Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Summer Romance

James Gillray [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons) See * for more information about this artwork.

As spring turns into summer, the weather warms up and so do hearts, making June a traditional month for weddings. Happy Anniversary to everyone who got married in June! Happy Wedding Day to those getting married this month!

With that in mind, I thought you would like to meet my friend Rose Zediker, romance novelist, from southeastern South Dakota.  I was pleased to meet her at a local writers conference several years ago and saw her recently at a book signing with other area authors, Sara Whitley (below left) and Mary Connealy (below center).

Q: Hi, Rose! You are getting a good track record for your romance novels! Congratulations! What led you to write that genre?
Rose: I always enjoyed reading romance novels, especially inspirational romance. The more romance novels I read, my imagination started sparking story ideas until I finally sat down and wrote one of my own.

 Q: You write both contemporary and historical. Which do you prefer, and how does the research differ?
Rose: I had a lot of fun writing the historical romance novels, but I prefer contemporary. There are less character restrictions, especially for heroines in contemporary novels since women have a more active role in society than they did one hundred years ago.  I research everything on historical novels, settings, names, clothing, household furnishings/architecture, laws. Research for my contemporaries consists of occupations and setting if I place the story in an unfamiliar town/state.

 Q: Some of your novels are set in South Dakota, our home state. Was the setting hard to sell to big city editors?
Rose: Absolutely not! The line of books I write for, Heartsong Presents, prefers smaller towns to larger cities. Because they publish four books a month, they need a variety of settings.

Q: I love hearing that, Rose, because sometimes we think novels should be set in some exotic locale, not right here at home.  Speaking of home, does the romance in your writing spill over into your personal life or does the romance in your personal life spill over into your writing? 
Rose: The romance in my stories doesn't mirror my real life at all! My husband and I have been married for thirty two years and our romantic gestures tend to be 'small' scale, like carrying the full laundry basket upstairs for me, than the big grand gestures found in most romance stories. To be honest, our romantic gestures have always been on the smaller, daily living scale.

 Q: That’s probably true of most couples, and it’s what sustains relationships—the daily caring. Besides daily caring, you are a daily writer, and I think you are one of the most disciplined people I know. You set goals and often exceed them. Would you tell us a bit about your regimen?
Rose: Since I work a full time job, I have to treat my writing like a part time job so I devote at least ten hours a week to my writing. That’s less than two hours a day! So it’s very doable. Sometimes, I use thirty minutes of my lunch hour to work on a project otherwise I work on my manuscripts from seven to eight in the evenings.

Basically, I set monthly goals then break those goals down to daily goals. Goals should be obtainable. If they’re not, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated which usually results in giving up. I know my limitations. I can’t write an 80,000 word book in a month so I’d never set that as a monthly goal.

I also place a huge importance on my writing career so I don’t allow my social calendar to fill up and crowd out my writing time. I’ve learned to say no volunteer projects unless they are near and dear to my heart.

 Q: Your discipline sets a good example for the rest of us! What romance authors, living or dead, inspire you?
Rose: Melody Carlson inspires me because she writes all types of inspirational romance and also books for children and teens.

 Q: I haven’t read anything by her. Thanks for the tip. What should we be watching for from you?
Rose: I have another historical coming out on August 1, Sweet on the Cowgirl. It’s available for preorder now. I signed a contract for a rodeo themed four book series. The first one will release in 2015.

Q: That’s exciting! Congratulations! Where can we follow you online?
Rose: I’m part of a group blog. www.inkspirationalmessages.com. My blog is: www.roserosszediker.blogspot.com. My author page on Facebook is under Author Rose Ross Zediker.
Thanks for having me on your blog today, Jane!

Thank you, Rose! Best wishes as you keep those love stories going!

* "Harmony before Matrimony", an October 25th 1805 caricature by James Gillray depicting a musical courtship. The woman plays a harp, and the man and woman sing together from "Duets de l'Amour". On the table, a book is open to Ovid (who would not have been considered suitable as reading-matter for girls or unmarried women in 1805). The hanging floral wall decorations include torches of Hymen (the ancient Roman god of weddings) on the left, and the bow and quiver of arrows of Cupid on the right. An oval-wall painting shows Cupid having dropped his bow and arrows, and shooting at a pair of cooing doves with a blunderbuss! At the left are two goldfish in a bowl, above a heart-shaped imitation-antique vase with a female sphinx decoration. Two cats do not appear to be influenced by the musical harmony, and are quarreling on top of music scores left on the floor.