Denise Grover Swank
Denise Grover Swank

Twenty-One Days until Thirty-One and a Half Regrets!


Thirty-One and a Half Regrets

January 9, 2014

The countdown is on for the release of Thirty-One and a Half Regrets! Only twenty-one more days until you can read Rose’s most harrowing adventure yet. But after the end of Thirty and a Half Excuses, so many of you have questions! And I love talking about Rose and the Rose Gardner series so I decided to indulge us both.

On Facebook, I encouraged readers to throw questions at me to answer. And did they send questions! So for the next twenty days I’m going to post a question a day and answer it, either here or on my Facebook author page.  Stay tuned and I might give away a prize or two along with posting excerpts and the first few chapters of Thirty-One and a Half Regrets!

So let’s get right two QUESTION #1!

Where did you get the idea/inspiration for Rose/the Rose Gardner Series?


Short answer: I thought it would be fun to have a character who worked at a DMV.

Longer answer:  I took my son to the DMV to get license plates for his new car. While we sat in the waiting room, I noticed how grumpy everyone was. I thought about what a day working there would be like and all the strange characters that surely came in and out everyday. Seriously, no one wants to be a the DMV. So I looked at my then-eighteen-year-old son and said “You know, it would be fun to have a character who worked in a DMV.” To which he rolled his eyes and ignored me.

Longest answer: Back when I started writing, I had no plans to self-publish. My goal was to get an agent, get a book deal, then get published. (Little did I know that the book deal I hoped to get  probably wouldn’t be the panacea I expected.) I wrote Chosen, my urban fantasy/paranormal thriller, first and began to query agents.  I got a lot of  interest and a lot of requests for full manuscripts based on my query letter– which happens to be Chosen‘s blurb.  I’d been querying a little over a month– not very long really– but I’d already gotten a lot of responses which all said some variation of “I love this but don’t think I can sell it.” In the mean time, I’d already begun writing Hunted, the second book in the Chosen series.

My DMV epiphany came on a Thursday.

On Saturday, a friend emailed and asked if I’d just gotten a rejection letter from the one agent I really, really hoped to sign with.  (She had requested my full manuscript earlier in the week.) My friend said the agent had tweeted that she had to turn down a project she loved then hashtagged it #agentregret

You guessed it. The project was mine. Her rejection letter came right after I saw the tweet.

I was devastated. But I also couldn’t deny that the overwhelming consensus was that paranormal was on the decline.

So I let myself wallow for twenty-four hours then told myself it was time to either be a writer or a whiner. I had to pick. I just needed to change genre’s. But what was I going to write?

The three day old DMV idea popped into my head. But by Sunday afternoon, I had the barest of plots. On Monday, I began to write.  Thirty days later I had a 102,000 word monstrosity titled Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes.  And damned if I didn’t love it.

If you want to read more about my journey to write Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes,  click in the links below:

Something New
OMG Stick a Fork in my WIP–It’s Done!

***Tomorrow I’ll tell you how and why I came up with Rose’s visions and why she blurts out what she sees.

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Joelle in NJ
Joelle in NJ
8 years ago

I love that you are doing this!! 😉

Annette Nishimoto
Annette Nishimoto
8 years ago

This Q&A is a fantastic idea Denise! I hope you picked my question. *wink**wink*

Sandy Bartles
Sandy Bartles
8 years ago

Quite a journey! I am glad you didn’t give up! I love the series on Rose and, even though I don’t read that type of book, Chosen caught me on page one and won’t let me go! I don’t understand how anyone could reject that book! Just wish I could afford to buy the whole series at once so I could see how it ends faster.

Thank you so much for entertaining us! Now on to the next Rose book! #TeamJoe

Twenty Days Until Thirty-One and a Half Regrets | Denise Grover Swank
8 years ago

[…] How I came up with the concept for the Rose Gardner series […]

Rose Gardner Question #4 | Denise Grover Swank
8 years ago

[…] How I came up with the concept for the Rose Gardner series […]

8 years ago

I am really enjoying this blog.
Thank you for devoting time to it and answering questions.
How many Rose Gardner will you write? I’d like to grow old reading new chapters of Rose’s life 🙂

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