About Odessa Rose



Odessa Rose was born and reared in Baltimore, Maryland, which serves as the backdrop for her fiction.  She spent her childhood surrounded by books, for her mother is a voracious reader of horror, in particular Stephen King.  When she was nine, Rose read a short story in Reader’s Digest.  The eloquent way in which the author wove words into story so fascinated Rose that she was compelled to announce to her mother that she wanted to be a writer.  Her mother’s reply was, “Well, write, baby.”  Rose took her mother’s encouraging advice and began writing short stories, which she shared with her classmates during lunch and a teacher, who told her that her writing held promise.

However, Rose did not take her writing seriously until she entered Coppin State University in 1992.  She originally planned to major in nursing, but after taking a World Literature course, Rose could not ignore her passion for language.  She loved analyzing stories, exploring the way writers made connections to the world through their characters and settings.  She also loved the way her words looked and sounded on paper, loved twisting, bending, stretching, pulling, and pushing words to have them say what she at times had difficulty expressing or understanding.  At times she had trouble believing the words came from her own mind.  Rose changed her major to English and began writing her first novel, Water In A Broken Glass, which explores a woman’s inability to accept her homosexuality and the problems that arise in her quest to deny her own existence.

In 1997, Rose gave birth to her first son and earned her B.A. in English.  She continued her studies at the University of Maryland at College Park.  While helping her husband care for their newborn son and taking courses, Rose began revising Water In A Broken Glass, for shortly after entering College Park, she landed a publishing deal with La Caille Nous Publishing Inc.  However, being a wife, mother, student and writer was a bit overwhelming, so Rose took a year off from school.  She worked full time and wrote at night.  Upon completing the novel, she returned to school and while promoting Water, which was released in September 2000, she became pregnant with her second son, taught freshman English, took courses and completed her thesis.

Delegate Barbara Robinson said Water In A Broken Glass is “A fantastic book.” Talibah Chikwendu of the Baltimore Afro stated, “Mrs. Rose has created real people.”  Coppin professor, Ann Cobb, said, “Rose blends music, color and a range of characters and human emotions.” Coppin graduate and radio personality, Doni Glover, stated, “the novel fearlessly speaks to an often invisible culture with the hope that the reader will walk away a little more human…” Whitney Scott of Booklist stated, “Rose’s meditative insights into family closeness and loyalty and her exquisite sense of detail make this a promising debut and a strikingly unusual romance.” Water In A Broken Glass was #6 on the “On-Demand Best Sellers” list.  Its sales captured the attention of BET Books.  It has been recorded for the Maryland School for the Blind.  It is on Towson University’s Rainbow Lounge and Resource Library booklist, was used in a graduate level literature course at Wake Forest University, and is mentioned in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature.  Accredited Online Colleges ranked Water In A Broken Glass #17 on their 20 Essential Novels For African American Women.  Several book clubs have selected Water In A Broken Glass for their monthly read, and it continues to attract new readers.  At present, Lodge Street Films, an independent film company, is working on a screenplay for Water In A Broken Glass.

In 2001, Rose gave birth to her second son and received her M.A. in Literature.  Afterwards, Rose went to work as an instructor and counselor at a GED and Job Readiness Program for at-risk youth.  While helping kids attain their GED’s, find employment and go off to college, she began work on her second novel and became pregnant with her daughter.

The publication of Water In A Broken Glass opened the door for Rose’s literary future, and on September 10, 2011, dewdrop collective publishing released her second novel, In the Mirror.  This long awaited novel centers around a young woman’s struggle to prove that her boyfriend is not in love with his wife.  Author Anondra Williams states, “Characters are Roses’ bread and butter, and she does them well, making you fell as if they are our friends and sometimes your enemy.  Wondering what makes them tick and what will tick them off.  In the end reality bleeds true and life turns out . . . interesting.  The closet will never be the same again after reading In the Mirror.”

In The Mirror is now being re-released under Cool Water Press.

Look for it June 3, 2014.

