FreePass Friday

Welcome everyone. I want to welcome Margaret Rose to my little corner of cyberspace. Pull up a chair, have a cup of coffee and get ready to dig into writing.

Tracey, thanks for having me. This is my very first appearance on a GAP family member blog and I’m so excited to be here.

Margaret, would you like to tell me a little bit about your writing career?

I have a degree in news writing and editing and have been a professional writer for more years than I’m going to say. My favorite job was as a disk jockey and to give you a clue as to how many years ago, I spun the disks for Saturday night requests. 😉

In between, I’ve managed multi-million dollar ad campaigns and worked with shoestring budgets, too. I freelance feature articles for business-to-business magazines mostly about commercial construction, architecture, oil refineries, and road construction – all the cool stuff guys like to talk about but not with girls. LOL Men are always surprised when we start talking and I “get” the subject even if I don’t know the details. I really love writing for magazines. If the market ever came back strongly enough, I’d quit my day job – which is writing direct marketing in the credit union industry – and just write for magazines. It’s quite lucrative and there’s always something new to learn.

I began writing fan fiction about four years ago and that turned into writing romance novels. I sold my first book in late December 2008. Since August 2009, I’ve had five novels and my children’s book published.

Wow, Margaret! That’s very impressive. You have definitely been playing the field in literature. You mentioned that you write for children and adults. What is the biggest difference between the two?

In some ways there’s no difference, because you are writing to appeal to a specific type of reader. So, you need to understand that and not lose sight of it when you’re developing your story and characters. I’m noodling on a young adult piece about not caving into peer pressure when your passion happens to be an unpopular choice. In this case, I’m delving into the mind of a middle-teen and trying to appeal to the emotions and choices they must make to be happy while fitting in to the pressures of high school. I have a child this age at home so I feel more comfortable writing this than if I didn’t. Kids are smart. They’ll nail you if you aren’t believable just as adults will.

The other significant difference I experience is the complexity of plots and subplots. Adult books give me much greater leverage to explore subjects and characters that I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing as a young adult/children’s author.

How do you get your ideas between the different genres?

Sometimes I see a photo or a concept comes to mind and I just let my subconscious work on the image or story concept for awhile. For example, I’m going to write a ghost story soon. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking about these characters, coming up with names, and bits and pieces of the plot will come to me. I’ll write those down. When that book comes in cue, I’ll start fleshing out these areas – in fiction writing, I’m called a PLOTTER not a PANTSER (I do not “wing it”). My young adult piece has been swirling in my brain for months. I’ve scrapped one approach completely and am now working through story issues.

How did you get started writing?

I’m a born writer. It is my passion. I write almost every single day and between my writing job, the books and all the promotion that goes along with it, I probably write 60 hours a week.

What are your biggest goals with your writing?

I just want a reader to be glad they spent the money on one of my books and enjoyed every word. That seems a simple goal, but it’s not. Writing is very subjective and the reader reactions are equally so.

How do you hold yourself accountable to those goals?

I’m very disciplined. I have a 1,000 word-per-day goal and I work hard to improve as a writer. Many readers think we can just write what we want, how we want. But authors know that isn’t true by any stretch of the imagination. Excellent writers have mastered the most challenging aspects of writing and know there is always something new to learn. I want to be an excellent writer.

You are a true testament of hard work paying off. Writing is definitely something you have to work at. If you could write anything and have it published, what would it be about?

LOL Gosh, that’s a good one. I don’t think I know. I will say, however, that I’m really glad to live in America and be able to write what I want. There are many brilliant authors whose voices are silent because of political and religious censure.

What is the worst idea you’ve ever come up with?

Teasing a bull in a pasture and then trying to dive through an electrified fence to escape. It was hair-raising.

Hahahahaha! ❤ it!!! Which story of yours do you think is the best?

I like them all for different reasons. As an author, you have to be passionate about what you’re writing or it’ll be soggy on the page. I have favorite characters and scenes, and great memories from each piece I’ve written.

How do you market yourself and your books?

I pound the electronic pavement pretty hard. I belong to several author groups, including Guardian Angels, and a number of reader sites, such as Goodreads. It’s all pretty time consuming, when you add this to your website (I have two), blogs (I have three), and e-mail (don’t ask…I might implode). I participate in contests, reviews, volunteer to help other authors, trade blog appearances, I have signings, send out autographed books, and I leave my cute bookmarks accidently here and there (a sneaky marketing thing to do). I recently walked into an electronics store, Googled myself on all the iPads and left them up that way. 😉 I’m very involved in social media for my adult books.

ROFL!!!! I must remember the iPads the next time I’m in the electronic department. VERY SAVY!!!! How do you separate yourself from the world to write?

I have an office at home but I also have children at home and my husband works at home. The kids have grown up with mom banging on the keyboard. I worked from home for about 12 years, too, so they sort of get that they need to stay out of my hair some of the time. But they live there and I spend a lot of time working – yes, I’m a workaholic – so it’s unreasonable to ask them to tiptoe around all the time. I’ve learned to tune things out and get in the zone or spend my time answering e-mail and writing blog posts until it’s quieter. It has to be pretty quiet for me to edit.

If we could know one thing about you, what would surprise us the most?

I’ve panned for gold in Alaska (and found some).

Also, give yourself a plug… any web pages? Books? Or any other tidbits you would like to include.

Since we’re talking family books here, then of course I want to recommend my sweet nursery rhyme, First Spring! It’s the story of a young child’s experiences with Mother Nature after a long, cold winter.

First Spring by Margaret Rose

You can find me at Margaret Rose Writes (www.MargaretRoseWrites.blogspot.com). Please come by to say hello! It’s always hard to get to know new people. Please become one of my blog friends!

Buy a copy of First Spring at Guardian Angels Publishing. http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/first-spring.htm

I’m excited to announce that Margaret has been gracious enough to run a contest too! WOOO-HOOOO! Look below to find out how you can enter for a chance to win an autograph copy of “First Spring”.
~GOOD LUCK~

Contest:

I’d love to give away an autographed copy of First Spring. I wrote this book for my son, Dylan, and we’re having so much fun co-autographing the copies. He has created many special memories for me and doing this with him has created special memories for us.
So this is what we need you to do:
Leave a comment here sharing your favorite memories of you with your child in nature. Was it a first swimming lesson? A crazy frog that scared your child in the grass? A bug that chased you into the house or out of your sleeping bags? Silly, heartwarming, scary, crazy, I don’t care, just tell your story. You could win the book. If you live outside the U.S. or prefer, you will receive an eBook instead.
Don’t forget your name & e-mail address!
We will announce a winner January 28th.

Til the next time.
Best wishes,
~t

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13 thoughts on “FreePass Friday

  1. My favorite memory with my daughter, Colleen, occurred when she was no more than two years old. We had taken her to the beach for the first time. We placed her at the edge of the water so she could get used to the new experience. Suddenly, a large wave rolled in, splashing her in the face. When she stopped sputtering water, she wailed: “Why did they put so much salt in it?!”

  2. Tracey, thank you so much for hosting me today. I hope to do it again soon and return the favor. Anyone who has a nerf gun in their avi is a pal of mine!

    Cheers,
    Margaret Rose

  3. Sandra! LOL, I can identify with that. My youngest called it sour! And once a wave surprised me from behind. We were in Maine at Old Orchard Beach (lovely place if you ever get to visit). Well, the water was so cold, I swear I’d run half way to Ohio by the time I got a grip! Have a great day and thank you for your story. Good luck in the contest.

    Margaret Rose

  4. Interesting interview. I like the fact that you are so versatile! That is such a great quality to have in this industry!

  5. Hi Margaret,

    I love this interview and the concept behind your book.

    I’ll share this little story – When my youngest daughter was about three, I decided she couldn’t enter pre-school with her pacifier firmly implanted in her mouth. Talking her through withdrawal worked in theory, but bedtime proved all my cajoling and reasoning for naught.

    My husband, a man with a mesmerizing voice, decided on a different tact. He scooped her up one day, her “noonie” firmly planted in her mouth and took her outside. He showed her how the birds were perched high in the trees.

    “Do you know why they are crying?” he asked.

    She shook her head.

    “Well, you see, they are crying because their mommies can’t find any noonies for them. The mommies search and search, but they have to come back to their babies and tell them there are no noonies to be found.”

    Our little precious thought hard and long, but finally said, “But I have noonie.”

    “Yes, you do,” Daddy said.

    Without another thought, she took hers out of her mouth and handed it to him. “Here, Daddy, I’ll give them mine. Mommy said I’m too big for it anyway.”

    Her Dad put it on the crook of a branch and our daughter said, “There it is birdies.” And that was it. She never craved it, never asked for it again, and she slept very well at night, too.

    The End.

  6. Envy, Thank you for coming by! Yes, versatility is good – keeps my mind nimble. I never expected to enjoy the subject matters I do or to be able to work in many of the industries I have. As for the books, I’ve never written the same genre twice. Makes me wonder if that will hurt me or cast my net wider for more readers. Time will tell, but as it stands, the next 3 books I have planned are unique genres. Go figure.

    Margaret Rose

  7. Brita, while I appreciate how your hubby was able to help your daughter do what needed to be done, I couldn’t help but groan over how he was able to accomplish it, when dear old mom could not. That’s teamwork!

    Thanks for coming by. It’s always a pleasure to see you.

    Margaret Rose

  8. I remember a funny thing that happened when I was a little kid. I was a tomboy for as long as I can remember. Loved playing with toy guns. We used to vacation in this tiny cabin that from the road looked like a monopoly house. It was square and 3 feet wider than 2 double beds. 5 of us (parents and 3 kids) would spend a week there. There was a road in front and back of the cabin and a pasture across the roads. There was a split rail fence by the pasture. I would get the car mat and toss it over the top rail by the upright post. That was my horse and I spent hours riding it.
    Anyway, I was probably 3 at the time so my brother was a baby and my sister not even a twinkle. For whatever reason, I was buck nekked wearing only the gun and holster set. Either my mom or dad called me from outside and so I emerged, nekked, for all the world to see. Unfortunately, whoever called me had a camera so that picture exists! I don’t know who was more surprised me ot the picture taker.

  9. Oh my, Cindy! I hope you are always extremely nice to whoever took that photo! Too funny. I can’t stay spending a week in a cabin that size would appeal to me at all though! Thank you for coming by to share your grin-worthy story!

    Margaret Rose

  10. I have seven children so I drew a name. Lee. When Lee was younger he wanted to be a dinosour hunter. As we were taking a walk we discovered a petrified bone. He carried it home proudly and since then I do not believe we have taken a walk without coming home with lots and lots of rocks, not all bones but still heavy and fun.

  11. Hi Zanna! I love your dinosaur hunter story. My sons and my hubby still bring me “pretty rocks” from their adventures. In fact I have 3 of them sitting on top my hard drive. LOL Recently, my husband came home without one and I had to ask. Smiling, he forked over his newest treasure! Does your son still look for these treasures?

    Margaret Rose

  12. My little four-year-old daughter, Jeannette, came running into the kitchen, eyes wide and out of breath one Spring day. “Come quick, Mommy! There’s a bee out here and he’s gone outside of himself!” We rushed out to find an empty locust shell, and I left the cake I was baking to sit with her and enjoy her discovery – and answer the many questions she had as I tried to explain this natural event. When her Dad came home that evening, she held out the shell and said, “Daddy, did you know there’s a bee that’s called a ‘locust’?”

  13. Diane, I love how you so vividly told your story. Kids are so funny…wonder what your daughter would have thought about a snake skin! Although I’m terrified of snakes it’s pretty cool to find one of those. Maybe you’re raising a scientist!

    Thanks for coming by,
    Margaret Rose

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