Monday, September 5, 2011

On Writing Author Interview: Writer Rosanne Dingli

To avoid pre-conceived notions which can sometimes be connected with certain genres, the number of books published and/or an author's appearance, none of that information will be revealed until the bottom of the interview.   So pour a cup of coffee, have a seat, and check out this interview - see how much, or how little, you have in common with this published author.

What is your favorite part of being a writer?   Being autonomous: not having a boss or having to be somewhere at the same time each day. I like being able to concentrate on my own priorities and be as chaotic as it is necessary to be.

What is your least favorite part?  Being autonomous – without a boss, or someone breathing down my neck, I get pretty disorganized. It all looks like fun, but it isn’t. I also don’t make as much money as I’d like, although that is not the biggest issue.

Name one obstacle you’ve had to overcome.   Just one? I could make you a list. The biggest was finding a writerly voice that blended in with the Australian ethos, while still appealing to an international audience. Being European, it was a difficult task. Finding an international publisher was the break.

Is there a specific part of your writing you’re working on to improve?  Yes - actually doing some creative writing.  I avoid it like a disease. 

 What part of your writing makes you particularly proud?   I am always proudest of my latest work, looking at it with some disbelief that I actually did the enormous amount of work each publication demands. Then I look back at other stuff I’ve published, and often wonder which part of me it was that could do such work.

What does your favorite main character have in common with you?   My favourite character is Bryn Awbrey, the symbologist (he doesn’t call himself that, but my publisher has)... He is Welsh and is chaotic, highly intelligent, and has heaps of empathy. I like to think I am empathic and of course, he gets his chaos from me. 

Do you do a lot of research for your projects or do you only write about what you already know?  Research is the most important, and the most enjoyable, part of what I do as a writer. The locations are fun to research because I get to go there. I try to weave in research into every family holiday, which is brilliant. I also include literary, music and art references into all my writing, and those are the things I enjoy most in life, so I often get carried away, and do lots of looking up and reading… and no writing.

How do you use the internet for your writing?    I doubt there is a writer today who can do without the internet. Research, support, ideas, collaboration with experts, fast communication with my publisher, opinions of other writers – all this would be much, much slower or non-existent, as those who have been writing long enough know. When I compare how I used to write pre-internet, and how I operate now, I realize it’s a double-edged sword. Impossible to do without, and infinitely distracting.

 If you’ve won any awards for your writing, what impact do you think that has had?   It’s important reinforcement of a writer’s efforts. It confirms what you think of your work, how you present it, and that your voice is accepted in a broader sense than individual writers saying nice things about you...

 What one marketing tool have you had good success with? Talking about myself as a writer and telling people – eyeball to eyeball, not only on the internet – about my work and my books. Nothing works like word of mouth, and people like to feel they have met a real writer, and that sells books like nothing else does. Everyone I come into contact with, people behind counters, at parties, at my kids’ schools… I talk to them and they look me up. There’s nothing like it. 

 What good writing habits have you developed that you think would be helpful to someone starting out?   I don’t have one to my name. All my habits are atrocious and I would not recommend them to anyone sane.

 Do you have any bad writing habits that you’d advise writers to avoid?   Like I said – everything I do is back to front, inside out and upside down.  

Do you have any strange writing habits?   Yes – all I do is strange. I try to write as little as possible and publish as much as I can. How does that compute? 

 When you’re not writing, do you read, and if so, what?   Big problem, reading. I try to read as much as I can, but it sends me to sleep – something to do with the eyes going left to right to left to right, zzzzz. When I’m awake, I try to review the books of fellow writers who write stuff I like. I do not review books for strangers or those whose books I have no interest in. I also like to read within my genre...

What are you trying to accomplish with/through your writing?  I don’t really know – a passage into the future? Immortality?  It’s all been said so much better by others. I do not have a social message for humanity, if that’s what you mean. I think I like to put down my observations of the human condition in an entertaining and thought-provoking way. I want readers to recognize and relate to stories I write.

What advice do you have for someone looking to get published?   If you have something already written, get it fixed up to the highest level of finish you can, using the services of an editor. There are other ways, but an impartial, paid editor will probably tell you what’s wrong with your writing, the habits you have got into, and the rhythms you need to break. Then do it all yourself by learning each step as you get to it. There are too many new writers out there looking to get published, so cut to the chase and do it yourself. Many do, with some measure of success.

Any thoughts on what this author writes? How many books published? Here's a little more information about the author...

How many published books are to your credit? Currently in print – nine. Out of print, a couple.

