Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Please make Ramona K. Cecil Welcome

Thank you for joining us today Ramona! It is such a pleasure to have you with us! Of course the first thing we want to know is the a story behind Heart’s Heritage. What can you tell us about it?

Heart’s Heritage is set in my southern Indiana county in 1812. The fictional Deux Fleuves settlement and Fort Deux Fleuves in the story was inspired by the real life town of Vallonia, which was settled in the early 1800’s. Near Vallonia is Starve Hollow Lake. When I was a girl in elementary school, a story was being circulated that claimed the lake got it’s name from an incident that happened in Vallonia’s early history. According to the story, a band of local Indians besieged Fort Vallonia for days, starving to death the settlers inside. Turns out the story is not true, but hey, great story, huh? It was this felonious story that sparked the inspiration for Heart’s Heritage. But because the story was false, I replaced Vallonia with the fictional Deux Fleuves. Vallonia, named by the early French fur traders like Annie’s father, is from the French word “vallon” meaning small valley. I decided to stay with the French and chose Deux Fleuves meaning “two rivers” since the White and Muscatatuck Rivers both fork at Vallonia.     

Question: What started you on your writing journey?
I have written creatively all my life. My parents both wrote poetry and I began composing poems at about the age of three or four. I’ve always had an active imagination and loved reading novels, especially stories with historical settings. In the mid 1980’s, I began selling my inspirational poems to a leading Christian gift publisher. About that time a trip to Conner Prairie, a living history museum near Indianapolis, Indiana, inspired my first historical romance story. Being a busy mother, I’d get out my old electric typewriter and work on the story whenever time permitted until I finished the first draft. Then I basically dropped it into a drawer where it languished for several years. When our two daughters grew up and left home, I began to get serious about writing novels and dug out the old manuscript. I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, got into a critique group, began rewriting the old story and entering it into contests. Now working with a computer, having long discarded the old electric typewriter, I wrote more stories. My original story, Larkspur, eventually won first place prize in Vintage Romance Publishing’s 2005 Vintage Inspirations Contest and was published in 2006. Three Heartsong Presents stories followed in 2008, then two Christmas novellas, a full length story last year, and now Heart’s Heritage which came out this January.  

Question: What distracts you from writing the easiest?
My husband. He retired last June, so he’s around the house a lot more.

Question: What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I love reading the same kind of books I write; Christian historical romance.
Some of my favorite authors are:
Louise M. Gouge –– check out her latest, A Suitable Wife and her other great books here: 
Laurie Alice Eakes — find her newest, Choices of the Heart, with her other wonderful books here:
MaryLu Tyndall—don’t miss her latest release, Forsaken Dreams. Find it with her other great books: 
Kim Vogel Sawyer—check out her new Sweet Sanctuary along with all her wonderful books here: 

I will be sure to do that and recommend that our readers check out these sites also!
Question: If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Ballad, because a ballad tells a story.

That is so true. Giggle. 
Question: What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
Children playing with puppies, kittens. . .any baby animals makes me smile. Comedy, as long as it’s clean, makes me laugh. I loved Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett.

Question: What is your favorite season of the year? 
Autumn. Autumn in Indiana is absolutely GORGEOUS! As the Hoosier Poet, James Whitcomb Riley put it in his poem WHEN THE FROST IS ON THE PUNKIN,
it’s “a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost in on the punkin’ and the fodder’s in the shock.”

Question: What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
I’m a native Hoosier; born and raised in rural southern Indiana. It’s just down to earth. For the most part, people here are friendly and love God and their neighbor. I’ve traveled to places where the attitude is not so hospitable and it always surprises me. I also love our topography here in southern Indiana; the wooded hills, winding streams, rolling pastures dotted with black and white Holstein, brown and white Guernsey, and black Angus cattle. And yes, the corn; acres and acres of corn and soybeans. Because I love Indiana and Indiana history I love to set my stories here.

