Read part one here.
Read part two here.
Read part three here.
Airship Ambassador: Do people outside the regular reading, steampunk, and convention communities recognize you for Bones? What kind of reactions have you received?
Rhea Rose: Not yet. J I think because it’s only one short story amongst many I am recognized more for the fact that I’m a contributing writer, rather than the story itself. As people get around to reading the stories authors are beginning to get more attention for their writing.
AA: If you weren’t an author, what else would you be doing now?
RR: More regular mundane work, I suppose, but the creativity bug runs strong in my family, so I doubt I would be inactive for long. I’d find something to do. If I didn’t write, I’d probably be more of a visual artist. I do photography and draw and paint.
AA: Most of the authors I’ve talked with have some type of day job and that writing is their other job. What has that situation been for you and how has it helped/hindered begin a published writer?
RR: It’s the same situation for me. I teach full time and I write in the time I have left. For many years I had a young family to look after and worked at a day job. My son’s all grown up now and that’s left me with more time to write. My writing career started with a blast and that softened because I got married got divorced, went to university, got a career, got married, again had a family, had some major family illness, going on etc. It’s called life and I believe that as a female writer you don’t get the kind of support a male writer gets. Women writers are often the support system for the family network; that can really kill the writing.
AA: Life is certainly filled with challenges, and hopefully there are rewards to balance things out, or preferably, come out ahead. Looking beyond steampunk, writing and working, what other interests fill your time?
RR: I love cats and have two of them. I love walking and hiking and in Vancouver you can do lots of that. And I do. I work out all my ideas while walking. I have a small box garden and a large fish pond. I like hanging out with the plants and the fish. I would love to have more time to read. I would love to do more traveling.
AA: Vancouver is a great city, and while I’m just a few hours away, I don’t seem to get a chance to visit often. How do those interests influence your work?
RR: My brain is always putting together things I experience in new and interesting ways. I get story ideas all the time from interests. My brain is now so trained for story that I see story everywhere.
AA: Uh oh, one of the pitfalls of being creative, and winding up with a huge list of ideas which takes forever to work though. Although, I know I’d rather have that as a “problem” as opposed to being bored. There’s only so much time in a day – what interests don’t you have time for?
RR: Reading, which is very frustrating. Reading for pleasure was always my biggest pastime and I can’t see that happening again until I retire which is too bad, unless I win the lottery! I’ve learned to read differently. I reader faster and because I understand how books are put together I know how to read them and get the necessary story from them, but that’s not pleasure that’s time saving!
Lately, tv has taken a turn for the better. There are all kinds of great story telling shows on and I try to see them all, but that’s impossible.
AA: I agree, there have been some interesting tv shows and movies to see this last year, and there’s just never enough time to read all the great and interesting books out there. Doesn’t stop me from getting the, however. What other fandoms are you part of?
RR: Game of Thrones. When I’m at a convention and see a great costume I take pictures. The best costumes of course come from steampunk and that has been one of my attractions to the world. I used to do a lot of costuming when I was younger, but I dedicate all my spare time to writing these days. However, I still appreciate a clever costume.
AA: Are there people you consider an inspiration, role model, or other motivating influence?
RR: Yes! There are so many. I mentioned my mentors earlier. Those were the people I took wise advice from when it concerned writing. Then there are those who are writers themselves and I watch to see how they produce, for example Eileen Kernaghan, who I admire as a writer. She approaches her work in small bite size pieces and the next thing you know she has written a novel and has done it around all the nonsense that life throws at you.
AA: What event or situation has had the most positive impact in your life? What has been your greatest challenge?
RR: Life tosses out lots of challenges. The greatest challenges in life are births and deaths, major illnesses and sometimes getting up in the morning, and if you live in Vancouver or Toronto, buying a place to live. I’ve found that the most positive impact in my life comes from wise people, people who’ve made it through difficult times and are still smiling.
AA: Three quick-fire random questions – what is your favorite cake, documentary, and perennial plant?
RR: I try not to eat cake, but I do. I really can’t resist any cake, and if it’s chocolate, I’m done for. If you offer me cake I will hate you and love you. So many good documentaries, I’ve been addicted to them for a long time, but probably one of my favourites of all time is called The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. I watch it over and over whenever I feel like I need it. My favourite perennial?? I’m sure I have one, may be clematis. When they die back they look like not even the gods could make them grow again and then one day, when you’re not looking a big fat flower or two is staring at you from a bright green vine. Wait a minute, that’s an annual.
AA: LOL, that’s my experience with clematis, too. Dead-looking, right down to the ground, and then suddenly, vines everywhere with fantastic flowers. Any final thoughts to share with our readers
RR: I completely overwrote my answers. I’m hoping you’ll edit them down, so I don’t sound, you know, too keen or something. Readers will find me at When Words Collide held in Calgary this summer, and at VCon41, Vancouver’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, this fall. I work the writers’ workshops and am on a few panels.
Not a chance in having me edit down all of your great responses!
Thanks, Rhea, for joining us for this interview and for sharing all of your thoughts. This was such a great and informative chat, and we look forward to hearing about your next projects!
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