MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR MARY RAMSEY
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Mary Ramsey. I would consider my novel, Mystical Trash to be: New Adult/Urban/Paranormal/Erotica/Romance.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
I wrote Mystical Trash, alongside my non-erotic novel series, Dakota Son. In Dakota Son there is a strong, Hispanic character who befriends a very academic, street-smart high school girl. They bond over their academic interests, but it got me thinking- what if? Inspired the movie Suicide Squad’ I went about creating two characters who are united by superpowers and the desire to change the world, even if the world isn’t ready for their brand of justice.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I come from a fanfiction background, which consisted of a lot of fantasy, hero characters having lots of erotic sex.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I was inspired to write this after the 2016 election, back when President Trump was first proposing he idea of a wall. I researched the immigration regulations for various states, as well as incorporating new stories pertaining to the plight of Hispanic Americans.
Can you tell me about your Series?
I currently house several multi-chapter stories on my blog Dourdan.wordpress.com many are extensions of my current novels.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
I guess, out of the books I have completed, Mystical Trash is my favorite. I say this, because it was the first non- fanfic that I wrote to include super powers, and LGBT heroes and graphic sex.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
My inspiration for Dakota Son came from the web series Red vs Blue, which is a sci-fi show based on the Halo game series. In one story arc there was a team of elite soldiers, each code named after a state. North Dakota was someone brave, skilled and kind who met with a tragic end.
I wrote a fanfic story, giving him a background and childhood, and I named him Sean (since his real name is not given in the show.)
This lead to the idea of taking the Sean that I created and giving him his own, original, story and then Mystical Trash, brings the idea full circle, community back to the superhero background of Red vs Blue.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
My research came mostly from my own opinions and experiences. But google and Wikipedia were used as well.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Dakota Son was originally 200k words, so I always envisioned that as a multi- part story. But all of my other work, including Mystical Trash, came about in the moment
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I write when I feel inspired. I work in a retail job. Throughout my day, little ideas come to me and I write them on scrap paper (literally anything from receipts to pieces of cardboard.) At the end of the day I come home and type my messy notes, sculpting them into actual scenes.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Dakota Son was written as a 200k word manuscript so I always planned on releasing it in two parts. I am currently working with an editor, and upon release the title will be ‘Possibility Days,’ named after the Counting Crows song.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
All my names have special meaning, some come from videogames, or celebrities. Jahil was named after the Benjamin Bratt character on the show ‘Star,’ because that was the kind of sexual intensity I envisioned for him. And Sunny was named after a cartoon character who was literally a talking sunflower. There are several characters named after co-workers and friends, as well as one character with a truly unique story behind his name (as he tells it.)
Where do your ideas come from?
I would say my ideas primarily come from pop culture and the media. Coming from a fanfiction background I see characters in terms of types; sexy bad guy, gangster with a heart of gold, the pushover, the heroine, etc. I am inspired to make characters and stories that are similar but with my own twist.
In fact, often when I did fanfiction people would complain that my stories were too far from the actual plot of the videogame or movie/television series and if I was going to freestyle it to such a degree I might as well write my own stories.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I am yet to be able to write a horror piece worthy of the horror/creepypasta community, so that is my next goal- to try to be genuinely scary/inspiring.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Getting an idea flushed out. I might have a great idea on a note, then after writing the scene I only have 400 words. It’s like making a recipe; I taste it and think ‘Yeah, this is missing a dash of something, I just need to figure out what.’
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
Working with AuthorHouse they created a trailer for Dakota Son using stock images. The final result was pretty cute, even if it was a little plain.
I have seen some amazing book trailers by more established authors, and if given the chance I would be interested in creating one for Mystical Trash.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
That’s a hard one. I feel like I haven’t done much. I think my most intense sense of victory came when I graduated Air Force Basic Training.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Anyone who writes gets to call themselves an author.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully successful, happy, and not working in retail.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes. My earliest memory of writing is when I was 10 and I wrote a story about a man who was going to commit suicide because his girlfriend left him. It was inspired by various action, romance and horror movies that my parents allowed me to see as a kid. I remember making myself cry as I wrote it (because I truly felt the pain and sorrow of the character), and how freaked out my parents were when they found it (because they assumed the story was inspired by an actual person I knew/knew of).
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write until you love it- and if you can’t find a way to love what you created that is the time to seek out an editor (or someone who will say more than just, “This is very well written, just not my taste.”)
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Working in retail and making art just for myself.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I try to ignore bad reviews. Prior to writing my novel, I got so many people saying my fanfiction is to incorrect or a story that I wrote for a certain site is, “not appropriate content for their audience” (it was a sci-fi/horror site.)
There is so much negativity in the world (especially online) it not worth your time to focus on the haters.
What is your least favorite part of the writing / publishing process?
Asking for feedback. It is very difficult to find someone who will give you honest, useable feedback.
What are you working on now?
At the moment I am playing with an idea for a short story based around an new character who died before the events of Dakota Son.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
“Can I sketch you now?” he asked as he put out the fire. He reached for the sketchbook, turning to a fresh page. From his pocket, he pulled a few ordinary-looking pens like something one would steal from a cheap motel.
“Do I need to hold still or anything?”
“No, I’ll make up the pose. I just want to observe your features.”
I couldn’t help but observe his hands. Each line seemed to come from muscle memory. “How do you do that?”
“We share a room,” he said, not looking up from his work. “Whenever I can’t sleep I look at you, sleeping on the floor on that plastic thing.”
“A yoga mat,” I said with a laugh, “I sleep on a yoga mat.”
“You could be sleeping in my arms.” Johnny rolled his shoulder back, flexing his bicep.
“…and that’s why I sleep on the floor.” My voice trailed off. I put down my food. I needed to touch him, I needed to hold him. My body felt like a puppet, being controlled by strings. I reached out and grabbed Johnny’s hand, causing him to drop his pen.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I don’t really write with a genre in mind.
Where did your love of books come from?
Parents who considered the library to be a weekend treat. They would let me and my sister run wild and discover any and all aspects of the many libraries of San Francisco.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Anything by Chuck Palahniuk. He has a unique gift for telling stories that are romantic, creepy, action packed and mysterious to the very end.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
The character of Sean appears in both Dakota Son and Mystical Trash. He is inspired by a reality star with the looks of a surfer and a true heart of an artist. And the name was inspired by two of my personal heroes, Sean Waltman and Sean O’Haire.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It depends. If I have a great idea, it feels like I can write for hours. But if I’m stuck my mind goes into sleep mode.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Realizing I have actual housework to do. LOL
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Original: if you try to deliver what people want you will be walking a tightrope for all eternity.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I am part of a forum called ERWA where you can submit pieces for public feedback. https://www.erotica-readers.com
It has hundreds of members around the world, who come at stories with their own cultural perspectives.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Janitor-girl: an unlikely superhero
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
If you had superpowers what would they be and why?
When I was little the answer would have been teleportation, like the marvel comic character Nightcrawler. He could teleport to any location that he could visualize. But now I think my ideal superpower would be the ability to conjure change from thin air so I would always have something to brighten the day, and bring a moment of kindness and hope to the homeless population. 😊
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️