A bit about Rosemary:
Rosemary Gemmell is a Scottish freelance writer whose short stories, articles and children’s stories are published in UK national magazines, in the US, and online. The Jigsaw Puzzle (as Ros) is her second MG book from MuseItUp Publishing which was released earlier this year. Summer of the Eagles was published in 2012. Her historical novels, Dangerous Deceit and Mischief at Mulberry Manor and contemporary novella The Aphrodite Touch, are published under the name Romy. Rosemary is a member of the Society of Authors, the Scottish Association of Writers and the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Why did you pick to write books for MG?
I’ve written in a variety of genres for many years and it’s always about the story and characters first. Having written a few short stories for children, I naturally progressed to writing longer fiction and both of these published novels fitted the MG or tween age group. I love this particular age group as it’s a time of transition between childhood and entering the adult world, and young people have such great imagination.
What types of books do you like to read?
As with writing, I love variety! Anything from romance, historical and crime for adults, and I also enjoy YA and MG fiction. But I’ll always try new genres if I like the sound from the book from the blurb.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
I write more full time now as well as taking part in my writing group and other writing-related activities, such as speaking or judging stories for writing groups. In between, I love watching good TV drama and films, reading for pleasure, walking by the sea and dancing whenever possible.
Tell us about The Jigsaw Puzzle and how the story came to be.
This story started with an image of two young people staring out from behind old fashioned leaded window, and I knew they were trapped inside that cottage. The story grew from there as I love jigsaws and puzzles and wanted to write a slightly creepier story. But I like fantasy based in reality, so my main character, Daniel, has asthma (which my son had when a child), and I added even more problems in his life. Since Daniel is fairly sensitive and creative, I sent him to stay with his arty aunt and his tomboyish cousin, Amy, who is very down to earth.
Here's a peek at The Jigsaw Puzzle:
Twelve-year-old asthmatic Daniel stays with his bossy cousin, Amy, her mum, and two cats in the Scottish countryside during the Christmas holidays while his parents take a trip to sort out their problems. When Amy and Daniel make up an old jigsaw puzzle, the cottage and garden gradually change to resemble the Victorian cottage pictured on the box lid.
In between searching for the missing Title Deeds of the cottage to save it from land developers, they complete the jigsaw and find a strange rhyming puzzle hidden within the box. What does it mean?
Danny and Amy become trapped inside the Victorian jigsaw house. Will they solve the cryptic written puzzle and find their way back to the present before it’s too late to save themselves, the destruction of the woods, and their cottage?
Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.
My first published tween book, Summer of the Eagles, is set on a Scottish island and involves bird egg thieves and a fantasy eagle boy. Again it’s based in reality as main character, Stevie, is orphaned and left slightly lame. Her Gran sends her to live with her aunt for the summer. It turns out to be a healing time for Stevie, in between the danger and adventure!
(Note: I read this recently, and it is a wonderful story dealing with physical disability, peer influence, adaption to new situations, and conservation. Perfect for middle grade readers as they approach their teens.)
What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
I’ll be continuing with a new MG book soon and also have various adult fiction projects on the go, including short stories and novels. I find it easier to concentrate if I go between different types of writing so I never suffer from writer’s block!
What advice do you have for other authors?
Perseverance, patience and belief in your own writing are essential if you want to be published. Never stop learning and submitting work to editors and take note of all advice. Read the type of fiction you want to write so you can see what publishers are looking for.
Anything else you want readers to know?
I’ll leave you with this quote which is great for procrastinators like me!
“Inspiration is the act of drawing up a chair to the writing desk.” Anon
Where can readers find you and your books?
Flights of Imagination Blog (children’s): http://rosgemmell.blogspot.com
Main blog: http://ros-readingandwriting.blogspot.com
The Jigsaw Puzzle is available from:
MuseItUp Publishing in all formats: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/museityoung/action-adventure/the-jigsaw-puzzle-detail
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CB4RGLO
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00CB4RGLO
Also available in print from Amazon.