, at least I tried, and that’s all anyone can ask for.  With this attitude, I’ve had the fortune of working as one of Teen People’s news team members on staff (when it was still in existence), estate hunted for huge corporations during Coachella, worked marketing and publicity at the Palm Springs International Film Festival (one of the top 10 largest film festivals in the world), and helped launch a teen magazine from the ground up. It went national in a year. Not everything stayed, but I’ve cultivated life-long relationships and friendships (both in business and outside of business) having this attitude. If I really had a "can’t" attitude, I would’ve quit while I was ahead long ago. For every one short story/poem/flash fiction I have published so far, there’s at least 25 rejections that follow, but I revise and try again. Life is about constantly learning. If you’re content with the way your life is, you’re not trying hard enough.  

2. What turns you on creatively, spiritually, emotionally?

I find myself inspired by many things. There’s not one thing that inspires or turns me on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally. It’s a combination of many things from a person’s reaction, to how thoughtful they are, to the sights I hear, or what I see on a daily basis, and kindness and willingness go a long way in my book.

3. What turns you off creatively, spiritually, emotionally?

Interruptions. I hate interruptions. If I’m in the middle of a fabulous scene and someone calls, texts, or emails, and I lose my train of thought, I get upset for a moment. Often times, when I go back to sit down and write the scene again, then something new pops up, most of the time better, but sometimes not, so I really hate interruptions and love peace and quiet if I it’s possible. This is super important when writing something deep or dark. I need to be able to think about every little reaction, every possible scenario. I love to be alone because often times I’ll tap back into my past, and for some of it, I start crying, but it’s that emotion, when I can tap into it, that makes those scenes the best out of all of them. I’m no longer at the surface, but have dug as deep as I can for the day.

4. What is the least interesting thing about what you do?

Which job? LOL! But seriously…which one. In addition to my love of writing (I plan on becoming a big-time famous author someday), I work for the family restaurant business (Riccio’s Steak and Seafood in Palm Springs, CA), a part-time market researcher for Bowker (I love book trends), and as the publicity director for Entangled Teen, digiTeen, and our yet-to-be-named New Adult line at Entangled Publishing. I also work pro-bono for Project Migration, a fashion accessories company with a charitable initiative as their Director of Partnerships, and as one of the Features Editors for Urbanette Magazine. Oh, and I also beta read and blog for YA Stands. My CP, Nicole Steinhaus  was the one founded it, and I love helping other YA authors out.
What I would love to do someday though is simply write and work for Entangled all the time. I love my authors to death and do anything and everything I can to make each of their campaigns successful.  Least interesting thing for me is negotiating and the only reason why I don’t particularly like it is because I find everyone is almost always on a different page so it’s finding a compromise so everyone is on the same page and the decision is beneficial for all parties involved. 

5. How early is too early?

Um…lol. I’m a night owl, but am also up at around 7 a.m. You’ll find me asleep between 3-7 a.m. PST. Other than that, I’m up and ready to go. Sometimes if I can’t sleep, you’ll find me online early in the morning writing or working.

6. If you had to cut one moment or act from the last ten years of your life, what would you miss the least?

She’ll probably kill me for mentioning this, but my mother’s breast cancer. I remember at first being selfish in my thinking (I was in my early twenties at the time), and then immediately thinking right after, “Oh God, what will I do without her there?” We don’t have long conversations like some mothers and daughters do, but when we do talk it’s always meaningful and we don’t fight like cats and dogs, which I’ve always appreciated more than she'll ever know, and my parents have always allowed me to follow my dreams. No matter how far out of reach they may have been.
Also, I would love to cut out my uncle passing away suddenly and my grandparents. Death sucks. This past Septemeber when I was in NYC, I dedicated one of the cobblestones to my grandpa who was NYPD for 18 years. I thought he deserved to be forever remembered. Not only was he NYPD for 18 years, but he went back to help out for a few months after 9/11 happened. It’s that type of selfless humility that has shaped me into the person I am today.

7. Assuming heaven exists, what would you like to hear God (or Allah
or Yahweh or Odin. Generally the Supreme Being of your choice.) say
when you check in at the pearly gates?


He would say something like, “I knew you could do it. It’s all about believing. You, my child, are one of the many who chose to believe. Who know, that ‘To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure’. Welcome,” and then he’d let me enter the pearly gates to the right would be a spa and to the left would be everything my heart desired. Any time my mind changed, so would everything to the left. The spa would have to be the constant for relaxation and yoga. And, in my mind, he would have to quote Dumbledore. ;)

Thanks Heather! To quote Dumbledore "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." and you have made some amazing ones.

Want to know more about Heather? Follow any one of these links:

Thanks again to Heather and thank you for reading!

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