INTERVIEW | RH Ramsey, author of Just Beneath the Surface I @rhramseydreamer

INTERVIEW | RH Ramsey, author of Just Beneath the Surface I @rhramseydreamer

20120601_21.24.281_1Tell us about yourself.

RH Ramsey is a military wife, mother of two and student. Over the course of eight years, RH has diligently researched topics ranging from but not limited to: relationships, addiction, abuse and mental illness.

RH has completed several novels, four novels near completion and five short stories. She has two self-published books: Just Beneath the Surface I, and Into the Atmosphere, with many more to come.

Just recently, her books have been acquired by an indie publisher.

With a passion for people, helping and learning, she hopes to continue in her quest of learning from and inspiring others.

How do you find time to connect with God?

Connecting with God is not something I have ever had to schedule or run away to quiet/holy places. Generally, I like to keep the lines of communication with Him open throughout the day, as I drive, as I go through my daily routine and encounters.

I do like to reserve the time right before I fall asleep, and as I wake, for meditating. That way, if there are days or weeks where I find myself distracted, I know I am keeping Him near — keeping the connection.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

This is an interesting question for me. I love Maya Angelou, and I enjoy everything she writes.

But honestly, something that I have learned about myself, is that I do not enjoy picking favorites. As I evolve and my interests change and shift, I tend to either dislike, like or love what I read, try to respect all talented artists, and with that, I seldom use the word “favorite”.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

My journey has been filled with lessons. I have learned a lot about writing, constructive criticism, networking, self-esteem and self doubt.

I think that an author’s journey never quite ends. Many writers do not reach their goal until twenty years after publishing. A lot of writers find great success from their first book within the first year of publishing. Then, there are some, who are content, simply by completing the novel they put so much into.

For me, the journey began when I was around nineteen. Maybe eighteen? The ability to slip away and create stories, characters and entire plots, came to me all at once, and before I knew it, I had completed my first novel. I had no intention of publishing, even as my husband and mother urged me to share. I was afraid, and there was no way I would put my heart out there to be critiqued.

Last year, something inside me clicked. I felt that I had to share. By then, I had written several novels — I had completed almost all of them. There were so many stories that could potentially touch someone, change their perspective, encourage them, and remind them that they were not alone. It made no sense to hide myself or what I had written. I researched, worked day and night on editing my novel, and I self-published.

The next lesson I would learned, was, no matter how much writers think they know, it is always best to have another professionally trained pair of eyes to look over your work. Also, I learned that it is okay to submit your work and learn what it feels like to be told, “no”. This only gives us an opportunity to grow; it gives us an opportunity to understand, also, sometimes, rejection is subjective.

Finally, months after submitting my novel, Just Beneath the Surface, to a small publisher, Inknbeans Press, I received good news. I received a contract.

This has the beginning of a new chapter in my journey, and it is an opportunity to continue to work hard, and I am excited to see what happens. (It’s honestly more than I expected!)

1just_beneath_right_fileTell us about your current book, Just Beneath the Surface I?

Just Beneath the Surface I, the novel I have recently re-released through Inknbeans, is a book about domestic violence, obsession and much more.

Kendall, a loving mother of two, leaves a somewhat rocky relationship after fourteen years. She soon finds herself involved with a man who is shy, quirky, quiet, and at times, seems to be a pushover.

Soon after she marries this mysterious new man, he becomes very unpredictable and abusive. At times, she questions who she is, and feels as though her days are numbered.

Diamond is Kendall’s teenage daughter. Diamond is at the center of vicious gossip at school, she is hungry for attention, and seeking love in all of the wrong places. Diamond meets and develops deep feelings for a teacher’s aide; this teacher’s aide has a dark side, and soon, Diamond is in over her head. Both mother and daughter find themselves in a terrifying downward spiral.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

There was a moment where I realized my heart was heavy not only for victims of abuse or domestic violence, but my heart was heavy for those who were being judged in their situation. When I say judged, I am talking about the myths.

People who think that the victims of domestic violence are to blame for their own situations. People who think the victims of domestic violence deserve to be hurt, or like to be hurt – or else why stay?

These are just a couple of many things that stirred something inside of me. This prompted me to create a main character who was strong, confident, and very relatable. Something that I say often, and truly believe, that relating to one another comes empathy. With empathy comes less judgment.

What valuable lessons do you want readers to learn from your book?

The valuable lessons I hope people walk away with, are to know their worth – that no one deserves to be hit/hurt. Also, to remain compassionate, and to keep far away from judgement. Even toward those whose decisions you don’t particularly understand, we have to have compassion in our hearts. There was also an underlying theme about communication. In every relationship we will every have, communication is the true key to surviving the rough patches.

What’s next for you?

My next release, is Just Beneath the Surface II. This is the second book in the Just Beneath the Surface series, with new characters, facing new demons. The release of this novel will be late 2013 or early 2014.

Here is the summary:

In Just Beneath the Surface II, new characters confront what has been buried and laid to rest – or so they thought.

Landon, a mysterious engineering student has learned to treat his past as though it belongs to someone else. He has learned to control every thought that enters his mind: everything from his memories, to his smile, to the tone of his voice. Anyone who believes that they have begun to understand Landon is sadly mistaken. He is a man impenetrable.

His own brother, Peter, refers to Landon as a robot. Landon’s mother fears that he will soon self-destruct. Landon only wishes that everyone around him would accept and understand one thing; Landon has unlocked what he considers his most prized possession: the gift of control.

Seven is a peculiar beauty whose temper, harsh tongue and violent tendencies often get her into trouble. After meeting Landon, Seven finds her way into unchartered territory: his heart. Soon, Seven’s perception of herself is challenged. She is frequently urged to step away and reevaluate herself, as the handsome young man who is wise beyond his years gently coaches her into finding her best self.

As secrets are revealed, and an unspoken bond is formed, Landon and Seven grow to be inseparable.

Before long, the horrors of the past bring Landon full circle. As his soft stoic surface faces intrusion, his old self is relinquished to paranoia. In time, Landon’s world is threatened by the recurring nightmare he thought he had left behind.

Please tell us where we can connect with you online.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Ey Wade at 5:45 pm

    This is a fantastic interview. I have read all of Ramsey’s books and even though she doesn’t have favorite s, she has become one of mine. As a reader I have been shockingly surprised at the different spin she places on the plots and in the life of her characters.

    • Written Voices Blog at 8:47 pm

      Thank you, Ey! We appreciate you stopping by Written Voices Blog and supporting today’s featured author. I’m so happy to hear from one of Ramsey’s readers.