Rosemary Jones has had stories in several shared world anthologies including “Birdie” in the upcoming The Awakened.
In Ed Greenwood’s Forgotten Realms, a Dungeons and Dragons shared universe, she’s written two novels, a e-serial adventure, and several short stories. She’s also been involved for several years in the superhero shared universe called Cobalt City published by the Seattle-based Timid Pirate company. Besides several short stories set in that universe, she has written a steampunkish tale called Wrecker of Engines now available in the Cobalt City Rookies ebook collection about young heroes coming into their powers. All of her books and short stories are listed at www.rosemaryjones.com.
ME - How would you describe your style to someone who has never read your work?
ROSEMARY - It’s been described to me as “quirky” and “not what I expected.” I consider the latter statement a huge compliment. Frankly, the writers that I enjoy often fall into the “quirky” category. So if I can create unexpected characters inside a shared world setting, I’m usually happy with the results.
ME- This book represents a shared universe; would you be tempted to revisit it in a longer format?
ROSEMARY - Absolutely. Hal came up with a lovely idea for magic in The Awakened. I’d be happy to explore both his world and some of my characters further. Birdie’s story is far from over, as you’ll see when you read the book.
ME - What books are you currently reading?
ROSEMARY -I just finished Jon Courtenay Grimwood’s Assassini trilogy, a historical fantasy. This trio of books set in Renaissance Venice is heavily influenced by Shakespeare’s Italian plays and a true treat. Another writer who pens lighter but equally complex historical fantasies is Judith Merkle Riley, whose Oracle Glass was just reissued.
ME- Any authors in the fantasy genre that you would say most influenced you?ROSEMARY - Last year I had the pleasure of meeting C.J. Cherryh, whose early fantasies and science fiction novels were a huge revelation to me, especially in how she handles alien cultures. Andre Norton and Ursula K. Le Guin are other early heroines of mine as far as fantasy and science fiction are concerned. And, like any kid of the 20th or 21st century, I started out with The Hobbit and Wizard of Oz, both of which are not afraid to use humor to make a telling point.
ME - If you could work in any other genre of literature, what would most interest you?
ROSEMARY - Probably historical fiction. Anything set in the great cities of the past. I love reading about the complex ways we keep reinventing “civilization” – whether it’s Cleopatra’s Alexandria or Renaissance Paris or Victorian London.
ME - Have you read any of the other stories in this collection, and if so which of the authors in this book did you most enjoy reading?
ROSEMARY - I’ve had the pleasure of reading or working with many of the authors in this collection because of our connections to Ed Greenwood’s Forgotten Realms. Erik Scott de Bie lives in the same city (Seattle). We get together fairly regularly to discuss writing, including what we doing for this anthology. We also both have created characters and stories for the Cobalt City superhero universe. That’s one of my favorite ongoing projects
ME - What were the biggest challenges of writing your story?
ROSEMARY - Stuffing all I wanted to say into a reasonable number of words. That’s always the biggest challenge.
ME - Working in a fantasy setting, are there any of the standard fantasy tropes that you are tired of?
ROSEMARY - Well, the minute I say “elves” or “isolated forts in the frozen north,” somebody is going to write a wonderful, quirky, fabulous tale using that trope and I’ll completely change my mind. The Assassini series is a good example. I’m a bit tired of pale romantic vampire heroes. But I’ll happily follow Grimwood’s take on that trope into the future novels.
That having been said, I’m often fed up with the assumption that book or movie with a happy ending is somehow less important as one that takes a dark look at a fantasy world. There’s nothing wrong with people solving their problems. Killing off your hero does not automatically make your story better. I think a romantic comedy can be just as inspiring and well-written as a tragedy. Also, there’s more than one way to run a city or a country or world than standard military operating procedure.
ME - Any advice for aspiring authors?
ROSEMARY - Write what you want to read, not what everyone tells you is the latest, hottest thing. If you want to read about zombies, write about zombies. Or vampires. Or elves. Or girls who talk to sparrows on rooftops.
ME - Last chance, anything you’d like to say to any readers of this interview?
ROSEMARY - Support your local library. Libraries are the great equalizer, giving everyone a fair and free chance at knowledge. Go to your library, take advantage of its services, and please make sure that your local leaders and national politicians know that keeping libraries open and welcoming to all is important to you.