PaperBackSwap Blog

Author Interview with Rosemary Harris











An Interview with Author Rosemary Harris by Diane G. (icesk8tr)



Diane: Thank you for allowing us to interview you for the PaperBackSwap Blog! I really enjoyed reading Slugfest, it was one of those books that was cleverly written and fun to read!

Rosemary: Thanks and I am glad you enjoyed the book.


Diane: How long have you been writing?

Rosemary: Wow…I guess it’s close to eight years now. My first book came out in 2008.


Diane: Slugfest is the 4th book in the Dirty Business mystery series, for those new to your series can you tell us a little about it?

Rosemary: It’s a traditional mystery series featuring an amateur sleuth named Paula Holliday, who happens to be a gardener.


Diane: How would you describe Slugfest to someone who has not read any of your previous novels? 

Rosemary: The book is set in the chaotic, neurotic and in this case, homicidal world of trade shows, Slugfest is a funny, behind the scenes look at some of the less than genteel characters at a legendary flower show.


Diane: Where did you get the idea for Slugfest?

Rosemary: I’ve been a volunteer at the Philadelphia Flower Show for over a decade and although I – happily – haven’t witnessed any murders, I have seen some pretty strange behavior and I thought it was a perfect setting for a mystery.


Diane: Why did you start writing gardening mysteries? I understand you have an interest in gardening yourself, did this play a part in that decision?

Rosemary: A body was found not far from my home in Connecticut and when I did some research I thought it would make a good story. It was natural for me to have my heroine be a gardener since: 1) it’s helpful if your amateur sleuth has a job that throws her into contact with lots of different types of people and 2) when you garden in the northeast you can really only do it six months out of the year – so she has plenty of free time to solve crimes.


Diane: What is a typical writing day like for you and what are your writing habits?

Rosemary: I have no typical days. Ever. All I can say is that I write with a pencil on a yellow legal pad (and I’ve done it everywhere from a tent in Yosemite to a ferry out of Dar es Salaam.) Eventually I enter it all on the computer and rewrite for as long as they let me.


Diane: What projects are occupying you at the moment?

Rosemary: My husband and I – with the help of many generous friends have built a library in Tanzania and we go there every year or so to visit. I’ve cleared another 1/4 acre of woods on my property so I’m slowly building the new garden which is anchored by shade-loving, flowering shrubs.


Diane: Are you working on another novel?

Rosemary: I have a work in progress that I hope to have finished this summer. It’s not a Paula Holliday book and may not even be a mystery…


Diane: How has your work or life experience affected your writing? Is there an incident that has changed your life and influenced your writing?

Rosemary: Of course one’s work and experience influences everything. I tend to put a lot of humor in my writing – but I see the humor in a lot of things. I sometimes think if I’d never seen that tiny article about the body that was found I’d never have done any of this. That’s what I get for reading the New York Times!


Diane: You recently self published Slugfest as a paperback yourself. What did you learn in the process? Will you self-publish more books?

Rosemary: Ask me in a few months! Seriously…I thought that since the first three books in the series had been released in paperback the fourth one should be too. It was ridiculously easy to do – and maybe the emphasis should be on the word ridiculous. Despite strong reviews for Slugfest, without a retail presence it’s very difficult to grow awareness for a book that isn’t soft-core porn, written by an established bestseller ala Stephen King – or free.


Diane: Thanks again for your time. I enjoyed Slugfest and also have picked up some of your earlier books and am enjoying them as well.



If you would like to learn more about the Chalula Library Project – a community library in Mvumi, Tanzania you can visit http://rosemaryharris.com/clp.html


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4 Responses to “Author Interview with Rosemary Harris”

  1. MIRAH W. (mwelday) says:

    Pleasure to read this…I have ‘Pushing Up Daisies’ on my to-be-read shelf so it was nice to read a little about the author.

  2. Thanks Mirah, and thanks Diane for having me! Back in the day I used to be a bookstore manager (first in NJ, then in Brooklyn) and I used to love recommending books to people. Now it’s so cool to be able to talk books with people from all over the world at any hour of the day! Enjoy!

  3. Nancy Roessner says:

    I’ve read all of the books in the series and enjoy them so much! I’m glad Rosemary Harris read that little article in the NYT.

  4. Linda B. (herbalhorse) says:

    I have lived in Connecticut, gone to the Phila. Flower Show for many years and love gardening so I’m looking forward to reading these books. Thanks for the interview–very interesting.

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