Roseanne Dowell

Roseanne Dowell BIO PIC

Thank you Roseanne for taking time to have an interview with us.  We absolutely enjoyed your answers and believe that aspiring and fellow authors will gain some valuable knowledge and experience from your perspective.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book(s), but nobody has? Write it out here, and then answer it?

Did you have to go to college and get a degree to learn to write?
No, absolutely not. I did take an online writing course, but even that isn’t necessary. I read many books about writing and joined writer’s groups. The best one I joined was Long Ridge Writer’s Group and participated in the forums. I learned more from that than any book or course. Mary Rosenblum is an excellent teacher and gives great examples for every facet of writing.

What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?

I tried to follow a process once. Outlined a story on the advice of a speaker I heard at our branch of RWA. NEVER again. I write when my characters speak to me. If it’s in the middle of the night, so be it. I’ve learned not to ignore them and never to leave them for the next day because I won’t remember. So, I’ve learned to get up and write down an idea, dialogue or whatever they’re saying to me.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Oh yes, I believe every author suffers from it at one time or another. I often have a couple of stories going on at the same time and try to work on one of them. Unfortunately, right now I have three stories going on and I’m blocked on every one of them. I’ve decided to wait them out and see which of them speaks to me first.

What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?

That there are very few rules in writing. There aren’t many Always of Nevers. Yes, there are a few, but not many. And just keep writing, find your own voice and go with it.

What are your current/future projects?

Right now I’m working on one with a character from All in the Family – Callie’s Aunt Beatrice Lulu.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I’ve always loved mysteries and romance, combining them seemed the thing to do. Although I do write women’s fiction, stories with ghosts and one was about ESP. They tend to balance themselves, but most of them have at least an element of romance in them.

Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?

I am both traditional and self published. My first book, Satin Sheets was published in 2006 and sold over 35,000 copies through Premium Press America. Since then I’m mostly published with epublisher. My current publisher is Books We Love Ltd. My books are available both as ebooks and print. I recently self published a book with two short stories. The process I went through was to submit my work to publishers over and over until I found one that accepted.

Have you ever changed a title, book cover, or even the content of your book after it was published? What was that process like?

Yes, I have a couple of books with new titles and book covers. Satin Sheets, the first book ever published is out of print from the publisher and is not published as It’s Only Make Believe. I also have a few others that were published with another publisher, rights returned and now published with Books We Love. In fact, the book I self published – both stories were previously published as two separate ebooks.

What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place like (car, restaurant, bathroom/shower, etc..) and how do you capture that moment before it gets away from you?

I learned a long time ago to write down an idea immediately, otherwise I will lose it. It’s not always possible, but I do write it down as soon I can.

Do you have a target amount of words/pages for each of your books or do you just know when enough is enough?

I don’t have a target amount. The books just seem to flow until it’s enough.

How do you think you have evolved as a person/author because of your writing and do you believe your writing has helped others, how/why?

I think I’ve become more outgoing. Maybe because I’ve done a couple of speaking/booksignings. I’m no long afraid to speak in public. I hope my writing has helped others. I taught writing classes at our community college’s encore program (a program for seniors). And I teach online writing classes at Long Story Short School of writing. I’ve also tutored students privately and received notes thanking me for helping them.

How much influence do you believe a title, cover, content, page numbers have in purchasing decisions of potential buyers/readers?

I think the title and cover have a big influence on potential buyers/readers. If a cover strikes me, I’m more prone to pick up a book, open it and see what it’s about. the length of a book doesn’t influence me as much.

Do you believe there is value in a review? Do you believe they are under rated, over rated, or don’t matter at all?

I think a good review is important to the sale of a book, but I do like to judge for myself. Just like movies, I’ve often seen movies that I don’t agree with the reviewers. So if the reviews are mixed good and bad, I’ll often make my own decision.

What are your thoughts on authors doing review swaps, paying for reviews, or reviews that just don’t seem right for the book?

