Interview with Rosalie Marsh

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Growing up in a northern industrial town in the North of England (UK) I was a dreamer who followed the traditional route of work (Banking in my case) before settling into full-time marriage and motherhood. And there I expected to be for the rest of my life. There is a saying, "How to make God laugh - tell him your plans". Well He must have had a good laugh with me as nothing has turned out how I expected it to.

With my husband and growing family, we moved to North Wales where we settled. Amid the 'pots and pans' many storylines often popped up into my head - usually in response to one situation or another where I would think 'that would make a good book'. Eventually, I unexpectedly returned to work, following a varied career path in sales management and adult-education. This latter role took me across the UK as I delivered learning in the workplace in client organisations. This career change involved undertaking many development opportunities and academic studies.

My writing developed through study assignments as well as writing and collaborating on various learning and marketing projects.
When did you first start writing?
At school, I could never think of anything to write for the essay topics which we were set. It was as if there was a lock on the door of my mind. However, as I have said, my writing developed through my continual personal and professional development (CPD) oppportunities, both vocational and academic. The vocational assignments, being competence based, and CPD recording in particular, forced me to delve inside myself and examine my actions and reactions to ensure I was meeting competence-based criteria. About this time, my husband and I had discovered our Honda Gold Wing motorcycle, become 'born-again bikers', members of the Gold Wing Owner's Club of Great Btitain (GWOCGB), and active members of our local region. As we embarked on our travels, I wrote feature articles for the monthly newsletter. I also wrote the monthly regional report and have contributed to on-line magazines.

I would say however, that my first piece of real writing was in Ireland when we discovered my long-lost family. I found that the words flowed as I recounted our profoundly emotional experiences. This account lay in a drawer for ten years until eventually, I wrote my first biographical travel book.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book? Well I have two books on the go.

One is 'Talking the Talk: Getting the Message Accross' which is aimed at a wide age range of people who have to stand up for a varied period of time to talk about something or give a presentation. Drawing on my experience with learners and seeing how business people at networking meetings react, I aim is to help the speaker to prepare well so that they can be confident, overcome nerves, and deliver an interesting talk or presentation that will be remembered for the right reasons. I am scheduling this for later 2013.

The other book in draft form is the third in the Just Us Two series called 'The Long Leg of Italy: Just Us Two Explore its Diversity'. This is scheduled for early 2014. It is based on our love of Italy, down the long leg of which we have travelled from top to toe over the last twenty-five years.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Initially, I had not thought of becoming an indie author. I wanted the big publishing deal by traditional routes. Dreaming again!

I did not intend writing a book but some life-changing events made me realise that this middle-aged ordinary couple had an inspiring story and something told me to write Just Us Two: Ned and Rosie's Gold Wing Discovery. After a few rejections and many Internet searches I decided to use the services of a large organisation. I looked upon this as an investment as I learned so much about publishing and expanded and honed my marketing skills.

After much thought I later came to the conclusion that with my own skills, expertise and computer software, I could do this myself. Chasing Rainbows: with Just Us Two followed; I decided that we had a series here and I re-published Just Us Two as the first in the series. I was now spurred on to write user-friendly workbooks based on the subjects I used to deliver in the workplace in apprenticeship programmes, but aim them at the home learner - those who do not attend training courses, those whose organisations do not provide much developmental training - who want to improve. I used the dissertation from my BA (Hons) education degree as the springboard for the series. It has really all snowballed.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
The seamless one-stop upload and conversion into ePub has been the biggest contributor. Following the detailed Style Guide to the letter allows inclusion into the Premium Catalogue from where my titles are shipped to multiple major e-Retailers with just one push of a button from me. This overcomes a huge hurdle. I felt a huge sense of achievement when I first saw my titles in the Apple iBookstore as they also have their own strict quality vetting procedures on top of those of Smashwords.

The growing partnerships which Smashwords have with major e-Retailers such as Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble etc are invaluable. Readers are also able to download in the format of their choice direct from the Smashwords site. Reporting is timely,easy to follow 24/7 and, importantly, all markets are consolidated for reporting and payment purposes.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I feel a sense of quiet satisfaction when I find that people have read my books and planned a journey of their own which they may not have done otherwise; or have grown and achieved success through my workbooks.

In my Just Us Two travel books, I aim to inspire people to grab opportunities, push back the boundaries and explore. It is the same with my Lifelong Learning Personal Effectiveness Guides. I aim to encourage people to explore and push back their boundaries in their professional life and career and hopefully provide the tools to do this.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Without fans my books would not sell. Without fans I would not have added engagement with my readers.
What are you working on next?
'The Long Leg of Italy:Just Us Two Explore Its Diversity' (early 2014) followed by 'Island Interludes: Just Us Two Escape to the Sun' ( 2014/2015) -numbers three and four in the Just Us Two biographical travel series.

'Talking the Talk: getting the Message Accross' - number five in the Lifelong Learning Personal Effectiveness Guides.

I also keep stirring the pot which is on the back burner where a longer family saga is slowly cooking. I introduced my main character Charlotte to the world in my debut novel 'ORANGES: A Journey' which is built on a dream in which young Charlotte dreams of sunshine lands. Her dreams take her as a grown up into Portugal and Andalucia, Spain. But where they dreams? Or reality?
Who are your favorite authors?
Authors of historical romances and family sagas.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The cup of tea which my husband makes for me! Seriously though, it is good to be alive and life is for living.

