Wednesday, April 21, 2010
8:59 AM Jennifer Hudson Taylor 8 comments
I would like to welcome my friend and fellow author, Roseanna M. White. I've heard some great things about her new novel, A Stray Drop of Blood, categorized as biblical fiction. Roseanna has agreed to give away one copy from a random drawing of those who leave a comment with an email for contact purposes.
Of all the characters you’ve created, which is your favorite and why?
I'd have to say my favorite is one that will probably never see the light of day. Her name is Carman Kennedy, and she has been carefully hewn into the ultimate femme fatale. But deep inside lurks the desire to be something else, something unassociated with the man who took over her life when she was fifteen. Her story is one of falling as far as a woman possibly can, to finally be lifted up by love—of God, friends, and a man—when she thought she was all out of hope. Carman's story may not have a place in today's publishing world, but it has a special place in my heart. I set out to write it wanting to redeem an unredeemable character, and I love how she developed. I loved getting inside her head until I understood what made that kind of person tick—and what might bring them to a crashing halt.
What are you currently writing?
At the moment I'm toying with another Biblical fiction, though we'll see where it goes. It's a new spin on the familiar Esther story, using Herodotus's History for stories of Xerxes as much as the Biblical account. Putting the two together leaves a lot of holes and a lot of questions . . . all of which are answered by the existence of my heroine, Kasia, who is both Esther's childhood friend and Xerxes' favorite concubine.
Tell us about your la
A Stray Drop of Blood is the story of Abigail, a Hebrew slave in a Roman house in
. Her master and mistress love her and raise her as a daughter, educating her in Greek and Roman texts as well as the Law of Moses, but when their son returns from Jerusalem , he isn't inclined to view her as a sister. Through twists of fate that lead her into the darkness of bitterness and despair, Abigail's story is one of love growing in soil thought too hard for it and colliding with the power of forgiveness that soaks her along with a stray drop of Jesus' blood when she ends up at his crucifixion. Rome
What kind of planning do you do before writing a novel?
Ideas usually burst into my head and become fully formed within a day—at least the good ones, LOL. They also totally possess me during that phase, so if it's a historical that requires research, I'll sit down and undergo a blitz of looking-up-this and finding-out-that for the bare bones, then will generally jot it all down in a rambling sort of summary with lots of question marks and “or something”s peppered throughout. Then when I can actually write it, I'll do any more intense research that needs done. I can usually only stand so much non-fiction reading at a time—not to mention I can't do anything without interruption from my 4- and 2-year-olds, ha ha—so I'll write a bit as I'm researching. I usually have the first few chapters finished by the time my research is complete and my outline whole, so I can send that much off to my agent and critique partners for thoughts while I work on the rest.
Do you edit as you go or wait until completing the first draft? How many drafts?
I'm mostly an as-you-go person. I'll send chunks to my critters as I finish them so that I can integrate their critiques as I go and make sure my development answers their questions. After finishing my first draft, I'll then do another read-through, change anything that needs it (generally the first and last chapters) and then send it off to my agent. If she gives the thumbs-up, we submit. If she sees a problem, I do another go-through to fix it. But as true drafts go, it's really only 1 . . . or maybe 1.5. With lots of little tweaks as I go.
In your opinion, what is a writer’s grea
Judging by my own story and those of my friends, I'd have to say it's bridging the gap between that vision we have of our books and what their place really is in the world. For a writer, it's generally all about the story, about putting it to paper. Yes, our dream is publication, but it's only something we pursue because we so love writing. But then once we're facing rejections, marketing, sales, and reader feedback, we're forced to separate ourselves from our stories a bit. We have to sell it, we have to accept bad opinions, we have to come to a place where we can trust the Lord that this story, whatever it may be, is doing His work even if we don't see how—even if that work is personal growth that doesn't end in publication or big sales. It's hard to turn our babies over, be it to God or to the publishers. It takes trust, and it's a hard thing to learn.
Thank you, Roseanna, for joining us!
You can find out more about Roseanna at: http://www.roseannawhite.com.