Friday, 28 October 2011

The One-Link Lowdown on...J Q Rose!

I'm deliciously spooked to have as my Lowdown guest this Halloween weekend the author J Q Rose, writer of mystery, suspense, and horror - with humour! While she's written many newspaper and magazine articles and features, her first foray into the world of fiction, a story called Sunshine Boulevard, has recently been released by MuseItUp Publishing. Read on....if you dare!

If you could retrieve one thing from your childhood, what would it be?

I would like to retrieve a day spent with my grandmother, Maw. She always had her treadle sewing machine ready to make doll clothes with me. We often baked something delicious. Mmmm….I can smell the chocolate crumb cake in the oven now. Add a cold glass of milk. And of course, we would go shopping with my mom. I can still see Maw’s twinkling eyes and grin on her face when she would open her billfold to show me all the cash she had in there for shopping. (She had just cashed her social security check and they were probably all one dollar bills!) Lots of happy times with Maw.

What’s the naughtiest thing you've ever done?

When I was very young, I loved watching Westerns with Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, Rex Allen. Yes, I was a tom boy, but perhaps the girly girl in me appreciated these handsome men. The shows influenced me. I told my mom I wanted a gun and holster for Christmas one year…no dolls!!
Well, if you recall, the bad guys were always supposed to get hanged in the Westerns. I don’t believe they actually showed a hanging, so I decided to try it out on a cat. Yes, indeed I slung the rope over our back yard clothes line, tied it around Fluffy’s neck, and pulled her up with the rope to swing in the air. Thank goodness my mother came to the yowling cat’s rescue. I think this may qualify as a naughty deed. I want to point out that I am an animal lover, so I know for sure at that age I had no idea I could have killed the cat with this hanging.

What’s the worst job you've ever had?

My father was an undertaker. So you would think working in a funeral home would be a bad job. But, no, the worst job I had was selling encyclopedias door-to-door. A car full of us college-age kids drove into a town, and our leader dropped one of us off in a neighbourhood each night. (I don’t believe I told my mother I was roaming strange neighborhoods alone.) I knocked on doors and tried to sell the set of books. I learned a LOT about selling. I also learned, no matter how much money you had…I was in some ritzy neighborhoods… there was always a discussion if the family could afford the books. Yes, I sold several sets of encyclopedias that summer, and the commission was excellent. The only problem after beat feetin’ around the state and garnering great sales, the customer had three days to cancel the contract. Some weeks, I got zilch for all my effort when expecting a fat pay check. Crushing…

Tell us three surprising things about yourself, one of which is a fib - and we'll try to guess the fib!

(NB - please tell me which one’s the fib and I'll post the answer at the end of your Lowdown, unless you’d prefer not!)

1. My husband and I were full-time Rv’ers for over eight years.
2. I gave birth to triplets...all girls born on New Year’s Day. The hospital wouldn’t give us 3 gifts for the first babies of the new year.
3. Fortunately I have received only one speeding ticket while driving my red Mustang convertible.

What would be your perfect day?

My day has to begin with a blue sky and warm, but not hot, sunshine, perfect weather for a cookout at our house. My daughters, sons-in-law, and grandkids are in attendance which already makes it perfect. Delicious food, lawn games, and water balloons make up the activities for the day. A strawberry shortcake with ice cream would top it all off. Oh, and the clean up? Perhaps a bunch of invisible workers would magically arrive to put everything away, do the dishes, and clean the kitchen while I sit on the deck and relax with my hubby.

What’s on your bedside table/nightstand?

I have a tall lamp I purchased at an auction. It is one of a matched pair. The other one resides on my hubby’s night stand. The lamp has a gold shade and a base of three copper rods with copper ivy wrapped around them. I don’t know why I have a lamp because I use a reader’s book light to clamp on my book or Kindle instead of the lamp light since I read in bed and do not want to disturb my hubby. Kleenex tissues, several books everchanging titles, and my Kindle are permanent fixtures. Tums, an anti-acid tablet, is always available for those nights when I eat too much pizza for supper or too many onions, etc.

What your favourite sandwich, and where in the world is the best place to eat it?

My favourite sandwich is the Brown Bear Burger Supreme prepared masterfully at The Brown Bear in Shelby or Pentwater, Michigan. Grilled burger made of one pound, yes one pound, of ground beef grilled and topped with cheeses, pickles, grilled onions, ham slice, peppers, and sauce served in a tasty bun the size of a dinner plate. It is enormous. We use a knife to slice the burger into four pieces and I eat this “sandwich” with a knife and fork. No way can I get my mouth around it to take a bite. It’s fun sitting in the old bar and watching all the patrons devour one of the restaurant’s many burger choices- not all are one pound. This summer the Supreme was voted the best burger in West Michigan. You’ve gotta try it if you get to this area.

