I’m excited to be guesting Suzanne Tyrpak today. I read two of her historical novels on my Kindle and just devoured them. I already have a copy of Rosy waiting for me over the holidays. Squeee! Please enjoy this post from a truly gifted writer and consider grabbing Rosy while it’s FREE today. Maybe even gift it to someone while it’s FREE Dec 22 and 23rd.
Writing Rosy—a Fifteen Year Journey
Rosy: A Novel began as an assignment for a writing class. A short story poured out of me, but the words refused to stop flowing and the story demanded to be developed into a novel. The first draft took a few months to write, and I called it finished, but that proved to be only the beginning.
Wanting to hone my writing skills, I signed up for the Maui Writers Retreat and Conference—eager to study with the likes of New York Times bestselling authors including Elizabeth George, one of my favorites, and legends including Terry Brooks and John Saul.
Credit card in hand—along with my word-processer and the paper manuscript of Rosy tucked into my suitcase, I headed to Hawaii. (Poor me.) The six day retreat proved to me more rewarding than I’d imagined. Days were spent in a small class where we went over our manuscripts with our assigned teachers. The intense classroom sessions were interspersed with lectures and interactive critiques by leading writers—many of them (like Terry Brooks and John Saul) offering their expert advice for nothing. In the evenings, after meeting fellow writers at the bar, more events were offered. One night I attended an event called The Dread Overhead. The first page of my novel appeared on a screen and received editing in front of a room of writers—not a pretty sight. I remember Bob Mayer advising me to dump my main character. After being ripped to shreds, I gathered my composure and spent the night rewriting. In fact, I spent every night rewriting.
Upon returning home, I rewrote Rosy, cutting many pages of extraneous information that didn’t progress the story. I added conflict, developed the characters, made the prose more active and compelling.
That summer in Maui, I secured my first agent. She shopped the book around, but never got a deal.
I put Rosy aside. Wrote another novel called Sisters of the Nile (award-winning, but unpublished).
The next summer, I went back to Maui. Studied with Terry Brooks, working on a new idea called Agathon’s Daughter.
Two years later, I rewrote Rosy.
I put the book aside again.
Decided it would never see the light of day.
Took a trip to Rome with Terry Brooks, John Saul, Dorothy Allison, and Elizabeth Engstrom Elizabeth Engstrom.
I wrote Vestal Virgin—Suspense in Ancient Rome.
I went through a divorce. Felt depressed.
Went back to Maui and studied with Tess Gerritsen. Tess encouraged me when I felt like giving up. She helped me get another agent.
I almost quit writing.
Wrote only short stories and bad poetry.
Lost myself in reading.
For several years.
To my amazement, I sold thousands of copies. That Christmas I published Vestal Virgin and the novel took off. Ghost Plane and Hetaera–Suspense in Ancient Athens followed. Each book had success, so last summer I decided to rewrite Rosy yet again!
I’m extremely proud of the resulting book. In fact, I think it’s my best. Because I’ve written the book through so many changes in my life, it contains many levels. I’m especially happy with the character development of Sarah (aka Rosy) and Robin, but I love all the offbeat characters.
Part love story, part thriller, the book is dark coming-of-age set in New York City in the late 1970s. Each chapter is named for a song, and the chapter headings are linked to an MP3 download of each song. I call the Table of Contents Rosy’s Playlist, and I think the music adds yet another dimension.
Rosy: A Novel will be FREE on Amazon December 21-23, just in time for Christmas (and the end of the world, according to the Mayans). Please pick up a copy!
Rosy: A Novel
Dreams can become nightmares. Small town girl, Sarah, hopes to find love and fame in New York City, but following her dreams leads to a downward slide into the insanity of the late 1970s: nightclubs, sex, drugs, and violence ὰ la Magic Mike.
Desperate to dig herself out of debt, Sarah becomes pole dancer, Rosy Dreams. But the more money she makes, the darker her nightmare becomes as she sinks into a world where no one can be trusted—especially the men who claim to adore her.
As Sarah slips deeper into the underworld, she questions not only her dreams, but her sanity. She battles demons—imagined and real—fighting to survive the city’s brutality, fighting for her dreams, and ultimately fighting for her life.
Note: Chapter Headings are linked to Amazon MP3 of song
Connect with Suzanne on Facebook and on Twitter @SuzanneTyrpak