Good morning and Happy June!
The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful - love this line from the Jimmy Buffett song! Turns it all on its head.
Today we have a romance writer, Rose Walken.
Rose is a romantic fiction author who writes contemporary romance, supernatural romance, and romantic suspense stories. Her debut novel in the Emerald Raven series, The Raven’s Call, hit #1 New Release in Intelligence & Espionage on Amazon.
Writing was an early calling, but her career took her on a winding path from a decade spent as a horticulturist to another working as an international corporate accountant. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Maryland school system, living dual lives as an accountant by day and author by night. She now writes full time, makes spreadsheets for anything trackable (an incurable side effect, it seems), and amazes her children with botanical insights.
Reboots – a great idea or a lack of creativity? Humans prefer some familiarity along with their innovation. Reboots offer a chance to bring new audiences to some wonderful classic stories...often with a cool twist or two. However, I will always advocate for stretching the bounds of creativity. Bring on the uncharted!
Coffee, tea, or cacao? Coffee, athough I’ve switched to decaf in recent years.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? Ideas spring from everyday life, random thoughts/memories, and dreams. I gather information for my stories from lived experiences and research. I also love interviewing people who have gone through experiences that I have not!
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I can write in loud, crowded rooms as long as the people surrounding me aren’t dependent upon me for their care. It is the same with reading. Everything else just fades away as the story or my characters take center stage.
When did you write your first book and how old were you? I wrote a book about magical creatures when I was somewhere between 7-9 years old. I was inspired to write it after reading a gorgeously illustrated unicorn book that I (sadly) can no longer remember the name of.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? How instinctual timing and structure becomes after writing the first couple of stories.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? Three novels and an additional combined edition in a spy romance series (Emerald Raven series), a Cinderella retelling, a rom-com novella, and a vampire suspense romance in serialized fiction form. There are no favorites, only a deep appreciation for the chance to tell each story.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to run away with the wild horses. Now, writing in a simple cottage in the woods would do.
What is the first book that made you cry?
I’m not sure that it was the first, but I remember crying over one of the Black Stallion novels by Walter Farley.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Energizes and thrills. Releasing the story causes temporary exhaustion and an odd desire to hide under the covers.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
If it is big enough to blind a writer to inner doubts and outside negativity, then it can help. If not, I imagine it is like a nightmare you have to be shaken very hard to wake up from. Only, no one is there to help you.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I do write under a pseudonym and will likely write under more. There are a few projects that have surprised me by how far they’ve veered from my romantic fiction stories. And if I’m surprised, I can only imagine how my readers will feel. However, I believe that romance and suspense are consistent themes that I will continue writing for a long time.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Love yourself as much as you love others. If it helps you to think of it this way, then imagine self-care as keeping you healthy so you can love others longer, too.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
To editors. Bless them all.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
In elementary school, when I argued with my English teacher about whether swear words were bad. I was a bit defiant then, and told her that words should not be considered ‘bad’ just because someone tells you they are. She explained that language is universally important and that using the wrong words could promote misunderstandings, damage someone’s credibility, and even start wars. It was an important early lesson.
Do you write novels, novellas, short stories, episodic fiction, poems, screenplays, or something else? What is your preferred format?
Novels, episodic fiction, novellas, and poems (yet to be published.) I don’t have a preference because each story directs itself toward its proper form. My job is to act as a conduit and trust it knows where its going.
What do you have coming next?
Releasing in September of 2023, Sinder is a Cinderella retelling with a bit of a twist: Sinder is a man!
In the realm of Gailleth, Sinder St. Ayers, the true heir to the second largest kingdom, is thrust into a precarious position when his power-hungry stepmother challenges his legitimacy. With his brothers under her influence and vying for the ducal throne, Sinder's only hope to protect their people lies in winning the hand of the future ruler of the neighboring, and most powerful, kingdom. But to do so, he must abandon his simple life as a blacksmith.
Princess Henrietta Charmant faces her own challenges as she seeks a suitable mate during the Ascension festivities to secure her throne. A chance encounter with the humble Lord St. Ayers sparks a connection that goes beyond mere kindness, compelling her to assist him in his quest to reclaim his ancestral lands and title.
As Sinder and Henrietta join forces and embark on a daring plan, they face formidable adversaries who seek to thwart their ambitions. Meanwhile, a shadowy kingdom, bent on revenge, inches closer, ready to unleash its wrath upon them all.
Jingle Belles: Charlie is the second novella in the holiday rom-com Jingle Belles series. Each book follows one of three singles (Raechel, Charlie, and Stella) who are ready to mingle at a company holiday party. Things go hilariously wrong...until each of them lands in the arms of their very own Mr. Right. Arriving in November of 2023. Check out Jingle Belles: Raechel, available in digital format in the Kindle Store, for an introduction into their world!
The Shadow’s Pall is the fourth installment of the Emerald Raven series and follows Raven’s sister, Ana, as she seeks to heal from recent trauma by unmasking the shadow leader of a large crime ring responsible for her pain. Releasing in the spring of 2024.
Shooting Philippe a wink behind Lord St. Ayers’s back as they spun toward the Countess, Prin stumbled. Immediately, she was caught and steadied in a strong grip.
“Thank you, Lord St. Ayers, I’m not usually so clumsy,” Prin trilled, lifting her eyes to his.
The heat radiating from his stormy greys threatened to cause another misstep.
“I’m happy to be of assistance, Princess Charmant. In fact, I’m happy to offer my protection in any form you may need it.”
Prin’s mouth dropped open. The cheekiness of the big oaf!
Before she could offer the scathing reply his invitation warranted, he continued, “It seems we’ve drawn some attention. Just say the word and I’ll be happy to escort you somewhere less crowded.”
Her eyes narrowed. Wait, they’d drawn attention? Tearing her gaze from his, Prin found herself staring into a sea of curious onlookers. He was right, which meant the nobleman wasn’t propositioning her; he was offering her a refuge from the gossipmongers. Her anger dissolved in an instant.
The ballroom shrunk as everyone moved to the center of the floor, surrounding them. Women whispered in the ears of their companions before catching the princess’s look and abruptly ending their conversations.
Determined to give them a reason to whisper, Prin directed the full weight of her most practiced grin toward the tense man beside her. “So we have! But, as most of them have known me since I was in my cradle, I’d wager it is you who fascinates them, Lord St. Ayers.”
“Do you do that often, Princess?” His mouth twitched.
“Wager on things you aren’t certain of?”
His tone was light, but there was a glint in his eyes that caused her breath to hitch. It was if he’d peered into the depths of her and unearthed the secrets she had long guarded from the world.
Discomfited, Prin tilted her head, masking her uncertainty behind a bold smile. “Only one way to find out, Lord St. Ayers.”