Today is Spotlight Saturday, and I am honoured to be joined today by Walter Ramsay, author of Beneath the Dune. I had the pleasure of reading Walter's mystery novel, and I posted my review last week which you can read HERE.
Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Walter! Tell us a little about yourself.
After 25 years of teaching others to read and write as a high school language arts teacher and coach to our youth, I was inspired to do a bit of writing myself and produced my first novel, Beneath the Dune. Intended to engage and entertain, the book was written for fans of light murder mysteries. I hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education. I currently reside in Ocean County, N.J. and spend my free time at my home in Brevard County, Fla. I am married with four children and two grandchildren. My hobbies include numerous outdoor activities, following sports, and learning about history.
Do you recall when your interest in writing originated?
I have always been interested in writing and the telling of a good tale. Becoming a teacher and teaching creative writing opened my eyes up to the possibility of writing my own novel. My family and students eagerly encouraged me to write this novel.
Do you have a specific writing style? Any quirks or superstitious routines you stick to?
I would describe my style as a bit peculiar, but an easy read. I enjoy delving into areas that people may not be accustomed to. One routine I do follow is to write the last chapter first. I look at it much like a road map and a journey. I know where I want to go and can develop a variety of routes to take in the journey to my destination.
Do you use paper and pen, old-fashioned typewriter, or computer/laptop? Is there a specific place that you like to write?
I still write with paper and pen. I feel I can get a better flow if I just write. Then I transition onto the laptop, my spelling and grammar are horrible at this phase (LOL) so I then take the time to correct, correct, and correct some more.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Criticism... I have been extremely lucky so far. Criticisms have been few and far between. If I had to pick something, I would say it was when someone told me they didn't like my character. That was fine, because you will not satisfy everyone and his opinion was not important because he didn't like the genre anyway. In the end it comes down to a individual readers' taste. Not everyone will like what you produce.
Compliment... I would say, the 99% positive comments I have gotten from all my readers. No matter who gives them, the compliments I receive are all very satisfying and that makes my writing worth it, to me.
What inspired you to write Beneath the Dune?
This may sound funny, but in Beneath the Dune, events from the past are tied to the present by a number of techniques, the main ones being a number of dream sequences. The funny thing is the last chapter of the novel was a dream I had. It stayed in my mind for such a long time that I decided to write it down and develop a story around it.
What was the hardest part of writing Beneath the Dune?
Like all writers, I had a hard time staying focused and would have droughts of writing. But overall, everything flowed extremely well and events easily fell into place as the story developed.
How alike or different are you from Tucker Lee Anderson?
That is a very loaded question (LOL). I never thought Tucker was much like me, but people who know me and read Beneath the Dune have approached me and said, "Wow, Tucker is so like you." I think Tucker's sarcasm is definitely from me, but I'm not sure about his other characteristics. I do believe that authors develop characters that are similar to themselves or someone they would like to be like, a familiar face to connect with. Be it on purpose or unknowingly, it definitely happens.
Are any of the characters based on someone you know?
Ah... maybe a little (LOL). Tucker's ex-wife is a bit of a pain in the .....you know what, and I named her after my Mom. She took it well, but she wasn't overly excited about it. Also, Tucker's name actually came from my wife's side of the family. My wife's middle name is Lee, just like Tucker's. I used that and even mentioned in the book how Tucker, like my wife, is a 6th generation relative of the Southern General Robert E. Lee.
Is there a message in your novel that you want your readers to grasp?
No, I just want them to enjoy what I have written and hopefully end with a lust for more.
I loved your book excerpt for Coastal Access. Can you tell us a little about it, and when you anticipate that it will be published? Do you have any other writing projects that you would like to share with us?
Coastal Access continues with a few characters from Beneath the Dune. Tucker, once again, is my protagonist, but the story will delve into a situation that every one of us can relate to. Again, I want the reader to laugh, cry, and end begging for more :-) The anticipated release date is Spring of 2012.
As far as other writing projects, I have a few on the back burner, so to speak, but I want to concentrate on the editing of Coastal Access.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
When not writing, I love to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Although, top priority is and always will be, spending time with my family. I still teach and coach (Football), so time management in itself has been a task.
Who is your favorite author and what really strikes you about their work?
I enjoy a number of authors, depending on their stories, I can easily be grabbed in by an interesting book cover. Although like others, what you enjoy is a matter of taste, and what one person develops in one novel may not be what I am interested in later on if their style changes. One of my favorites was Robert Ludlum, as well as the always enjoyable Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
What book are you reading now?
I'm actually reading a friend of mine's new novel that he will soon release. John Tucker has an interesting style and his novel Divisive will be an exciting read.
Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers?
Yes. Read to enjoy! Escape to places you've never been and get to know characters that could easily be your neighbors in real life.
Snappy questions and answers:
Favorite color? Blue
Dog-lover or cat-lover? Love all animals.
Vanilla ice cream or chocolate? Chocolate freak!
Beer or wine? Give me a good Lager any time.
Secluded mountain cabin or five-star hotel? Secluded cabin, and it could be anywhere.
If I could take an all-expense paid trip anywhere in the world, I would go to... There are so many places I would love to see in North America, but a nice trip to the Greek Isles would be awesome!
Thank you so much for joining us today, Walter! As you know, I really enjoyed reading Beneath the Dune and I looking forward to reading more of your work!
I hope everyone enjoyed the interview!
And now for the giveaway: Walter has generously offered three copies of his great mystery novel, Beneath the Dune. You read that right: There will be THREE winners! This giveaway is open all (international).
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Tucker Lee Anderson’s boss needs him to check out a story over on the beachside. Not earth-shattering, it’s more of a follow up to the Ed Ventara case, he says. When Anderson, a staff reporter for a local Southern newspaper hears this, a red light goes off in his head. But wait, wasn’t Ventara the serial killer convicted of killing five children, even though they only found four bodies a few years back?
Following the discovery of a child’s skeleton, what at first appears to be a straightforward case of suspected murder is anything but, when Anderson finds himself not only investigating the case, but also dabbling in ancestral research. This laid-back divorced dad’s ordinary life soon takes a turn when in the process, he soon discovers family ties that bind him to both the present and the past—but what does this have to do with the child?
Set in the Central Florida community of Brevard County, Beneath the Dune features an interesting cast of characters, and what Anderson uncovers is bound to shock a few upper class residents to the core. Steeped in suspense and blended with humor, the book has all the ingredients necessary for the making of mystery that is sure to hold you in its grip to the very end.
To enter the giveaway, you need to complete the FORM! Your comments are always welcome, but you need to complete the FORM for your entry to be counted.
- You may enter only once!
- You must be 13 years of age or older.
- You must be a follower of Darlene's Book Nook on Google Friend Connect (see widget on the left sidebar).
- The giveaway will end on July 29th at 11:59 PM, Central Standard Time.
- The winners will be chosen using Random.org.
- The winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to claim the prize.
- If the prize is not claimed within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected using Random.org.
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