I’d never pay for a review. Also, I don’t want a good review just because I gave someone a good review. If I don’t like a book, I won’t review it. I believe if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it.

Do you believe there are competitors or general readers out to sabotage authors with bad reviews and what are your experiences with this?

I hate to think there are readers out there like that, but I’ve had a few that I didn’t feel I deserved. I especially don’t like a bad review from someone who starts out – this isn’t the kind of book I usually read. Why would you read a book you don’t usually read. If you don’t like romance, why would you read one and then give it a bad review?

Have you ever had an interesting, funny, or even bad experience during a live interview, reading, event, or autograph session?

Oh my yes. I was being interviewed for a radio station over the phone and my mind went completely blank. During a book signing, I lost my place in my notes. I do much better just doing a question answer session.

What is your biggest fear about having a book published?

That readers won’t buy it.

If you have multiple books published what do you feel is your greatest work, why?

That’s impossible to answer. I think all my books are my favorites for a variety of reasons.

What is the intended audience for you book?

I write romance for the 20/30/40 age group as well as for the seniors. Just because women and men are older doesn’t mean they don’t need love. Geriatric Rebels and A Time to Love Again are two such books.

Give us a fun fact about your book(s)?

I try to add a bit of humor into all of my books, some more than others.

If you had the chance to get one message out there to reach readers all over the world, what would that message be?


Do you find it easier to connect with your readers with the advances in technology we have today like social media? What platform do you prefer, and why?

Absolutely. Readers can email or comment on Facebook or other social media sites and don’t have to write fan letters by snail mail.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I think characters names are very important. My characters generally name themselves. I have lists of most popular names as well as old-fashioned names. Social Security has popular names from every generation. If I’m using older characters I like to use names that fit that generation.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

Yes I read all my reviews. I try to respond to the goods ones. As for the bad, I just ignore them. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and I refuse to defend myself and alienate potential readers. Not everyone is going to like my books.

What are some events you have attended or participated in that has been a positive experience/influence on/for your writing?

Book signings

What is the easiest/hardest scene for you to write, why? (Love, action, fight, death, racy, controversial, etc…)

I don’t write erotic scenes. I don’t like reading them and feel some of them are just added to sell books, they don’t add to the story.

Were your characters based off real life people/events or did you make it all up?

I think every writer’s characters are based somewhat one real people/events. I think I combine characters I know into a specific character that works for a story. I embellish real events so much that they’re basically made up.

What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?

Showing, not telling is probably the first element. Using strong verbs, avoiding adverbs and ‘to be’ words (is was were etc). Using your senses in books is also important – smell, taste, sight, sound, feel. There are so many more.

What book(s), author(s), or significant life event(s) have had a positive or negative influence in your life that inspired you to begin writing?

Reading from a young child was the most influential. I loved reading mysteries – Nancy Drew, then moved on to Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney and eventually Nora Roberts and Danielle Steele

What are your thoughts about eBooks vs. print books?

I’ve always loved holding a book in my hand, but now I own a Kindle and love it. I think they’re equal.

Do you view writing as a career, labor of love, hobby, creative outlet, therapy, or something else?

A combination of them. It’s my career that I love and a great hobby as well as a creative outlet. I find it great therapy for when I’m upset or angry – I write some of my best scenes when I’m angry – or when I’m sad/depressed.

Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you send them off to an editor? If you send them off to an editor, who/what have you had the best experience with?

Both.I have beta readers and my publisher provides great editors.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of self or traditional publishing?

I think traditional publishing provides the best advantage – not only do they provide editors, they help promote your books.

Do you have a subject/genre you would never write about, why?

Erotica, I don’t like to read it so wouldn’t like to write it.

What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?

Inspiration comes from all around you. I’ve gotten ideas from standing in a grocery store line to people watching.

What is your most/least favorite part of the writing process, why?

Promoting – it’s very difficult and time-consuming.

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