Interview with Dennis De Rose
Author of Bristlecone Magic
Dennis De Rose has been editing mostly fiction for over fifteen years. He caught the writing bug about ten years ago when he began writing a diary. A local ASPCA hosted a writing contest when he was in the sixth grade. He won an Honorable Mention for a short story he wrote about his dog, Red. To date, he has written five short stories (some are ongoing), three poems and his first novel, Bristlecone Magic. Gentleman Cowboy isn't a hit just yet. It was penned by Dennis and put to music by a good friend, Michael Barnett, a fantastic musician. In the world of work, Dennis is no slouch. He was a corrections counselor working for New York State for thirty-five years. Before that he had other jobs working in a factory, washing dishes, working at Carol's, pushing shopping carts, stocking shelves; he was even a mason's helper one summer. When he was eighteen he had a hot dog truck in the summer. In 1973, while going to college, he married a Dutch girl, Carla, and they are still married. The key to a long-lasting marriage is to realize love is all that matters in the end. Vows are not meant to be broken. We know who rules the roost in that family; just ask Mireille, Michelle and Michael, their children. Life has been good, he and Carla have four wonderful grandchildren, Zoe, Lucas, Diego and Michael. If you liked Bristlecone Magic (or even if you didn't), please write to him. He'd love to hear what you thought of the book. MONEYSAVER.EDITING@GMAIL.COM
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Quick description of the book for a new reader - what should they expect?
- Bristlecone Magic is a YA Christian fantasy. The story takes place in a small village in Upstate New York, Clinton County. Jim wants to go for a late night ride just to look at the stars and John reluctantly agrees. On the road just a hop skip and a jump from Honeycut Haven, tragedy rears it's ugly head. Now, one of the twins must deal with the consequences. BM is about family, a close-knit community, friendship, a gazillion emotions and of course magic. After all, there is magic all around us if we take the time to really see it.
What was your inspiration for this book?
- BM was originally penned as a short story but the twins wouldn't let me finish the book until it was 68,500 words long. I was prompted to write BM by a LinkedIn feed that caught my eye. In fact, I saw the same photo two days in a row. The chances of that are astronomical. You can see that same photo on the last page of the book.
Which authors do you admire? How have they influenced your writing style?
- I admire any writer that can take the time to write a solid well edited book. If I had to pick one I would say my friend Koos Verkaik, a dedicated Dutch writer who, by now, has written over 65 books and he has no inclination to give his writing hand a rest. The man is amazing!
Can you tell us a little about the locations in your book?
- I wanted Bristlecone Magic to take place in a real town so I chose Rouses Point, a small village located in Clinton County New York. Rouses Point has a population of only 2000 and is just over the border from Canada.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- 1) Never give up even if you're at a roadblock. Let friends help you over the rough spots.
2) Do not rush your writing process or your research. The slow turtle always wins the race.
3) Do not cheap out. Hire a good editor (I have been editing fiction for 15 years).
4) Be careful, select your publisher with care. Too many so called publishers are only in the game for the money.
Could you talk a little about your writing process?
- I write off the cuff, meaning I do not use an outline. But, when I write, I write slowly because I know the value of each word, even the tiny ones. And I read what I have written many times, thinking about how I might improve it just a little more.
Which character has had the greatest impact on readers?
- Those that have read my story love it, or so they tell me. Amy Garrett, the minister in the story, seems to be a favorite. Perhaps that's because she is a real person. I believe real people make the best character choices.
If the book were to be adapted for TV or film, who would you see in the lead role? Who did you have in your mind’s eye ?
- I would love to see my book on the "big screen". Maybe Hallmark will snag it some day. Lead role, I haven't a clue.
How have readers responded ?
- Honestly, not one reader has said a bad thing about BM. If I can go by the reviews BM has garnered, it has 15 five-star reviews, none less. A good track record in my humble opinion.
Where next? What are you working on now?
- Currently, I am developing two short stories, still working on them, A cup of Joe and Uh...Hellooo! My next book, The Wisdom of a Six-Year-Old, is in the illustration stage.
Bristlecone Magic is a dialogue-driven novel about the magic within all of us. It’s there but do we take the time to let it out and actually see what it can do. It’s the magic of a hello to a stranger or a thank you when we need it the most. It’s the magic of what can be accomplished when a close-knit community comes together in a time of tragedy.
There is more than one kind of magic. There’s real magic, if we believe in it and in our friends. Today is Jimmy and Johnny Honeycutt’s twentieth birthday and everything is right with the world. What could go wrong? As fate would have it, the worst thing happened.
Consumed by guilt, Jim blames himself for his brother’s death. To avoid reality, he retreats inside himself because he doesn’t know what to do until he stumbles over a root from the oldest largest tree he’s ever seen near Honeycutt Haven. It is here that the magic of the Bristlecone begins.