Odessa Rose was born and reared in Baltimore City, which serves as the backdrop for her fiction. At a very young age she became an avid reader and writer of fiction, having been inspired by my mother, who is a voracious reader of horror stories, especially those of Stephen King. After reading a story in “Readers Digest,” Rose told her mother that she wanted to be a writer. Her mother’s response was, “Well, write, baby.” So she began writing short stories and tried her hand at a novel or two. But she wasn’t sure if she had what it took to be a “real” writer.
Then, while attending Coppin State University, Rose got an intriguing idea for a book. Three years after earning her B.A. in English, her first novel, Water In A Broken Glass was published by La Callie Nous, a small press in New York. Set in Baltimore, Water, through the artistic lens of sculptor Tonya Mimms, explores a woman’s inability to accept her homosexuality and the problems that arise in her quest to deny her own existence.
Shortly after the release of Water, Rose earned her M.A. in literature from the University of Maryland at College Park and began working on another novel entitled Kizmic’s Journey. But in the midst of writing that story, another tale emerged and took hold of her. She stopped writing Kizmic’s Journey and began writing In the Mirror. A Reginald F. Lewis Museum Book of the Month, In The Mirror is a provocative, suspenseful, compassionate, and oftentimes humorous tale that takes you on an unforgettable journey into the heart and mind of the other woman as she invades her lover’s home and becomes that proverbial fly on the wall of his life to bear witness to the fact that he is in love with her, not the woman he’s been married to for the past thirteen years.
Rose is fast at work on completing her third novel, Kizmic’s Journey. She is the owner of Cool Water Press and a member of the Black Writers Guild of Maryland. In addition to her writing, Rose, working alongside her husband, is also the co-creator, writer, and producer of “This Is Baltimore, Too,” a video project devoted to promoting the good in Baltimore neighborhoods. She lives in Baltimore with her husband and their two sons and daughter.