[Interview] Rose Paisley

Rose Paisley grew up in a small town in the Amish Country of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. She subsequently moved to Harrisburg where she went to college when she was in her forties, and graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology.

She has worked as a waitress, a truck driver and as an electronics technician building speakers. She currently owns and publishes Romance at Heart Magazine, an online magazine as well as Romance At Heart Publications, a small publishing company that puts out about 12 e-books a year from selected authors.

One of her own stories, A Wild Love: Escape was published by Lavender Isis Press in March 2007.

In a recent interview, she spoke about her writing.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Actually, I didn’t decide to be a writer. It was decided for me in that I took the dare of two long time friends, Carole and Kate. They dared me to submit something because they said my writing was good enough to be published. I didn't react to the dare at first, then I stumbled onto the Lavender Isis Press and their short story contest. A Wild Love: Escape was long enough, so I thought, "O.K., I will prove those two wrong!"

I have played around with stories, but never consider myself as a serious writer, it was an accident... That is my story, and I am sticking to it with a vengeance.

How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?

Paranormal Fantasy. I love outlandish scenes, settings, characters with grit, shape shifters etc. so I try to create my own versions of them for my own pleasure.

Who is your target audience?

In the past, before I thought of being published, I wrote for myself and a few friends... I guess now a target audience would be those who read paranormal romances.

What motivated you to start writing in this genre?

My love for authors like Christine Feehan, Ronda Thompson, Amanda Ashley, Cathy Spangler, Susan Grant, Susan Squires, and then Sherrilyn Kenyon, when she came along.

I did a fan fiction on an ezboard site dedicated to Christine Feehan. It took me ages to get it done. Then, I was prodded every step of the way by readers on the board. They got lucky I think. I have trouble stringing more than 10,000 words together in a coherent way.

I do not have a link to the piece I wrote... It was done years ago and I think it is long gone from the site. It was called "Of Darkness and Light" and needs a good editor! (Laughs out loud!)

Who would you say has influenced you the most?

Christine Feehan… her stories make me laugh, cry, rage, and root for her characters with abandon. Ronda Thompson… she has a wicked sense of what could be, what has been, and writes vibrantly. Amanda Ashley… she brings the dark side close to home, yet allows us to believe in their future. Cathy Spangler…who has a delightful imagination of the future and shares it willingly. Anne McCaffery… she showed me you can step out of the bounds of the “real” and create it yourself. R. Casteel, Carole Ann Lee, and S. L. Carpenter for also having faith and guiding me.

What would you say are your main concerns as a writer?

(Laughs out loud.) You are taking it for granted I am a writer. If I really was, my concern would be that my books would tempt and tantalize the reader's imagination, and the characters and their problems would truly “live” in their minds as they read about them.

To me, a writer is generally someone who is talented enough to carry off the story and the characters in such a way that the reader can get lost in the action, and can almost "see" the story as it unfolds. I think a writer has to be pretty dedicated to the story and the characters and must have the desire to entertain and carry the readers away on a flight of fantasy, suspense, or in the eroticism of the tale. Most writers enjoy writing, and most love the research, the plot development, and every aspect of their craft.

I am driven, but I don't like the "out of control" feeling I get when I write... There are times when I have to do it... it is like a compulsion at times.

How have your personal experiences influenced the direction of your writing?

Um… nah, I don’t think so. Given my subject matter, I wouldn’t know how my personal experiences could possibly influence my writing. I am neither a shape shifter, a vampire nor a ghost, nor do I have any kind of paranormal talents like they are reputed by legend to possess.

What would you say are the biggest challenges that you face?

Actually being published. I am not sure about the whole process, and think the ladies of Lavender Isis Press are really brave to take on the short I wrote. I will do my best, however, to live up to their faith in me.

Being published is a challenge because I don't know that I can do it again, and at this point it is almost "expected" that another book or short story would be coming. The biggest challenge is being able to string the words together to tell a good story, one that readers (other than my friends) would really want to read.

How are you dealing with these challenges?

I just do my best.

Like I said, I am not truly a writer, at least not one of romance or fiction, reviews on the other hand, oh yeah, I can write a wicked review. This... trying to write another complete story... I will just have to handle one day at a time, and do my best each day.

How many books have you written so far?

One only. A Wild Love: Escape which was published by Lavender Isis Press in March, 2007. It is the story of a man, a shifter named Hajj who has been long isolated on an island. The house he had built for his mate and family has been usurped in his absence by a vile and greedy man and then Hajj finds he may not be as alone as he thinks. It's a discovery which leads him to hope he can escape and find his true mate.

Do you write everyday?

I don’t write everyday. Christine Feehan (a favorite author as well as a friend) says I should, but I can’t. My husband and I run a website that sells consolidator airfares and there is always work to be done there, updates, new postings, etc. I also run the review site Romance at Heart and the publishing house Romance At Heart Publications.

Which aspects of the work that you put into A Wild Love: Escape did you find most difficult?

How to answer that…writing like that does not come easy to me. There are times when my mind blurts stuff out. If I am in a position to write it down, then it is O.K., but I can’t just stop and write. My businesses would suffer, and I can’t allow that to happen. Others depend on me, and it would be irresponsible to let something I do, only because I am driven, to interfere.

Which did you enjoy most?

That... I really don’t know. When it comes to writing, it is not done for enjoyment, it is something I am driven to do, then when the urge goes away, it is just that, gone away and I am left alone again for a while. To say I enjoy it would not be truthful.

How and why is it that you are driven to write? Why do you write?

I can't answer those questions, I am sorry. I am not certain I have the answer. I have told myself again and again to stop the foolishness, but my brain doesn't listen. There is something in me that drives me, and I really can't fully answer the questions as to why I am driven to write, or why I do it... they are truly beyond me.

What does writing do for you?

I know being able to write reviews releases some of the tension I live with in life, from updating websites to making certain they run smoothly, to making sure all the reviews, articles, and whatever else have to be posted to the site is done and without errors. The rest of it? Well, that part of the writing, the "novel/short story creative writing" only adds to my frustration, but as I said, it appears to be a compulsion.

What sets A Wild Love: Escape apart from the other things you have written?

The fact that it is a book, well a short story. I wrote and still write reviews, not books, so that is a big difference.

In what way is it similar?

Dunno. I never tried comparing reviews to the books I read to write about. I would have to think on that a while.

What will your next book be about?

Um, If my editor has her way, it will be a few more shorts in the same vein. A Wild Love: Escape is just one of a bunch of silly shorts I was actually driven to write inspired by art, music, and the above mentioned talented authors. I call them silly because they were done on a whim, during a flight of fancy as it were, and were actually only meant to be examples of contest entries. At Romance at Heart we were running writing contests.

How have they been received by readers?

So-so, but then I wasn't expecting any great gushing of appreciation. I do understand A Wild Love: Escape is doing O.K., and I have been asked if there will be a sequel, and will it be longer... *sigh* I can promise only to try my best.

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

Significant achievement? Having Lavender Isis Press publish my writing.

How did you get there?

As I said, it was a dare, and I was proven wrong. Someone did actually want to publish what I wrote, and I am grateful for their faith in my work.

This article was first published by Blogcritics.org 


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