Teddy Rose Tours: An Interview With Authors Rosemary and Larry Mild

Bee at Book Pleasures
In Conversation With Rosemary and Larry Mild,
Authors of On the Rails: The Adventures of Boxcar Bertie.

Bee: Bookpleasures.com welcomes as our guests Rosemary and Larry Mild. Rosemary and Larry Mild coauthored the Dan & Rivka Sherman Mysteries; the Paco and the Molly Mysteries; Hawaii adventure/thrillers Cry Ohana and Honolulu Heat; and four volumes of short stories, including their new one, Charlie and the Magic Jug and Other Stories. Many of their stories appear in anthologies. The Milds, a happy husband-and-wife team, make their home in Honolulu, where they cherish time with their daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.

Bee: When did you first have a desire to write? How did this desire manifest itself?

Larry: Probably I was infected with the writing bug when I was a freshman in college but it didn't really fester enough until I married Rosemary and formed a writing partnership some thirty years later. We then we took creative writing courses in the Johns Hopkins Odessey program and mystery writing at Anne Arundel Community College. We later taught the course there. All of this preparation led to publishing our first Paco and Molly murder mystery novel, Locks and Cream Cheese, and our first collection of short stories, Murder Fantasy and Weird Tales. And now after more than twenty books, there's no cure for our writing.


Bee: How completely do you develop your characters before beginning to write?

Larry: I develop my protagonist (and possibly a foil or an antagonist) as fully and as completely as I can, because I rely on him, her, or them to lead me through the thin original plot that I have devised. Because Rosemary believes I'm the more devious of the two of us, I am generally responsible for the plot. As a result, I write the first two drafts and pass the work on to her. She develops the remaining characters giving them not only looks and dress but personality as well. She does the same polishing the scene settings.


Bee: Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself?

Larry: With the exception of the earliest books that were contracted out, I do all of our covers now, using Adobe's InDesign software. The background is usually a solid color or a pictured pattern which I stretch across the front, spine and rear covers. In addition to the all the printing on the three faces, we try to select something really dynamic for the front cover. In the case of On the Rails, The Adventures of Boxcar Bertie we chose a big, looming, racing-to-the-fore train picture. Next, we had to come up with a blurb for the rear cover, a marketing synopsis, and a task that requires a lot of give and take from the two of us-discussion and negotiation, no fisticuffs.


Bee: What writers have you drawn inspiration from?

Larry: I have always admired Ken Follett, Robert Ruark, and James Clavel for their historical, adventure thrillers. These three men have given me the chance to ride along vicariously to other places, other cultures and other times. On the ride, I have picked up a lot of useful knowledge and technique. Follett's attention to detail is especially amazing.


Bee: This question is for Bertie. You had a very tough decision to make between staying with your mother, regardless of your step father's abuse or leaving home without a job, during the Great Depression. Most women, back in your day, wouldn't have thought they had a choice. How did you get the courage to strike off on your own?

Bertie: You can't pretend to know me. I have spent the last three years away at a teachers' college and haven't been home once in all that time, not even during the school's intersession breaks. Why? Fred Stoltz has a history of attempting abuse with me. The decision was really whether to come home at all, but I had no employment nor anywhere else to go. I do love my mother, but not the alcoholic ghost of who she once was and she's toady to that monster she lives with. My leaving was an act of self preservation. I left without knowing where I was going, blindly, a thoughtless move. The real courage came when I had to hop on board a moving freight train.

Bee: Bee: How has being parents impacted how you both write?

Larry: My two children, five grandchildren and three great grandkids engage me in all sorts of things. Without them how would I know how a character of any given age reacts to pain, discouragement, or euphoria. The older ones engage me in all sorts of discussions and I get ideas when they relate their exploits.


Bee:: What do you do when you are not writing?

Larry: Currently, I enjoy reading in many genres, watching football, and doing crossword puzzles, as I am walker and wheelchair bound A score of years ago, We played tennis, swam, and took walks on a nearby trail. Though I shall have my ninety-first this month I still write four to five hours per day, five to six days a week. Not bad for an old fogey, eh. I look to keep on writing.


Bee:: Bee What are you currently working on?

Larry: I have just finish second draft the fourth Paco and Molly mystery novel titled The Moaning Lisa and passed it on to Rosemary for her desecration. We have just emailed two short stories to an anthology with a central theme of "library." One is a mystery and the other is a love story. While I wait for Rosemary to finish the novel she is working on, I am working on more Copper and Goldie short stories with an eye toward a second book to Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawaii.


Bee: Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.