Calisa Rhose – HOME really is sweet

I’m thrilled to welcome Calisa Rhose to my blog today to talk about her writing process and her debut novel, Home. Take it away, Calisa.

Hi Margery! Thank you for having me on your lovely blog today.

I’ve been thinking about what to talk about and all the things I need to get done- writing wise, I mean- and putting off this to do that and so on. In all the mind scramble I realized something very important about my writing and the difference in my processes in being pre vs post published.

A year ago I was just preparing for my first book tour as I received my release date for my Wild Rose Press novella, Home. Before I sold, before my book came out, everything sort of came to a screeching halt with writing. I had to get prepared, do edits, ooh and aah over my first cover, meet and get to know the wonderful group of authors that make up the Garden Roses at WRP. So many new things to do! I felt completely overwhelmed by the time I finished my book blog tour at the end of February.

Then I pitched my next book, one I’d written for Mills and Boon the year before and pulled back after unending revisions that didn’t seem to go anywhere but to lose my characters and my direction for that story. In May I sold that book- some may remember Perfect Dr. Viv- to Lyrical Press, Inc. The title was changed right away to Risk Factors. I think it fits. That book is tentatively scheduled to release in March 2013. I’m thrilled and ready. I’m also not going to over book my blog tour for that one! LOL It will have various promotional avenues I’m finding and learning about that I didn’t know about, or even how to find with Home.

I want all of you out there to see my books. What writer doesn’t? But I want you to appreciate them, not run from them. J I hope you will enjoy reading them and come away with something, even if it’s just a complacent feeling that I did a good job and provided a nice afternoon for you.

But back to my self-discovery. I haven’t fully completed a book since I finished Home and submitted it last year.Probably not something I should admit to, but there you have it. Writing is hard,even when you’re not writing!

I have a couple of finished mss I’ve been looking over, they both need rewrites though and I don’t want to dig into that just yet. I’ve began several other stories but they seem to have stalled out for one reason or another.

Life, family interferes and that prevents me writing productively. I keep thinking about the two I’ve sold and what the difference between those, me now and then. Why am I struggling to complete a project? And the answer, or part of it came to me a few days ago. One is that I didn’t have pressure of publication, edits (I just finished the last for RF last week), and the biggie- Promotion. Man I had no idea how much time and energy that P-word takes! The other? The new stories haven’t spoken to me the way those first two did.

I’ve found myself sitting, walking, always thinking about this. I need my characters to talk to me and they haven’t been. I’m not sure what to do about it, but what I have begun to do is I started a whole new story and I’m listening to the characters, really listening, to draw them out. I feel good about this one so far, and have unsolidified plans to finish it by Dec 1. By finish, I mean crits, edits and betas and submit it by that day.Not much time, but I can do this!

I’m not letting myself think about that date, I’m just pushing to meet the self-imposed deadline. Who knew? I write better under a set deadline. Not some blurred estimate, but a specific date. I’m going to have to do what many other writers do and set hard deadlines for myself, because I get carried away with promotion and emails and, because I’m an editor, projects that need to be blasted out, so I can write, rather than sitting on them, editing slowly. Even those edits have deadlines, but if I can beat those and send them out, that only leaves more time for me to write before the next step with my job edits call.

I’m making a new resolution for me. Write. Finish. Period.

I’d love to leave you with a short excerpt from Home and I hope you enjoy it!


HOME: Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll site


What could a gypsy and a Vietnam veteran have in common?


Silvertown’s outcast, Poppy Tippen, has loved football hero Sam “The Force” Callahan forever. But he never seemed to know she was alive. Now he’s home from the war and she suddenly finds herself comforting him from the demons of “that damn war.” Is his attention merely an escape from the haunting nightmares? Or does she hold the interest of the only man she’s ever truly loved?

Sam Callahan’s only solace from the war nightmares wrecking his life comes in the unlikely form of a gypsy girl with stigmas of her own. He’s known Poppy his entire life, but there’s something different about her now. Something special he desperately wants to hold on to. Can he convince her she’s the only thing he needs to put the past behind him?



“I’ll always want you, Poppy.”

Her head shook in automatic denial. “You’ll want a girl who fits your life. Not some gypsy with no family lineage to brag about. Your momma won’t accept that, either. She’ll make you choose someone like Connie, someone who fits into your world. Not the girl everyone avoids and whispers about behind her back. You’re gonna be the town’s doctor. You need an uppity wife who will make you proud.”

When Sam laughed, his chest shuddered against her back. Deep, husky, real. He turned her in his arms and looked down at her, smiling. “Poppy, do you honestly think I give a damn what people think? Look at me! I’m the town outcast, the survivor who should have died saving the others, not be here planning a future that includes a wife, a medical practice. “I shimmy under park benches, run from my mother’s lipstick, for God’s sake. I wake up screaming and crying over nothing in the middle of the night, crawl under my bed and hide, shaking, until morning. Hell, I can’t even be a doctor because I haven’t finished school yet.”

“I didn’t know. It must be awful for you.” No matter how it hurt Poppy to know he used her, it felt much worse to know how he hurt alone. “The only time it isn’t awful is when I’m with you. When I think of you.”

HOME is available now from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon and B&N.


Small-town country girl Calisa Rhose has been writing since she was a teen in Oklahoma.

It wasn’t until 2005, while living in California, that she realized if “they” can do it there’s no reason why she couldn’t write and get published, too. That realization began her journey into the world of publishing. After a cross-country move with her husband and their three grown daughters (plus families) back to her home state, Calisa dove into her writing. She joined RWA and the local chapter OKRWA. Since that day she has been more determined than ever to see her name in lights. She intends to nurture others and continue to grow as an author.

She’d love to hear from her readers at and you can visit Calisa at Find out about her books on the Bookshelf page. Twitter, GoodReads and Facebook.

Thanks again Margery!

What about you? Do you work well under deadline, or without?



Calisa Rhose – HOME really is sweet — 27 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for visiting, Calisa.

    I work far better under pressure. Give me a deadline and I’ll meet it. No deadline … maybe it’ll get done sometime. I am the queen of procrastination.

  2. Good luck with your WIP Calisa! It certainly is hard to balance it all but I know you’ll do it 🙂 xoxox

    As for HOME, I loved this story…great characters and a beautiful story.

  3. Thanks again for the invite, Margery! I absolutely love the colors and simplicity of your blog.
    I never really thought about my process until this year. I could easily become a junkie! :mrgreen:

  4. Thank you Christine! It certainly helps to have supportive critique partners and friends (like you! 😎 ) I have a lot to do, not much time- and I’m stoked! 😆

  5. Hey Calisa!

    Yup, I know the pressure of that P-word. There’s so much to do that sometimes it sucks the creativity out of me. So, I’m kind of doing the same thing. I have a WIP I’m working on and I’m just kind of letting it do its own thing. Low and behold it’s going great.

    Good luck with the deadline. I don’t do well with deadlines. Just makes me feel more pressured. But I admire the heck out of anyone who can write that way!

  6. Hi, Calisa. Loved the interview and the wonderful glimpse of “Home.” Deadlines can be great motivators and I wish you the best with your WIP.

    My biggest hurdle is time. Eesh! Squeezing everything into a day PLUS writing is something I’m still struggling to balance.

    And Margery, I agree with Calisa – – I LOVE the look of your blog. It’s so inviting 🙂

  7. Good for you, Calisa, to know what you need to do and then do it to get the job done. I think as writers we learn and grow tremendously during that first publishing experience. We also learn what we will face once we contract our book, which can be intimidating in itself. I ofen need a deadline to push myself to get a project done.

    Loved HOME and can’t wait to read the final version of RISK FACTORS.

  8. the D word (deadline) is my friend, too. Self-imposed or publisher-imposed, when I set a date I’m much more likely to get that project done.

    Can’t wait for Risk Factors to come out!!

  9. As you know, I loved Home. Congrats on the new stories I’m sure will be as great.
    My hair pulling time is after the submitting, when I’m waiting for word. I can’t seem to concentrate at all.

  10. Time… You hit that right, Mae! lol I have all day and yet, without a deadline, I manage to get nothing accomplished! 🙄

    Congrats on your release again!

  11. It’s so true, Tina. I had a vague idea of what I had to face with my first sale, but there is so much more and you have to organize and prepare realistically. I can’t wait for you to read RF too!

  12. Thanks Kristina! I love having company in the misery. lol And I’m in great company! Thanks for all the thoughtful critiques for (PDV) Risk Factors. 😀

  13. Hi Calisa!

    Thanks for sharing your story – I find self-imposed deadlines to be quite effective for my writing. Of course, I have yet to deal with external deadlines, but I’ll probably still set goals to help keep myself on track. You are sooooo right about all of those other things in life derailing the work if you let them. Making time, planting yourself in the chair, and making progress is key.

    Best wishes,

    Dana (a.k.a. D.B. Sieders)

  14. Writing fresh material while editing and doing pre-book buzz is difficult for me too. I figured out that I need to really sink into the writing and almost live in the world of my characters to write effectively. I don’t seem able to do that while my brain is stuck in edits or marketing mode. I’m sensing a month away in a log cabin with no internet would be the ticket. : )

  15. Great interview. I love hearing about writers’ journeys and learning the reality version rather than the dream version. Thank you.

  16. Glad you like my blog, Calisa. I love the colours, too, but it’s old and I’m revamping as we speak. Completely new look.

  17. Thanks, Mae. I wish I could keep the blog the way it is, but WordPress says it’s outdated and I can’t get the plugins and sidebars I want.

  18. But you have all these coolly awesome emotes! 😯 😈 :mrgreen: 😳 👿 💡 ❓ ❗ I hope you get to keep them! 🙂 I know whatever you do with it, your new blog will look just as fabulous, Margery. I’m actually in the process of redoing mine too. We can compare end products!

  19. I’m proud to say I’ve read both Home and Risk Factors and they’re both wonderful. I also have learned to create self-imposed deadlines to keep my writing on track.

  20. Looks great! I write better under deadlines too, that’s why my critique partner and I have been setting deadlines and holding each other to them. It does help.