Saturday, February 18, 2012

Author Interview: Imogen Rose

I'd like to be able to reach as wide an audience as possible.

This is the first of what we hope will be regular, or at least semi-regular, author interviews on Saturdays. Interested authors can find details on how to participate here.

The biography on your website covers your life from birth to being a mother and receiving a PhD in three sentences. I’m sure a lot happened during those years. Let’s start with growing up in Sweden. How do you think your life was different for you than it is for your girls growing up in New Jersey?

Life was easier for me. It was all about hanging out with my friends, recess at school, a couple of after-school activities, and getting A’s in my classes. Life is so much more competitive now. Even sports and other after-school classes are no longer “just for fun.” It’s all about being the best. I feel we put an incredible amount of stress onto our kids. In my school district, the middle-school kids don’t even get a lunch break that gives time for anything except eating! When I was a girl, Lunch was my favorite part of the school day, a time to socialize with my friends.

Growing up, were you a reader? What were some of your favorite books?

I was! I have always loved reading. As a child, I loved Enid Blyton books, and later on, Agatha Christie, P.G. Wodehouse, and George Orwell were among my favorites.

Talk about the places you lived between when you left home and before you landed in New Jersey.

I have lived in a lot of places, my absolute favorite one being London. Even though I was born in Sweden, I very much think of London as “home.” I love the cosmopolitan feel of the city, the pubs, the food, and, of course, the shopping.

Your PhD is in Immunology. Explain in simple terms what an Immunologist does.

There are many kinds of Immunologists. I am a research Immunologist. I started off my work in human monoclonal antibody production, and later specialized in the immunology of aneurysm surgery, which was the subject of my thesis.

What is your favorite book?

1984, by George Orwell.

What are your hobbies or favorite leisure activities? I mean other than shopping?

I love traveling and exploring the history of the new places. I also love going to the opera, theater, and movies.

Many think your first book was Portal, but it wasn’t. Tell us how that came to be.

I am guessing you are referring to my Hermès Lookbook? I am a collector of Hermès scarves and handbags. For many years, I ran a successful blog called The Scarfologist. It was mainly a picture blog, demonstrating the tying of scarves and discussing new collections. I chose some of the pictures from those on the blog and bound them in a book. The book was actually created after I finished writing Portal, but it was published first.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

It hit me after I had finished writing and publishing my first book, Portal. I just felt the need to continue writing the story.

Portal, the first book of the Portal Chronicles, was your first work of fiction. What led you to write it? Tell the story of how it went from an idea in your head to being available on Amazon in eBook and paper formats.

I dream stories practically every night, continuing my dreams from night to night. My imagination is a virtual soap opera. My kids have enjoyed my “little stories,” and my daughter loved that one in particular. She asked me to write it down so she could share it with her friends. It eventually turned novel-sized, and I decided to get it bound. I took the typed pages down to Staples, but decided that the binding offered was too bulky. I looked online and found Createspace. I designed my own cover and, within days, had a beautiful paperback in my hands. Createspace had an option to click Publish, and I thought, “Why not?” :D

The Portal Chronicles now has four books in the series. How many books do you have planned and when will the next of these be coming out?

There will be one final book, Fusion, which will be out in early fall of 2012.

You also have two other books, Faustine, the first book in the Bonfire Chronicles series, and Initiation, which is the first book in the Bonfire Academy Books, but is also labeled as being part of the Bonfire Chronicles. Explain how these two books are related and how you see the series developing.

I wrote Faustine first. I was inspired by a photograph of my daughter who is on the front cover. It was well received, but many wondered and asked about the instant connection between Faustine and Ryker. So, I went back in time in my imagination to Faustine’s years at the Academy, and that’s how the Bonfire Academy series was born. I have no idea how the series will develop. I don’t plan my writing, not even to the extent that I know what’s happening from page to page. All I know for the moment is that the Cordelia branch of the story that started in Initiation will continue in Integration.

