Interview with Connie Rossini

Published 2013-09-04.
When did you first start writing?
I have been writing since I learned how to read. Well, actually, I learned to read at age 4 and started writing when I was 5. My first story was about a family of mice.

Non-fiction is a newer venture for me. I published a newsletter of Catholic apologetics in the '90s. About 10 years later I started writing my spirituality column, "God Alone Suffices," in The Catholic Times of La Crosse, Wisconsin.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Five Lessons from the Carmelite Saints That Will Change Your Life was born when lesson #5 hit me in December 2012. I was blown away by St. Therese's trust in God. It was the perfect message for my spiritual life then and now. I started thinking about the other major turning points in my spiritual journey, and grew excited to share them with others.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Five Lessons was conceived as a giveaway on my blog, Contemplative Homeschool. I also uploaded a Kindle version to Amazon for $.99 as a convenience to my readers. I joked that I would buy my kids a gumball with the proceeds. I thought that if I was lucky I might make $10.

I was shocked when I sold 900 copies in the first 2 months!

I thought, "If this book can sell so well when I wasn't planning to make money on it, what would happen if I wrote a longer work that was specifically designed for sale?" So that's what I'm doing now.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I've always found writing to be a spiritual experience. Sometimes when I'm moved by beauty I have to either pray or write. Hopefully, I'll choose to pray first! There's a kind of natural contemplation that goes on in the writing process. i speak to the reader heart to heart. I am communicating the deepest part of myself, and I think that goes beyond the actual words I write.

But I also love words!
What are you working on next?
Well, I am now writing a full-length book on lesson #5, which was my original inspiration. I have blogged a lot on this subject in the past, so I'm using some of those posts as a starting point. That means the book is turning out to be part spiritual work, part memoir.

That allows me to use my love of stories as a significant element in the book. I think people really respond well to others' stories of failure and triumph, and I have a lot of both.

This involves lots of reflection on my life, which I have found to be enlightening and an inspiration to keep seeking and growing.

I also have a few other projects on the back burner, such as homeschool plans for teaching your kids the Five Lessons, and a picture book on a story from the childhood of St. Therese.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love 19th-century British authors. That means Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Dickens, George Eiot, and Elizabeth Gaskell. I also love George MacDonald, both his fantasy and his Gothic fiction. i have read every Agatha Christie mystery, most of the novels several times. I also like Ellis Peters, particularly her modern mysteries.

Then there are all the spiritual authors and children's writers I love. They include St. Francis de Sales, the Carmelite doctors, St. Faustina, Jacques Philippe, Fr. Thomas Dubay, Dr. Seuss, P.D. Eastman, Robert McCloskey, Carol Ryrie Brink, Mary Norton, Tomie dePoala....

Is that enough?
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When you have four young sons at home, you aren't inspired to get out of bed. You are required!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My hobbies are reading, cooking, and genealogy. I've traced several of my ancestral lines back to the 17th century. Cooking is where my adventurous side comes out. I'm always trying new recipes.

But I spend a lot of time creating and implementing my own homeschool curriculum. I love that too. I was born to be a teacher. I think that's why so many people find my writing lucid. I love to discover new things and share them with others. That's why I am both a teacher and a writer.

I spend a lot of time with my kids. I'm so blessed to be able to really know them while they are school aged. They keep me young and excited about life.
What is your writing process?
I do a lot of thinking before a word goes on the page. For a blog post, I often have most of it written in my head before I sit down at the computer. Then the actual writing comes quickly with little revision needed.

For a book, I break it down by chapter and make a few notes on each one. Then I write a few chapters, read it, re-write, and take some time to think about how the direction of the book has changed in the writing of it. I keep repeating that until the final chapter is done. So I do a lot of rewriting and even editing as I go along, rather than waiting until the end.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Here's a secret: I don't generally read ebooks. I like paper books and always will--at least, as long as I have boys at home who could destroy my library with one drop of a Kindle.
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Books by This Author

Determining Your Child's Temperament: a brief quiz for Catholic parents
Price: Free! Words: 4,760. Language: English. Published: March 17, 2015 . Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Catholicism
This quiz is designed to help you determine your child’s primary temperament. It contains 44 questions with answers and explanations. Is your child sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic, or choleric? Knowing your child's temperament helps you to appreciate his God-given strengths and pinpoint his weaknesses. You can use the other volumes in this series to help you in this task.
Five Lessons from the Carmelite Saints That Will Change Your Life
Price: Free! Words: 1,910. Language: English. Published: July 16, 2013 . Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Catholicism
(5.00 from 1 review)
Are you new to the Catholic spiritual life? Stuck in a rut? Not sure how you can grow closer to God? Five Lessons from the Carmelite Saints That Will Change Your Life will give you direction. St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and St. Therese of Lisieux will show you five vital steps you need to take to be holy. Connie Rossini blogs at Contemplative Homeschool.