I have a real treat for you this week with a second guest author visit. Let's head across the Pacific and to the east coast of the USA.
Please welcome one of my "Unsinkable" sisters from 2010's RWA Golden Heart® contest.
Name? Hope Ramsay.
Where are you? Alexandria, Virginia (suburb of Washington, DC), USA.
How many years have you been a member of RWAmerica? I've been a member of Romance Writers of America for about 10 years.
What genre do you write? Contemporary Single Title.
Who are your favourite authors? This is a ridiculously hard question. In romance, my faves are:
LaVryle Spence, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Jennifer Crusie.
I read widely in other genres. I have other favorite authors, among them: Ernest Hemmingway, T.H. White, Ursula LeGuin, Terry Goodkind, Sarah Douglass, and many, many others.
What inspired you to write romance? I've always loved books with strong romantic elements. My first keeper book was JANE EYRE, even though I didn't realize it was a romance at the time. I remember loving every single one of Leon Uris's novels, because they all had amazing (and usually tragic) love stories in them. I don't think I read a book that was a "romance" per se until some time in the 1990s. Then I was immediately hooked on the happy ever after endings.
I've always wanted to write novels. So, of course, when I finally got around to actually doing it, I decided to write what I loved to read.
Who's your dream agent and/or dream publisher? My dream agent is my wonderful agent Elaine English, and I'm currently having a love affair with my publisher, Forever Romance.
What's the best thing about going to conference? I love going to romance conferences because it's a chance to meet up with friends who share a passion. And also, writer friends are so simpatico. They actually understand when you talk about the voices inside your head, instead of looking at you like you're an escapee from the funny farm.
And lastly, finish these statements...
My greatest strength as a writer is...my ability to craft complicated and somewhat quirky characters.
A sexy hero needs...to have a serious heart and look good in a pair of blue jeans.
My latest WIP is...HOME AT LAST CHANCE, which will be in bookstores in the fall 2011. This is a story about a good ol' boy NASCAR driver whose car has been painted pink in order to advertise disposable diapers. The poor boy has to don a pink driver's suit every week with a snuggle bunny on the back. The heroine in the story is the marketing genius from up North who wrote the memo that put him in a pink car.
When I write I like to...listen to music.
I have a playlist for every one of my books that usually includes a touchstone song that gave me the initial idea for the book. In the case of HOME AT LAST CHANCE, the touchstone song is "From Good to Bad to Worse to Gone" by Ricochet. For WELCOME TO LAST CHANCE, which will be in bookstores on March 1, 2011, the touchstone song is "God Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts. As you can see I'm a big fan of country music.
My best writing milestone to date is...selling a four book series to Grand Central Publishing -- Forever Romance. The series focuses on the small town of Last Chance, South Carolina and features the children of Elbert and Ruby Rhodes. The first book in the series, WELCOME TO LAST CHANCE will be available in stores in US on March 1, 2011. Here's the back cover blurb:
Yes, our town is way off the beaten path, but strange, wonderful miracles happen a lot around here.
I've owned the Cut 'n Curl beauty shop for years, and I've seen folks come for a visit, then stay for a lifetime. Take Jane-that pretty firecracker of a girl who just arrived in town. I would swear she's running from something. She came with only five dollars in her pocket but she's worked real hard to make a fresh start. She's turned my son Clay's life upside down without even realizing it.
And thank goodness for that! Ever since Clay left his country western band, he's played everything too safe. He needs to take a chance on Jane. Besides, the more he tries to keep his distance, the more he'll realize that he and Jane are singing the same tune.
But I should quit ramblin' and go check on Millie's permanent wave. Next time you're in Last Chance, be sure to swing by. We've got hot rollers, free coffee, and the best gossip in town.
See you real soon,
Click here to read an excerpt from this book.
Hope, thanks for joining me today. For anyone interested you can find Hope and other information about her on her website and Facebook author page.
She also posts regularly at The Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood blog.