Today I'm interviewing YA author Rosie Somers. Rosie lives in Florida, soaking up year round sunshine (hey, that's like New Zealand and Australia!). She can often be found in her favourite spot on her favourite beach, nose-deep in a good book.
First, please you tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from?
I’m from Florida. I’m not a native (wasn’t born here), by I’ve lived here most of my life, so I sometimes forget I wasn’t born here. I’m a wife and homeschooling mother, and I have a habit of bringing home stray animals. My life is pretty busy, so I find relaxation in books, both reading them and writing them.
It’s said that authors should write the kind of book they like to read. What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? Why/why not?
The last book I tried to read was a YA sci-fi that turned out to be not at all my cup of tea, just a few pages in. I didn’t even finish chapter one though, so I’m not sure that counts. I’m currently reading Ted Dekker’s The Bride Collector. If you like darker content that highlights the struggle between good and evil, I’d definitely recommend it.
What kind of books do you write? Where and when are they set?
I mostly write YA, and it’s typically in a contemporary setting. I think there’s something so unique about the whole experience of those years as teens are on the cusp of adulthood. It’s real and raw and so emotional.
Where did the idea of a story about the Seven Cardinal Sins come from? What were your influences?
I hadn’t really spent much time thinking about the Seven Deadly Sins, but one day I started thinking about what it would be like if there were real, tangible deadly sins. Then I started thinking about what that would be like; would people be tasked with protecting them? What would the sins look like? What would they do? Even though, my beliefs are grounded in Christianity, I borrowed a lot of my deadly sins inspiration from the Catholic belief system. And Pride was born.
The steward of Lust exudes Lust, but I didn’t feel Gabby epitomised Pride in the same way—she seemed a lot more self-effacing than prideful. Was this intentional? (Pride, to me, is epitomised by Jane Austen’s Fitzwilliam Darcy.)
Actually, I’m glad you picked up on that. From a theological (mostly Catholic) standpoint, the Cardinal Sins are said to be sort of… counteracted, or overcome by the Seven Heavenly Virtues. Since the stewards are supposed to control the sins, keeping them from affecting innocent people, I thought their characters should reflect the virtues which directly oppose their assigned sin. Humility correlates as the antithesis of Pride. The reason Jason exudes Lust when Gabby meets him, isn’t so much a statement about his character, but more a statement about how others are affected by his sin.
What was your motivation for writing Pride?
Mostly it was getting the story bug out of my brain and onto the paper. The idea kept crawling around in my head, demanding my attention. So I wrote it down.
Pride is one of the Seven Cardinal Sins. Does that mean it’s the start of a series? What book is next, and when will it be released?
It is the start of a series. Currently there are a total of eight books planned, one for each of the Seven Deadly Sins, and a bonus book to tie it all together. Wrath and Envy are next and are scheduled for publication Fall 2015 and early Spring 2016.
Who is your favourite character in Pride and why? Do you have anything in common with him/her?
I have a couple of favorites, each for their own reasons, but I think teenage Rosie would have identified most with Grant. I marched to my own beat, existed outside the box, felt deeply, and wasn’t really the best communicator. Oh, and I’m sure at some point, I probably had green hair. :)
Pride is obviously based on a religious concept, but neither Gabby nor the other characters come across as overly Christian. Are you aiming Pride at the Christian or the general market?
My intention from the beginning was just to tell a story of working toward something greater than yourself, of learning to love the kind of love that would make someone risk her life for someone she cares about, the way Christ loves. It was meant to be inspirational and growth-provoking without being overtly “preachy”. The faith element will probably grow throughout the series as it will become more crucial to the overall story arc.
How does your faith influence your writing?
I think it makes me consider my choices more. It definitely affects the direction of my plot lines. Even when my characters go to some dark and worldly emotional places, I try to end everything with at least a tidbit of inspiration, whether it be a message of redemption and healing, or an implied message of learning selfless love. I like to try to mirror real life, showing that yes, ugly happens, but it gets better.
What are you working on at the moment? What other books do you plan to write?
I’m working on more of the Temptations series, of course. I’m also working on a standalone, allegorical YA dystopian, and a contemporary YA suspense is in the pipeline right behind that. All have an inherent message of faith sewn in.
You can find out more about Rosie via:
I have already reviewed Pride, and you can find my review here
. You can also see the book trailer:
Release Date: September 9, 2014