Currently we have two UnWrecked Press titles bundled up with other books and stories. First, Finders, Inc. is part of the Gumshoes Redux bundle of mystery/private-eye novels, and secondly, the first-ever Finder Team story, called (appropriately enough) “Finder” is available in a great collection of stories from a wide range of authors. This second bundle is called The Short Flights of Imagination bundle.
(And in case you want to learn more about bundles, check out our blog post about it from last year: The Process: All about ebook bundles.)
The Short Flights editor, author Sherry D. Ramsey, has been publishing some wonderful interviews with the writers included in the bundle (read Mike Jasper’s interview here!), and we at UnWrecked Press wanted to make sure Sherry got her chance to be interviewed as well. Here it is!
UnWrecked Press: Tell us a little about the story you have in the Short Flights bundle.
Sherry D. Ramsey: Actually, my contribution to Short Flights is my collection, “The Cache and Other Stories.” In it are eleven stories (and a couple of poems) ranging over the speculative genres. This is my second collection of short fiction, and you’ll find a little bit of everything here.
Imagine you’ve been kidnapped or trapped by a natural disaster. Which of your own characters (from any work) would you want to rescue you? Why?
In thinking about this question, I realized that I have two characters in completely different universes who are sort of similar. In my Nearspace (science fiction) series, Viss Feron, the engineer on the Tane Ikai, is a very competent fellow with a background in law enforcement and other shadier endeavours, who meets challenges with practicality and smarts. In my Magica Incognito (urban fantasy) series, Glaive Timesi may not have any magical abilities himself, but he’s a former government assassin with a lot of experience he doesn’t like to talk about. If I needed help, I think I’d like one of these two to come looking for me!
Describe your current writing workspace(s).
I’m very fortunate to have my own office in our home, with lots of bookshelves built-to-order by my husband. It holds two desks—one the usual kind, and one a treadmill desk—and I switch regularly between the two. I have a bright window filled with plants, an antique typewriter I rescued from my grandparents’ attic, some great art on the walls, and probably far too much other stuff. There’s one chair besides mine, so family or friends can drop in for a chat. I love my writing space, although I do sometimes take my laptop and move elsewhere in the house for a change of scenery.
Why do you write short fiction? Love, necessity, marketability, or something else?
I’ve always liked short stories, and I don’t understand it when people say they don’t like them—or when writers who want to write and sell short fiction say they don’t read it. I like the focus and compactness of a really good short story, and the fact that you can often read one start to finish in one big bite. I do think short stories are a great medium for newer writers to cut their teeth on, and much of what you learn about writing from short stories scales up very nicely to novels. Granted, my short stories are not always that short…they tend to stray into novelette or novella territory sometimes. But I think a story will find its proper length when you tell it.
Do you think there were early influences as a reader that have guided the stories you create as a writer? What were they?
We grew up next door to my mother’s parents, and in their house was a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf that held a little bit of everything—from animal husbandry to astronomy, classic literature to genre pulp. My aunts were teachers and my grandfather was a man who could teach himself anything he wanted or needed to know, by reading about it. My grandmother was also quite a voracious reader. I think the sheer variety of things I read from that shelf broadened my imagination to the point that speculative fiction in all its flavours became a natural fit for me.
Which one of your characters is the most like you? The least?
Wow, I don’t think any of my characters are very much like me…although I’m sure most of them have little pieces of me in them—how could they not? I think I often write characters who have some trait I wish I had. I don’t mean this as wish-fulfillment writing, but I do like the opportunity to explore ideas of what it would be like to be someone with this trait or that. I try to make all my characters well-rounded, so naturally they do have their faults. But of course *those* are not any reflection of my own. 😉
Do you prefer music, silence, or some other noise in the background when you write? If music, what kind?
About half the time I’ll opt for silence; the other half it’s instrumental music, mostly soundtracks from tv shows, movies, or video games. No lyrics! They’re too distracting for writing. My go-to music is the soundtrack from the Assassin’s Creed 2 game, or the soundtrack from Halo. But another favourite is Zoe Keating’s “Into the Trees,” so my tastes are wide-ranging. Sometimes a novel will have a particular soundtrack that I listen to almost exclusively while writing it, but usually I like a mix.
Tell us about your other works, projects, publications, and what’s on the horizon next. This is the shameless self-promotion portion of the interview. 🙂
The third book in my Nearspace series, Beyond the Sentinel Stars, just released from Tyche Books in December, and I’m working on another book in that universe now. I also have a new novelette, “Dead Hungry,” about to launch in my Olympia Investigations series, which centers on an investigator with an unusual ability to interact with supernaturals. These are a lot of fun to write.
A few other active novel files, as well. I don’t tend to talk too much about projects while I’m in the middle of them. I’m always juggling more projects than I probably should, but that just seems to be how I work.
Anyone who’d like to know more can find my website at www.sherrydramsey.com, or follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram @sdramsey.
Thanks so much, Sherry!