Thursday, March 11, 2010
Fantasy and Reality Collide with the Expert Talent of Jo Ramsey
DMc: Your background is in special education. Do you use your experience from teaching in your writing?
JR: Somewhat. When I write YA, I try to write so that kids with reading difficulties would still be able to read and enjoy the story. And I’ve used my experiences in high school to create some parts of the stories.
DMc: You have a book signing scheduled for March 13th in Massachusetts; please share with us the details.
JR: I’ll be at the Winthrop Book Depot in Winthrop Massachusetts on March 13 from 10-1. In addition to signing books, I’ll have some giveaways and prize drawings, and a representative from the Second Step violence prevention program is scheduled to be there with some information about the program, since bullying and tolerance is one of the themes of Connection.
DMc: Connection is the first of ten in the Reality Shifts series. Please share with us a synopsis of the series as a whole.
JR: Shanna Bailey and Jonah Leighton have always been outcasts. When they found each other, they became friends almost immediately. Jonah has studied energy healing, channeling, and yoga since childhood, and teaches these things to Shanna. Using their healing and channeling skills, they have to counter demons, malevolent dead spirits, and other entities to prevent an entity from a separate reality from migrating to our universe, since the energetic backwash from that migration would vaporize our world. Meanwhile, Shanna’s entire life changes as she deals with abuse from her mother and incidents from her past.
DMc: Now that your readers know about your Reality Shifts series please share the inspiration behind the first book Connection.
JR: When I was about 35, I became friends with a man who did healing, channeling, and yoga, and taught me about them. Those skills helped me cope with some unpleasant things from my past and the marriage I was in at the time. I chose to write about those things in a format accessible to teenagers, because I know kids are dealing with abuse and bullying and I want them to know they aren’t alone, and they can ask for help.
DMc: Is the protagonist, 14-year-old Shanna based on anyone you know, or was she created from your exploration of characters?
JR: She’s based on me.
DMc: When you begin a manuscript do you start with an outline? Why or why not?
JR: Never an outline. Sometimes I might jot down a few sentences about what I’d like to see happen in the story, but that’s all I do for plotting in advance. For me, part of the fun of writing is seeing where the story ends up, so I try not to be too detailed in my pre-writing.
DMc: Have any of your characters traveled a path you never expected? If yes, do you fight them or allow them to go where they want?
JR: My characters constantly go where I don’t expect, and I almost always let them. It’s more fun that way, and their ideas are sometimes better than mine!
DMc: Where can our readers purchase Connection?
JR: It’s available through the publisher at http://www.jupitergardens.com/, or on http://www.amazon.com/.
DMc: In your opinion what do you feel is the most important part of promoting your work? (i.e., Social networking, in-person networking, book signings, school visits).
JR: I would say probably in-person events, such as book signings and school visits, because that gives me an opportunity to meet my readers as well as allowing them to meet me.
DMc: Where can our readers learn more about you?
JR: On my website, http://www.joramsey.com/.