Do you have an agent?   No, never have.

Are you self-published?  Only for some of my titles.

How many different companies have you published with?  Over my career since 1985, five. If you include Createspace, Smashwords and Kindle, eight.

 How long have you been writing?   Since 1985.

Do you write full-time? If not, what is your other job? And how do you balance work/writing? Yes. But not all of it is creative – I edit for clients, and write copy for a couple more. There’s no balance in anything I do – it’s chaotic at the moment.

So, any thoughts?  Here's the full scoop:
     ROSANNE DINGLI is a fiction writer with a foot in two camps. Her romantic thrillers are published by BeWrite Books, and her collections of stories and a poetry book are the products of her independent publishing. She put her out of print backlist back in circulation herself. A published author since 1985, with her first book released in 1991, Rosanne Dingli can claim to have worked over some of the most important upheavals and shifts endured by the publishing industry. She has occupied various roles in it, from EIC of a small magazine publisher to reading slush for a university press, as well as lecturing in Creative Writing. She lives in Western Australia.
    Her titles and genres include:  Camera Obscura, and According to Luke (Romantic thrillers); Death in Malta (Romantic mystery); Vision or DelusionA Great Intimacy, The Astronomer’s Pig,  Making a Name,  Over and Above,  Counting Churches (Collections of short literary fiction and/or stories); All the Wrong Places (Poetry collection); and Short story ebooks Antwerp - The First Time, and The Red Volkswagen.

    Rosanne's books can be purchased everywhere good books are sold online – prices vary, so readers should shop around. It is possible to order all of them, especially the novels, at any bricks and mortar bookshop in the world, and, of course, at

What are you working on now?  I am trying to draft my next romantic thriller, which is music based. I have just finished Camera Obscura, a romantic thriller about photography. My publishers, BeWrite Books, have put it into production this month.

Anything else about being a writer that you’d like to share? There is nothing more joyful and reassuring than the support of my partner and children. They take me seriously. They put up with my moods and strange habits, such as staying up all night, and talking about sales and drafts and edits. Being a writer is not easy, but it is a lot easier with a family that understands and smiles.

You can learn more about Rosanne by visiting
Is there anything else you'd like to know about this author, or any questions you'd like added to future interviews?  Let us know...drop us a comment below.


  1. Wow - I even made myself laugh! This is terrific, Kat - thanks.

  2. Wonderful interview, K.S. Rosanne, I am amazed at how international an industry book publishing and reading is today. I was amazed last quarter when my publisher told me I'd sold books in Germany, New Zealand, Australia, and Africa! Publishers need to know it's an international business. Glad you found the right one for you!

  3. My pleasure Rosanne! Thanks for "being here."

  4. One thing you didn't mention is how much encouragement Rosanne has given to new writers. She's been a great influence on me and my writing, and her knowledge of the industry has helped me so much in the learning curve.

  5. Karla - that is praise indeed. Thank you for saying so. I have received so much encouragement myself in 25 years, that giving some back is a no-brainer. I generally find authors to be generous with information and advice.

  6. Rosanne, wonderfully entertaining and revealing interview.

  7. Great interview, K.S. Good on you for asking the spot-on questions and to Rosanne for answering with such honesty. I recognise again why I felt so at home with you, Rosanne, from our first meeting years ago! Chaos!!?? Don't I know it!
    But it's wonderful to meet you on this page. And to marvel yet again at the use of the internet. Thanks, K. S. - and Rosanne!

  8. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview, Trisha!

  9. Interesting questions plus honest answers equal a great interview. Thanks KS and Rosanne. And I'd like to second Karla's earlier comment about Rosanne's generosity in sharing her expertise and all manner of information with fellow writers. You may consider yourself to be working in a constant state of chaos, Rosanne, but if that were the case you'd never have achieved the creative output you have.

  10. So happy to see the faces of friends. Such nice comments! Now, back to the chaos...

  11. Thank you for that endorsement, Teena - all I can say is it takes one to know one. I attended your recent launch, and it was a buzz that sped me further!

  12. Very entertaining interview Rosanne! It's encouraging for those writers out there who are trying to break through the publishing barriers.

    So many intriguing titles to your name, I can recommend According to Luke to anyone reading this interview. It was the first novel I picked up and enjoyed in the thriller genre.


  13. I will third Karla's sentiments.

    "All my habits are atrocious and I would not recommend them to anyone sane." - This is my new favorite quote.

    Cheers to both of you for a great interview!

  14. Wow - thank you everyone. Such great comments. I do appreciate each sentiment expressed.