A Visit with Roseanne Dowell, Author of Ring Around the Rosy

I’ve had the good fortunate to be part of a group of writers that include the likes of Roseanne Dowell. In my opinion, Roseanne is a talented and prolific writer, who creates easy to read page-turners of the romantic/mystery type, where you not only meet some lovely, charming people, but get to wonder who did the dastardly deed or deeds. It’s a win-win and so enters Ring Around the Rosy.
I just finished this book and if you’re interested in my thoughts on Amazon, zip on over here. Then come on back and get to know a little bit more about this author via her own words in a recent interview:

First off, I want to thank
you for having me, Heather.

1.  Always a pleasure! Let’s get to it, Roseanne, What is your favorite book?

Oh my, that’s a hard one. I have so
many. Just about anything written by Nora Roberts, especially Blue Smoke and
Northern Lights. I also loved Devil’s Corner by Lisa Scottoline.

2.      Who is your favorite writer?

Think
I just gave that away above. LOL

3.      How old were you when you were first published?

Wow,
what an interesting question. Do I dare answer? 
57.

4.      What is your favorite word?

Favorite
word. Hmmm not sure I have one.

5.      When and how do you write? (typewriter, Mac, in a
café, for four hours each morning, etc?)

Computer
and just about any time. For a long time it was the middle of the night, but
that’s not happened for a long time. I find if the characters are speaking, I’d
better listen and get it down on paper (computer) right away. I’ve lost those
words a few times by putting it off.

6.      What is your greatest fear when you first turn in a manuscript?

Rejection.
I think that’s probably every writer’s fear. Is it good enough? Will the
publisher like it?

      7.      In what era do you wish you’d been born?

That’s fairly
easy. The Victorian. And you’ll see that often in my books. So many of my
heroines love that era too.

     8.      Which talent would you most like to have?

Another easy
one. I wish I had a good singing voice. I was in the choir and I sang with the
tenors. I’d love to be a soprano.

     9.  What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Raising my six
children.

     10.  Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Not sure I
have one.

     11.  How would you like to die?

In my sleep,
quietly and without pain.

 ——————————-
Excerpt from Ring Around the Rosy:
Susan propped the News Gazette on the counter and focused on
the headline. ‘Georgie Porgie, Pudding
and Die’
by Susan Weston, it blared at her. Her headline. Her story. She’d
done it. Finally got her headline. She drummed her hands on the counter and did
a little dance step. She swore if her grin got any wider her face would crack.
.”Susan Weston, journalist!” she shouted. God, she wanted to shout it from the
rooftops.

The phone rang, startling her. “Who the heck is calling at
this hour? “ She grabbed the phone. “Hello.” Bella rubbed against her legs,
waiting to be fed. “Hello?” Susan grabbed the box of kitty food, filled the
bowl, and set it on the floor.

“Hello,” she repeated, ready to hang up if no one answered
this time.

The evil, raspy voice on the other end sent goose-bumps up
her spine. “Who is this?” she whispered.

The voice mumbled something she could barely hear.

“Strawberries? What are you talking about?”

“Just for you,” the garbled voice continued.

“I can’t hear you. Who is this?” What kind of sick joke is
this?

She caught the words, “loved your headline,” more garbled
words, and “Watch for Jack be nimble.” Then the phone line went dead.

Susan grabbed the counter to steady herself. Her hand
trembled, and she stared at the phone. She dropped the receiver back into its
cradle as if it was on fire. But she couldn’t stop the trembling. Her stomach
churned. Nausea filled her throat. What was wrong with her? Just someone
playing a sick joke. This wasn’t her first crank call, why react like this?
Maybe because none of the others had sounded like this.

He said he liked her story. That shouldn’t bother her.
Something about that voice, so harsh, so evil. It gnawed at her. The hair
prickled on the back of her neck. Something about it seemed familiar, but she
couldn’t quite place it.

After pouring a cup of coffee, she read the story under the
headline aloud, trying to keep her mind off the phone call. “Police are
investigating the death of thirty-one year old George Lucas, whose body was
found last night in Lagoon Park near his west side home.” The sound of her
shaky voice surprised her.

What was the matter with her?  “Get a grip, girl.”

Must be the effect of seeing the lifeless body. The way
George Lucas’s eyes stared into space. What was he thinking when he looked into
his killer’s eyes? The distant street lamp didn’t help. It cast an eerie shadow
on the victim. His face frozen in terror, lips parted in a silent scream, and
his head tilted to one side as if it was too heavy for his neck. The way one
hand clutched at his throat and the other gripped the note, fingers frozen
around it, sent icy chills through her, even now. She shuddered.

Thank God there wasn’t any blood, since the image would
forever be embedded in her mind. Susan rubbed her arms to warm them.

