John B. Rosenman
United states of America
Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ARTISTIC PROCESS?
John B. Rosenman: Sometimes, If I receive harsh editing or criticism of one of my chapters or stories, it’s initially hard to proceed. However, once I start revising, it becomes fun and challenging.
Romelia: DOES YOUR FAMILY SUPPORT YOUR CAREER AS A WRITER?
John B. Rosenman: They support my career, but they aren’t closely engaged in it. My wife used to read and edit some of my mess, and for that she deserves a medal.
Romelia: IF YOU HAD TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY AS A CHILD OR TEENAGER TO BECOME A BETTER WRITER AS AN ADULT, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
John B. Rosenman: Since I write science fiction, I would take more science courses and read more science books. I would also live more, take more chances, and try more daring things.
Romelia: HOW LONG ON AVERAGE DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?
John B. Rosenman: Hard to say. I believe It takes me on average a little less than a year to complete a book, especially because of the rewrites and editing involved.
Romelia: DO YOU BELIEVE IN WRITER’S BLOCK?
John B. Rosenman: Yes, I do, though there are ways to cope with the problem, such as reading widely and reading story prompt ideas. As I’ve gotten older, I find that short story ideas come less frequently to me. However, It wasn’t until I turned seventy that I began my first novel series. Here’s a bit of irony: One of my better stories is called “Writer’s block” and involves a writer with this problem.
Romelia: AT WHAT POINT DO YOU THINK SOMEONE SHOULD CALL THEMSELVES A WRITER?
John B. Rosenman: Well, professionally, it’s when you can make a living doing it. Otherwise, it’s an advocation or a hobby, however deeply the individual cares about it. However, since I turned 20 or so, I’ve considered myself a writer or an aspiring writer because of the seriousness with which I pursued it. IT DEPENDS ON WHICH DEFINITION YOU PREFER.
Romelia: WHAT DIFFERENCE DO YOU SEE BETWEEN A WRITER AND AN AUTHOR?
John B. Rosenman: A writer writes; an author writes and publishes, often successfully in a commercial sense. Sometimes, the line is not clear between them.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU PROCESS AND DEAL WITH NEGATIVE BOOK REVIEWS?
John B. Rosenman: It’s painful and sometimes you doubt your ability as a result. In general, though, I’ve found that you have to keep plugging away. You consider the reviews’ merits, assuming there are any, and go back to the drawing board and try to improve the book. You have to be stubborn. On the other hand, if the book is not salvageable, ultimately you have to abandon it.
Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR WRITING PROCESS?
John B. Rosenman: If it’s a novel, continuing to write it if I get a harsh review on one or more of the chapters. My answer to this is similar to the one I just gave for #8. If it’s a short story, sometimes I have to find the motivation to recast the entire thing. ironically, sometimes that becomes fun. What did Yeats say about revision when it came to his poetry? “Ah, bliss.”
Romelia: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING OR WHEN DID YOU START?
John B. Rosenman: At least seventy years, and I’ll be 80 in April. I was making up stories as a child and drawing cartoon panels. I used to lie in bed at night in the dark and listen to “The Shadow” and other programs on the radio. They fired my imagination.
Romelia: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A WRITER WORKING ON THEIR FIRST BOOK?
John B. Rosenman: Do it mainly for fun and enjoyment. If possible, find a sympathetic and capable reader who can give you feedback. Read, read, read, especially in the area or areas in which you write.
Romelia: WHAT, TO YOU, ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF GOOD WRITING?
John B. Rosenman: Generally, you should show rather than tell or explain. Complex, interesting characters and an imaginative plot are essential. And don’t’ forget basics such as good grammar and punctuation. It also helps if the writer’s personality or individual spirit somehow pervades the story.
Romelia: WHAT COMES FIRST FOR YOU – THE PLOT OR THE CHARACTERS – AND WHY?
John B. Rosenman: Usually (but not always) it’s the plot, a basic story idea. The character tends to grow or flow from that. for my inspector of the cross series, my basic idea involves a futuristic agent who travels in suspended animation between the stars. because of this mode of transportation, he’s objectively 4000 years old. It’s a great idea, borrowed from writer joe Haldeman and later tweaked. Once I began writing, the question grew as to what kind of character my hero Turtan would be. specifically, what kind of man would pursue such an occupation, and what would the effects be on him of such a life?
Romelia: HOW DO YOU DEVELOP YOUR PLOT AND CHARACTERS?
John B. Rosenman: I’m a pantser, which means I make it up as I go along. I just sit down and write. I may make a few notes, but I don’t do an outline. As I write, I sometimes go back and tweak and revise. If I have a good critiquer or a writers group, I may revise the plot and characters extensively based on their comments.
Romelia: WHEN DID YOU FIRST CALL YOURSELF A WRITER?
John B. Rosenman: About the age of 20, when I took my first creative writing class in college. it was gradual, though. At first I knew that writing was important to me, but I didn’t know how important.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA AS AN AUTHOR?
