Romance Books '4' Us is pleased to present an interview of talented author Rosanne Bittner!
Author of DESPERATE HEARTS – COMING SEPTEMBER 2014 FROM SOURCEBOOKS
Hello to all my current and wonderful reading fans – and to those of you who might pick up one of my books for the first time! Thank you for visiting this blog. My newest book, DESPERATE HEARTS, is available for pre-order on Amazon and through Sourcebooks, and when it hits stores in mid-August, it should be easily found in Wal-Mart, as they are the biggest distributor for Sourcebooks. If you can’t find the book on regular romance shelves, you might want to look on the “Best Seller” shelf in Wal-Mart, as that’s where my book published last July, PARADISE VALLEY, was placed. In Michigan you should also be able to find the book in Meijer stores. DESPERATE HEARTS and many of the other 59 books I have had published over the years are also available through Amazon, of course, and the newest book should be in regular book stores.
My web site is www.rosannebittner.com – If you go to my web site, there are plenty of highlighted areas where all you need to do is “one click” to order many of my books. DESPERATE HEARTS and many of my backlist books are also available for ALL e-readers through Sourcebooks.com, Amazon, Diversion Books, Kobo and numerous other e-book sources. I also am on Twitter and have a Facebook page and my own blog site – www.rosannebittner.blogspot.com.
NOTE: For more information about Rosanne and her books, visit her author page at http://www.romancebooks4us.com.
NOTE: For more information about Rosanne and her books, visit her author page at http://www.romancebooks4us.com.
BIO: I have been writing novels since 1979 – sold my first book in 1982 and haven’t stopped since then! I just finished my 60th book, DO NOT FORSAKE ME, a sequel to OUTLAW HEARTS, which will be reissued in June 2015, with DO NOT FORSAKE ME coming in July 2015. Most my books are about the American West of the 1800’s – pioneers/trappers/wagon trains/building the Union Pacific/discovery of gold/Native American stories – just about anything and everything that has to do with settling our great American frontier. I have also written about the French & Indian War, the American Revolution, The War of 1812, the Civil War and other periods and locations not related to the West, but western romance and family sagas are my favorite kind of writing.
I am a member of many historical societies and locally an officer in the Coloma Lioness Club, a charity organization. I have won numerous writing awards over the years and I plan to write until the day I die. I absolutely love my subject matter and love America’s western landscape and its history. My husband and I have traveled the west extensively over the last 35 years, and I have visited every location I’ve written in my books. We live in southwestern Michigan and are only a few minutes away from our two sons and their families. I help with the book work for a family business related to the tool and die industry, and my main office is upstairs at the business, although I do a lot of writing at home at night. My husband and I enjoy traveling and we own a condo in Las Vegas, where we go for a few weeks in the winter to escape Michigan’s heavy snows and bitter cold.
Following are answers to the questions submitted to me by RB4U. I hope you will take the time to read through these so you’ll learn more about my books and about my love of writing.
Q: How did you get started?
A: The first question is hard to answer because I’ve been writing all my life – wrote my first poem in 3d grade and my first short story in 4th grade. I was editor of my high school newsletter and wrote many, many poems and articles for the local newspaper. I guess I’d have to say I “started writing” novels after reading THE PROUD BREED by Celeste de Blasis. It’s a 3-generation saga about the settling of California and a beautiful love story. I wanted to write a story like that, so off I went … and I never stopped after that.
Q: Why did you choose the genre(s) you writer in...or it choose you?
A: My genre chose me. I grew up on western radio programs, TV programs and movies. In the 50’s and 60’s and into the 70’s westerns were extremely popular, although many were poorly done as far as being realistic, and many didn’t get their facts straight, but I loved them anyway. I cannot explain why I am so drawn to the American West. I absolutely love western history and especially the magnificent western landscape, something no one can appreciate without seeing it for real. It is spectacular and is truly “big sky country.” I would say my favorite western movie is probably THE BIG COUNTRY, but I also love PALE RIDER, THE GUNS OF JOSIE WALES and John Wayne’s last movie, THE SHOOTIST. There are so many dramatic and magnificent western movies that have been made over the years that it’s hard to pick a favorite. In more recent movies, I loved 3:10 TO YUMA, which was actually a re-make of an old black and white western.
Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I am not the least bit interested in writing any other genre, other than WWII. I have finished a WWII book but haven’t done anything with it yet. Needs more work. Other than that, I’ve tried other genres and just can’t get “into” them. The closest I will come to doing something different is my next project, which will be my first contemporary; however, it will be very similar to a good old Native American romance like those I wrote in the 80’s.
Q: What is the adventurous thing you’ve ever done to research a book?
A: My entire Mystic Indian trilogy – MYSTIC DREAMERS, MYSTIC VISIONS, AND MYSTIC WARRIORS (Tor Books) is centered around a stone medicine wheel that was built atop Medicine Mountain in the Big Horn Mountains of Northern Wyoming. The stone medicine wheel really exists and my husband and I have been there twice. Now they have a paved drive going part way up to a parking lot, from which you have to walk the rest of the way up. The first time we visited this sacred spot there was only a one-lane, rutted (no guard rails) road that twisted up the side of Medicine Mountain. It was very dangerous, with no way to pass if someone came down from the other direction. At time we had a regular car (not the JEEP we have today), and it was very foggy. We drove up that mountain, scared to death we would meet someone coming down and worried the road would give out from under us because there were a lot of washouts. When we came down, the Wyoming Road Commission was at the bottom ready to close the road for the winter! It was only September, but this spot is so high up that as we left we drove into a snow storm.
Q: What actual event or real person/people from your own life have you used in a novel?
A: I have never used an actual event or real person from my own life in a book; however, I have relied on certain experiences in our western travels to help me understand what life must have been like in the 1800’s – the rugged, unforgiving landscape, the danger of wild animals and Indians, the list goes on and on.
Q: What parts of a book are easiest and hardest for you?
A: It’s ALL EASY!! Because I love my subject matter, and also because many of my books have already been “written” in my head, I have little trouble getting it all down on paper. I never, never stop thinking about that “next book,” and I can’t get enough of western history. And I love the western hero – tough, take no crap, can handle himself – but he loves his woman to no end and will offer his life to protect her – and the women in turn are strong and brave and a real match for the heroes.
Q: Do you have a favorite character? Who is it and why?
A: I LOVE THEM ALL or I wouldn’t write them! However, I guess a true favorite would have to be Zeke Monroe from my SAVAGE DESTINY 7-book series. The first book of the series, SWEET PRAIRIE PASSION, published 31 years ago, is STILL SELLING GREAT on Amazon! Of all my books, Zeke gets mentioned more than any other character as a favorite of my readers. A very close second would be Jake Harkner from OUTLAW HEARTS. I love, love, love this man, and so do my readers, which is why I wrote a sequel to the book, DO NOT FORSAKE ME, which will be published next summer. I can’t wait!!
Q: What is your writing routine? How many hours a day to you spend writing?
A: ALL THE TIME – every chance I get – early morning – all day if I’m not doing book work for the family business – half the night – weekends – it doesn’t matter. Writing means I get to be “with” my characters, and when you read some of my books you’ll know why I enjoy being “with” my heroes!! LOL! Writers talk about “finding time to write.” I consider that backwards. What you do is “find” time to do everything else!!
Q: If you could mentor a beginning writer, what would be your 3 or 4 key points of advice?
A: Mentoring – My advice is WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE!!! ALWAYS WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE!!! Do NOT write for the most popular genre. WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE! I can’t say that enough. And BE ENTHUSIASTIC about your story when presenting it to an editor or agent. Let your own excitement get him or her excited! Next advice – JUST SIT DOWN AND FINISH THE BOOK BEFORE YOU WORRY ABOUT EDITING. If you constantly stop to edit every single chapter before going on to the next, you’ll never finish the story and some of your enthusiasm for the story will fade. Also NEVER WORRY ABOUT A SAGGING MIDDLE OR STOP WRITING BECAUSE YOU’VE COME TO INDECISION ABOUT HOW TO HANDLE A PARTICULAR SITUATION. You KEEP WRITING!! Even if it sound stupid, if you write yourself “through” a particular rough spot, almost always it will come to you what you’ve done wrong or how you should “fix” the situation. I NEVER “PLAN” A STORY!! I start a book and let it take me where it wants to go. I never fret over “what will happen?” or “how will I solve this particular situation?” It will solve itself as you write. You will have that light bulb “A-HA!”moment.