Question: What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
When I was about five or six I was playing beside a creek that ran through our property with my sister who was a year older than me. The creek was swollen from recent rains and my sister stuck a stick into the muddy water to see how deep it was. When she pulled it up, a snapping turtle was clamped to the other end. She dropped the stick and turtle back into the creek and we ran and got Dad. He got the turtle out, killed and cleaned it,  and Mom cooked it. I know she made soup out of it, but I can’t remember what it tasted like.

Question: Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
Anyplace that is of historical interest. I love places like Williamsburg, VA.

Question: Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
Forgiveness and our need for God’s help, guidance, and grace.

Oh yes. Absolutely! That is or should be the typical Christian author’s goal.
Question: Can you share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)
 “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
I like this verse because it is so encouraging.

Well, I can certainly see why you appreciate that verse!
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Yes. I have two full length novels each two-thirds finished. One is set in 1870 and is inspired by the colorful history of my own hometown. The other is set in 1825 a few miles southeast of where I live and is inspired by the true story of the Pigeon Roost Massacre and its aftermath. I also have three novellas plotted, and I’m plotting another full length story. Of course, they are all set in Indiana.

Purchase the book at:
Or have your local library order it in for you!

Ramona K. Cecil is giving away a copy of HEART’S HERITAGE. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know what I did wrong, but do not see my comment. So will just say now that I'd like to have my name in the drawing for Ramona's book.
MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

Jennifer said...

I really enjoy history myself and living in Ky there are several historical homes. My mom and I have visited three of these homes that are within 20min from where I live. So, I tend to gravitate towards historical fiction.

Patty said...

I think it's really neat that Ramona writes book about the area that she is familiar with. Her own backyard so to speak!


HomePlace Gatherings said...

Would love to win this! Historical fiction is my favorite. :)

priviesandprims at yahoo .com

Teela said...

BWAAAA! my comments are gone...well here goes one more time, I would love to read your book Romona! One of my very fav authors was Eugenia Price. I remember the first time I read her St. Simons trilogy, I read them in the wrong order!! But still loved them. teelayoung@hotmail.com http://coffee24tea.blogspot.com

Teela said...

BWAAAA! my comments are gone...well here goes one more time, I would love to read your book Romona! One of my very fav authors was Eugenia Price. I remember the first time I read her St. Simons trilogy, I read them in the wrong order!! But still loved them. teelayoung@hotmail.com http://coffee24tea.blogspot.com (gonna try this a different way, since I can't get my comment to stay)

Ramona Cecil said...

Thanks for stopping by, Maxie. I'm glad your comment finally made it. Good luck in the drawing. :)

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi, Jennifer! Kentucky is my second favorite state after Indiana, and it's a close second. :) A few years ago, I visited the grand old mansion in Bardstown, KY that inspired Stephen Fosters' song "My Old Kentucky Home." B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing.

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi, Patty! They say "Write what you know." I'd add "Write what you love." In both cases, that's Indiana and Indiana history for me. Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the drawing. :)

Ramona Cecil said...

I do think you would like Heart's Heritage, Doreen. Good luck in the drawing!

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi, Teela! Glad you made it! I've read series stories out of order, too. In a way, it's kind of neat; learning the back story of characters you've already met. :) Heart's Heritage is a stand-alone, but one of the stories I'm working on now picks up twelve years later and some of my Heart's Heritage characters make appearances. Thanks for your persevering, and Good luck in the drawing!

Jennifer said...

I 'll have to look it up! Thanks!

Rose Milligan said...

I love Lucy too, pun intended. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Susan said...

Oooh, I'd love to win now, knowing the setting. I grew up in Seymour, just a few miles from Vallonia. Very neat!
sjbraun at hotmail dot com

spangldlady said...

I loved the interview. History is my thing and so I know I will love it!Thanks for the opportunity. Blessings! Darlene

Merry said...

Lovely interview, I love children with small animals too, their smiles and laughter are wonderful.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Cindi A said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I hope I win

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