Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Author Interview ~ Roseanna White

Welcome, Roseanna! Thank you so much for coming by today to visit with us and share more about your writing and books.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Well, I grew up on the Maryland/West Virginia border, on the WV side, and love my mountains dearly. I’ve  been writing stories since I first learned how to string words together on paper, and I finished my first (awful,  lol) novel at the ripe old age of 13. I attended a college known as the Great Books School (St. John’s College in  Annapolis, MD), which not only expanded my love of great writing and ideas but really taught me how to ask  the questions that lead you in the right directions. After graduating, my hubby and I moved home, to the MD  side of the same mountains. We now have two adorable kids, run the Christian Review of Books, own  WhiteFire Publishing, and of course, I’m a
novelist too.  :)

What do you feel is the most challenging aspect in writing?

Hmm, for me it’s usually finding the time to write. That’s a REAL challenge these days, for sure! And I’ve gotta say, the other challenge is that I keep writing stories that have some suspense in them, but I have to work hard to get those elements right. By nature, I’m a character writer—those things that are mostly plot require far more effort. Which, hey, leads right into your next question! LOL

Well, I planned it that way...NOT! Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?

The characters always, always, always come first for me. It’s their story that shapes the rest of the story,  even in the cases where I start with a setting. Like for instance, how about a book set in the harem that  Esther eventually enters? I had no story until I got to know Kasia, my heroine. Or a story set in  Annapolis in 1783? It was the idea of a betrothed couple who ends their engagement that really turned  that from a nothing to a something.

Is there a message in your novel you want readers to grasp?

All my stories center on hope. No matter the darkness surrounding us, no matter the heartbreak we  might encounter, no matter the difficulties that stand in the way of our dreams, the hope that comes  from the Lord is always a beacon shining before us.

Tell us about your new book coming out.

Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland is the story of a girl who is engaged to the man of her dreams—  yet has to face the fact that he doesn’t love her when he betrays her. Lark flees the situation and heads to Annapolis, which is, during that winter of 1783-84, the nation’s capital. Peace with England is tenuous until the Treaty of Paris is ratified, and Lark is present during several landmark events. More, she goes outside her comfortable world and suddenly sees issues she never thought to examine, including where her liberty is born. Emerson, meanwhile, realizes what he held only after losing it, and chases after Lark. But once a heart is broken, how does one woo it back?

I love the sound of this one and can't wait to read it! Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?

Emerson’s best match that I’ve found is John Gidding. He's got quite the appeal :)

Lark is more a challenge for me to choose—I’d first had her as a dark-blond and modeled  her on Dakota Fanning, but I ended up changing her hair color . . . so I think the closest  actress to her now is Nikki Reed.


Which part of researching was the most personally interesting to you? Were there any facts that you would have liked to include, but they just didn't make it into the story?

I enjoy history in general and discovering those little things that bring it to life. So it’s the small details I really loved learning. Thing like the fact that the only church in Annapolis at the time had no building (they’d been ready to expand before war broke out, and their building materials were used to build Fort Severn instead). Or that the United States had no standardized coinage yet, so tended to use Spanish reales, cut into varying sizes, which resulted in triangular coins. But one of my most strangely fun research moments was when I made a chart of which contractions were in common use at the time to try to get the cadence of speech right. That was just so geeky I’m proud of it. ;-)

That IS geeky! But it shows how dedicated you are to being accurate with details. Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I’d LIKE to travel more than I do, LOL. I did actually visit Annapolis, since it’s only two and a half hours away, and we still have friends in the area. And I’m planning a trip to Savannah for another story, too. But in general, I use the wonders of books and the internet to get to know a place.

Who designed the cover? Did you have any say in how it looked?

The cover is by Garborg Designs, and I’m soooooo extremely happy with it! But this  one was a total surprise to me. I was a little nervous about it after having so much control over my biblical  fiction covers, and even more nervous when I realized they had it designed without any input from me—  but when my editor sent me this, all I could say was “Ooooooooooo, ahhhhhhhhh.” LOVE IT!!

It's a gorgeous cover! I love the colors. But then I think all the covers on your books have    been spectacular! What makes you pick up a book? Cover, blurb, author?

These days I have very little reading time, so author rules the day. But I gotta say, a pretty cover goes a  looooong way toward making me pick up one from a given stack of authors I love. That’s what makes me  turn it over to read the blurb, which does ultimately make me pick which my next read will be.

The cover always catches my eye first :) Who is your favorite author, and what is it that  really strikes you about their work?

Oh my, I don’t think I can name just one! I just finished Mesu Andrews’s next biblical fiction, and it was  phenomenal. Love her style and depth! And Laura Frantz is such an amazing wordsmith, with such  compelling characters . . . then there’s Laurie Alice Eakes, who combines suspense and history so beautifully . . . as does MaryLu Tyndall and my fellow WhiteFire author, Christine Lindsay. Dina Sleiman is awe-inspiring with the way she works poetry into her prose. And then there are the fabulous love stories of Julie Lessman . . . the detailed Regencies by Julie Klassen . . . my favorite YA author is Stephanie Morrill, who has a voice like no other . . . I could go on, LOL. I’ll stop.

