Today my guest is MuseItUp author J. Rose Knight, talking about her light mystery, Jeri Bittle.
1) Tell me a little about your book.
It is a light mystery about a Wyoming rancher’s wife.. An attempt on her life results in disclosure of her husband’s secret life. Her husband is murdered. She is determined to pay Rick’s debts and provide for her children. A deaf, mute sheepherder comes to her rescue and their lives entwine. He ends up back at the sheep ranch. I’m working on a sequel where their lives may join.
2) What gave you the idea for this particular story?
I really don’t know. I was born and raised on a ranch in South Dakota, and my sister married a rancher. Her life was not like my protagonist’s life. I have a big imagination.
3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
Neither. You might call me an occasional writer. When the mood hits. Sometimes in the night when I can’t sleep.
4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t know. My college professor told me that I was a natural writer and encouraged me, but I didn’t start writing until I retired from our family business.
5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
I hope they will be so taken by the situations in my story that they will forget their own problems. If my characters draw them in to their situation they can escape from their own at least for a while.
I don’t write for the highly educated and literary people, but rather for the average worker who comes home from work and reads to relax.
6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
I have written children’s stories, light mysteries, sizzling stories, memoirs, and stories about normal women during our times. Chick Lit I guess you could call it.
I prefer to write the stories about women who manage to overcome obstacles in their life.
7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
Finding the time to write. It seems the older one gets the faster time flies. I don’t write as much as I would like to. I take advantage of insomnia. No one bothers you at that hour.
8) Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
Perhaps the snowstorm. I know all about them.
9) How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
Nothing like me. I did not like the ranch life and wouldn’t date any ranchers.
10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
Mostly imagination and memories of ranch life. I did go on line to see about the oil rights. I didn’t get a clear answer. Fiction is fiction so I didn’t do a whole lot of research. My folks owned an old Malilbu so I didn’t have to go far to research them. I spent a summer on a Montana ranch helping my cousin adapt to her newly adopted twin two-year-olds. I got my ideas of one being dominate from that experience. At my age, with my genre I depend on my own experiences and that of children and grandchildren. I guess ‘I’ve been there, done that, to use a current cliché.
11) Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?
Not at all, I loved writing my story, Teri , published by Publish America. My protagonist was captured by a motorcycle gang on a lonely road. I used authentic language much to my children’s horror. They didn’t know I even knew such terrible words. I did write under my alias, J. Rose Knight, but their dad let the cat out of the bag.
12) What about your book makes it special?
It captures the reader’s attention right from the beginning. I think it has a good hook. My sub-plots are intriguing but don’t take away the true plot. I don’t use words that would send the average reader to the dictionary. (They may be reading in an environment that does not have access to one.)
13) What is your marketing plan?
I have had book signings for Teri without much success, but will try it for this one. I have a net-work of other authors here in town; we promote each other’s books. I’m on Facebook and have a blog. I participate in the musepub authors group. An interesting avenue is in February when a group of authors set up book signings at the Naked Man’s Bookstore in Quartzite AZ. He is very good at promoting books. Just don’t look down.
14) Where can people learn more about you and your work?
On Facebook, on my blog firstname.lastname@example.org
15) Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
Write from your heart. Let your imagination flow. Don’t get tangled up in some of the current ’rules’ (such as point of view, tags, etc.) Do refresh your basic grammar. Target your reader. I write for the average wage earner, If they can read at eighth grade, level they will be able to enjoy my books. I do not write for the intellectual who will read with the figurative red pencil in hand.
16) What’s in the future for you?
At my age that’s a good question. We have been retired for about twenty years and most our money is gone. I need to make some money or we may be in the poorhouse.
Seriously, I would like to sell some of my novels, so far I have made a few dollars for my anthologies, but Publish America makes you buy your books and sell them yourself. I think all my friends and relatives are proud owners of my book. I have written a series of stories about a retired couple. It was published monthly in a local advertising magazine. They didn’t pay me. They went out of business, and I can’t contact them. I have tried to get other papers to publish them, but so far no takers. I approached our local paper in November. I was told they would get back to me in January. Why do I feel they won’t? I fantasize about having an AP column like Erma Bombeck Strangers have told me they picked up the advertising magazine just to read my stories. This town is made up mostly of retirees. I think they would relate to Bea and Ben’s escapades. Long Story Short published my Halloween one.