Friday, March 11, 2011

Welcome, John B. Rosenman

Thank you so much for being here. John B. Rosenman

1. What genre do you write?

A. My favorite genre is science fiction because it contains and transcends all the other genres and forms of fiction. Science fiction is the most speculatively rich genre, which is why it’s also called speculative fiction. I also like fantasy, science-fantasy, dark fantasy, and the absurd because they free my imagination from reality while at the same time, still binding me to it. “More Stately Mansions,” my first book with MuseItUp Publishing, is cosmic science fiction. I grew up during (or shortly after) the Golden Age of Science Fiction, and I like big, mind-stretching concepts that fill the reader with awe and wonder concerning the potential of the universe.

2. How long have you been writing?

A. A long time, since I was a kid and did cartoon strips with crayon instead of short stories. I’ve been writing for publication – or trying to get published – for about fifty years, since I was about nineteen or twenty.

3. That's very interesting. I love cartoon strips.  So tell me, John, what do you like the most and least about writing?

A. Good question! Two things I like most about writing are (1) the wonderful creative feel I have when it’s going well, when the narrative just flows, and (2) when people actually like what I write enough to buy it or when readers write to tell me they like it. Both of these experiences involve a personal validation that you’re not just deluding yourself by writing, but do indeed have a calling. Of course, if I sell a novel for ten million dollars, that might be the best experience of all.

Here’s two things about writing I DON’T like. The first is rejection, which can get old and discouraging awfully fast. The second is when I’m not writing, have no inspiration, and don’t know when my next writing project is coming from. Enough said.

4. I can relate. I too, love the creativity of writing. Surely you don't write all the time, what do you do for fun and relaxation when not writing?

A. I like to play doubles tennis for three or four hours in the hot sun. Bang bang bang and then sit down with my buddies between games and trash-talk. I also like to read fiction and watch TV. “Law & Order” and the tennis channel especially.

5. I love Law and Order. Which authors do you like to read?
A. In no particular order, Octavia Butler, Orson Scott Card, Robert McCammon, Greg Iles, Ray Bradbury, Roger Zelazny, etc. Lately I’ve discovered Lisa Gardner’s detective thrillers.

6. So, what’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
A. That I’m a nice, interesting guy and a good person. Also, I’m a good friend and have a pretty fruitful imagination that sometimes runs in dangerous channels.

7. Dangerous, huh. LOL Tell me about your current novel, where can I find it?
A. I have two stories and three science-fiction novels coming out from MuseItUp Publishing. I better mention the most recent novel I’ve had published. A Senseless Act of Beauty is a great, sprawling African SF novel, just published by Crossroad Press. You can find it on Amazon and various places, including the publisher’s website at
As I mentioned, I’m a child of the Golden Age of Science Fiction, of movies like The Forbidden Planet, and I like to put every single far-fetched, mind-stretching concept in my fiction. A Senseless Act of Beauty, all 115,000 words of it, does that more fully than any novel I’ve written. It’s got what I feel are BIG concepts, such as two hundred worlds sending a fleet of ships to repeat history—that is, do what the Europeans did in colonizing Africa. The planet Viridis is a New Africa, so desirable for its resources that other worlds seek to conquer and colonize it. Can Aaron Okonkwo, the hero, discover his ancient Nigerian warrior heritage and find a way against overwhelming odds to save Viridis?

You want sex? Alien sex? Science fiction can open erotic doors like no other genre. On Viridis, Aaron discovers delectable, irresistible green alien females of bewitching beauty. One of them, Nightsong, sets her cap for Aaron. However, there’s a deadly trap in her desire, a horrible secret. Want to know what is? Check the book out.

My first novel with MuseItUp Publishing is Dark Wizard, due out in May. It’s paranormal romance by way of The Wizard of Oz and involves an extraterrestrial invasion. Jean-Pierre Tetreault is rather interesting. He can revive the dead, lift cars as if they were toys, and has complete amnesia regarding his past life. In the beginning of the novel, he brings a five-year-old girl, who’s just been killed by a hit and run driver, back to life.

8. Wow, sounds exciting. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
A. It helps to read a lot of fiction of all kinds, both good and bad. They should read critically and interactively. Read the masters, both from the past and today. Keep current. If you write SF, remember to study science and astronomy.

Also important: find a good critic, an intelligent reader willing to read your stuff and

embrace them, value their help and guidance. Then write, write, write, revise, revise, revise. Be persistent, be strong, and be dedicated. Never give up and never stop trying to improve.

Above all, perhaps, remember it’s what you write that’s important, not you or your sensitive ego. Your most important obligation is to make what you write as good as you can. Think of it as a religion if necessary.

9. Great advice. Do you base your characters on real-life people?
A. My first published novel, The Best Laugh Last, cost me two jobs because the place I worked at and some of the people were adapted for the novel. You can find it on my website at However, usually my characters are drawn broadly from my life experiences and reflect certain themes or attributes that are important to me. For example, Dax Rigby, War Correspondent involves an idealistic, truth-seeking young hero. He’s more of an amalgam of such guys I’ve known. In addition, he’s an embodiment of a neo-Christian savior, the messiah of a futuristic religion I made up. I don’t recall deriving it from anywhere except my imagination.
10. How did you come up with the idea for “More Stately Mansions”?”
A. The answer is from the title, “More Stately Mansions,” which comes from one of my father’s favorite poems, “The Chambered Nautilus” by Oliver Wendell Holmes. The chambered nautilus is a mollusk that builds larger and larger chambers inside its shell or body. Symbolically, the process represents transcendence, becoming greater and greater spiritually than you were before. To quote from the poem
“Build thee more stately mansions,
O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!'”

My book comes from the first two lines. What if an alien planet offered a possibility for visitors to build “more stately mansions” for their souls? Would that be a good thing, or a terrifying one? If you read the story, I think you’ll find it’s both.

11. Intersting concept. What are you currently working on?
A. I’m currently revising two science fiction novels which MuseItUp has accepted: Dark Wizard and Dax Rigby, War Correspondent. Revision, I believe, is a crucial part of the creation process. It’s one thing to write a book; it’s another to make it as good as you can, to come as close as possible to its ultimate potential. Fortunately, MuseItUp offers great editors.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
A. Hmm. Well, I’m an English professor at Norfolk State University where I designed and teach a course in how to write science fiction and fantasy. I suppose I might mention that most of my novels involve a similar theme: the hero goes to a distant world and has amazing adventures. How amazing are they? Just as amazing as I can make them.
13. Okay, one last question. Where can we find you? Website? Blog?
A. My website is If you check the “Media Room,” you’ll find a book trailer, a radio interview, a podcast, and other goodies

1. Working Writers


3. AllBooks Review (Interview and Review of Beyond Those Distant Stars)





4. [Until recently, I published a monthly blog on writing on the 13th.]



7. [Blog on Alien Sex]


1 comment:

John B. Rosenman said...

Thanks for your comments, everybody. And Roseanne, thanks for hosting me.