Thursday, January 20, 2011

Interview: Rose Valenta, Author of Sitting on Cold Porcelain

Joining us today is Rose A. Valenta, author of Sitting on Cold Porcelain.

Rose 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 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 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.

Welcome to The Book Connection, Rose. It is wonderful to have you with us. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m one lucky woman. I have a great husband, three wonderful children, and 10 beautiful grandchildren.

Where did you grow up?

I spent my childhood in Olean, NY; Burlington County, NJ; Bucks County, PA; and Philadelphia. Yes, they called me Gypsy Rose.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

I enjoyed spending time with my grandparents. My Grandma in Olean was a professional baker and I loved eating her sugar cookies. My Italian grandparents in NJ were fun too. My Grandfather made wine in huge wooden barrels in the basement. The house always had the wonderful aroma of an Italian restaurant: a happy combination of garlic, locatelli, biscotti, and wine. You always wanted to eat when you got there. I never saw the kitchen table without food on it, even if it was just a large pot of brewed tea and biscotti.

When did you begin writing?

I began writing when I was a young mother raising my children in Philadelphia.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I think better at night, but I’ll work on an essay whenever it’s quiet around the house and I can spare the time.

What is this book about?

Sitting on Cold Porcelain is a compilation of humorous essays. Its underlying theme is getting a good laugh out of Murphy’s Law. Things always go wrong to tick you off, so you need a humorous perspective.

What inspired you to write it?

Just turn on the TV and listen to all the doom and gloomers' vying for a piece of your good mood. You can wake up in the morning feeling pretty and end the day wanting to deck Glenn Beck. What’s that all about, right? I thought it was supposed to be entertainment.

Then, we have political candidates getting themselves into sex scandals and feel the need not to spare us the details on prime-time news. Where are the kids supposed to do their homework? You can’t V-chip the x-rated news while they are trying to think. You need a good laugh by the end of the day.

Sitting on Cold Porcelain reminds me of a famous Erma Bombeck quote “If you can’t fix it, you can laugh at it.”

Who is your biggest supporter?

My husband is my biggest supporter. He always encourages me to tackle tough topics. You know, when I’m writing about current events or some political fiasco, news you wouldn’t think had any potential for humor.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

I have a terrific support group among my friends from the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop; and I have a great publicist, Marti Lawrence.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Sitting on Cold Porcelain is available at Amazon, The Kindle Store, Barnes and Noble (also for Nook), Better World Books, and the order desk of your local bookstore. You can also order an autographed copy on my blog.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Yes, 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.

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

Signing up with Pump Up Your Book for a virtual book tour.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

In addition to enjoying your work, pay attention to the important grunt work like editing and marketing. Here are a few things for your guerrilla marketing arsenal: Purchase The Frugal Book Editor and Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson; 1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer; read Nettie Hartsock’s PR Blog –; and take a course called “Writing Is A Profession – Are you A Professional” by Gordon Kirkland at

What is up next for you?

I’m currently working on the manuscript for Sitting on Cold Porcelain II. I’m hoping Mahmūd Ahmadinezhād owns up to whacking Paul the Octopus before press time.

Thanks for spending time with us today, Rose. We had a great time. We wish you continued success.

1 comment:

Marti said...

Wonderful interview, Rose! You are doing great! Thanks for the shout-out!