By Ramona Flightner/ @ramonaflightner


My blog has been too quiet lately and I’m making it a goal to blog more frequently. With that in mind, I thought I’d write about some of the most common questions I am asked when someone learns I am an author.

Where do you get your ideas?

I love listening to people tell stories and about their view of the world. With that in mind, I am always storing away ideas or nuggets for future use. Many times, someone will tell me a story, and I think to myself, “Wow, that would make a great novel.” I then spend a few minutes envisioning how I’d weave the tale before reminding myself I won’t have time for years!

I also scour research books for interesting events that occurred during the time my novels occur and that will often lead to a scene or a chapter. Sometimes all it takes is a line in a book and I will extrapolate from there.

I also read a wonderful article by one of my favorite authors, Diana Gabaldon, recommending that as an author, I should envision the worst thing that could happen to my character (other than death, although that’s always an option for some of them), and then do it. I remembered that advice as I was writing Reclaimed Love, and I’ve been tormenting my characters a bit more each book since then.


What is your writing schedule like?

I write when I can. I write when I’m at a coffee shop waiting for a friend. I jot down notes on my phone when ideas come. I get up at 5 am to write a few hours before work or when I get home from work. The bulk of my writing occurs on the weekends, which has turned me into a bit of a hermit. I don’t write every day, but I am thinking about writing every day.


Do you plot or use an outline?

I used to take great pride in saying I didn’t plot or outline, and I don’t. However, I now wish I had a more systematic approach to my writing. The problem is that every time I make an outline and try to write to it or use it as a guide, my muse takes a nap. She believes that if it’s already plotted, it’s not all that interesting and thus she’d rather be in Fiji. Thus, I now make a detailed list of characters who’ll be in the book, ideas of things that might happen, what I need to research, etc, and then write whatever comes to me. It means a lot of wasted words, and I have to do a lot of editing to make sure there is good continuity, but it’s the only way I am able to write.


How do you come up with your character’s names?

Sometimes I’ll hear a really beautiful name and then envision a character. For most of my characters, I’ve used a “Victorian Era Names” webpage to help me determine names that would have been popular when my characters were born. The name most are curious about is Sophronia, although I think there’s another great name in store for you in Undaunted Love.


Do you really like to conduct research?

I love research. I will often preface a comment to my friends, “You know I’m a nerd…” and they know I’ll talk about something I learned in my research. I can’t wait to go to museums, read the stack of non-fiction research books by my bed for the next novel, or  watch PBS specials. I have to restrict the number of research books I’ll buy because I’ve run out of bookshelf space numerous times!


Bonus: How long until the next book is out?

My goal for Undaunted Love, Banished Saga Book Three is May! I’m busy working with my cover designer, writing back cover copy and doing all the pre-publication things while it is with my proofreader. I can’t wait to share it with you.


Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Let me know and I’ll answer them in a future blog post!

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A view from my work window. As you can imagine, it wasn’t a very busy day that day…


by Ramona Flightner/@ramonaflightner

Now that March has finally arrived, and it has begun to warm up this week, I am hopeful that Boston’s near-record snowfall will finally melt away. There are some diehard Bostonians hoping for a little more snow to finally break the all time snow record for a single season, but I could do without. Living through the snowiest February on record (which beat the old record by over 20 inches) sufficed. I have to admit, living in a major city that received over 100 inches of snow in a month was not on my bucket list and one I hope to never live through again. And yet, it was a fascinating experience because as it continued to snow, all I could do was shake my head, give thanks I had a house with heat, and try to smile.

While shoveling, I saw neighbors I don’t see frequently in the winter and had fun catching up. I met new neighbors who had just moved in across the street a few months ago. Men with snowblowers became my new best friends. During the first storm in January (which feels like years ago!), I relished the absolute quite. No plows, no cars, no planes. It was extraordinarily peaceful as the world turned white. However, I’m now ready for spring to burst forth!

For those of you who live in the area, you will have lived through similar experiences. For those of you who’ve had milder winters (here’s looking at you, Montana!), I thought I’d share some photos.



After the first storm in January, on my walk to work, I found a Mt. Everest of snow impeding the sidewalk. I soon took to walking the streets as they were the only places that were consistently clear and now, 6 weeks later, I’m still in the streets some.


After storm number 2, (I think), this is my car. Yes, that bell-shaped curve thing is my car. My goal is to drive it again in April….


Receiving and sending mail became a challenge. Some good- hearted samaritan dug this mail box out, but it was still a challenge to get to it. There were many weeks I got mail only two or three times.


After the major snow storm on President Day’s weekend, I spent quite a bit of time digging out with my neighbor. We had a great time chatting and it’s when we met the roofers (see below). We went out during the “warmest” part of the day, when it was 12 degrees…


While my aunt in Arizona sent me this t-shirt! I laughed so hard when I got it and wished I could have jumped on the next plane and joined her there.


