Today the lovely Rosary McQuestion has agreed to be grilled, erm I mean interviewed, by me.
Have a drink, sit down, and make yourself comfortable, because you will be here for a while. 🙂
Is living in Michigan very different from life in the Big Apple? And would you ever want to live in a city that never sleeps again?
Actually, I was very young when we moved from New York and really didn’t experience much so I can’t make a clear assessment. However, I have traveled there many, many times for business throughout the years, and the city is always electrifying! I especially love Manhattan. In Times Square I can always find a beautiful knockoff designer purse, the last one was a Gucci. No matter where I am or what I’m doing in the city, I love it there! Many times I wished we would never have moved. I’d love to live there, but my husband wouldn’t.
How did you get from writing advertising and marketing related things to being a fiction author?
For many writers struggling to write that first novel, advertising has proven a useful field. For one thing—it pays. Like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Don DeLillo, and Helen Gurley Brown, who worked as copywriters in their early careers, I, too, was a copywriter (and and account manager). I began working for advertising agencies in the eighties when I lived in Wisconsin, which ultimately led to opening my own agency.
In a way it makes a lot of sense that the advertising field would spawn successful writers, as the above mentioned famous people. In advertising, whether you’re a designer, part of the marketing team, and especially if you are a copywriter, it’s imperative to think out-of-the-box to get ahead of the competition. It takes lots of imagination and creativity to ping out creative copy for hundreds of print ads, brochures, TV advertisements and the like.
Copywriters learn how to write economically and on deadline, and discover fertile subjects in the business culture around them. Therefore, for me, copywriting was like a prerequisite or exercise for one day writing a novel.
Why do you prefer cats over dogs?
I love both, but bogs are like children, they need to be taken for walks and to do their business and if you leave for any extended amount of time, even a day, you need a dog sitter. With cats, they only need a litter box and a self food/water feeder. SIMPLE!
When you are old and you and your husband are sitting in your rocking chairs, what is the thing which will be most retold?
It’s the story of how we were both broke, newly married and a very depressed because my husband had lost his job. We were living hand-to-mouth. Times were tough. One night as we sat on the swing on the back porch, I looked into the stars and told my husband that one day we are going to look back on this and laugh. I know he thought I was crazy, but I told him that it’s meant to be that we’re going to live in a huge, beautifully furnished house one day, have sleek new cars and everything we want. I distinctly said, “I promise you.” He didn’t say anything, but in his head I know he was thinking that I’m such a dreamer. Six months later, things turned around for us, and through the 26 years we’ve been married, the words I spoke have all come true. This is a story we have shared with many people, plus our children and we will never forget that night on the back porch under the stars.
That is a beautiful story!
With the personal questions out of the way, let’s do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun. And by yada yada I do not mean boring, or in any other way stupid questions, but just the traditional ones. You know? The ones we secretly all want to know the answer to.
First, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?
The title is Once Upon Another Time
AMAZON US | AMAZON UK
Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?
Yes, I did. I went through several titles. Then one day, I got to thinking about the main character, her life and how her happily-ever-after-fairytale crumbled when her husband died. And I immediately thought of Once Upon Another Time, because it sounds like a fairytale of lost love.
If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?
I’d stand my ground, because it really couldn’t be any other genre than what I wrote it in.
Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?
I do a butt dance while still seated in my chair, and pump my fists in the air while saying “Yes! Yes! “Yes! ”
Is there anything else you’d like to share about the book and how it came to be? Or can we take the alternative route now?
The book came to be, because I’ve always been intrigued with the spirit world – spooky unexplained sounds during the middle of the night, the world from beyond trying to claw its way through to our world. Or a chill that rattles the spine when one senses that something unnatural is near. However, most consuming in my life has always been the question of what becomes of us after we die? Therefore, I knew I wanted to write about someone who died and manages to cross back over and contact the one they love.
I love that! I truly believe there is more than just this life.
What don’t you like about writing?
