I am delighted to welcome Rose Anderson as a guest blogger today. Have you had other careers before becoming a writer, Rose?
I’d like to begin with a thank you Anna. Thanks for having me today. To answer your question, yes I have done a few things. I’ve raised my two children – best career in the world. I also taught middle school science many years ago, then I retired from that and got involved in historic preservation. I’m still a mom and both of my other careers lasted about twelve years each. Nearly two years ago I left preservation and took up writing full time.
We have teaching in common. It was my career and I agree it’s a wonderfully rewarding one. Do you have other talents? Or is there a talent you don’t have that you wish you did?
I have a few things that tickle my fancy. One is that I’m a world drummer. If you don’t know what that is, it’s making music with different types of drums from all over the world. I have a lot of percussion instruments –everything from African djembes to conga drums and beaded gourds to Scottish bones. I even have this marvelous talking drum – picture the old Tarzan movies where the explorers always hear the drums of hostile natives playing in the distance. I’m fortunate to have a very close community of friends and we are all drummers. In my humble opinion, I think we’re good enough to go pro. One of these days…
As far as talents I wish I had…I’d love to play the fiddle. I could really get into welding for metal sculpture. I’d also like to learn to build stained-glass windows and make glass beads over a torch.
They say drumming is very cathartic. How did you get started writing?
It all began in high school. I had an honors English class and the teacher set the theme for a composition after we’d read The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I wrote about a dragon waiting on her egg to hatch. That first composition put me in the zone. It basically wrote itself. The teacher kept it with praise saying I needed to pursue writing. I didn’t take her seriously but I did take journalism classes and got on the school paper because of her. Boy I wish I still had that dragon story. I have a perfect dragon illustrator and I’d publish it. Unfortunately that was written before xerox and long before computers became a household item. As a student, I wasn’t about to write the thing out by hand twice!
It wasn’t until my son was little that I started writing again. I created a seven book series to teach him to read. I’ll publish that one of these days too. Years later, I wrote a youth story about a historic preservation project I was involved in. At the time email submission wasn’t possible. I sent full manuscripts to so many publishing houses. I didn’t have an agent so I didn’t get a nibble. Out of all the manuscripts sent, only one was deemed worthy of a reply. And that was a form letter saying no thanks. That was so discouraging I walked away from writing for nearly twenty years. I got back in when I had a story that needed being told.
The reason I write erotic romance? To begin, I’d have to say I never set out to be a romance author. Simply put, it was a fast way into the publishing world. It’s extremely popular, so new is always in demand. I really just jumped into it to learn the ropes on. I have a much larger project I’ve been working on for five years – my five-book, 500k word, as yet unnamed, Magnum Opus (affectionately called my MO). When I return to it, I’ll take everything I’ve learned so far and apply it. I’ve changed so much as a writer and improved like I’d hoped I would. I’m thinking I’ll lose 100k words of the MO right off the top.
Ambitious! How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
I currently have six erotic romance books encompassing four stories. You know, it’s funny to think about a favorite. They all become the favorite for a while.
For my breakout novel Hermes Online, I wrote a hook, meaning I put everything I had into it to get noticed by a publisher. It worked! My second, Dreamscape, was written as a reader’s puzzle. My third, written in two parts is The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo. The fourth is, in many ways, my best work. Like Dreamscape, Loving Leonardo is also a reader-interactive story. These last two novels are told in two books each. Loving Leonardo and Loving Leonardo – The Quest as a whole is one of those color outside the lines stories for me. I so enjoyed my Victorian trio that I have the feeling they’ll soon be whispering to me about further adventures they’d like to take. It will likely be my favorite until the next. 🙂
What inspired your latest book?
My latest is the sequel to Loving Leonardo: Loving Leonardo – The Quest. I’ve mentioned here and there around the web that this tale came right out of the American headlines last summer. The news was filled with women’s issues and negative talk of “progressives”. There was something about a newscast one day that grabbed my attention. I’d heard the term women’s issues combined with progressive, but the word progressive was said with a sneer. It was presented as though the concept of women making their own decisions was unthinkable, and that was the point to the Suffragettes more than 100 years ago. Before I knew it, I had a very American, very unorthodox, Victorian progressive heroine named Ellie and she was as annoyed about the politics of her times as I was about the politics of mine. What’s more, whom you love, and who you wanted to commit your love to, were hot issues as if love itself was a social condition and not a deeply personal thing.
