Introduce yourself to the rest of the class. Who are you and what makes you tick?
Hello! I am a writer, medical student, huge nerd, and overly enthusiastic mom to a three-year old Pomeranian. While my overactive imagination often got me into trouble as a child, I now channel it into writing dramatic novels that depict realistic queer relationships. To be honest, my daily life is pretty boring: I study, I walk my tiny fluffball, I study, I eat dinner, and then I study some more. That’s just the life of a medical student. I like to joke that I’m fueled by beverages; you’ll rarely find me without a cappuccino or glass of wine in my hand, depending on the time of day!
On the weekends, I’m probably wasting my life on the Internet, grabbing dinner with friends (somehow, I still have them, even with all this studying), and banging my head against my keyboard or smiling at my screen, depending on how my writing is going. It’s about a 50/50 split between the banging and the celebrating most of the time. I feel tremendously lucky, though, to be able to create things that move people using just words. That makes all the frustration worth it.
What does it mean to you to be an author? What makes a writer a writer?
Growing up, none of my favorite books (or really any books) featured queer characters, much less strong, female queer characters. I clung to the novels that I found that features female leads, like all of Tamora Pierce’s works, but I still longed for a female character who loved other women the way I did. Now that I’m older—and the queer writing/publishing world has exploded—I’ve found great novels featuring queer characters, but I couldn’t quite shake the desire to write my own. So I did! And that was when I learned that writing is addicting. The thrill of finding the perfect words to describe a feeling or a memory or a sensation… That’s heaven. When it all flows and suddenly just makes sense. That’s writing, for me. Getting lost in the world you’re building, watching it grow around you, falling in and out of love alongside your characters.
Are you promoting a specific book? Tell us about it. Include the book blurb if you’d like.
I am! Her Remedy, my debut novel, was published about a month ago. I poured my heart and soul and most of my sanity into this book, so it’s been incredibly rewarding to see the positive response so far! It’s about two emergency room physicians navigating the complexities of friendship, love, and embracing their sexuality. It was actually inspired by the first woman I loved many years ago—in an alternate reality, this is how our story could have ended. So it was a bittersweet book to write, in a way, but also a beautiful reminder of the time we shared.
The intelligent and relentlessly driven Allison Williams swears that nothing will get in the way of achieving her dream: becoming an Emergency Medicine physician. However, from the first day of her medical residency, nothing goes according to plan. First is the unexpected arrival of Emma Simmons, Allison’s chemistry tutor from college and first unrequited love.
Emma, a third year ER resident, is shocked when Allison shows up at her hospital. And more than a little confused, considering they hadn’t spoken since Allison disappeared from her life three years ago. Still, it’s easy to sink into the thrill of Allison’s company once again—assuming she can keep old doubts and questions at bay.
Fear, pride, and an addiction-fueled crime spree threaten to keep them apart a second time. Will the embers of attraction ignite into flames, or will the two be left brokenhearted once again?
Tell us about your biggest guilty pleasure. For example, to you sit naked in your pantry in the middle of the night and eat Nutella with your fingers?
11pm often finds me standing in the cold light of the refrigerator eating cheese out of the bag. I LOVE cheese. I’ve said a hundred times that if I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be cheese. Eventually I would die of scurvy, but it would be a great life until then. I’m also a big fan of reality TV shows like Hoarders, My Strange Addiction, and My 600lb Life. I’m just so fascinated by people who think and feel so differently than I do—and I love that most of their stories have positive endings.
Tell us one thing that you’re passionate about. For example, would you strap yourself to an oil rigging a la Lucy Lawless with a Greenpeace sign in your hands?
Well, in my daily life I’m a medical student studying to become a psychiatrist. So mental health is the hill I will die on, always and forever. Increasing awareness, reducing stigma, encouraging support and treatment… All so crucial. If you’re reading this and struggling, please don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are so, so many people out there who would love to give a hug, listening ear, or ideas for ways to feel better. And if you’re worried about seeing a therapist and being forced onto medication, don’t! Any good mental health professional will pursue therapy and lifestyle adjustment before recommending medication. Finally, if you’re having a really tough time or thinking about suicide, ImAlive.org is a website where you can chat with a trained responder about how you’ve been feeling.
What’s your writing process? That is, do you have a particular place you write and/or time of day? Do you have any particular things you do before you write? (e.g. do you listen to music, drink coffee, take dance breaks…)
I am super picky about my writing process. I need to be sitting in a comfortable chair, listening to upbeat instrumental music (I can’t write with words in my ears), and drinking tea or wine. I only write at night, after the distractions of family and work are silenced. And if someone interrupts when I’m in the zone, may God have mercy on their soul!
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you (unless you’d have to kill us, in which case tell us something that some people don’t know).
This is a tough one. I’m a pretty open book; some might call me an over-sharer. Here’s a fun fact: I have three extra bones in my feet, and one of my ribs is not correctly attached, so it moves around when I bend over different directions. I can even make it stick out about two inches! That’s a fun trick to pull out during parties.
Is there a book by another author that you wish you had written?
Oh, so many. I would love to be able to be as incisively witty as Jane Austen, or as insightful and poetic as Fydor Dostoevsky. The way he writes the human psyche is probably the most astute description of the human condition that I’ve ever read. But that’s the beauty of writing, right? No one else could have written their books. But every single person has a different story to tell, or a different way to tell a story that’s been told a thousand times.
If time and money were no problem, where would you most like to go in the world?
This is an impossible question—so many places! Probably India, because I’m fascinated by its rich history and vibrant, diverse culture. Closely followed by Spain, mostly because it looks beautiful and I love Spanish food and wine!
And finally, what sorts of writing projects are next for you?
I’m currently working on the sequel to Her Remedy, featuring Charlotte, a nurse who works at the same hospital as Allison and Emma. She’s drop-dead gorgeous, smart as a whip—and she knows it. Her love life has been a string of fun but ultimately unfulfilling flings, a fact that she’s reluctant to acknowledge. Then, for the first time, she meets a woman who doesn’t succumb to her charm during an ethics investigation at the hospital. Frustration, sexual tension, and an unexpected friendship ensue!
Charlotte intrigued me from the start, and I’ve had so much fun watching her grow from a supporting character into a complex, entrancing woman. Follow me on Goodreads, Amazon, or Twitter to be notified when their story comes out!
I’m also working on a fantasy novel starring a proud, icy cold princess and a clumsy, questioning healer who are thrown together when an illness threatens the only person the princess still loves, her old nursemaid. Set in a world without electricity or plumbing but lots of intriguing magic, the main characters are accompanied by a variety of creatures, human and otherwise, as they seek to bring their warring peoples together to prevent catastrophe.
When Rose isn’t rereading her favorite fantasy novels for the millionth time, she can be found drinking wine or a cappuccino, wasting her life on the Internet, and overall avoiding that thing she should be doing—studying.
Follow her on Goodreads, Twitter, or Amazon Authors to be notified when the sequel to Her Remedy is released!