Jo Ramsey is a writer of young adult fiction and urban fantasy. Her novels include The Dark Lines series, the Reality Shift series, Life Skills, Dolphins in the Mud and Vengeance is Sweet. Jo has been writing since age five, and although she’s now considerably older, she still thinks like a teenager. Jo’s books can be found at Jupiter Gardens Press (www.jupitergardens.com), Featherweight Press (www.featherweightpublishing.com), and soon from MuseItUp Publishing (www.museituppublishing.com).
So, what would you say inspired you to become an author?
I don’t think any one thing inspired me. I’ve always wanted to be an author. I learned to read before I started school, and even though I couldn’t write then (no one would teach me how), I made up stories and told them to my stuffed animals, and I knew I wanted those stories to be in books like the ones I read someday.
Who would you name as your mentors?
I’ve had help from a number of authors, so I’d rather not name names because I’m sure I’d forget someone! I don’t have anyone I’d necessarily consider a mentor, but I’ve learned a lot from a large number of people.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
There are supposed to be times I’m not writing?
What books have made a lasting impression on you?
Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising is the book that started me on writing urban fantasy. Madeleine L’Engle’s books and Diana Wynne Jones’s also fueled my interest in the genre.
What do you think were the three best inventions ever and why?
Computer word processing programs, definitely. They make it so much easier to write and revise. Online music playlists because you can choose what you listen to while you write. And cable TV, because it keeps my kids occupied while I’m trying to write.
Do you believe in Prince Charming? What role do you think this fictional character plays in modern literature? Should he play a role at all?
I think I married Prince Charming. If one considers Prince Charming to be a man who knows how to respect a woman, to take care of her but not smother her, and to be the woman’s soul mate (if you believe in that concept), then yes, he definitely has a role in modern literature. Any book in which a woman or girl finds a guy like that is a book with a Prince Charming, in my opinion. And yes, that does describe my husband. He and I are so compatible that within hours of our first meeting, we were not only finishing each other’s sentences—we were saying what the other was thinking!
Aww, how perfect! Congrats on finding him!:) On to the next question before I cry…My novel The Scarlet Omen is basically about fate and destiny. What is your opinion on destiny and its function in storytelling?
I think that destiny is changeable. I might be destined to be an author, but I could choose not to write. I also believe that to an extent, we’re able to create the lives we want to live; we aren’t slaves to fate or destiny because we can make choices that will affect our lives. Destiny plays a big role in stories, especially in fantasy, but even there I think there’s room for choice. Harry Potter might have been destined to defeat Voldemort, but at any time he could have chosen not to fight Voldy; he could have run away; he could have decided not to ever go near Hogwarts again. Destiny might exist, but all humans—and humanlike beings—have free will.
As authors, we live on inspiration, hoping that it will bite us on the bottom sooner than later. What are your sources of inspiration? How do we know which ideas to cling onto and which to banish as soon as they cross our mental path?
I don’t have specific sources of inspiration. Ideas jump into my head (the phrase “plot bunny” is surprisingly apt in my case). I don’t banish any of them, but I can’t write all of them at once, so some get put on the back burner and fade away from there.
Some words of wisdom:
If you want to be a writer, do your research. Learn a LOT about the genre and age group you want to write. Find out which publishers are reputable and which ones are struggling. Don’t settle for the first publisher who offers you a contract; aim high and work down if you have to instead of aiming low to start with.
Thanks so much for letting us into your headJ It was a great ride! Hey readers, if you haven’t gotten enough of Jo Ramsey and her excellent prose, below is a list of sites to continue your lurking! Have fun…
My website: www.joramsey.com
Facebook profile: http://www.facebook.com/JoRamseyYA
Facebook group (come chat with me!): http://www.facebook.com/groups/148370091840937/