Interview With Author J Rose Black
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Mother to two children and three dogs, Rose lives a technology-driven life in the Dallas suburbs. 3D printers whir away in her husband’s “printing room”, and she spends her day-job hours driving cyber security programs.
While I have written several novel-length fiction works over the years, even finaling in some national contests for my unpublished fiction (Chicago North RWA’s “Fire and Ice Contest”, TruTV’s “Next Great Crimewriter Contest”, and Negative Space’s “Women’s Comicbook Writing”), my publications (before now) have all been non-fiction: technical articles and whitepapers.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Vengefully Yours, publishing in mid-June, is a collection of romantic mystery / suspense short stories and novelettes. These are stories I’ve written over the years – between 2006 and 2022. I put this collection together because so many of us are short on time and trying to squeeze things we enjoy into small windows of free headspace. Each of these stories has fully-developed characters and just a taste of their worlds. But, they also give us flavors of some of our favorite tropes – protective, alpha men, forbidden love, second chance romance, enemies to lovers.
The six stories actually follow a set of romantic “beats”: meet, pine, reunite, protect, overcome. They’re arranged in that order, but stand alone and follow different couples in each one. The last story “A Fool to Hold You” – set in 1948 and written in a hardboiled detective style – contains all five beats.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
It’s not unusual, but I am a pantser. I often times will have not much of an idea what I’m sitting down to write – other than a single scene in my head. And then I grab some coffee, push some keys, and…write a lot of dialogue.
Scenes and characters come alive in my head as if I’m just sitting there, invisible, listening to other people talk. And I’m just taking dictation (this is how I get to “ugly first draft” status).
Just don’t tell anyone else that I hear voices in my head. I’ve been told that’s…bad.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I read everything growing up, so it’s really tough to say. Some of my all time favorites: Pride and Prejudice, The Three Musketeers (all 6 books), The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (series); A Wrinkle in Time (series). Nancy Drew anything (original books to teenaged version), Miss Marple, Poirot, the entire Sherlock Holmes compendium, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Time Machine (HG Wells), Martha Grimes Richard Jury novels, Dashiell Hammet, Raymond Chandler, Tolkien
What are you working on now?
So many things. It’s almost too much to think about. I’m working with a voice actor to finish recording the audio book version of Vengefully Yours. And I’ve started editing the first novel-length work I intend to publish (in September): Losing My Breath – a military romance / romantic comedy.
I’m also adapting a short science fiction story into a comic book script. And when I actually get some time to write, I’m trying to finish the third book in my military romance / science fiction – mystery trilogy: Walk Through Fire.
Oh, and querying agents on behalf of my award-winning (unpublished) hardboiled detective novel.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Honestly, I’m not sure yet. This is my first book and it’s still in a preorder status, so, I’m still finding out. I will say that the the Kindlepreneur folks have been great about publishing bits of useful advice. Also a shoutout to Rocket Expansion, their websites are amazing.
The authors at BookMojo have also been fantastic!
We can’t forget Vinny, though, here at Awesome Gang. He’s built a supportive community and it’s great to see new authors’ works in my inbox.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Hire a professional editor and be open to feedback. I hear “kill your darlings” a lot, but that gets taken a bit out of context. If you’ve been writing for a while, you likely have an instinct for what works/is working and what isn’t. If you haven’t, you need someone who does. Seek out betareaders, a Developmental editor, or both. Be prepared to rip your work apart and sew it back together – and don’t get discouraged (easier said than done).
It’s a process.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“Never Give Up.”
What are you reading now?
I’ve been reading a bunch of Indie novels by new(ish) authors going through their first launch. Also “Slave to Love” by the fabulous Nikita Black, “Lives of the Monster Gods” by Kirsten Bakis. And The Guest List by Lucy Foley.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m really looking forward to sharing Losing My Breath with people. I sat down to write a short, flirty story to a small prompt, and it ended up a (short) novel-length story that’s romantic and fun and it also has this “weight” to it. I’m not really sure where the plotline came from – about a modern day soldier dealing with the challenges of life after the military. But, it’s definitely an emotional ride.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Pride & Prejudice because I can read that one (and have) over and over. Sherlock Holmes, The Three Musketeers, and some short collection of erotica romances. I dunno, I’d have to cover all the bases, though. Science Fiction erotica? Is that a thing?
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