Hey everyone! Today I’m so excited to introduce to you Blaise Ramsey! Be sure to read her interview and check out more about her below!
Tell me more about yourself:
Blaise: Hey! Well, my name is Blaise. I’m a walking life loving, positive outlooking indie currently highly caffeinated and working on a science fantasy. Before I began working as an indie publisher and authorpreneur, I worked in the conceptual art and design world for fifteen years doing multiple things from designing characters from thin air to environments for indie games and freelance clients. I began to notice that drawing wasn’t really filling a void inside of me anymore so I decided to open up Microsoft word and write short stories. After the first publicly published short story, The Good Luck Cat, earned an award on the art community I was involved with, I knew I wanted to write. At first it was only short stories but after I found the work of fellow author and great friend, A.E Fisher, I wanted to give a hand a novels. The first piece I worked on was a Biker Romance but after putting the project on the back burner, I decided to do NaNoWriMo for the first time and dished out Blessing of Luna. I fell in love with the characters so much the project evolved into three other books in the Wolfgods series. When traditional publishing didn’t go so well for me, I decided to open up FyreSyde Publishing and now I fully self-publish all of my books! If I’m not writing, I love to read and review books which I post on the blog I run on the side. I also work for two different blog tour companies and offer review services to new and seasoned authors. I’m a mom with two beautiful children, my husband, four rats and a dog. Always busy in the Ramsay home. Lol!
What inspired you to be an author?
Blaise: As a history major, writing has always been a part of life for me. I just always enjoyed the collegiate side and research part of it. Apart from college, I did start my own novel way back in the day but the project never went anywhere but it was fun! Now it’s because not only does it offer a great way to bring worlds to life, it’s a great and inspiring community! Indies and bookbloggers alike are all amazing people and so uplifting! At first it wasn’t going to be a career, just a hobby but then I found some wonderful women who just sparked something inside of me to do something with this blooming passion. So far I’ve attended two live events and the fans are so sweet and a joy to chat with! They have amazing outlooks and feedback. Occasionally I get the sour pickle but all in all, it’s a great community! There’s just something about weaving worlds from words. It’s the closest thing to magic I can see!
How long have you been writing for?
Blaise: Professionally, it’s only been about eight months but for fun, more like six years (most of those were college lol but it was still fun).
How many stories have you written?
Blaise: Oh umm, let’s see. Including short stories, I want to say I’ve written about ten or fifteen pieces so far and that doesn’t include the research papers. Haha. There were about four books planned for the Biker Romance series and two right now in the Wolfgods. There’s three books planned for the science fantasy. For short stories, I have almost seven of those little ones. So many unfinished projects being worked on, I can’t count them all.
Is writing your full time profession? If not, what else do you do and how do you manage both jobs?
Blaise: Writing and running FyreSyde is my full time gig. This opens me up to attend book tour events and to be at home with my kids. I do also take art commissions on the weekends and attend college. In order to manage them, I find it’s best to have a day planner. Separate family appointments and realize it’s okay to relax and take the time not to work. On those days, I pop open a good book and do some catch up reading. I’m also a full time wife and mom. To keep these things in line, I hold office hours and tell my kids, it wouldn’t be any different if I went to physical place. They’re usually pretty good about it…usually. But hey they’re 4 and 6. I can only expect so much.
What is your writing process?
Blaise: I’m what’s known as a plotster. This means I usually have the general idea of where I want to go with the book. Sometimes I will work on an extremely rough outline on paper and pencil before even cracking open Scrivener or Word. Having that rough outline gives me some key events. Almost like a map from the beginning to the end of the book. When I do choose to outline, I usually reach for Kat O’Keefe’s 3 Act; 9 Block; 27 Chapter technique. It is by far, the most impressive and helpful method out there. I’ve made a template in Scrivener for it! I’d recommend it to anyone! Honestly, ten times out of nine, I won’t even go on the outline but it does help to have key points to run back to when I get stuck.
Why is research so important for writing?
Blaise: Because even when writing fiction we have to make the world feel believable. Science fiction can bend the very fabric of reality but there has to be certain rules set in place that could feel real to a reader. Locations for example are something I tend to research thoroughly before writing any kind of novel or short story. Of course I lavish a little bit by adding pretend buildings and time periods but all in all, a question I get often is when and where is the story taking place. Readers nowadays want to feel like they’re a part of what’s going on. Doing research into character flaws, locations, etc can be key in accomplishing that.
What is the craziest thing you’ve had to research?
Blaise: Wow umm, I think the most interesting thing I’ve had to look into was the history of lycanthropy. I had to find some distinguishing lore that indicated the key differences between werewolves and lycanthropes to make Blessing of Luna the best it could be. Location and weather patterns were two other aspects of the story I was careful to look into to try and make the setting look and feel right to the reader. The effects of trauma on the brain was something else I researched to make Damien appear like he had detachment disorder. Just the little things like this that could make or break the novel. The devil’s in the details I believe the saying is.
How do you create the world you are writing in?
Blaise: I start by a general idea of where I want the story to take place. Often times, Paranormal romance takes place in smaller towns so it seemed logical to follow that. Afterwards it’s a matter of hashing out character details and traits to learn how they will react to the world around them. Blessing of Luna evolved from something completely on its own through a process of “What if” questions. It’s ultimately what makes the book different from your typical vampire/werewolf/lycan book and often is what catches the readers’ attention. I don’t create the world, the characters do. I just let them tell me how things go. As an author, you soon learn you have less control than you originally thought. Lol.
How do you pull us in with amazing characters?
Blaise: I think this could go along with what I said earlier. Believability and adding very real flaws that people can relate to often is what creates amazing characters. You want to latch on to that one character who you identify with. Remarkably, it isn’t always one of the mains. Often it’s the secondary or tertiary. For example, a trend I picked up on really quick among my beta readers was their love of Alexander Kain. He is not the main character of Blessing of Luna but he has such a strong presence he’s gained some serious fans. Taking the time to give your characters struggles and imperfections is all a part of world building. Something I will always recommend is to put yourself in their shoes. Act out their dialogue. It gives you a sense of what they may do or say in the scene you’re writing. You aren’t crazy! You’re an author!
Who is your favorite character you’ve created?
Blaise: Kain. Definitely. He is the most precious of the characters I’ve made so far because he was created by mixing two of my favorite characters from a previous book series I decided not to publish (just yet >3). I have such a close bond with him it has been next to impossible not to toil away on his book. *spoilers!*
What authors inspire you to write?
Blaise: I have many but here recently there have been some very special gals in my life who have had more of an impact. Kristin Martin, the Amazon best-selling author of the Alpha Drive series; Kim Chance, the amazing author of the hauntingly tantalizing, Keeper and A.E Fisher, the smart aleck and super sweet author of the Black Angels MC series. All of these women have supported me in one way or the author. I wouldn’t be who I am today had I not met them. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have had the courage to start.
What steps do you take in drafting an outline?
Blaise: I use the same method EVERY single time. The 3 Act; 9 Block; 27 Method. It is by far the most effective and spurs creativity in ways I hadn’t heard of until I found it. Sometimes I’ll also do Dan Well’s 7-point Story Structure to get quick thoughts down on paper. Otherwise, I won’t even crack open my laptop until the very rough outline is done with pen and paper. Once I’m satisfied, then I’ll open up Scrivener (my program of choice) and start working.
What are your top five tips for aspiring authors?
- Do not let anyone tell you that you can’t do this. You can. Turn off the noise and listen to the growing passion inside of you.
- Remember why you started your journey in the first place. You have to write for you first without any expectations to “be famous”. We don’t write to be famous. We write to tell stories.
- You will get harsh reviews. It’s the world we live in. Here’s the kicker though, even harsh reviews can equal growth. Use what you can, toss what you won’t.
