Welcome to Coffee Time Romance, Rosemarie. Why don't you start by telling us something about yourself?
Thank you for having me on Coffee Time Romance, Lori. Let’s see a little about myself…Well, this is where I tell you something inside my bio, but instead I’ll just say, I’m a single mom with two little crazies. My boys are 5 & 8. They like to call 9-1-1 on each other. I have 3 cats and a mouse that’s still alive. I’m very single at the moment. There are a lot of fish in the sea, but I’m looking for a mammal. And the bio stuff----I’m a fire department secretary for a department located in the western suburbs of Chicago. I’m on the executive board of the Authors Marketing Group. It’s where authors come together to network. And I’m a member of the Two Rivers Chapter IAAP which stands for Illinois Association of Administrative Professionals. My first book Falling Roses was published in July of 2005 and its sequel Falling Roses: The Years Between will be out this summer. I can’t wait!
Tell us where you got the idea for your book, Falling Roses.
I got the idea for Falling Roses when I was a teenager actually. What would be the best way to meet my favorite celebrity? If I was hit by a car, in a coma, and he showed up beside me in the children’s ward. I thought it was a better way than how Priscilla met Elvis. Throughout the years though, the characters took on a whole life of their own. Gabrielle kept getting into trouble due to the evil Bernadette. The teenager that I envisioned in my head didn’t look like me, didn’t talk like me. Gabrielle was never me. A movie of Johnny and Bobbie’s life kept playing in my head. While the movie played I wrote it all down on paper. I wrote the basic idea of what was happening in their lives when I was in study hall in high school and then completely overhauled the story a few years ago, which was 14 years later.
You sound as though you truly connected with your main female character, Gabrielle. After reading your book, I felt she leapt off the pages. Tell me about this connection, and why she is so important to you.
Gabrielle also known as Bobbie is more than important to me. Our connection is very difficult to describe. It’s back to that movie that continued to play in my head. I was with her when she was hit by the car. I was with her when she was in a coma, when she had her babies, and when she was kidnapped---twice. I’ve been through every experience that she has been through----in my head of course. At the end of Falling Roses I cried as if I was feeling her pain as well as her daughter’s while my fingers continued to type. I know this sounds completely crazy. Maybe other people who write feel the same way about their characters. I guess it’s a good thing though that they don’t talk to me and they talk to each other. Again, only I could see this movie and I wanted others to feel her life and to feel the same things I did. I wanted Gabrielle to come out of this world in my head and I wanted to allow others to see her life too. If that makes sense?
Your character, Johnny Ravolie (yummy man that he is), where did you get your inspiration from? Is he based on your own favorite celebrity or was he from the heart?
Johnny is a weird character actually, because he doesn’t come to visit me as much as Gabrielle does. He’s not based on anyone that I know. His decisions were never the greatest. I wouldn’t want any one of my favorite celebrities shot, hit in the kneecap with a baseball bat, or tortured for that matter by an ex-girlfriend. I do think that I got his last name from a can of Raviolie. Gabrielle’s last name Newtonendie came from a Fig Newton.
Having a degree in Criminal Justice must help in your writing. Do you stick with what you know, or do you try to go outside the box to challenge yourself?
With Falling Roses I stuck with a lot of what I knew with the Criminal Justice aspect. However, I definitely had to do a lot of research outside from what I knew on a lot of other things. I’m from Chicago so I went to Long Island, New York and to Long Island Sound to watch the waves and to see what scatters along the shore line, how the wind blows, and where Johnny and Bobbie’s beach house could possible be. I went to Tiffany’s and talked to someone for a few hours about Jewelry. I did research on ice-rinks, recording studios, comatose victims, and stuck elevators.
I see on your website that you have a diploma in Children's literature. Have you ever written a children's book?
If not, is this something you are planning to do in the future? I’ve never written a children’s book, however I have written a few short stories for young adults and some poetry. I have those tucked away for no one else to ever see. Well, maybe one day.
Tell us about the sequel to this story: Falling Roses: The Years Between. What made you do a sequel, and will there be a third book?
Since I loved Gabrielle so much I wanted her to live on. And she does in the sequel. There were too many years between the end of Falling Roses and the Epilogue that I had to show what happened. The Years Between is also about her children----Jackie and Robbie. The whole gang is back and John has to protect them from the mob that has carried out Bernadette’s vengeance. Again, the movie started and I had to take it out of my head and put it down on paper. A movie has begun for a book 3, but today Gabrielle is stuck painting the hallways of the recording studio and John hasn’t gotten her down off the ladder yet.
What is your favorite past time?
Something besides writing, but that gives you similar pleasure. Websites. I love to do my own website. I also like to draw. I took 3 art classes in college, but I’m not very good at drawing.
If you couldn't be a writer, or decided one day that you wanted something different; what would it be, and why?
There are so many choices. I want to be a big part of Falling Roses when it’s made into a movie. That’s a big dream. I want Gabrielle to come to life on the big screen. However in reality, I wouldn’t mind being a graphic designer, because I just love doing websites. I wouldn’t mind designing book covers for authors either, if I had the right software.
Feel free to share snippets from some of your fabulous reviews...I see you received a Recommended Read from Fallen Angel Reviews. Congrats!!!
Thank you. I couldn’t believe it when Fallen Angel Reviews gave me a Recommended Read. I think everyone heard me scream that day. Gotta Write Network gave me 4 ½ explosions, which was also exciting. Here’s 3 of my favorite snippets.
- "Rosemarie Piemonte pens an exciting romantic thriller with her first novel, Falling Roses." — Cynthia Brian, Media Coach, Writer, Author, Speaker, TV/Radio Personality, Spokesperson
- "Falling Roses will hook you from the very beginning and you will want to find out what happens before you put the book down." — Fallen Angel Reviews
- "A roller coaster ride where every twist and turn in Johnny and Bobbie's life leads to danger. And one asks, will it ever end? Will they find peace?" — Gotta Write Network
Do you have a website where readers can find out more about you?
I have a few websites. http://k.1asphost.com/fallingroses/ and www.falling-roses.com I have a myspace at www.myspace.com/fallingrosesromance
Tell us where we may contact you, or if you have any contests on the go - or coming up in the near future.
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org My next contest will probably be around October. Falling Roses: The Years Between will be out this summer and there’s a Halloween chapter so I’ll probably be running a contest in October. To join You Hear it First can also be found on my website. You Hear it First members will receive an invitation to my private book signing party after Years is released.
Thanks again for taking time to do this interview with us, Rosemarie! It was a pleasure to read your book and get to know a little more about you. Thank you so much Lori!