I reviewed Cindy Roesel's debut novel last week and enjoyed it. (You can see the review here.) Since I knew she was an Emmy award winning journalist I was curious to see how much of her own life snuck into her novel. So, this was the question I posed to her:
Your novel has some autobiographical parts to it. Was that easy or hard for you to write? Did you want to include as many references to your own life as possible or did you decide to just use the basics and let the character's own story come through?
I have to thank Cindy for a great guest post. I hope you all enjoy it as I did!
I want to thank you Kaley and your blog, Books Etc. for having me as a guest. This whole blog tour-thing is totally new to me and quite exciting! In fact this is my first novel and I’m thrilled beyond words. I’m meeting new people every day and for me, that’s what it is all about! This whole social media/internet thing is fabulous! Think about it, you’re in Canada and I’m in Miami, Florida and we’re talking to bloggers in two countries, perhaps all over the world. We get to meet people we’d NEVER come across. I, for one, am making some good friends, too! This whole experience is a blessing.
Thank you for reviewing my first novel, VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED. I understand you reviewed it on Thursday, so that’s given your bloggers the opportunity to read the book or at least read your review over the weekend. So hopefully everyone knows the main female character Charlize “Charley” Thomas. Well, here’s a tip: if you haven’t read Kaley’s review, go back and read it before you read my guest post. It’ll just make reading this post a better experience.
So Kaley, you along with many people probably assume because I’m an Emmy Award-winning journalist who has schlepped all over the United States ending up in Miami, just like Charley, that this means VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED must be autobiographical? Let me say yes and no. The one trait Charley and I definitely share is loyalty. I saw that come up time and time again throughout the novel. She backs her staff no matter what, and I’ve always been the same way. What is right isn’t always popular, but you have to be willing to do it, and hopefully someone will have your back, too.
I was in the television news industry for twenty-plus years, so I speak from experience when I write about what goes on in the newsroom. I really didn’t worry whether or not my personal life showed up in the characters, particularly Charley, when I was writing because I felt the characters had been well-developed and were so removed from who I am. But I happen to really like plain M&Ms, so Charley enjoys them, and she also shops at a local mall I happen to love in the Miami area. It was very important to me that the characters didn’t remind people of anyone specific and I believe I accomplished that goal. Because I had been in the media, when the novel first came out there were many people, especially in the print media thinking it was a tell all. I had to often reinforce VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED is a novel, that it’s fiction and not a gossip column.
I’ve studied and written fiction for several years and it’s really interesting to be a part of a character’s creation. As the author/writer, you are putting words to paper, but there are times one wonders, at least I do, where they are coming from. I often take long walks with my Shih Tzu, Sassy, and work out character and plot developments but until I sit in the chair and start typing I really don’t know what’s going to come out of my head and on to the paper. And then of course, I’m sure everyone has heard this and it’s true that writing is rewriting. My novel looks nothing like it did in its first draft. I hated the first time I heard that, but it is THE TRUTH! Writing is rewriting! Here’s a great book for any writer who wants to learn about writing well. I often refer to it, because it’s just so brilliant. It’s Ann Lamott’s, BIRD BY BIRD.
Thank you Kaley, Books Etc. and of course my new BFFs, your blog followers! This has been a blast. I hope you’ve had a great time as well and that you enjoy VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED. There’s still a lot of summer left, so don’t forget the sunscreen! Feel free to contact me anytime on Facebook or my website cindyroesel.com.