Today, we have debut author, Rochele Rosa to answer a few questions and tell us a bit about her book, GENERATION OF THE LAST HOUR.
Welcome, Rochele, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in small town Illinois, and I knew I wanted to be an author when I was in third grade. Of course, I didn’t know how much work was needed.
In high school, I had a crippling fear of public speaking and I knew I had to conquer it to achieve my ambitions. So, I joined the FFA and eventually competed in two national public speaking events. During my freshman year of college, I was on the 2014-2015 Illinois Association FFA State Officer Team.
Now, I’ve left Illinois to finish my Bachelor’s in Public Relations at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. I’m a member of Murray Chi Alpha, which is a chapter of the global network of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries. I’m also an active Murray State PRSSA member.
And where can readers find you?
So, you’re debut novel, GENERATION OF THE LAST HOUR released earlier this year–May 23rd to be exact. Can you tell us a bit about it?
In an underground city devoid of adults, fifteen-year-old Raquelle Granger holds the position of Council Member, and thousands of lives within City Ten rest in her hands. Unfortunately, she only has two years left until she’s supposed to join the adults on the front lines in a war that never seems to end. But when the enemy army rolls into the area with drills, intent on destroying the city and taking no prisoners, Raquelle, together with her little brother and childhood best friend, must make a choice—Fight, or die a martyr among the Christian youth.
What is your favorite scene from the book?
My favorite scene is, what I think, the most emotional one the book. Here’s a short excerpt, but fair warning, there’s a spoiler…
It’s the scene where Cage is brought to Pratt for punishment.
Cage runs into Viola and hugs her, tears running down his filthy face. “I’m so sorry.” Viola’s eyes widen as she hugs him back. “Viola, I love you, and I’m so sorry.”
She peels away, mouth wide open. “What are you talking about?”
Her head snaps toward Pratt, and her hands shake. “No. Cage, what did you do?”
Soldiers come for him, and all he can do is mumble. “I’m so sorry. I’m sorry.” They grip his arms, twisting them behind his back.
A snarl scrawls itself on her face. “What are you doing?” She smacks one of the soldier’s arms. “Don’t you dare take him away from me!” Vile words spew from her mouth, as she chases after them.
I go to her, and she cries into my shoulder. “What’s going on?”
She shudders, incredibly weak as I hold her. “If he dies—”
“We won’t let that happen.” I place a hand on her head. “Pratt will have to deal with our
wrath, and he won’t like it.”
In the entire scene, the dynamic among the characters really shines. Raquelle realizes that family doesn’t always mean blood relation. She has created a home with the other youth in the Colony, despite the awful conditions. This is essentially the catalyst for the book’s “third act” plot.
What’s your least favorite scene and why?
My least favorite scene also has some of my most favorite sensory details. Here’s another excerpt…
Walking back into the holding room, I feel like the city is alive and screaming. Agony cries out as a young girl, maybe fourteen, is carried to the back, where all the teenage medics run around, shouting out orders to each other.
Where’s Conrad and Bennet? The crowd buzzes with panic. The holding room seems nearly empty with the rest of the population still in the bunker. So, the wailing, the pain and suffering, vibrate through the cavernous room, drilling fear into my heart. One of those voices could belong to Bennet. Or Conrad.
Blood stains the ground, trailing to the makeshift hospital in the back. Stretchers and cots set up in lines are filled with wounded youth. Kids in blue sashes and surgery masks flit about like flies from one child soldier to the next. A young girl sits on a cot with her ear and half her scalp gone. Blood drenches her face. Her eyes are wide, and she is numb to the world. She’s completely oblivious to the boy beside her, crying as he stares at his missing leg, the end of the stump seared with fire to keep him from bleeding out.
My stomach churns. We’re alive. But what have we lost?
It goes on to describe an absolutely horrendous scene. And it was painful writing it. The thought of children being forced into a situation like this is sickening, which is why this scene is my least favorite.
Where can we get a copy?
And you can add it to Goodreads.
What one book or series do you wish YOU had written and why?
I wish I had written the Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter because I love espionage stuff and the book is about a spy academy for girls. I found the series in seventh grade and read it throughout high school. Since one of my all-time favorite movies is Mr. and Mrs. Smith I probably could have written it if the thought had come to me.
What’s the most difficult part of the writing process for you?
Line edits are the hardest because it requires so much detailed concentration after I’ve already gone over the manuscript tons of times. So, it’s mentally exhausting.
What one piece of advice would you give to new writers?
I would say that it’s just as important to learn how to promote your writing as it is to learn how to write a great story. Just because you write it, doesn’t mean people will flock to it.
Thanks so much, Rochele!