Three cheers for Yonni M. Groza, third-place winner in our romance writing contest. Hers is one of 10 stories you can read right now in our new release, Celebrating Romance 2. We’re 20 years old, and this is perfect way to celebrate: By publishing new writers! (Hint: It’s also the perfect way for you and your honey-bunny to celebrate your love – by starring together in these 10 short stories, wild or mild, of course!)
Yonni still lives in Beacon, NY, where she was born and raised. She says of her home, “It’s a beautiful place, full of history, nestled in the Hudson River Valley.” Beacon is just one hour north of New York City. (This is a good time to give a shout-out to our paperback printers, Net Publications in Poughkeepsie, NY, since they too are, as we say down South, in “that neck of the woods.” And, they work overtime to get all the personalized novels out in time for V-Day, as we call it. Good job, ya’ll)
Yonni is the Store Manager at Nature’s Pantry in Fishkill, NY, a large alternative grocery store. She has been with the company for two years and really enjoys working there. “I am constantly learning new things about the health industry,” she says of her work. She has a strong retail background and finds it exciting. She stumbled into a job at Hallmark “when I was 19 and in two years I was running the store.” Her flexible schedule allows her time to write.
She entered the YourNovel.com writing contest because “I hadn’t been writing very much, kind of fighting off a case of writer’s block. I found out about the contest late in the game and only had four days to write . . . It was a great challenge.”
Yonni’s story, “On a Rainy Night,” is about a “romantic weekend getaway disrupted by a violent storm and a ghostly encounter deep in the mountains.” She says of the story, “I’ve always thought of thunderstorms as romantic and passionate – the perfect setting for a story! I wanted the story to have an eerie, thrilling feel to it but still maintain the romantic storyline.”
She found the writing challenging. “It was much more difficult than I anticipated to write the story in a way that would allow it to be fully customizable. I had to completely change my approach to the characters.” Yonni realized she wanted to be an author when “I began sharing my work on the Internet and with my friends and family. I had very positive responses. The emotional connection that people felt to my characters was inspiring and pushed me to create new characters and story ideas.”