MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR JILL RAMSOWER
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Jill Ramsower and I’d say my books are urban fantasy, paranormal romance, with a touch of romantic suspense.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
The Fae Games Duet is two books but really one story that didn’t fit in a single volume. I love all things romance and fantasy–I particularly enjoy legends so I decided to intertwine the Fae with historical Arthurian legends. I enjoyed the challenge of creating fantastical explanations for the modern legends.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I had to research all kinds of Arthurian legends and Norse mythology, but I also did a tone of work researching Belfast to make sure I represented the are correctly—daylight hours, temperatures, physical descriptions of the city. For someone who has never been to Ireland, google street view and other nuggets were super helpful. I didn’t want to say Rebecca walked home at 6pm just as the sun was falling if it’s common knowledge in Belfast that the sun had set by 4:30 during the winter months.
Can you tell me about your Series?
The Fae Games Duet starts the series and then there will be two more books that are spin-off novels (one releasing in December and the other is currently being written). While they could be read independently, the books make more sense and are best read in order. The basic story is about an American girl and her best friend who go over to Ireland and discover that Faeries exist. The Duet focusses on Rebecca’s experience and Shades of Betrayal (releasing in December 2018) is the best friend, Ashley’s, story. For reveals on the fourth book you’ll have to stay tuned to my social media and newsletter!
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
My initial inspiration is from my all-time favorite books, Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series. I think she is a genius and I wanted to be able to tell a story like she did. I knew that it was overly ambitious for my first project out of the gates, but that was what inspired me, so I ran with it. I know I’m not in her class yet, but maybe someday…
Was it always meant to become a series?
The duet was meant to be a three-book series but I shortened it to two books with no intention of writing more in that world. One of my friends beta read the first book and insisted that I had to spin off and tell Ashley’s story. Before I knew it, there was a book three and book four took formation even more quickly and unexpectedly. However, the four books should be the end of my writing in The Fae Games world.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I work full-time as a lawyer at a University and have three kids from 7-14 so I’m super busy. I write when I can, there is no specific schedule or daily word goal. Each day is different for me so I have to play it by ear—I’m fortunate that my writing so far goes relatively smoothly and I have an amazing husband who has picked up my slack. I wrote the Duet in the matter of six weeks or so from deciding to pick up a pen to finishing the rough draft.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Shades of Betrayal will be out December 2018 and I’m super excited about it. I brainstormed and discussed the Duet with friends and family, but this book just took shape so quickly on its own that not a single person knew anything about it. Early readers are loving it so that’s a huge relief!
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I don’t dwell on names like many other authors. Rebecca was an easy pick because I wanted to name my daughter Rebecca, but my husband vetoed it because he didn’t like the alliteration with our last name, Ramsower. (I loved the alliteration.) I decided my first book baby would bear the name instead. I’m super decisive, sometimes to a fault when I make a decision without really thinking it through. Mostly I just pick a name that I think sounds right and then I move on. (Not second guessing myself also helps speed along my writing process.)
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Yes! My great-grandmother was an immigrant to the US with an inspiring story and someday I’m going to write a historical romance based on her life. She was Armenian and left during the genocide when all her family had been killed—she was an amazing woman and I can’t wait to write about her!
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
My brother is a fantastic photographer/videographer so I’m lucky enough to have a great source for trailers! The Duet has a trailer that I have pinned to the top of my facebook author page—check it out!
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Aside from having three phenomenal kids, I’d say my writing is easily my proudest accomplishment. Crafting a written story and then having the courage to publish that work with the possibility of people tearing it down—I can’t think of anything else I’ve done that compares. I’ve been very fortunate to have the majority of readers enjoy my work, but man is the threat of haters terrifying.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
I love love love the initial part of crafting/outlining a story. Sometimes when I read, I’ll think, I would have done this differently—it’s so cool to tell a story exactly how I think it should be told.
Have you always liked to write?
That’s the crazy part—I hadn’t written anything besides legal documents since high school creative writing class. (And that had been a long, long time. Long time.) Several years ago, I decided to try to write and didn’t get a whole chapter written before I gave up, thinking I had no idea what I was doing. This time everything just clicked. I’m 40 years old and out of nowhere I discovered I had a passion, who knew?
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I couldn’t write at all without a thorough outline. Some authors don’t use them, but I have to flesh out every detail before I start to actually write. Other than that, I’d just say thicken your skin because there’s always haters and that crap hurts, no matter how stupid the comments. I read every review, even though I tell myself I shouldn’t. I think there can be a benefit to reading them if there is a consistent problem in my writing that readers address in their reviews. I’m so new to writing that I know I have a lot of growth to do.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Here’s an excerpt from Shades of Betrayal:
“The woman had me off balance from the first time I met her at the club months before. She was outgoing and vibrant, but not in an obnoxious way that so many women are at the club. Her comments were thought-provoking and her smart mouth had me envisioning what else she could do with her full red lips. Those thoughts were far too dangerous for my taste and I had known immediately that I needed to keep my distance.
When Ashley was turned Fae, I was ordered to introduce her to our way of life. I had anticipated her to be distraught and withdrawn—she had been anything but. Ashley was level-headed, confident, and everything I didn’t want her to be.”
Where did your love of books come from?
My sixth-grade year (age 11-12) my parents moved us from Texas to Connecticut at the beginning of the summer. I had no friends there so I read, a lot. From that point on I was an official bookworm. Although, after law school, it took me a couple years to remember that I enjoyed reading. 😊
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Energizes!! I get so excited to write that my husband has to remind me to engage with my family sometimes.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I’ve been lucky to have both Amelia Hutchins and Pepper Winters chat with me about writing and I’ve tried to follow what both of them recommended—write a story you would enjoy reading. Don’t get caught up in trends or writing for others, write the story you want to tell. I’m just starting out but doing my best to stay true to that advice.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
You and No One Else
That might would work—I think one of the best lessons in life is that you decide what your life looks like and no one else. If you are unhappy, you are the only one who can change things. If there’s something you want, no one is going to just give it to you, you have to work for what you want. Not only do I believe in that sentiment, I really try to live by it every day.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
This is my first interview!! I’m just thrilled anyone wants to hear from me at all!
Where can your fans find you and follow??
My Newsletter: https://jillramsower_234b.gr8.com/