Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Author Interview with Melodie Ramone


 

                                                                   Thanks for stopping by for our Sunday Author Interview. We are thrilled to welcome Melodie Ramone. Let's get started.
Donna: Thank you for joining us today. This is such a pleasure. Melodie Ramone is a lovely name. 
Melodie: Thank you. Melodie Ramone is a pen name! My real first name confuses most people. They either can’t pronounce it, can’t remember it or botch it completely, so long ago I chose a pen name. When I started writing novels, I wanted to use the name “Melanie”, which I think is absolutely one of the most beautiful names around. However, when I wrote it on paper as a signature, Melodie flowed better from the pen. So Melodie it was. And Ramone…yes, well, I’m a punk rock fan from the time I was in diapers. That’s a shout out to Saint Joey Ramone, whom I have always adored. 
Donna: I'm curious about the title of your new book, AfterForever Ends. How would you describe it for our readers?
Melodie:  After Forever Ends is very much a character driven story. It’s the lifetime of the main character, Silvia, told from her perspective. The synopsis reads, “Her story could be anyone’s but it is her own,” and it really is all her own. When you look at the life of a woman, it’s easy to confuse the sacred with the mundane. She was born, she went to school, she fell in love, she had kids…yada yada yada. But not really. Not if you look deeper, not if you peer into the memories of a woman who has lived life to the fullest, loved with her whole heart, put her soul into everything she touched, experienced immense joy along with bone numbing loss and tragedy, survived it all, and is finally willing to share her secrets with her granddaughter. Those are the kinds of stories we as adult-children crave from our elders, the lessons only they can teach us on how to live in a world that is sometimes too confusing and painful to manage. And that’s what After Forever Ends is really about, those lessons of life that we can only learn from those generous enough to share them with us and the blessing we receive from listening.

Donna: I love the book. When did you know that you were a writer?
Melodie: I knew I was a writer when I was about four years old. I was always writing, even before I could write. When I discovered pens and paper, that was it for everybody. I’ve sadly destroyed forests single-handedly with my writing. It’s another reason I’m so thrilled about computers. Now I don’t have to destroy any more trees!

Donna: Who else influences your writing?
Melodie: I’m influenced by everything. I have to be really careful not to let things bleed into my mindset. For instance, I don’t read best sellers. I never do, not until they’ve been out at least five years, and I tend not to watch new movies or television often. But other things inspire me, like music and my kids. People inspire me, looking deeply into who they are and what makes them tick. I’m inspired by beauty, really, in anything, and I’m always looking for it.

Donna:  We have a bit in common. I prefer lesser known work as well. I was wondering how many books you read monthly?
Melodie: It depends. Lately, I’ve been suffering from some severe eye strain, so reading anything is a problem, but I’ve managed, I think two and a half books this month. It’s usually more like five, but like I said, it depends on what’s going on. If I’m writing a lot or just ultra-busy, I’ll read less. And if my eyes are bothering me a lot, sadly, I won’t read at all! I don’t think I read at all in April. How depressing was that? Hee.

Donna: I remember reading about your eye strain on your blog. It is depressing, but you need to protect your vision. I hope this problem clears up for you soon. Please share something that has recently happened, or is about to happen in your life that you would like to share with our readers.
Melodie: Aw, heck! My life? I’m very boring! I’m married, I’m a home school teacher, I have kids, a house, cats, four ferrets and three rats! So you can imagine MY excitement ratio is off the meter! Haha! But, professionally, I can tell you that I’m going to have After Forever Ends in soft back by autumn, at the absolute latest. I’m hoping to have it out much, much sooner, but I’ve gotten into trouble rushing before, so slow and steady wins the race. It’s to be announced, I suppose, pending any moment.


Donna: Sounds like a true menagerie. Where do you usually do your writing? Do you work in one spot?
Melodie: Right now, I’m working from the living room, which is just about impossible since everybody thinks it’s just fine to walk up and start complaining about something and kill my vibe. LOL But I’ll soon be setting up the little room on the front of our house as an office…possibly with a lock…and definitely with headphones. Hee.

Donna: That's a nice picture. What about the time of day? Do you have a preferred time that you write?
Melodie: I write pretty much constantly, it doesn’t matter when. When the voices start chattering, I start typing.

Donna: Do you have a writing ritual? Please describe your process.
Melodie: I don't really have one. Honestly, my stories just come to me, like in some calming wave that just hits me. I sink into it and I listen closely and I write. It’s really that simple.

Donna: You sound very relaxed and comfortable. What do you do if you feel blocked?
Melodie: I wait. I wait for inspiration, I wait for emotion. I wait until the frustration has passed and it’s time for that wave I talked about before to return. I just wait. It always comes back sooner or later. I think one of the worst things that can happen, at least for me, is to get into a hurry to write. It stops me dead if I rush or force it.

Donna: What about milestones? How do you celebrate?
Melodie: I actually don’t. It’s all an internal thing for me. I just let myself revel in those victories for a little bit, quiet and at peace, and then I pick up my hammer and go back to work.

Donna: That's a type of celebration. Do you have any pet peeves about writing?
Melodie: I don’t like the current trend that a book has to be a certain length, mainly…short. I really don’t like it when it’s obvious a writer has shortened an idea to hurry a story along to meet criteria set by an institution whose main focus is sales. Granted, I don’t think anybody should be allowed to ramble on about a pencil or something for 200 pages, but in most cases, it’s an entire book the author is writing, not a book report. I don’t care about length in work. I don’t think it should matter. If a story is to be told, it needs to be told from the heart, whether it’s fourteen pages or fourteen hundred and the publishing industry needs to start respecting their writers again by letting them tell their best story.

Donna: Is there a trailer available for your book?
Melodie: No. But I’m working on that, too!

Donna: Please let us know when it's available. We will be happy to share it here. What about writing websites? Do you have a favorite?
Melodie: Not specifically. I think there’s a little bit of good info on any site that offers insight or advice, especially if it’s coming from somebody with experience. Not necessarily and “expert”, but somebody who’s walking the walk and wants to help others.

Donna: Is there a piece of advice that you'd like to share with aspiring writers?
Melodie: Just the same thing I always say. Write. Write no matter what. Write no matter if it’s ever going to be read. Write for YOU first and then worry about everybody else. Never listen to the nay-sayers and the poo-poo’ers. Just write because your soul is on a journey and you have a story to tell. Tell it. Be true to you, never give up, and write! Write! Write!
 
Donna:
What a pleasure having you with us today. I wish you great success with your book. Thank you so much for joining us today. We will be sending our very best thoughts your way for great success, as well as healing wishes for your eyes. Where can our readers find you?
Melodie: Thank you for having me! I really appreciate it! Readers can find me at

Twitter: @Melodie_Ramone

Book links:
Available at all Amazon locations




Because we each have to find our own way... 
The Wayward Gifted: Broken Point 

A coming of age story loaded with angst & adventure 
For adolescents through adults.

Thanks for joining us.
We're glad you're here.

Donna and Mike
The Wayward Gifted - Broken Point