Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Author Interview: Ramona Wray, author of Hex

Yesterday I reviewed a book called Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale by Ramona Wray. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Ramona about her book, and find out a little bit more about the fantastic characters and story she created.


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1. What was your inspiration to write Hex? 

Believe it or not, it was while watching that old TV series, "Bewitched", that it first occurred to me I could write a really funny story about a witch. It wasn't uncharted territory for me because, growing up in Romania, I listened to hundreds of stories about witches. Of course, the trick was to find a kind of middle ground - write my witch based on the mythology I was so familiar with but, at the same time, make her likable to my target audience. 

2. Lucian seems like the one character that we never fully got to understand. He was mysterious and extremely multi-faceted. Can you tell us a little bit more about him, take us deeper into his mind?

I agonized over writing him because I'm the kind of person who doesn't like gray areas - things are either black or white; likewise, heroes and villains are easily recognized by the color hat they wear which, again, is either black or white. But Lucian - he was something else altogether. Apparently, he had it all: the good looks, the smarts, the power to bend the world to his will. BUT ... I don't believe in free rides, hence the limitations on what he could and couldn't do, on what he could and couldn't have. His fixation on Lily didn't start as real affection; it was, simply put, the fascination developed by someone with a god-complex when faced with the only living being who could affect his condition by reducing him to a shadow. Lily could send him back home, to where he was no longer a god, but a slave to his half-breed lineage. So, like a moth to the flame, he was drawn to the person who could destroy him. His arrogance was what turned his unhealthy interest in her into genuine feelings. It was the fact that, no matter how hard he tried, no matter what tricks he pulled out of his hat, he couldn't get this seemingly ordinary girl to love him. Even though she was kept in the dark most of the time about her own history, Lucian could never persuade her to choose him over a simple human, Ryder. Over the centuries, this mushroomed to the point where he was no longer able to enjoy the human realm - the object of his greatest desire shifted from it (the human world) to Lily. And once he understood he really couldn't have her, he didn't see the point in hanging around. It would have been too painful, and absolutely useless, as far as he was concerned.

3. Ryder Kingscott is just about the coolest name I've ever heard of! How did you come up it, as well as with the rest of the names? Is someone in the novel named after someone in real life? 

Thank you. As you know, the story began in 1657 England, so I did some research and learned that Kingscott was quite a popular surname back then. But, since I set my novel in present-day America, I wanted to give the name an American flavor. Ryder seemed to fit the bill. Besides, in some ways, Ryder was a "rider", tragically riding the hex (try saying that 10 times, fast :-), through century after century. And let's not forget his bike :-) Lily always made me think or water lilies - vulnerable, delicate, apparently unapproachable because of all the surrounding water. And Lucian was named after someone I used to know. It's a widespread name in Romania. 

4. Are there any interesting little scenes or story lines that were originally meant to be in the novel, but were edited out? If so, could you share a tidbit with us? 

Yes, I wrote a few extra scenes that happened in the past, one of which featured a fox hunt. It was where Ryder (William back then) first saw Lily. But I took these scenes out in the end because worked fine without them. 

5. Lily was brave, strong, and very quick-witted. Was she based on you, or someone you know? 

I guess there's a bit of me in each character, but in Lily's case, I wrote her in a way which, I hope, might get people to think twice about attaching labels to those who are quiet, slightly odd, or unpopular. Just because some people keep to themselves doesn't necessarily mean they've got nothing to say. 

6. Lastly, do you have anything to say about your book to future readers? 

Thank you for buying it and, especially, for reading it. Hope you'll be smiling by the end of it. Happy reading! :-)  

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Thank you SO MUCH to Ramona for being the all kinds of amazing that she is. She typed up this entire interview on her BLACKBERRY and had it back to me within a day. I hope you enjoyed the interview!



Where to find her:

About Ramona Wray
I was brought up in Romania by my grandparents, a couple of fantastic storytellers who filled my childhood with magic and stories about witches (vrajitoare), vampires (vampiri), fairies (iele or zane) and so much more. I grew up with a strong sense of the supernatural and from that to sitting down at a desk and crafting my own fantastic tales was only a small step, which I took early. I wrote poetry, even a few novels, short stories and essays, some of which occasionally appeared in the local newspapers. 



The fall of the Communist bloc in 1989 brought about a great deal of change in Romania. To this day, the younger generations have welcomed and continue to welcome the opportunity to work and live abroad. It was what I chose for myself as well. 


Ten years later, I'm married, mother to one little boy and currently living in Plymouth. For the past decade I lived in a few places, traveled to a few others, and learned, and adapted, all the while searching for a place to fit in. There has been a lot of change, but the important things stayed the same. They usually do...I never stopped writing, no matter where I went or what I did. Switching from Romanian to English has taken some time, but today I couldn't even imagine going back. It's important to chase our dreams, no matter what stands in the way, and the only way to do it is by moving forward. Always forward. 



I read, write (and sometimes even breathe) YA fiction and my own contribution to the genre comes in a blend of romance, paranormal, and thriller. My first published novel, Hex, a witch & angel tale, is both a supernatural romance and a mystery. 


What I love: books (I read at least one every week), languages (I speak a few), ballet (and ballroom dancing, and any other kind of dancing with the exception of Russian Kazachok which, as it turns out, can result in serious injuries), vampires (as any other respectable Romanian) and pie (to make, eat and share). 
What I'm grateful for: my soft-spoken husband, my beautiful son, my loving family, my wonderful friends from all over the world and for being alive.

6 comments:

  1. Ashley, it was a pleasure and a treat to work with you :-) Thank you

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  2. I already couldn't wait to get my hands on this book after hearing about it but wow after hearing her inspiration was from Bewitched i'm really eager now...I used to love that show anyways great interview

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  3. Cool. You got to interview her! I used to watch Bewitched too! I used to watch a lot of TV series that involve magic, witch/es, and jeanies! Like Charmed, I Dream of Jeanie, etc.

    Btw, Nice "About Me"! I was brought up by my grandparents too, well, just my grandmother actually. I love reading YA fiction. Yeah, that's my thing too! I love reading romance and paranormal books. They are awesome!

    -Danah
    icrave13@hotmail.com

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  4. OH yes!! Now I want to read this book even more getting a little bit more insight! :)

    Aryelle @ ReadingwiththeFishes

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  5. Great interview!! It is funny that she stated that she got her inspiration from Bewitched because the cover totally says Bewitched. And who doesn't like that show!! I like that she did research for her characters names. It makes the story more authentic. I am excited to read this book and to learn more about Ms. Wray.

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  6. Ooh I liked the insight into Lucien's character & the story behind Ryder's name. I really want to read this book, it sounds great!

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