I always intended my book True Brit about an English girl who comes to the US to escape war-torn Britain to be a series that would cover the entire war years and only end when she returns to England. So it was a matter of figuring out what happened next after her arrival and the culture shock of her adjustment from being an upper-class Brit to the rough and ready, multi-cultural, small town Santa Fe of that period. I was attracted to the topic of the Japanese Internment Camp because it continued Beatrice's personal journey of opening up to new cultures. Plus, it’s an important piece of Santa Fe history that’s not well known.
Beatrice on Her Own is about a young girl from a very privileged background who becomes more independent, more compassionate, more bold, and more autonomous. When I was writing it, I could really feel that Beatrice was a much more empowered heroine than the Beatrice in the first book. I’m writing for a generation of boys and girls with the hope that they’ll choose to take action in the world they live in — already many young people today are getting involved in social action and environmental action — and I hope that continues.
The word prejudice means: "a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.” In this book, I try to show how Beatrice’s thinking on the subject of the Japanese Internment Camp changes as she strives to learn more on her own. I hope readers understand how important it is for all of us to think for ourselves. How important it is to think period and not merely accept information that’s dished out to us daily.
4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
You’re always growing as a writer. And this should be as important a goal as any acclaim or success you receive — trying to improve your own work. As I’ve said, Beatrice is much more empowered in this book than in my first book. She is a much less passive character. And I also felt much more empowered as a writer — and that’s a very good thing.
I don’t have a clue. Except there will be more tie-ins between books, television series, You Tube and movies. They all impact one another.
It was a great challenge to balance indignation with the injustice of the Japanese Internment Camp with the very legitimate anger towards the Japanese experienced by local New Mexicans whose sons and grandsons were being attacked and later very cruelly imprisoned by Japanese in the Philippines. I can understand and sympathize with both sets of feelings and I needed to portray that fairly.
About The Author: Rosemary is a former journalist who now writes in almost every genre including picture books, articles, screenplays, plays and middle grade novels. Her plays have been presented at festivals in London, New York, Denver, Seattle and Albuquerque. Based on true accounts of child refugees, True Brit is about an upper-crust English girl who flees war-torn London for sunny Santa Fe. It won a New Mexico Book Award for Historic Fiction, a Mom’s Choice Award and a Silver Nautilus Award for books which inspire readers to imagine a better future. She recently adapted the book into a screenplay that won 2nd place in the StoryPros Annual Screenwriting Competition, Family Division. Her newest book, Beatrice on Her Own, is a stand-alone and a sequel to True Brit. Another award-winning middle-grade novel, Forced Journey, also based on true accounts, tells the story of 12-year-old Werner Berlinger who fled Nazi-dominated Europe for the streets of New York City. Rosemary lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.