I have a schedule of writing, marketing, publishing and speaking which I fit into my family responsibilities and I have an enormous sense of achievement and satisfaction at what I have accomplished since I 'retired'. More please!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Relaxing with my husband, marketing, social media, following links from networking connections where I can learn more about my craft. I also like my garden which I neglect dreadfully, music and reading.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I think it was in school when I had to write about how I spent a day in the summer holidays. It wasn't very good.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to convey a message which relates to the title and subject matter. I bounce ideas off my husband and he vets them for clarity.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Social media and building references, e.g. hashtags, to the e-Retailer with links to either the book page or author page. I have a blog as well as a website. Also having worlwide distribution outlets is not only invaluable but essential.
Describe your desk
Fairly tidy. I have a normal office desk with a typist return (shelves for paper etc.) Two drawer filing cabinet sits underneat. At the moment I am using the extension as I am using reference material for 'Talking the Talk'. I have my PC tower, screen, keyboard, cordless mouse, tray for work and personal ongoing files. I have Numerous paperweights to anchor different piles of 'to-do' stuff. I have a mug of tea on a mat well away from the keyboard and papers. Mugs for pens, pencils, rulers, etc. Quite normal for a multi-tasking desk.
Published 2013-08-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Long Leg of Italy: Explore with Just Us Two
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Series: Just Us Two Travel, Book 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 82,560. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2015. Category: Nonfiction » Travel » By region
Having only travelled abroad twice before, our intrepid couple set off on their own as they began their love affair with Italy. Over the years, exploring Italy by rail, vaparetto, coach, and other modes of transport, they discovered the diverse life of Italy from the lakes in the mountains, Rome, Florence, Venice, Sorrento and down to Puglia and Calabria in the foot of The Long Leg of Italy.
Talking the Talk: Getting the Message Across
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Series: Lifelong Learning Personal Effectiveness Guides, Book 5. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 20,810. Language: British English. Published: January 1, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Study guides - Public Speaking
This user-friendly workbook - Talking the Talk: Getting the Message Across - will help you prepare well to overcome nerves and deliver an interesting talk or presentation with confidence. It is for people of all ages, at a variety of depth, in a wide range of settings such as schools, colleges, organisations, clubs and societies. A Lifelong Learning: Personal Effectiveness Guide.
Oranges: A Journey
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Series: Just Us Two Travel. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 33,620. Language: British English. Published: June 6, 2013. Category: Fiction » Adventure » Travel
A delightful contemporary novel built on a dream as young Charlotte falls asleep and dreams of sunshine lands where oranges ripen in winter. Her dreams take her into the future; with her friend Daisy, she finds herself in Portugal where a handsome Portuguese stranger captures her heart. Detailed descriptions of the Estremadura region of Portugal and Andalucia, Spain.
Skills for Employability Part Two: Moving into Employment
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Series: Lifelong Learning Personal Effectiveness Guides, Book 4. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 29,650. Language: British English. Published: September 6, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Skills
Skills for Employability Part Two looks at the standards of behaviour and requirements of employers: introduction to health and safety in the workplace and Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR), the business environment, customer service, managing money and healthy living. It is the fourth in the series of Lifelong Learning: Personal Effectiveness Guides by Marsh.
Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment
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Series: Lifelong Learning Personal Effectiveness Guides, Book 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 24,740. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Careers / job hunting
Skills for Employability Part One Looks at skills needed to get into and stay in work: preparing for work, job applications and interviews, working effectively, and ICT skills in the workplace. Each chapter details the Learning Outcomes and relevance to other qualifications. The book has some illustrations to enhance text and links to websites e.g. for legislation which will provide interaction.
Just Us Two: Ned and Rosie's Gold Wing Discovery
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Series: Just Us Two Travel, Book 1. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 50,490. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Travel » By region
An exhilarating journey of discovery, adventure, and fun as ‘born-again bikers’ Ned and Rosie discover long-lost family in Ireland, and explore France, Spain, Andorra, Italy, Switzerland, and Belgium on their Honda Gold Wing 1500cc motorbike. An inspirational true story of profound emotional experiences and challenges. Winner 2010 International Book Awards (Travel:Recreational)
Release Your Potential: Making Sense of Personal and Professional Development
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Series: Lifelong Learning Personal Effectiveness Guides, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 18,870. Language: English. Published: November 7, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Careers
The second in the Lifelong Learning series. A user-friendly support material for learners of all ages with a wide range of abilities.Marsh helps you to identify and focus on your goals and development needs in order to improve; identify your learning styles; manage your time and stress; guides you to construct and maintain Personal Development Records and a Personal Development Portfolio.
Lifelong Learning: A View From the Coal Face
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Series: Lifelong Learning Personal Effectiveness Guides, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 18,490. Language: English. Published: November 5, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Educational policy & reform / general
Reflecting on where we are now, Marsh re-visits extensive research previously undertaken, examining various issues and initiatives when there was a new focus on work-based learning - still relevant in 2011. Aimed at the home learner . The author looks at the wider issues of learning, opportunity, access, and professional and personal development.The first in the Lifelong Learning series.
Chasing Rainbows:with Just Us Two
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Series: Just Us Two Travel, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 54,380. Language: English. Published: November 4, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Travel » By region
In Chasing Rainbows (the sequel to award-winning Just Us Two and the real ending to Rosie’s Gold Wing story) this intrepid couple, now no longer able to ride, finally say ‘good-bye’ to their Gold Wing motorbiking days but only after more adventures in Ireland and Andorra, Spain; this time not on a Honda Gold Wing; and this time not quite Just Us Two. Enriched with full colour photographs