We had the good fortune of connecting with Rose Young and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rose, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I feel being creative allows you more freedom to be yourself. In hindsight, it seems to have been a natural progression in my life with bursts of a desire to change, and the creative courage to do it.
As a novelist, I see how we can even write our life. When I was young, I was either reading mysteries, writing, drawing, or outdoors in nature. I attended art classes afterschool. I chose a creative career and graduated from New England School of Art & Design in Boston (now has joined with Suffolk University). It was an artistic immersion and included: life drawing, fine art and surrealism, drafting, color theory, interior design and artistic renderings, to landscape design. I chose to focus on interior design and worked happily for years until there was a downturn in the economy and sales became primary, so I decided to reinvent myself.
By attending classes, I retooled my drafting, artistic rendering, and design skills and used them in a new way, for garden and landscape design. I found work immediately in garden maintenance, which was my ‘boots on the ground’ education while attending workshops for years in garden design and horticulture. I worked in four dimensions; design layouts and blueprints, to hardscape installation, plantings for all seasons, sequenced flower color, and forecasting the effects of time on the landscape for years into the future.
Oddly enough, a landscape client rekindled my longtime goal of writing mysteries, Robert Parker, the famous mystery author. I designed two of his home landscapes. And years later, I decided to reinvent myself, again and combined my garden knowledge with my love of mysteries and wrote my debut novel, Roses, Wine & Murder – In the City of Steeples.
When you are accustomed to working with your creative imagination, you can imagine a picture in your mind’s eye of what you want to manifest. For me crafting a good mystery is challenging and a different form of artistic expression, it does not manifest like in interior design or a garden landscape. It plays out like a movie across the screen of my mind, I am the recorder of the events, and they must be sequenced properly with clues and secrets for a mystery to hold your attention.
For me, freedom of expression is a good reason to pursue a creative career. I bet if you asked most creative people why they create, I expect their answer would be similar to mine: We create because it makes you feel alive, it is a primal and possibly a spiritual need to express our eternal self as Soul, which is about springing forth ideas from our imagination into physical form.
Rose Young, Author
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My love of research, history, and learning new things all play into my style of writing. I read lots of non-fiction in order to write interesting and intricate mysteries. I often go to the physical locations that I weave into my story to capture the essence of a place to describe a scene and how the character feels when they are there. For example: My creative way of learning about wine was to go to numerous vineyards, research viticulture, and watch documentaries on how to become a Master Sommelier. My character Georgi is a flamboyant wine aficionado and I fashioned him after friends at my art and design school. He entertains and educates the reader about wine with wit and humor, while mayhem and murder are always around the corner. And my character, Roxanne is an expert gardener, taking after my background and research in poisons. She and Georgi are madcap and motivated sleuths.
I am excited about Roses, Wine & Murder being newly available as an audiobook. The narrator, Eric Altheide, SAG, performed each character distinctively so the story is even better. I am looking forward to my next book in the series, ‘Love of Art & Murder – From Mystic to the City of Steeples’ to be out this year.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In the Southeast region of Connecticut. I would take you on a lighthouse tour in Long Island Sound on the Cross Sound Ferry and we would pick up coffee and sandwiches at either Muddy Waters Cafe or Washington Street Coffeehouse. For lunch and dinner we would eat seafood at On the Waterfront Restaurant in New London, or at Water Street Cafe in Stonington Borough or Capt. Daniel Packer Inn in Mystic. Drinks and tapas at Dev’s Bistro on State Street, New London or on Main Street in Niantic. For a performance or movie we would see what is playing at the Garde Arts Center in New London. For the beach and nature walks we would go to Ocean Beach, New London or Harkness Park in Waterford.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My book cover designer Cindy Samul, Illustrator is fantastic. The quality of her work and ability to comprehend my scribbling of ideas is truly amazing. www.cindysamul.com Also, Eric Altheide, narrator of the audiobook version of Roses, Wine & Murder, he made my characters come alive, vividly making the story even better! www.ericaltheide.com
Other: I have a Mystery Fan Newsletter that I send out periodically. You can sign up on my website at www.RosesWineandMurder.com