Q: What are some jobs you've done that could or did end up in a book?
A: I’ve never used a particular job of my own in a book – however, I can relate to hard work, dirty hands, sweating on a farm and so forth because I helped my husband plant and pick asparagus for years. We live in a country area where farming has always been the primary industry. I’ve picked fruit, planted potatoes, and so forth, so writing about rugged work in the 1800’s is easier for me to understand. I have also gutted and cleaned rabbits and fish and have cooked plenty of wild game, so all of that helps in what I write about.
Q: For a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
A: Oh, gosh, I wouldn’t know. I guess if you’re a heavy reader, I’d recommend my SAVAGE DESTINY books because you will absolutely fall in love with the characters; but there are 7 books in the series and in order to truly grasp the triumph and tragedies of raising a family in the Old West, you need to read the entire series. I would also recommend OUTLAW HEARTS and probably THUNDER ON THE PLAINS (about the building of the Union Pacific) and perhaps WILDEST DREAMS (about a couple that settles in Montana when it was wild and untamed).
Q: Out of your entire backlist, which book has the best opening line? What's the line?
A: I wouldn’t know where to begin. Maybe PARADISE VALLEY (July 2013) – [Maggie paused to push back a strand of hair, hoping she’d dug the hole deep enough. Lord knew she was accustomed to hard work, but this was the first time the dirt and blisters on her hands came from digging a grave. Worse – it was her husband she was burying.]
Q: What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
A: I hope ( and I have received thousands of comments verifying this over the years) that readers come away with memories of characters who will stay with them forever – and with a new knowledge of American history – something they never learned in school – most of all I hope they come away with an appreciation for the courage and strength our pioneers needed to settle untamed lands.
Q: Tell us about your latest release? (or the book you wish to feature.)
A: My latest release is DESPERATE HEARTS, coming into stores around mid-August. It’s the story of a Montana vigilante, Mitch Brady, whose ideas of right and wrong are challenged when he falls in love with Elizabeth Wainright, a well-bred lady who shows up in the wild gold town of Alder, Montana with no really logical explanation of why she’s come there. Elizabeth is secretly running from the law and an abusive step-father in New York City – and she thinks it will be a cold day in Hell before she ever trusts any man again … until she meets Mitch.
JUST FOR FUN:
Q: What's the top thing on your bucket list?
A: See one of my books be made into a TV or big-screen movie.
Q: What must you never leave the house without?
A: My cell phone!
Q: If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
A: If I came with a warning label? “NEVER INTERRUPT ME WHEN I’M WRITING!”
Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: Hobby if I didn’t write? More gardening – I’d build a hot house and raise plants to sell.
Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?
A: Oh, my … I’m not going to say because I belong to a writers group among whose members are many, many published authors whom I consider dear friends. They are ALL good writers. As far as authors form the past – Celeste de Blasis, Louis L’Amour and Alan Eckert.
Q: Coffee, tea, wine, beer, or the hard stuff?
A: COFFEE! COFFEE! COFFEE!
Q: What's in your purse right now?
A: In my purse right now – besides the normal cr. Cards, cash and lipstick? - My .38 “Pink Lady”, loaded and ready!
Q: What do you do to de-stress?
Q: Describe yourself in one word.
Q: What is the one accomplishment you are most proud of?A: In my personal life it would have to be producing two wonderful sons and 3 fantastic grandsons! In my writing life – Maybe my SAVAGE DESTINY series, because after all these years it’s still selling, and right now I’ve already made more off of that very first book through Amazon than I ever made from it through the publisher all those years ago.
Thanks for being here with RB4U today!
Interview by R. Ann Siracusa.