Rose is fast at work on completing her third novel, Kizmic’s Journey.  She is a member of the Black Writers Guild of Maryland.  She is also the co-creator of This Is Baltimore, Too, a video project dedicated to showing the good in Baltimore neighborhoods.  She lives in Baltimore with her husband, their two sons and daughter.





  • Rosalyn Burns says:

    Hi Odessa,
    I am not sure if this is the best way to get in touch with you but my email is long overdue and I wanted to let you know that I have not disappeared. I apologize for not getting back to you as I promised however, my schedule has not been my own lately. I would like to get to talk more about your upcoming book. Please email me with some dates and times that might work best for you.

  • Tanya Brown says:

    Greetings my friend,

    I was just checking you out, you all have been on my mind. When I came across your website address I decided to pay you a visit. I pray that all is well with every one. Tell my boy I said hi and that I miss him. On another note I a really enjoyed my visiting your website, I learned a lot of interesting things that I had no idea. You are a powerful lady! Thanks for sharing your talents. Now I am a fan of yours in more ways than one. I look forward to see you in the near future. Give my family, my love and enjoy your summer!

    Peace and love,
    Tanya Brown

  • admin says:

    Hello Ms. Brown,
    I’m glad you dropped by. Come back next Friday and you’ll see a video that you’ll enjoy. Everyone says Hello back. Enjoy yours summer and we’ll see you soon.

  • Sharon "imatellmuva" Childs says:

    Hi Odessa,
    We met at the Iccari Mid-Summer Fashion Event, 07/30/11. It was a pleasure meeting you, and conversing with you. I look forward to reading “Water In A Broken Glass”. Blessings!

  • admin says:

    Of course I remember you. We had the wonderful conversation about Sula.

  • Candace Crane says:

    There were many people you met at the bookfair and I was the young lady who asked several of you information about your publication process, I was impressed with your modesty. I can’t say all seem to possessed this trait, and I wanted to be on your mailing list and stay in touch if for chance you ever have an opportunity to ever steer along a young writer in regards to the publication process. I would always appreciate any direction and kind words as you so graciously contributed last Saturday. Thank you, I hope all is well.
    Thanks Again,
    Candace Crane

  • admin says:

    Hello Candace,

    I remember you very well. It was wonderful talking with you. I love helping other writers, especially ones who as kind as yourself. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Someone helped me. I’m just passing it on. Keep writing and reading.

  • Hello Odessa Rose! I just so happened to come across your website through Black Writers Space via (a mutual friend) request. I joined the site months ago and had not been back on until now to accept this strangers friend request. After seeing you listed as her friend, I took the time to read your bio. I must say, lady, I am thoroughly impressed and inspired. I am just getting in the literary arena (2009) and have written (well, still editing) two books. It’s tough and I am learning something new everyday. God has given me fifteen titles and I’m on the verge of publishing my first fiction novel. Must of my learning has come from reading books by published author’s and my long hours of internet research. I say that because I know when I soon purchase your book/s, I will learn even more. Keep up the great work and do the darn thing with the kids. WOW! What a life! You go girl! I don’t think I have to know you to be proud of you. When I grow up, I hope to be like you. ;-) -Michelle (Aspiring Author)

    P.S. – If you get a chance, check out my website and let me know what you think of my soon-to-be published novel UNRAVEL.

    Many blessings to you and yours, Odessa Rose!

  • admin says:

    Hello Michelle, I’m glad you came across my website. I am very impressed with your website as well. And 15 titles! That’s a wonderful gift. Thanks you for purchasing my novel. As you said, this writing thing is not easy, but it sure is fun. I am still learning as well. I’m glad to hear that you read because that is the best way to learn the craft, other than actually writing yourself. You keep up the good work, yourself. And I can’t wait to read “Unraveled.” Thanks for the visit. Bless you.

  • Adrienne Hall says:

    Hola Senorita,

    We met todsy at the bookstore on Calvert Street. I can’t wait to see the video taping from the bookstore. I am glad that we met because your site is wonderful. Keep in touch!

  • admin says:

    Hello Senorita, I remembe you very well. The video is up. Click on the Blog tab. Thanks so much for visiting my site and for supporting the Book Escape. With customers like you, this location may not close. :)

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