Friday, 17 March 2017

I think there's something about the Irish experience - that we had to have a sense of humor or die. —Frank McCourt

Top of the evenin’ to you!

Ireland is on my bucket list. I had hoped it would get crossed off sooner, but I have a feeling it’s worth the wait. I grew up on the island of Newfoundland, and have no doubt that the character and scenery in Ireland will rival that of the Rock. And that says a lot because I adore Newfoundland.

I have cousins in Ireland, although I’ve never met them. During a tour of England and Scotland, I was fortunate to meet my Scottish clan. They hail from Dalry, Ayrshire, and it’s through them that I know I have relatives in Ireland. I wish I had taken the time all those many moons ago, to cross over, meet them, and have a wee peek at the Emerald Isle. Unfortunately, excitement nipped at my toes and I was anxious to head off on the grand adventure of backpacking for a year throughout mainland Europe.

Perhaps that is why Mags comes from an Irish family. While I try to keep me out of my writing, it seems inevitable that aspects of my life sift down and settle on the shores of the story. Mags is American born, but her parents are Irish immigrants. They exemplify the values I associate with being Irish — hard-working, honest and grounded by family. And, let’s not forget, a solid sense of humour. It’s where Mags gets her joy of laughter.

Mags stayed with me after I finished writing Cutting to the Chase. Her laughter rang in my ears. I have written her into a place barren of that sound and am struggling to write her out of it. While the luck of the Irish may not be shining on her right now, the strength of her heritage is in her core. She won’t let me leave her there.

So cheers to you, Ireland, on your special day! And here’s to you Mags Brallen. May the world come to love you as I do!



Rough, very rough, excerpt from Mags’s story:


"Well, aren't you the lovely lass this evening?"

"Da! Whatcha been up to now?" His hair is plastered around his head and his collar is dark blue with the water stains.

"Ma was complainin' about the slow drain in the sink, so I thought I'd have a look at the pipes." He grins. "They're not slow when they're apart."

I love his laugh. It's a deep rumble that starts in his chest and finds its way out in a loud boom.

"You think it's funny do you?" Ma flicks a towel at his backside. "Sure and fine for you to be laughing when I'm the one on my hands and knees cleaning up your mess." Her smile makes a lie of her chastisement. "Oh, that dress is lovely on you."

"Why, thank you." I twirl, pleased that the dress creates a breeze. I feel like that old-time movie actress Ma loves. I can't remember her name. The platinum blonde one.

"Where you off to?" Da grabs the t-towel and starts rubbing his head. "Need a lift?"

It's too far too walk and I don't want to get all sweaty. But, I also don't want to be dropped off like a little kid going to a birthday party. It'd be embarrassing if someone saw that. "No. Thanks though. I'll just catch the bus." And get off a block or two away from the house. Not telling him that though. He'd tease me for sure.

"Call if you need one home," he says and pecks my cheek.

Ma gives me a quick hug and a kiss too. It's the way of it at the Brallen's—I can't get out of the house without a little lovin'. And, really, I wouldn't want it any other way.

"You really do look lovely, lass. Be a good girl."

"Thanks, Ma. Will do." I duck out from under her arm and head out the door, excitement and nervousness rolling together in a ball as big and bright as the sun that's still shining.



Saturday, 4 March 2017

Giveaway!

Pop on over to my YA site and enter for a chance to win an eBook copy of Cutting to the Chase. The contest runs until Friday, March 10th.
http://rosephillipsya.blogspot.ca/
Click to go to my site and enter.



Friday, 24 February 2017

Release Day!

Today Cutting to the Chase hit the cyber shelves as an eBook. Currently available in Kindle format, you can find it on the Amazon sites as well as on EvernightTeen. The print version, as well as other electronic formats, will be released over the coming weeks. So, if you prefer a different format, hang in there. It's coming.

It is a busy day of streamlining links across my various social media apps and getting profiles set up in distribution sites. You should now see my pic and bio at all Amazon outlets, except Canada. Oddly, I can't find the set up for that one.

