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!

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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!

Join my mailing list at http://www.ramonaflightner.com/newsletter/ for updates, sneak peeks and special offers.

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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.

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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!

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By Ramona Flightner/ @ramonaflightner

I’ve been remiss with the blog lately. Thankfully, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel and see friends and family this fall. I’ve also had a chance to take a short break from the intense writing and editing schedule I had set for myself. The few weeks without waking in the middle of the night with a character speaking to me have been bliss.

However, I know the time is soon approaching where I will begin intense research for book four. I’ve ordered numerous books to aid with my research and ideas are already starting to spin around in my mind. First, I must finish book three! I have yet to complete my final edit of the third novel before sending it to my editor. I find taking a few weeks away from any project gives me new eyes before starting to read through it again.

Here are some updates:

  • I’m listening to the audiobook chapters for Banished Love and I’ve listened to over half of Banished at this point. I love hearing it in a new way and I’ve really enjoyed working with my fantastic narrator, Lauren McCullough. It should be ready by the end of November/ beginning of December.
  • The audiobook for Reclaimed Love will be available sometime early in the new year.
  • The prequel to the Banished Saga, Love’s First Flames, should be available by mid to late November. It will be available for free wherever you download e-books. Look for the cover release next week.
  • Book Three, still unnamed, will be available in the spring of 2015.
  • My webpage (www.ramonaflightner.com) has been professionally re-designed. It’s beautiful and I hope you’ll have a chance to visit it.

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Months ago, I entered Banished Love in the Writer’s Digest 22nd Annual Self Published Books Contest. It didn’t win, but I received the judge’s comments yesterday. I must admit to being nervous and having to take a deep breath before scrolling down to read the comments. I found them to be constructive and quite fair. Here is what the judge said:

“Banished Love is a finely conceived period romance with a compelling heroine. The narrative is a bit dense in spots and would certainly benefit from a careful edit. Still, that kind of writing will have some appeal to fans of historical romances, so it is more along the lines of a quibble than a condemnation.

Author Ramona Flightner has done her homework and the characters and situations feel right for the place and time in which the story is set. The dialogue in particular is quite nicely done and rings true to the period while still being readable and relatable.

The book itself is cleanly presented, though a bit lackluster in interior design. The cover is quite beautiful and would not only sit comfortably on the bookstore shelf next to the work of major publishers but would attract the attention of readers from across the room. All in all this is quite a good read, just a bit overdone, and I think we’ll be seeing some great things from Ramona Flightner as she continues to refine her craft.” Judge 19, 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.

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I’m making it a goal to post more regularly on my blog and look for the cover release next week for the prequel, Love’s First Flames!

After months of wondering what happens to Clarissa, Gabriel and all of the other memorable characters from Banished Love, Reclaimed Love has been released! It is available for purchase from Amazon and Barnes  & Noble.

I hope you enjoy and please consider writing a review after you read Reclaimed Love. Let me know what you think!

The blog has been quiet for too long, but I’ve had good reason!

I’ve been very busy preparing Reclaimed Love for release, with a goal of releasing it in July. I’ve also been working hard to finish a rough first draft of the third book in the saga, Redeemed Love.

As many of you know, I am a complete pantser (meaning I write by the seat of my pants), and I have no idea where the story is going as I am writing it.

This can be exciting and frustrating. Right now it is exciting, because, as I delve further into these character’s stories, I am envisioning more and more story lines. Thus, this could be a much longer series than I had originally envisioned!

For those of you who aren’t on Facebook or haven’t looked around my webpage recently, I wanted to send you the cover for Reclaimed Love.

Let me know what you think!

An Austin DesignWorks Production