If you haven’t heard of our new project, the On Fire anthology, this interview series will showcase our authors and their writing lives beyond their ignited tales. In Rie Sheridan Rose’s “Fira Dances,” we experience fire’s inception, growing attachments, development across nations, and decay back into a fierce and unforgiving element.
How long have you been writing?
I have samples around somewhere from when I was seven or eight, but I consider the professional aspect of my writing to date from the turn of the century. So, that’s still a while.
What is the best thing about being an author? What is the worst thing?
The best thing is to create new worlds and the people who live in them. The worst thing is writer’s block impeding getting them on paper.
Are you a full-time author? If you have another job, what is it and would you like to become a full-time author if you could?
Theoretically, I am…but the reality is that I am also the chief cook and bottle washer in the family; the chauffeur; the accountant…you get my drift. Since I don’t have a job out of the house, I am in charge of everything in it, which sometimes interferes with writing. Of course, so does gaming, which I often get sidetracked into.
How supportive are your family when it comes to the time you spend as an author?
Usually, very. My husband gets a bit touchy in November during NaNoWriMo, but mostly, he’s very supportive, and the rest of the family understands when I have to miss an event for a convention.
How many stories have you written?
Does flash count? I really have no idea. In a good year, my submissions are in the hundreds, so I lose track of the numbers. Of course, some of those are resubmitting the piece until it finds a home, and some are poems or photographs, but—if flash counts—at least a couple of hundred.
How long does it usually take you to write a story?
Depends on the story and the length required. A flash piece might take an hour. Most 1-2k stories take several days. Longer than that might take weeks or months. I find 2-3k to usually be my upper limit unless I’m writing a novel.
Roughly what percentage of your time is spent editing?
Depends on the project. For a short story, it might be hours after a reasonable break to let it cool; for a novel, it might take weeks to go back through it and polish the brass.
How do you choose your character’s personalities and names?
Usually, I let the characters tell me their names. They are often quite opinionated on the matter. Sometimes, as in the case with Fira, I want a name with a specific meaning, and I go browse the name sites until I find one with my desired meaning that speaks to me. Personalities usually grow from the plot.
What marketing techniques do you find most effective?
Going to conventions and meeting people. That one-on-one contact brings me far more sales than anything else I’ve tried…but it is slow and expensive, and obviously limited in range. I think Twitter is also good, because it is bite-size.
If you could go back in time, what would you say to your younger self about becoming an author?
Don’t get discouraged by a few rejections. Keep writing, you’ll get better, and you won’t lose decades afraid to try.
Rie Sheridan Rose multitasks. A lot. Her short stories appear in numerous anthologies, including Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers Vols. 1 and 2, and Killing It Softly. She has authored nine novels, six poetry chapbooks, and lyrics for dozens of songs. Follow her on her blog, twitter, and Patreon.
Follow our Amazon page for On Fire’s release this December 1st!
Photo Credit (c) Black Women Art!