Friday, March 9, 2018

"A LIFE NOT SURROUNDED BY BOOKS JUST DOESN'T BEAR THINKING ABOUT."

Interview with Romance/Suspense Author, Roseanna White
Interviewer: E.E. Kennedy
Roseanna and I are working together, along with several other authors, on a cozy mystery series for Guideposts Books. Roseanna has a great sense of humor and has been a treat to collaborate with. As you will see, she's not only written a "slew" of books (to quote Roseanna), but does a whole lot of other stuff besides.


SS 1: How long have you been writing, Roseanna?

Since I learned how to scribble words onto a page. =) I’ve known since first grade that this what I wanted to do with my life—at first I’d say, “I want to be a teacher/archaeologist/journalist and write novels,” but then eventually I realized that the changeable one wasn’t where my heart was—my heart was in that one that never changed. So I said heck with the rest of it and followed my passion. Thankfully, I was blessed to marry a man who encouraged me to do that and worked hard so I could chase my dreams.

SS 2: Tell us a little about your life? You homeschool your children? I’m in awe! How on earth do you manage to do that and be such a prolific writer? Any tips?

My trick is very simple: I neglect the housework, LOL. Seriously, I have a pretty strict schedule for myself, and I’m disciplined. I get up at 5:30 every morning and write before the kids get up. We start school at 9. Usually I can get most of my word count goal done either before we start school, or during our first break. But the kids are always priority #1. School comes first, then my writing. Though upon my awesome husband’s suggestion, now that they’re older and can do more independent work, I’ve been taking one day a week away from the house to just write. He also works from home and stays there to supervise the kiddos, who complete their schoolwork on their own that day. Then anything that required me, we make up for during the rest of the week.

SS 3: I see you’re currently working on the Shadows Over England series. Your books cover a variety of historic eras. Obviously, you’re a history buff! What era is your favorite?

I always say my favorite era is the one I’m currently writing in, LOL. Honestly, I just love history. I love learning what makes each era unique, and I can always find something to spark my interest and imagination. That said, I’ve really been enjoying writing in the Edwardian-WWI era for my novels with Bethany House. It’s an interesting time, with the traditions of old began to transform into the modern era, and I’ve loved exploring it!

SS 4: As a writer, I get this question all the time: Where do you get your ideas? Are there any particular sources you favor in your research?

Most of the time my ideas spring from history itself. As I’m researching, I’ll stumble across something that makes me go, “Ooooooohhhh, how fun!” and my imagination takes off. For research, I usually start by reading articles online, and once I know what subject I want to pursue, I find books to read next. I often begin with inter-library loans, then purchase the ones I know I’ll go back to. I’ve also found that YouTube can be a wonderful way to take a visual tour of places I’ve never been!

SS 5: I understand you have a hand in designing your book covers (which are gorgeous, by the way). How does that work?

I don’t design most of my own, actually. Bethany House has a fabulous in-house design team that’s done all my books with them. For those, all I do is give them a page detailing how the characters look, links to my Pinterest board with appropriate fashion and some inspirational photos, and then let them have at it. =) I’ve yet to be disappointed!

I do, however, design all the covers for WhiteFire Publishing, and I designed one of my own covers for Harvest House. I also do freelance design for clients of all genres (www.RoseannaWhiteDesigns.com). For those, they fill out a questionnaire telling what they want, and I go on the hunt for stock photos that I can put together to deliver their vision to them.

I did just get to design a cover for myself recently, though, on a book that I got the rights back to and am re-releasing through WhiteFire. It was so much fun to find a new look for those characters! A Heart’s Revolution, set just after the Revolutionary War ended, will come out again on March 15 (previously called Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland). For that one, I first hunted down some appropriate gowns from the right era. Once I had one of those I liked, I then found a face that looked like Lark and put that head on the first body. Of course, then the hair needed work, so I chose yet a different model for her hair and put it with the others, LOL. Had to add a cloak, since the story’s set in the worst winter in Annapolis history, and a gorgeous photo of the State House in the background. I then found a Photoshop Action to add some snow, and there we have it!
  
