Saturday, December 8, 2012

#SaturdaySpotlight is on author Rose Anderson!

Hello vixens! I'm excited to welcome back to my blogs a friend and fellow author, Rose Anderson. Many of you may recall that Rose was one of the very first friends I made as a newly published author with Siren Bookstrand. She was also the sweetheart who turned me onto making my own video trailers. I've had nothing but fun ever since! 

While you all get settled in with your favorite beverage of the day, I'll go ahead and ask Rose to join us out here and tell us a bit more about herself.  Come on out Rose!

Thanks for having me today! I’d like to begin by saying how much I’ve enjoyed your questions. Interviews typically ask questions about things that aren’t exactly front and center in my mind, so it’s curious just where the answers come from. Simply put, sometimes we don’t know ourselves as well as we think we do! I always gain a smidge of insight and self-reflection. If anyone has questions or comments, please add them. I’ll be back throughout the day to reply.

What inspires you to write?
I’m an information hound with a healthy sense of childlike wonder. I believe those two elements are my overriding inspiration. Because I love to learn, I find all manner of interesting things to feed my imagination. Strange to say but a very true visual, if you’ve ever seen the Harry Potter movie where the evil Voldemort materializes out of inky ribbons of smoke, that’s sort of like what happens to me. Occasionally a thought will seize me and before I know it, a story forms around it.  If I’m lucky I’ll be sitting in front of my computer when it happens. I’ve learned to keep an idea book in my purse for emergencies. :) 

Do your stories tend to be character driven or plot driven? 
I can’t really say if character or plot holds the reins exclusively. I just start walking into the tale and keep writing until it tells me to wrap it up. In what can only a metaphysical sort of way, my characters come into being and manifest the world around them. Most times they write themselves and I just listen to how they want me to color in their world. Hmm… I’m either an eavesdropper or a voyeur! When the characters tell me their thoughts, I get a grasp on how they’ll interact with one another. Before you know it, stressors come in from the sidelines and they must react. (I find I enjoy being the giant that gives the snow globe a shake now and then). 

Do you listen to music while writing? What kinds of music work best for you? Do different types of music help you for different types of scenes?
To combat shyness, I got myself a two semester stint as a DJ back in college so I love just about all kinds of music. (Long story) My favorite anytime writing music would be Celtic instrumentals and American bluegrass. While working on my as yet unpublished series, I delved into the traditional music of Brittany. Great tunes there. Lately I’ve been into ambient music – that benign new-agey instrumental stuff. When writing The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo, I listened to Native American flute and drum music while composing my ancient Native American shaman’s flashbacks. It added a nice element to the creation process. 

Tell us about the different types of characters you like to write about? Why are these types so appealing to you? 
I really enjoy writing the anti-damsel-in-distress – women who accurately portray strong resilient women as we really are, and not the simpering I’d-rather-die than be without him females. Give me a Hermione over a Bella any day. The hero wants to share my heroine’s life because she’s intelligent, witty, and capable. Not because he has to rescue her butt at every turn. I think rescuing would get really old for the guy after a while. On the other side, my heroes know a good thing when they find it. My guys are confident and sharp, like they walk through their world knowing exactly who they are. Above everything else, they’re classy. When they find love, my hero and heroine come together as equals. 

Now for bad guys…I love writing evil, and not just evil for evil’s sake. All of my bad guys don’t believe they’re evil. They’re sociopaths by the very definition of the word, and are only interested in their personal needs and desires without concern for the effects of their goals and behavior on others. But the best thing is, as dark as they are they still have solid relatable personalities with very real human foibles. They’re the kind you love to hate. The kind you cheer when they get what’s coming to them. :)

In what ways are your characters like you? In what ways are your characters not like you?
You’d have to read that last paragraph! They’re all me. The difference is I don’t follow through on the bad guy stuff. Hmm…I wonder… :) Seriously, in my non-fiction world I’m uncomfortably shy. In print I’m not. I’ve never written a painfully shy woman or girl and I don’t think I ever will. In that respect, I live through my characters. 

What are the recurring core issues in your stories? Why do you think you are drawn to these types of characters/plots again and again?
Opposites as far as core issues go. I love writing the classic light vs. dark/ good vs. evil scenario with twists on a theme. Writing conflicts where right triumphs over wrong is the best thing about creating literary worlds. Authors have control over weighty issues and are able to change negative situations to positive outcomes. The real world doesn’t always allow for that. I get frustrated by things in life – environmental issues, political garbage, societal woes and ills. In my fictional worlds, where my god complex shines, I can virtually eliminate them. So I do!

I’m a very detail-oriented person so I love the challenge of making impossible concepts possible and implausible scenarios plausible, especially in conflicts between good and evil. In Hermes Online there wasn’t evil but there was darkness to overcome. In Dreamscape the impossible needed to be possible because what future can one have loving a ghost? In Loving Leonardo there’s prejudice vs. tolerance. In The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo there’s hopelessness vs. hope. You can’t have the good without the bad to contrast it with. You can’t have the light without darkness, because darkness makes you appreciate the light more. I think I’m drawn to writing the opposites because life needs balance.

