Today I'm thrilled to introduce prolific YA author, Jo Ramsey to you all.
Jo Ramsey is a former special education teacher who now writes young adult and
urban fantasy novels. She started writing at age five, and her first YA novel
Connection, book one in the Reality Shift series, was published in January
2010. Jo writes to encourage teens as well as entertain them, and firmly
believes her tagline, "anyone can be a hero." She lives in
Massachusetts with her two teenage daughters, her husband, and two cats, one of
whom likes to act like a scarf.
M: You are quite prolific,
what is your time-management secret?
J: No secret; I'm awful at
time management! I have written a number of books, but it isn't so much a
matter of time management on my part as that I just type really, really fast. I
do set goals each morning of things I plan to accomplish that day, but I don't
always get to everything on the list. And I have the luxury of being a
M: How do you mine your ideas so that they become full-fledged books?
J: Usually they come to me that way. Or the characters come to me and sit
beside me dictating everything until the book is fully formed. To people who
aren't writers, that might sound a little off-kilter, but it's honestly the way
it seems sometimes. A lot of times, a plot twist or subplot comes to me as I'm
M: You want to relax, who do you read?
J: It depends on the mood
I'm in. I don't have a single go-to author that I love to read; I read a
variety of authors in a variety of genres.
M: Plotter or pantser? Do you have a process?
J: I'm kind of a hybrid, I guess. I don't do a lot of plotting before I start
writing, but I will sometimes write out a short brainstorm about the main
character(s) and where I think the story will go. Then I just start writing and
see what happens. Sometimes the end product is what I envisioned when I started,
and sometimes it isn't.
M: Best writing advice you've gotten or learned?
J: When working on the
first draft, don't get too hung up on getting it right. The first draft is for
getting the ideas out of your head onto the page. You can clean it all up when
1--Snack that is always available: Canada mints
2--Favorite movie: I don't have one
3--Drink of choice: Flavored water
4--Place you'd most like to visit: Northern Ireland
5--Game you like to play with friends or family: Yahtzee
Last question--Liz's favorite--Is there a question you've always wanted to
answer but have never been asked?
J: No, I think that between interviews and readers who contact me with
questions, pretty much everything I've wanted to answer has been covered.
When Chris Talberman's family moved to Wellfleet, Massachusetts, Chris left
behind his boyfriend and friends. Six months later, Chris still feels alone.
When a pod of dolphins strand themselves on the cove outside Chris's house, his
autistic younger sister, Cece, runs out to see them. A boy named Noah Silver
helps catch Cece before she gets hurt. Noah is even more alone than Chris, and
he's just as eager to find a friend.
Then everything goes downhill -- Chris's mother leaves, putting Chris's workaholic
father in charge. With no one else to talk to, Chris turns to Noah, and their
relationship deepens. But Noah has problems he isn't willing to share.