Sunday, March 30, 2014

Welcome Rosalee Richland - Interview

Rosalee Richland is actually the pen name of two authors, Rhonda Brinkman and Cyndi Riccio. Their series, the Darla King Cozy Mystery series starts with Load the Boat.
Kathy: Darla King is a Square Dance Caller and you square dance too. How did you get involved with square dancing? 
R.R: There was a "fun night" sponsored by a local square dance club (Circle Squares) to introduce people to square dancing, and it really was fun!  So then came lessons and building friendships....  Although we took lessons at different times, we both discovered that square dancing is a lot of fun and good exercise.

Kathy: Load the Boat takes place on a cruise ship. Have you ever been on a cruise? Was there square dancing?

R.R: We have been on a couple of cruises, but none with square dancing.  There are however a few square dance cruises each year.  The next one we know of is on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas leaving on March 30 (today) for 7 days. Jerry Story, is the caller and he is a lot of fun (

Kathy: You write as a team. How does that work? Does one person work more on the plot while the other writes the actual words?

R.R: We discuss the plot together and then take turns writing.  When one of us gets stuck, the other takes over, tweaks the part that is already written, adds to it  - almost like having a fresh set of eyes.  The story keeps going back and forth until it's done.  Sometimes we surprise each other!

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

R.R.: Both of us are avid readers and especially of mysteries. Cozy mysteries are less intense and less violent, sometimes with a bit of humor and romance.  They tend to be set in small towns or with an intimate group of characters.  Often a cozy mystery is a quick read, a needed escape from the stress of the real world.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

R.R.: Both of our “day jobs” include writing, more technical than fiction. Writing fiction is more for fun and we are still learning.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

R.R.: Darla King has re-invented herself as a Square Dance Caller. As much as Darla wants a quiet, sedate life, with no involvement in crime, she is by nature curious and analytical.  When details don’t add up or stories don’t make sense, she is compelled to figure it out.  In each of the books in the series, Darla’s curiosity gets her into the thick of whatever is going on and the connections between square dancers and her knowledge of square dancing help her figure it out.

Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

R.R.:Other than Darla, of the recurring characters of Carlotta, Doug, Nick, and Sam, not so much a favorite. In Load the Boat, we both agree it is Mr. Jarcourt, the older, quirky man who won’t give up his satchel and is generally irritating. His story late in the book reveals why he does what he does and makes him an endearing character to us both.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series? 

R.R.: The inspiration comes from the enjoyment of square dancing and the friendships formed among square dancers in combination with our interest in mysteries and writing.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

R.R.: We started writing the first one just for fun.  Then it was done. It only seemed natural to share it and there is a natural niche for the series – square dancers!  Another reason is that maybe sharing part of what square dancing is about – the family fun concept and friendship - will spark some interest in this American folk dance.

Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite? 

R.R.: Cyndi would invite Louisa May Alcott, Daphne DuMaurier, Mercedes Lackey, JRR Tolkien
Rhonda would invite Janet Evanovich, Ayn Rand, Diana Gabaldon, and Maya Angelou
Kathy: What are you currently reading? 

R.R.: The Darla King Series Blog recently hosted Big Money by Jack Getz (3/25). Cyndi finished reading that one and has pulled Family Fallacies (Kate Huntington Mysteries) by Kassandra Lamb from her TBR pile. 

Rhonda is currently reading The Power of the Dog by Thomas Savage, and recently finished Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy.

Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us? 

R.R.: 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.

Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry. 

R.R.: Chocolate & Diet Coke (Cyndi), yogurt & tomato soup (Rhonda)

Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series? 

R.R.: The third in the series is in the works with a tentative title of Follow Your Neighbor, another square dance call.  An enthusiastic fan has provided us with some possible titles for a fourth but we haven't gotten that far yet.

Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author? 

R.R.: It’s fun being able to say we’re published authors, but I’d say the favorite part is serving as an inspiration and encouragement to authors who are stymied at prepublication stages.

Author Links

Goodreads/Rosalee Richland:
Rosalee Richland on FB:
Rosalee Richland blog:

No comments:

Post a Comment