What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
We enjoyed a side trip to Mark Twain’s home in Hannibal, Missouri. The museum displayed the little desk used to write his books. I love Mark Twain’s storytelling. He influenced my writing by adding humor to my stories.
What is the first book that made you cry?
Charlotte’s Web. My 8th-grade teacher read it to our class. Yes, you never get too old to listen to a story. She asked me to finish reading the story because she was so emotional. Somehow, I got through it. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
My books are stand-alone and in different genres. Deadly Undertaking (paranormal mystery) and Dangerous Sanctuary (romantic suspense) are cozy mysteries. Terror on Sunshine Boulevard could be considered a horror novel because you should not read it before bedtime. My latest release is my memoir, Arranging a Dream: A Memoir. Quite different from writing fiction!
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
I became more serious about my writing. I learned to set a time every day to write. Like keeping a doctor’s appointment. I kept that time block after lunch for working on my writing projects and made no other appointments or plans when possible.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
My red Mustang convertible. My author photo is one of me sitting in my beloved ‘stang—a gift from my husband 25 years ago.
What did you edit out of your books? (keep it family-friendly, please)
I saved deleted lines or paragraphs from my memoir on a separate sheet of paper in case I decided to add them back to the pages. As I look back through those lines and scenes, I think I deleted them because they were useless information having nothing to do with the storyline.
What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
My Kindle. I love it for reading books, using the highlighter to note information or lines I want to refer to later. I really appreciate the dictionary I can use as I am reading a story to click on a word for a definition.
What is your favorite childhood book?
Black Beauty. The plot of my first novel, written in seventh grade, was suspiciously similar to Black Beauty.
What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Editing. It is a long process having to go through the story many times. But it can be satisfying because I love slashing those long, awkward sentences out of the manuscript and replacing them with something better. I am thankful for Grammarly and the editor in Word that help writers to catch crazy typos and punctuation.
What is the easiest part of your writing process?
Dreaming up ideas.
A common misconception entwined with authors is that they are socially inept, how true is that?
That is stereotyping a group. We are all individuals and that’s what makes for different points of view in books we offer readers.
When did it dawn on you that you wanted to be an author?
Second grade. I had my mother for a teacher in a split classroom with second and third graders. I usually finished my assignments early so I would get up from my desk and visit with classmates. My mother did not like me doing that because it disrupted her teaching the third graders. So, I started writing stories and sharing them to keep out of trouble. I loved making my friends smile and laugh. I was hooked on storytelling.
Who are your biggest literary influences?
Mark Twain, Janet Evanovich and Jan Karon.
What’s your favorite movie which was based on a book? Why?
One for the Money is not my favorite movie, but it is a favorite book. I love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, but the actors chosen did not fit the picture in my mind of the characters in the book. Grandma Mazur was played by Debbie Reynolds whose wardrobe and make-up and stylish hairdo were not in line for the lady in the book.
How did it feel when your first book got published?
How did you celebrate?
I didn’t celebrate as at a party, balloons, cake, etc. It was just an ordinary day, except that inside of me, I was dancing.
What is that one thing you think readers generally don’t know about authors?
Most authors have full-time jobs so they have to fit in their writing projects as they can. If you are Stephen King or Debbie Macomber, writing is your full-time job.
When it comes to research for your books, are you a hunter or a gatherer? Talk about your research process.
I write the story first, then research the topic. For instance, Fremont, Michigan, is the international headquarters of the Gerber Baby Food Company. They had plant tours for many years, but I needed to know when they started and when they stopped, so I did the research much later after writing the paragraph.
Could you be housemates with your characters? Why or why not?
No, not with a murderer!!
What’s your typical writing routine or schedule?
I write every day after lunch for as long as the words flow when I am creating a book, fiction or non-fiction. But I do email and marketing throughout the day between laundry and meals, etc.
Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. How do you recharge?
I watch Netflix!
Do you prefer music or silence when you write?
Which celebrity would you choose to narrate your audiobook?
I would have to have a woman narrator. Diane Sawyer?
What well-known author, living or dead, do you wish could be your mentor?
He makes good points about society with a quick wit and catchy language.
What is your favorite of the six senses (touch, taste, smell, sound, sight, intuition) to write about, why?
Sight because I like to paint pictures of a scene so clearly that the reader can see it in her mind.
What is a favorite location you’ve written about?
Have you visited that place?
Yes, the places I’ve lived.
How did you choose which details to include?
All the quirks that make it a small town like one traffic signal, no street signs.
Travel back in time (without negative effects for you or the timeline) what year do you visit?
I love the clothes. (But probably not during the summer!)
What is something about your hero or villain that drove their character, but you didn’t specifically tell your reader?
I can’t recall not telling the reader anything.
Have you ever resuscitated a project you'd shelved?
What do the words “literary success” mean to you?
Being a guest on GMA.
How do you picture it?
Me, self-assured wearing a lovely outfit and make-up that shows no wrinkles, just fresh, smooth skin, conversing easily with the hosts as I wow the viewers with my insightful thoughts.
Can you tell us about your current projects?
I am presently on the Arranging a Dream Winter Virtual Book Tour. I love visiting bloggers and talking with readers. I will be planning another face-to-face tour once COVID is gone and we can get together again. Next, I will publish my inspiring non-fiction interactive eBook for middle-grade girls, Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women. I have updated the women’s interviews and added new material.
Any advice you would like to give to aspiring authors?
Sit down and write! Set a time every day to spend an uninterrupted 15 minutes to two hours or more and do it.
Please provide links and/or instructions about how readers can purchase signed copies of your books.
My author website has links to purchase my books. All my books are available at favorite online booksellers. Click http://jqrose.com to go to my site to find both the fiction novels and non-fiction books in print or eBook formats. Thank you.
You'll find some interesting stuff here... some Op Eds, some Information, Book Reviews, and More. Poke around the categories and see what ruffles your feathers... in a good way!