Friday, March 25, 2011

with Roseanna White

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Roseanna!
People talk about life before children—what was your life before writing?

Magical—because, you see, before writing was before school, so I was still in the magic of early childhood. Once I learned that different, learned type of creativity that involves putting pencil to paper, there was no going back! My games of make-believe were then just fodder for my short stories. =)

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
These days, it's finding the time to work. I not only have two small kids, but I'm homeschooling my daughter, and wow. My time just evaporated. To combat it, I've set up regular babysitting days with the grandparents, get up at 6 and pray the munchkins give me at least an hour, and have set up my office in the school room so I can squeeze a few sentences in whenever the kids are happily playing.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
This is a tough one. I think the ones I found most intriguing were my historical figures—Xerxes, Mordecai, and Esther especially. It was such a challenge to stick to the history we have on them, yet find a way to make them new, fresh, consistent with MY story, and (in the case of Xerxes) lovable.

What book have you recently enjoyed reading?
Lady in the Mist by Laurie Alice Eakes! It's a wonderful clash of America on the brink of the war of 1812 and a typical Regency England man who got tossed into a very atypical situation. Love it!

If you were a dessert, what would you be?
Chocolate Orange Cream Cake!
Here's the recipe:

Chocolate-Orange Cream Cake


½ cup Dutch process cocoa
½ cup boiling water
2/3 cup shortening
1 ¾ cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon orange extract
Cream Filling (follows)
Chocolate-Orange Frosting (follows)
Garnishes: orange slices and curls*, chocolate ribbons**

Grease 3 (8-inch) round cakepans; line with wax paper. Grease and flour wax paper and sides of pans, set aside.

Combine cocoa and boiling water in small bowl and stir until smooth. Set aside.

Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.

Combine buttermilk, soda, and salt. Add flour to shortening mixture, alternating with buttermilk mixture. Begin and end with flour, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in cocoa mixture and orange extract. Beat 2 minutes.

Pour batter into pans and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then remove from pans. Peel of wax paper and let them cool entirely.

Spread Cream Filling between layers to within ½ inch of edge. Spread Chocolate-Orange Frosting over top and sides, and garnish if desired.


2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
¼ cup shortening
2 tablespoons butter, softened
½ teaspoon orange extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Combine flour and milk in small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with wire whisk, 3 minutes or until of consistency of frosting and can hold its shape. (Don’t boil.) Remove and let cool.

Beat shortening and butter at medium speed until creamy; add flour mixture, orange extract, and salt, beating well. Gradually add sugar and beat 4-5 minutes, until fluffy.


½ cup butter, softened
3 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baker’s chocolate, melted
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted

Beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Add chocolate, orange juice, and whipping cream, beating well. Gradually add sugar, beating at high speed until of a spreadable consistency.

*To make orange curls, carefully cut orange peel into ¼ inch thick slice, making it as long as you are able (at least half the orange). Wrap around a pencil and stick in the freezer for 15 minutes, until it holds the shape.

** To make chocolate ribbons, combine 8 ounces of melted semi-sweet chocolate with 1 tablespoon corn syrup. Pour onto glass cutting board (or other non-porous surface), smooth to ¼ inch thickness, and let it cool until it’s nearly set (I generally refrigerate to hurry the process along, checking every few minutes). Hold a sharp knife at a 45-degree angle to the board and draw down the length of the chocolate to create curling ribbons.

If you were to find a purple polka-dotted monster in your kitchen one morning, how would you respond?
I would first stop and stare, then kindly ask him to get out from in front of the coffeepot. If caffeine didn't clear my vision and the purple guy was still there, I'd ask if he could please pretend to be a toy so that he wouldn't terrify my children. Then I'd most likely break into song. (One eyed, one horned, flying purple people eater . . .)

Tell us about one of your favorite memories or moments in your life.
I've had a lot of fun times, but I'll tell you about one that pops to mind simply because of its absurdity. We were taking a family walk, the kids in their strollers, last spring. As we neared a corner, we heard a loud sound, kinda like a leaf blower. I was instantly intrigued, given that it was SPRING. As in, no leaves. So we turned the corner, and what do we see? A woman vacuuming flower petals from her yard.
Vacuuming. Her yard. As in, outside. With a vacuum. In her yard. We laughed for hours afterward.

