[Brief Words] Interview of Ramona Mainstrom
Ramona Mainstrom is one fantastic writer covering several genres and bringing forward a multitude of books. This interesting author gave me some of her time earlier this year. I gathered a list of questions and she was kind enough to answer them, below is the interaction. This is not a interview to skip over!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a full-time author and solo parent of two kids, ages 7 & 8. I enjoy acting and singing. I’m often dancing around the house and enjoy puttering around the garden with my neighbour.
What genre (s) do you write in?
Fantasy (Urban, Epic, and Dark), Thriller, and Horror.
For most, they began writing at a young age, taking writing more seriously later in life. Is this a sentiment that can apply to you? What was it like for you?
I was discouraged from writing or reading for pleasure, so becoming a writer wasn’t an option in my reality for a while. It was rough. I don’t know how to explain how having a part of your Self forbidden.
I was a story-teller as a child and as soon as I learned how to write words, I started writing stories. In high school, I wrote short stories, poems, scripts and started a few longer stories.
I didn’t consider writing as a career option until I was an adult and only because of peer pressure. Friends got a hold of some of my scenes and short stories and insisted I finish them. That’s how I started writing the Touch of Insanity series, but Eyes of the Hunter was the first stand alone book I completed.
How much time do you spend writing?
No clue. I’m a bit of a workaholic, but I’m also a multi-tasker. So, I’ll be at my desk for hours, but I’ll be writing a book, answering messages, homeschooling my kids, doing groceries online, and editing a different book.
I just flow. If I start to stress about when, how long, or how many words, it kills the joy and creativity. I don’t put pressure on myself for deadlines or word counts. I need writing to be enjoyable. I need the words to flow naturally, so I let it happen when and how it wants while I go about taking care of the rest of my day.
What has been the most eye-opening part of publishing for you?
At the beginning, it was learning how traditional publishing works. It was very discouraging. Being an indie author taught me so much, but I think it also made me a better client once I was with a publisher.
Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.
Hands down; Santa in Sleigh Ride. Taking this epitome of kindness and generosity and giving him a hard edge made him more lovable to me. He’s avenging the benign creatures under his care who were injured or killed by dark forces. He’s racing, for not just his own life, but to preserve the beauty of Christmas and everyone who works with him.
Pitting him against the older, harsher Christmas representations in a death race let me show a dark and ruthless side of Santa. There’s a point in the story where his co-pilot, Jack Frost says, “People will get hurt” and Santa replies, “I’m counting on it.”
That gives me the chills. Every. Time. Santa is going to mess folk up to protect his people and keep the spirit of Christmas alive. He’s selling his soul for others to have that magic.
Do you ever write traits or characters inspired by people you know?
Always! It’s how I keep my characters real. Would so-and-so do this? How would they react? What’s their speech pattern like?
Where do your ideas come from?
Everything. Everywhere. There are a million stories in my world every day. People are lovely inspirations. Beautiful, complex, predictable yet chaotically unpredictable in all their messy glory.
Real life is a non-stop Plot Bunny that just keeps popping out babies. For years, I was told I should write about my life because it’s so wild. But, as fiction because no one would believe it really happened. So I’ve started using bits of my personal life into my stories. The Crossroad is actually a journal entry from my life. It was intended to be part of a non-fiction series, but . . . Well, a good paranormal story is fun to read.
And, my other big inspiration is dreams. My dreams and nightmares are detailed and emotion-filled. They stay with me long after I wake and often inspire my stories. The Greatest of Books is a story based on my dreams.
What is your current writing about?
I’m currently releasing the Touch of Insanity series. It’s a 10 book fantasy series about a Half-Elf named Kharee, who was created to heal a goddess who is going mad and is spreading insanity via her connection to the people of the world, Besamie. Unfortunately, her parents withheld the ability for her to actually use her powers until they knew she’d grown up to be a decent, sane person.
The series follows Kharee as she discovers her powers, her mission, and her own truth. I’ve tried to keep the story as PG as possible, but she goes through some dark and gruesome experiences as she wades through the madness. For example, there are winged monsters called karpa that impregnate their prey and werewolves which are called Hydan Kin in their world, named after Hydan Speargood, the Elven Mage-Master who first contracted the magical disease. Oh, and of course a vampire lord, because no dark fantasy is complete without one.
I’ve been releasing a new book every 20th. Book 4, Each According Their Worth, releases on April 20th and I’m hoping to have a completed collection of all 10 books in one out in time for Christmas. If readers want to know when each book releases, they can sign up for Books2Read notifications .
It’s been very exciting to write and I’m so proud of the finish products.
Do you have any new series planned?
After the Touch of Insanity series, Three Furies Press will be releasing the Harper series. It’s a paranormal thriller about a psychic named Hannah Harper who has PTSD. She’s very quirky. Edges frighten her, so everything in her home is rounded. Going out is challenging because there are edges everywhere. She gets dragged into an investigation of serial killings and finds the guy, but ends up as his next target. As the series progresses, they discover the killer from the first book isn’t the only threat they have to worry about. I’m very excited about this series because it sneaks from “okay this is a paranormal story” to “OhEmGee! This is mind-bending paranormal and I’m scared now”. Or, it will be if I do it right.
What has being signed to a publisher meant for you as a writer, since many self-publish nowadays?
It was surprisingly cathartic. I’d given up on the idea of being picked up by a publisher and was content self-publishing. I really respect the women running Three Furies Press, so when I saw they were accepting submission and I actually had something in a genre they publish, I just had to submit Gifted, the first book of the Harper series.
Reading that I’d been accepted . . . I cried. Happy, ugly cry because people I respect found value in my work.
What are you reading now?
I’m currently reading really interesting urban fantasy by Yvette Bostic, called Call of the Elements, which is the first book of her Magister’s Bane series. It’s really good.
Rosa Marchisella is a prolific author and the creator of the animated series, Zomb-Eh? Rosa also writes non-fiction under the name Rosa Arcade. She has written and co-authored over 50 publications, stories, screenplays, and scripts. Her poetry has been featured in anthologies and websites. Her other written works include 200+ articles, marketing and media projects, as well as promotional and educational tools.
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