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
From everywhere! Headlines like I mention above. Funny or interesting things I encounter here and there. My life and the lives of people I know make cameo appearances in all my books in one form or another because it’s easy to draw from the familiar. I’ll borrow our furnishings for my stories, or our cars, our pets, and I even add things we’d love to own or owned once upon a time. As for my characters, they’re all composites of me. They have my values, my fears, my wit etc. Yes, even the bad guys are composites of the darkest corners of my imagination combined with the ugly things found in the world.
Do you have a blog?
I do, several in fact! I have a main blog and three satellite blogs that I use a little less frequently. I have a handful of stationary blogs that act more as posters for my work than anything else. I figured as they’re all connected, I could use them for different things that happen to fall in the same time frame. That idea came about because I erroneously signed up for two blog hops that overlapped in the same week. It’s been tremendously useful. For one, I’ve signed up for more hops and broadened my exposure. The thought being other participants are sometimes more into social media than I am. If they promote themselves, they promote me along with them. I do the same.
Until recently I’ve steadily blogged about the whole author experience. Surprisingly, the posts where I add things about my childhood in the 1960’s are popular. I participated in the A to Z Challenge for the first time this year. The idea was to post a topic a day through the month of April corresponding to the alphabet. That’s when I discovered what a popular post really was. My historical posts draw the most attention and interest.
What a neat idea! What is your favorite part of writing?
Seeing appreciation for my work lighting other people’s eyes. I love stories, hearing them, telling them. My wonderful family and friends are so encouraging. Because one dear friend and her husband always have something nice to say. I find myself wanting to create scenes I know they’d enjoy. I also have an artist friend who periodically reads my scenes. I know we’re on the same page when he comments on my characters and scenes as if he sees them as real because they’re real to me. That does something to me; it fills me up in some inexplicable way and makes me want to write more complicated scenes to see if he can follow me there. I’ve always been sort of an oddball that never fit anywhere; I suppose it validates how my mind ticks.
I love writing the classic light vs. dark/ good vs. evil scenario with twists on a theme. Writing conflicts where right triumphs over wrong is the best thing about creating literary worlds. Authors have control over weighty issues and are able to change negative situations to positive outcomes. The real world doesn’t always allow for that. I get frustrated by things in life – environmental issues, political garbage, societal woes and ills. In my fictional worlds, where my god complex shines, I can virtually eliminate them. So I do!
I’m a very detail-oriented person so I love the challenge of making impossible concepts possible and implausible scenarios plausible, especially in conflicts between good and evil. In Hermes Online there wasn’t evil but there was darkness to overcome. In Dreamscape the impossible needed to be possible because what future can one have loving a ghost? In Loving Leonardo there’s prejudice vs. tolerance. In The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo there’s hopelessness vs. hope. You can’t have the good without the bad to contrast it with. You can’t have the light without darkness, because darkness makes you appreciate the light more. I think I’m drawn to writing the opposites because life needs balance.
Too true! All self-pubbed books are rumored to be shoddily edited. What do you say to that?
Not mine! I have a professional editor with a background in history and a keen eye for grammar and punctuation. She also holds my feet to the flame where historical anachronisms are concerned. Typos happen. We live in a text-driven society. In both my traditionally published and self-published books, I have had a typo now and then. I will say this though, if a typo works its way into my self-published novel, the instant it’s brought to my attention, I fix it.
Nicolas Halstead from Loving Leonardo and LL-The Quest by far possesses the most depth of any character I’ve written to date. He’s an art historian who sees the world through the artworks he loves. Because all art is a manifestation of emotion, Nicolas wears his depth, compassion, sensitivity, and passion upon his sleeve. He’s also witty and intelligent and terribly romantic. I find him an utterly fascinating character. I love seeing the world through his eyes. I suppose his greatest strength would be his capacity for love. His weakness would be an external element. He must hide the truth of himself from a prejudiced world.
Can’t wait to get to know him. Thanks for being my guest today. Rose will give away a copy of Hermes Online to one lucky commenter.
I love descriptive words and choose them as carefully as an artist might choose a color. My active imagination compels me to write everything from children’s stories to historical nonfiction. As a persnickety leisure reader, I especially enjoy novels that feel like they were written just for me. It’s hard to explain, but if you’ve ever read one of those, then you know what I mean. I tend to sneak symbolism and metaphor into my writing. You might say it’s a game I play with myself when I write. And I so love when readers email to say they’ve found something. I’d like people to feel my stories were written just for them, for that’s the truth. These hidden insights are my gift to my readers.
My links –
All books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rose-Anderson
Main Blog: http://calliopeswritingtablet.com/
Satellite Blog: http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/
Too many author pages and mini blogs to mention here but you can see them all by visiting my main blog, I’m just about everywhere!