Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
Although my latest book, Check Out Time, is a Mystery novel, I write in numerous genres. Depending on the story, my genre chooses me. It all depends on what genre will tell the story best.
Did you enjoy language arts in school? Did you have a teacher that particularly encouraged you to write?
When I was in public school, I actually failed language arts. When I transferred to a private school, I met some fantastic teachers. Thank you to everyone at Tinicum Art and Science: if it weren’t for you, I probably would have failed out of high school, too!
It’s five o’clock somewhere…Let’s have a drink! What cocktail best describes you and why?
You know what, I don’t know anymore. I quit drinking. Although, sometimes I want to start again—ha!
On my desk I have a rhino that my husband gave me to remind me I’m rhino-tough, as you have to be in the business. Is there anything you have that you use to remind you of that?
I have a framed photo of my father on my desk, next to my computer. Check Out Time is dedicated to him, and one of the main characters is based on him. Dad passed away in February, but I know that he was very proud of me—and still is. I’m still grieving, and maybe I always will be, but I feel as if he is always here to remind me that I am tough, and I can do anything I put my mind to.
I have two muses, Arwen and Bronwyn, they have very distinct personalities. Can you share a bit about your muse?
Well, you asked! His name is Frank, and he’s a spirit that I’ve been seeing for about five years now. I think he gives me ideas for stories when I need them, and I know that he’s always standing next to me when I’m writing.
It seems we all endured English and/or World literature coming up in high school…What was the worst book you were ever forced to read and what about it turned you off?
I never liked To Kill a Mockingbird, and I honestly can’t remember why. I’d like to read it again and see if I enjoy it any better.
You have a million dollars that you must donate to one charitable organization. Which one would you choose and why?
Habitat for Humanity: I barely afford my rent as it is, and there are so many people out there who have it worse than me. I would like to volunteer for Habitat one day, when I have more time.
Do you have one of those pesky day jobs, or are you a full-time writer? If you do have another career what do you do and do you enjoy it?
I do have a day job: I work in a library. I definitely love my job, although I will admit that I get bored sometimes. I am also going to school full time for Automotive. I enjoy working with my hands, and I love the smell of engine grease. I would like to own my own repair shop someday, like Roy Vogler in Check Out Time.
Due to the world we live in, most editors will tell a romance writer they have the moral obligation to protect their characters from scary life altering things, thereby being obligated to the reader. What are your thoughts on this? Do you protect your characters and how?
Hmm—if I didn’t mention it before, I am an editor. I work for several small publishers, and I also freelance on the side. I do edit Romance novels, and I will be blunt and say that I have never heard anything so silly. As an editor and a reader, I will reiterate the old adage “write what you know.” Life is scary, and I wouldn’t want to read a book that didn’t have some kind of conflict in it. Romance centers around relationships, and relationships are seldom perfect. If we can’t protect ourselves from life-changed events, why should we protect our characters? I love a good happy ending, and I believe that life is rife with happiness, but I also believe that life is a balance of good and bad, light and dark, love and hate, as well as the many shades in between. I am obligated to tell a good story. But I am not obligated to pretend that life does not have its many challenges, heartbreaks, and victories.
I’ve been asked, as has my husband, if we do “all that stuff in my stories.” Do you get asked this and if so how do you handle it?
Check Out Time is primarily a Mystery novel, with a little Romance thrown in. I’ve never been asked about that subject; more commonly, I am asked about the publishing process. There is some sex in my stories, but not a whole lot. In Check Out Time, there is very little mention of sex, because the main character is just delving into the dating scene, and she’s quite nervous. I’m a tad old-fashioned, and I tend to blush when people do bring it up. My guidelines for sex in a novel are as follows: I don’t like to go overboard, and I only include it if it is pertinent to the plotline. If you could see me now, you would see that I am blushing, and giggling to myself. (Yes, just like a little schoolgirl!)
I had an editor early on that showed me the way…have you had anyone in particular that gave you a gentle **ahem** nudge in the right direction? How did they do that and how did you react?
I learned a lot about the more professional side of writing from my History teacher at Tinicum Art and Science, Duncan. My Poetry teacher, Matt, also helped me to broaden my horizons. Because of my wonderful teachers in high school, I was introduced to writers, editors, and publishers, and was able to intern with the Bucks County Writer (now out of print). That’s how I got into the publishing business, and that’s how I became an editor. I also learned a lot from my first editor, Raquel, a very wonderful and talented woman. I am so lucky to know such amazing people!
Wine or beer?
Well, if I still drank, I suppose I would choose beer!
Well, if I still drank, I suppose I would choose beer!
Satin or cotton?
Cotton . . . It breathes!
Fries or tots?
Please, don’t make me hungrier than I already am . . . .
Cake or pie?
Pie. But I suppose I could have my cake (and pie) and eat it, too.
Steak or burgers?
Vegetarian Editor alert!Candle light or pitch dark?
Candle light, please. You can’t have a romantic dinner without candlelight, after all.
Rosa Sophia is the author of the Paranormal Mystery Taking 1960. She currently resides in south Florida. Please visit her at: www.rosasophia.com
A short excerpt:
Naomi blushed. “Nothing.”