Agreed! They are all fantastic authors. Give us three facts about you. Be creative. Tell us about your first job, the inspiration for your writing, any fun details!

Well, in college I worked in the Admissions Office, where introverted me became a tour guide—I got over the introverted thing in that job, LOL. Umm . . . I still have the tastebuds of a toddler—give me macaroni or pizza, and I’m a happy girl. ;-) And I’m one of those unusual people who fell in love with the perfect-for-me guy in high school, married him after our first year of college, and haven’t regretted a moment of the ten years we’ve been married. =)

I'm right there with you on the pizza! Can you give us a sneak peek into what book you are working on right now? When does it release?

Well all my current projects, both the manuscript I’m writing and the one I’m editing, have been accepted by major publishing houses, and my agent and I are finalizing the deals now. So I can’t give specifics, but let’s just say that 2013 is going to be a banner year. =) They’re all historical romances, and are also all centered around the different American wars—Revolutionary, War of 1812, and Civil War. I’m learning so much about the early history of our nation! It really makes me appreciate the land I was born in.

I can't wait! All those time periods are fascinating. Where can readers find you on the internet?

Ok, now for some extras J

You wear many hats. I know from reading other interviews and from your website that you’re very active in your church and you home educate your children. As a fellow home educator I am always interested in how other moms handle all the demands because author or not, there are a lot of them. How do you do it?

My answer is simple: I neglect the housework. ;-) Seriously, the salvation to my sanity is that once a week my mother-in-law takes the kids for a day. I have my daughter’s assignments all worked up and in a folder, and my MIL moderates those on Mondays. That gives me one solid work day, which I need, especially when I’m under three different deadlines. =) Otherwise, my method is to get up at 5 or 5:30 so that I have some writing time before the kids get up. Then while they’re eating breakfast, I try to get my blog up. We start lessons around 8 and are usually finished by the time my son goes down for his nap—which means that naptime is writing time, and my daughter usually draws, creates her own stories, and watches a bit of TV during that time.

That's great about your MIL helping you out. A school schedule always helps, too :) And if you don’t mind…What made you decide to home educate? 

My husband and I have said since WE were in school that we were going to home school. Neither of us liked that the focus of public schools has turned solely to teaching for a test, rather than teaching to LEARN. And after attending a college that doesn’t even administer tests, but rather fosters an environment of reading, discussion, and hands-on experimenting, it became more important to us than ever that our kids have individualized attention that allows them to ask questions and follow their interests. But we’ve also agreed to take it year by year and be open to the possibility that God might at some point tell us it’s time to send the kids to either private or public school, depending on where they are, where WE are, and what they need at a given point.

That's a beautiful college, by the way! Do y’all have a favorite tradition for Thanksgiving, Christmas?

As for special holiday traditions . . . we’re pretty traditional in those respects. =) Our favorite thing to do on  Thanksgiving is watch the Macy’s parade, then have dinner with our family—I’m the dessert bringer, LOL.  My kids really enjoy baking cookies with me for Christmas, and decorating. My daughter is BIG on  decorating!

Oh yes! Little girls love that kind of stuff :) Thank you so much for taking time out of your  busy  schedule to share with us today, Roseanna.

Y'all need to stop by and say hello to Roseanna! I encourage you to pick up a copy of one of  her books today if you haven't done so already. Or maybe give one as a gift.  Click to order A Stray Drop of Blood and Jewel of Persia. You can pre-order Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland here!

LFY in Annapolis Maryland- Read the first chapter here!


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me today, Anne! I enjoyed answering your questions and look forward to connecting with your readers. =)

  2. I'm so glad you agreed on such short notice! Thanks :)

  3. Great interview and I learned a lot more about one of our fabulous Colonial Quill contributors and Colonial American Christian Fiction members! And she is so modest - but I will give a shout out - Roseanna's new upcoming release got a 4 1/2 Star review from Romantic Times, which I believe is their top rating and was December pick for Inspirational reads!

  4. Congratulations!!! That's an awesome review rating, Roseanna!

  5. I know I sound shallow here, but... the book covers are all gorgeous! I especially like the Jewel of Persia and Love Finds You In Annapolis covers. :)

  6. Roseanna's Jewel of Persia blew me away! My review is under dianaFlow on Amazon if anyone would like to read it! It was the first book I ever read of hers and now I am a huge fan. I can't wait to get my copy of LFY in Annapolis, MD. I have to go into hiding when I read her books, because her research is indeed extensive and there is alot of substance to her books. Not light reading, but fabulous "can't put down" reading!

  7. That's not shallow at all, Evangeline! I love a pretty cover and often times that's what first entices me to pick up a book.

  8. The first one I read was A Stray Drop of Blood. I could NOT put that book down. I still tell everyone I know, who loves to read, about that book!

  9. Evangeline, if you're shallow then so am I! LOL. A beautiful cover makes a book, in my judge-it-by-one opinion. ;-)

  10. Well shucks, you guys. ;-) Annapolis is a good deal lighter than my Biblicals, but feedback thus far says it's still as engaging. Or else people are lying to me . . . LOL.