Which of your books is your favorite?

I don’t think of my books as individual stories, so I can’t pick one. For me, it’s all about the characters, and they are so much a part of me and who I am that it would be impossible to pick a favorite.

Since you don’t have a favorite book, do you have a favorite character?

Cordelia is dominant in my imagination, and she was born from the very core of my own personality, so I feel closest to her.

Your fiction writing has primarily been aimed at the young adult audience, but you had a piece of fiction that was included as one of the bonus stories in Michael Crane’s Lessons III: Demonic Dolls and Other Morbid Drabbles, which is a collection of short horror pieces. How did that come about?

Trying to write a hundred-word horror drabble, a specialty of Mike’s, was a fun exercise in which I failed at miserably. But he was kind enough to include it in his book anyway.

Although all of your books have been self-published, you’ve explored different options and worked with some agents. What can you tell us about these experiences? Where would you like to take your career as an author?

I’d like to be able to reach as wide an audience as possible. Maybe have my books be a Blue-Light special at K-Mart. :D

For More Imogen:

You can follow what is happening with Imogen on her website or her rare blog posts. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.


The Portal Chronicles
Portal (Book 1)                      Amazon US   UK   B&N  Smashwords Paper
Equilibrium (Book 2)              Amazon US   UK   B&N  Smashwords  Paper
Quantum (Book 3)     Review  Amazon US   UK   B&N                     Paper
Momentum (Book 4)  Review  Amazon US   UK   B&N                     Paper
Bonfire Chronicles
Faustine                  Review  Amazon US   UK   B&N  Smashwords Paper
Bonfire Academy
Initiation                 Review  Amazon US   UK   B&N  Smashwords Paper
Miscellaneous and Guest Appearances
Hermes Lookbook                                                                     Paper
Lessons III              Review  Amazon US          B&N  


Unknown said...

Nice interview. I love the way Imogen is so self-deprecating: she only decided to be a writer after her first book was published.

Good luck with the books, Imogen. Thanks for the interview, Al. Oh, and, hello from London! I always love to see someone saying kind things about the place.

Anonymous said...

Imogen is one of my favorite writers and I this interview was wonderful. Thanks BigAl!

Sean Sweeney, Author said...

Very nice!

Anonymous said...

Loved the interview. Imogen has had such an interesting life and she is a wonderful writer.

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I love all of Imogen's books. Great to hear more about her life.

Susan Oloier said...

What a wonderful interview and an author I most definitely want to read!

Jim Chambers said...

A very interesting interview.

?wazithinkin said...

Very nice interview Al! I think this will be a very successful part of you Blog and look forward to more!

Imogen thank you for sharing a very personal part of your life with us! I can’t wait to finish the Portal Series. I loved Faustine and Initiation is in my TBR pile that is totally overwhelming.

Imogen Rose said...

Al, thank you so much for interviewing me! It was fun. xo

BooksAndPals said...

Thanks for all the comments and thanks to Imogen for agreeing to be my guinea pig. I have authors lined up for the next few weeks with lots of weeks stretching out after that for anyone brave enough to volunteer. :)

MichelleReviews said...

Two of my fave people, together at last! :)

Al and I trade links on Facebook, and Imogen is one of the nicest people ... oh, and a really good writer!

BooksAndPals said...

Thanks, Michelle. I agree, she has it all.

jlyn. said...

Great interview. Interesting look at part of the early years of Ms Rose. I always forget about your Swedish roots.

Kristie Leigh Maguire - Indie Author said...

Fabulous interview, Al and Imogen. I always enjoy learning more about my favorite authors. What a great new feature for your blog, Al!

Joansz said...

Terrific interview. I love the "blue-light special" analogy.

Vicki said...

Great interview, Imogen and Al.

You've certainly led an interesting life, Imogen. All the very best with the release of Fusion.

Walter Knight said...

It is always great to see science fiction do well.