Now to delve into the details of Rose The Reader. What are your favorite fiction genres to read from? 
I enjoy historical fiction and love historical romances with a time travel element where the hero or heroine is thrust into otherwise foreign scenarios and must adapt. And well-written historicals are wonderful when the author gives details: sights and smells, mores and attitudes, language and outlooks, clothing and accoutrements, etc. I enjoy that total brain immersion. I also enjoy mysteries.

What kinds of stories are your comfort reads when you are sick or feeling low?
Harry Potter from the first to the last. Do film adaptations of Jane Austen count?
I do believe they do, Rose but I'll have to check the comfort reads rule book on that one to be sure. ;)

Who is your favorite all time heroine? Why do they resonate so well with you?
I’d have to say it’s a toss-up between Jane Eyre and Claire from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. It’s that strong female I spoke of. They get dealt cards that would make a lesser person crumble, yet they play those cards with aplomb. 

Who is your favorite all time hero? Why do they resonate so well with you?
I have to say since reading Diana Gabaldon’s Jamie, he’s the hero that all others are compared with. She’s written her hero with such depth, and with full facets of humanity, she made him unforgettable. At least unforgettable to me. Then again, the fan sites dedicated to Diana Gabaldon’s characters say I’m not alone in that assessment. I’ve written a family of men with that kind of depth and will return to that story when I’ve finished my last erotic romance. One day I hope this family will move readers the same way Jamie Frasier moves me. 

Now let's switch gears again and talk about you personally. What inspires you and why?
Describing this is tricky. The inspiration can be something my mind has absorbed – a sight, scent, texture, sound, color, concept…everything has potential to set my gears in motion. I’m happy to say I emerged from the gene pool blessed with a measure of creativity. The muse whispering to my mind is constantly thinking up images for my hands give form to. That form could be tangible like a molded clay figure or a sketch, or as in the case of words I type out on my laptop, ephemeral. When the Muse finally releases me from her grasp, my mind can move on to the next thought, the next blob of clay, the next story waiting in the wings. I guess I’m a thought-creator with a gnawing drive to manifest some thought into reality. 

Besides reading and writing, what activities do you enjoy in your leisure time? 
Oh gosh where to start, I’m a dabbler from the word go. I regularly get involved in off the wall things. As I mentioned above, I’m a ravenous info hound and much of my leisure time is taken up by feeding that. As far as activities go, I’m a world drummer, that is, I drum with a group of friends using drums and rhythms from all over the world. We’re so in sync to where we inexplicably all stop at once without prompting, we toy with the idea of actually making Cd’s. I’m a master level Reiki practitioner, and an old style copper-rod dowser. I’m fascinated by philosophy and world religions, as well as by labyrinths and earth energies (goes with dowsing). I’m also a wilderness canoeist and there was a time I even got into spelunking (cave exploration). Reading these now, I’m afraid there are too many interests to list here without boring the heck out of people. Suffice to say, I like trying new things that test and stretch me as a person. I’ll try just about anyone once. :)

In one or two sentences, give the core premise behind your story.
Upon discovering the grave he’s sworn to watch over for all eternity has been destroyed, an immortal Native American shaman seeks to end his life. But fate steps in and he finds a new world filled with love and happiness, unaware that an old menace makes plans to steal it all away; exactly as he had 3000 years before.

When and where does your book take place?
In the state of Wisconsin in Midwestern USA.
Oh! the Midwest. You know how I love that part of the country.

How does the time and setting weave into the plot and persona of the characters?
Wisconsin was once covered in ancient Native American burial and effigy mounds. My husband and I took the Great Mound Tour (a self-guided driving tour) across the state and into Iowa, and I saw these effigies and burials for myself, what was left of them. Sadly most of them are gone now – just a handful remains of the 10,000 or so that were once there. Because I live nearby, the characters, manner of speech, and places mentioned in my story are typical to the area. 

Who is the heroine? 
Dr. Olivia “Livie” Rosalini. She’s a veterinarian.

What drives her?
A kind heart and her love of animals
Hmm...this is sounding a bit close to home. ;)

What is she running away from (literally or figuratively)?
Nothing really. 

What obstacles will she encounter in this story?
She runs over a wolfish-looking dog with her car one dark night, and doesn’t realize her patient is a 3000 year old shaman in his shape-shifted form.
LOL! Sorry to giggle about this but up until the shape-shifter part, you were starting to give me a sense of deja vu. Since I'm a veterinarian, who is from the Midwest (Michigan) and my hubby is a shaman. Hmmm...maybe I should watch the hubby a bit closer during the full moon? ;)

What draws her to the hero in this story? What gives her that push away from him?
There’s no real push away from him, but when she finally meets him as his human self, she’s drawn to his way with animals… and to something else I’m not at liberty to say. ;)
You are such a tease, Ms. Anderson!

