Now a proud and patriotic US citizen and Texan, Rosalind Burgess grew up in London and currently calls Houston home. She has also lived in Germany, Iowa, and Minnesota. Roz retired from the airline industry to devote all her working hours to writing (although it seems more like fun than work).
Patricia Obermeier Neuman spent her childhood and early adulthood moving around the Midwest (Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana), as a trailing child and then as a trailing spouse (inspiring her first book, Moving: The What, When, Where & How of It). A former reporter and editor, Patty lives with her husband in Door County, Wisconsin. They have three children and twelve grandchildren.
Roz and Patty, along with characters Val and Kit, agree that friendship, humor, and love are as compelling as solving murders. In addition to The Val & Kit Mystery Series, Roz and Patty are the authors of Dressing Myself, a contemporary women's novel that explores the mystery of marriage.
Q & A with
Rosalind Burgess & Patricia Obermeier Neuman
What do you want people to know about you and your process?
Roz: Writing with a partner is pure joy. We work without a developed plot or outline. But after six books together, we know our protagonists, Val and Kit, so well that it seems like they take over and do the work for us. Since Patty and I live at opposite ends of the country (she’s in Wisconsin; I’m in Texas) we spend a lot of time Skyping, e-mailing, and talking on the phone. When we have our first rough draft, we spend about a week Skyping and reading aloud to each other. There’s a lot of laughter, but eventually we get down to serious business.
When did you know writing was what you wanted/needed to do?
Patty: After meeting in Minneapolis in our twenties and learning we’d both loved to write essays and short stories since childhood (for our own eyes only!), we decided to kick it up a notch and each began to write a novel. After completing those (separately), Roz suggested a writing exercise to motivate us to keep producing. This consisted of one of us writing a segment and sending it off to the other for expansion. Soon we felt we had a real book on our hands, and we’ve been coauthoring novels ever since.
Does any music/situations/media inspire your writing process? If so, what?
Roz: I’m one of those people who always check out the writing credits whenever I watch a movie or TV program. That’s where it all begins. As for my own writing, I am most inspired by my partner, Patty. Many, many years ago, when we had just begun collaborating, Patty gave me this T-shirt. Sadly, it no longer fits, but happily, the sentiment is as strong as ever.
Will we see any new works from you soon? What will they be?
Foreign Relations, No. 6 in The Val & Kit Mystery Series, has just been released! It takes our amateur sleuths across the pond, where they find murder and mystery and create a little mayhem of their own in a small English village.
Favorite wine and favorite chocolate :)
Roz: Dark chocolate, white wine. I’m not picky.
Favorite movie/television programs?
Patty: We’re both enjoying the new TV hit This Is Us. We’re also fans of Elementary and other detective shows with humor. And like our character Val, we enjoy our Law & Order.
Top five reads? (all time or current, your choice)
Roz: Way too many to pick just five. But I will put William Styron in the top somewhere. I remember being so moved by Sophie’s Choice, not only by the theme of the story, but his incredible use of language. Just mentioning Mr. Styron makes me think of Herman Wouk, another great writer.
Patty: I’m too indecisive (although I’d like to think I’m just too well-read) to limit it to five. Herman Wouk has been my favorite author since I “met” him in Youngblood Hawke, Winds of War, War and Remembrance, and, well, all of his books. My one and only fan letter was to him, decades ago. He was still writing at age 96, if not beyond, so he inspires on many levels. I also like everything by Anne Tyler and Elizabeth Berg. And ah yes, Roz is spot-on about William Styron’s eloquent writing. Sigh.
What are your favorite foods?
Roz: Pasta, pasta, pasta. And if I’m still awake, more pasta.
Patty: Fruits and nuts, 90 percent of the time. Chips, cheese, and chocolate-covered caramels the other 10 percent.
What’s the best way fans can reach out to you?
The best way is soon and often! For that, they can leave a comment on our website www.roz-patty.com, our blog Roz and Patty Write, or our Facebook page Roz and Patty. They can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
How much research is involved in a typical book?
Roz: Just the right amount to make it interesting for us. We use many sources, including family, friends, and good old Google. Our first five books in The Val & Kit Mystery Series are set somewhere in the USA. But since our latest, Foreign Relations, finds our protagonists vacationing in England, we were grateful to be able to rely on my family there to help out with the details I have forgotten about my home country. But I am impressed that Patty (who by now is an honorary Brit) picked up on all the nuances of a foreign country like a native.
Website Roz and Patty: www.roz-patty.com
Blog: Roz and Patty Write
Facebook: Roz and Patty
Instagram: Roz and Patty
Our books on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eqmVp0
Foreign Relations, No. 6 in The Val & Kit Mystery Series
In this latest stand-alone, No. 6 in The Val & Kit Mystery Series, the lifelong friends are vacationing in England. After four days of sightseeing in London, the fiftysomething Val and Kit move on to a rented cottage in the bucolic village of Little Dipping, where Val’s actress daughter, Emily, and son-in-law are temporarily living and where Emily has become involved in local theater. Val and Kit quickly immerse themselves in village life and befriend several locals, including the leader of the Brownie troop, the pub owner and his wife, and a curious eight-year-old named Ivy. They also manage to rub more than one of the locals the wrong way. Nevertheless, they revel in the English countryside as well as the theatrical activities, despite Val’s ex-husband showing up and some troubling news from home. The harmony of the village is soon broken by a vicious murder of one of their new friends. The shocking events that follow are only slightly more horrific than one from the past that continues to confound local authorities. Since the crimes threaten to involve Emily, Val and Kit return to their roles as amateur sleuths, employing their own inimitable ways.
Others in The Val & Kit Mystery Series:
The Disappearance of Mavis Woodstock, The Murder of Susan Reed, Death in Door County, Lethal Property, Palm Desert Killing
Also by Rosalind Burgess and Patricia Obermeier Neuman: