Friday, March 4, 2011

Author Interview and Giveaway - Roseanna M. White

This week on Reviews By Jane I am privileged to welcome Roseanna White, author of the upcoming release; Jewel Of Persia!

 First off, would you mind telling us a bit about yourself and something about you that might surprise your readers?
Sure! I grew up in the mountains of West Virginia, where I fell in love during high school. David and I both attended college at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, known as The Great Books School—for four years we studied philosophy, math, science, foreign language, and music in a classical approach, with small, conversation-based classes. We married after our Freshmen year, and stayed in Annapolis for a year and a half after graduating. Once our first child had joined us, we moved back home, though to the Maryland side of the same mountains. We now have two adorable kiddos, the eldest of which I'm now homeschooling. When not occupied with the munchkins, I'm usually writing, reading, editing for WhiteFire Publishing, or administrating the Christian Review of Books, which David and I founded in 2004.
  Wow! You studied for quite a lot of subjects! lol.
What inspired you to write Jewel Of Persia?

Well, Esther had always been my favorite Bible story, so when I began contemplating another Biblical fiction to follow up A Stray Drop of Blood, my thoughts moved that direction. But I wanted my bib-fic to all follow the same pattern of using fictional heroines, so one morning as I showered I thought, “Who else could be the main character of an Esther story? Hmm . . . well, Esther was one of many wives. I wonder who the others were? What if one was another Jewess, but whose heritage was known? It wouldn't earn her any friends, could even turn the court against the Jews if she were in the king's favor . . . and hey, what if she were Esther's childhood friend?” And Jewel of Persia was born. =)

   I, too, have always been intrigued by the story of Esther, but never thought much of his other wives. That's brilliant!
Curious, what prompted you to write in ancient Persia?

I certainly didn't think, “Wow, Ancient Persia's cool . . . I should write a book set there.” Instead, the setting was dictated by the story. It's where Esther takes place, so I didn't have much choice. But as I began researching it—wow. What a COOL world they lived in! Extravagance beyond what I could have imagined, extremes in climate, foreign mindset . . . the more I delved into that part of the Ancient World, the more I fell in love with it and came to understand the behind-the-scenes of Esther. And the more I mentally cursed Alexander the Great for burning so much of it down! LOL

That's awesome! The book I'm co-authoring with a good friend of mine also takes place in Persia. In fact, it's only a few years after yours takes place!
Has your faith influenced your writings?

Oh my, yes. I've toyed with a few mainstream books over the years, but the thought of ever publishing them just never really hit home with me, because I couldn't bear to put my name to a story that didn't declare my faith. So I dedicated myself to Christian Fiction, though I often find myself drawn to topics and settings and issues not always popular in CBA. But the more I write, the more important faith is in the stories themselves. Jewel of Persia ended up a book full of spiritual elements I hadn't realized would be necessary when I first got the idea, but which were crucial to the story, both plot and characters. And writing it inevitably makes me dig deeper into my own faith, which is an awesome side-effect. =+)

 Did you base any of your characters on people you really know?

Not per se, no. =) That would be dangerous. But certain aspects do indeed make their way into the story. Xerxes' notorious temper, for instance, was brought to life by my knowledge of a few incredibly passionate Italians in my life who do things like chuck weed-whackers across the lawn . . . and my heroine's amusement with Xerxes' temper is a pretty good imitation of mine. But overall, the characters are more an amalgam of people than any one.

Haha I know what you mean there! After I create a character, I'm like "Wow that reminds me of ____"
Which book that you've written was your favorite to write?

Oo, tough question! Depends on the definition of “favorite,” I guess. =) I had a blast writing a couple contemporary romantic comedies I've since filed in the “someday” drawer . . . Stray Drop was a book that traveled with me so long it felt like an extension of me . . . digging into Jewel of Persia was an amazing experience . . . but you know, the one that possessed me most thoroughly whenever I worked on it was a contemporary romance of deep emotion, set in the Outer Banks of NC. It's entitled Yesterday's Tides and really swept me away as I worked on it. As in, couldn't think of anything else until that baby was DONE. (Before children. Ahem.)

   When you started writing, where did you begin? With an outline? Or did you just jump into it and let the story form as you wrote?

I'll generally start by letting the idea ferment for a day or two in my brain. Once it's developed into a semi-coherent storyline, I sit down and write out a vague synopsis full of phrases like “maybe this happens” and “or something . . .” and ample question marks to tell me to look something up. That file inevitably becomes my Notes document while I'm writing, where I'll past any info I might need, things I don't want to forget, clever lines, etc. But then I start writing. I'll usually write about 3 chapters straight through before stopping again, at which point I'll dive into any serious research required. At that point I'll also often do a more thorough, less vague synopsis, in case I have to submit a proposal (which is usually three chapters plus the synop). Then I just write, taking notes as I go. About halfway or three-quarters through, I usually sit down and outline the rest so I can move things around, tweak scenes I've got swimming around in my brain, and make sure I don't leave any gaping holes in the plot. =)

        Haha sounds like how I start out.

You've written and published two books - A Stray Drop Of Blood and Jewel Of Persia. Which one required the most research? Which took the longest time to write?

Emmy Rossum - Esther
Hmm . . . I say that I lived the research for Stray Drop—I wrote it during college, and most of the research of the culture and setting were straight from the books I was reading for class. It took me six years to finish that one—definitely the longest of any of my books! When I got started on JoP, I had no idea how long research would take me, since I wasn't “living it.” But I was pleased to find that I could squeeze it into a couple weeks of documentaries, books, articles, and rereading Herodotus's Histories, which is the historical text around which most of my plot revolves. That one took me about six months from start to finish, including editing.
Obed Fehr - Xerxes

       Who would you have play Kasia and Xerxes if Jewel Of Persia were made into a movie??
My cover model, Perla, is actually a perfect Kasia—but if we're going with actors, I've decided on Moran Atias for Kasia and Oded Fehr for Xerxes (though my hubby insists, rightly, that he isn't tall and buff enough, LOL). And for Esther, I'd go with Emmy Rossum. =)

Moran Atias - Kasia

Who is your favorite author?

Aaaaaggghhh! I can't answer that—too many of them are my friends, LOL. But a FEW of my faves are Julie Lessman, Julie Klassen, Stephanie Morrill, MaryLu Tyndall, Laurie Alice Eakes, Denise Hunter, Sarah Sundin, Trish Perry, Orson Scott Card, and Nora Roberts. I'm missing some . . . I  know I am. =)

       Do you have another book in the making? Can you give us some insight on what it's about?

I'm not entirely sure what my next release will be yet. I should be hearing back very soon about one set in 1783 Annapolis, and if that's accepted, it'll have a release date of Deceber 2011. But we're still crossing our fingers and praying up a storm on that. =) Otherwise, I'll probably put something else out with WhiteFire next year, either a sequel to one of my Biblical novels, one of my backlog of finished manuscripts (all historical romance, but not Biblical), or possibly a retelling of the book of Daniel, but set with the backdrop of the spiritualism movement of Victorian England.

      How can our readers reach you?
Well, you can find me on Facebook at!/roseanna.white, on my website at (where's the a contact page if you want to email me), on my blog at or just email me at roseanna (at) roseannawhite (dot) com. I'm always thrilled to chat with readers!

Not only has Roseanna been gracious enough to allow me to interview her, but she is also willing to giveaway her upcoming release - Jewel Of Persia - to one lucky commenter! One winner will receive a copy of Jewel Of Persia when it releases on June 1st. USA ONLY! Enter soon! This giveaway ends on March 18th!

Follow this blog via GFC

For Extra Entries:
Visit Roseanna's blog and comeback here telling me something you've learned about her(+1)
Subscribe to this blog(+1)
Post about our giveaway on your blog(+2)
Twitter this giveaway(+1 per tweet per day)
Follow me on Twitter(+1)


Roseanna White said...

Thanks so much for having me, Kait! I had a fun time with the interview. =) Looking forward to getting to know your readers!

Vivien said...

Great interview.
Gfc follower
+1 I went to her website and found that I was able to read the first chapter of her book.
+1 subscribe

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read roseanna's latest masterpiece...

roseanna has a beautiful son and daughter.

i'm an email subscriber...and follower, too.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Anne Payne said...

Can't wait to read this one. I loved SDoB, and JoP will be just as satisfying, I'm sure! Thanks Roseanna for the giveaway :)

I'm a follower
+1 Roseanna comes up with some great words for her Word for the Week posts
+1 email subscriber


divine said...

Hi Cherie,

Thanks for visiting my site. I just posted your giveaway on my blog. Hope you could follow me thru GFC. Thanks a lot!

Here is the link:

Take care!

Pam said...

I am a subscriber and I also visited Roseanna's blog where I found she is an optimist. Anyone who can think about a rainbow while pulling clothes off the line in the rain has a great mind set, in my opinion.
Jewel of Persia sounds like a great book, one I would love to win.

Roseanna White said...

Good to see everyone over here! I hope you've enjoyed getting to know me a bit. And if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask!

Laura said...

This book sounds fantastic! I would love to read this. I am a follower.
laura.leahj@gmail dot com

apple blossom said...

I'm a gfc follower
would love to be entered for this book drawing. thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

I am a subscriber, and I posted about your interview and book giveaway on my blog. And since my blog is very new, I will post the link to my blog on facebook, and send it to a number of scrapbooking yahoo groups so people will see it!
And thanks so much for the interview and letting us get to know a bit more about Roseanna. The book sounds like a wonderful read....I love reading books about characters in the bible. Thanks for offering a copy to give away here.
Blessings....Joy Hannabass

windycindy said...

What a lovely book giveaway! I follow you via
Google Friend Connect.
+1 Roseanna likes classical music.
+1 I subscribe to your blog.
+1 "Tweet" ~
+1 I follow you on Twitter...
Thanks very much, Cindi

windycindy said...

"Daily Tweet!"
Many thanks, Cindi

windycindy said...

"Daily Tweet!"
Many thanks, Cindi

windycindy said...

"Daily Tweet!"
Merci, Cindi

Tami @ said...

I'm a new follower via GFC.

mymadakaja [at] yahoo [dot] com

windycindy said...

"Daily Tweet!"
Much thanks!

lgm52 said...

Interesting! Would love to read the book.

Follow via gfc

+1 Roseanne lives in Nashville, Tn

+1 Tweet:!/lgm52/status/46806036849491968

windycindy said...

"Daily Tweet!"
Many thanks to you!

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Sounds like a really interesting book, I'd love to win. I haven't yet read a book about Esther, and would love to :)

windycindy said...

"Daily Tweet!"
Thanks, Cindi

windycindy said...

"Daily Tweet!"
Thanks bunches!

windycindy said...

"Daily Tweet!"
Thanks, Cindi

windycindy said...

"Daily Tweet!"
Many thanks, Cindi

Meredith said...

Oded Fehr is a great choice!

GFC follower
+1 Twitter follower @tessaa99
+1 email subscriber

meredithfl at gmail dot com

windycindy said...

"Daily Tweet!"
Many thanks, Cindi

canscrap4u2 said...

Love that you're from
West Virginia. I have family in Slatyfork. :) Beautiful God's country! Would love to try this book as my first book by you, for our Women's Ministry book of the month.

Julie Lessman said...

ROSEANNA!!! Right back at ya, sweetie -- you're one of my favs, too, ESPECIALLY Jewel of Persia -- LOVED IT LIKE CRAZY!!


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