SS 5: What is a relaxing day for you?

That would be a day I can stay at home with the family, no work. Maybe a movie and popcorn, maybe some reading time, or knitting time. Ahhh…

SS 6: As a Christian, how does your faith affect your work?

I consider writing my calling and ministry as well as my job, so for me, I can’t divorce writing from faith. It’s part of how I grow closer to the Lord—He always teaches me something new in each story I write—and I pray my books can help others grow closer to Him to.

SS 7: “Pantser” or “Outliner” or both?

A little bit of both. I always have a general synopsis to work from, so I know the basics of the story—but I discover a lot as I go and make changes to that synopsis accordingly. Usually by the time I’m halfway through the book, I know what I want the remainder to be like, so I can jot down scene notes to follow as I hammer it home.

SS 8: Just for fun, please share with us something that might surprise your readers.  

Hmm. Well, though I’ve been writing diligently so long and have wholeheartedly pursued publication since I graduated college, I have never in my life read an entire book about writing. My best friend loves these craft books and reads them frequently, but I just can’t get through one, LOL. I rely on said best friend to feed me anything really important or epiphanic and otherwise just write from my gut.

SS 9: Can you tell us about your college background? I understand that St. Johns College offers a classical education. I would think it equipped you well for the kind of writing you do.

Definitely! St. John’s is called the Great Books School—for four years, all we do is read. Classes are all conversation based and small—the largest has 16 students—and rather than study textbooks, we study the actual writing of the philosophers and scientists, etc. Rather than giving us tests, they make us write papers to demonstrate our understanding of a subject. So from the Ancient Greeks up through modern writers, I’ve learned philosophy, the history of math and science, physics, linguistics, comparative literature, and even music. Such a well-rounded education! I always say the best thing SJC teaches is actually how to think. How to evaluate, how to reason, how to ask probing questions that will get you to the heart of a matter, and how to learn anything else you want to learn. That has definitely proven useful as a writer! I can’t imagine who I’d be today if I hadn’t gone to St. John’s.

SS 10: If you weren’t a writer, what might you be?

A librarian. (I’m sorry, but a life not surrounded by books just doesn’t bear thinking about, LOL.)

SS 11: Please tell us about your current and future releases.
My latest book out is A Song Unheard, second in the Shadows Over England Series. Each book is set in the early days of Word War I, following a family of London thieves as they accept assignments from the mysterious Mr. V that send them off on adventures to steal items crucial to the war. In the first book, A Name Unknown, Rosemary had to obtain information proving a gentleman in Cornwall loyal to Germany. In A Song Unheard, violin prodigy Willa is sent to Wales to obtain a cypher key from a Belgian refugee whose father was a mathematician (this one just released in January). Next up will be An Hour Unspent, when the big brother of my family is sent to recruit a clockmaker working on something a little more dangerous than a pocket watch. Each story combines romance with suspense and a dose of fun history.

SS 12: Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Roseanna. Please tell us, where can readers find you on the Internet?

Thanks so much for having me!

Blog: https://roseannamwhite.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoseannaMWhite/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/roseannamwhite/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roseannamwhite/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoseannaMWhite
Website: http://www.roseannamwhite.com

Newsletter signup: http://www.roseannamwhite.com/newsletter-signup
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Leave a comment below AND your email address to be eligible in the drawing for a free paperback copy of A SONG UNHEARD!

34 comments:

  1. Good morning Roseanna & E.E. Thanks for an enjoyable interview. Roseanna. it is apparent that God has blessed you with many talents and you are certainly using them.
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, Connie! I certainly try to put the talents He's given to use for Him!

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  2. I can't imagine a life without books either!!! Thank you for the chance to win. lhanberry1(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. It just doesn't bear thinking about... ;-)

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  3. Thanks so much for sharing. I enjoyed learning a little more about you, Roseanna, and how you accomplish to find the time to write these wonderful books! Thanks for the giveaway.
    bettimace (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Always a challenge, but worth the balancing act. =) Glad you could stop by!

