A small press in D.C. has published this novel, what they call a "dangerous suspense/thriller." Blow Up the Roses is indeed that. Publisher Eugene Teplitsky at CQ described the book as "disturbingly brilliant." Doing an interview about the novel, Sharon Bayliss at the publishing house asked me to send to her some of my favorite lines from the book. I was stumped. And it was strange. In any other story I could have found easily sentences I considered lyrical or interesting or funny. But the writing style for Roses has a different feel, almost as if I didn't want to get too close to what was going on. I was keeping it at arms length. I don't outline or plan out books. A scene comes to my mind, a character, a quote and I create those scenes and characters and see what they do. When I realized what one of them was doing I almost abandoned the book. But characters, once created, have a way of demanding they live out their lives. So many secrets to be revealed by the characters in this book. Why did the husband of the protagonist, Mrs. Keene, just abandon her and disappear? What is her renter in the other half of the duplex doing in his basement? Why does neighbor Mr. Califano have a recurring nightmare that he is in a rose garden and it is blowing up all around him?
The language of flowers can be terribly blunt.