How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?
I've always been an avid reader. My mom thought I would be a writer, even when I was a child. But decades later, it took a random offer of a job writing feature articles for a regional horse magazine, and the associated offer of a free computer, for me to realize just how much fun it was to write. "Copy/Paste" and "Erase" opened up whole new vistas! I wrote humorous articles for a few years and then, I just kept going. I never expected to sell, though. That seemed like an impossible dream.
What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
I've written twenty-four romantic suspense novels. Sixteen for Superromance focused on relationship and family/friendship situations, more than the suspense. I also co-wrote a straight mystery for Public Radio. More recently, I've completed my seventh romantic suspense for Steeple Hill, for which the romance and suspense carry equal weight. Also, just this month I completed my very first non-suspense for Love Inspired Romance. What a learning curve that was--but great fun, too!
How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
I keep a progress chart posted above my computer--much like those United Way temperature graphs for fundraising, with a column showing page numbers marked in increments of ten, and also a column showing rising steps in word count. It feels so good to mark off another square, that it can help drive me on to finish a few more pages! I write approximately three books a year.
Tell us about your new book. What is the spiritual message in it? What can readers expect to get from reading it? How and where can readers buy your book?
END GAME, is the third in my Big Sky Secrets series set in the Montana Rockies. Winter Reunion (the first in my new Aspen Creek Crossroads series for Love Inspired Romance) will be out in November....but then the fourth Big Sky book will be out next April. All of them stand alone, though there are recurring characters here and there.
The heroine in END GAME is county deputy, and is one of three cousins who experienced a terrible tragedy--the murder of a fourth cousin--when they were young teens. Each of them has carried those emotional wounds into adulthood. Each of them faces faith issues because of that tragedy and other events in their lives. And in each story, the heroine returns to Montana for various reasons....only to face renewed danger of a different kind, and ultimately find their once-in-a-lifetime love.
Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through? Who’s inspired you the most?
I cannot imagine wanting to give up. That's not to say there isn’t stress, or anxiety at times! I remember hearing as an unpublished writer that "it was even harder after you sell." I couldn’t imagine that was true. After all, when you are chasing what might be an impossible dream, spending weeks and months and years trying to develop your craft--maybe for nothing--that isn't easy! For those of you still hoping for a first sale, I empathize fully. It can take so much determination and endurance to get there!
But there are different challenges after you sell. The first ones hit after the first sale--when you discover that your beloved "baby," the book that finally sold, isn't perfect after all. You may face extensive, multiple re-writes at the revision stage. Heavy line edits. Then there's all the other stuff that goes along with the process--and everything has a deadline. And there's promotion...and the need to be pulling together new projects. The hope that you can make a second sale. Oh--and then there's your family, job, church...and other important things in life. It can be hard to juggle it all. Finding a balance is key.
And even after you sell a lot of books, things can change. Editors quit to have babies or go to a different publisher. Lines fold. Entire publishers fade away. All disappointing events--but also, a wonderful opportunity for growth and renewal. If you need to re-invent yourself in a new genre, perhaps you'll find that change was just what you needed!
A series of rejections, after making well over a dozen sales, led me from secular to inspirational fiction, and I couldn’t be happier!
Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Grin. Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
If you are an avid reader for so long, you internalize what you love to read (and read the most.) When I started writing I had no plan, no idea of what I was doing, until someone told me what it was!
Sit back and relax? LOL. I am busier now than ever--and I feel richly blessed by that fact. I've now cut way back on a day job I love, as a dietitian for a psychiatric facility, because I have less and less time to spend away from my office at home.
Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?
Now that our three children are all in college, my husband and I travel a lot more--which we love. I enjoy photography, reading (of course!), spending time with our horses, and the long walks my husband and I take with our dogs. There's always so much more to learn, so many more ways to grow as a writer, so I really love to attend every writers' conference I can. I cannot wait for RWA in Orlando, and ACFW in Indiana this year!
You recently had a book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?
Here is the backcover blurb for END GAME:
"I'll be seeing you again..."
The attacker's words still ring in Deputy Megan Peters' ears. Her attempt to trap a serial rapist terrorizing Lost Falls failed, but she has succeeded in becoming the target of his attention. Undaunted, she moves forward in her investigation, and Scott Anders, the only newcomer in town, draws her suspicion. Is his gentleness just an act? Yet as Megan and Scott grow closer, she finds herself questioning her instincts. What will she believe--her heart, or the evidence against him?
The book is available at boosktores, Wal-mart, Kmart, Target, at www.target.com, www.steeplehill.com, www.christianbook.com and various other online sources.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?
- Website: www.roxannerustand.com
- Blog: http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com
If anyone would like to be featured on the blog (you don’t need to be published!) Just give me a shout, through my website! I'd love to have you visit!
Thank you, Roxanne, for visiting my blog today!
Blessings, dear readers.