Featured Interview With Rose Rosetree
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Before answering these questions, you’ve already seen my publicity photo here. So here’s a little inside info about that: For a decade, my husband Mitch has taken all my photos. (Professional photographers have always creeped me out; not a problem with them personally. Just that I prefer saying “Cheese” to a photographer who loves me.)
Anyway, here’s a useful photo tip for any of you who are also a bit too old to look good in selfies, etc. Mitch purposely uses an early model digital camera. Resolution is lousy. But that’s fine by me, because it smudges years off my face.
Back to answering the official questions…
Born and raised in New York City, since 1982 I’ve lived in a suburb of Northern Virginia. No pets, unless you count my garden. (I’ve been known to name plants. Also, my car, for that matter.)
Given these questions, I’m going to switch gears when responding to this survey, and introduce my next-to-most recent book. Unlike the newest release, my memoir actually fits one of the categories listed here.
Given where and how I was raised, it’s nearly impossible how I would become that unlikely thing, a spiritual teacher.
(In my case, that’s a teacher who’s spiritual but not religious. Although plenty of my students do belong to different religions. Basically, I’m into helping people to use their full potential in life, however they define that.)
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
Very likely, that fascination with reading books began when I was three. According to my mother, I that’s when I started reading. Not that I’d qualify as precocious in any other way.
For instance, also according to my mother, I couldn’t hold up my own head until I was more than a year old. (In part, the memoir I’ll introduce you to here… begins with my glass-box start in life as a preemie, altogether a somewhat reluctant participant in my own birth.)
When did I start writing? Fortunately, I began book writing at age nine, long before my pencil-and-paper writing became legible. In college (Brandeis University), I had the luxury of majoring in English and American literature, studying with remarkable professors who gave me the heart to keep writing.
Never took a creative writing course, though. That could have squashed me like a bug.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Currently my faves are nonfiction authors; usually that’s also what I write, haha!
Favorite genres include self-help (Maryanne Wolf), creative nonfiction (David Sedaris), memoirs (Maya Angelou), history (Robert Caro), poetry (Gerard Manley Hopkins), and the history of ideas (“Timetables of History).
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Spanning my life from birth to age 23, this story invites readers like you to follow every step of my halting, stumbling journey; a journey of waking up to being myself as a person; a New Yorker’s journey, replete with ever more colorful characters and vignettes, including…
* Discovering my purpose in life at age five, in the operating room; then promptly forgetting it for decades.
* My teenage bedroom featuring the “pin-up” image of… Picasso’s eyes.
* My one-on-one encounters with Timothy Leary and Ram Dass.
* Becoming a highly insecure (yet inspired) TM initiator.
* Moving Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to tears.
BIGGER employs a “gradually-maturing-voice” style of writing, as I evolve into a kind of work that, by now, I’ve now done for over 50 years, serving as a spiritual teacher.
With its myriad teaching tales and universal truths—this one-of-a-kind life chronicle aims to resonate on many levels, maybe even jump-starting a reader’s self-recognition.
Although each of us has a unique path, sometimes another person’s memoir can help us see our own life just a bit clearer-and-dearer.
How long did this memoir take me to write? In Japan, during my spare time while teaching personal growth seminars for VOICE, I flowed out the first draft in 2010.
Back in America I wrote and self-published a bunch of other books, then decided to bring this one to life. (No surprise that I backburnered BIGGER: Talking about myself isn’t what lights me up, not compared to writing about anything else.) In 2014, the edits and rewrites began. By 2018, suddenly, it was Publication Day.
No matter which book I write, I’m fully committed to make that wad of inspiration come alive. Unsurprisingly, that happened with this story of my early years. Maybe somewhat surprising, yet understandable if any of you readers are also on the shy side, I published this first memoir at age seventy.
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