  11. I appreciate the cheerleading, Carrie. =) Yes, 4 1/2 stars is their top rating, and getting the Top Pick badge is quite an honor too. I need to find a frame for that magazine, LOL.

  12. Oh! I also wanted to let everyone know that I'm putting together a big giveaway--two, actually, both the same. Everyone who comments here will be automatically entered into it, including our hostess! You can see what items I'm including on my blog today at and this weekend I'll have the official rules all figured out and posted.

  13. Wonderful interview! I'm so impressed that Roseanna can home school AND write full books. I could barely get out one thought on paper while I had kids in the home let alone full books! Bless your heart and your family!

  14. It's a challenge, Joleen! I did okay last year with only one deadline and only kindergarten curriculum, but it's a lot harder this year, with FOUR deadlines looming and first/second grade curriculum. I must confess that we're looking into the local private schools too, so that I don't end up neglecting my kids' education as I'm trying to get these books in on time. Definitely giving it lots of prayer!

  15. What a great interview. I learned a lot about you, Roseanna. You have so much on your plate and I stand amazed. I sometimes feel overwhelmed with busyness and I have no children, no job outside of writing, and as yet no contract! No wonder one of my prayers each morning is Lord, don't let me be lazy today. Help me to focus and work hard at this thing you've called me to do. Examples like you motivate me to keep pressing on. And I'll send up a prayer that your family finds the right balance between all these demands.

  16. I remember being so, so busy before I had kids . . . and now I look back and wonder what I did with all that spare time! LOL. I think no matter our situation, we always have a lot to deal with, Lori, and it's always hard to stay on task. At least for me. =)

    I *so* appreciate those prayers!

  17. What an awesome interview. So many facets of your life as a writer were covered. It was much fun getting to know you better, Roseanna! Thank you, Anne, for asking her such great questions. I can't wait to read LFY in Annapolis, Maryland. And it looks like we have much more to look forward to.


  18. Thank you Roseanna and Anne for a great interview. And I agree, your book covers are wonderful!

  19. I can't imagine having deadlines like Roseanna does. When all 4 of my children were at home I barely had time to read a book let alone try and write one :)

  20. I went over and looked at that package of lovely giveaway items! Nice!!! Y'all hop over there and take a look.

  21. Hi Lori! I think no matter where we are in life, we tend to be busy. Especially nowadays. There's so much to keep us occupied. At least there is for me. Even if I didn't still have two children at home but then I'd probably never do housework :)

    I went over to your blog and surfed around, found the interview you did with Kaye Dacus and guess what? Back in the 70's my parents owned a farm near Hot Springs, NC!

  22. Hey Carla, Thanks for coming by! I'm just happy that Roseanna was willing to be so candid about her life and I was glad to know I'm not the only one who neglects housework :)

  23. Sharon, They are great covers, aren't they? Glad you came by!

  24. anne and roseanna.

    what a wonderful posting/interview.

    i can't wait to read you latest masterpiece, r. :)

  25. Thanks, Sharon! I'm tickled with them too. =)

  26. I am so looking forward to this book. First of all because Roseanna wrote it. duh. And, because I love this time period and Annapolis! wow.

    Don't you all love when an author shares their 'template' for their h/h? what fun.

    thanks, ladies!

  27. Thanks for coming over to visit, Anne. Hot Springs is a gorgeous area, and I'll never forget the little old lady named Hazel we met in the tourist office, which was housed in an old red train car, and talking to the folk in the office there at the old 1700s spa site. I had to cut way too much of my scenes set there out of my novel because of length, but I saved them and I want slip in that setting of the painted rocks into some book, some day.

  28. I so love you for that "duh," Debra! ;-)

  29. John Gidding. Oh my. I don't have a clue who he is. Where did you find him? I guess I need to expand my tv and movie viewing.

  30. Hey Debra, I didn't know who he was either until I looked him up. He's on HGTV's Curb Appeal. I think I'll have to start watching that show :)

  31. He was in Kaye Dacus's Man Managerie on Facebook, LOL. That's how *I* found him. ;-)

  32. interesting interview. I do love this LFY in Annapolis, Maryland

    We were in WV this fall taking our daughter to college. Yes, I loved the mountains there. So beautiful.

    Love the cookies so cute.

  33. This book is on my wish list and I totally love the cover! It really draws you to the book, without even reading the plot:)

  34. What a cute cookie idea! My granddaughter will love to make these with me when we visit! Not getting all sugared up on frosting. Are pretzel ears and M&Ms added before baking? or when first taken out of oven? (am guessing before, so they don't fall off, but does it make the pretzels brittle?) e-mail me recipe, please?
    I would like to have a copy of Love Finds You in Annapolis Maryland! I have not read any LFY books yet. I have read two Summerside books and they were great.

  35. I like the theme of your novels, Roseanna. The world needs more hope! :)


I am so delighted that you've taken time to come by and comment. Blessings for a joy-filled day!

1 Corinthians 1:3 ~ Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.