Picking up the paper, she continued to read. “The coroner
will determine the cause of death, but early reports indicate that Mr. Lucas
was strangled. Lipstick was smeared across the victim’s mouth, and he clasped
the nursery rhyme, ‘Georgie Porgie,’ in his hand. The teen who discovered the
body reported seeing a man carrying a bag and wearing a gray shirt running from
the park moments before. Police have no suspects at this time.”

Bella brushed against her legs, jumped on the counter, and
snuggled against her.

Susan’s heart pounded. She took a deep breath and let it out
slowly. So much for the thrill of seeing her name on the front page. The image
of the body filled her mind. Her hands trembled while she held the paper and
reread the headline with her name below it. It was exactly as she had written
it — not one word changed, short and to the point.

George Lucas lived in her neighborhood. She’d seen him a few
times in Meliti’s Market talking to old Mrs. Meliti. Although they never spoke,
they had nodded and smiled hello. Nice-looking guy, about her age. What a shock
seeing him dead. Another shiver shook her body. Seeing a dead body was bad
enough, but knowing the victim threw her for a loop. Made it personal.

Arriving only a few minutes before the police showed up and
ordered her to leave, not that they had to tell her twice, she had viewed the
crime scene and then skedaddled lickety-split. She knew enough about crime
scenes to maintain a distance, knew if she got too close, she’d compromise the
scene, maybe even leave trace evidence of herself behind. She didn’t need that.
But she’d been close enough to read that paper in his hand, a nursery rhyme.
She’d seen every gory detail.

The nursery rhyme letters, cut out from newspapers and
magazines, and bowl of chocolate pudding and the strawberry pie that had been
dumped on the victim’s head would stay in her memory for a long time. Of
course, the police requested that information not be printed.

Requested, hell. Demanded was more like it, but Susan
understood. Those were facts only the killer knew, and it prevented crank
confessions. Couldn’t give the public too much information. After waiting
behind the crime scene tape long enough to hear the possible cause of death,
she hurried home to write her story before the deadline.

Susan walked around the kitchen. To sweeten the deal, her
colleagues hadn’t shown up until well after they’d taped off the crime scene,
hadn’t seen what she’d seen. So Ernie printed her story. Her first big
byline!   Even that cocky reporter, Dan
Hill, hadn’t beat her out this time.

Staring at the large headline, she sipped her coffee. The
words from the phone call rambled around in her mind.

“Strawberries. The voice on the phone said something about
strawberries. Strawberry Pie dumped over the victim’s head.” Her voice cracked
at the memory.

Only the killer knew about the pie. Her body shook. Had she
been talking to the killer? What else had the caller said? Jack be nimble.
Another nursery rhyme.

Grabbing the counter to steady herself, she repeated part of
the nursery rhyme “Jack be nimble…”

Her mind raced. She pushed away from the counter and paced
the kitchen, trying to remember the rest of the rhyme.

“Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jumped over the
candlestick. That’s it!”

What the heck did it mean? Was he going to kill again? Was
there a serial killer out there?

She grabbed the phone and dialed the police department.
Maybe it was nothing, but she needed to report it. Something didn’t sit right.

  —————————————-

7 Comments:

  1. Well hellllooooo dahhhlings…..Oh, com'on, if I'd said "Hey y'all!" you'd know it was me and where's the fun in that! Yes, Ginger's right. Two of my favorite people in one spot! Don't get no better'n this. (I can only sustain sophistication for so long!) My first book came out this March, so technically speaking, I guess was still 57 (by one month) when it pubbed. Maybe there's some magic to 57? Hmmmm…. Love you both!

  2. Nice interview and excerpt!

  3. Great visit. And the excerpt? Wow! Can't wait to read it. Love your work, Ro.

  4. I'd hoped one of my favorite authors, and someone I'd love to have guest again (hint, hint) dropped by! Welcome Ginger Simpson, a living doll if ever there was one! Come oooooon down and visit me soon!

  5. Thank you, Heather for having me today and those glowing words at Amazon. I'm blushing. Thank you Rita for stopping by. It's always great to get to know our fellow authors better. You're right, Ginger, I have so many favorite fellow authors (you, of course being one) I was afraid of leaving someone out. Glad you're enjoying Ring. It was such a fun book to write, you know the ones that flow and don't quit until you're done. Those characters really spoke to me.

  6. Awe…two of my favorite people in one place. I'm shocked, Roseanne…I thought for sure you would have mentioned one of your peers as your favorite author. I know…you didn't want anyone to feel left out. *lol*

    I'm reading Ring Around The Rosy right now and loving it. Talk about an 'edge of your seat' book! Can't wait to see how it turns out and whodunnit. 🙂 Loved the interview, and love you both.

  7. I have downloaded Ring Around The Rosy and can hardly wait to read it! Love what I've read so far…. It is great getting to know you better. Rita

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