I’m pleased to introduce y’all to Roseann McGrath Brooks, who is not only a fellow romance author, but also a fellow editor. That’s how we met originally. Roseann reads and writes romance novels. In her other life, she edits business technology communications for a marketing agency and tutors writing and beginning French at a local college. She lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two keep-you-on-your-toes cats and is thankful for very supportive friends and family.
Roseann and I sat down recently for a conversation and it was great fun!
N: What inspired you to start writing?
R: I like reading romance novels, but because I’ve been an editor my whole career, I can be rather critical of some of the writers I read. I hesitated to write a book because I thought I might be too tough on myself. Then one day, I just decided that I’d start writing for fun and see where it led me. It turns out that when I’m not overly self-critical, I love telling stories!
N: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
R: I’ve completed two and am working on two more. All for Good is the first one published, so it’s my favorite right now. However, many of my internal reviewers like my first book best because it’s a bit sexier! That one, tentatively titled The Follow Through, is still in the production process for publishing.
N: What is the most surprising thing you discovered about yourself while writing your book(s)?
R: I really like getting to know my characters, and it hurts to put them in conflict.
N: Can you share with us something about All for Good that isn’t in the blurb?
R: The idea for Emily and Daniel’s romance came when I attended the wedding of a now-grown-up child from the church where my husband served as minister. The maid-of-honor toast in the epilogue of All for Good is modeled after the real bride’s sister’s speech. The families of the bride and groom had, indeed, spent time every summer vacationing with other families whose dads had all been frat brothers at college. It was a story idea that begged to be told! I plan to tell the other seven fictional characters’ stories in this “Vacation Friends” series.
N: Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
R: Although I relate to Emily as a woman, Daniel holds that special place. That’s because I have a close family member who joined a “high influence group” (a cult) several years ago, and this person’s involvement has been something we’ve all had to work through—both in our relationships with her and in our faith journeys.
N: What do you hope your readers take away from All for Good?
R: Two things: That love can come in unexpected situations, and that we all struggle with doubt.
N: Do you write listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this current book?
R: I do not. I’m one of those people who needs silence or white noise.
N: If you had to describe your hero, Daniel, in only three words, what would those three words be? And the same for Emily, your heroine?
R: Hardest question yet! Daniel: family-oriented, questioning, open; Emily: loyal, questioning (don’t we all have that in common?), sincere.
N: What were the key challenges you faced when writing All for Good?
R: Not being schmaltzy while still getting the romance and the faith issues across.
N: Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
R: I’ve recently completed the first draft of book 2 in the series, which is Emily’s sister Abby’s story. I’ve begun editing, and that’s actually my favorite part of writing. Teaser for football fans: the hero is a fictional Philadelphia Eagle.
N: What do you like to do when you are not writing?
R: Reading, hanging with friends (safely), vacationing, bell choir, and attending theater (can’t wait until we can do that again)
N: What did you want to be when you grew up?
R: A writer. But I fell in love with editing, and that has been nice, too.
N: Favorite book when you were a kid?
R: Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses
N: If you could choose three people, living or dead, to invite for a dinner party, who would they be and why?
R: C.S. Lewis: I loved Chronicles of Narnia, which I discovered as an adult, as well as his essays. I’d enjoy talking with him about his creative process.
Bishop Desmond Tutu: I’d want to ask him his thoughts on peace and bravery.
James Corden: We’d need someone to lighten the mood and perhaps entertain.
Roseann’s book All for Good is available on Amazon: When childhood friends Emily and Daniel reconnect as adults, can lessons learned through Emily’s tragic past rekindle Daniel’s convictions and draw the two closer to each other and to God?