Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Hello, thank you for having me!
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is K.L. Ramsey. My grandma taught me that a lady never cusses or revels her true age. But, I cuss like a sailor and I’m 46.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I am originally from Maryland but currently live in West Virginia
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I was born and raised in Maryland. I went to college on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, at Salisbury State University. It was only thirty minutes from the beach so that was a no-brainer for me. I studied on the beach, what more could a girl ask for? I met my husband and his job moved us around some. We have lived in six states, over the past 24 years. We have three children, two adult who live on their own and one teenwho still lives at home. I am also lucky that my hubby tolerates me bringing home kittens- we have four and one dog.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Love Times Infinity (Relinquished book 1) came out on February 22, 2018 and was my debut novel. My second book, Love’s Patient Journey (Relinquished book 2) was released on April 19, 2018. It is the second book of a four-book series. Also, I just turned in my fifth book, which starts a new series that I am tentatively calling The Harvest Ridge Series.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in high school, taking creative writing courses, writing for the newspaper staff, etc. My creative writing teacher saw my potential and entered one of my short stories in a literary contest and it won. That was when I decided to go to college to study English.
I guess I started writing as a form of escape, when I was a teenager. I kept a few notebooks with short stories and poetry, as a way to express myself when I felt like no one else was listening.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m still coming to terms with that. There are days when I feel like, “Yes, I am an author, I’ve got this”. And then there are days when I feel like everything that I write is garbage and I should just quit writingand find another path. Luckily, I’ve had less of those days,since my first book came out.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Basically, I wrote Love Times Infinity as a challenge. My father passed eight years ago and while he was in the VA hospital, I would go to visit him, and he would talk to me about writing. He would say things like, “When you write your book, use your maiden name as your pen name”. I thought that it was just his meds talking, but each time I went back for a visit, he would bring up the book that I was going to write. I would always joke around with him saying, “Yeah sure, I’ll get right on that”. Honestly, I didn’t have a clue as to what I would write. I had studied the classics and knew that I didn’t have it in me to write the next great American classic. I needed to find my niche. One day, I picked up a romance novel from the library, wanting a fun read for our vacation to the beach, and I was hooked. Cut to five years later, I was living in Alabama and had no friends or family around. I picked up my computer and started writing to fill my days. I wrote my first book, Love Times Infinity and filed it away. After I finished writing, I decided that Ryan and Jenna needed their own book and Love’s Patient Journey was born. It just snowballed from there. I developed four books and called them The Relinquished Series. They follow the Jackson family and I honestly came to love each and every family member.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I really can’t remember how I came up with the title, it just happened. At the end of the book, Karlie and Drew joke about how much they love each other. Drew tells Karlie, “I love you more then there are stars in the universe, Mrs. Jackson. I love you times infinity.” When I wrote that, I already had the title and decided that it would be cute to use it as a line in the book. Apparently, I did things a little backwards. I’ve been told that most writers find a quote that is used in the book to choose their title. It worked for me though, so all’s well that ends well.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I would describe my writing style as chaotic- does that count? I find that I am all over the place with a story. I usually get the first 20,000 words out and then my brain goes haywire. I skip to the end or write a break up scene and then back fill the story, until it is complete. So, I’m all over the place but it seems to come together. When I edit, I strive to look for discrepancies, since I don’t write the story in order.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All characters, in my books, are completely fictional. Sometimes, I meet someone with a cool name, and I ask to use it, but the characters are fictional. Of course, some of the experiences are based on real life. For example, in Love Times Infinity, Karlie and Drew are caught making out, on the hood of her car, by her parents. When I was about nineteen, I was so irresponsible that I let my car run out of gas. I left my car on the side of the highway, found a pay phone, and called my father to bring me some gas. Long story short, he found me and a guy that I worked with, making out on the hood of my car. Needless to say, he was not pleased.
Another example is two-year-old Zac in Love’s Patient Journey. He is a conglomeration of all three of my kids. They were rotten toddlers and often found trouble. Zac seems to be as misbehaved as they were. Also, he says cute little things like, “I no, know, Mommy” which was something my kids would say whenever I asked them, “Who did this?”. I think that every good fictional character and circumstance has some basis of fact behind them. It makes them seem more realistic.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I am lucky to have a husband that travels some for work. I convince him that I “need” to travel in order to do “research” for a new series. Last summer, I went with him to Colorado. While he worked, I explored and came up with my next series, The Harvest Ridge Series. It is based on three little towns that I fell in love with while in Colorado. I feel that if I can imagine the place, the story seems more realistic. My Relinquished Series takes place in Alabama and Tennessee. I was living in Alabama at the time that I wrote it, so the places feel very real to me. I have plans for a beach series and will be traveling this summer to explore where that series will take place. It’s all for the sake of research…
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
A fabulous artist named Jessica Greeley designed both of my covers. I am published by Black Velvet Seductions, and they contracted her to do the cover art for both Love Times Infinity and Love’s Patient Journey. She, so far, has made the covers look like they belong in a series. I can’t wait to see what she does with the next two books in the series. She is very talented.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I wouldn’t say that my novel teaches a lesson. I wrote it to be fun and entertaining and I feel like it lives up to that. Love Times Infinity really brought home the theme of forgiveness, for me. Karlie has to learn to forgive her family, in order to have a relationship with them, and she does. They aren’t the easiest family to love or forgive, I love that Karlie is able to look past all the ugliness to move forward in her own happiness with Drew.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Right now, I can’t get enough of Ainsley Booth and Sadie Haller’s Frisky Beavers Series. I really don’t have a favorite writer, but when I do find an author that I like and tend to read everything I can find of theirs. I like a writer who can capture my attention in the first chapter, otherwise I put the book down and don’t finish it. I am also a devoted romance reader. I will read any sub-genera of romance, as long as it has the romantic undertones, I’ll read it- hot sex helps too!
