What are the genre(s) of the stories you write and why?
Fantasy, Steampunk, Horror, a little Science Fiction…these are the things I like to read, and I like to explore outside the box.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Making myself sit down and concentrate. I am very bad at that, and—especially if there is research involved—very easily distracted.
Do you use beta readers, and if so, roughly how many?
Yes. I always use my best friend, who is also a writer and gives me a male perspective on how the story works or doesn’t. Usually, I try to have at least two or three other sets of eyes go through a full-length project. For a shorter work, that isn’t always feasible, but I always try to at least get Jim to read something.
From “Fira Dances” by Rie Sheridan Rose:
By the time I reached him, I was famous throughout his land—perhaps all the known lands. I was Udia, and Ignacia, and Rekka, and Calida. Every land called me by their own version of Fire.
To him, I was Fira.
I loved it because it was closest to the truth.
He had the smallest wisp of me to start—merely a kiss. Low man in the village, a cripple good for nothing except begging from strangers. But to me, his soul blazed as bright as my own.
From the moment I saw him, he was my world.
Only by accident did he have any of me at all. Someone threw away a smoldering stick—or perhaps, threw it at him as they were not kind to him when we met—and he nurtured me back to life with bits of bark and prayer in his poor corner behind the kennels.
In gratitude, and because he was so beautiful to me, I whispered to him my secrets and kept him warm and safe. Each night, he pulled a coverlet of ash about me so that I might sleep, and I gave him all the warmth I could spare throughout the hours of darkness. Whether truly his, or just self-mockery, he gave me his name as Asher.
Happy, Asher and I nurtured each other. We drew strength and power from the other. The seasons cycled as they had always done, but gradually, Asher earned a respect he had never been given before.
My presence insured that the entire village prospered, and—as my companion—he became one of the elders of the tribe, despite his infirmity. The people came to know the man himself. His wisdom. His grace.
The children gathered around us, and he told them the stories he glimpsed within my dances. Shy young couples brought their first born to ask what the future held. Their elders came to ask advice about crops and seek blessings for their endeavors. Asher had not changed—the villagers had grown.
Our home no longer a hollow behind the kennels but a sturdy hut with a stone hearth protecting my bed. I easily kept it warm and dry.
After decades, I grew lazy and comfortable, caring for Asher in a world all our own.
When I danced, I danced for joy.
We were not the only ones to prosper. The village grew in renown. It grew in wealth. It grew…and word of its wonders spread. Too far.
Rie Sheridan Rose multitasks. A lot. Her short stories appear in numerous anthologies, including Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers Vols. 1 and 2, and Killing It Softly. She has authored nine novels, six poetry chapbooks, and lyrics for dozens of songs. Check out her tweets here.