- Write what you love! Not what you know. If you have no connection to the story you’re trying to tell, neither will the reader. If you cry, they will. If you hurt, they will to. If you get turned on by a love scene, so will they. Remember, you are what you write.
- Get some grit. Not just anyone can do this. That is one of the most misunderstood concepts of self-publishers especially. It takes work. You can’t just post a book on Amazon and expect to see sales. Actually, it’s the opposite, you may not see any for a long time but it’s okay. Your sales reflect your work and no, posting on social media is not the answer. Limit social media to connection and author platforming only. Invest in live appearances and events.
Writing is a business. If you can’t think like an authorpreneur, you will not succeed. Not just anyone can do this. That way of thinking is a myth. You can do this!
Tell me more about what you are working on, can you share an excerpt?
Blaise: Currently I’m working on two different projects, one is a science fantasy, the other is book 2 of the Wolfgods titled Bane of Tenebris. Heck yeah, I can share an excerpt!
“I know you’re here. Stop hiding.” Kain kept his eyes directed towards the floor. Only briefly glancing towards the corner of the room where darkness remained unhindered by the light.
A black shape stepped out of the shadows, the only noticeable details were the fierce red glow of its eyes. The floor burned as it made its way across the room. Its talons clacking on the wood.
The dark god knelt before Kain on the floor. Ash and shadow floated in the air around him with his aura. The choking miasma permeated the room, tightening Kain’s lungs in his chest as he tried to breathe.
“I come baring an offer to you, Alexander,” He took Kain’s jaw in his claws, raising his head to meet his eyes. “I can see your life draining even now. The pain your soul is enduring as you battle the hate inside of your own existence. Forsake your gods, Alexander. They have clearly forsaken you. Serve me and I will lift you from this weakness. Free you from this fate.”
Is there anything else you would like to share with us before you go?
Blaise: Yes. There is a lot and I mean A LOT of bad press about self-publishing. It can often weigh you down and scare you not to try. Believe me, I’ve doubted, I’ve questioned, I’ve had anxiety attacks and sleepless nights. But here is what I have found amazing. I am not the only Indie who’s gone through it. The writing community is so supportive. The readers really aren’t the terrors they can be made out to be. I have found so many of them to be such supportive and loving people. Find your network. Budget social media and invest in live events. Authors have a special bond with readers. We may never meet them and yet they feel so connected to us. It is an amazing feeling that makes ALL of the footwork worth it. It is hard. I will never lie and tell you it isn’t. It’s time consuming and straining but in the end, holding that final product in your hand. Seeing the smiles on your readers’ faces and shaking their hand. There’s no other euphoria like it. If you are willing to take this as a marathon, not a sprint, you will succeed. All the great marketing experts and leaders started out as failures. The difference is, they didn’t stop. They kept going even through the nay-saying. You can do it too.
Feel free to find me on my website. I love to hear from you. Quiz me, ask questions. I certainly don’t mind connecting. If you want a copy of my book get a hold of me, I will get it to you. See more at fyresydepublishing.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
More About Blaise:
FyreSyde Publishing owner and founder Blaise Ramsay worked over fifteen years in the graphic design industry, with some experience in indie gaming. Recently she shifted her attention to the world of literature with her debut paranormal romance series, Wolf gods. The debut title, Blessing of Luna is set to release in 2018. She currently lives in North Texas with her two children, her husband and pets. A UTD graduate with a Bachelor’s in History with an intention on teaching, Blaise decided that the world of teaching just wasn’t for her. A stay at home mother of two, business owner and self-publisher, Blaise loves to meet new people and encourage others to follow their dreams through weekly posts to her instagram, twitter, facebook and blog.
Feel free to contact Blaise for an author interview, guest blog opportunities and book reviews. Visit our affiliates’ page for a chance to see how you can get a hold on some of the books we have reviewed.
Visit Blaise at: https://www.fyresydepublishing.com