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I’d have to say the women in my neighbourhood book club really supported me to become published. I signedwith a publishing company that didn’t work out, due to creative differences, and the group was there for me while I searched for another publisher. They encouraged me to keep going and not give up on my dream of being published.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I definitely see writing as a career and I take it very seriously. I get up every day, log onto the computer and either promote or write. It is my “job” now, I just get to work in pajamas and in the comfort of my own home. I’m also lucky that I get to be present for my teenager, who still lives at home with us. I’ve always been a stay at home mom, I wanted him to have what my two older children had. Although, I’m sure he’d be happy with me not being home so much. I really do have the best of both worlds.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
This is a tough question for me to answer. Of course, I had to reread Love Times Infinity, for final author approval, and thought about all of the things that I would change now. I wrote the book three years ago and I’m not the same person that I was then. I see the progress that I have made, as a writer, in the past three years. I know that my story and character development has gotten stronger, as I’ve handed in books. I just turned in my fifth book and I feel that it is my strongest one, so far. If you ask me this question in another five years, I’m sure that I will feel the same.
To answer your question though, no, I would not go back and change anything. I know that each book that I have written has gotten me to where I am now. Each book has been a learning experience and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Since I just turned in a book that marks the beginning of my second series, I’ve learned not to rush the process. I’ve found that when I try to push through and get books written quickly, I get stuck. I walk away from the book and then realize that what I was writing wasn’t working. When I fix the problem and stop trying to shove a square block into a round hole, I find that I can move on.
I’ve also learned to listen to my characters. When I was writing Love’s Patient Journey (Relinquished book 2), I tried to write Jenna and Ryan’s story the way I wanted it, but they had different plans. When I just let go and really follow what the characters are trying to tell me, I find the book just flows better.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I really have not thought about this. But, I’d want actors that are relativity unknown. I wouldn’t want a big-name actor playing one of my characters, it wouldn’t feel right.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
I don’t really have any advice for other writers, especially since I am so new to this! I think that every person has their own, unique experiences that make up who they are. If I were to tell new authors about some of my issues, that I had to go through personally, to become published, they would be horrified. I think I’d just tell them to walk their own path and be as authentically themselves as possible. It all works out the way that it is supposed to.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I value you both! LOL- just kidding. Really, I truly appreciate everyone who reads my books and I hope that they bring you some form of happiness.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m about to dive into a book by Alexa Riley called Wrapped In My Wife. It’s going to be my weekend read.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book that I read, by myself, was Charlotte’s Webb. Oh, how that book made me cry! I still love it. The first book I remember being read, as a child, was called The Bang Bang Family. It was about a family of monsters that were incredibly loud and made lots of noise. It reminds me of how my family is now- I’ve raised The Bang Bang Family and I couldn’t be happier about that!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My children make me laugh. They are very funny people and I think that they have a running contest of who can make mom laugh so hard that she pees her pants. They are very entertaining!
I would have to say that remembering people that I’ve lost, especially family members, makes me cry. Especially when a song comes on that reminds me of one of them, while I am out driving- I must look like a crazy person, sobbing at the red light.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to meet my great, great grandmother and great, great grandfather. Their names were Kunigunda and Christoph Alt. They came to America from Nuremberg, Germanyin 1906. I have all of their pictures and even their passports and birth certificates. My great-grandmother saved everything and it all ended up at my house. I often wonder what their lives were like, especially the few months that they spent apart while Christoph was in America, and his wife stayed behind with my great-grandmother, Elisabeth. They didn’t have WhatApp to talk live every night, like my husband and I do, when he is traveling. I feel like there might be a love story in their story, somewhere.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love to decorate and have fun changing things around in my home (much to my husband’sdiscomfort). He often comes home from a business trip to find things all moved around or even completely new stuff. Poor guy!
I read, when ever I find a spare moment. I also love to just sit on my front porch and watch the cows from the farm that is adjacent to my neighbourhood. It’s very peaceful.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I have always been a big Supernatural fan. We even went to a Supernatural convention in Tennessee, a few years back, as a high school graduation gift for our daughter. We had a great time meeting the cast and getting our pictures taken with them all.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favorite foods are Maryland crab cakes, and vanilla cake with buttercream frosting, also wine. My favorite color is orange, although I don’t wear that color or really decorate with it. Right now, I’ve bought into the whole grey phase, both in decorating my house and clothing.
As for music, I listen to everything. I played the violin, so I love classical, especially Bach. I love country music and adore 80’s anything! In fact, I haven’t met music that I don’t love. I can’t listen to music while I write because I sing more than I type. If I could free my brain from song lyrics and useless 80’s trivia, I’d have room to learn another language.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’m not sure what I would do, if I couldn’t write. I would probably volunteer somewhere, like an animal shelter or food pantry. I would also spend time with family and friends, trying to do things that make me as happy as writing does.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I’d spend time with my husband and kids, preferably on a beach somewhere warm.I’d need to have my kittens there too. I would also hope that someone would bring cake and wine- Oh- and chocolate!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I loved boldly, lived wildly and didn’t close my eyes for the scary parts.Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Places to find Love Times Infinity (Relinquished book 1)
Places to find Love’s Patient Journey (Relinquished book 2)