The words “ice dams” didn’t form a large part of my lexicon before this winter. I knew they were bad and I knew they caused damage, but I’d never seen any like I saw this winter. I had the beginning of an ice damn on my building, and my neighbor and I were fortunate enough to find roofers digging out their truck right by our house. After chatting with them a bit, they took a look at it and came to clear it for us the next day. It was a  real relief for us. I’m thankful we didn’t have to cope with an ice dam like this one I saw near Beacon Hill last week.


As of the end of last week, the Mt. Everest of snow was finally cleared away, over a month later.


And here is an updated photo of my car. I’m still shooting for April, but there needs to be some warmer weather!

As my aunt said, I’ll never be so happy to see crocuses as this year!


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By Ramona Flightner/ @ramonaflightner

Today, March 8, 2015, is International Women’s Day. It marks the 20th Anniversary since the Beijing Platform for Action where Hilary Clinton famously said, “women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights.”

Here is a link to a Time Magazine article I read highlighting areas of improvement over the past twenty years. I also love Google Doodles, and you can click the link for the one for International Women’s Day.

The first International Women’s Day was held on February 28, 1909 to remember the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union strikers from 1908. At an International Women’s Conference in 1910, it was determined that there should be an International Women’s Day, but no date was set. It wasn’t until 1914 that International Women’s Day occurred on March 8, possibly because it was a Sunday. It has been held on March 8 every year since then. In 1914, the theme was dedicated to securing women the right to vote.


Many may wonder why International Women’s Day is still relevant today. Here are a few facts to consider. Globally, 1 in 3 women will be beaten or raped in their lifetime. 25 % of women will experience domestic violence. 15 million girls, some as young as 8 years old, will be forced into marriages in 2015 alone. 1.2 million children are trafficked into slavery each year, 80% of them girls. (Source)

The United Nations has decreed this year’s theme “Make It Happen.” It has become evident that awareness alone will not change the reality for women living in poverty or violence around the world, and that action is needed.

It is a challenge to find ways to enact change in our daily lives, but my goal is to believe that every day is International Women’s Day. That every day I need to find a way to empower the women I know, work with or meet. That I need to encourage them to live their life to their full potential, and to not turn away from the challenge of taking action. Awareness is no longer sufficient.

banished saga collage 1

By Ramona Flightner/ @ramonaflightner

A year ago this week, I released Banished Love. It’s hard to believe a year has passed, and yet so much has occurred. I’ve released two full length novels, a novella and the audio book to Banished Love. It’s been quite a learning curve from learning more about marketing, to re-designing my webpage, to finding an audiobook narrator, to the ongoing struggle to find time to write and research. I must admit, I enjoyed every minute of it!

I had so many new experiences this past year. The thrill when Banished Love sold it’s first copy. The terror (and thrill!) when I spoke on a radio show promoting a book store event. The delight at a successful reading at Readmore Books in Taunton, MA. The joy when I received my first fan mail and then fan art. It’s been a wonderful year and  I thank you for all of your support.


Signing books at Readmore Books


I’ve begun edits on Book 3- now titled Undaunted Love. I’m still uncertain about the release date, but I’m hoping for April or May.  I’ve just finished the majority of edits for the audiobook for Reclaimed Love and it should be available mid-February to beginning of March.

After edits are done, I’ll dive back into research and writing for Book 4. Ideas and plot twists are percolating away, and I can’t wait to begin to explore them!

The Fall River Historical Society

The Fall River Historical Society

The Fall River Historical Society

by Ramona Flightner/ @ramonaflightner

On Sunday, I traveled to Fall River, Massachusetts to visit the Historical Society. It is housed in a Victorian mansion and decorated for Christmas. For years, I had meant to visit. It is a beautiful granite home, with enormous ceilings of 12 to 15 feet. The black walnut doors and wood work gleamed and had me in awe. I loved the details in each room, and my imagination ran wild as I envisioned Lucas playing at the piano in the parlor or the Sullivans having a heated discussion over supper in the sumptuous dining room. I marveled at the gorgeous furniture and envisioned Gabriel carving it.

Beautiful tree in the dining room

There were four Christmas trees and all were decorated in a different manner. Each year, the trees are decorated differently. The staff said that it takes them weeks to decorate the house (they start in October) but it only takes two days to take it all down!

Beautiful tree in the parlor

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season!


A few updates:

I will send out a holiday newsletter next Monday. In that newsletter, the first chapter to book three will be included. If you are interested in reading more of the Banished Saga, be sure to sign up for my newsletter as only those signed up will receive Chapter One! (a link to my newsletter signup is on my homepage at

Thanks to my beta readers, I finally have a title for Book Three! Book three is now “Undaunted Love.” Look for it late Spring.

Wishing you a happy, healthy holiday!

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