I will also be preoccupied this afternoon with cleaning and prepping. For tonight, friends are coming over to celebrate the release. Seriously, would you even recognize me if I didn't raise a glass of bubbly to commemorate this occasion?

But know, dear friends, near and far, old and new, that this process has been made all the richer by your support and enthusiasm throughout the journey. Tonight, I raise a glass to you too!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X9DN15V/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1487956576&sr=8-2&keywords=cutting+to+the+chase
Amazon.com
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06X9DN15V/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487956479&sr=1-1&keywords=cutting+to+the+chase
Amazon.ca
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06X9DN15V/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487956692&sr=8-1&keywords=cutting+to+the+chase
Amazon.co.uk
http://www.evernightteen.com/cutting-to-the-chase-by-rose-phillips/
EvernightTeen

Saturday, 11 February 2017

I know exactly why I attack my legs. To feel something—anything. And to make the hurt stop. —Rose Phillips (Cutting to the Chase)

I know many of you have seen this already, but I’m not sure that everyone who follows the blog also follows me on other social media formats. So, for those who have missed it, we have a launch date for Cutting to the Chase. February 24th! It will release first as an eBook, with the print copy to follow a month or so afterward.

I am thrilled with the cover design. It captures the novel perfectly. The artist does not shy away from the very tough subject of self-harm. I approve heartily. It is not a topic to be sugar-coated, but one that needs to be thrown out into the open, discussed honestly and candidly with compassion and empathy. That is a road to healing.



Friday, 27 January 2017

“That’s what storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again.” – Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks


I love what I do. How many people are fortunate enough to feel that way? For me, opening up the laptop and entering my stories is as exciting as going on vacation. It's much the same in many ways. I think about it constantly, I prepare with enthusiasm and I disappear into the pages of another world, one totally disconnected with my own. Just like a holiday, right?

Yet, lately, I haven't been able to successfully immerse myself in my writing. The world keeps knocking on my brain, popping up and distracting me, distressing me. I have considered staying away from all social media until Mags's story is complete, but I have Cutting to the Chase to launch next month. So it's not a good time to disappear from avenues of promotion.

Despite the staggering sense of doom that abounds everywhere you turn in the media, I fervently check throughout the day. It's like coming upon a car crash and knowing you should look away but some insane part of you stares, riveted to the scene. I keep waiting for the punchline to this very bad joke, and it isn't coming. Trickles of human insanity have always infiltrated our lives but this all-out bombardment is more than disconcerting; it is unnerving and leaves me wondering where our world is heading.

Accompanying this sense of ever-growing anxiety is worry for my many friends who are grappling daily with acts of racism and hate, struggling for their rights and despairing that their country will not survive the environmental impact of decisions being made. Heck, the world is worried about it.

I also worry about us. I'm concerned about our complacency, about the surety that it won't happen here. I wish I were confident that we have indelible moral fortitude, that our Canadian-ness is truly infallible in its kindness. But Kellie Leitch, who says that Trump's win is an "exciting message and one that we need delivered in Canada", and Kevin O'Leary, who has no political experience and is a loudmouth reality TV show personality (if that doesn't send chills down your spine, then you're doing a better job blocking out the news south of us than I am), are being presented as legitimate possibilities for leadership of the PC party. Not to mention, we just have to remember that Toronto elected Rob Ford not so long ago. It can happen here. It might happen here if the ugly rhetoric we hear daily starts to feel normal.

I don't yet know how to balance my concerns with my writing. I'm certainly not willing to bury my head in the sand and ignore what is going on. But, through the centuries, writers have shown us that stories are important too. They provide insight, give us a cathartic outlet and help us navigate our own world. And, sometimes, they just provide a much needed escape. It's why I read. It's why I must find a way to block the noise and write.

http://www.azquotes.com/author/12339-Alan_Rickman

Friday, 20 January 2017

Down the Rabbit Hole...Again!


