Hello, Fiona! Rosanne Bittner here, and I thank you for inviting me to visit your blog! I have been writing 35 years and as of October will have 66 published books to my credit – all of them involving real American history, from the French & Indian wars to the Revolutionary War to the Alamo, the Civil War, the Indian Wars, the discovery of gold, the building of the transcontinental railroad, the birth of some of our great cities of the West , outlaws, Indians and lawmen, and much, much more. I just take real history and get my fictitious characters involved, turning all the stories into memorable love stories that most of my readers tell me they will never forget. Some have read my 7-book Savage Destiny series 15 times and more! My favorite theme is to tell a story about two people desperately in love and how that love holds them together through the perils of settling America. Many of my stories, trilogies and series are family sagas that last 40 years or more. I am a USA TODAY best-seller and have won numerous writing awards, with books published all over the world in several languages.
Fiona: WHERE ARE YOU FROM? EDUCATION? FAMILY LIFE:
I am from Coloma (Southwest corner) Michigan, and I have been married 52 years and have two sons and three grandsons. I help run a family business (along with my husband) and also do volunteer work. I never went to college. I am just chocked full of stories to tell, and I guess that’s just a God-given gift. My next book to be published is THE LAST OUTLAW, the fourth book in my Outlaw series from Sourcebooks (coming in September) – and in October I will have a short story published in an anthology titled CHRISTMAS IN A COWBOY’S ARMS. My story is called A CHICK-A-DEE CHRISTMAS and involves the same family from my Outlaw series. It’s a really touching story and I can’t wait for everyone to read it! You will cry “happy” tears. Currently I am working on a sequel to my March Amazon book, CAPTURE MY HEART. The sequel is called A WARRIOR’S PROMISE, and then I want to write the fifth Outlaw book and also write a Native American contemporary story I have had in mind for over 25 years.
Fiona: WHEN DID YOU BEGIN WRITING, AND WHEN DID YOU WRITE YOUR FIRST BOOK?
I have always considered myself a writer. I wrote my first poem in third grade, my first little story in fourth grade and after that lots of poetry until I got brave enough to try writing a whole book until 1979, when I was 34 years old. I have always, always loved the American West and I grew up on TV westerns, so I always knew that was the kind of book I would write. I became more inspired to try it when I read THE PROUD BREED by Celeste deBlasis. It’s a wonderful 3-generation story about the settling of California and is also a fabulous love story.
Fiona: HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE TITLE TO YOUR FIRST BOOK?
I don’t know how I came up with the title for my very first book – SWEET PRAIRIE PASSION – other than it’s a love story that takes place on a wagon train west. That story began a journey for the hero and heroine that takes them through 7 books and 45 years together, from newlyweds to grandparents, all set against the settling of Colorado and how that affected the Southern Cheyenne. I might add here that I always pick a title first. I can’t write the book without a title. And virtually every title I have ever given the books I have written has been used by the publisher and not changed.
Fiona: DO YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC WRITING STYLE?
My writing style is to just tell a story full of adventure and romance, with lots of action and dialogue. I hate too much description. I also try to tell the story strictly through the eyes and thoughts and actions of the characters, avoiding the “author telling what’s happening.” That brings the readers into personal empathy with the characters.
Fiona: HOW MUCH OF YOUR BOOK IS REALISTIC AND BASED ON SOMEONE YOU KNOW OR EVENTS IN YOUR OWN LIFE?
I NEVER base anything on people I know. The only thing that might compare to personal experiences is the heroine’s feelings toward her husband, her children and grandchildren. I have experienced just about everything you can experience involving emotions related to all of those things, so I can make the heroine very realistic in her feelings and actions involving her family.
Fiona: DO YOU TRAVEL TO HELP CRAFT YOUR BOOKS?
My husband and I have traveled the West for years, and it does help me in describing the magnificent landscape of America’s fantastic West. To just call it “big country” doesn’t do it justice. There really are no adjectives to truly describe the grandeur of the Rockies, the vast loneliness of the plains and prairies, the wildness of the rivers. I do my best, but there is nothing like seeing it for yourself.
Fiona: WHO DESIGNS YOUR COVERS?
I have always written for traditional publishers, so they are the ones who design the covers. They do let me approve them and they ask me to describe settings and characters.
Fiona: IS THERE A MESSAGE IN YOUR NOVEL THAT YOU WANT READERS TO GRASP?
My message in pretty much every book I have written is the power of love and the power of faith.
Fiona: HAVE ANY NEW AUTHORS GRASPED YOUR INTEREST? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE WRITER?
Believe it or not I read very little. So it’s hard for me to name authors who have inspired me, other than the book I mentioned earlier (The Proud Breed). I also never, ever forgot a book I read when I was 14 years old – A LANTERN IN HER HAND, by Bess Streeter Aldrich. It isn’t very long, but it leaves a deep impact on the heart regarding what it was like for a woman to follow her husband west when there was virtually nothing there. It’s a wonderful story that I recommend to everyone.
Fiona: DO YOU SEE WRITING AS A CAREER?
Writing IS my career. I have made a really good living from my writing for many, many years. It’s all I do for a living.
Fiona: IF YOU HAD TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, WOULD YOU CHANGE ANYTHING TO YOUR LATEST BOOK?
There isn’t one thing I would change about any book I have written. As far as a movie, if that ever happens, I’ll worry then about who might play the lead. Depends on which book happens to make it that far. I pray for that every day.
Fiona: ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER WRITERS?
My advice to other writers is to WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE. Ignore what’s the most popular genre at the moment. WRITE FROM THE HEART – and write the way you like to read. I love fast-paced adventure and romance and dialogue. I love to get into the heads of both the hero and heroine, and sometimes from one paragraph to the next. That’s supposed to be a no-no, but if you do it right and make sure your reader understands whose head they are in, it’s not a problem.
Fiona: WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
I’m not reading any book at the moment. I spend too much time writing. I write every day, often in the wee hours of the morning when I can’t sleep. I have a huge office at our business, but I end up doing most of my writing at night in the corner of my kitchen.
Fiona: IS THERE ANY ONE PERSON, PAST OR PRESENT, YOU WOULD LOVE TO MEET?
One person I always wanted to meet was James Arness (Matt Dillon from Gunsmoke). I was so sad when he died. I would also LOVE TO MEET CLINT EASTWOOD. I wish I could draw his attention to my books because no one could direct a movie based on one of my books better than Clint could.
Fiona: WHAT TV SHOWS/FILMS DO YOU ENJOY WATCHING? AND DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?
I watch almost no TV. I would rather write. Sometimes I take a break and watch Family Feud. My favorite western movies are THE SHOOTIST (John Wayne), PALE RIDER (Clint Eastwood) and QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER (Tom Seleck). My only hobby is a huge rose garden I created by myself in my back yard over the past 3 years. It’s gorgeous!
Fiona: IMAGINE A FUTURE WHERE YOU NO LONER WRITE. WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
I can’t imagine a future in which I don’t write. I don’t even want to think about that. It would break my heart.
DO YOU HAVE A BLOG OR WEB SITE READERS CAN VISIT?
Readers can find out much more about me and my books by checking out my web site at www.rosannebittner.com, my blog at www.rosannebittner.blogspot.com. I am also on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and many other sites. You can find virtually all my books on Amazon.com, where you can also find reissues of many of my older titles, all with new covers and all available as e-books and in print. Readers should watch my web site for contests I always run, especially when approaching a new publication. I will soon be doing something to promote THE LAST OUTLAW, coming in September!
Amazon Authors Pages
Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog!