My guest today is Andi Ramos with her debut mystery novel, Gumshoe Girl. First we’ll share a little about the book and about Andi. Then, we’ll share a little question and answer session followed by an excerpt from the book.
About the book:
Sheagan O’Hare got more than she bargained for when her newly inherited detective agency lands its first case; a missing person, embezzlement, and murder. Sheagan’s out to prove she can hang with the pro’s, despite the constant reminder of her amateur status from an annoyingly attractive FBI agent, Colin ‘Mac’ MacEvine, who’s forced himself into her life.
How does she feel when an old high school friend hopes to ignite a new romance?
Will she be able to discover if detective work and love can mingle before someone gets hurt?
Andi Ramos is a debut author from central Massachusetts where she lives with her family, goat, and Boston Terriers. Her love for reading grew into a passion for writing. She dabbled with pen and paper for a long time and eventually stopped pushing her amusements aside and started developing those stories into novels. One of her favorite things to do is to hop into her motorhome with her family and write while traveling down the road as they journey to various destinations.
Good morning, Andi! I’m so glad you could take time to chat for a few minutes about some things I think my readers would be interested to know about you. Your bio says you dabbled for a long time before getting serious about your writing. What pushed you over the line?
As far back as I remember I would make up scenes with fictitious characters. Sometimes I would jot them down, but I never took them seriously. I would collect them, but they would always end up in the circular file – Gasp! I never did anything with my writing until I started Gumshoe Girl, my debut novel that was just released May 30th. I had this involved story running through my brain. It didn’t stop at just a scene. It just kept going, so I went with it. I finally compiled all the scenes together into a short draft to see what I had. Holy mackerel! Before I knew it, I had over 30,000 words. It wasn’t something I could ignore anymore. I made a decision, and I had to tie the random scenes together into something that made sense and finish it. Well, I no longer waste the story ideas that come to me. I cultivate them to see if they are substantial enough to work with.
I’m glad to hear that, Andi. It’s a shame to waste ideas or words. What inspired you to focus on mysteries?
I love to be entertained, mysteries definitely fit the bill. I especially love a mystery that is paired with romance and has a humorous element to the story. My book is a very self indulgent novel. It’s something I would love to read.
Now that you’ve found your niche, I’m curious about how you develop your ideas. Do you plans out your story ahead of time (a plotter), or do you let the story develop as you go along (a pantser)?
I am definitely a plotter! I use a program called Trello to help plot my books, however I am not married to the outline when I plot it. If the story takes me in a different direction I go with it and adjust later. What is great about a plotting a story is it ensures that I don’t get too far off course and write myself into a box, I always have a path to where the story is heading, it just may take a different route than originally intended to get there.
That sounds like a great way to write. Unfortunately, I’m not nearly that organized. Now that you’ve taken the next step as an author, what would you tell a young writer who came to you for advice?
Grow tough skin and don’t give up! To be a writer you must have thick skin for all the rejection you will receive…not might receive…will receive. It doesn’t stop with a publisher offering you a contract, you must endure tough critiques and bad reviews, even the best, most well-written novels get criticized – it’s simply part of the business.
That’s very true. What are you working on now?
I have a couple of works in progress including the second in the Gumshoe Girl Series. Sheagan will really have her work cut out for her as she tries to discover the truth behind alleged serial murders. I also have a new series I am working on called the Escape Series. The first book will be called The Pina Colada Catastrophe. I intended this new manuscript to be a contemporary romance, but as I write, I can’t help but weave elements of suspense throughout the story.
One more question. I understand Boston Terriers, but why a goat?
Hahaha, we live on a small farm in central Massachusetts, we have had cows, goats, chickens, and ducks when my kids were small. My husband and I would like to travel more, and it’s hard when you have a farm back home. So we just have Will the goat left besides my Boston Terriers, but I will tell you the goat thinks he’s a dog so it really makes no difference, lol.
Thanks again for your time, Andi. Now let’s give my readers a sneak peek at Gumshoe Girl.
Sheagan blinked back the sting in her eyes as sweat drizzled from her forehead. Her shoulders and forearms cried out as determination inched her body forward through the tin walls that framed her slender figure. The narrow shaft rendered her legs useless as they dragged behind her like dead weight. She made a vow to start working out as she approached her destination, the metal grate that looked down into the sweetheart suite of the Eliot Hotel.
She shimmied her binoculars out of her bag and clutched them in her sweaty palms as she readied herself to delve into the world of private investigating. The friction of her movements caused her mahogany mane to cling to all the surfaces of her temporary confinement. Perched behind the filigree frame, peering like a caged animal, she was a mere 20 feet from her target. Her target? The Rat Bastard, who up until this very moment she’d called boyfriend.
She wasn’t there to kill him, even though the thought had crossed her mind; no, she was there to catch him in the act. She suspected he had been cheating on her for some time, so proof would end her suspicion or the relationship. Spying on her significant other through an air-vent of a swanky hotel room was hardly a promising start to her so-called glamorous career as a private detective. But it snapped her back into the reality that her new chosen profession would often be messy and difficult.
She peered through the grate and envied the spacious room below, but her viewing angle was no good for the task at hand. She could feel the heat in her cheeks rise along with her anger as she scanned the room and soaked in the extravagance–the hardwood tables, the Italian marble fireplace, the opulent sheen of the fabric on the overstuffed furniture that glimmered in the soft candlelight. The Rat Bastard was not known to overindulge on frivolous expenses, unless it was on her dime. Thoughts of killing him resurfaced.
What is wrong with me? Why did I wait so long?
She immediately regretted the fleeting question. She knew why. The answer brought back the pain and significance of her father’s sudden death. He had been the only family she had left, and he was gone. All that was left behind was his detective agency. She had thought about giving it up, but she couldn’t; it was her only connection to him, to her family.
She closed her eyes briefly, realizing that now she was facing more loss–even if he was a lying, cheating Rat Bastard.
No! It’s better this way, stay focused.
She choked in a breath and turned her attention back to the room. His secret love nest was finished with soothing tones on the walls and thick, plush carpeting.
What is that on the end table?
Her gaze was drawn to the bottle label as it bobbed upside down in the melting ice. She sharpened the focus of her binoculars, and her eyes widened in recognition.
Her cheeks flushed. Cristal, she scoffed. Who is this Bimbo, anyway?
As if she had room to criticize this girl’s intelligence, when Sheagan was the one sweating her makeup off in a four-by-four-foot air-duct.
Yeah, who’s the stupid one?
She heard passionate sounds coming from the right of the room and recognized his tone. Leaning sideways, Sheagan pressed her face to the grate, but her limited view revealed only a portion of the bed and unable to make out major details, like faces.
Crap, I can’t see anything. Damn!
She needed to get a better look. As she shifted her weight, the metal walls started to reverberate and Sheagan stifled a gasp, willing the rumbling to cease. Her breathing became labored as the musty air stole the aroma of the sweet perfume wafting up waft from the suite below. She stilled her movements and did the only thing she could think of… nothing. Nothing but stare at the heap of blankets and wait.
Come on, bimbo, come up for air. I know he doesn’t last that long.
Her discomfort increased as the noise from their passion became more intense.
Ugh, that’s it, I’ve had it!
She mashed her cheek and upper body against the grate.
I just need a peek to confirm.
She pressed harder, ogling the bed. Finally, she caught a tiny glimpse.
Just a little further.
She pushed and heard a chirring sound, then a scraping. She froze in place, but the grate gave way with a creaking groan and crashed to the ground. Time stood still as Sheagan realized there was nothing between her and the floor except air.
Can’t wait to find out what happens next!