P.J. Roscoe is an award-winning author of three books and short stories in various anthologies. She has two more books in the works. She has been married to Martin for 22 years and has a daughter, Megan, who has autism and dyspraxia.
Bonnie Ferrante: Welcome P. J. You have had three books published this year. To what do you owe this burst of creativity?
P.J. Roscoe: My first award winning (best e-book in the Paris Book Festival April 2013, Honorable Mention in the New England Book Festival 2012) novel Echoes was actually written on/off for seventeen years. I finally self published in 2012. It won three awards and it was taken on by a publisher, but I left them in January 2016 to go it alone again and re-launched it.
Freya’s Child was written in 2014/15 and taken on by Crimson Cloak publishing and re-launched in September 2015. My Adventures of Faerie Folk is available from July 2016, but it’ll really be launched at a faerie festival in August. I’ve also been working on the audio-books for Freya’s Child and Faeries so they should be available by the autumn.
My creativity never stops! I have two books coming out Autumn/Winter 2016 and I’ve another coming out 2017, plus I’m researching the prequel to Echoes. I also have ideas for another three, plus 15 other faerie stories to bring to life and five supernatural short stories to decide what to do with!! My imagination makes me feel alive, so I use it whenever I can!
Ferrante: Your first book, Freya’s Child, has a fascinating tagline. “What would a parent do to save their child? Fight the dead? Defy the gods?” I’m sure every parent reading this is thinking, yes and yes.
Roscoe: What if you are told your whole life that the gods require sacrifice and that person would be honoured and live a wonderful life in the halls of the gods? In early cultures it was considered an honour to die for your tribe.
So I looked at it from a modern family and a Viking family’s points of view. A parent loves their children unconditionally but for different people – does this mean the same?
My father’s family come from the Wirral and I grew up with the stories of the Norse finds that still continue to this day. I spoke with archaeologists and ‘The National Trust’ as it’s their land I base the archaeological dig – they were great.
Ferrante: Adventures of Faerie Folk: Volume One was published in July. Are these original stories? Have you used any traditional stories for inspiration?
Roscoe: I wrote many original stories years ago for my daughter when she was between 3 and 13. I would send them out to other parents to read to their young children and get feedback on them. My daughter, who is now 18 has autism and dyspraxia, and was being bullied and the other girls refused to play with her by the time they reached 9/10 years old. I wrote ‘The Rose Faerie’ to teach Megan that it is okay to be different. Genuine people will love you for who you are and look beyond the disability.
Ferrante: Do you try to have a moral in all of your stories?
Roscoe: I wrote stories to inspire the young to take care and be thoughtful in every action as it has consequences. I do have a moral in every story. The first book, Annabelle learns that kindness has many rewards and Kate learns that being horrible makes you prickly!
Ferrante: The book is designated as Volume 1. Have you already started working on Volume 2?
Roscoe: I have the next four volumes ready, but illustrations cost a lot of money, so need to sell a few books before I can get the next one illustrated! Also finished the audio for the faerie book and it’ll be out through Crimson Cloak Publishing and Audible.
Ferrante: Echoes seems to be a slight departure from the other two books. I love this line in your blurb, “Ghosts, past lives, evil and Tudors – what more could you possibly need?” I can’t imagine. It sounds delicious.
Roscoe: Echoes started out as a short story that I wrote following the death of our son. I needed to occupy my mind and wrote it, but over the next months, it became a novel. It more or less wrote itself. When I look back on my writing, I cringe! No wonder it was rejected! Through experience and learning, it became a winner and I’ve begun working on the screenplay as I’m told so many times, how it would make a great movie.
I adore history, always have. The Tudors were a mercenary lot, especially Henry Tudor and his son Henry VIII. How the story evolved, I couldn’t tell you, but it had to be set near Shrewsbury and involve Henry Tudor and the battle of Bosworth somehow! Thus began years of research on and off. I wrote several historical articles for a Welsh magazine. I found pieces of information during my research that went into the book! Throw in some personal supernatural experiences and there it was!
Ferrante: I’m so sorry about the loss of your son.
Your books feature females in positions of strength and courage without presenting them as mutant superheroes. Do you think we need more books like this?
Roscoe: I don’t believe we need to be ‘superhuman’ to show strength and courage. I have endured a lot over the years and fought to survive – I made it. Women are portrayed in the media as objects to be used and abused by men. We are desexualised and made to appear weak and in need of domination. Women are strong, beautiful, courageous people and I want to show through my books that women can survive any obstacles, and keep going regardless of what is put in their way. Women have read my books and they feel every emotion and go through the journey with my characters.
I still cry, feel joy, feel excited with my books and that’s what I want every reader to experience. The suffragettes would be turning in their graves if they saw how some behave and how men still treat us. Every book I write has strong women. Between Worlds due out Christmas 2016 and Where Rivers Meet due out 2017 are the next two. Diary of Margery Blake that came out September 2016 was a book that had to be written to show that even in such awful times as the 19th century, with no rights, women could still find courage.
Ferrante: What are you working on now?
Roscoe: As I type these answers to your questions (July) I am on third edit of Diary of Margery Blake Due out on 17th September. Also editing Between Worlds we want out by Christmas 2016.
Ferrante: What is the single most important thing you want readers to know about you that I haven’t asked?
Roscoe: I live life, I don’t merely exist. Life is not a rehearsal so enjoy it, but harm nothing. I face the fear and do it anyway!
Ferrante: If you can be the CEO of any corporation in the world, which one would you choose?
Roscoe: Lush – they are an ethical animal free 100% vegetarian cosmetics/toiletries company and I’d take down those companies who still believe it’s okay to torture animals for vanity.
Ferrante: And their product smell and feel so good!
If you could know without a shadow of a doubt the answer to one question that has always troubled you, what question would you want to have answered once and for all?
Roscoe: Gosh so many!! First one that springs to mind is – was it really an eagle I saw sitting on a log with a rabbit in its talons down a country lane in North Wales before whatever it was opened its wings, which were huge, and flew away over my head, as I’d stopped the car and got out!?
Ferrante: If your taste buds could be altered so that the taste of anyone food would be dramatically intensified when ever you ate it, which food would you choose?
Roscoe: That’s a hard one! I’ll say grapes. I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and I love my wine, so if I say grapes, then the wine should also taste fantastic!!
P.J.’s twitter handle Twitter@derwenna1
Goodreads Blog https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6575717.P_J_Roscoe
Freya’s Child was reviewed on this blog Monday, February 13.
Note: the three random questions are from “Chat Pack – Fun Questions to Spark Conversations”.