Wednesday, January 9, 2013

J. Q. Rose, Girls Succeed, plus #giveaway

Big thank you for letting me visit with you and your readers today, Penny!! I love spotlighting this book about so many remarkable, contemporary women.

BOOK TITLE:  Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women
BUY LINK:  Amazon Link
GIVEAWAY?:Yes!!  Be sure to leave contact information when you comment to be entered into the drawing for a free copy of Girls Succeed.

Please tell me how long you've been writing, and why you decided to become a writer.

Already penning stories in second grade, I advanced to writing a “novel” in seventh grade about a horse. My grandmother, Ma, typed it all up into a manuscript and I was hooked on writing. It was (and is) so fun to create worlds and characters to play in.  I wrote poems all my life, but never turned to writing articles until after we sold our floral and greenhouse business in 1995. The kind editor of our regional newspaper agreed to take a look at articles I wrote for the paper. To my surprise, he actually published them!! From there I wrote feature articles published in newspapers, e-zines, and magazines. 

I enjoyed freelance writing, but, looking for something different, I decided to try fiction. Much to my amazement and wonder, MuseIt Up Publishing accepted my first mystery novella, Sunshine Boulevard, in 2010 (and I should mention another mystery which will be released in February 2013, Coda to Murder.) For Girls Succeed I returned to my first love of interviewing people for articles.

Are you a full-time writer or a part-time writer, and how do you organize your writing time?

My days are filled with writing and promoting and I have no other day job, so does that qualify me as a full-time writer? I also teach classes on creative writing and writing life stories. 

Organize is the operative word here, I think. The only organization in my daily routine is to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner ready on time for my hubby. I really have no strict schedule for writing. The only thing I do every morning is check my emails and answer them and of course, get on Facebook!

What influences your writing?

My personal experiences. The stories I write are based on my life experiences, actual news stories, and folks I know. Of course I have to add a lot of imagination and some spice since my life is definitely not like the fiction I write….

Is this your first published work?  What other types of writing have you done?

Girls Succeed is the first children’s project I have published. I do have two mysteries published by MuseIt Up Publishing and many articles in newspapers, magazines, and e-zines.

Why did you choose to write a children's story?

The stories shared by the successful women in Girls Succeed will inspire and empower girls to dream big and work hard to make their dreams come true.

What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book?

My first idea for this book sprouted back in 2006 after I had met and worked with the counselors and campers at a girls’ summer residence camp in Michigan, Camp Newaygo. The girls/young women were so smart and had so much potential. I hoped they wouldn’t lose that energy and dreams they had for their futures.
This spurred me into writing about women who were successful in achieving their dreams. They could be guides to young women looking for inspiration to keep working toward their own personal goals. 
I began my quest for outstanding women in their field by researching at the library. I made a list in MS Office Excel of all the areas I would like to include like arts, entertainment, science, business, athletics, and so on and filled in the spreadsheet with their names and mailing addresses. I designed a really cute letterhead, if I say so myself, and toiled over writing a cover letter that would stir them to want to be included in the project.  I sent a matching post card for them to return with boxes to check indicating they were interested, not interested, or wanted more information. 
I was thrilled when the postcards began returning to me in the mail with checkmarks in the boxes for “interested.” I immediately sent the respondents a page of questions to return to me and then I called each one for an interview. Yes, complete strangers who were in the project simply because they wanted to inspire girls. Amazing.
After I put together the interviews, my crit group read the stories. I sent sample stories to three different teachers who shared them with their classes and a Girl Scout troop. I learned a LOT from the feedback from the girls who read the stories. All helpful and very honest.

I began querying book publishers in 2008. Yes, I had stars in my eyes. Who wouldn’t want my fantastic book? I received lots of compliments, but of course, the usual rejections because they weren’t looking for this kind of book. I was rejected also because I had no “nationally known” people like Miley Cyrus in the book.  I didn’t want celebrities. I wanted girls to read about real, contemporary women who were wonderful role models.

When I envisioned this project in 2006, I designed it to include resources for girls to learn more about careers which interested them. Not only did I want to include books, magazines, and articles, I also wanted to include live links to websites on the Internet with updated information just a click away for the reader. Unfortunately I was a bit ahead of my time…!! Now my dream has come true to include hyperlinks in the e-book, so the reader has access to loads of resources for them to learn all about the woman interviewed and her career. When a girl is interested in dressage competition or seeing an athlete in action, she can click on the link and go to the site. That’s why this book is an e-book rather than in print. 

What are your thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing?

I love being with a traditional publisher because we have a great group of authors who help each other out. In self-publishing I feel like I am a little duck in a big puddle all by myself, so I am grateful that I met folks along the way with the traditional publishing experience. You need networking to get the word out about your book whether traditionally or self published. 

What is your marketing strategy?

  • I created a virtual book tour and visited several author’s sites to shout to the world about the book. 
  • I opened a blog for the Girls Succeed book and I also have my J.Q. Rose blog to keep folks up to date on the books. 
  • I have given free copies to friends who I hope will take time to rate and/or review it. 
  • I gave free books to the women featured in the book and encouraged them to tell all their friends. 
  • I am working on press releasse to send to the local papers in locations where the women live and work. 
  • I would like to do school visits and talk to home-schoolers too. 
  • I will have a FREE Study Guide available in January.

What are your thoughts about children's writers needing an agent or not needing one?

Getting an agent is a Catch 22. The agent isn’t interested in you if you have no published works and you cannot get published by the major publishers without an agent. You don’t need an agent to be published by small presses.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

Connect with J.Q. Rose online at
Author website

Do you have any tips for writers who are new to children's literature?

Before you submit your story, let parents and children read it. Get their reaction and feedback.

Please give us a brief synopsis or excerpt from your current book and when and where it will be available.

Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women is an interactive e-book filled with stories of fifteen remarkable women and their work. It is not a dry accounting of their careers, but an exploration of how they chose the path to success in their chosen occupation. Some, like girls who will be reading the book, knew when they were growing up they dreamed of being a doctor, a horsewoman, an athlete, a writer, or horticulturalist. Others, specifically a chef, an entrepreneur, and semi-truck driver, discovered success in their careers later in life. But the one key component in each of their stories is their passion. 
How many readers of this blog chose their occupations because of their passion? 
Girls Succeed is available now at these links and major online booksellers.

Video This is on, not a You Tube video, so I don’t know if you can use it on the blog.


  1. Penny, thanks for having me on your writing blog. Looking forward to readers hearing about Girls Succeed!

  2. Janet, as always a pleasure to host you. Thanks for sharing this inspiring information for girls.

  3. Janet, you should approach the City Admin in your area and see about having your book distributed to Women's shelters and anywhere there are programs for young women trying to get their lives back. What a terrific tool of inspiration.

    Bravo to you!

    Hi, Penny!

  4. Thanks, Joylene. That is a good idea, but so far, the book is not in print. Only e-book because it has active links for resources on the web. I have had requests for print, so we'll see if that happens.

  5. Hi, Penny, sorry -- no way to leave a comment at your invitational extravaganza. Hope it went well.

  6. Hi John, since I'm not sure to which invitational extravaganza you are referring, it's not a problem. Dang it's no fun getting old and forgetting things...

  7. I just noticed all my posts came out in my other name. Believe me, Janet Glaser is J.Q. Rose. Thanks, Penny!!

  8. Janet, sorry for the confusion on your name for any other posts! Do we have a winner for your book?

  9. Congratulations to Joylene, the winner of the free copy of Girls Succeed!