Roseanna is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author, with numerous books to her name. I had the pleasure of meeting her recently when she taught a session at a writers’ conference I attended. The timing couldn’t have been better—she was my next planned author interview in Cozy Mystery Magazine’s series about Guideposts continuity mysteries. Without further ado, here’s Roseanna!
Congratulations for the publication of “Greater Than Gold,” the fourth book in Guideposts mystery series, Secrets of Wayfarers Inn. I just finished reading this book and really enjoyed it. I liked the way you incorporated a real event (the Marietta Sternwheel Festival) into your story.
The mystery in this book was based on a lost treasure—jewelry. I know you write a lot of historical fiction, and I’m sure that entails much research. Was the idea of lost jewelry based in any way on a true historical fact that you happened upon, or perhaps a story that you came across in your historical research? I did notice in your note to the reader at the end of the book that you love treasure stories.
I do indeed! But actually, this treasure plot was one the team at Guideposts had already come up with as they conceived the series—but I was super excited when I saw it fell to me to write it! I do love treasure stories and have written several books that incorporate that theme. So when it came time to figure out the missing treasure for Greater Than Gold, I dug a bit into Southern history but mostly used my imagination to try to figure out what treasure might have been found by an antique elevator…and what effect it could have on the people who found it years later.
This mystery series is a collaborative process from beginning to end, which isn’t the traditional model for writing a book. What was your favorite part or parts about the collaboration?
It’s been so much fun to get to know the other authors and brainstorm together! We created a blueprint of the inn based on the descriptions in book 1 and what we all needed for our stories, which was fun. And I’ve just loved the group-effort of everything from naming characters to ironing out plot points so that they remain consistent with everyone else’s stories. It’s a challenge, but one that has proven fun.
How does writing in a collaborative fashion like this impact your own writing, if at all?
It hasn’t really had a great impact on how I write my solo novels…though balancing these books with my other releases requires a lot of dedication and prioritizing, and I’ve been so blessed to have a family who supports me in this busy season!
What is your favorite thing about writing for this series?
That would have to be the friendships forged behind the scenes with the other authors. The stories themselves are fun too, of course, but I’ve really appreciated getting to know this amazing team.
What is your favorite thing about the location? Have you visited Marietta, Ohio? Studied more about it?
I have been to Marietta, though it was many years ago. I actually applied to Marietta College back in the day! It’s only about 2 hours from where I live, so I have a basic familiarity already with things like climate and landscape. Google Maps has been a huge help refreshing my memory and filling in the blanks though. (How did people write books before the internet??)
You are a very busy person. In addition to writing numerous books, you design book covers, homeschool your children, and help your husband with his publishing company, WhiteFire Publishing. Can you tell us a little bit more about your other pursuits?
Yes, I believe in keeping busy. 😉 Between my writing, editing, designing, and homeschooling, I really don’t have a ton of what you would call free time, LOL. But I do enjoy knitting, reading (of course!), and baking when time permits. This year those extras have been rather lacking as I spend so much time writing, but I enjoy them when I can!
Please tell us about your other recent book releases, where our readers can contact you and find you online.
My current historical series, Shadows Over England, was just completed September 4 with the release of An Hour Unspent (following book 1, A Name Unknown and book 2, A Song Unheard). The series follows a family of thieves from London into the opening months of World War I, as they accept jobs from a mysterious man to aid England in the war. It’s been an incredibly fun series to write, as I learned how arts played a role in the war and explore themes like heritage, prejudice, and identity and combine them with things like books, music, and clockmaking.
I also just released an audiobook of A Heart’s Revolution—originally published as Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland in 2011. I re-released the paperback with the new cover and title in March and was excited to bring it to listeners as well.