With the release of the Close Encounters of the Urban Kind anthology earlier this month, what better time to get to know one of its several authors? The always entertaining Rosemary Jones recently agreed to a brief interview about her work, her process, and the anthology. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado…Rosemary Jones!
1) Your last novel and companion short story were largely centered upon the undead, and set in and around an enormous graveyard. Despite some genuinely creepy scenes in each, they are unlikely to be called “horror.” Yet “Two Out, Wendigo” in the Close Encounters of the Urban Kind anthology is undeniably horror, the only story at a recent reading singled out by Seattle-Geekly.com (Podcast #58) as being creepy. Do you have a horror author inside you crying to be let out, or do you see this as a continuation of the stories you’ve been telling?
RJ – Probably a continuation. I love old ghost stories and Victorian horror tales, but I scare very easily. I don’t think my inner horror author would last long. If you find me with my hair turned white, fingers frozen to the keyboard, staring blindly into the blue light of the monitor, you’ll know I tried it.
2) When given the opportunity to choose from the deep pool of urban legends, what led you to telling a story about baseball?
RJ – Well, it started out with the words “urban” and “legend” processing separately in my brain. It doesn’t get more urban than Chicago and there’s no bigger legend than the curse of the Cubs. Then you handed me that terrific title and that started me reading about the wendigo, another amazing American legend and one that luckily fits geographically. At least it does by the time the story gets to 1945.
3) In most of your fiction, your heroines tend to rely on brains rather than brawn (though they aren’t above getting in a scrap if necessary). Additionally, while your stories are packed with action, they are considerably less violent than the typical fantasy novels. To what do you attribute this distinctive voice?
RJ – Distinctive is a great compliment! Thanks! Basically I write the type of stories that I like to read: lots of swash and buckle, witty repartee, smart heroes and heroines, and, hopefully, a few surprises. If the writing doesn’t engage me, I won’t stick with it. So I have to tell a story that I’ll want to read multiple times. Because that’s the other thing about writing, the first time through is never enough. You have to edit, rewrite, put it aside, rewrite again, and then edit it once again. By that time, you either have to love your story or it becomes a real chore.
4) Many writers acknowledge that while having written is fun, the actual writing is real work, and not generally much fun. What is the most fun you’ve had in the actual writing of a story?
RJ – Any action scene is a hoot to write. The faster the problems pile up, the better! In Two Out, Wendigo, I loved chasing my heroine down the streets.
5) What is next for Rosemary Jones?
RJ – I have been invited to write for several anthologies this year including one cyberpunk, one fantasy, and one superhero. I’m excited about all the possibilities.
Rosemary Jones writes. Anything. Safety supply catalogs, articles, theater reviews, short stories, and, in the last few years, novels set in the Forgotten Realms. You can always find out more about her latest projects at www.rosemaryjones.com.