Marketing guru turns to historical fiction

Lena Jay Rose signs copies of her new historical novel, “Escape to Falmouth,” in Jamaica.

By Britni Williams

When she was laid off several years ago, Lena Jay Rose, J/MS 2000, didn’t waste any time deciding to retool. She got a master’s degree in e-learning and became an entrepreneur.

Today she is chief marketing officer of Rose Media Group, headquartered in Jamaica, where Rose says she enjoys the beautiful sunrises and sunsets from her oceanfront apartment.

But that lovely apartment with its view of sea and sand is also the place where Rose writes historical novels that have started to attract attention in the book world.

Rose Media Group is cutting edge. It helps companies secure online marketing edge through websites and social media, according to Rose.

She is also co-author of How to Say It: Marketing with New Media, a Guide to Promoting Your Small Business Using Websites, E-zines, Blogs & Podcasts.

Rose wrote the book in 2008 with Allison Woo after the pair formed a business partnership putting on marketing workshops and doing media consulting in Charlotte, North Carolina and New York.

“We realized that there was a great need to demystify the entire process,” said Rose, who is the divorced mother of two sons, Andre and Marc.

In 2010, the two went on to form Rose Media Group and Minna Press, a firm “publishing high quality books on or about the Caribbean,” reported Rose, who moved to her native Jamaica around that time.

At Minna Press, she is both publisher and one of its authors. Her historical novel, Escape to Falmouth, has received excellent reviews (find it on Amazon or escapetofalmouth.com). It is about a feisty Cherokee beauty and a strong-willed, male runaway slave who flee to freedom with the backdrop of the Trail of Tears in 1838. They eventually find shelter in the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia with the Seminoles, ending up in a twist of fate in Jamaica.

Rose is hard at work on the sequel. Her typical work day involves “checking in with all of my virtual teams in Mumbai, the United States, and Jamaica, making sure that the web development, social media management and book layouts are handled.”

Rose’s success can be attributed to the passion she has for her craft and her skills learned through J/MS. When she was first at Rutgers, she recalled, she felt annoyed that J/MS placed a lot of emphasis on editing and grammar.

“I was quite shocked when I did not score so well in this area,” she stated. “It brought me down to earth and made me re-evaluate how I get to the point and the heart of the story and hold readers’ attention.”

She said her writing is constantly evolving. “I don’t feel that I have hit the pinnacle of my career,” she said. “I’m a work in progress.”