Roseanna White ~ Author Interview

Sep 25, 2015 by

Welcome back to Rachel’s Back Talk! Another Friday interview!

Today’s interview is with Roseanna White. This past Monday, I had the opportunity to review her book The Lost Heiress.

So without further ado, on to Rachel’s Back Talk – Special Edition!


RR: Hi Roseanna! Thanks for joining me here this Friday to celebrate your newest book! When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?

RW: All through primary school, had you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said, “A teacher/archaeologist/journalist [that changed over the years] and to write novels.” Eventually I realized the other stuff was just something to tell guidance counselors—the only thing I really wanted to do was write novels. =) (I was blessed to find a husband who encouraged this and supported the family with a “real job” while I pursued my dreams and we started our family!)

RR: That is great! So how would you describe your writing process? Are you more of a planner or freewriter?

RW: I’m a mix of both. When I come up with a story idea, I usually have most of the big plot points figured out within the first day or two. So when I sit down to write, it’s with definite goals and ideas. But for the first half, I rarely have anything resembling an outline. As I’m getting to know my characters, it’s definitely more in the seat-of-your-pants style. But by about halfway through (certainly by the last quarter), I need to keep myself on track, on pace, and make sure I don’t forget anything, so I’ll often jot down a scene list of what’s yet to come, and that definitely helps me plow through.

RR: I like your way of starting and finishing. Sometimes it just helps to begin! When is your best time in the day to write?

RW: Mornings, for sure! I get up at 5:30 for some quiet writing time before the kiddos rise. =)

RR: I’m sure that is very nice to have that quiet. How do you know when you have a great story idea?

RW: When it’s a new idea (as in, not the later book in a series I’ve already sold), I know I have a winner when it all comes together in my mind within a day or two. Some stories just don’t gel like others, and those are the ones that usually get jotted down in my “ideas” folder but otherwise left alone. When they become fully fleshed out quickly though…that’s when I start writing.

It’s different if it’s already under contract though. With those, I know I have to find a fabulous idea, LOL, so I’ll brainstorm with my husband and critique partner, research, and explore ideas until I find one that fits both the series and the individual characters.

RR: It’s interesting how there are different ways for each “type” of book (contract and not). It makes total sense though. Out of all your books, which has been your favorite to write?

RW: Oh dear. I don’t know if “favorite” is a word I think about when writing, but it might have to be A Soft Breath of Wind. That’s a book that I had planned out for 7 years but never took the time to write, because I knew it would be intense, and I had too many other projects going on. But when my contract for the Culper Ring Series was up, while my agent was submitting The Lost Heiress, I was working on that one. It’s a book I never would have written had I not been between contracts, but God laid it very heavily on my heart. And I find it no coincidence that I got a contract for The Lost Heiress the very DAY after I finished writing Soft Breath. =) The Lord wanted me to write that book—and He also made it clear to me throughout the submission process that The Lost Heiress was going to end up just where He wanted it too. It was an interesting time in my writing life, LOL. (Though writing the third book in the Ladies of the Manor series was also quite a lot of fun. Ella is more like me in personality than most characters…)

RR: Exciting!! Now you have me wanting to read both of those! 🙂 Let’s move on to your newest release. How did you come up with the story idea for The Lost Heiress?

RW: When I was 12, the first week of 7th grade, I decided I was going to write a novel—and finish it. I had just fallen in love with historical romance thanks to Lori Wick’s Kensington Chronicles, which I’d read that summer. I wanted to write a story like that too—about a girl whose parents died when she was just a baby, and she somehow ended up in the care of a monarch of another country. About a girl raised as a princess but who then has to go home to England when she’s grown up. About a girl who realizes upon arriving home that her parents’ deaths weren’t innocent—and it was up to her to solve the long-forgotten mysteries. (It took me a year and a half, but I did finish it!)


That kernel has remained the same through 20 years of rewrites, LOL, as have my two main characters, Brook and Justin—mostly. 😉 But the rest…I daresay most people wouldn’t be able to tell it’s the same book as that handwritten (in pencil, no less) first draft I still have stored away. =)

RR: Well it was fabulous and I love the years of writing history that are behind it. So would you say the characters Brook or Justin based off of anyone you know?

RW: Not Justin. But Brook, when I first devised her at age 12, was supposed to be Super Roseanna. She was me—just prettier, wittier, bolder, stronger…what I wanted to be. At this point, Brook and I have only a little in common, LOL. But I did find it hilarious when one of my readers commented on the cover I posted on Facebook that she looks like me. 😉

RR: I could see the similarities. 😉 Why do you write historical fiction?

RW: Because—HISTORY! I’m such a history nerd. I just adore diving into an era and figuring out what makes it tick, and I consider a visit to a local historical site one of the best field trips imaginable (I homeschool). I’ve always been that way—the copious notes I took in history classes growing up weren’t to pass the tests, they were for story ideas based on the facts. 😉 (Maybe that’s why they stuck well enough that I didn’t have to study for those tests…)

RR: That is so me — all of it!! How much time was spent researching verses writing in this book in particular?

RW: I was in an interesting position on this one—I’d already written this book three full times, and had revised it so many I couldn’t even count. So when I decided to change the setting to 1910 (last version had been 1860) and shift a lot of the major plot points, it took some work and some planning, but also had a firm foundation already. But I’d never written anything in the Edwardian era, so I definitely had to research. I binge-watched the first season of Downton Abbey just to get a feel for the show that had made that era suddenly popular (terrible hardship, that), and I spent a few days hopping around websites, picking out vintage cars, researching historical houses and their enormous staffs in that era, etc. I got some books on the era—everything from fashion to changing culture and ideas. That was enough to get me started, though of course I had to keep looking things up and reading books of the era as I wrote.

RR: Wow, that is incredible that you just switched the eras. As much as I love the 1800’s, I will say that 1910 was perfect for this book! As we wrap up here today, is there one tip that you could share that has really benefited you in your writing?

RW: The best advice I can ever give is “There’s no one right way.” You have to figure out for yourself if you can write on an outline or not. If you have to write scenes in order or skip around. If you prefer character- or plot-driven stories. If you write clean or sloppy first drafts. Like any art, writing is very individual. You have to find what works best for you—and then you have to realize that your path, too, will be unique. Much as I wish I could follow the paths of some of my favorite authors, I can’t. My publishing journey is unique, and so is everyone else’s! And for some, writing a book may not even be for publication—it may be for you, for your family who reads it. That’s valid too. I have at least a dozen books in my “Finished MS” folder that will never (ever!) see the light of day. But I had to write them. They helped make me who I am, make my faith what it is, and make me the writer I ended up being.

RR: What a wonderful way to close! Thank you so much for being here, Roseanna. And I for one, am excited to read the sequel to The Lost Heiress. 

If you haven’t already, head on over to Monday’s Book Review on The Lost Heiress


11973450_10206415346735876_381276987_oRoseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. The Lost Heiress is Roseanna’s tenth published book. Her novels range from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at



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