Well, let's get started! Rose has answered ten interview questions for us.
For this I chose Family Reunion because it was a fun, silly book to write. My other books have a more serious nature, historical fiction, truth and fiction combined. I call it faction. There always has to be an element of truth when you write fiction, and you have to research as seriously, because just when you think you have it right, someone will call you on it. Ask me more about it later.
1. Is there a message in your work that you want readers to grasp?
Family Reunion is a light-hearted look at Kallie McGill,a boring accountant until she attends a family reunion. In the time it takes for a tornado to sweep in, her life is changed. Granny is swept up, an old toothless guy steals her purse and her gay cousin's lover is up a tree. Later, after she wipes the baby goop off her hair, she goes to a bar with the intention of forgetting her soon-to-be ex husband. That's when she discovers that her wallet is missing. The bar is now a biker bar and she finds herself ass down on the barroom floor, surrounded by bikers who eat their weight in human thigh bones every day. Not only is Uncle Morty missing somewhere in the tropics of Columbia, her Aunt Celeste is lost in the jungle wearing her Jimmy Choos. I wanted people to laugh reading it as much as I laughed writing it. Don't take yourself so seriously. A good laugh is good for the soul.
Here I threw in ATF, undercover cops, bikers, a stray dog, hot and heavy sex, Columbian drug lords and the MS-13, one of the most brutal gangs in the world.
2. What genre is your favorite to write?
I'm not terribly good at romance because, perhaps, I was a sensible social worker all my professional life, therefore, I'm too practical for the Mr. Rights. I can change my own tires if I have to... besides, my characters turn into sluts on page three. I've tried my hand at romance, but I keep tripping over dead bodies. I like the complex w plots of mysteries. I also like writing when I don't particularly have a road map. Like taking the dog for a ride and yelling “Road trip!” It has to work together in the end... but mysteries are my favorite.
3. What are your current Works In Progress?
Interesting question: right now I'm trying to sell four novels and as if I had the sense God gave a goose, I wouldn't have started another. Got up one morning after a 2am dream, and started writing. What if Cain's daughter married Job's son? Now I have Cain's Daughter (working title only) with a female villain... I may change that, depends on what happens next. She's just been kidnapped out of her condo while getting dressed. She's wearing a skirt, a red camisole, gray stockings and heels, and a bathrobe. The wind off the Atlantic is harsh.... and damnit, if she was going to be kidnapped before breakfast, she would have worn long-johns. The idea is to keep the reader guessing on every page. That's the good thing about mysteries.
4. Tell us about your most recent book.
Family Reunion is the most current on the market. It's a fun book and some of the reviews are saying, “I laughed so hard my face hurt.” I like that. Also on the market are 1) The Confederette, 2) Parallel Lives, 3) Lock, Stock and Wine Barrel and 4) Release Your Inner Bitch. (non-fiction, because bitches don't get abused.) The review for The Confederette ranged from “That blankity-blank author should be hung. My great grandfather fought in the Civil War and he would never have raped a woman. That woman should be horse-whipped.” to, “If you liked Cold Mountain, you'll love The Confederette.”
5. How did you come up with the title?
Titles find me. With The Confererette, I wracked my brain day after day, then one day I was watching a parade and the announcer was talking about drum majorettes.... and bang, ettes... female. I wanted my readers to know they were dealing with a strong female character post Civil War. Lock, Stock and Wine Barrel (children of Lebensborn - - Hitler's breeding camps) my main character was an army nurse, and when they leap-frogged in Italy (Anzio - - along the mountain ridge) they had to pull up stakes every time. They moved lock, stock and barrel (gun terms) but I threw in a wine barrel - - thus Lock, Stock and Wine Barrel. With Release Your Inner Bitch it was easy. As a social worker, I had worked in a shelter for domestic violence. We had a young mother, beautiful as a dove with a voice like the morning sun, terribly abused. I was trying to get her ready for court, and she kept saying that she would pray for her husband, and I wanted shake her until her teeth rattled. I made her stand up and yell at me.... then I said, “be a bitch! Tell me to go to hell!” Finally she did. Yay....
6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
Don't be a wimp. Tell people up front that you're doing research on whatever. Everyone I've met has bent over backwards to help me. I acknowledge them in writing and make sure they get a copy of the book at my expense. Another thing: Don't expect everyone to love your work. With The Confederette I had to kill a horse in order to move the plot in the right direction. Horse lovers hated me, offered to pray for me and sent me information from PETA.
7. Where and when do you write?
I often get up at 3 a.m. My most creative time is in the morning. After that, there's dishes, phone calls, marketing, sending out queries, the left-brained stuff. I can edit in the afternoon, but I slam down thoughts at first breath.
8. How do you overcome Writer's Block?
Writer's block is an excuse for not writing. When I get stuck I use clustering to get me moving. Take one word.... anything... rain, and see where it takes you. I taught fiction writing for 20 years and students would always say, “I'm stuck.” So what do you do when you get stuck in snow and ice? Get out the salt... sprinkle it around your tires. Words are the salt. Sprinkle them around your word-tires and move it.
9. Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? If so, what are they?
Don't ever give up.... avoid the nay-sayers (doesn't matter who.... spouse, lover, friend, agents who reject you). Do not stop learning your craft, and do not give up. When you die... and you will, the Goodwill truck will back up to your front steps, and everything you own(ed) will either go to the kids or charity or get sold at the next rummage sale. Don't let your stories be sold along with old coffee cups. Your writing is your legacy. Keep it alive.
10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes, if you love or hate my work, let me know. If I made you laugh or cry, tell me. If you threw my book across the room, or wept for hours... tell me. If it gives you nightmares, tell me. If you laughed so hard you peed yourself, tell me. My readers are my reason to keep going when I feel like quiting, and every author asks, “what the heck am I doing this for? Darn, I could have been happy measuring men's inseams...”
Thanks so much for joining us today, Rose!
Check out Rose's work, everyone! Also, you can purchase Family Reunion at the following address: http://www.publishamerica.net/product21298.html