ATTENTION PLEASE FOR THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THIS!!!!!!!!
On July 23rd, Dance the Dream Awake will be for FREE on Amazon so make sure you check get your copy tomorrow!
Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
I got the bug to write when, as a child, I used to tell my younger cousins impromptu stories. They would beg me for one and I would make it up on the spot. Most of my life I channeled my creativity into other activities (art, gardening, travel, raising a daughter, teaching) and never got one of those stories written down. On my web blog (post: How Far Will You Go) I tell about the inciting incident that sparked my first novel.
Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I spend time in my garden. I used to own an indoor plant shop and have always had plants around me. Our outdoor garden has become an oasis of flowers, vegetables and fruit trees—thanks in large part because my husband has taken over their care while I write. We have two dogs we rescued from the SPCA that keep us perpetually entertained: a Lhasa Apso and a Ratcha (rat-terrier/ Chihuahua mix). I still paint (not as often as I would like, because the writing takes up much of my time now). And of course, I read.
What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story? Where do you get your ideas from?
I am not rigid about keeping a routine. The last thing I want to do is watch the clock now that I am retired. Generally, I wake up early morning (usually around 5 a.m.) and begin by reading something inspirational which puts my mind into creative mode. Then, optimally, I will meditate, get ideas (often for my current writing project) and write them down in my journal. At dawn I will often go back to bed and sleep on those ideas a bit, then get up, have coffee and work on writing.
Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
There is a short story I did based on the painting by Edward Hopper called NightHawks. It inspired a story with mystical/paranormal elements and a noir feeling. It haunts me like an echo when I think about it. It’s included in an anthology of short stories I published with two writer friends, called Valley Fever, Where Murder is Contagious.
Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
I was a hippie who traveled around the country in a school bus in the early ‘70s. That was a real eye-opener. My daughter keeps pressing me for a memoir. Perhaps I’ll get to it one of these days.
Are any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
I use everything as a writer. What may start off as imagination eventually includes real life events and people I know woven in, manipulated and transformed in some way, and vice-versa.
Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
Anon, for anonymous. He’s shy.
What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
I’ve written mysteries, suspense, romance, paranormal and sci-fi. So maybe that memoir will be in the cards.
Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
Recently, I’ve been concentrating on Romance, whether past life, suspense, historical, erotic or fantasy, and those authors I enjoy are: Pamela Clare, Monica Burns, Susanna Kearsley, Erin Morgenstern and M.J. Rose.
11. Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
In Dance the Dream Awake, I love Porfirio; the poster boy for tall, dark, handsome and suave. Add his sensitivity and he becomes everywoman’s dream. But then there is down-to-earth Jack who livens up any room.
For a favorite female, not counting my protagonist, it has to be Lotty, the café owner that mothers Tessa (my main character who is a bundle of nerves from all the nightmares). Lotty was based on a woman who was my boss early in my working career. She had so much energy, in constant motion, and was a very jolly person—yes, jolly like Santa.
What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
It has to be the sitting for long hours typing. It is hard on the back, neck, shoulders, knees and hips. The creative part is easy by comparison
What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
I know some might disagree, but I say start by writing your stories—and then learn the craft. Unless you want to be an English teacher, you need to get the stories out first so that you gain confidence that you have them in you. Just write. As I found to be true in art, raw talent needs to show/express itself and gain confidence before all the rules are laid on top, otherwise the rules can inhibit the creativity. After you have a story and have a good handle on craft—find a good critique group that will give you honest feedback. This is so invaluable.
If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
Painting and gardening. I’m retired from teaching children with disabilities.
What would be the perfect Romantic getaway?
There are several choices. Hawaii is right up there near the top. It is so easy to feel romantic in Hawaii—doing anything. I love all the islands for different reasons. My image of a romantic getaway is set at the ocean with warm breezes wafting floral and salty scents over me, while watching the sun set over the ocean—with that someone I love, and maybe a glass of wine or a mai tai. Mexico fits that scenario as well.
Well now that we got the question and answer out of the way…..why don’t you tell us about your latest story you have out now?
I came to Dance the Dream Awake through a series of ‘magical’ experiences during a trip to Mexico—Teotihuacan, Oaxaca and then the ruins of Coba, a Mayan ceremonial site on the Yucatan peninsula. It launched my writing; something I had always wanted to do but hadn’t found time for up to that point. It put me on a steep curve of learning to write while developing the story.
Dance the Dream Awake is a romantic suspense story of redemption set in present day that dips back into a past life in the latter days of ancient Mayan history before the Spanish came. My protagonist, Tessa Harper, has nightmares about a human sacrifice that increasingly disturbs her to the point she is compelled to go to the Yucatan, Mexico, to find answers and hopefully stop the nightmares. She meets three very different men, women curanderas (shamanic healers) and the spirits of her ancient past whose present connections lead her to intrigues, dangers and renewed love. She resolves the reason for the nightmares and finds out startling information that changes her forever after.
There is Porfirio, an unfulfilled love from that distant past, and amorous archaeologist Nick Richardson, whose recent artifacts found beneath the ruins of a Coba pyramid that might explain the cause of her nightmares. Finally, there is her “friendly neighbor” Jack, who brings levity and keeps Tessa grounded through it all.
When Tessa realizes someone is after the strange beads she came into possession of just before beginning the trip, the suspense is on. Who wants them and why? Three curanderas (women shaman healers) have been waiting for Tessa at Tulum and she must decide if they are there to help her or, as Jack believes, are up to something more nefarious.
Your next project?
I realized I had a sequel to this story and began writing it last fall—this time dipping into a past life in the intriguing era of Heian Japan (circa 980 AD). Only the past life took over and wanted to be told as a story on its own—a sizzling romance. So, Haiku Dance is being born and is almost finished, and hopefully will be out by late summer or early fall 2013. (After that, the follow-up to Dance the Dream Awake—not yet named—should be completed in another six months.)
Dance the Dream Awake is available through:
Oak Tree Press books (listed alphabetically): http://www.oaktreebooks.com/Shop%20OTP.htm#BCD
Amazon (also Kindle Edition): http://www.amazon.com/Cora-Ramos/e/B00BAKLGXO
Cora J Ramos