I didn't get much new writing done on Mags's story. Instead, I began some research for it and fell headlong down the rabbit hole. It's a problem I have. At first I thought the thrill of chasing knowledge and facts was confined to historical research. I've always been passionate about history and it made sense that I could easily get lost in it. Apparently, I thoroughly enjoy research of any type and slip down the slope of information with ease. Worse, I have little desire to climb back up and get down to the task of writing.

Mags is starting Fashion and Design at college. I know nothing about it, and since it's going to be part of the world she inhabits during the space of the novel, I figured I should get a sense of what it might be like. Many videos, multiple fashion blogs and numerous articles later, I can say I know a little somethin' somethin' about it now. And it's so stinking interesting.

I know the basics of fashion sketching and rendering. I can rhyme off the list of materials needed to create a pattern from scratch and I can describe the purpose and essence of a mood board. From the basics of what stitch for what seam to how to pad a mannequin, I have watched it all, or read about it. Colleges provide video glimpses into their classrooms. I can see Mags standing in the middle of those rooms, sitting at one of the industrial sewing machines or drafting a design at one of a series of long tables filled with students as diverse as the designs they dream of presenting to the world.

This information will now percolate in the back of my mind and pop up in the writing, sometimes planned, sometimes unexpectedly. That's the added joy of researching. It allows me to embed authenticity within exposition and dialogue. I always fall further down the hole than I anticipate but, inevitably, a choice piece of information found unexpectedly in one of my tangential tunnels will prove to be a gem. There is nothing more satisfying than that.

Oh, did I mention that I now want a sewing machine? J

Friday, 13 January 2017

Update


Welcome back!
I apologize for my delay in returning to the blog, but life got in the way. I've also been preoccupied with the busy-ness of getting published. And that's what I thought I'd share with you today. My fellow writers waiting in the wings may find this informative. My friends and readers may just be curious. If it is of little interest to you, here's a great video about a dog and a hummingbird you might enjoy instead. I won't be offended. Off you go. J

I was not required to revise any aspect of Cutting to the Chase. After reading about so many authors struggling with requested revisions, it was a great relief not to have to tackle that particular mountain on this first climb. For proofreading and copy editing, I was assigned an outstanding editor. Lisa knows her stuff. She caught some word omissions (they're hard to spot because you subconsciously insert those missing little beggars as a writer and as a reader), and taught me a comma lesson I somehow missed both as a student and a teacher. Even Keev, my resident grammar guru, was unfamiliar with this particular comma rule. In researching it—yes, I question everythingJ—it seems, in most instances in my novel, both ways are considered correct. One is a traditional approach, the other contemporary. And my choice was contemporary! I was quite surprised, as I would have classified myself as a traditionalist.

Lisa was supportive and responsive to all of my questions. She assured me that commas are the single most contested issue with editors and authors, and that it often comes down to preference. Publishing house preference played a large role in the edits. Spelling had to be changed to American versions, Oxford commas had to be inserted (I use them instinctively but had removed them as many in the industry have moved away from them, especially in young adult novels) and formatting had to be adjusted to fit Evernight Teen's printing specifications.

The marketing team has connected with me and encouraged me to launch a variety of media. Many of you now see me on Facebook, a place I was hesitant to enter but am enjoying tremendously. On the practical side, there are several private Evernight Teen groups in there that offer me support and promo opportunities. I will soon set up my author page on Facebook as well as on Goodreads and Amazon. For Facebook, I am merely awaiting my cover. For the other two, I need my ISBN to set up.

I have long been active on this blog, Twitter and Instagram. However, these accounts were designed to support the launch of adult material in Historical Fiction and Historical Romance. I still intend to continue writing in those genres, so I want to maintain my presence under the name Rose Rambles as is. To that end, I have alternate accounts for my young adult launch. You can find my new blog at rosephillipsya, my second Twitter handle is @rosephillipsya, and here is the YA Instagram. These last two are directly linked on my YA blog.

If you're a little confused following all of that, welcome to my head. Spinning is a daily state of existence. There is plenty to think about and a long list of things to do. Next up will be the cover reveal, which I will share everywhere. After that, Cutting to the Chase hits the cyber shelves. That's both exciting and nerve-wracking, and I can hardly wait!