September Spotlight: Rosemary Danielis and Roman White

SPOTLIGHT: ROSEMARY DANIELIS

 
 

Author Rosemary Danielis talks with Free Expressions this month about her current project, what inspires her, how she faces her fears, and finding a good writing conference. 

Rosemary lives in Montreal Quebec. She self-published her most recent book, MY LOVE IS BLUE, through Amazon. She has also written an illustrated children’s book, IRIS, published through Lionhouse Press. She’s attended several Free Expressions workshops, including the Breakout Novel Intensive with agent Donald Maass. 

Not only does Rosemary write, but she also takes amazing photographs. Her blog is a tribute to her beautiful garden, which you’ll read more about below when she talks about what inspires her writing. 

 

What project are you currently working on?

I’m working on a romance that will be part of a book-bundle (stories written by other authors.) All the stories in the bundle are centered around one common landmark where the characters experience their first kiss. The plots occur in the same timeframe and share some common characters. It’s such a fun way to bring a group of stories together and I’m sure the readers will eat them up!

 

“My discovery was that in the end, a story is a story.”

 

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your most recent book or working on your most recent writing project? 
I wrote a romance story based on a dare by an author/friend. Previously, romance was not a genre I read or wanted to write. My discovery was that in the end, a story is a story. I really enjoyed diving into this new world, the characters and their problems and now I know I could probably write any genre I want.
 

What do you consider your biggest writing success right now, at this very moment? 

I no longer wonder if I can write a novel – I know I can. (It took me two novels to understand that.) Now my energy goes into becoming a better writer and improving my skills.
 

What challenges or fears do you face in your writing routine and what steps have you taken--or do you take--to overcome them?

Oh my gosh, the usual: distraction, self-criticism, paralysis, over-scrutinizing my work and the infamous PROCRASTINATION!

To overcome the above, I’m sectioning off the months of the year when I’m more housebound (mostly winter) to buckle down and put in eight-hour writing days as I try to balance living my life with writing.
 

If you could go back 10 years and give your future writing-self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Just do it! Self-doubt is such a waste of time.

 

“I was being treated like a real writer and meeting other writers. It was a huge minds shift for me.”

 

What were the highlights of your attendance at the Breakout Novel Intensive workshop? How would you describe its overall effect on your professional/creative trajectory?

Both the editorial work and the workshops gave me a sense of being a professional writer. This wasn’t just a hobby or a ‘we’ll see how/if this works out’ thing anymore. This was serious. I was investing in it. I was being treated like a real writer and meeting other writers. It was a huge mindset shift for me.
 

What advice do you have for writers in terms of determining what workshops or conferences would best suit their needs?

Well, my first conference was SCBWI LA with an attendance of about 1500 people. I was completely overwhelmed, intimidated and crushed.

So, my advice would be to start small, choose conferences with about 20-30 writers. Keep it personal, make sure you can meet people, get to know their names, develop a community. Also, seek out conferences with newbie-friendly critique circles (there’s so much to learn from these.)
 

What does your dream writing retreat look like?

I would love something out in the wilderness because being out in nature sends my mind into uncharted worlds. I’m not talking tents or anything but maybe a chalet-type building surrounded by forest or by a lake; somewhere you can hear the wind whistle through the trees and the silence is broken only by the haunting cry of a loon (doesn’t have to be a loon but you get the gist.)

 

“Photography is really another form of storytelling; the characters are determined by what you leave in the shot and what you leave out, how you play with light sets the atmosphere and every photo begins with ‘what do I want to say.’”

 

What outside hobbies or interests feed your writing?

I have a huge perennial garden and two ponds, which I take care of and I’m a bit of a sunset-chaser, so I’m outside as much as I can be which feeds the sense that I’m living in a fantasy world, which feeds my writing. I also love photography and am looking into building a business online to showcase and sell my photos. Photography is really another form of storytelling; the characters are determined by what you leave in the shot and what you leave out, how you play with light sets the atmosphere and every photo begins with “what do I want to say.”

Before the writing and photography came reading. I’m an avid reader of mostly fantasy stories but will happily venture out of that genre into whatever interests me.

 

Fast Facts

 


STAFF SPOTLIGHT: ROMAN WHITE

Staff Brainstorming Guru Roman White is using his considerable imagination and writing chops to bring a new tabletop game, FAMILY PLOT, to market! Complete with a cast of hilarious and idiosyncratic characters, Family Plot is a card game where each player strives to build their perfect family while keeping other players from killing them off one by one. 

Marcia Brant of GAME MOMS calls it, “A game that brings the family together with BIG LAUGHS.”

You can support Roman’s KICKSTARTER campaign and get in on the ground floor of this soon-to-be immensely popular game.

Check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/872094147/family-plot-0/