5 Minutes Alone… With Ramsey Hootman

Ramsey Hootman debuts with a contemporary story of life and relationships that goes where, well, others don’t. Launching to critical acclaim, AuthorScoop is thrilled to get a chance to hear a little bit about how it all started and how it all works.

We’d like to thank her for taking the time to be part of our “5 Minutes Alone” interview series.

AuthorScoop: What was your very first publication credit?

Ramsey: When I was 13, Christopher Reeve (Superman, to me) fell off his horse and broke his neck. I was one of thousands of people around the world who wrote him a letter of encouragement. A couple of years later, Dana Reeve decided to collect their favorites in a book called Care Packages. I got a letter asking for permission to use mine – which I promptly threw away. By then, I knew I wanted to be a writer, and I was embarrassed by my gushy, childish missive. They sent another letter. I disposed of it. Finally, a lawyer called my parents and explained that my letter was one of Dana’s favorites and she really wanted it to be included. How could I say no?

AuthorScoop: Tell us about your latest release.

Ramsey: Samuel Cooke knows most women wouldn’t give him a second glance even if he were the last man on earth. He’s the cripple with the Courtting Gretacrutches, the nerdy computer genius every female past puberty feels compelled to mother. So when he leaves his lucrative career to teach programming to high schoolers, romance definitely isn’t on his radar.

Perhaps that’s why Greta Cassamajor catches him off guard. The sarcastic gym coach with zero sense of humor is no beauty – not even on the inside. But an inexplicably kind act toward Samuel makes him realize she is interesting.

Samuel is certain she won’t accept his invitation to dinner – so when she does, he’s out of his depth. All he knows is that he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her as long as he can. Pretending he’s got his class under control? Easy. Being vulnerable enough to admit why he ditched his programming career for teaching? Um, no. That would require honesty. And if there’s one thing Samuel can’t live without, it’s the lies he tells himself.

AuthorScoop: Aside from your own hard work, who (or what) else do you feel has contributed to your success?

Ramsey: The people in my support network. Growing up, my dad told stories constantly – about his childhood, his time in Vietnam, anecdotes from the day at work, folk stories, jokes, everything. My mom read to me daily, usually harsh, real-world stories of survival and nature that most parents would consider totally age-inappropriate. Finally, my husband’s belief in my abilities has always been constant. He allowed me the time and emotional space to pursue my passion – and never let me give up.

AuthorScoop: At what time of day or night do you do your best writing?

Ramsey HootmanRamsey: As a mother of small children, there is no “ideal” day or time. It’s whenever I can get it. Right now, I have Mondays to myself, so I try to clear my calendar in advance and reserve the day for writing. Inspiration comes at all hours… but getting words on paper is mostly about discipline.

AuthorScoop: Finally, what advice would you give to new or unpublished writers?

Ramsey: Kill your ego. Writing is first and foremost about communicating effectively with others. Criticism, therefore, is not your enemy; it’s your closest ally. Criticism is what helps you improve, hone your craft, and become the best writer you can be. Find people who have good taste – very selective taste – and listen to what they have to say. Learn to love harsh critiques, because the wounds that sting are the ones that will teach you the most.

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COURTING GRETA is available now in bookstores and online. Find Ramsey Hootman on the web at her website, and on Facebook and Twitter.

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