Today we welcome Ruth Ramsey.
Book ‘Em: Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.
Ruth Ramsey: When I’m not writing, I’m teaching English and teaching others to write, or visiting with my children and grandchildren, or singing in a Chorale, or playing with my dogs, or doing the one-hundred-and-one tasks that need to be doing on a daily basis.
Book ‘Em: Which books have you written? What are they about and why did you choose to write them? Do your books have a message? Are they fiction or nonfiction?
Ruth Ramsey: My first book, A FAR JOURNEY was published in August of 2016. It is the story of an adolescent girl who faces the loss of her mother, the gaining of a step-mother, and the demands of starting high school. The message is as follows: “Grief is a far country that we visit when our loved ones go home. Sometimes our visit is a long one, and we have a hard time finding our way back. When we do, we carry the memories, not as a burden, but as a treasure.”
Book ‘Em: Do you have a work in progress?
Ruth Ramsey: I just finished and submitted a second manuscript, Candle of Dreams.
Book ‘Em: What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult?
Ruth Ramsey: My latest work has been the most difficult. It is told from three differing first-person points of view. In order to write it, I had to mentally experience the emotions of all three characters and make them believable. Because the story is set in the thirties, I had to do some research as well on everything from “were there paper plates?” to the kinds of washing machines people used. I did internet research, checked out books, talked to people, and watched documentaries.
Book ‘Em: Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?
Ruth Ramsey: I love just about any kind of well written book. My tastes are eclectic, ranging from classic science fiction written by Heinlein and Asimov to fantasy, to every day fiction about every day characters. Right now, I’m reading the latest Jan Karon book. As for inspiration, all good writing inspires me.
Book ‘Em: Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
Ruth Ramsey: When I was young, I was encouraged to write by my grandmother, who was an aspiring writer herself. I still have her manuscripts in my memory trunk. In high school I wrote poetry, and my teachers gave me an award for creativity. Later I had professors and instructors at college who considered me a “thinker and a writer.” Looking back, I can see that I always have had a cheering squad. Right now, Caroline Giammanco has been a great encourager, as well as those who have read my first book and who have expressed the desire to see more of my work.
Book ‘Em: What would you say are your strengths as an author?
Ruth Ramsey: My greatest strengths are in portrayal of realistic situations and characters.
Book ‘Em: How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
Ruth Ramsey: I don’t follow a strict routine. Ideas I have cook on the “back burner” in my brain, and when they are ready, I sit down and write and let them flow.
Book ‘Em: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
Ruth Ramsey: Five years from now? Hmmm. Hopefully retired and writing stories with meaning.
Book ‘Em: If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
Ruth Ramsey: Get the story down first. Put it aside for a little bit and then read it. You are your own best critic. You will know what needs to be fixed. Once you’ve done that, let others read it, and use the advice to make it better. Don’t give up. I was 64 before I finished my first book and became an author.
Book ‘Em: What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book.
Ruth Ramsey: The book is well written and it touched my heart.
Book ‘Em: Provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with our members.
Ruth Ramsey: Excerpt:
“I looked around, drinking in the beauty that was this quiet spot. The wildflowers along the bank were beginning to bloom among the tall cottonwood trees by the waterside. The water, stained red from the mud on the banks, glistened and sparkled in the late morning sunlight. On an old piece of tree trunk nearby, a large turtle sat sunning itself, enjoying the early spring warmth. Overhead, beneath the arch of the blue spring sky, the birds in the trees scolded each other and us for disturbing them, and a hawk rode the currents of the soft breeze, looking for a stray field mouse. I hoped the mice knew to hide. I thought life was kind of like that hawk—always swooping in when you least expected it. I shivered in spite of the warmth.”
Book link. https://authoress2016.wixsite.com/website