What does she need to learn to make the happy ending possible?
It’s really more Ash’s story than Livie’s. He needs to learn to forgive himself and move on. 3000 years is a long time to hold grief in your heart.

What about her will make readers sympathetic to her?
This really concerns Ash again. Readers will watch him try to assimilate, and that takes a lot of effort. It’s not the Stone Age anymore.

Who is the hero? 
Ash, my 3000 year old shaman. 

What drives him?
His pure heart that stays true to his spiritual calling.

What is he running away from (literally or figuratively)? 
Ash feels responsible for his wife’s murder. This heavy pain spurred him to request an immortal life from the Sky Father that he might be able to watch over her burial mound for eternity.

What obstacles will he encounter in this story?
He’s watched his world disappear only to be replaced by another. He’s watched that new culture change into one with seemingly little regard for sacred things. When his wife’s burial mound is destroyed by the forces of modern progress, he seeks to end his life. It doesn’t quite go as planned. By necessity he tries to adapt to a new world vastly different from the old.

What draws him to the heroine in this story? What gives him that push away from her?
The fact that she tried so hard to help him struck a chord in his heart. He in turn finds renewed purpose helping her. No push away, though initially all he can think of is his failure and suicide. 

What does he need to learn to make the happy ending possible?
It’s more how can he keep his new love and friends safe from an old menace; the same man who murdered his family 3000 years before.

What makes this hero infuriating to the heroine, if anything?
Nothing. Livie thinks he’s odd but very nice.

What makes this hero hot and lovable?
Ash has a raw animalistic quality to him. You pick up a few things living in the bodies of animals for millennia. :)  

What about him will make readers sympathetic to him?
His pure and kind heart, and the fact he was wronged so completely when his wife and child were murdered. That set in motion eons of solitude.

Is the oppositional force in this story more external or internal or a little of both?
External. It comes in the form of Eluwilussit. 

Is there a villain? Who is he? What’s he like? Why is he/she the way they are? What motivates him/her to cause oppositional force to the characters? Without giving any spoilers, can you give a hint as to what sort of opposition he/she gives to the main characters?
Eluwilussit aka Eli White, himself an ancient shaman with an unusual shape-shifting ability, is an anything goes kind of guy – that is anything that can get him what he wants is okay, even if that means murder. He holds Ash responsible for things that he himself brought into being. Eli is a sociopath in the truest sense.

What is the theme at the heart of your story?
Sometimes letting go is necessary to moving on.
Amen to that!

What message do you hope readers take away from this story?  
That we are more than our skin and bones.

Will these characters show up in other books in this series?  How many books to you anticipate will be in this series?
It’s a two-part series involving all the same players and I have no plans to write more once the tale is told.

What are you working on now? What’s coming soon?
Loving Leonardo – The Quest. It’s the second part in a two-part story.
Here’s the blurb for book one. The same players finish their story.

Bound by limits dictated by society, Art Historian Nicolas Halstead lived a guarded life until a tempest in the form of Elenora Schwaab blew into his world. At first Nicolas can’t decide if the audacious American is simply mad or plotting blackmail for not only does she declare knowledge of his homosexuality, she offers him a marriage proposal.

After Ellie tells him of a previously unknown work of Leonardo da Vinci, a book of erotic love poems and sketches dedicated to the artist’s long-time lover Salai, Nicolas joins her in a race to save the book from destruction. Along the way they encounter Historian Luca Franco and discover a comfortable compatibility that comes to redefine their long-held notions of love. The trio embarks on an adventure of sensual discovery, intrigue, and danger. Little do they know Leonardo da Vinci’s book is far more than meets the eye.

The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo coming soon to paperback, and available now in Kindle on The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo 

Any parting words for our visitors and fans?
Always remember...Love Awaits in Unexpected Places!

Now that's a perfect way to end this interview. Thank you once again for visiting with us, Rose. We look forward to you stopping in again when your next book is released, or if you just want to chat a bit!  For those of you who want to know more about Rose and her writings, here are the links to enter into her world. As always, keep reading and enjoy all that life has to offer!


  1. Thanks for having me Tammy! You'll get a kick out of this. I started this novel right around the time we met, and at that time you had a family member with health issues. We got to chatting and you mentioned you were a vet. My Muse liked that. The next thing I know, I'm writing Dr. Olivia Rosalini. So yeah, that character in the story became gainfully employed because of you. I hadn't thought of that in a while. :) I hope I created Livie and the Redleaf Animal Hospital up to professional standards.

    And yes, that was a Freudian "I'll try anyone once" LOL.

    Yes, do watch your shaman. You never know....

    1. LOL! Well, I'm happy to be an inspiration to you as you have been to me. I truly believe we cross paths with specific people for a reason. You and I are proof positive of that. ;)

      I've been keeping a very close eye on Liam. He's getting suspicious. LOL