Monday, March 7, 2011

Interview with Ramona Wray, Author of Hex & Giveaway

I have a special guest visiting All By MySHELF today. Please give a warm round of applause to Ramona Wray, author of Hex, a Witch and Angel Tale! I had the great opportunity to interview Ramona, so without further ado, onto the Q&A.

1. Can you describe your book in 7 words?

Seven, let's see : funny, emotional, easy read, hopeful, quirky, entertaining.
2. Have you always wanted to be a writer, or did the Muse just strike you one day with a story you had to write?

I didn't always know I wanted to be a writer, but I've been writing all my life. It was just something I did, and I never stop to think and try to attach a purpose to it. I was lucky enough to receive a fair amount of positive feedback and I guess, ultimately, that was what got me thinking. Eventually, I wanted more.
3. Is there anything you can't write without, such as music, a certain snack, etc.?

I can't write for adults, but that's about it. Out of that context, I can't imagine anything I couldn't write about.
4. The impossible question: What's your favorite book?

Okay, that is impossible! I either love or, at the very least, like every book I pick up. Jenny Downham's 'Before I Die' was a great novel, and one that stayed with me. But then I love 'Sense and Sensibility' - I must have read it ten times, as I did with 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.  I'm sorry I don't have a simpler answer :)
5. Where's the most interesting place you've ever been?

Italy. I lived in Milan, and then up the coast for a while. It's a country that has it all - the history, the mind-blowing art, amazing food, and let's not forget about the shoes, and the fashion.
6. What's your favorite thing about writing? Your least favorite thing?

Writing hushes the world, for me. Everyday life is usually so loud, and busy, and overwhelming; when I write all that goes away. It's a great feeling.
I don't think I have a least favorite thing when it comes to writing. I just do it, and it feels right pretty much all the time. And, yes, that includes the editing :)
7. If you could take the place of any character, who would it be and why?

Ooh, I don't know. Jane Eyre, maybe. I can't begin to imagine how it must feel like, being so gracefully strong-minded. I've always had a fascination for people (and characters)  who cannot be sidetracked no matter what life throws at them. They're like ... superheroes.
8. If you could invite any three people to dinner, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Andrew Lloyd Webber - because he's obviously a genius who figured out how to do both : compose, and sell.
Mother Teresa - because she was a saint, and I would be curious. I mean, how many saints are there today, just walking the earth?
Jane Austen - because, well, who wouldn't want to meet Jane Austen?
9. What do you wish I'd asked you?

About the cover of my book. I've been getting loads of feedback on it, which is great because, for the most part, is my own creation. I love 'La vie en rose', the song by Édith Piaf; it was my inspiration for the cover. I wanted the final product to send a message: being different doesn't necessarily mean that one's life can't be 'en rose'  (French for 'in pink', and just another way of saying 'wonderful').
If you remember, a while ago I asked you, my readers, what you would like to ask Ramona. Here are the questions that were picked.

From Vivien:
Do you have to do any research for your novel?
I like to think a writer never stops researching. Researching is about observing people and seeing things others don't. It's about analyzing, finding patterns in the way strangers act and react, learning to read faces and draw conclusions based on the most subtle change in a facial expression. I'm a fantasy writer so, human element aside, my research consists of myths, legends, odd theories and so on. Last, but not least, there's the geographical bit which, depending on the setting of the book, has to be researched via maps, satellite imagery and so on. It's a fun process.
How do you choose your characters names?
I think about my characters- what (or whom) do they remind me of? For instance, Lily made me think about water lilies -beautiful, fragile, delicate, and impossible to get to because of the water surrounding it.
From Zombie Girrrl:
The cover is adorable; is it what you had in mind for the book?
Thank you. And, yes, absolutely. I wanted to see the little witch, alone with her cat, surrounded by all this pink, to say 'People who are different can be happy, too.' I love the way it came out.
From Holland:
Did you take any inspiration from local folklore?
Witches, as fictional characters, are pretty popular in Romania. There are many stories about them and what they can do; they're bad news. So, yes, I suppose I was inspired by my country's folklore, but Lily is a romanticized version of that. She's young, beautiful, and absolutely benign.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Ramona! It was great interviewing you, and I loved your answers.

Giveaway time! I have 1 copy of Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale to give away to one lucky reader! I'm reading it right now and really enjoying it. Trust me, you do not want to miss this chance to win such a fun read. To enter, you...
  • Must have a US mailing address
  • Be 13 years or older
  • Fill out the form by 11:59 pm (eastern) on March 13
About Hex.

Like most girls at Rosemound High School, seventeen-year-old Lily Crane is acutely aware of Ryder Kingscott. Hands down the cutest guy in school, Ryder is cool, mysterious, and utterly untouchable…especially for Lily. For when she touches someone, Lily instantly learns all about their lives. And while such a skill might seem nifty, in truth it is wrecking Lily’s life. So she is shocked when Ryder asks her out — and even more shocked to discover he has a rival. Lucian Bell is the gorgeous new kid who can’t take his eyes off of Lily. Being pursued by two hotties should make a girl happy, but Lily is skeptical. The boys act as if they’ve met before, hating each other with a passion that could only be rooted in a dark, dangerous past. A past full of terrible secrets. The kind of secrets that could get a girl killed.
Find it on Goodreads, Shelfari, and Amazon.

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