Thursday, February 2, 2012

Q & A with CALISA RHOSE

Thanks for being here today, Calisa.
I’m really thrilled to be here, Rebecca! Thanks for inviting me.


Would you please share a short bio about yourself?Small-town country girl Calisa
Rhose lives in a semi-remote area of Oklahoma with her husband, five dogs, one cat and one horse. All of her three daughters and their families live within throwing distance. She’s a member of RWA and the local chapter OKRWA. She intends to nurture and continue to grow as an author with the help of her family and supporters.


Q Do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person?
A You know, I did think of myself as shy. I don’t like to be in the spotlight, people staring at me, judging me. But then I stood in front of 20 women and read a sex scene at a recent local RWA meeting and let Sharon Sala judge my writing. Not judge--what she did was tell me how to improve and I felt so wonderful about me afterward! For standing up and reading MY work, a sex scene... I’ve said many times that I do not write those scenes and will definitely not let anyone read it if I did. And I did it. Wow.

Recently I took a quiz. Am I an introvert or extrovert? I knew which I am so the results surprised me. I am an introvert, but I’m also a bit of an extrovert. I was amped after reading that scene, I love attention, the spotlight- just don’t look at me! LOL


Q In what ways has being shy or introverted hindered your writing career?
A I’ve been writing since I was a teen but the only person to have ever read anything I’ve written is my sister until in 2005 I took the plunge and wrote and submitted my first ‘real’ manuscript to Harlequin. I think if I’d had more confidence and less shyness I’d have done that a lot sooner. Being shy also affected the heat levels of my writing. Until my last submission last year there was no sex in my writing. Closed doors, you know.


Q In what ways has being shy or introverted helped your writing career?
A It forced me to concentrate on the craft to learn. I didn’t just jump out there and act like I knew all there was because I didn’t want to be judged or laughed at for not knowing what the heck I was talking about. I needed to know.


Q What’s the hardest part of this business for you? A Writing sex scenes. Writing hard scenes, emotional ones. I invest so much of me into them that I have to really let go and I don’t like to let go. LOL


Q Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone either in your writing career or in your personal life?
A Besides the afore-mentioned reading a sex scene out loud and to Sharon Sala for a critique--who, if you aren’t aware, is a NYT Best Selling author!?


Q What’s one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that’s helped you?
A Just clench your eyes and do it, jump in. Whatever ‘it’ may be, you can do it if it means enough to you. That goes for your writing as well as personal life. You will never experience the great things in life sitting on the sidelines. I know I couldn’t have.


Q Would you please share a short blurb of your book and where my readers can buy it?
A Here it is:

What could a gypsy and a Vietnam veteran have in common?

Silvertown’s outcast, Poppy Tippen, has loved football hero Sam “The Force” Callahan forever. But he never seemed to know she was alive. Now he’s home from the war and she suddenly finds herself comforting him from the demons of “that damn war.” Is his attention merely an escape from the haunting nightmares? Or does she hold the interest of the only man she’s ever truly loved?


Sam Callahan’s only solace from the war nightmares wrecking his life comes in the unlikely form of a gypsy girl with stigmas of her own. He’s known Poppy his entire life, but there’s something different about her now. Something special he desperately wants to hold on to. Can he convince her she’s the only thing he needs to put the past behind him?


Get your copy of HOME at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon and B&N.


Q Where can my readers find you on the web?
A Find Calisa at her website/blog .

On Twitter @Calisa_Rhose and Facebook @Calisa Rhose


She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at calisa.rhose@gmail.com.










31 comments:

  1. Good morning, Calisa! I'm will you on the difficulty of writing emotional scenes, but the sex scenes...not so much. LOL I wonder what that says about me that I don't struggle with the sex scenes? Never mind, I probably don't want to know. *grin*

    Great interview!

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  2. I've read your book Sarah and what it says is you kill on the sex scenes! lol Thank you for joining me!

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  3. Hi Calisa & Rebecca! Good interview. I think all writers are a bit shy. I guess because we live inside our heads so much.

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    1. Hi Gale! I agree. Never thought about it that way, but if we spend so much time inside our heads, we don't develop those social communication skills needed in a face to face situation. Thanks for coming by and clearing that up! :)

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  4. Hi, Calisa! I'm very much an introvert. I'd happily be a hermit if I didn't have small kids. :)

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    1. I know what you mean, Diana. I was room mother, do everything mother and founder of the PTC in one of my dds' schools. Hard to hide away when you're in charge of everything in your kids' lives. Nice to see you here. I actually have your post over at Ruby Slippers open to read right this minute. When my visitors leave her you should check out Diana's post here: http://www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/less-is-best/

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  5. Hi Calisa and Becky! I can SO relate to your feelings as a shy writer, but I've also found if I push myself just a little, it's not so bad out there in front of people. Each time I speak to a group it gets a little easier, although I've never had to read a sex scene in front of a NYT best selling author! Best of luck with HOME.

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    1. I find it much easier to speak in front of a group when I'm not the subject of discussion. LOL Thanks for the wishes, Alison!

