Judy Rose at the CCIRA conference

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Judy Rose attended the 2016 CCIRA and gave a presentation on her book, Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco.

Judy Rose is an award winning writer. She has written theatrical plays for most of her life and it wasn’t until recently, she decided to write a book.

Rose had mentored at-risk kids for a while and one time she mentored an at-risk 4th grade girl. Rose was instantly inspired by the little girl’s story. Rose pondered on the idea of doing a theatrical play based on the girl but came to the conclusion that it wouldn’t go as in depth a book would and decided that a book was the only way to tell the girl’s story. The only problem was, Rose had never written a book before. “A novel is harder than a screenplay.” Rose states. There is much more detail you have to cover in a book.

At the CCIRA, Rose explains how on each page of the book you must make the reader curious on what the next page is about. She says that suspense propels the story forward and people are naturally curious. Rose says that her challenge in writing the book was creating interior dialogue. When creating plays, she doesn’t use interior dialogue so it was a very difficult concept for her to grasp in her book.

Rose had written 75 drafts before finishing her book and Rose had gone to 36 agents before actually getting one. A few agents told her to read Save the Cat for examples to improve her book. Eventually, she was successful and an agent was willing to support her book.

Now, Rose is currently writing a trilogy. She is hoping for the trilogy to be called “Burn” trilogy but she is not completely positive fore, the publishers always have a different idea on what to call it, Rose says.