August 7, 2012

interview with the author of 'viewer discretion advised'

Emmy-award winning journalist and debut author Cindy Roesel stops by Change the Word as part of her Chick Lit Plus blog tour. Thank you, Cindy, for sharing insight into the journalism and literary world.

Cindy Roesel: I want to thank Laura and all the members of Change the Word for having me on your blog.  This is my first novel and first web blog tour and it's a very exciting time for Viewer Discretion Advised. I'm blessed that you've shown interest in my novel. Now, on to the questions.

Change the Word: You are an Emmy award-winning journalist. First of all, congratulations. Second, how did that experience mold your novel?
CR: Winning an Emmy didn't mold my novel, but it did give me extra confidence as a journalist. Being recognized by my fellow professional colleagues was a humbling experience. The Emmy also gave me a platform by which to promote, Viewer Discretion Advised as a writer.

CTW: I'm still focused on this Emmy situation. Did you get to give a speech when you accepted your award? If so, what did you say? If not, would you have said?
CR: I won the Emmy for producing and writing an hour-long special, so I was part of a team. When I won the Emmy, I was so surprised all I said was, "Thank you." The others spoke. I wish I had said more, but unfortunately, I didn't.

CTW: What is the most valuable lesson you learned as a journalist? 
CR: The most valuable lesson I've learned as a journalist, is to be kind. News is an incredibly tough, fast-paced, cut-throat business. I had to learn to slow down, stop, treat people like people, not just interviews or photo opportunities. I'm being very honest with you. Journalists are always on deadline and rushing to the next story. A person has just shared something very personal and the viewers see that story at home. They don't know the reporter has just got the soundbite and ran right out the door leaving someone in tears. That's unacceptable, but it happens!  

CTW: How has being a journalist shaped your style as a novelist? 
CR: My writing style is the way I speak. It's fast and pithy. Readers say they really hear my voice. I come from television news and we had to write out all the sound-bites, so I love dialogue. Sometimes, I'm told to slowdown and let it breath. I'm not going to have anybody out wandering on a hillside next to a babbling brook looking at flowers at sundown in my novels. Not that that's bad, the character would just go crazy!

CTW: How are you similar to Charley? 
CR: Charley and I are different people, but we both like M&Ms, we're loyal and we back up our staff!

CTW: What challenges did you face while writing Viewer Discretion Advised?
CR: I faced several challenges completing Viewer Discretion Advised. The first was keeping continuity straight. You have nearly a dozen characters, all with their own traits, that interact throughout the novel and you want to make sure someone's job doesn't change in chapter seventeen or her father doesn't call her from a different city in chapter twenty-five. It's a fine balance between the sex scenes being graphic and the language too harsh. I wanted to book to be a PG-13. These are news people and cops, after all and they use foul language.

CTW: What advice would you offer to aspiring journalists? 
CR: Aspiring journalists need to becoming generalists, read everything, become students of the world. When you're a reporter you're suddenly supposed to become a PhD of a topic everyday. Then you have to report that story in front of a live audience that night, so you better be able to study up quickly. Better yet, be well educated and well read. I also recommend being bilingual in English and Spanish and if you can learn either Arabic or Mandarin you'll be ahead of the game. While in college, do anything you can do to get an internship at a local media outlet.

CTW: How about for aspiring novelists?
CR: Aspiring novelists today have so many options. You can go the traditional route, write a really great query, secure an agent and then hope to be published. Or you can self publish through Amazon or any number of other ways. Whatever you decide, the first step is you have to write. Everyone talks about writing. I have a lot of writing friends who support me, but I also have a lot of friends who talk about wanting to write. I imagine most people on this blog are writing, but for those of you who aren't and let's face it, some of you aren't it's time to start. LET'S DO IT!  LET'S START WRITING TOGETHER! It's not easy. It's hard. But we can do it together. I say this with love. No judgment. 

CTW: Who are your favorite authors to read?
CR: Some contemporary authors that I love for their ability to keep putting out really good stories are Kristin Hannah and Elin Hilderbrand. Amy Hatvany is coming out with her third novel later this year and Beth Harbison is releasing Just Add Better next month, which is a hoot. I'm looking forward to a couple of debut novelists second efforts. I reviewed Sere Prince Halverson's, The Underside of Joy and Vanessa Diffenbaugh's, The Language of Flowers earlier this year and was grateful for the experiences. 

CTW: What is up next for you and your writing career?
CR: What's next for Cindy Roesel and Viewer Discretion Advised? Well, so far the plan is for me to keep blogging about Viewer Discretion Advised and to try and get VDA in front of as many readers as possible.  Hopefully bloggers like you, Laura Chapman, and the members of Change the Word will tell their friends and check out my website, and tell me what you all think.  I am so thankful for being a guest on your blog Laura and I hope all your members will friend me on Facebook and twitter and my website.  Thank you so much for having me as a guest on Change the Word and I hope you enjoy reading Viewer Discretion Advised.

Read my review of Viewer Discretion Advised here.

Author Bio:
Cindy Roesel is an Emmy Award winning television broadcast journalist. After working for twenty years in newsrooms filled with ambitious backbiting adrenalin junkies, she's turning her experiences into novels. Cindy lives in Miami with her shih tzu, Sassy.

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  1. From one fellow newsie to another, thanks for everything! xo cindy

  2. I LOVED Viewer Discretion Advised! And Cindy, what you said about doing it together is so true. Great interview!