My butt gets sore from sitting in a chair for 14 hours a day!
What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?
That’s a good question. I think a good marketing approach is to make a lot of friends via Twitter and Facebook and have conversations. I used to think that getting the word out about my book via twitter would help generate lots of sales. I was wrong, Twitter is for socializing, and therefore, I believe a different approach should be taken. I think tweets should make people think, whet the appetite and entice people to want to click the link. Tweets that say Buy My Book, sound so desperate and it’s a turn off. I think that not talking about a book at all but creating something clever is a way to get people to notice. I’ll be experimenting with a string of tweets and Facebook posts I’ve created to test the waters.
However, I have found success in people buying my book when I welcome a new follower. I always thank them for following “Once Upon Another Time.” I don’t mention following me, but following the book. I do add that it is #1 in 4 categories on Goodreads and leave it at that. People respond very well to this because I am not asking them to buy the book. All I’m doing is peaking their curiosity as to why the book is #1 in all those categories. And it seems people want to know, so they check it out.
That sounds like something worth trying. Thanks for the tip, I’ll certainly look into it. *makes note to create page for books*
Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?
But you must have a most favourite dish, right? Can you give me the recipe?
I have many favorite dishes, but Quiche Lorraine is right up there with the rest. I’m happy to share the recipe.
8 slices of bacon, chopped to about 1 inch pieces, which ends up being just over 1 cup of bacon.
2-3/4 cups of heavy cream (If you’re afraid of having a coronary, you can do a milk and cream mix or a milk and half & half mix)
1-1/2 cups Swiss cheese, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
6 wedges Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss Cheese
1-cup asparagus, sliced into 1-inch long pieces on the diagonal
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 deep-dish pie crusts (I use the frozen ones and thaw them)
Preheat your oven to 375. Sauté the bacon over medium to medium high heat stirring frequently; render the fat, but keep it soft. Once most of the fat has melted away, move the bacon pieces to a plate with paper towels to absorb any lingering grease.
In a sauce pan, bring the cream up to a simmer. Simmer the cream for 4-5 minutes to infuse the cream. Remove from the heat. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Temper the eggs by pouring a scoop or two of hot cream slowly into the eggs, whisking constantly. Once tempered, pour remaining cream into egg mixture to incorporate completely and then mix in the dry ingredients.
Prick the bottom of the pie crusts. (Do not prebake crust). Sprinkle the bacon into the bottom of each. Then add the Swiss cubes. Break or smoosh the Laughing Cow cheese as best you can and drop bits of it into each crust. Pour the custard mixture slowly and evenly into each. Place the 2 pies onto a cookie sheet and put on the middle rack of your oven. Then bake for 20 minutes.
While the quiches are baking, steam the asparagus until just fork tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and dry well. Once the first 20 minutes of baking are up, pull the quiches out, sprinkle the tops with asparagus, and bake for another 15 minutes. You may need to put foil collars around the piecrust if you feel they’re browning too much.
Cool for 1 to 1-1/2 hours to let the pies set up properly. Serve with a salad mixed with sweet berries and a light citrus vinaigrette to complement the bacony saltiness of the quiche.
Delish! It is a pie that can be eaten for breakfast (with the berries), as snack, or even for tea served with a green salad.
Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written in a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!
My computer had gotten a really bad virus and shut down my whole system. I’d spent the afternoon searching for and calling PC techs to see who could repair my computer and finally settled on Best Buy. So I drove the fifteen miles there, waited in line for twenty minutes, then finally got waited on. When they told me it would take three days to a week get my computer back, I wanted to scream, “Are you insane?! I spend fourteen hours a day on my computer, the thing is like my lifeblood, I can’t possibly go without it that long while the cyber world passes me by!!!!”
By the time I got done pleading and begging, dinner time was closing in on me. I reluctantly left my computer with the service representative and drove the fifteen miles back home.
I had forty-five minutes before my husband would get home from work, so I started to prepare dinner, got all my ingredients together and realized I was missing a main ingredient. I hopped in the car, drove the twelve miles to the grocery store, and raced back home. After putting the meal into the oven, I heard a gagging sound.
I raced into the living room to see my cat ready to heave. I quickly picked him up to get him off the carpeting and onto the hardwood flooring when he did a projectile vomit down the front of my blouse and onto the floor.
I quickly put him down to clean the vomit off of me, when he started heaving again! This went on for the next few minutes. All the while, I’m smelling like cat vomit.
My husband arrived home to see me in a mess. I finally cleaned up all the messes, got out of my nasty clothes and took a shower.
After dinner, I was going to work on my book and simply write it out on a legal pad, when I noticed a foul odor wafting up from the basement. I went to investigate, and almost lost my dinner when I saw that my cat’s little box was dripping down the sides and all over with what looked like chocolate syrup, but smelled like something had died.
I instantly started to gag, and then panicked, wondering, where in the hell did the cat go! Frantically, I raced around the house from room to room, hoping he wasn’t going to have an accident, when I heard him heaving, again!
I quickly tracked him down, hiding in the bathroom, thank God, lifted him up, this time at arm’s length and noticed his normally fluffy tail was covered in do-do!!!! I was gagging and stumbling toward the laundry room, and once I got there I put the cat in the room and closed the door.
Long story short, after the headache with my computer, which was going to cost a couple hundred dollars to fix and cleaning all the messes the cat made, plus wrestling with the cat to bath him and then taking another shower, I opened a bottle of wine. By the time I was relaxed, I knew I wasn’t in any shape to think about writing anything that would make even the smallest bit of sense, and fell asleep in front of the TV. I had finally crawled into bed at around two in the morning.
That is quite a story! I feel for you, but to be honest I chuckled once or twice too. 🙂
And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?
Because it’s fun to live vicariously through my characters. Their lives are much more exciting than mine!
Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂
Hmm, well I know you’ll be rolling your eyes on this one, but it’s the truth. Now, promise me you won’t think I’m a loon, but I used to have premonitions. They came to me in a dream. Most were of sad or bad things like people who were going to die or some other tragedy, and one time, even of a man who was shot and killed. So, there you have it, my deepest secret.
I will not roll my eyes, but instead I am most interested to hear more of this. Maybe another time?
That was it folks. If you have any questions for Rosary, you can ask them in the comment section and if you would like to follow Once Upon Another Time you can find Rosary and her book online at Facebook, on Twitter, and her website
Aubrey McCory’s husband died in a tragic accident when she was twenty-eight and pregnant, which ended her happily-ever-after fairytale dream. Six years later, she’s still emotionally damaged with an unhealed heart, and sometimes fantasizes about what it would be like to see her husband one last time, like in her favorite movie “Ghost” when Sam said his final goodbye to Molly. Then five days before the seventh anniversary of his death, a glitch in the universe gives Aubrey the psychic ability to hear what people are thinking. And by all accounts, she seems to also have made a psychic connection with the dearly departed – namely her deceased husband.
As fate would have it, she also meets hunky Gavin Donnelly – whom she feels might be the next Mr. Right – and her life becomes topsy-turvy.
Her hippy parents, the Abbie and Anita Hoffman of suburbia, have Aubrey questioning her sanity after they leak a secret that Aunt Millie threw herself off the Brooklyn Bridge after hearing voices. Then there’s the fiasco of Aubrey trying to hold a connection with the dead when her new psychic ability doesn’t come with an instruction manual or tech support. And she can’t lean on her best friend, former debutante Laura Wentworth, who inhabits the heady spheres of society, without looking like a kook.
Aubrey’s life was complicated enough before photos rattled off bookshelves and the sound of wind chimes played in her head. Soon she’s juggling a demanding career, a six-year-old son, a freaky spiritualist, and the belief that her husband’s ghost is trying to tell her something of great importance. All while she tries to reclaim her heart and not lose the next love of her life.