Today’s guest: J. Q. Rose
My blog returns today, tanned, rested, and ready after a few months off. In its latest iteration, I’ll be alternating my own posts with posts featuring indie and small-press authors who have new books out.
This week I’m happy to host award-winning author and humorist J.Q. Rose. A resident of Western Michigan, she has written both fiction and nonfiction. Her nonfiction books include Girls Succeed!: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women(2014), Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing: Tips on the Writing Process, Publishing and Marketing (2015), Your Words, Your Life Stories: A Guide for Sharing Memories (2019), and Quick Tips on Vegetable Gardening: Starting Your Garden (2015). Her mysteries published by Books We Love Publishing are Terror on Sunshine Boulevard (2nd ed., 2019), Deadly Undertaking (2nd ed., 2019), and Dangerous Sanctuary (2nd ed., 2019).
This week she will be talking about her newest book, Arranging a Dream: A Memoir.
DL: Congratulations on your new book! We’re anxious to hear what it’s about.
JQR: Thank you, Don. I appreciate the opportunity to shout about my new release, Arranging a Dream: A Memoir, a book I have been writing for about six years off and on. The information from the back of the book explains what the memoir is about:
In 1975, budding entrepreneurs Ted and Janet purchase a floral shop and greenhouses where they plan to grow their dream. Leaving friends and family behind in Illinois and losing the security of two paychecks, they transplant themselves, their one-year-old daughter, and all their belongings to Fremont, Michigan, where they know no one.
Will the retiring business owners nurture Ted and Janet as they struggle to develop a blooming business, or will they desert the inexperienced young couple to wither and die in their new environment?
Most of all, can Ted and Janet grow together as they cultivate a loving marriage, juggle parenting with work, and root a thriving business?
Follow this couple’s inspiring story, filled with the joy and triumphs and the obstacles and failures experienced as they travel along the turbulent path of turning dreams into reality.
DL: What inspired the creation of the book?
JQR: I have presented workshops on writing life stories for years, and I encourage people to record their stories for their family and friends all the time. I thought it was about time for me to do what I say. I also wanted to pen this slice of my life for our daughters and grandchildren. As I wrote the story, I realized it was a story about having a dream and turning it into reality. I think these days, more than ever, people bury their dreams due to the many obstacles they would have to overcome to achieve them. I don’t want anyone to look back at their life and have regrets for not trying to have a career in something they are passionate about.
DL: Could you talk about your writing process? Did it differ from the way you’ve written your other works? Did the pandemic affect the writing or launch?
JQR: I am a mystery author and have three published mysteries. I enjoy making up stories. With a memoir, one must tell the truth. So that was the first difference in putting a story together. I didn’t have to research too much since I was writing about my life, but I did check with friends and family about situations to see if I had the facts correct. Memories are not too reliable. The way I remembered the story was different from what they recalled. Since I was the author, I wrote the experiences as I remembered. Otherwise, the writing process was the same for all writing. Sit in the chair and write!
Yes, the pandemic made a big difference in the writing and release of this book. My publisher had slotted June 2020 for the release. I was perking along, getting the story written…until COVID hit. I tried to complete the story, edit it, but I was so scattered. I couldn’t focus. Did you feel that way too? My publisher, Jude, realized we were all having a difficult time concentrating and could not produce our best stories. She offered to delay the releases for those authors who needed to have the time to re-focus. She scheduled my new release date for January 1. I am thankful she was so thoughtful to understand how much time it took to get it together. Plus, I’ve started the new and hope-filled year 2021 with a bang!
DL: What was the best part about writing this book?
JQR: Talking to folks who shared my experiences in the good old days was so much fun. Reminiscing with the people you love leads to a LOT of stories, not just the one I was focused on. Remembering the good ole days is one of the best gifts this writing experience gave me.
DL: What was the most challenging part of writing this book?
JQR: I believe picking it up and starting again to put together the story when one is still reeling from the reality of the COVID-19 tragedy that affected and affects the whole world.
DL: How can readers purchase it or get a signed copy?
JQR: The eBook of Arranging a Dream is available at all major online booksellers.
The paperback is available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Arranging-Dream-J-Q-Rose/dp/0228615542/
DL: Thanks so much for joining us this week. Any final thoughts you would like to share?
JQR: Every person who goes back to re-examine their life comes away with a different perspective when viewed through the lens of time. Yes, I have a deeper appreciation for what our life-changing decision gave us for our family. I also reveal in the book the mind-blowing realization I had after writing the book.
Also, I’m giving away an ebook copy of Arranging a Dream on my stops during the virtual book tour to a lucky commenter. Please check my blog (below) for details!
Connect online with JQ:
J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/
Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/telllifestories