Thank you, Cindy, for inviting me to your blog today. I’m really excited to be here!
The Banished Saga is my first series. It begins with Banished Love in 1900 in Boston and follows Clarissa Sullivan and Gabriel McLeod as they discover love and struggle against social prejudice. Clarissa, a suffragist, also struggles against the limited roles for women in 1900 and against the stifling life her stepmother envisions for her.
Reclaimed Love and Undaunted Love, the subsequent novels in the saga, occur in Boston and Montana, and continue to follow Clarissa and Gabriel, along with many other characters. I’ve always loved series where I am able to get to know characters over numerous books, and, thus, it’s no surprise I’ve written such a series!
What inspired your latest book?
The Banished Saga was inspired by my love of Boston and Montana. I first began to devise the basis of the series when I was fly fishing a river in Montana in 2010. The third book in the series, Undaunted Love, was just released, and it is the continuation of the Banished Saga series.
I love almost everything about writing. As my novels are historical, a lot of research is necessary. Thankfully, I love research. I know a lot of writers don’t like editing, but I relish it. I love seeing how I can make a good scene better. One of my favorite aspects of writing is the first draft. There’s nothing better than the free-flow of ideas before I have to edit and make sense of everything.
What is your least favorite part of writing?
I write long novels, but I don’t write a typical outline or plot out my novels. I write scenes as they come to me, even though they are out of order. Thus, when I have to piece the novel together, it can be a challenge. It’s rewarding, but it is the aspect of writing that I dread.
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
My ideas come from a variety of sources. I get them from research or from stories people tell me. Often, the stories that people tell me will be a starting off point that I alter to fit a scene. Some ideas come when I’m driving or in the shower. Basically, at any time, I can have a great idea. The challenge I have is writing it down (if I’m at work or half asleep) so that I can remember it.
How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
You don’t need to be too afraid that you’ll end up in one of my novels! However, that said, I do listen for interesting ways people speak or act and incorporate what I hear and see into my novels.
I have a full time job as a family nurse practitioner, thus I write when I can, often at 5 am or over the weekends. I don’t have a set routine, but I still manage to get my writing done. When I try to follow writing “rules” or “edicts” such as writing an hour a day, it takes away the joy of writing for me.
Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?
The most important thing is to not give up. Keep writing and keep finding the joy in writing. There may be days when you think you’ve written nothing worthwhile, but set it aside and read it with fresh eyes in a few days or weeks to be able to better evaluate what you’ve written. Also, embrace editing and don’t be afraid to cut entire scenes or chapters. It hurts, but if it makes your novel better, it’s worth it.
What’s next for you?
I am currently working on book four of the series. I’ve written about half of it, although there’s still a lot to research and write. I’m planning that this will be a six book series, so when I complete book four, I’ll continue on to book five. Unlike the three previous books in the series, I have a much better idea where books four through six are going, so in some ways, it makes it easier to write them.
Thanks again, Cynthia, for inviting me to your blog! As a bonus for readers of the blog, visit my webpage (http://www.ramonaflightner.com) for a link for a free copy of Banished Love, book one in the series.
“Clarissa?” Gabriel asked, as he poked his head out the front door. “What’s the matter? I would have thought you’d be delighted at the news for Richard and Florence. And there’s no reason to be upset with Nicholas.”
“Of course I am delighted.” I swiped at my cheeks, rubbing away an errant tear. “Happy for them. And I’m not mad at Nicholas.”
“It’s not like you to be jealous of others’ good fortune. We’ll have similar news soon.”
He crouched down in front of me and caressed my cheek. I closed my eyes. I neither leaned into nor away from his touch. After a moment he dropped his hand.
“I’m sorry I haven’t been able to give you what you desire, darling.”
“I’m happy. Of course I am,” I said around a sniffle.
“This is a fine way to show it.” He grasped my hands as he met my gaze. “What’s wrong? I can’t seem to do anything right recently.”
“It’s nothing you’ve done, Gabriel.” I hitched in a stuttering breath as I battled tears.
“No? Maybe it’s something I’ve failed to do.” He rose, walking a pace away before turning to look down at me, sitting crumpled on the bench. “Can’t you at least act like you’re happy to have married me on our anniversary?”
I paled, placing one of my hands to my chest at the pleading in his voice. When I stared at him wordlessly, he strode into the house, the screen door slamming shut behind him.
After another moment outside, I rose to follow him. As I opened the door, I heard the conversation continuing without me. “She’ll come around soon, Gabriel. Don’t worry.”
Amelia’s soothing voice.
“It’s an adjustment from Boston. Never fear she’d rather be there than here.”
Colin’s deep voice, unable to hide his concern.
“You know what I think, so no need going over it again,” Sebastian said.
“Whatever you’ve done, figure it out, man. You don’t want your woman angry with you for much longer,” Ronan said.
I waited for Gabriel to speak. After a long silence, he said, “I wonder if I should have listened to Richard’s advice in the beginning.”
I stifled a gasp as my mind raced to the moment Richard had confronted Gabriel about his interest in me at his workshop in Boston. It will only lead to pain. For pity’s sake … find another one, more suitable, more of our class.
“Colin, will you see Clarissa home?” Gabriel ran a hand through his ebony hair. “I need …”
“Gabriel, you haven’t eaten any of your anniversary cake,” Amelia said.
“Cake won’t make this better, Amelia,” Gabriel said before he marched toward the kitchen and exited the rear door.
I looked out the side window to see his long, loping gait striding down the boardwalk toward the center of town.
“That was poorly done, Rissa,” Colin said. He had risen and seen me standing in the living room.
“I know, Col,” I said. I fell into an overstuffed armchair, curling my legs up under me, holding onto my knees as I rocked to and fro. My mind raced at the disastrous evening. “I’ll apologize to Nicholas.”
Colin glanced over his shoulder and saw that Amelia, carrying Nicholas, moved with Sebastian and Ronan into the kitchen. “It’s not just Nicholas, Rissa. Can’t you tell me what’s wrong? Why are you acting like this?”
“It’s nothing, Col.”
“Don’t treat me like a fool. It’s obviously something. Do you regret marrying Gabe?”
“That’s not the question, Colin. It never will be.” I let out another stuttering sigh as I leaned my head against my knees, a terrible weariness filling me.
“Then what it is? Are you ill? Is that why Amelia saw you visiting the doctor recently?”
“Is that all you do? Gossip about me?”
“It’s what people do who care about each other. Especially when one of them refuses to share anything and acts like a wounded badger.”
Colin glared at me, daring me to contradict him.
“I’m of sound health, Colin. Nothing to fear.” I closed my eyes in resignation.
“Then why are you acting like this?” Colin asked again as he gripped my hand. “I’ve never seen you with such little spirit. Not even last spring in Boston. Now you act as though all the fight has left you. That’s not who you are, Rissa.”
“You’d never understand, Col. And I fear Gabriel never will either.”
“Whatever it is, you must tell him.”
“No, Colin. The last thing I should do is tell Gabriel. Because once I do, he will despise me.”
About Ramona Flightner:
Ramona Flightner is an avid reader, writer, and traveler. By day, she practices the healing arts as a nurse practitioner. Every other moment, she’s researching and writing her next novel. Love’s First Flames, Banished Love, Reclaimed Love, and Undaunted Love are the first novels in her Banished Saga.
Ramona is from Missoula, Montana. She currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts. Her favorite pastimes are fly fishing the cool, clear streams of a Montana river, hiking in the mountains, and spending time with family and friends.
You can follow me at:
New Release Email List at: http://www.ramonaflightner.com/newsletter
Web page: http://www.ramonaflightner.com