Book Babies: A Guest Post by Rosalie Spielman
I want to wish a very warm Stiletto Gang welcome to Rosalie Spielman. Rosalie has committed a portion of the proceeds of the sales of her book, Welcome Home to Murder, to the DAV – Disabled American Veterans. What a worthy cause! Read on to learn more about Rosalie and see how you can take part in this great fundraiser. –Shari Randall
Every author dreams of that day when the story that they labored over and loved into existence is birthed into reality. But what happens when the idea is not originally your own? I can tell you from experience, the birth is no less exciting!
After I was signed by my agent, the book I queried with went on submission and I casted around for new ideas just in case that one didn’t work out. Then my agent posted that Gemma Halliday Publishing was looking for more authors for their multi-author series, Aloha Lagoon. I decided to give it a shot. I did my research, sent some ideas, and a writing sample. A few months later, I was given a contract to write Death Under the Sea, which became the 16th book in the series.
This contract came with a few limitations. Setting, to me, is a character itself in cozy mysteries. But in this case, Aloha Lagoon and its resort were already established, as were the detective and various other characters. So, while the characters of Kiki Hepburn and her friends are completely my own, she belongs to the series, and even, in part, to the other authors. I’ve made the metaphor that while I did give birth to Death Under the Sea, I was a surrogate for the publisher. No less pain or love put into it, just not completely my baby.
Compare that to Welcome Home to Murder, which was completely mine from conception to birth. There is so much of me in this book – the main character, Tessa, is a veteran from a military family, and originally from a tiny town. I come from a military family, was a veteran, too, as well as being a military spouse for over two decades. Writing a military character was second nature for me. I understand the special challenges of the military life as well as being sensitive to the problems and pain some service members endure.
My children occasionally make me cry. That includes my book babies. There’s a scene in Welcome Home to Murder that I wrote crying, edited crying, and cannot read without crying. Still. Without fail, my eyes will begin leaking. In this scene, Tessa is reflecting on the losses she and her fellow service members have experienced. I will not pretend that I understand fully how service members who struggle with the unseen wounds of war feel. But I can sympathize – and empathize, to a point – and my heart aches for them.
When the book went out on submission, I had included some resources for veterans in need at the end of the manuscript. I was unsure that section would make it to publication. But when my publisher read it, they offered to donate a portion of preorders and early sales to one of the charities. This touched me so deeply. (So much, in fact, that I got choked up telling the crowd about it during my Malice Domestic panel.) I’ve chosen the DAV, or Disabled American Veterans, to receive the donation. This organization does so much for veterans who need help, and now, every reader who purchases Welcome Home to Murder in either format will also be helping. Welcome Home to Murder will be released on 7 June, 2022.
Originally from a tiny town in the Palouse region of Idaho, as a military brat, veteran, and military spouse (retired), Rosalie Spielman has moved more times than she has fingers to count on. Somewhere along the way, Rosalie discovered that she could make other people laugh with her writing. She enjoys reading to escape from the real world and hopes to give you the same with her stories.