What drew you to the subject of Hermes Online?
First off thank you for having me here today!
Outwardly, beyond the love story gently guided by divine hands, Hermes Online involves a woman crawling from a pit of self-doubt and despair to realize the words and actions of another do not have power to define her life.
On the inside, I wrote this story after I’d lost a battle. I’d worked for months to save a significant landmark and still the powers that be came like thieves in the night and took the structure down. I'd done everything I could -- sought alternatives, talked to anyone I thought might help. But the deal was already made, and its timeframe prevented me from battling on until reason prevailed or a reasonable solution could be found. The whole thing made me feel small and my work pointless -- what good to landmark anything if in the end someone could destroy it on a whim?
I sat down at my computer and wrote this sentence: What a day, I feel mentally exhausted and strained to my soul.
I stared at it and in that moment I wanted someone to understand the depth of my emotion. More than that, after this long fight, I didn’t want to feel anything. Suddenly my sentence became this: “What a day,” I grumbled, feeling mentally exhausted and strained to my soul.
I had inadvertently created Vivienne, a character working at a job similar to mine and she was having a very bad day like I was. Coincidentally, she faced a landmark coming down too and wanted to tell her story in a way I couldn’t. My personal pain became my character's pain, but she turned it around and got me a love story out of the whole mess. By the time I was done with her life and her world (and her saved landmark), the painful emotion of the loss had diminished.
I wholeheartedly recommend writing as a purge.
What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know pre-published that you wish you knew?
Of all the things I’ve so recently learned, I wish I’d had an inkling of the amount of time needed to promote one’s own work. There are days when I don’t even get a chance to add a single word to my next novel. I’m too busy promoting the last two!
What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing?
My varied interests would be number one. I currently dabble or have dabbled in all manner of things. Two would be the fact I’m an information hound and read encyclopedias like other people read magazines. With my interests come years of reading and research to learn all I can about them. I’d say this broad eclectic knowledge base to draw from helps me a great deal. Three would be I’m also very detail oriented. I can see the smallest detail in the worlds I create, even down to my characters’ variegated shades in the coloring of their hair, to the sound of the fly buzzing on a hot summer day, or the pattern on the wallpaper decorating my character’s homes.
What do you consider your weakness and what strategies do you use to overcome it?
I almost do a sort of stream of consciousness writing where I’ll fall into the zone and write down everything that my imagination sees, and believe me, it sees everything. To create realistic scenes and scenarios, I draw from reality, and reality is often cluttered with details of sights, sounds, textures, smells etc. Seeing such detail that I just mentioned as a strength above, is also a weakness at times. My readers might not care if the wallpaper pattern repeats every seven inches! My mind may see it, and I may write it out while composing the story, but it’s not important. I can’t say I use a strategy per se. I do a heck of a lot of revisions! It’s common for me to eliminate several thousand words when all is said and done.
What’s your favorite quote?
I love a good quote — contemporary, ancient, witty, or solemn etc. I especially love philosophical thought. Combine the two, mmm mmm mmm. It’s like chocolate to me…smooth…creamy…delectable…and I want more. I collect quotes as I collect other words. Every so often someone says something that is so precise and germane to the moment in which it was uttered that it makes me stop in my tracks and absorb it like sunshine. I’ve been keeping favorites for years -- a habit begun in 6th grade, of all places, and it all started with this one by Max Ehrmann. I found it lying on the ground as I walked home from school and thinking on it now I’m able to recall the paper was blue. Imagine the power this little declaration held to a twelve year old standing on the cusp of womanhood and whose childhood just wasn’t making sense anymore. Powerful enough for the woman she became to remember it was blue all these decades later.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Max Ehrmann’s ~Desiderata
Max pointed out the fact I was indeed a part of something larger than I realized. When we’re young, children tend to believe they’re the center of the universe but we’re not. We’re something far more wondrous. The words typed on a typewriter with such firm keystrokes they made braille of several letters on the blue paper, spoke to me. They said, you have a right to be here, and made me believe.
What three things would you want with you on a desert island?
This made me smile Chris. No matter how I came at this question, all I’d see is the Disney movie Swiss family Robinson or the Jules Verne story
. Of course I would arrive with nothing, but a sea chest would wash up on the shore and before you know it I’d have built myself I three-story tree house with louvered blinds for star gazing and running water so I could wash my seashell and coconut dishes. Once I was comfortable in my castaway home, my husband (1) would come and he’d bring a solar panel (2) and my laptop (3), so I could finish my series. :) We’d eventually be found but we wouldn’t want to leave. Our grown kids would come visit by sea plane on occasion. Mysterious Island
What place that you haven’t visited would you like to go?
I’m fascinated by the world’s religions as they apply to sacred ground. Why were churches built over sacred druid sites, what lay beneath? I plan to visit the British Isles first, then take the channel ferry to
Brittany and visit Carnac’s standing stones.
What other time period besides your own would you like to experience?
I used to be involved in costumed living history spanning 1680 to 1860. Several times a year, we tried to recreate those time periods as best we could. I love reading historicals for the flights of fancy they are, especially the Regency and Georgian eras. I also love tales of knights and colonials. But the truth of those eras is more than a little off-putting with disease, filth, low standing of women in society, child labor, inadequate diet, lack of medicines etc.
Keeping my rights and freedoms of course, I think a stint in the mid to late Victorian era would be fun. Now there was a romantic age of discovery. After all those years of historical reenacting, I could so easily get into Steampunk where you keep the romantic elements of history and live a retro-futuristic life.
What is your favorite writing reference book and why?
Believe it or not, it’s The Complete Book of Baby Names by Leslie Bolton. You get 100,001 names for your characters complete with meanings, all at the flip of a page. I often name characters by personality or trait.
Who is your favorite character in your book?
In my as yet unfinished, four-years-in-the-making, five-book series, it’s my entire family of exceptional men. Hands down, they are my absolute favorites, so much so, I can’t even pick one over the rest. It’s a collective choice. In Hermes Online, my main man S is a real keeper. Vivienne tells her story in first person so we don’t get a ringside seat in his head like we do for her. Instead we come to understand him through his choice of words. Hermes Online, you see, is a love story that begins with an email. For ¾ of the book, we only know him through his written words. But S chooses his words carefully and those choices speak volumes about him. That’s what makes him stand out, at least for me. If you’re a person who enjoys the romantic notion of men, S is a composite of the best manly characteristics and attributes my mind could envision. I believe his lovely prose will stay with you. It’s stayed with me!
Have you ever fallen so deeply in love with the characters in a romance novel that thoughts of them linger long after the last page is turned? Have you ever been so completely immersed in a love scene that you'd swear you've just been kissed or more? Meet strong, confident heroines and be seduced by compelling heroes you'll wish were there beside you. Come see how their lives intertwine and through their stories discover love profound. From Hermes Online and Dreamscape, to the passionate stories that follow, I hope to sweep you away on a sensual tide of memorable story-telling.
Hermes Online Book Blurb:
Left bruised and brokenhearted after a cruel breakup, Vivienne Bennet finds herself mired in a world of self-doubt. To her surprise, she receives an email that challenges her to rediscover who she once was. Together Vivienne and the enigmatic S embark upon the world of anonymous internet communication where suggestive emails lead to erotic chat and C2C sends both into the arms of a love they’d believed lost forever.
Rose Anderson’s books can be found in both paperback and ebook on Amazon.com and at online booksellers everywhere. You can also buy them here: http://www.bookstrand.com/rose-anderson