What's one of your dreaded things to do?
Anything that involves cleaning. Not my forte.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I seem to tend toward forgiveness, salvation, redemption . . . and identity in the Lord. Not sure why these are the ones I go back to time and again, but my stories always seem to include those.

What is the Lord teaching you, or recently taught you?
As 2010 ended and 2011 began, I asked the Lord for a word for me and my church family to embrace for the new year. The one we received was “Shine,” and as I keep that in mind throughout each day, I realize how crucial, yet difficult a task it is. Shining for the Lord means keeping myself free of dirt and grime so His love can reflect off me. It means demonstrating His light and goodness even when I'm feeling down and dark. It means being less about me and more about Him. Quite a task, but one I praise Him for giving us.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book travels a few thousand years forward in time. =) Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland will be out this December from Summerside Press.
Here's an unofficial one-paragraph summary:

In 1784 peace has been declared, but war still rages in the heart of Lark
Benton. Never did she think she’d want to escape Emerson Fielding, the man
she’s loved all her life, but then he betrays her with her cousin. She
flees to Annapolis, Maryland, the country’s capital, and throws herself
into a new social circle with new friends–-ones that force her to examine
all she believes. Emerson follows, determined to reclaim his bride. But he
soon comes to realize that in this new country he calls his own, duty is no
longer enough. He must learn to open his heart and soul to something
greater . . . before he loses all he should have been fighting to hold.

You can purchase Jewel of Persia from Amazon.

Roseanna is giving away a copy of Jewel of Persia. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Anonymous said...

I would really like to win this book!

Roseanna White said...

I really had fun with this interview! And again, thanks so much for hosting me here. I'll be stopping by periodically, so if anyone has any questions, please ask!

diana said...

Roseanna, I would have already bought this book if I hadn't told my hubby I wasn't going to buy anymore 'til I finished my TBR stack (or at least get close to the bottom)...why did I tell him that? So please enter me again. lol

noseinanovel said...

The Book of Esther is my all-time favorite Bible story, and I've had your book on my TBR list since I first heard of it.

Would love to win a copy!


Marianne said...

Thanks, Patty and Roseanna for the interview. and the chance to win this book. please enter me in the drawing! mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com. marianne from Arizona

Linda said...

I'm loving all the diff Biblical novels that have been coming out. Please enter me for Jewel of Persia! Thank you.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

karenk said...

roseanna, i am so looking forward to reading this novel of yours...

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Anne Baxter said...

I'd like to win, also.
Anne B 1944 at aol dot com

apple blossom said...

Please add my name to the drawing thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Lady DragonKeeper said...

Wow, that "Love Finds You" title sounds interesting ... Mrs. White, was the research process different for that novel as compared to your previous "Biblical fiction" titles?

Thanks for the chance to win!


Anonymous said...

I would love to have this book....thanks for offering it

Charity said...

I have been wanting to read this book:) Roseanna is quite a writer! Thanks!


Roseanna White said...

Good to see everybody here! Waving to my friends. =)

Lady DragonKeeper, the research process was largely the same for the 1784 novel--looking up dress styles, current events, etc. There was a lot more information to be found online for it, though, which helped. =) One of the biggest differences was language. Writing Biblical novels means writing about people who would have spoken different languages entirely, so I can use English as I please, though trying to reflect the feel of how their conversations would have been. But with this one, I was bound by how OUR language was at the time, which means not using many of the words common today, since they didn't exist yet, and trying to find the right cadence to sound like 18th century speech without being too heavy. Luckily, I love that kind of thing, LOL.

Joanne Sher said...

So wanting this one. Please enter me!

windycindy said...

Thanks for the delicious recipe.
Your book with its' historical
characters sounds amazing!
Merci, Cindi

Amy said...

Sounds interesting. Please enter me. Thanks.


Carman said...

Please enter me! I can't wait to read this book! :)

booklovercb at yahoo dot com

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