HEAR YE! HEAR YE! Welcome to Free Book Sunday.
My interview concludes with F.L. Rose, author of The Point of Us, a featured title in BookFunnel's Classy Reads literary fiction expo.
Rose lives on the east coast of Australia and writes across a range of genres, including under the pen name Fallacious Rose. She is hosting this month's Classy Reads promotion, featuring 13 novels of literary fiction, a category that doesn't get nearly enough love, IMO.
Death Magnanimous -- my novel featured in the Classy Reads lineup -- is about attorney Charlie Chessman, burned beyond recognition in a light-aircraft accident, suddenly faced with the choice to live or die. While fiction, Charlie's story draws heavily from the real-life cases of Dax Cowart, who fought for the right of assisted suicide; and Andrea Hope Rubin, who adopted the opposite attitude, fighting her burn injuries to live.
As always, click the links for the titles, ALL free this week.
MM: Why did you write The Point of Us? Did your art imitate your life?
ROSE: I do think about purpose a lot, yes, and sometimes struggle with it in my own life. Like Terentia in The Point of Us, I’m not sure if I’d know who I am, what ‘the point of me’ would be, if I stopped writing. Just pottering around the garden somehow isn’t good enough.
On the other hand my children are immensely important. I’ve had a bit of trouble with my hands recently, and that did make me think, well, if the thing that makes a person is taken away from them, what happens then? Thus The Point of Us.
MM: You've written historical fiction, literary fiction, humor, dark fantasy, short stories, on lots of topics, people, and personalities.
What type of story do you like writing best and why? Why do you like to write across genres? Is that why you use a pen name with some works?
ROSE: I generally like dark fiction with a touch of humour. I’m also allergic to taking yourself too seriously, which is why I initially came up with the pen name Fallacious Rose (not realising, in my innocence, that pronounced a certain way it could refer to...um, anyway).
F.L.Rose is my more serious persona.
I have fun breaking tropes and boundaries – the historical fiction heroine who enjoys casual sex, for instance, or the erotic short story featuring a lustful vacuum cleaner.
‘Literary’ fiction I write out of curiosity and passion; my latest book (not yet published) is about grief, death and what’s beyond it, which interests me emotionally and intellectually.
MM: I write from America. You write from Australia. With such ease of cross-cultural communications, writers from all over are trying to appeal to global audiences.
What challenges particular to Australia have you encountered, if any? What challenging issues face any writer when they want to sell books outside their native lands (beyond just language translation)?
ROSE: I do think it’s difficult to interest readers in the US, particularly, in stories with Australian characters set in Australia. And yet it’s such a huge market; most of my readers are Americans, anyway.
I don’t blame people for not really ‘getting’ stories where the lingo, the geography, the culture etc are so different from what they’re used to. And yet we in Australia are so used to reading about the US we’re almost acclimatised.
So for non-US writers who want to sell books, there are two choices as I see it; incorporate the US scene in some way, or just write from your own non-US perspective, come what may.
Australia is such an extraordinary country that I’d rather centre my stories here than attempt to play to the US market. That said, there are successful crossovers, eg Liane Moriarty’s work, but from an Australian point of view there’s a certain crassness that comes with transferral to the US mass market.
You can find out more about Rose and her books at Fallacious Rose.
In this excerpt from Death Magnanimous, Charlie Chessman and his sister Renee have traveled from PA to Texas, where the fictional Dax's Law has legalized assisted suicide for non-terminal patients.
“Taking my brother, my only family left on this Earth, to kill himself. That’s what you’re asking. That’s what it is, Charlie. You can’t varnish it, you can’t justify it, you can’t litigate it away with procedures or errors or technicalities or appeals. You forced a lot of very caring, very loving, very dedicated people to take part in your drama. You forced—”
“They forced!” Charlie said, slamming his Victory hand on the table near the window. “I begged. I begged, Renee. I begged them to stop and they wouldn’t listen. You know that. You know. The only person that listened was Richard Fostris, who apparently planned to join me.”
Renee returned her gaze to the faded carpet, her hands and arms trembling on her knees.
“You know something?” she said. “They don’t teach this. They don’t teach the important things. The things that really matter. They just don’t.” She was almost whispering now. “They teach you how to read, how to do math. How to write a resume, how to get a job. Everything’s about how to get a job. But they don’t teach you the important things, the things that will make you, or break you. How to meet the love of your life—or how to greet the loss of your life. They don’t teach those things, Charlie. They just don’t.”
Renee was crying now, and turned her broken gaze to her brother, then back to the floor. He waited through it, waited until her sobs had settled into something like hiccups.
“You know what I miss most?” Charlie said.
“What?” she sighed.
“A cold nose. Keri’s cold nose,” he said. “On my cheek, near my lips, on a really cold day.”
She looked at what passed for tears in his injured eyes.
“I can’t feel that anymore,” he said. “I’ll never feel it again.”
Renee stood and walked around her brother to the door. She put her hand on his shoulder. “I need some air.”
He took her wrist with his Victory hand.
“Don’t worry,” she said, exhaustion in her tone. “I have all the time in the world.”
CLICK for your FREE copy of DEATH MAGNANIMOUS
What's the worst life can throw at you? And what will you do when it does?
Emma's life revolves around her husband, Dave, and her three adored children. But when her mother dies, she discovers she has a half-brother in prison - for multiple murder. Dave's been driving school buses for fifteen years; one day a kid goes too far, and Dave flips. Terentia's an award-winning novelist, but her work just doesn't cut it any more. And Paul, who's losing his faith in God, decides to visit a group most in need of friendship, prisoners.
The Point of Us is about four people at the crossroads, searching for meaning when life's challenges become hard to bear. If you like Jodi Picoult or Liane Moriarty, you'll enjoy this book about ordinary people dealing with those life-changing events that shape us all.
CLICK for your FREE copy of THE POINT OF US
Young scientist Jen Zendeck and her research team must rescue the greatest discovery in history from the universities, governments, and trillionaires fighting to keep it for themselves. A realistic take on science and discovery 20 years from now, CRIMSY is perfect for fans of Andy Weir and Michael Crichton.
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NEWLY WIDOWED AND STRUGGLING with single fatherhood, SILHOUETTE hero and small-town prosecutor Ben Harper investigates a murder and uncovers racially-charged secrets that threaten a charismatic Black mayor's ambitious plans for New Orleans.
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Thank you so much for reading!
Until next time,
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