What fun to have Roseanna with me today! She is just the super-est person in the world. And her giveaways? Right on the mark!
- A signed copy of A Stray Drop of Blood
- A Companion Guide on the topics and texts referenced in the nove
- A bookmark
- A box of chamomile tea (the favorite drink of the heroine's mistress-calms the nerves, you know!)
- Recipe cards for "A Taste from the Land of Milk and Honey
- Some beeswax lip balm (this brand might be relatively new, but beeswax balms have been around for thousands of years)
What to do? Comment!
Roseanna, 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 a writer. I finished my first novel at 13, my second at 16, and twelve more during college. For me, it wasn't a question of if I'd write, but rather of how to find my way in the writing world, since I had no choice but to put novel to paper (or computer screen).
What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
I write in several, but A Stray Drop of Blood is historical fiction—Biblical fiction, more specifically. This is defined as a story that takes place in the time during which the Bible was written and may or may not contain characters that appear in the Bible or other historical documents. In my story, I have peeks at historical personages—and my heroine is at the crucifixion of Jesus—but the main characters are completely fictional. (Okay, mostly. They play some historical roles too. ;-)
Where do you get ideas? Character names? Do you find your characters similar to you in any way?
Oh, my. Ideas spring out of nowhere for me nearly every day. When I'm watching TV, reading, doing dishes, talking to my husband . . . last week he told me some tidbit and then asked me what I thought about it. My reply? "I'm wondering if I can use it in a book." Then I realized he wanted a response to the fact. Oooohhhhh. Right. Terrible. Really, truly terrible. =)
Occasionally, ideas will spring from my own life. Not usually an event so much as an emotion. It seems like everything with me gets funneled back into story ideas—kinda like the fight with my best friend when I was fifteen, which inspired some bittersweet thought on a Good Friday and resulted in the idea for A Stray Drop of Blood.
Character names depend largely on the story. For historicals, I have to make sure they're appropriate for the time period, so I check other books from the era or online resources that list them. The Hebrew characters in Stray Drop all came straight from the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, but the Roman characters came from sources of the day, like Tacitus's Annals (for those who look at that title and scratch their heads, it's a Roman history detailing the time period that happens to span the life of Christ, though focusing totally on Roman politics and military movements). A little FYI—one of my characters is Caius Asinius. I took him straight from history—he really was a former consul, but one who held office in a time when nothing happened, so his mention in history is literally one line. I took that and ran with it, creating a character totally fictional based on that single mention that gave me only a name. (Let it be noted that there's nothing in the Annals to make me think he was really the lecherous jerk I make him out to be—though plenty of his cohorts were, so it seemed a safe assumption. ;-)
As for whether my characters are like me . . . ? Yikes. Bits and pieces, yes, all of them (or most of them, anyway, LOL. Let's hope I don't have a super-villain lurking anywhere inside but my imagination). But I have no desire to write a character who's totally me. Not only would it bore the socks off my readers, but then I'd take it as a personal insult if anyone didn't like said character. I've tried making sub-characters like me on occasion, and those are always the ones that earn comments like, "I found her reaction unbelievable." Roseanna is left blubbering, "B-b-b-buuuuttt, that's m-m-meeee. That's what I'd do!" So I've sworn off writing myself into books. That way I don't have to get offended by my friends' and critique partners' opinions on my characters. ;-)
Tell us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?
Hmm . . . love coffee. Hate cleaning. I have distant memories of a concept called "free time," in which I would do things like sketch and paint, bake extravagant cakes and pies and tarts, read books. I still do some of those things, but not nearly as often. Now, most of my time is consumed by my kids (aged 2 and 4) and writing. Luckily, I have a husband who doesn't mind the dust bunnies who have taken up permanent residence under our couch . . . though he wishes they'd pay rent. ;-)
If I could travel—wow. This time of year, I inevitably name someplace warm and tropical. Our most recent "Oh, look at that place!" is Bora Bora. Sooo gorgeous. But when summer is upon us and I don't just long to escape the cold, my travel wishes broaden out. I'd love, love, love to visit Italy, where my mother-in-law's family hails from. And the British Isles, where I apparently have a plethora of family in the great-great uncle category. Especially the Cotswolds of England, and some of the coastal Irish towns—and a castle in Scotland. That's a must. Are you going to foot the bill for this, Carole? (Caroline: hmm, no! LOL)Because I could come up with a few more, if so. =)
A Stray Drop of Blood is about Abigail, who at eight years old, was sold into slavery to Cleopas Visibullis, the prefect of the Tenth Legion. Raised as more a daughter than a servant, Abigail blooms into a beautiful, well-spoken young woman, and she adores her Roman master as well as his Hebrew wife, her mistress. But then their son, Jason, returns to Jerusalem as a centurion—and her world shifts on its axis.
Jason is in the mindset of the Romans, so he sees her as nothing but a slave, to be taken and discarded at will. His parents disapprove, but he is determined not to sacrifice a future career in Rome over their demands concerning a mere slave. Yet the more he knows of Abigail, the more he begins to see that she cannot be defined so simply.
- Readers can buy it at CrossPurposes at: http://www.crosspurposesbooks.com/index.php?module=viewitem&item=705523
- And use coupon code BLOGGER for 20% off,
- Then shoot me an email at Roseanna [at] RoseannaWhite [dot] com to get it personalized. Or from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0976544466/ref=s9_simi_gw_s8_p14_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-5&pf_rd_r=0B0A98N2FYG6QSKVW4RN&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470939291&pf_rd_i=507846
This is the path God put me on. I can wonder how many twists there'll be before I reach the next gorgeous vista, but I can never wonder if maybe I should jump onto that other road over there. I love the journey—even if I could do without some of the potholes. ;-)
My Cover Story
When my husband and I decided to re-release A Stray Drop of Blood, it was largely him saying, "Yes, okay. I'll dedicate some revenue to that" and me saying, "I want to do this. And that. And take out this. And add this over here." Topping the list was a new cover. I'd designed the first one myself, and while I liked its symbolism—a field of black with a red drop of blood that left a pure white streak behind it—I wanted something different this time.
One of my writer friends recently had a book release from Abingdon that has a gorgeous oil painting for a cover—literally, a local artist painted it. So I thought, "Ha! We can do that!" Both my sister and brother-in-law are art teachers, so I figured it would be a breeze. I gave them some ideas . . . and then school started. Which means their spare time went out the window. Still, my sister promised to squeeze out some time.
A few weeks later I headed to Denver for the 2009 ACFW conference. In the airport I noticed a young woman across from me with her laptop, waiting at the same gate. I thought, "I wonder if she's . . . nah. What are the chances of another ACFWer sitting there?" So silly me said nothing. Got on the plane. Got off the plane. Ran to the SuperShuttle with two seconds to spare, drove to the hotel.
Thank you so much, Roseanna, for this wonderful interview. I've loved having you here. Folks, run and get your copy--that is, if YOU don't win that copy. Whether you win it or buy it, you'll love the book!