Interview with J.Q. Rose

Published 2014-10-23.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing stories in second grade. In our small school, my mother was my second grade teacher. Because I was a talker and loved to visit with my schoolmates when I was finished with my work, (and I was usually the first one done with assignments,) I would get into trouble for talking. I began writing stories to keep myself out of trouble with my mom(teacher). I loved writing the stories creating the characters and fun situations that swirled in my brain. I especially enjoyed sharing the stories with my classmates and watching them smile and laugh when I read my writing to them. That's when I got hooked on writing!
What is your writing process?
I imagine you have heard of writers being a "pantser" or a planner. A pantser is a writer who creates the story as she writes, by the :seat-of-her-pants" style. My fiction stories develop through a very loose outline with scene ideas from the beginning to the end of the book. But I leave myself a lot of wiggle room. It's not often that the ending is ever the same as what I imagined when I began the story. Girls Succeed! is a non-fiction book made up of interviews of successful women who inspire girls to dream big. The structure of the stories is determined by the answers I receive from the women about their careers and life stories. The non-fiction writing process deals with facts, but fiction is made up of whatever swirls through the writer's brain. I enjoy writing both.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My reading device is the Kindle. I received it as a birthday gift from my daughter, so it is very special to me.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After interviewing fifteen women about their careers, I knew I had stories that would inspire and empower girls to dream big dreams and turn those dreams into realities. After two years of interviewing and writing the book that would eventually become Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women, I began sending query letters to children's publishers. This was in 2008. Because of the recession, many publishers closed their doors,. Others were not offering new contracts or willing to take a chance on an unknown writer. So many of the publishers liked the idea and were complimentary about the book, but the topic was not one that fit into their list. Feeling strongly that this book of inspiration and empowerment for girls was one that was valuable for girls, I decided to publish the book myself in order to get it into the hands of girls, teachers, and organizations such as Girl Scouts.

When I began planning the book in 2006, I envisioned it as a book online with links to websites about the women and their work, I was surprised when I finished the book, there was no technology to allow this at that time. So by the time I had shopped the book around to publishers, the technology for the interactive capabilities of the e-book was available. I guess that's why the time was right for me to just publish it myself. I'm so glad I did become an indie publisher because I learned so much about putting a book together, but I also met wonderful women who trusted me to tell their stories and readers who appreciated them.
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