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Today at Literary Labors we’re happy to welcome USA Today bestselling author Rose Pressey. A self-professed lover of cupcakes with sprinkles, Rose lives in Kentucky, where she and her husband are fixing up an old house. Rose has written many books and her subjects tend to involve mystery, the paranormal, romance, and somewhat quirky characters who live in the South. Thanks for joining us today!

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Rose, on your website, it says you specialize in “mystery and romance…southern style” – What exactly does “southern” mean for you and how does it influence your writing?

I love setting my books in southern towns. It’s what I’m used to since I grew up in the South. I suppose I’m writing what I know.

As far as I can tell, you and I are somewhat alike in that we both hold a fascination for the paranormal. What is it about the paranormal that intrigues you so much? Why do you think so many writers have delved into supernatural subject matters over the last ten years or so?

I’ve always been fascinated with the unexplained. There’s always the mystery and hope that someday you can solve it. Television shows may have sparked some of the increase in popularity for the paranormal.

How many books have you written to date? It’s hard for me to keep track because you always seem to have a new book coming out.

It’s hard for me to keep track of how many books I’ve written. Ha-ha. On last count I’ve written 24 books and have 11 series. Three of the books haven’t been released yet.

You’re a “USA TODAY bestselling author” – Do you remember when you first got the news that you could add “bestselling” to your credentials? Did you do anything to celebrate?

I’d dreamed of the day for many years, so when I finally got the news it made me cry. I was writing at the time. My husband and I had been checking the list because we thought I might make it, sure enough when I clicked on the website the cover of my book popped up. We went out for a special dinner that night, but nothing too fancy.

Speaking of praise, Janet Evanovich recently said “Rose Pressey’s books are fun!” What is about your books that are so much fun?

I think it’s the characters who really don’t hold anything back. A lot of them say the first thing that pops into their mind, so that can make for a few humorous situations. Plus, my books are light-hearted, just something you could read at the beach and escape with for a few hours.

Do you have fun writing your books? What’s the best part of writing for you? Anything about it you hate?

I love writing and escaping into a whole new world. Getting the story out of my head is the best part, the editing is probably the least fun. Honestly, I love all of it though.

Do you recall the moment you knew you wanted to become a writer? How did you go about getting published? When did your first book come out?

I started thinking about writing a book probably about twelve years ago. I kept telling everyone I wanted to write, but did nothing beyond that. Then finally one day after reading a book that I loved, I decided to give it a try. Of course I had no idea what I was doing, but I kept at it. It took a number of years before I got the traditional publishing contract, but I’ve had a ton of fun writing along the way. I queried over five hundred times before I got an agent. Then it was another year before she sold my book. My Haunted Vintage series from Kensington will be released December 2, 2014.

Do you have any interesting writing projects in the works at the moment?

I’ve just started a new project that my agent is pitching to publishers. I won’t say a lot about it, but I can say the book is mystery and doesn’t really involve the paranormal.

You have described the things you write as “quirky” and I know your stories feature some rather interesting characters. If I had the afternoon to hang out and eat cupcakes with sprinkles with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

That is a tough question! I think you’d have a great time with any of my characters. Since I know you like the paranormal, you’d probably have fun with Larue Donavan, the medium. But Maggie Thomas, P.I. is full of adventure and you wouldn’t forget your afternoon with her any time soon either.

I’m assuming you like to read. Who are some of your favorite writers?

I wish I had more time to read, but don’t we all? I enjoy cozy mysteries and light paranormal romance. Authors like Molly Harper, Dakota Cassidy, Mary Kay Andrews, and Janet Evanovich just to name a few.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you like to travel? Do you like to cook?

I don’t travel much or cook much, sadly. Although I do enjoy baking. Cupcakes, of course. My husband and I visit historic sites when we have the chance. Anything with paranormal. I love decorating and bargain shopping too.

And let’s close with our obligatory set of questions:

Have you read A Confederacy of Dunces, our literary inspiration here at Literary Labors (and the Occasional Cheese Dip)? Do you like cheese dip, by the way? Would you mind sharing a favorite recipe with us?

I have not read A Confederacy of Dunces. It’s on my list now though.

I love cheese! Cheese dip, or any other form of cheese. It wouldn’t be a family gathering at my house without cheese. Seriously, my world wouldn’t be right without cheese. Without further ado, my cheese dip recipe:

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Oven-baked Feta Cheese Dip

1 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of your favorite tomato sauce (I use my homemade sauce)
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven at 400. In a small oven-safe baking dish, or a clay pot, layer the crumbled cheese, covering the entire bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the minced garlic on top of the feta cheese. Spoon in the tomato sauce, covering the entire cheese and garlic mixture. Mix together the mozzarella cheese and the cheddar cheese; layer on top of the tomato sauce. Bake it in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Serve it warm with a side of flatbread or tortilla chips. Recipe from diethood.com

Rose Pressey is a USA TODAY bestselling author. She enjoys writing quirky and fun novels with a paranormal twist. The paranormal has always captured her interest. The thought of finding answers to the unexplained fascinates her. When she’s not writing about werewolves, vampires and every other supernatural creature, she loves eating cupcakes with sprinkles, reading, spending time with family, and listening to oldies from the fifties. Rose lives in the beautiful commonwealth of Kentucky with her husband, son and two sassy Chihuahuas.

Rose loves to hear from readers. If you’re interested in receiving information when a new Rose Pressey book is released, you can sign up for her newsletter here. Join her on her Facebook page for lots of fun and prizes. Visit her amazon.com author page here.

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More books from Rose Pressey

Hadley Wilds Series:
Dead Girl’s Guide to Style

Maggie, P.I. Series:
Book 1: Crime Wave
Book 2: Murder is a Beach

Halloween LaVeau Series:
Book 1: Forever Charmed
Book 2: Charmed Again
Book 3: Third Time’s a Charm
Book 4: Charmed, I’m Sure

Rylie Cruz Series:
Book 1: How to Date a Werewolf
Book 2: How to Date a Vampire
Book 3: How to Date a Demon

Larue Donavan Series:
Book 1: Me and My Ghoulfriends
Book 2: Ghouls Night Out
Book 3: The Ghoul Next Door

Mystic Cafe Series:
Book 1: No Shoes, No Shirt, No Spells
Book 2: Pies and Potions

The Haunted Renovation Mystery Series:
Book 1: Flip That Haunted House
Book 2: The Haunted Fixer-Upper

Trash-to-Treasure Crafting Mystery Series:
Book 1: Murder at Honeysuckle Hotel
Book 2: Honeysuckle Homicide

Veronica Mason Series:
Book 1: Rock ‘n’ Roll is Undead

Haunted Vintage Series:
If You’ve Got It, Haunt It (December 2, 2014)
All Dressed Up and No Place to Haunt (July 2015)

Bayou Series:
Lost on the Bayou