I’m excited to welcome Calisa Rhose today, whose recent release Home is the first in a series of books about a spooky Scrimshaw Doll that The Wild Rose Press is publishing for the Oklahoma Romance Writers. So far two of the books have been released, two more are scheduled, and four more have been contracted, and are in edits.
Callie: Let’s hear a little bit about Calisa.
Calisa: A little about me…well I live in central Oklahoma near one of the state’s largest lakes. My husband and I care for his elderly father and also our oldest granddaughter so our empty nest has never truly been empty. Lol I enjoy riding horses and love my sweet ole’ Sonny Delight, crafting is a passion and when my daughters were in grade-middle school I made no-sew picture frames from cardboard and fabric and sold them. Let’s see, what else? Oh- I read every chance I get, which isn’t as often as you’d think, since one other thing that might be kind of interesting is that I’m an independent editor and for Still Moments Publishing. I’ve got something else editorially-wise in the works but can’t say anything yet in case it jinxes me. J
Callie: It sounds like you’re one very busy lady. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Calisa: I’d love to say that when I’m writing I go into a bubble and just create. But the truth is I write around caring for my father in-law and granddaughter’s needs, and edits. So I start out checking email and blogging/visiting blogs. I move to whichever editing project I’m working on if there’s a deadline, otherwise I write from ten to three when family starts coming home. Then I edit or write through the evening around dinner and bedtime rituals. After eight-thirty the night is mine usually.
Callie: Yes, a very busy lady. And what was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Calisa: It’s HARD flippin work! I’ve been writing what I call ‘closet stories’ since I was fifteen or so (and there they shall remain!). But when I decided to write-to-publish, the amount of work and this has to be just so, you can’t or don’t want to say that, do you? Heroes can’t be ‘that’ way! Well, hell! I just wanted to write and it’s hard to get that story really publish-worthy. People who think we sit around playing on computers all day (my hubby fits this category) need to walk in the shoes of their favorite author, who created those great books they stalk the book stores for the next one of, while grumbling about what takes so long to spit out a bunch of words on paper and get paid for it… for one day. Hard work.
And for you writers out there who have been told a h/H can’t be/do something different than the mold… Break the mold! Write YOUR story the way the h/H demand it be told. It’s their story and there are way too many choices for publishing out there today for you to write to please anyone but yourself…er, your hero and heroines. I’m not telling you to disregard a targeted publisher’s guidelines, but definitely push the boundaries if that’s your voice and style.
Callie: Definitely good advice, Calisa. There are way too many books out there selling very well that went against the ‘guidelines’ for that genre. I always say it’s all about the story. If it’s a good one, it will attract readers. Tell me what does your family think of your writing?
Calisa: They think I’m a one-hit-wonder by now, I think! Lol It’s been a year almost since I contracted HOME and don’t have anything new coming out at this point. But creating takes time and I do have several projects on the burner in full boil. My plan is to throw five things out all at once, all over the publishing table and see what sticks. Then I’ll have five release dates in three months’ time. J Really, they are very supportive and excited about their mama and wife being a published author. My brothers brag, but they will deny it. I really think they even bought Home because I offered to gift it to them and both declined, and if you knew them, you’d think the same thing. J
Callie: It’s always nice to have family support. What do you think makes a good story?
Calisa: For me a good story is something that pulls me in and makes me invested in the characters. It doesn’t matter if the story begins slow, as long as the characters are engaging and the plot believable, I’ll keep reading past page five. But if the pace doesn’t pick up by the end of chapter one I probably won’t go any farther.
Callie: I think that’s probably what a lot of readers do. I hate it when the story starts off great, but by about the fifth or sixth chapter you’re say “okay, let’s get on with it.” Now the biggie: Do you love or hate writing sex scenes?
Calisa: I LIKE (notice the middle emotion here) writing sex scenes now that I’ve figured out how to do it right. What I hate is someone else reading the sex scenes! LOL Yeah, I’m a shy writer when it comes to the bedroom. I can read anything, but writing it is a whole other animal! I think I’m getting better, though. J
Callie: Thanks for being here with us today, Calisa. Now tell us a little bit about “Home”:
What could a gypsy and a Vietnam veteran have in common?
Silvertown’s outcast, Poppy Tippen, has loved football hero Sam “The Force” Callahan forever. But he never seemed to know she was alive. Now he’s home from the war and she suddenly finds herself comforting him from the demons of “that damn war.” Is his attention merely an escape from the haunting nightmares? Or does she hold the interest of the only man she’s ever truly loved?
Sam Callahan’s only solace from the war nightmares wrecking his life comes in the unlikely form of a gypsy girl with stigmas of her own. He’s known Poppy his entire life, but there’s something different about her now. Something special he desperately wants to hold on to. Can he convince her she’s the only thing he needs to put the past behind him?
Small-town country girl Calisa Rhose lives in a semi-remote area of Oklahoma with her husband, five dogs, one cat and one horse. All of her three daughters and their families live within throwing distance. She’s a member of RWA and the local chapter OKRWA, is a coordinator for the NRCA and IDA contest, as well as, taking on some contest judging. She intends to nurture and continue to grow as an author with the help of her family and supporters.
I can be found sporadically stalking the web in these places,
Find Calisa at her website/blog Calisa Rose Website
Follow me on twitter @Calisa_Rhose and my author page at Facebook/Calisa Rhose
She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for letting me come and prattle with you Callie! You’re an awesome hostess.
Callie: You’re certainly welcome, Calisa. It was a pleasure hearing about you and your book.
Note: As mentioned before, Home was the first release from The Wild Rose Press in the Scrimshaw Doll series. The second book, Pirate’s Proposal, by Diana Layne hit the cyber book shelves on January 18th. My book, Annie’s Attic, will appear on May 30th, and The Color of Betrayal by Kathy Wheeler on June 13th. You can gather more information on the series here: Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll