Rod Summitt is a retired former Junior High School social studies teacher and retail manager. He first tried a hand writing in the seventies. While still teaching, he co-authored a mystery novel with another teacher. That novel received some interest from two different publishers, but was deemed to be of insufficient length to publish. Rod and his co-author said on several occasions that someday they would dig it out and try to expand it. However, Rod left teaching for a management position in the hardware/home center field, and his co-author passed away. Still, every once in awhile, Rod would say to himself that someday he would give writing another try.
A few weeks after he retired, Rod decided that “someday” had come. He dusted off the manuscript from the mid-seventies and rewrote it. He revised and expanded it. With the blessings of the family of his co-author, Reunion with a Killer was rewritten with some new characters and numerous new scenes added.
After finishing that project, Rod decided to dive into another idea that had been lurking in the back of his mind for some time. He wanted to try his hand at a mystery/romance. As he started the story, he thought that he would weave a romance into a mystery story. However, as the project evolved and reached a conclusion, When Pasts Collide, according to Rod, ended up being a romance novel with some mystery woven in. His wife is steadfast in her belief that Pasts is a mystery with a little romance within it. He now divides his time between more traditional mysteries and mystery/romance stories.
Rod lives with his wife of forty plus years, Joyce, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has three grown children and eight grandchildren. He is an avid fan of professional football, baseball, and hockey. He has been an enthusiastic reader and collector of mystery novels since his early teens. His home library contains well over four hundred and fifty novels from a variety of authors including complete or nearly complete collections of Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Rex Stout, Emilie Loring, Margaret Truman, Dorothy Gilman, Sue Grafton, Catherine Coulter, Janet Evonovich, Jill Churchill, and Lilian Jackson Braun.
Rod spent his childhood in Muscatine, Iowa, and moved to Lafayette, Colorado at the start of high school. After a hitch in the Navy, mostly at the Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor Hawaii, Rod returned to Colorado to attend college at Colorado State College (now University of Northern Colorado) in Greeley. He has lived in Colorado Springs since graduation from college.
Rod also enjoys traveling around the United States whenever he can. He combines being a tourist with research for his fiction writing. He is the author of four novels: When Pasts Collide, Reunion with a Killer (with Richard Edgerton), The Nurse and the Deputy, Return to Paradise, and New Beginnings. All of them have either been published or scheduled to be published by the Crystal Dreams division of Multi-Media Publications. He is currently at work on two more.
1. Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is The Nurse and The Deputy, a romance/suspense.
Summary: When nurse Diane Rodgers moved to the Tri-County Area of Eastern Colorado, she was not looking for a new romance. She was only looking to escape the heartache of her broken relationship with Dr. William Stevenson. Although she had lived her whole life in Chicago, she quickly adapted to the small town life in Tri-County.
Deputy Sheriff Shawn White met Diane in his official capacity on her first day in the area, but quickly decided he wanted to know her personally not professionally. His early attempts to cultivate a relationship were carefully parried by Diane, but soon his persistence appeared to be paying off. However, a misunderstanding drove a wedge between them.
When Diane found herself in a crises situation and in need of help from Shawn in his official capacity, they found that they must also confront their personal relationship head on.
2. How did you get started as a writer?
3. What’s a typical day like for you?
I couldn’t say that I have a typical day—my wife and I are both retired except for my writing and we kind of just take each day at a time—we try ti make it to the gym or take a long walk at least four days per week, sometimes more. Some days I work hard at spoiing grandchildren. I don’t write according to any schedule. I mayon one day write for six or seven hours, and one day not at all. Probably my average is two-three hours; three-four days per week.
4. Describe your workspace.
I have a corner desk, 6′ by 5′ wit my PC facing into the corner, an unabridged dictionary to my left a thesarus and other reference books to my right. I have a card table for notes, other reference materials like an atlas. The walls to my left and right contain numerous pictures of family and friends and special places.
5. Favorite books?
My favorite books–boy, that’s a hard one as I am a prolific reader–see bio–I’ll say The Promise, by Danielle Steel, McCullough’s bio John Adams (my hero), and Seven Days in May by Knebel & Bailey.
6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you:
Well, shortly after getting married, I lost my wedding ring playing football with a coconut in the surf in Hawaii (after several beers–OK maybe more than several); I proposed to my wife on our first date and then later that evening when introducing her to some friends, couldn’t remember her last name [I intended to change it anyway]; one time when I was teaching Jr. High, I stopped at the scene of a pile-up in a snow storm on my way home on Halloween dressed as Captain America to try to assist the policeman who was being overwhelmed with the situation — He yelled, “Get back in your car. I have enough problems already!”
7. Favorite quote?
Easy—–“There is no sense in being stupid if you can’t show someone.”
8. Best and worst part of being a writer?
Best thing about being a writer – You get to live in different worlds, the real world and the worlds you create. I guess the worse thing is sthe frustrations you encounter trying to get published.
9. Advice to writers?
Never give up. My second published novel, Reunion with a Killer, a mystery/suspense, was first co-written with a friend in 1973, but we were unable to get it published. When I retired, I re-wrote some of it and started submitting it around with no success. Finally, after my first novel, When Pasts Collide, a mystery/romance, was published, Reunion was accepted and was published in 2006, thirty-three years later.
10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.
Sort of goes with above. I had been sending Reunion to publishers for over a year and Pasts for about four months. I had baskets of rejections. One Tuesday I received a rejection for Reunion from Crystal Dreams Publishing, and the next day I recieved an acceptance from Crystal Dreams for Pasts.
B. My books can be purchased direct from the publisher at www.crystaldreamspublishing.com or from Amazon, B&N.com or special ordered from any bookstore. The last I knew, they were available in stock at Beth Anne’s Book Corner, and Barnes&Noble Citadel. My website is www.rodsummitt.com