Inspiration Is a Crazy Thing

M.J. Rose is the international bestselling author of 11 novels; Lip Service, In Fidelity, Flesh Tones, Sheet Music, Lying in Bed, The Halo Effect, The Delilah Complex, The Venus Fix,The Reincarnationist, The Memorist and The Hypnotist.

Rose is also the co-author with Angela Adair Hoy of How to Publish and Promote Online, and with Doug Clegg ofBuzz Your Book.

She is a founding member and board member ofInternational Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She runs two popular blogs; Buzz, Balls & Hype andBackstory.

Getting published has been an adventure for Rose who self-published Lip Service late in 1998 after several traditional publishers turned it down. Editors had loved it, but didn’t know how to position it or market it since it didn’t fit into any one genre.

Frustrated, but curious and convinced that there was a readership for her work, she set up a web site where readers could download her book for $9.95 and began to seriously market the novel on the Internet.

After selling over 2500 copies (in both electronic and trade paper format) Lip Service became the first e-book and the first self-published novel chosen by the LiteraryGuild/Doubleday Book Club as well as being the first e-book to go on to be published by a mainstream New York publishing house.

Rose has been profiled in Time magazine, ForbesThe New York TimesBusiness 2.0, Working Woman, Newsweek and New York Magazine.

Rose has appeared on The Today Show, Fox News, The Jim Lehrer NewsHour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, includingUSAToday, Stern, L’Official, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

Rose graduated from Syracuse University and spent the ’80s in advertising. She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

She lives in Connecticut with Doug Scofield, a composer, and their very spoiled dog, Winka.

You can visit her website at www.mjrose.com

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Inspiration is a Crazy Thing

by M.J. Rose

Inspiration is a crazy thing. I don’t know where it comes from but I’m thankful it does come.

My characters are very elusive. They arrive like wisps of smoke. My first inkling about a new character comes as a question. A “what if”.

“What if” a man was in an accident and woke up with memories that don’t belong to him.

Then I start thinking of what kind of man would that be a conflict for. Who would hate that and fight it.

Slowly a person starts to emerge.

Then I work on their names – for a main character it can take me a month to come up with the right name. And all too often I think I have the right name – then start working on the book and realize I have the wrong name. In The Memorist I wrote the whole book with Meer’s name being something else and she was wooden on the page. Then I changed her name and she came alive.

My real work with the characters is an evolution. For three months I don’t write a word. Rather I do research and work on my main character’s scrapbook. The very process of collecting her preferred poems, swatches of her favorite colors, and petals from the flowers she grows gives me time to find her.

I collect the ticket stubs for a performance of the Metropolitan Opera that she went to, a postcard from her mother’s first trip to Europe, a piece of the red and white string on the pastry box from her grandmother’s apartment: it’s all in the scrapbook.

And only when I’ve found all the knickknacks of her life and I’ve done a fair amount of procrastinating do I even think about sitting down to write. And by then, I can’t wait.

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Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, a full service public relations agency specializing in online book promotion agency.
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One Response to Inspiration Is a Crazy Thing

  1. Andrea I says:

    I just wanted to say that I enjoy hearing about an author’s process. Writing is definitely not one of my talents.

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