John B. Rosenman: I’ve got a web site at http://www.johnrosenman.com, a blog, I’m active on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, etc. I post ads for my books, and interact with readers and fellow writers. Oh, and I get interviewed, I’ve done trailers, an audio, and so on and so forth. And I invite readers to visit my sites and to e-mail me At email@example.com.
Romelia: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE PART OF PUBLISHING?
John B. Rosenman: Getting a story or novel accepted and published, especially by a good publisher and for serious cash! What a rush I get sometimes. I just had Zachary Johnson do a video in which he reads the beginning of my novel inspector of the cross, and it was a delight. It’s like another form of publishing. As for the least favorite, it’s rejection hands-down. Sometimes it seems to go on forever. Also, not selling anything and seeing my sales ranks for books on amazon go down day after day.
Romelia: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO AN AUTHOR WHO WANTED TO DESIGN THEIR OWN COVER?
John B. Rosenman: Be careful. It’s not true that you can judge a book by its cover, but many potential customers feel you can. At any rate, a good cover is darn important. If you’re going to design your own cover, study the covers that are already out there, especially for the kind of book you want to publish. Then select the right BOOK cover design SOFTWARE and take your time. Be patient and objective before you go to press, show your cover around to folks who will give you an honest opinion. Then revise the cover based on the best criticisms and suggestions you receive. Incidentally, I’ve done several of my covers, all for kindle unlimited short stories. In general, they turned out pretty well, but I took my time.
Romelia: HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN AND WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE?
John B. Rosenman: I’ve published about three dozen, some of them individual short stories. As for which is my favorite . . . Oh, I’ve got a lot of them! It’s hard to pick. I do like Inspector of the cross, partly because it’s the first science-fiction novel I wrote and because it’s the first book in a series. Even more, perhaps, I like the hero Turtan, who sacrifices everything to save humanity.
Romelia: WHAT PART OF THE BOOK DID YOU HAVE THE HARDEST TIME WRITING?
John B. Rosenman: I found it really hard to create the hero Turtan and fully capture the challenges he faces and the ordeal he must suffer. Keep in mind that Turtan travels vast distances in suspended animation from planet to planet, seeking a weapon or device that will turn the tide against their alien enemy. So in objective time, he’s nearly 4000 years old. What must it be like to be always out of time, to meet your great great great grandson when he’s an old man? One day, this will be a key factor of relativistic travel when we venture out among the stars. even if a person travels to a nearby planet, he may find that his family is dead when he returns.
Romelia: WHAT PART OF THE BOOK WAS THE MOST FUN TO WRITE?
John B. Rosenman: It would be creating and capturing the hero, who’s always alone and who must always move on in his seemingly endless quest. One thing I had to concentrate on here was the emotional pressure and cost Turtan faces. What must it be like to be such a man and to bear such a responsibility? It was both fun and painful to put myself in his shoes, or at least try to.
It was also fun to write the scene where turtan and his alien enemy turois share the same ship and plunge down a black hole together. I’ve been to amusement parks, but I never been on a ride like this one!
Romelia: WHICH OF THE CHARACTERS DO YOU RELATE TO THE MOST AND WHY?
John B. Rosenman: Turtan and Turois. Despite Turtan’s terrible burden, he’s one hell of a role model because he is the best humanity has to offer. In some ways, he’s like Christ because he alone can be our savior. Yet at the same time, he’s recognizably human, as evidenced by the scene where he enters a base and acts in a crude manner, almost totally losing his self-control. I also like Turois. Though he’s a cen, a member of a supposedly emotionless and murderous species, he wants to feel and love others. Like Turtan, he carries a heavy burden. In his case, it’s the burden of wanting to be different from his entire race. In a way, Turtan and Turois, as suggested by their similar names, are two sides of the same coin.
Romelia: IF YOU’RE PLANNING A SEQUEL. CAN YOU SHARE A TINY BIT ABOUT YOUR PLANS FOR IT?
John B. Rosenman: Well, I’ve written five sequels already. In the first sequel, kingdom of the jax, turtan is betrayed and barely escapes death. He travels on throughout the galaxy, seeking a weapon that will save humanity. In his travels, he encounters new adventures and we meet a new hero, a fourteen-year-old girl who will one day become an inspector herself.
Romelia: TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY ABOUT YOUR ADULT LIFE.
John B. Rosenman: When I watch jeopardy on television, I always know when the daily double is going to come on a half-second in advance. I tell you, I’m psychic that way. But despite my claims, my wife jane never believes me.
I have little sense of fashion or what clothes should go with other clothes. i’m likely to put on the first shirt I see in the closet, even if it clashes with my pants. In the wintertime, I sometimes put on a long-sleeved shirt with shorts.
I’m up to my neck in videos, many of them science fiction and horror. It started harmlessly enough, but it’s gotten waaay out of control. And I don’t want to give any of them away or throw them out.
Romelia: describe yourself in a few sentences. Tell us something we do not know about you and something you hate about the world.
John B. Rosenman: I’m a retired English professor who loves science fiction, horror, and imaginative fiction. I have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that was very hard to diagnose and which almost killed me. I hate the political divisiveness in America. we have democrats and republicans, and they seldom seem able to agree. All they apparently care about is power. I hate racism, intolerance, and cruelty. Above all, I hate the belief many people, religions, and nations have that only their way is right.
John B. Rosenman
6229 Auburn Drive,
Virginia Beach, Va 23464
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Ch. 1 – The Godstone. Turtan visits Sircon IV, a dying desert world, to investigate a legendary pillar or Godstone with reportedly miraculous powers. Lucan, the simian-like Overlord, warns Turtan about the Godstone and reluctantly takes him to see it. Touching The Godstone, Turtan is multiplied by two. Turtan Two is killed by an enemy agent, a Cen Rajana, and Turtan kills the agent. Turtan III appears to go crazy and murders several guards before Turtan eliminates him. Eventually Turtan sees that The Godstone is a transcendent enigma and far too dangerous to tamper with further. It cannot help the Cross win the war. He leaves for his next mission fifty light-years away on Zontena.
Ch 2 – The Lotus Eaters and Ch 3 – The Infinity Well. After fifty years in suspended animation, Turtan arrives at Zontena, his next assignment. Zontena is a beautiful, tropical planet inhabited by giant, intelligent birds, and Turtan discovers a possible invention that could help the Cross to win the war in only a few years. A device called the Synthesizer enables a ship to pass through black holes safely, thereby covering vast stretches of space in mere minutes, providing a huge tactical advantage to the side that possesses it. One of the greatest events in the novel involves Turtan and Turois, an enemy agent, riding an alien Jax ship through a mind-warping black hole. The one who returns first will get to keep the Synthesizer, thereby assuring his empire will win the war.
On Zontena, Turtan not only meets Turois, but to his surprise, they become close friends, even brothers. Yori Santez, a beautiful female inspector, becomes Turtan’s lover. He comes to love her, but for selfish career reasons, she betrays Turtan, kills Turois, and leaves for the enemy’s headquarters with the Synthesizer specifications in her possession. Turtan angrily follows in his freeze ship, a trip that will take 190 years. He hopes to overtake her and seize the device for the Cross. His mission is historic, for he is the first Cross agent ever to head for Dis headquarters, the heart of the ruthless enemy empire.
Chs 3-10 and Epilog – Turtan wakes up nearly two centuries later and finds he is too late to catch Santez. He docks at Dis and surrenders, something he hates to do. However, he knows it is his only chance, an extremely small one, to acquire the Synthesizer. All the enemy hate Turtan because for millennia he has been their nemesis, and by far the Cross’s greatest hero. Because of his bravery and brilliance, he has almost singlehandedly kept the Cross in the war, although they are still losing.
The rest of his novel involves station intrigue and conspiracies as Turtan uses all his wits to seize the specifications of the Synthesizer and return to Cross headquarters. In the process amazing events occur. Turtan meets the Cen emperor, who tries to recruit Turtan to the Cenknife side. Turtan also marries Yaneta, the cold but passionate alien widow of Turois, his Cen counterpart whom he had grown to love as a brother on Zontena. He also discovers a mysterious alien Overseer who watches over the universe and meets Leosan, one of Turois’ clones, who befriends him and offers to help him escape.
Who can Turtan trust? Anyone at all? To his profound disillusionment, he has been betrayed by his lover, Yori Santez. Now the enemy Emperor proves to Turtan that his own leaders betrayed him centuries before because they felt they couldn’t possibly win the war. They have arranged to lose in a few centuries with certain concessions. Everybody, it appears, is false. No one can be trusted. Leosan, Turois’ clone, betrays Turtan because the specifications for the Synthesizer that Santez brought back are incomplete, and Leosan incorrectly thinks that Turtan has the complete blueprint coded on his ship’s computer. Yori Santez, who still loves Turtan, appears and tries to make things right. She distracts Leosan, who kills Santez before Turtan’s alien bride kills Leosan.
Starting the engines, Turtan manages to break free of the station, destroying enemy ships as he does so, and escape (without the Synthesizer) from the enemy’s clutches. However, after over 3,500 objective years of service, being betrayed by his lover, and most of all, learning that his own leaders have betrayed him for centuries, he feels exhausted and disillusioned. He has two choices: renounce his duties and roam through space forever, or return to Cross Headquarters and endeavor to set his leaders straight. It is a difficult choice, the most difficult he has ever faced. Spiritually exhausted, weary of his long, unnatural existence, he feels a strong desire to avoid his duties, to rest and love and age normally for a change—in short, to live life and enjoy it.
In the end, Turtan realizes there is one thing above all others that is important to him, the one thing that defines him. He is an Inspector of the Cross. Consequently, he straps himself into his command chair and heads toward Cross Headquarters many light-years off with Yaneta, his alien bride, who despite her species’ coldness and emotionless rationality is learning to love him. The return home is Turtan’s greatest and most important mission, the culmination of his life. Despite overwhelming odds, he is determined to expose the traitors in the Cross Imperial line and make them fight this ancient war in earnest rather than surrender like cowards to the enemy.