2018 releases

Hell's Bell
Scent of the Jaguar
His Outback Nanny
The Queen's Game
366 Days of Flash Fiction
On the Horizon: Simple worlds of speculative adventure
Lusting the Enemy

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Darklight On...Denise Rossetti

Today's Darklight On...is with Denise Rossetti. Welcome, Denise, and take it away......

I’ve always been fascinated by the way creativity works, the mystery and the inherent contradictions of it. On the one hand, the subconscious (aka the Muse) always comes up with the goods. In my experience, it’s absolutely reliable, just infuriatingly slow!

But on the other hand, how does it actually work? Any writer will tell you about the time they came to a halt somewhere embarrassing and/or inconvenient and exclaimed, “Oh, so that’s why…!”

Bingo! Somewhere in the murky soup of synapses that passes for my brain, two filaments reach out for each other, entwine and entangle… Ahh, perfect partners. Snick! Romance ensues.

It’s a wonderful and intriguing mystery. I just wish I knew exactly how it comes about, so I can get it to happen more often, and – for the love of God - faster. Sleep seems to help, or to be more accurate, that half-dozy, brain-dead state that is me waking up. So does walking and sometimes driving (a scary thought, that one). Likewise long hot showers and washing up by hand. I think it’s well documented that repetitive physical activities keep the frontal lobes busy and encourage the Muse to percolate happily in the murky depths of the cranial basement.

For instance, take The Dark Rose, the last of my Four-Sided Pentacle series. All through the previous books (The Flame and the Shadow, Thief of Light and The Lone Warrior), the gods having been playing out the age-old game of Good versus Evil. But because their game pieces are all too human, they’ve been forced to hand out a new set of Magickal talents - powers over the elements of Fire, Air, Earth and Water. The main protagonists of the books are, in order, a fire witch, an air wizard, an earth shaman and a water witch.

But, I hear you say, a pentacle has five sides, everyone knows that. Yes, well, I know that too. It’s what intrigued me about the whole concept. The scary part is that I didn’t know what the fifth talent might be or who had it, not even when I completed the series proposal, not even when I finished The Flame and the Shadow and then Thief of Light.

The Muse came through with the fifth Side of the great Pentacle part of the way through The Lone Warrior, and let me tell you it was a HUGE relief! Not least because it was the perfect solution, just perfect. Whew!

The Dark Rose will be released on 11th September and although I have the utterly gorgeous cover, I can’t show it to you because it’s not official yet. *sigh* So here’s the back cover copy:

Even beautiful things can cast a dark shadow… Duty and passion are a dangerous combination.
Rosarina of the Garden is the most famed – and desired – courtesan of her time. She is also a spy, the heir-apparent of Caracole’s Spymaster, sent on a deadly mission to Green IV. She cannot afford to trust anyone, least of all a man with his own agenda—and the ability to crack her cool composure.

Technomage Quintus is on Green IV to repair the great Machine that keeps the planet habitable. He doesn’t expect to encounter the Dark Rose again, but he’s determined to make the most of it. She’ll be a most pleasing lover… once he convinces her to accept his offer.

But there is more in play on Green IV than either know. The Necromancer is waiting for the perfect moment to exact his revenge. If Rose and Quin cannot learn to trust each other then the Necromancer will rule—and even love won’t be enough to save them.

A logical, right-brained hero and a beautiful courtesan with the devious mind of a chess grandmaster. Yum…

In the meantime, here’s The Lone Warrior, winner of the Australian Romance Readers 2011 award for best erotic romance. You can read the first chapter on my website – http://www.deniserossetti.com/lone.html 

Or buy from -
Amazon http://tinyurl.com/2fed6x5
Barnes & Noble http://tinyurl.com/2coxet6

As you may have guessed, I’m a pantser, not a plotter, but I’d be very interested indeed to hear of the ways you use to encourage your subconscious to come up with the goods – about any decision at all, because it’s not all about writing. Do you sleep on it? Sit down and cudgel your brains? What?

I’m all ears.


  1. Ahh, THE LONE WARRIOR - a deserved winner for the ARRA 2011 Best Erotic Romance Award!!!! I do love that story, Denise. :-)

    As for pantstering, I'm there with you. While the muse may not reveal everything to us at once, the good ol' subconsciousness toils away, working out the problems and issues, while exercising its sense of humour and withholding the solutions until the last minute, or so it seems. LOL

    So good to hear I'm not the only one who's subconscious operates in the same manner!

  2. LOL, Denise (and Kylie!), your process seems very similar to mine! I live in fear that one day my muse will pack her kit and bugger off half way through a book, leaving me with no idea how to tie up all the loose ends!! Even now when I need to hammer out a synopsis in advance it doesn't help much with the nitty-gritty. On the other hand it is kind of exciting, not knowing what on earth is going to happen next!!!

  3. Oh dear, Christina, that's exactly what my muse does. Gets me through the first forty-odd thousand words then buggers orf elsewhere to a-muse herself. The wretch. I used to be a straight panster, then I tried to cage my muse into concentrating on the WIP and not use her talent for other stories. She didn't like that. Not at all. Her method of retaliation was...not pleasant. Basically it was "you take what I give you, when I give it to you or you get nothin' at all". I learned. Quickly. Now, if she comes up with an idea for another story, I let her rip. Get my butt in the chair and type up the story idea, though it's usually still not a complete story arc. So now I'm a hybrid plotter/panster (plotster?)

    Denise, my subconscious tends to work a bit like yours and Kylie's. My dog gets quite a lot of walks when I'm working my way through a particularly knotty problem. It frustrates the bejeebers out of me that it can take an hour's walk to identify that I need to move one sentence up two paragraphs. Ah well, hopefully in the end, it will be all good. :)

    Denise, my favourite is still 'Tailspin' with 'Strongman' a close second. :)

  4. Thanks for this interesting article, Denise. That half sleep is akin to meditation. It's a time when our advisers on the other side can reach us. I never worry about my muse, it's having the time to write, which I sometimes find difficult. Like you, though I feel I'm slow. It always seems to work itself out.

  5. My muse is a recalcitrant child who torments me when I try to discipline her by playing hide and seek. The only way I can get her to reveal herself is to talk to her and bring out her natural chatterbox character.

  6. I often have no idea what I've typed until I stop and go back over the screen. Yes, it is akin to meditation. In my current wip I thought I knew how the story was going to be told, but the characters had other ideas. I was actually sitting at my desk watching the romance unfold on screen, with all that dialogue and stuff ... absolutely no idea where it came from (tapping that inner well - as one person said to me). I'm so pleased to see that others allow the right side of the brain to control their work. I once had a terrible experience with a multi-pubbed author (not a romance author!) who told me that how I wrote was "wrong" and that I must sit down and outline every scene, page, and make sure that at page XX I have the first crisis, etc. This is a "left brained" analytical process and at odds with my creative side. By the time I did this, I was thoroughly bored by the whole process and story -- I like to have my characters surprise me, and I know I surprise my readers because they tell me "I never saw that one coming"... Denise, your release for 11th September sounds fascinating. Best wishes, Astrid.

  7. So glad the muse came through for you, Denise. I'm one that let's ideas and stories percolate - ie not a a plotter, more a pantser - I think it allows you time and freedom to let the right idea come to you instead of rushing in. Because I definitely don't know all there is about my characters straight away. Can't wait to see your new cover!

  8. It's amazing how it works, isn't it Kylie? I just wish it would be work FASTER! I get so tired of waiting for the mist to clear so I can write the next bit!

    And thanks for the kind words about The Lone Warrior. that's lovely of you!

  9. Oh Christina, how I LOATHE synopses - the ones you have to write in advance, that is. I'm much better at the after-the-fact synopsis, when the book is already done and dusted. Such a shame publishers won't buy a pig in a poke!

    And yes, I also worry that the Muse will rack off and leave me staring at an ugly deadline, my lip quivering. *shiver*

  10. Sandy, it's a total pain in the rear, isn't it? But at least your brain sounds like it's positively bubbling over with ideas. Mine only starts percolating on THAT book when I absolutely have to finish THIS one! Aaargh! Drives me nuts!

    And thanks for the kind words on Tailspin and Strongman. I'm quite fond of them too. ;)

  11. I'm sure you're right, Cathleen. In fact, I'm pretty sure if I could get a regular meditation habit going, my creativity would improve - as well as my general mental health. I've tried, but not hard enough. The inside of my skull is the absolute definition of 'monkey mind'!


  12. Hi Keziah!

    Talk to her, huh? I'm interested - how? Out loud? In your head? Before you go to sleep? Or perhaps you do character interviews? I'd be fascinated to know what works!

  13. Hi Astrid,
    We all know there's no such thing as the 'wrong' way to do anything creative, and that includes writing. I'm so sorry you were treated like that. And I know exactly what you mean. I plotted out a whole book once, scene by scene (it was for a course, I had to). By the time that was done, so was I. I'd told that story, writing it would have bored me to death.

    OTOH, I never have a 'stream of consciousness' thing going like you do. It's like a movie in my head, but the characters are (almost) always under my control. maybe I don't type fast enough? LOL

  14. Hi Eleni,

    The cover's absolutely beautiful! I'm really thrilled with it. Can't wait to show it off. *smile*

    I love being a pantser, but it means that deadlines fill me with terror. Not a good thing if you want to be a career writer. I'm dealing with it - I think!

  15. I'm a big fan of the hot showers Denise mentions and washing my hair seems to work well - must increase the blood flow to my brain or something! But I'm a fairly major plotter and I do find that spending the time working on the turning points and character arcs in advance of actually writing help me get a lot more of that good stuff up out of my subconscious without the long and painful wait I had when I was a pure pantser.

  16. Washing the hair, AJ? Hmm, I'll have to try 'plotting' thoughts while I'm doing that. Actually, I do agree - the more I sort of worry away at it, the more often the insights come. The key (for me) is NOT TO PANIC!!!