Thanks for visiting; now, meet Ramona . . .
Good morning, Ramona. How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?
I didn’t attempt a novel until I was a busy young mother. But without any formal training or guidance, I tabled my dream of becoming a published novelist. Between the mid 1980’s and mid 1990’s, about 90 of my inspirational poems were published by Dicksons Inc., a leading publisher of Christian gift items. I still hear from people who enjoy those verses.
I was thrilled and honored to author the three Indiana historical novels for Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents line. This month, those stories were re-released by Barbour as a part of their Romancing America series in their Indiana historical three-in-one collection titled Freedom’s Crossroad.
How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
Each story features a different member of the same family. The overarching spiritual message that runs through all three stories is forgiveness. I hope my readers take away these spiritual truths; that every soul is loved and valued by God, that however dismal life may become, God never leaves us, and that it is as important to forgive ourselves as it is to forgive others.
Besides the family connection and the theme of forgiveness, another aspect that binds these stories together is that they are each set along an Indiana waterway. Sweet Forever showcases the charming Ohio River town of Madison, Indiana, during the town’s heyday of the mid 1840’s. Riverboats, riverboat gamblers, and the shadowy doings of the Underground Railroad weave through the plot. Everlasting Promise is inspired by the several canal towns along east-central Indiana’s historic Whitewater Canal. The story spotlights the concerns of those along the ill-fated waterway when they learn of a coming railroad that could spell either prosperity or ruin for their town.
Charity’s Heart is set in post Civil War Vernon, Indiana, nestled along the winding banks of southern Indiana’s Muscatatuck River. The story deals with the emotional trauma and hard feelings that still linger after the war.
Ask for Freedom’s Crossroad at:
- your favorite Bible bookstore,
- Barnes & Noble,
- and Borders Books,
- or look for it in the Inspirational Book section of all Wal-Mart stores.
- Online, you can find it on http://www.barbourbooks.com/, http://www.christianbooks.com/, http://www.amazon.com/. and http://www.alibris.com/.
I keep a flip-card devotional beside my computer. It’s always turned to the page that bears this wonderful quote by Teresa of Avila. “You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him.” Beneath the quote is one of my favorite scripture verses I lean on when discouragement weighs heavily on me. “Glory be to God, who by His mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare ask or even dream of. . .” Ephesians 3:20.
Also, I was greatly inspired by the works of the Indiana author Gene Stratton Porter. I read her books as a child and loved them all.
As for Christian authors, Jeanette Oke and Lauraine Snelling were authors I wanted to be like when I “grew up” as a writer. I still do. Over the past several years, I’ve been blessed to know many other great Christian writers who encourage and inspire me on a regular basis. They include my wonderful friends and critique partners, Laurie Alice Eakes, Louise Gouge, MaryLu Tyndall, Kim Vogel Sawyer, and my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray.
I entered my first novel, Larkspur. It won first place and was published by them the next year. I proposed my second novel, Sweet Forever, to Barbour Publishing at an American Christian Fiction Writers’ conference knowing it fit what they published. It was eventually accepted by them. Subsequently, they accepted my next two stories as well for their States series.
- I like meeting new people and visiting new places.
- I like traveling and enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
- I like to cook and especially like trying new recipes. I’ve collected far more recipes than I’ll ever be able to try.
As for dislikes; I’m a natural introvert, so public speaking has always been outside my comfort zone. But since my first book came out in 2006 I’ve found myself doing much more of that and as a result, I’ve grown as a person.
- As I mentioned earlier, I have a great interest in history—especially Indiana history. Even as a child, I loved reading stories with historical settings. Compelling characters and their stories made history come alive for me. While many of my classmates found the subject of history a snoozer, I relished it.
- Now I enjoy writing stories set in by-gone eras and my hope is that I can make history come alive for the readers of my own books. Luckily, my husband shares my interest in history, so when time and schedules permit, we like visiting places of historical interest.
- Another of my interests is gardening. Although I don’t have the greenest of thumbs, I look forward to summer when I can dabble in a little backyard gardening.
- If I had the time and money, I would like to travel to the British Isles, especially Ireland and Scotland as my heritage on my dad’s side is Scots-Irish. I would also like to visit the area of Hanover Germany, from where my ancestors on my mother’s side emigrated.
My web page is http://www.ramonakcecil.com/. In keeping with my love of gardening, I’ve given my web site a garden theme.
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