Monday, June 17, 2013

Interview: The adventurous, reflective Rhea Rose

SSJ:Tell us about yourself. 
RR: I call myself a dual citizen. I work as a Language Arts and Fine Arts teacher in an alternate program, but I also have a full-time interest in writing. I write short stories, poetry, and lately, I’ve written a webisode series that I will turn into a novel series, too. I just completed the MFA (creative writing) program at UBC.

What are your newest works? 
This year (2013) I have three short stories coming out in three different anthologies. My first story, “Leaf Man” has appeared this spring, April, in Masked Mosaic Canadian Super Stories, published by Tyche Books (rhymes with Nike); the next anthology is called Dead North and it’s a collection of Zombie stories published by Exile Books. 

My story is called, “The Adventures of Dorea Tress,” and this collection will be out in October 2013. The last story, “The Wall” will appear in an anthology called Tesseracts 17, again in the late fall, published by Edge Press. So far, it’s been a good year for short stories.

What else is new with you? 
At the moment I’m on a personal crash course in marketing my writing online. Although I have always published through the traditional method, mail out, get rejected, mail again, most writers know the traditional publishing world has been knocked from its kingpin position by the onslaught of epublishing. This change of venue for writers requires us to become better marketers of our own work; she who knows how to blog, tweet, build a website, and crowd source, then write a good book, will do well.  

That being said, I am still earning to think differently about how I approach my own writing projects. I decided to graduate from UBC with a webisode, the writing of which was very much like writing a novel. I created a world and characters and dialogue, now I can finish the job by turning the stories into novels, or produce them as webisodes or do both. Although the project is ready “to go” in terms of writing (that’s done), the marketing is not in place yet.

What did you learn during the writing process? 
Can you give us any tips? 

One of the best things I’ve learned to do is write anywhere. If you have a laptop or something small like that and learn to take it with you, like you do your purse and make yourself write, you will end up with completed projects. I’ve also learned that if you write it “they will come,” for those of you that remember the movie Field of Dreams. Today more than ever that holds true. Writers have become suppliers of content. Don’t ever throw away an idea. I once wrote a vampire story that I couldn’t sell for ten years. Everywhere I sent it, they said, “OMG, a vampire story. We don’t do those.” Then with the rise of the Twilight series, my vampire story became the hottest thing since, well, you know.

Tell us about your previous projects. 
I tend to be a short story writer and most of my work has been published in Canada, but some of it has been published in the US. In the world of Canadian speculative writing, which includes Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Myth and anything in between, one of the writers’ awards is called the Aurora. I’ve been nominated for it, but have yet to win it.

What is it that you like about science fiction? 
Not just science fiction but the entire field of speculative fiction attracts me because it allows the adventurous side of me to explore realms that I can’t otherwise go to. There is much hullabaloo in the genre about the fact the Margaret Atwood insists that she doesn’t write science fiction, but it’s very clear to those of us that do, that she does also. That’s not to say that I don’t write literary fiction or don’t enjoy it, I do, and have published both short stories and poetry in more literary publications, but for now it’s not where I like to live most of the time.

What books are you reading right now? 
I just finished the third book in the Game of Thrones series (George R.R. Martin) and a collection of short stories called, Objects of Worship by Claude Lalumiere. I am reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, For One More Day by Mitch Albom and am about to start another short story collection called Push of the Sky by Camille Alexa, like most writer my reading list is infinite, eclectic and random. If someone puts a book in front of me and says read this I will, at some point.

Tell us about your next project.
I’d like to bring some of the writing projects I began in my UBC classes to completion and get them marketed. My next big love is poetry and did do some serious poetry writing in a class with Susan Musgrave. I love poetry. To me it’s the heart of all writing. I may do a poetry collection.

How can people buy your book? 
These are links that will take you to my work.

How can people find you on –line?
Ha, ha, I am on Facebook and I do have a blog called; The Essence of the Rose, but I am still very new at all this and to prove it if you look for me on Facebook you’ll soon see I have to different pages. This is because I didn’t know what I was doing in the beginning and created two, now that I know better, I rather like having two. Tweets and websites are being worked on. I’m on LinkedIn and Good Reads.

Thanks, Rhea! I look forward to reading more from you.

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