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  4. Books are my lifeline to sanity. It makes me sad that bookstores are closing in lots of places. Rosanna I admire anyone that home schools. My kids are grown but I never would have had the patience. I love that you knit, I’m a crocheter. Learned at the feet of my grandmother.
    Gail Hollingsworth
    tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I just picked up knitting a little over two years ago, but it was love at first purl. ;-) And yes, books are definitely what keeps me sane sometimes! I've definitely loved the chance to share them with my kids in our homeschooling, too. And hour to 90 minutes of each day is me reading aloud to them. We all love it.

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  5. Housework is HIGHLY overrated. Thanks for letting us get to know Roseanna!

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    1. Right?! I see we're kindred spirits. ;-) Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. What a great post! I enjoyed it! I let the housework go, too, when I was homeschooling my daughter. I sure did enjoy teaching my daughter at home. I just wish I had started doing it sooner.
    duellonlysis(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. It just doesn't make the priority list, LOL. Thanks for stopping by, Bev!

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  7. Thanks for the post! I love Roseanna White’s books! I already have A Song Unheard so don’t need to enter the giveaway but just wanted to mention that’s it’a a fantastic book!

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    1. Thank you! And thanks so much for stopping by!

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  8. I really enjoyed her last 4 books, I look forward to this one! I was really impressed with how supportive her husband is in helping her with her career. That is so awesome! Thanks for the giveaway!
    garfsgirl AT hotmail DOT com

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    1. He's the best. He's not only supported my dream all these years but actively done whatever he could to make it possible for me to chase it. It's my prayer that now I can pay that back and help him chase some of HIS dreams!

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  9. Life would be so boring without books. I have a friend who doesn't read and whenever she visits, she tells me I have to get rid of my books and she'll help me! She just doesn't understand!
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. WHAT? That's...that's...is 'sacrilege' too strong a word for it? I don't think so. Because there is no such thing as too many books. Just too few shelves. ;-)

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  10. A lovely post and interview thank you. I love to knit too.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. There's something so awesome about being able to make something with your hands like that, and knowing it's a craft that's been passed down for thousands of years!

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  11. Love that cover. Violins are special to me because my middle daughter plays. I would also love to be a librarian. I'd be afraid I'd take out more books than I would shelve!

    arletta(DOT)boulton(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. LOL. Yeah, there's that. And I've tried to convince my kids to learn violin, but they haven't shown any interest in letting me live vicariously through them on that one...

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  12. It was fun to read this interview and learn more about Roseanna. I read the first book in this series, A Name Unknown, and liked it very much. The cover of that book really drew me to it. I very much want to read A Song Unheard. Thanks for the chance to in the book.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. A cover with books, right? Can't beat it! I think that will remain my favorite cover ever.

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  13. Loved the interview. Thanks for the chance to win the book.
    betsylu2@msn.com

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  14. Good morning. Would love to win and get to know your jrs0350@yahoo.com.

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  15. I always enjoy reading faithbased historical novels or any book!!! Stories about violinists intrigue me. I played for a few years while in school and enjoyed it but was certainly no prodigy. My daughter is a librarian and I work in a bookstore. We are definitely a book loving family.I too am sad to see bookstores closing. We pray for our store and it's owners everyday when we open. Carol carola245 (at)hotmail (dot)com

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    1. I love that you pray over the store and owners! My town has had a serious lack of bookstores for many years. =( But there's nothing like being surrounded by books!

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  16. I definitely am excited to read your latest book! I found it interesting to read more about St. Johns college and how things are structured there. Thanks for the fun interview and giveaway!

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  17. I'm extremely impressed! You homeschool and you still get up at 5:30? That's amazing. It have yet to change my night owl ways! Lol

    mylittlebirdiebooks (at) gmail (dot) com

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  18. Thank you for your interview. I can't wait to read your books. I love historical romance and espionage.

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