Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Interview: RH Ramsey

Today I am excited to welcome R.H. Ramsey to the blog to talk about her new book, Just Beneath the Surface


More about the Book


Kendall Berkley never understood why women would stay in abusive relationships or allow themselves to be battered and 
humiliated. It would never happen to her. 

She had it all: two beautiful, intelligent children and a successful career. She knew she would never let a man abuse her, and if he did she would walk away.

She knew all this until the day she married Spencer. He treated her like a queen...until he’d had a bad day, or the house wasn’t spotless, or she looked at him wrong. No matter how much blood
was shed, or how many bruises had to be hidden, or how many lies she had to tell, she stayed for the sake of her marriage.

Sometimes a woman has to choose between broken vows and broken bones.

***

1. What was your inspiration for this book? 
The people who inspired me to write this book are the victims, survivors, those who have witnessed from the outside the devastation of abuse.  As I have said many times, it was saddening to think of those who were being judged in their situation. 

Many people seem to think that the victims of domestic violence are to blame for their own situations. People who think the victims of domestic violence deserve to be hurt, or like to be hurt – or else why stay? This prompted me to create a main character who was strong, confident, and very relatable. Something that I say often, and truly believe, is that with being relatable comes empathy. 


2. Would you classify your writing as plot driven or character driven? 
Although I am working hard at evolving and becoming a well-rounded writer, my stories are character driven.

3. Can you tell us a little about your main character?
I will start with Kendall, a mother of two, who leaves a somewhat rocky relationship after fourteen years. She finds herself involved with a man who is shy and quiet on the surface, but turns out to be unpredictable and abusive. The second main character is Diamond, her teenage daughter, who becomes involved with an obsessive teacher's aide. 

4. Without giving away too much, tell us a little about the main conflict in this book. 
Sure!
Just Beneath the Surface,  is a book about domestic violence, obsession and much more.
With time, Kendall learns that the quiet, quirky, mysterious man she has become involved with, is unpredictable and abusive.  She begins questioning who she is, and feels as though her days are numbered.

Diamond is Kendall’s teenage daughter. Diamond is at the center of vicious gossip at school, she is hungry for attention, and seeking love in all of the wrong places. Diamond meets and develops deep feelings for a teacher’s aide; this teacher’s aide has a dark side, and soon, Diamond is in over her head. Both mother and daughter find themselves in a terrifying downward spiral.

5. What do you hope readers take away from this book? 
My hope was that I could leave readers with a number of things.  First: the importance of communication. Also, there was a recurring theme about hearing and understanding one another beyond judgment. 

Lastly, I wanted readers to imagine Kendall’s state of mind and how distorted her world had become. My hope for Kendall’s story, is that at least one person turns from apathy, and chooses instead, to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

6. What song best describes your writing style?
Oh, I love, love, love this question. It’s taking me a while to come up with a song that describes the style, instead of my favorite song.  Lately, with everything I have learned, I am embracing not only the emotions of my characters, but all of their senses. That said, a song I have been listening to a lot, lately: The Thrill, by Miguel.  The first few lines, he sings, “.. these moments come one blink at a time.”

For some reason, that inspires me to picture every moment, describe those moments from the blink of an eye, to the twitch of the finger.


7. Night Owl or Early Bird?
I am a night owl, I always have been. There are times when I am up until 5am, and I cannot remember a time when I went to bed before midnight.

8. Skittle or M&Ms?
Know what’s interesting? I am not a big fan of either. I am not much of a sweet’s person, except every once in a while. If I had, had, had to choose, though, I think it would be Skittles. Although, if the M&Ms have nuts, I take those over Skittles. 

(Right now, I’m really into pistachios.)

9. Who are your favorite authors?
I have always loved Maya Angelou’s writing, but I’m not big on favorites. Maybe years ago, I could name one or two authors I preferred over others. But, now, I couldn’t possibly name a favorite, with the many talented Indie authors I have discovered!!

10. Can you tell us about any future projects? 
Of course!

I am very excited about last week’s re-release of the novel, Just Beneath the Surface, through my publisher.  Next, there will be a re-release of my book of short stories. Formerly called “Where were you?” my book of short stories will have a new cover as well as a new title. This should come out at the end of August 2013. In this book, there are stories, excerpts, and essays, revolving around relationships, grief, young love, and mental illness. 

Soon after the aforementioned book,  is the release of my novel,  Just Beneath the Surface II. 
In Just Beneath the Surface II, new characters confront what has been buried and laid to rest – or so they thought.

Landon, a mysterious engineering student has learned to treat his past as though it belongs to someone else. He has learned to control every thought that enters his mind: everything from his memories, to his smile, to the tone of his voice. Anyone who believes that they have begun to understand Landon is sadly mistaken. He is a man impenetrable.

His own brother, Peter, refers to Landon as a robot. Landon’s mother fears that he will soon self-destruct. Landon only wishes that everyone around him would accept and understand one thing; Landon has unlocked what he considers his most prized possession: the gift of control.

Seven is a peculiar beauty whose temper, harsh tongue and violent tendencies, often get her into trouble. After meeting Landon, Seven finds her way into unchartered territory: his heart. Soon, Seven’s perception of herself is challenged. She is frequently urged to step away and reevaluate herself, as the handsome young man, who is wise beyond his years, gently coaches her into finding her best self.

As secrets are revealed, and an unspoken bond is formed, Landon and Seven grow to be inseparable.

Before long, the horrors of the past bring Landon full circle. As his soft stoic surface faces intrusion, his old self is relinquished to paranoia. In time, Landon’s world is threatened by the recurring nightmare he thought he had left behind.

Thank you so much, DelSheree. I really enjoyed this interview. I appreciate your time!!

Meet the Author

RH Ramsey is a military wife, mother of two and student. Over the course of eight years, RH has diligently researched topics ranging from but not limited to: relationships, addiction, abuse and mental illness.

RH has completed several novels, four novels near completion and five short stories. She has two self-published books: Just Beneath the Surface I, and Into the Atmosphere, with many more to come. Just recently, her books have been acquired by an indie publisher.

With a passion for people, helping and learning, she hopes to continue in her quest of learning from and inspiring others.

Just Beneath the Surface is Available now

Connect with R.H. Ramsey Online