What Inspired Me to be a Writer? by Rosemarie Aquilina – Guest Post

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Rosemarie Aquilina who is celebrating the recent release of Triple Cross Killer.

What Inspired Me to be a Writer?
Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, which translated to a shortage of toys and books. The few books I had I read so many times I could recite them—and I don’t usually memorize anything easily. Intrigued by each world I entered, and wanting to know more, I invented what happened next, what happened before, what was the untold backstory. My brother Joe, eleven months younger, asked me from the time we were toddlers, to tell him a story. We sat on the porch stoop or on the family room couch for hours as I made up stories. I treasured the sheer glee on his face at my stories and recall his inquisitive entertained boyish face still today. I still hear our laughter and feel the sheer thrill of the emerging story—one I hadn’t planned but one that simply emerged and developed as I told it. And so I also developed the “panster-writer” in me. I don’t plan, I just write.

I don’t remember a time I didn’t want to be a writer. From those earliest toddler telling memories forward, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I eventually became an English major at Michigan State University. I attended all the classes I could that allowed me to read, study, and dissect great authors of all genre. I discovered a love of Hemingway, Steinbeck, Keats, and, Bradbury. Because my father was worried I could not support myself as an author, I veered. I became a lawyer. My law professors constantly left me notes on my final exams, that this was not creative writing, which forced me to limit my creativity. However, in my free time, I kept writing. I never let go of my dream to be a writer.

It would be years before I became published, however I have several completed novels, reams of notes, lists of story ideas. During my many years of practicing law and now being a JAG Officer in the Michigan Army National Guard, a District Judge and now a Circuit Judge, I wrote. I took notes, kept inventory of interesting stories, twists of words, and possible outcomes and backstories of characters I created. My writing improved. I learned truly that writers must write about what they know even if it is fiction. Had I become a writer after law school, I would have been a black slate regularly going through the writer’s block experience, something I do not have to worry about now as my experiences have served me well. My father was right, although it delayed my writing. My life experiences have made me a better storyteller. Also being an lawyer, I developed a thick skin, professionally and personally. This greatly assisted me to find an outstanding agent and publisher. You see, I never got discouraged, when I received a rejection, I sent out five more query letters. At one time I had over one hundred query letters out to agents. It only takes one acceptance. And I am very happy I clung onto my goal of being a writer and I’m thrilled to be an author.

Have you ever wondered what really happens to Santa Claus letters? In Detroit and Sarasota some children’s letters are diverted and reviewed by Nick Archer, a religiously obsessed, narcissist. Nick responds, leaving a trail of devastation in the two cities.

In Detroit, co-ed partners and wise-cracking lovers, detectives Jaq McSween and David Maxwell, team up with Sarasota detectives Abel Mendoza and his partner, Rabbit, to find this daunting killer.

When Jaq’s friend, the lovely nurse, Rita Rose, takes a chance on love again, she gets caught in Nick’s web. Working with the ME, she joins in, adding her perspective when events take a sinister turn.

Can this diverse team of characters pool their insights, barbs, and taste for bad food to save Rita when she discovers the final clues or will she become the next victim?

About the Author:Rosemarie Aquilina is the mother of five children. Elected as a 30th Circuit Court Judge serving in the General Trial Division, after having served as a 55th District Court Judge in Mason, Michigan, she takes pride in public service.

In 1986, Judge Aquilina became the first female JAG Officer in the history of the Michigan Army National Guard, she retired in 2006 with twenty years Honorable Service. She is an adjunct law professor at both Western Michigan University—Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Michigan State University College of Law and has earned teaching awards at both institutions. Judge Aquilina is the former owner of Aquilina Law Firm, PLC, and former host of a syndicated radio talk show called Ask the Family Lawyer.

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