Interview with Humor Author Rose A. Valenta

Rose A. Valenta is a nationally syndicated humor columnist. Her irreverent columns have been published in Senior Wire, Associated Content, Courier Post Online, NPR, Newsday, USA TODAY, the WSJ Online, and many other local news and radio websites.

She is the author of Rosie’s Renegade Humor Blog. This is the blog for people who would be knowledgeable about current events and politics if only politicians and news anchors didn’t stretch the truth. “What else is there to do, but share an honest laugh?” Rose said.

Rose regularly attends the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop at the University of Dayton, is a member of the Robert Benchley Society and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC).

Rose lived in Philadelphia for over 40 years, where she honed her humor writing skills by being married to a Philadelphia Policeman and giving birth to three children. “Times have changed. Now that we have 10 grandchildren, I’m not sure how I feel about children being exposed to the evening news. Humorous things happen, like the time my grandson asked us to come outside to see his version of ‘Frosty the Inappropriate Snowman’ right after Snowmageddon.”

Rose worked for a subsidiary of McGraw-Hill, Datapro Information Services, for 12 years as a technical staff writer, and also wrote freelance articles for other computer industry publications.

She claims that her Italian heritage stunted her growth. She is English on her Father’s side and believes that in a past life, during medieval times, she was probably a trusted member of the Counsel of the Jesters.

Her latest book is Sitting on Cold Porcelain which you can find out more about at her website at www.rosevalenta.com.

Sitting on Cold Porcelain1. How did you come to self-publish? Did you try to get published

The traditional publishing process takes about two years. I chose to self-publish because that process only takes a few months. Many exciting things can happen in two years that should probably be part of the manuscript. With self-publishing, it is possible to produce six  books in the same time-frame.

2. What self-publishing service did you use? Happy with the service?

I used the Xlibris print-on-demand (POD) service. It is convenient and POD is less costly.

3. What avenues have you taken to market the book? Have you gotten
reviews, interviews, TV, print media coverage?

I use social networking services, press releases, Pump Up Your Book, and a publicist. I have done everything, except a TV interview.

4. What drove you to write this particular book?

I am a humorist and love to make people laugh. It is the driving force behind my book. I take Murphy’s Law and spin it into something funny. There is nothing more rewarding than putting a beaming smile on someone’s face. If you watch children playing together, you can get a good laugh out of their creativity and logic. Humorists are like that too, we can’t stand it when things get too quiet or intense. You know, like when somebody toots on a crowded elevator of stone-faced office workers and you ask “Care for a tic-tac?” or when the kids use excuses not to do their homework, which I describe in my essay “2012 and Yo Homework.”

5. Is the book in any one particular genre? Is it a genre that’s familiar
to you?

My book satires everything from politics to family fiascos; including cultural differences in our society. Like, why you should talk a kid out of a muscle car, free room and board, and an allowance. Some parents don’t get it. If you were in India, you would never see a guy cruising around Nilokheri in a fully loaded Mahindra Bolero, expecting to get the girl. The girls would all be hanging around the guy with three toilets in his house.

6. Who are your greatest writing influences?

My influences have been Dave Barry, Robert Benchley, Erma Bombeck, Art Buchwald, and Alan King.

7. What’s your writing regimen? Any tips for keeping focused?

I have a laptop, so any place quiet around the house works for me, including the crawl space.

8. Would you self-publish again?


9. Any final words of advice for those looking to self-publish?

The only thing you need to be aware of when you self-publish is that you must market your own book. The traditional publishers do some of that for you, but the self-publishers don’t, unless you want to drop a wad on an expensive marketing campaign. Even then, you need to set up a blog, join the social networking services like newsgroups, Twitter,  and Facebook, and get a few other people (family and friends) singing your praises online. If you have worked hard on your book, you need to master PR and marketing. Treat selling your book like a business.