Which household chore would you happily give up for ever?

This is the easiest question to answer…I dislike all aspects of housecleaning, but I find cleaning toilets absolutely the most disgusting.

What’s the best review you've ever had?

My writing compared to Stephen King’s is quite a compliment. Here’s part of that review - author Rochelle Weber wrote in her Amazon review, 'Move Over Stephen King, J.Q. Rose's writing is as "bad" as Stephen King's. When I read Salem's Lot, I couldn't put it down and I slept with a Bible, a Lutheran prayer book, and a Catholic prayer book for several weeks. I didn't pick up another of his books for twenty years. … The fact that I read the whole book (Sunshine Boulevard) is a testament to J.Q. Rose's writing. She had me from the first truly weird death to the ominous ending.'

Wow! That's quite some compliment, Janet! So, aside from writing achievements, family, etc - what are you most proud of?

I always dreamed of being Carol Burnett. She had the most entertaining show on television. She made everyone laugh and forget their troubles for that one hour through her crazy skits and loud, and I mean loud, singing voice. I also thought I would be a great actress and dancer, but alas, none of that happened...until...I was chosen to play a maid and a Hooverville bum in our community players production of Annie. How I got into the play is a long story for another time. I was a chorus member. I did not have a speaking part as the maid, but I had one line as the bum. The very best part of the play, for me and the scene I was most proud of, occurred when I joined all the other bums at the front of the stage and formed a chorus line performing like New York’s Radio City Music Hall’s Rockette dancers kicking and dancing as we sang. I finally fulfilled my dream in front of an audience of townfolk and friends who raucously applauded our efforts every night. I think even Carol Burnett would have been proud of my “performance.”

Thanks so much Janet, for being my guest today, and that burger sounds like a must-try! If you didn't twig it yet, answer No.2 is Janet's fib!

I've so enjoyed having you over to my blog today, and know we're all going to hear so much more from you in the future. You can find out more about J Q Rose and her writing by visiting her website here.


  1. Thanks again for being here today! The thought of you in that production of Annie really makes me want to cheer! Lovely to see you. :)

    Jane x

  2. Striking cover, Janet!
    I agree with you re toilets!
    Super interview - I loved your pefect day.
    Congratulations on that wonderful review!

    This is a perfect interview, right on Halloween.

  3. I'll try this again after another swig of coffee. Great interview and congratulations on your review too!

    **I cannot for the life of me determine which is the fib. I'm suspecting the speeding ticket. ;)

  4. Great interview. I read this book. A real page turner.

  5. Jane, thanks so much for hosting me today. You asked some thought-provoking questions. The fib was having triplets...nope. I have two daughters, but they're not even twins..Yes this IS the perfect weekend to share my scary story, Sunshine Boulevard.

  6. Lindsay, Delilah Stephens designed the cover. A horror story with flamingoes on it? It is eye catching. The birds are in the shape of a heart because the main characters' names are Jim and Gloria Hart.

  7. Thanks, Roseanne. Halloween is coming and I know you are a scaredy cat...Watch out!!

  8. Stay away from my cat OTIS Mom! Love you and so proud of your accomplishments. Your daughter, Sara. oxox

  9. Love the questions and answers! This is definitely one book on my TBR list!

  10. Uh oh, Sara. I don't think I ever told you about Fluffy and the hanging, eh? Thanks for stopping in.

    Thank you, Rosemary. Jane has some great questions, eh?

  11. Janet, you always crack me up. The cat story is hilarious. I can't imagine trying to sell encyclopedias. It was hard enough to get people to open one at the library, let alone getting them to shell out money for one.

  12. Joselyn, you are so right! I made more money as a waitress than selling expensive encyclopedia sets. I wonder if you can even sell a set anymore what with the Internet now.

  13. Thanks for stopping in, Everyone! Big thank you to Jane for hosting me today!! Happy Halloween! BOO!
    For more horror stories, stop by my blog this weekend at then join in on the Coffin Hop Horror Web Tour all the way through Halloween night.

  14. Janet, I'm so glad you had such a good time, and so very pleased to see such great comments - even though a few family secrets may have been 'outed!' Thanks again for being my guest. Good luck in all your future projects! :)

    Jane x

  15. Hey Janet! Hey Jane! Late to the party as always, but I finally made it! And I'm so glad! Janet, you bad girl, you, the cat story is hilarious. Thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it and y'all get on over to Flowers on the Fence, now, you hear? Janet's already promised, Jane and you're welcome anytime. Not like I'm brace enough to plan a month long blog fest!