My guest today is a debut author with quite an interesting story to tell! Please help me welcome Ramcy Diek, author of romantic novels with an eye to branching out to young adult and memoir. Here’s her official bio and then we’ll begin the interview…
Thirty years ago, Ramcy Diek fell in love with the United States while traveling around in an Oldsmobile station-wagon with her husband. They are both born and raised in the Netherlands. Together, they visited all the amazing northern states and landed in California.
Eventually, they found their way to the Pacific Northwest, built up a business, and raised their two boys into amazing young adults with their own careers. During this time, she also made a slow transition from reader to writer of contemporary, enjoyable, laid back, and romantic stories.
Betty: How many books have you written and published?
Ramcy: I wrote seven manuscripts so far, but only published one.
Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?
Ramcy: I enjoy reading stories that grip me, and are different; therefore I want to write stories like that too. Although so far, I mainly wrote romantic novels, I’m starting to lean to Young Adult stories and writing my memoir. At 57, I’m still trying to find my voice.
Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?
Ramcy: My debut novel, Storm at Keizer Manor, is a time travel romance. It is very well received and readers ask for more. Of all the books I wrote (unpublished) this is the only one about time travel. I hope I won’t disappoint with my second book.
Storm at Keizer Manor received awards in three national book contests and it will be translated in Italian this coming summer. I’m so excited. If anything, this is the encouragement that will keep me writing.
While college graduate Forrest tries to find a job, quick witted Annet works at the Keizer Manor, the museum where the oils from 19th-century master painter Alexander Keizer are exhibited.
After a fight, the couple strolls through the dunes to talk. When dark clouds roll in, the beautiful sunny weather turns into a thunderstorm so violent that they get separated.
The next morning, Forrest finds himself alone. So does Annet.
Regaining consciousness in a monastery, Annet is convinced the nuns are playing a prank on her. It can’t be the 1800s! She’s a pregnant Twenty-first Century woman and doesn’t belong there. But how will she get back to her own time?
Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?
Ramcy: I only write at home, behind my desktop. It’s the only place that works for me.
Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?
Ramcy: I poured so much love in Storm at Keizer Manor that I decided to hire a professional editor. While editing, my editor Shelly fell in love with it and encouraged me to publish it through Acorn Publishing LLC. Without Shelly, Storm at Keizer Manor would probably still just be a manuscript on my computer.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?
Ramcy: I wish I could answer this. J As many other authors, I’m very insecure about my writing.
Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?
Ramcy: The situation, for sure.
Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is it more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?
Ramcy: I can write days on end, and then don’t write at all for weeks. My life is not very structured.
Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?
Ramcy: Time. It goes too fast.
Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Why or why not?
Ramcy: No, I didn’t. I don’t like the pressure.
Betty: What are you reading right now?
Ramcy: I’m reading a Path of Progress: One Man’s Fight for Women’s Rights by Flora Beach Burlingame. Flora is in her eighties.
Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?
Ramcy: Suspense and crime novels.
Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?
Ramcy: I don’t like to keep books, but of course there are some that I loved so much, that I will always carry them with me. Sidney Sheldon was the first author I really enjoyed, and I have a box full of his books.
Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?
Ramcy: There are some genres I just won’t read, but other than that, I pick up anything.
Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?
Ramcy: For me, writing is a hobby, and it always will be. I write when I feel like it.
Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?
Ramcy: It’s very easy to self-publish, and although this brings forth amazing works from authors who would never be published otherwise, it also means there are a lot of self-published books out there not worth your time.
Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?
Ramcy: Making it big is only for very few of us. Just write for yourself, because you love it. And then, who knows…..
Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?
Ramcy: I’m working on my second novel, Eagle in Flight, that I hope to publish next year, and on the translation of Storm at Keizer Manor in Dutch, my native language.
Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?
Ramcy: Thirty years ago, my husband and I experienced five disastrous years. I just found all the letters I mailed to my parents during that time and would love to use them to write a memoir. I can’t wait to start.
It sounds like you’re off to a great start, Ramcy! Not everyone completes a book or then follows through to publish it. Wishing you all the best as you move forward!
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