Another interview has rolled around. This week I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to fellow author and friend, Rita Ames. As the pictures above show, she’s a multi genre author, able to throw her imagination at anything. I’ve had the pleasure of reading I Love You To Death. It was a fabulous book, showcasing one of the many facets of her writing skills.
Hi Rita. Tell us a little about all things Ames:
I am from the south of England, born between the New Forest and the sea. I think with an American accent which is weird. I am from a working class background so being anything arty was a complete anathema and I would have loved a life as an actress. However in those days there were not the same opportunities and it was not an accepted choice of job. I’ve realised that dream in the amateur world and probably got to play better parts. After all, I was Toad of Toad Hall! Poop Poop! I have done many jobs from Estate Agent, Cafe Owner, Business Retention Team Manager. I currently work in healthcare arranging medical beds and equipment into peoples homes, to help them recover from a hospital visit or sometimes sadly, to get them home to die. I am far from miserable though. Life is to be lived, whether we have one minute or a hundred years. I have a plan to be a mischievous old lady one day so of course I have to practice on the way there. Does anyone know where I can do that skydiving thing with the air tunnel? I’ll never jump from a plane but I love the idea of pretending to be a fart blown up into the air. “ooops did I say that out loud?” Yes, that’s a phrase I use a lot. Now you are beginning to get to know me……or are you?
Err, yes. We are. Lol.
- When did you first realise that you wanted to become a writer?
When I played a schoolteacher in a play in middle school. I was about nine years old and had to wear specs to make me look the part. I thought that it would be good to write a play of my own. “The attack on Juno” had a week long run in my back garden during the school holidays. I went on to write a couple of comedy sketches for end of year shows at high school.
Little did I know that the specs were a premonition, and writing a stage show would actually happen. I admit I was in the audience every night for my Pantomime ‘A Knight’s Tale’ and I laughed two seconds before each funny bit so whoever sat next to me thought I was psychic. Lol.
The antics of Fu Man Poo and Choo My Py as they teamed up with Morganna to bring down Camelot was a lot of fun.
I have also spent many years treading the boards in various plays and Pantomimes. I specialise in the physical comedy, often playing the funny man with moustache and more recently a Dame in Arabian Nights chasing a camel all over the desert. A knee injury chasing the camel off the stage resulted in me taking a break. It was a lucky break as I was able to finally sit down and begin my first real book.
Being on stage and entertaining an audience just led to me wanting to put down all the stories and ideas in my head and once I had the time there was no stopping me. I am a manic imaginative and my “To Write” folder is stuffed full of first chapters and synopsis. (Maybe I am the female version of Spike Milligan lol.)
My dream, like very other writer is to be able to do it full time.
- What novels/works have you released and what are you working on now?
In everything I do I go for the most challenging thing first so when I wanted to write a novel I chose contemporary romance thinking that if I could write hot, steamy sex scenes then I could do anything. If The Shoe Fits was a good name for my first book as being a writer felt like a good fit. I now have about five books out so far. Love You To Death is my Psychological Thriller (Carl Dawson scares me) and then I went into Crime Thrillers with Eyes In The Mirror (Freedom Series Book 1). Never in a million years would I have said I would write crime but here I am. I also have a vampire romance, Silver In The Moonlight (2 Novellas by myself and Raven Delehanty). There are also a couple of Naughty short story books with Raven, Night Flames and Sensing Love (I like to get my steamy writing fix and these work well for that). I am currently about half way through See Through My Eyes (Freedom Series Book 2). Once that is finished it’s back to paranormal romance with Angel Song and continuing with my action fantasy saga, The Sheild of Pendragon (The Dolmen Chronicles Book 1) This is a long term project due to the hectares of research required.
3. I’m a new author. Tell me how to achieve my goal?
Remember that writing is like learning to walk. You have to put one word in front of another. When you have a page then you have begun. Never rush, always re-read and get a great team of proof/beta readers, you know the ones that will tell you the truth no matter what. Always listen to feedback as there is value in every comment. Sometimes you have to look between the lines but if you accept that even the bad stuff has within it the means to put it right then often the negative comments can be your biggest asset in turning out quality work. If you don’t want bad comments in the public arena then make sure you listen to the ones given privately before you publish. Choose the route you want to take and stick to it. If you choose to self publish you can do it for free, just sign up with Kindle through Amazon but be warned it is a steep learning curve and you will be amending things a couple of times on the first book.
4. Is there anyone who has influenced your writing?
My Granddad influenced and encouraged me more than I would admit to anyone. He sang just like Bing Crosby but was a bit of a recluse who enjoyed the odd brandy or three. He was such a big personality and taught me my first rhymes (at least the ones that stuck in my head).
“There was a little man who lived in Japan and his name was Chica-raka-choo-chai-chan
His head was big and his feet were small and this little man could’t walk at all
Chica-raka-choo-chai-chan picalory anti lory polly wolly wop.”
There is more but I guess you get the drift. A little strange but very imaginative and I think it stuck. I remember every word of it to this day. I also sing but I don’t sound like Bing, lol. If you want author influences then Dean Koontz and James Herbert for the horror/thriller influence. David Gemmell is also another one, Fantasy Fiction at its best. If you want girly romantic then I love Wuthering Heights. A great love story that showcases the extremes of love/pain and loss.
5. What makes you sit down and want to share your stories?
There are so many wonderful stories in my head that it would be such a shame not to give them life. If just one person really enjoys one of my books then it makes my day. I suppose it is the inner performer in me wanting to make an audience laugh or cry with me and whatever character I play. Maybe that is why Love You To Death gets such good reviews. I wrote it in first person and attacked the writing of it like I would a part in a play. I threw off my own feelings and beliefs in order to play the part of a serial killer. I like to think it worked pretty well. Carl Dawson scares me. I also love to write poetry of all kinds. Of course there are the humorous ones but I also try to compose more topical ones too. I do admit to being on a bit of a mission to get poetry back in the mainstream. After all who doesn’t like a great song lyric and that is poetry for sure. I am a moderator on a site called writerscommunity.co.uk and I write one of the community blogs on there called Amesworld. Pop in and say hello!
6. If you could be a character from one of your favourite novels, who would it be, and why?
I have so many favourite books that this is a hard question. One of the first authors that opened my imagination was Ursula Le Guinn and The Wizard of Earthsea trilogy. She wrote the forerunner to Harry Potter in my opinion and her books have a gritty reality that Harry doesn’t. I would be Ged in the part where he is turned into a dragon and has to live by a lake until he can solve his dilemma. The thought of being a dragon in the flesh gave me my first incling into the new reality that can be found in the pages of a book. I later wrote a quote which stems from this light bulb moment in my childhood “If I can imagine the death of reality then I can imagine a whole new world of possibilities” That, in my opinion is what makes a great author. The ability to make us believe the reality of the world they have written.
I do hope that visiting me in Amesworld will open a whole new world of imagination, laughter, pain and all in all a very satisfying read.
Thank you Rita. That was great. I hope to see you on YouTube, singing Bing real soon…
Please click on Rita’s links for more information: