Monday, May 16, 2011

Author Interview: Jo Ramsey

Happy Monday my lovely readers! Can you remember the last Monday Interview? Yeah, me neither. lol Today we have the fabulous Jo Ramsey visiting and we are so happy to have her. 

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I started telling stories when I was two or three, and started writing them down when I was five. I was bullied throughout school, so writing became my way to escape that. I have a drawer full of spiral notebooks containing stories I’ve written, most of which will never see the light of day. My first YA publication didn’t happen until I was 39; that was Connection, the first book in my Reality Shift series, which came out in January 2010. Since then, two more books in Reality Shift have been published, and my new series The Dark Lines launches in May.
I used to teach special education, and have taught at all grades from kindergarten right up through high school. I live in Massachusetts with my two daughters, my husband, and two cats, one of which likes to try to get me to play fetch with her when I’m supposed to be writing.

2. What got you started writing? What brought you to YA?
Like I said, I used to make up stories before I even learned to write. I had a lot of ideas bouncing around my imagination, and I had to get them out somehow! I started writing stories that I would consider YA when I was a young adult myself; well, actually, when I was about 13. That’s kind of where I got stuck.
3. Tell us about your most recent/upcoming release.
My upcoming release, The Black Bridge, is the first book in my urban fantasy series The Dark Lines, about a group of teenagers with psychic abilities who unintentionally become involved in the universal war between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. In The Black Bridge, we meet Topher James, who starts fighting the forces of darkness after one takes his best friend from him.

4. Do you plot out in advance, or just start writing and see where things go from there?
For my series books, I have to do some plotting in advance or I run the risk of breaking continuity. I have to make sure I don’t contradict anything I’ve written previously, and that I remember important details. But once I take care of that and maybe make a few notes about what I think is going to happen in the story, I just start writing and see where the characters take me.

5. Many authors have told me that their characters talk to them, or sometimes even have different ideas of where the story should go than the author. Do you hear your characters?
Oh, good grief, they never shut up! LOL. Honestly, in writing The Dark Lines (I’ve written the first drafts of all the books in the series), there were times I felt like the narrators were writing the stories and I was just the one with my fingers on the keyboard. When I write, my characters often take over the story and steer it in the direction they want it to go, and if I write something they don’t agree with, they tell me.
I think writing is the only career in which you can say you hear voices and not be thought crazy.

6. Who is your favorite character (of your own)?
Hands down, Blake Walker, who readers will meet in book 2 of The Dark Lines. He’s an adopted former foster child whose mother physically abused him because of his psychic abilities, but he has a good heart and strong loyalty to his friends and his adoptive mother. And he’s something very special, but I can’t tell you what because that would be a spoiler.

7. What hobbies do you have when you’re not writing?
I don’t have any hobbies…unless you count learning Japanese, which I’m doing because my husband learned the language so he could watch anime, and sometimes he throws in Japanese words and phrases to confuse me, so I want to learn what he’s saying.

8. If you had not become a writer, what would you have done instead?
I never had plans to be anything other than a writer, and a teacher, but I don’t teach anymore.

9. Where can readers find you online?
My website is I’m on Twitter as @JoRamseyYA, and I have a Facebook profile as well.
My two urban fantasy series Reality Shift and The Dark Lines can be found at Jupiter Gardens Press, as well as on Amazon, Barnes &Noble, and probably other third party sites.
I’m working on a website for The Dark Lines and one for Reality Shift, so stay tuned for those!

10. Your turn. What question do you have for readers of Want My YA?
What do you look for in the characters you read about? What makes a character someone you would want to get to know better?

Thanks so much for visiting Want My YA today, Jo. :) It was great having you here. Readers be sure to post your answer to her question in the comments. It's great to hear from you.


Jo Ramsey said...

Thanks for the interview! I'll check back periodically today, so if anyone has any questions, just ask!

Linda Wisdom said...

Great interview Jo! I've got to pick up your book.

Jo Ramsey said...

Thanks, Linda :)

Renee Pace said...

Love the sounds of your latest YA book. So glad to learn more about you and the fact you taught special ed - well, I'm off to buy your book because I know your insights into teens has just got to be extra special.

Jo Ramsey said...

Thanks, Renee :)