Thursday, May 07, 2020

Garden Interviews welcomes Mark Rosendorf

Hello Mark

tell us about you and your books

Do you plot or let the story unfold as you write?

My ideas for my books appear in my head like a movie. I quickly write out everything that I see in the setting or the details of the story as it travels through my mind.
The only problem is that these ideas are like lightning – one brilliant flash and it’s gone. This is why I keep notepads and pens everywhere. I have them next to my bed, on the wall in my shower, and on the dashboard of my car. I just never know when one of these crazy ideas passing through my head could be useful for a story.

Are your characters based on real people?

For my upcoming book, The Witches of Vegas, I believe they may be fictional characters. Or, they might be real people but from an alternate reality who contacted me one night and told me their stories. The images formed in my head like memories from a book I recently read or a movie I’ve recently seen. With each question I asked, I would hear the answer in my brain. FYI, most of these conversations took place at around two in the morning.
So, are The Witches of Vegas real people using their power to share their story with me so I can tell it to the world? Or is it all just an overactive imagination bordering on schizophrenia? Read the first book coming out soon and decide for yourself.

How did you do in English as a kid?

English was, by far, my best subject. In comparison, math was, by far, my worst. Throughout my schooling I could write an essay on the a.m. school bus and it would get an “A” while I would study non-stop for my math exams and barely pass, if at all. One time in junior high school, I wrote a paper on World War 1 without a single fact. The teacher loved the story and gave it an “A.”
A quick story from the 7th grade: the class was asked to interview one of our grandparents and write their story. The problem was that my grandparents were like an old sitcom couple who turned every conversation into an argument. Sure enough, that’s what happened. I received no information from either of them, just listened to a huge argument.
I decided to make up a story about how my grandfather ran away from home during the depression and built a business from the nickel an hour he made carrying bales of hay. I talked about how he met my grandmother, fell in love and together built the life they lived today. The teacher liked it so much he asked me if I could have my grandparents come in and speak to the class about their “experience.” I had to back away from that real fast.

What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

Being completely honest, my upcoming novel, The Witches of Vegas, is my favorite work. The reason is that I essentially retired from writing a few years ago. Up until now, I wrote The Rasner Effect series, which was an adult thriller series and Status Quo, a sci-fi novel. After four books, I lost my motivation to write. Then, enough time had passed that I thought writing was behind me.
Suddenly, the idea for The Witches of Vegas hit me in the middle of the night. Once I had the characters in my head, the story practically wrote itself. The best part: I feel it takes the best aspects of my previous writing and creates this story which I am really excited about. It is my first young adult novel which is a genre I have never written before. 
By coming out of “retirement” and into a whole new genre with renewed vigor and excitement, I call myself a “born again writer.”

What tips would you give a new writer?

Believe it or not, the writing itself is the easiest part of the journey. Once the manuscript is done, get ready for the long haul, it becomes a difficult endeavor. Most publishers will reject you without even looking at your work simply because you’re an unknown name. It is both a frustrating and humbling experience. But, if you keep persevering and keep pushing yourself, it is absolutely worth it in the end.
Signing your first contract is as exciting as finding out you’re going to be a parent for the first time. When the publisher sends you the proof for your cover, it’s like seeing a sonogram for the life you are bringing into this world. Then, the book comes out and you know, this is your baby that you look forward to sharing with the world.
Just be aware, you’re likely to receive over a hundred rejections from publishers and agents before you find that perfect partner who wants to take care of your baby with you.

And for a little fun...

Do you ever wish that you had an entirely uncreative job, like data entry or working in a factory?

Absolutely not! As a guidance counselor for special needs students, my daily routine is never the same. I’m off my feet as many times a day as I am sitting in front of a computer.  This is a good thing because I know I couldn’t handle sitting all day and doing the same thing over and over for years.

Has the dog ever eaten your manuscript?

I can honestly say the dog I grew up with never ate any of my manuscripts. In fact, that may be the ONLY thing that our dog didn’t eat or pee on.

Are you fun to go on vacation with?

I definitely know how to enjoy a vacation, but I am even more fun in the planning stages. My wife has often told me if I wasn’t a guidance counselor, I would be a travel agent because I love researching places to visit and planning tours and excursions for once we are there.
Sometimes, I can get so excited about an upcoming vacation that I have to rein it in because I set my expectations so high that the reality couldn’t possibly match. But, if you’re looking for something specific for your next vacation, I’ve probably already found it, researched it and I may have even been there.

Do you have any hobbies?

Yes, I love magic. From card tricks to stage magic, I have studied and performed it all. In fact, I used to perform during college for talent shows and at a local club. I got my start at a magic shop in Hicksville, Long Island where many magicians, both professional and aspiring, used to hang out and discuss the trade. I learned a lot from being part of those conversations. One of the magicians who frequented that magic shop was the famous Chris Angel.
After college, I worked with a popular jazz band called New York City Swing. Through them, I made extra money by performing magic at birthday parties and Bar Mitzvah’s. 
Although I don’t perform anymore, I teach magic to my students as part of our performing arts program. I find magic helps my students develop their self-confidence, teamwork skills and ability to follow multi-step directions.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would be the most essential for you?

I like to think practical. So, my three essentials would be a boat, a GPS and a sailor. Obviously, my goal would be to get off the island. This recent experience with sheltering in due to Covid-19 has shown me that I would not handle well the boredom of being stranded somewhere.

Where can we find out more?

Look for The Witches of Vegas -  Coming soon…

and download The Rasner Effect from Amazon and other online retailers


GiniRifkin said...

Hi Mark; Glad you found you way back to writing and best of luck on the new book. I too sometimes think my scenarios have already transpired, and someone out there just wants their story told and somehow they chose me. Either way it's so much fun.

D. V. STONE said...

Best of luck with your writing. 🦉