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  6. Great interview, Calisa! I was shaking for you reading that scene to Sharon Sala! Or out loud for that matter! I too can definitely relate to your feelings on being a shy writer. The hardest part is pushing myself. I find I'm taking baby steps and with each one, I get a little braver. But you're right--if you want it bad enough, nothing will stop you!

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    1. Thanks for commiserating, Joanne! It was nerve-wracking but SO worth it! Keep taking those baby steps and we'll get there together. :)

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  7. Hey Calisa. Just did a sex scene yesterday for my WIP. The only problem was I was working as a substitute teacher, and it was a bit disconcerting to be writing 'hot' as I stared at a classroom full of hormonally challenged teenagers.

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    1. LOL That should have given you all sorts of inspiration Callie! I can't wait to read more of your awesomeness when life allows me to read anything at all again. I miss your lovely voice!

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  8. GAK! Standing in front of crowds to read. Not my idea of a good time either, Calisa. However, I recently started a local writers group here in my hometown and have now been forced to read in front of a group. I feel the more practice I get, the easier it becomes. But reading a sex scene? I give you oodles of credit! Great job and a big ol' high five! You go girl!

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    1. Reading sex scenes to your critique bunch, ouch.
      I think I'd edit as I wrote if I knew I had to do that.
      You're a brave woman.
      Thanks for the terrific post and interview.

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    2. It's great you started a group, AJ. That is definitely a way to learn to be comfortable speaking. When I was in high school there was a boy who always came to me to write his speeches for speech class. Oddly, I never had to read any of my own speeches aloud that year. I think it would have helped a lot today if I had. Thanks!

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  9. Very insightful, Calisa. I wouldn't have thought of you as shy. You carry yourself with confidence :)

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  10. So far I've been able to dodge those meetings where people read their work aloud and critique one another in person (both of my crit groups are online for a reason!). I'm impressed you were able to do it -- in front of a NYT bestselling author AND a sex scene to boot. You rock!

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    1. LOL Ally. It was my regular rwa chapter meeting and Sharon graciously agreed to give advice on sex scenes after a lop discussion a few months prior to it caught her interest. I learned so much from her just listening as she read others work and commented on them (good thing because I barely remember reading mine or what she said about it!). She is a master at the art of writing romance for sure.

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  11. Fun post Calisa....I'm pretty shy myself...until I get to know you, then watch out...lol.

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    1. Yeah... sorry about throwing you to the Twitter wolves babe! But look what it did for you! :D

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  12. wish I'd been there to see you read that scene! Yes, I think you're shy but it comes across as a beautiful innocence in your writing. Poppy's character has this, as does Sam. The nice thing is when we "jump" in this business, there's plenty of us on the ground holding the safety net. we're never alone. You're doing great.

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    1. Wow. I never considered that, Joelene. I can see that in my characters now that you mention it. :) I'm blessed to have the very best of you all waiting with my net and I hope I'm there and strong for you, as well. Thanks Hon.

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  13. Hi, Calisa:)...loved your description of how you took the jump to write a sex scene:):) When you dove, you dove big didn't you??!!:)
    I think it's difficult for a lot of writers...I still have to push myself to release my collar and run with a sexual scene, or use curse words.
    Congratulations on taking the leap, and finding the safety net:)
    Lo

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    1. Yep, Lo. Curse words are another one I still struggle with other than the occasional damn/hell. Not me, hard to pull out of me. lol Thanks for sharing your difficulties lady!

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  14. I have to run a couple of errands for a bit. Keep sharing your shy markers and I'll be back soon!

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  15. Hi, Calisa! I was painfully shy when I was young and, while I was a daydreamer imagining all sorts of stories, I wouldn't dare send a story out for anyone to read. I came to reading romance late, writing it even later. Never thought I could write a sex scene, but with help from my critique group, I learned how to get it right. My mom even read the one in my first book. lol

    Never read one of them out loud though!

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    1. I think my mother would have enjoyed reading one of my books! I envy all who have had that. She didn't read romance, preferred sci-fi, but she would have read mine just because it was mine. Thanks for sharing Susan.

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  16. Great interview, ladies. I so agree with Joelene, I can see you in Poppy. And I can identify with your comment, "I was amped after reading that scene, I love attention, the spotlight- just don’t look at me!" We aren't use to being the center of attention, but it feels so good when you're getting such a positive response. Hugs, girl. Cheers to your continued success.

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    1. Thank you Tina. I appreciate your response. It really feels good being acknowledged for something you work so hard at, no matter how terrified you are along with it. lol

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  17. Hey Calisa, thanks so much for coming on today. You gave a great interview. You said writing curse words is tough for you? I remember the first time I used the F word, then had to read the scene to my critique group. I whispered "that" word. Now, however, it's no big deal to use it or say it. LOL.

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  18. There are one or two words I just absolutely will not use. Anything using God's name in vain. The F word is one I just feel uncomfortable using, I literally cringe. When one of my characters threw that word out I tried to replace it and he won't let me... I guess he likes it. lol

    Thanks for having me here Becca! It's been a fun learning experience!

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