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Author Spotlight, DeDe Ramey

I met DeDe Ramey through our writers groups, Ozarks Romance Authors and Sleuths’ Ink Mystery Writers. While I haven’t had a chance to visit with her at length, her smile and friendly demeanor have made me feel welcome and valued from the beginning.

DeDe Ramey is a Texas girl transplanted in the heart of Oklahoma. Her vivid imagination and love for people watching gave her a passion to write romance novels filled with swoon-worthy heroes, smart, sassy heroines, unexpected nail-biting suspense, and a good helping of steamy, heart-melting romance.

She grew up in the beautiful historic town of Georgetown, Texas. Her crazy life experiences with family and friends helped develop her rich, colorful imagination.

As a teen she began writing lyrics and performing her own original works around the area.

Before deciding to write full time, DeDe received a degree in sound engineering and broadcast telecommunication but soon realized those jobs were hard to come by. She took a job as an apartment manager, then later settled into the job of domestic affairs manager, raising two amazing kids.

Once the kids left home to start their own lives, she revisited her passion for writing. When she is not reading or writing she enjoys lifting weights at the gym, finding breathtaking waterfalls while exploring the national forests and parks, searching for adventures in new cities, and going to concerts of old rock bands with her husband Keith, her very own devastatingly handsome hero of over 35 years.

Author DeDe Ramey

For those readers who are unfamiliar with you, please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m originally from central Texas but have made my home in Oklahoma for the past 25 years. I’ve been married to my husband, Keith, for 38 years. We have two kids, Drew and Leah and one grandson, Jude. Other than writing, my passion is music. I love to sing, play the guitar and piano.

What kinds of writing do you enjoy?

I love writing romance with a little mystery and suspense blended in. Recently, I’ve been also writing some poetry which has been fun.

What do you enjoy most about the writing process?

That’s a hard question, but honestly, I think it’s when you get to the end of the story and you look back at how all the pieces came together and see all the little nuances that you didn’t know were going to play a part into the story when you first thought of it that now tie the story together.

When did you start writing?

I didn’t start writing until 2018. I picked up a Nicholas Sparks novel at the airport, my first romance novel, and after reading it I told my husband I wanted to try writing romances. Now, here I am. I have seven books written and an eighth in the development stage.

To what or whom do your attribute your love of reading and writing stories?

Actually, I would have to attribute my love for writing to my dad. He was a musician and wrote music and when I was a teenager I started playing the guitar and writing lyrics and music.

How have your past experiences impacted your writing?

Oh, many of my past experiences make their way into my stories. The majority are minor mentions but every once in a while something of significance makes it into the story. In the book that will be releasing Aug. 4th, A Life Unknown, the heroine wears a very special necklace. I have a similar one that I wear and never take it off. It was given to me by my daughter before she left home. It’s a heart with a butterfly. She said she got it to remind me that even though she is flying away, she will always be close to my heart.

What are some jobs that you have held?

In college I studied Sound Engineering so throughout my life, I’ve run the sound at different churches we’ve attended, and I also worked in recording studios. I worked as a scout for Warner Brothers Records for about two years. I have worked as an Apartment Manager and an Apartment Assignment Specialist at The University of Tulsa.

Does your past employment experience ever make its way into your books?

Actually, sort of. When I was a teenager I worked at this burger place, and although no one in my story worked there, the burger place made it into a story as well as their famous hickory burgers.

What inspires you?

Everything. I can watch a story on TV and get inspiration or listen to a song on the radio and get inspiration. One story that is in my concept pile is from overhearing a conversation at a restaurant, and some just pop into my head, and I seriously have no clue how they got there.

What made you decide to write about the subjects or themes of your books?

The series I’m working on right now came from me working out at the gym. I have been going to the gym for about twenty years. The gym I go to is family owned, so I know all the people who work out when I do, and we are like a family.

Another story I’ve written for a new series was inspired by a couple of places we visited on vacation.

Have you met any interesting people while researching your books?

Yes. One of the guys that worked out at the gym trains police dogs and just so happens I needed information on that for one of my books. He talked about how he trained his dogs and also gave me a book to read.

What is the most difficult part of writing?

Well, since I started writing later in life, I was very rusty in my grammar rules plus some of the rules had changed. I keep going back through my manuscript trying to make sure every comma is in the right place, but I had a very wise and wonderful mentor tell me, at some point you have to say it’s good enough and let it go. That was some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.

Who are some of your favorite authors and why do you enjoy their work?

My mentor, Tierney James of course. I love her Enigma series books because they take me to far away lands. Brittney Sahin is another author that has a Special Ops series that is absolutely wonderful. I love Claire Kingsley’s romcoms and the way she develops her characters. I truly feel like if I went to the town, I would probably run into them.

What writing advice did you find most useful when you were honing your craft?

There were two very distinct pieces of advice that have been so helpful. One is utilize the Nano writing challenge or any writing challenges I come across. I find, for me, having a challenge to write as much as possible in thirty days helps me stay focused, and if I have a story pretty well mapped out in my head, I can get it down on paper within that thirty days. That is how I’ve written the majority of my books.

The second piece of advice is what I stated earlier. At some point, you have to say, it’s good enough. Otherwise, you will continue to tweak it to death. For my first book, it was hard. I wanted it to be perfect but I knew there were probably mistakes. But the majority of the books out on the shelves right now have at least one mistake in them. So, I’m in good company.

Do you have any new work just released or coming out soon? If so, would you please tell us a little about it?

YES!!! August 4th, A Life Unknown, the second book in the Dalton Skies series, will be releasing worldwide. The story follows April Westerman, a socialite, who has a bit of a crush on a guy she has become friends with named Joe Cortez. The problem is, April has had a bit of bad luck with love and has been through some rough times that keep coming back to haunt her, so she really isn’t looking for love even though she flirts with Joe incessantly. After being thrown together for a week of house sitting and painting, Joe starts to win April over, but her past rears its ugly head and she shuts herself off from Joe. He fights to save her but winds up with his life precariously perched in April’s hands and secrets from the past threaten to tear what they have apart.

Can you tell us a little about your current project?

Right now, I am mapping out book six in the Dalton Skies series. I’ve been working through this one for a while because it will be the final story in the series and the hero has a big personality. Currently he is having to deal with a beauty queen who isn’t the diva he thought she was.

Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you enjoyed these seeds of wisdom, please subscribe to my blog, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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