Thursday, September 5, 2013

Featured Author: Rosalee Richland

Rosalee Richland is a pen name for the co-authors of the Darla King series. They say they created the pen name to try and keep all the parts of their careers in order. Co-authors Cyndi Riccio and Rhonda Brinkmann are here today with Great Escapes Book Tours to talk about their first book in the series, Right and Left Grand.

About the book:

In this first Darla King novel, Darla returns to square dancing in midlife following tragedies in both her personal and professional lives. She moves from Florida to Texas and from high-powered investigator to life in a small town and a job as far removed from crime as she can think of—she becomes a square dance caller. But when an unconscious stranger turns up on the ranch of one of her dance club members, her specialized knowledge may hold the key to the identity of his assailants. At first, Darla is concerned that her friend Doug is the target. When the same square dancer is assaulted not once but twice, she realizes something else is wrong. Even more telling is the secretive but disturbingly handsome FBI agent that enters the picture.
Darla didn’t plan it this way, but her curiosity pulls her into the case and she has to use the investigative skills from her past that she thought she’d left behind. She’s inquisitive by nature, and looks for patterns to unravel it all. Patterns like the ones she uses to choreograph a dance. Combined with her contacts as a square dance caller and her square dance knowledge, she’s just the person to fit all the pieces fit together. Darla, along with her close friends from the Clearton Squares Dance Club, ends up in the thick of things—and in danger.

Interview with Rosalee Richland AKA Cyndi and Rhonda

How long have you all been writing, and how did you start?

We’ve both been writing in one way or another since high school or college – and that’s a long time ago! Both of our “day jobs” include writing, more technical than fiction. Writing fiction is more for fun and we are still learning.

How did you come up with the title Right and Left Grand

The Darla King series is centered around Darla, who is a square dance caller. “Right and Left Grand” is a square dance move – one of the first learned by new square dancers.  The plan is for each of the titles in the series to be a square dance call.

Cool! How would you describe your book in five words? 

How about four: Square ‘em up, dancers!

How did you create the plot for Right and Left Grand?

It was a natural outgrowth of our square dancing experiences – well, not the mysterious stranger and dastardly villains but the idea of a traveling dance group that enjoys life and each other’s company.

What’s your favorite line from the book?

Oh, you know they’re all our favorites. But two from the chase scene stand out. “I had to smile at Harry’s wrath over being attacked by a couple of women trussed up like calves in a corral.” And “Darla, I hate to break it to you, but your skirt’s in the back with our parasite.”

How do you get to know your characters?

Actually, it’s the other way around. Our characters just seem to walk up and introduce themselves, then they keep talking to us.

Are any of them inspired by real people?

With the exception of the ‘bad guys’ of course, and perhaps the FBI agent, the characters are inspired by people in the square dance community – warm, friendly, supportive of each other, pulling together to help each other out. At the same time, square dancers are all unique, range in age, and walk of life. The people in our books incorporate some characteristics from people we’ve met, but mostly they’re just a figment of our imagination.

If you could be one of your characters, which one would you choose?

Since there are two of us that make up Rosalee, it’s tough to choose just one character. I’d say we’d both like to be in the group of good friends from Clearton Squares, but not necessarily Darla.

How long is your to-be-read pile? 

For both of us, it is probably never-ending. Cyndi is Rosalee in Goodreads, and for sure that list is over the top, with more on the Kindle waiting. Rhonda is in a book club that keeps her busy, and she always has a couple of books waiting.

Where’s home for you? 

We both live in central Texas, fairly close to the familiar and not-so-familiar Texas cities where square dances take place in Right and Left Grand.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

When not writing, we both enjoy reading, traveling, meeting readers and fans, networking with other authors, and – of course – square dancing, as well as all other forms of dance.

Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore?

Definitely a library! It’s nice and quiet, and you don’t feel bad about reading the books there in your spare time.

You’re given the day off, and you can do anything but write. What would you do?

Read, probably a cozy mystery, a romance, an epic saga, or a romantic mystery. Or, of course, find a dance nearby.

What are you working on now?  

Right now, the second novel in the series, Load the Boat (also a Darla King square dance book) is in the formatting/editing stage and the cover is in production. Sometime in the next weeks, keep your eyes out for a cover reveal and release date. The plan is for some time in October.

Thanks again for having us on your blog!

You're very welcome. Please come back when Load the Boat is launched.

About the author:

Rosalee Richland is the pen name of two real-life square dancing writers. As Rosalee, co-authors Cyndi Riccio and Rhonda Brinkmann joined forces to create the Darla King cozy mystery series. Darla and her friends portray the best of the square community, the warmth and friendship among people in it, and the enjoyment square dancing brings worldwide. Darla’s curiosity often puts her squarely in the midst of unusual circumstances, and Darla can’t let go until the mystery is solved.

When not writing, Darla’s co-authors enjoy reading, traveling, meeting readers and fans, networking with other authors, and – of course – square dancing. They are learning to blog, and are always working on Darla’s next mystery. If you have a chance, stop in at a book signing and find out which half of Rosalee shows up! In the meantime you can stay in touch with Rosalee and Darla on Facebook, Goodreads, or the Darla King Series blog. Or just search for “Rosalee Richland” anywhere in cyberspace.

Connect with the authors:
Blog | Facebook | Goodreads |

Buy the book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble |