Welcome to Coffee Times Romance! Today’s interview is very special to me, both an honor and a privilege. Why? Because I was given the opportunity to interview a lady who took me under her “writer’s wing” when I first entered the world of e-publishing. We live a thousand miles apart and have yet to meet face to face, but we “talk” every day and she’s one of the best friends I have ever or will ever have. Please join me in welcoming Roseanne Dowell!
Roseanne, one of the first words that come to mind when I hear your name is “prolific”. How many books do you have out?
First, let me say thank you for the beautiful introduction. Seems like we’ve been friends forever. Hopefully, we’ll get to meet soon. Okay, how many books, last count I believe there were 16.
Your usual genre is sweet romance. And nobody does it better. They’re feisty, funny, and celebrate love and romance – which tends to happen in unexpected and strange circumstances. But Another Day is a little bit different. Tell us about it.
Basically, they’re all sweet romance, but a couple of them are a bit more spicy. Another Day isn’t what I’d call a romance. It’s more Women’s Fiction. Forty-two year old, Meg Baldwin, my heroine is feeling neglected by her husband, unneeded by her children. She married right out of college, never worked, but filled her days with her children and charity events. Now, the kids are in high school, involved with their own friends and activities and her husband is out of town on business a lot. She’s lonely, unfulfilled and looking for something different. Enter the sexy young guy next door who pays a lot of attention to Meg. Never one to act on impulse, she drinks too much one night and gives into temptation. Guilt-ridden and full of remorse the next morning, she vows to end it and prays her children and husband don’t find out. Unfortunately, the guy next door has other ideas. No one rejects him. He’s determined to continue the affair. It turns Meg’s life upside down.
Like your books, most of your heroines have some traits in common, I’ve found. Feisty, funny, independent. But just as Another Day is a little different for you, its heroine Meg Baldwin is too. Introduce us, why don’t you?
I pretty much did in the above paragraph. Meg’s responsible, reliable, and usually content with her life.
Do you have a personal favorite or two or three among your credits? And which one was the most fun to write?
Wow, which are my favorites. I think they’re all my favorites for different reasons. Another Day is my favorite because I stepped out of the box and wrote something totally different. Geriatric Rebels is my favorite because it reminds me of my parents (mostly my mother). I won’t go through the whole list. Pretty much they were all fun to write. Some easier than others. Some flowed better. Secrets, Lies, & Love took over two years to write because I was blocked. That’s the only one I outlined before I started. I’ll never do that again.
You already know Geriatric Rebels is one of my personal favorites. Because it’s absolute proof that just because you’ve grown older in years, it doesn’t have to mean you ever grew old in your heart. Now, I know I’m not the only budding writer to benefit from your generosity in sharing what you’ve learned through the years. In fact, you’ve actually taught several writing courses, haven’t you?
Yes, I taught a couple writing courses for seniors at our community college – which was great fun, and I teach several writing courses for Long Story Short School of Writing, http://www.lsswritingschool.com/ as well as working with individual writers.
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened in one of those classes?
Wow, funniest thing. Probably when I first started and tried to sit on the edge of the desk while I talked. You know, the way the teachers on TV do it and they look so cool. The desk moved and I almost fell on my butt. Caught myself just in time. Needless to say, I didn’t try to sit on the edge of the desk anymore. We all got a good chuckle out of it.
Oh, I can just see that! Now, quite honestly, when we first met, the thing that bowled me over with awe wasn’t your writing credentials. I hadn’t had time to actually find any of that out or read any of your books. It was the fact that you’d raised six children! And lived to tell about it! Woman of steel, tell us some of your secrets of survival? Please?
LOL Woman of Steel, huh? Actually, my brother-in-law said I ruled with an iron hand. I don’t know if they’re secrets or not. I always loved kids, always wanted a dozen. One thing I can’t abide is misbehaving children. Not active kids. I loved the activity, even the running through the house. We had wall to wall toys. That was okay. As long as they were laughing and having fun (and not tearing up the house) I enjoyed it. What I mean is rude kids who talk back and don’t listen. Oh, don’t get me wrong, my kids talked back (or tried to) they were kids, after all. And it wouldn’t have been normal if they hadn’t tried. And I even took it to a point. But by God, they were not going to be rude to their elders and they’d darn well better listen when they knew I meant it. Yeah, they knew how far to push me and praise God, none of them called my bluff. I’m not sure what I would have done. Don’t get me wrong, I spanked them, grounded them, whatever seemed appropriate at the time, but let’s face it, the older they got, well, spankings just didn’t work for a sixteen year old. Smack in the mouth, that’s different. But I tried hard not to do that. I knew the older they got the more resentment they built up from hitting and I didn’t and wouldn’t abuse my kids. A spanking was just that, with my hand and if my hand hurt, I knew I spanked too hard. Fortunately, the threat was usually enough. Even now, they laugh at how I’d snap my fingers or shake my fist (not to mention “The Look”) when I was on the phone and wanted them to settle down. I think the biggest thing with kids is to let them know they’re loved. If you want to call that a secret.
I’m sure you learned that from your own childhood. Because you’re from a big family, too, the next to youngest of six. And you’ve shared some absolutely wonderful stories about your mother with me. My favorite’s the “dancing with the turkey” story. Would you consider sharing that with the readers?
LOL Dancing with the turkey. Gosh, I miss my mother. Lord knows she’d be 102 if she was still alive. (Just lost an aunt 2 weeks ago who was 102). Anyway, my mother loved to cook and bake. I think she was happiest in the kitchen. Although she sang no matter what she did, laundry, cleaning, didn’t matter. She used to make up songs. Every Thanksgiving, she pulled that old bird out of the refrigerator to get him ready for the oven. She pulled the neck and stuff out of the inside, put it in a pot to boil so she could use the broth for the stuffing, and proceed to rinse and clean the turkey. Of course, she was singing while she did this, just like always. She’d pick up that bird (usually 20# or better) and swing him back and forth to the rhythm of her song, and we used to say she was dancing with the turkey. My sisters and I have carried on that tradition to this day. In fact, we call each other to see if we danced with the turkey yet. I even taught my kids, you have to dance with the turkey so it tastes good.
I love that story. I can see your mother dancing with the turkey now. And I really love it that you and your sisters carried it on and did/do it, too! So what’s coming up from Roseanne Dowell? I know you’ve got several works in progress and more sitting over in the corner brewing.
I’ve been working on a couple, one Deadbeat Dads (working title) another non romance, women’s fiction story and Ad Agency – not sure what you’d call it. Certainly not a romance, at least not at this point. I don’t think you’d call it Women’s Fiction either. But that one has a long way to go. I’m sort of blocked on Deadbeat Dads. I’m sure once I break free, it’ll flow again. Yes, there are several brewing. One about a character named Beatrice Lulu, a woman who insists everyone call her by her full name. That’s going to be a fun one.
I can’t wait for Beatrice Lulu! I was hoping you’d mention that one! Just from what you’ve shared about it with me, I know it’ll be hysterically funny and heartwarmingly real. And so readers, be on the look-out as this writer just keeps writing books to make us laugh and cry and remember our own romances! Roseanne, thank you so much for coming over to Coffee Times! I hope I gave the readers just a glimpse of the woman of wit and wisdom who helps me get through my days!
Gail, thank you so much for this interview and again, for such glowing words.
And until next time – we’ll keep the coffee brewing! See you soon!