Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sylvia L. Ramsey, Author and Cancer Survivor Shares Her Latest Book

Hello, my name is Sylvia L. Ramsey. I live in Georgia, but I grew up in a very rural area in Southeast Missouri. When I am writing or blogging, I work full-time at a two-year liberal arts college. I am a communications professor and the coordinator for the Academic Resource Center/Library. I am the advisor for our campuses newspaper, the GMC Journal. I am the vice president of the American Bladder Cancer Society, and a seventeen year survivor myself. I was a mother of two before I married my husband Tom, and now I have gained five more. Therefore, I am a mother of seven, grandmother of twenty-seven, and a great-grandmother of six. I love to paint and sculpt. I have some example of my work on my current book's webpage, that is the same name as my new book. My poetry has been published in over one-hundred literary magazines, and my short stories in several more. I have been published in academic journals as well. I am currently working on marketing my new book, Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts. I interact with my peers on LinkedIn in various author and publishing groups, Facebook and Twitter.

What inspired you to write your first book? My first book to be published was a collection of my poetry. I was participating in an open mike event at our college. One of the guests was a small publisher. After the event, the publisher asked me if I had more poetry, and if so, could she read some. I gave her about fifteen of my poems to read, later she asked me if I had enough to publish a collection of the poems. That is the genesis of my first book, Pulse Points of a Woman's World.


If you have other published books, could you tell us about them? An Underground Jewell is set in a possible near-future, and is about a female sleuth who must clear herself after being accused of espionage by hacking into the national computer system. What if all the western world's information is eventually located in a central computer center, and a terrorist faction has infiltrated several of our government agencies? How much worse could it be? Just recently in the news, an illegal was discovered working at a nuclear power plant. This is a possible scenario, and I think you may find we have reason for concern. This espionage attempt goes much farther and deeper than the stealing of information. As Elizabeth tries to clear her name, many other mysteries are uncovered along the way.
A children's book, Merchild Land, was inspired by my first granddaughter who insisted that I tell her numerous stories about mermaids. Merchild Land is a delightful children's story that will keep both child and adult captivated with its lovely lyrical verse. This is a perfect bedtime story that will send you little one off to the land of mermaids, merchildren and all the wonders under the sea until evening. As the shadows fall, and it is time for bed the children dream of flying high above the mermaids' ocean home, sailing the sky's misty sea above the waves' highest dome on a boat of golden sails, and silvery wings. They visit strange lands as they ride the waves of the Milky Way , talk to the man in the moon, and dine with kings sailing the whole night through


Is there a message in your latest book that you want readers to grasp? My current book, Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts, is about survival, faith and perseverance. It is my personal memoir, and it was inspired by a young man that has some very serious heart problems, and all the people I have met over the years as a teacher, mentor and a bladder cancer survivor. I have tried my best to encourage them, and to give them hope. To not give up on themselves or life. As I have traveled along life’s highway, I keep running into people who have let the rocks that have been thrown in their life’s road giving up on themselves, or life in general. The truth is that life is harsh, and it is not like the movies that give a false impression that it is smooth sailing. Being the hero that toughs it out and keeps on regardless of the situation is difficult, but with faith, it can be accomplished. It often takes a backbone, humor and a wishbone to survive it all. It is now available on Amazon.com.


Do you have any advice for other writers? I think the theme of my latest book says it all, keep trying, keep writing. Find your voice and tell your stories.
What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
I have a several websites (one is at Authors' Den), two blogs, an Amazon Author Central page, a Facebook page, I do book signings, I get interviews when I can, and I am a public speaker. I speak on a variety of topics other than my books. Recently, one of these friends is Julie Weishaar and she has volunteered to help me with marketing. We discovered that we have a lot in common. Her mother is a bladder cancer survivor. She created a beautiful book trailer for me, and it is on YouTube, my blog, and will soon be on all my various pages, and I can use it in a video email that she created.


Why should we buy your book? That may be better said by the person who helped me throughout the process of writing this book. He is an internationally published author, and is a college professor.
“Taking the rocky road with Sylvia is a joyful challenge. It takes the reader through the most common and uncommon hardships, but at the conclusion of this delightful journey, the reader feels more joy and satisfaction: Love, faith, and incredible guts turn the rocky road into an assuring path that all of us so humanly desire. This book is so uniquely universal in every essential aspect that I enthusiastically recommend it to all readers regardless of their age, gender, and race.” ~ Dr. Aman B. Kay



Is there a special place that you prefer when you write? I write in my home office at the computer. However, there have been times when I have had an idea, I have written things down on anything I could find. When I was working on my second book, An Underground Jewell, I drove about forty-five minutes to and from work. I would use my small tape recorder to plot out the scenes, the characters and ideas of where I wanted to take the story next. Once I had time to write, I would listen back to the recording and take it from there.


What projects are you currently working on? In relation to my writing, I am currently working on launching my latest book. However, I have two books in mind. One book is on my father who was a WWI veteran, and a pioneer in many ways. The second is a fantasy novel that I started sometime ago, and decided to put it away for a while. The title of it is, Dark Crystal. In between all this, I am a patient advocate for bladder cancer, and I give presentation on it from a survivors point of view anywhere I can speak.
Why do you give all the proceeds from the book sales to the American Bladder Cancer Society?
That is a long story, but I will try to keep it as brief as possible. A little over seventeen-years-ago, when I was diagnosed with bladder cancer I was scared. I tried to find information and support online. None. I found a cancer forum and joined. I met a man who had lung cancer. He kept everyone's spirits up when they were down. I wanted to have a place online where bladder cancer survivors could find information and interact as well as finding the support they needed. I began with a message board on Yahoo. There I met Cynthia and Karen. They had the same dream. I will share what Cynthia said,
" The first time I ever talked to Sylvia, then just Ramsey, I cried. It wasn’t what she said; it was what she represented to me. You see, it was the first time I had ever talked to a woman with my same diagnosis and years later she was not only surviving but thriving. We were sisters of the heart in minutes and the years have not changed that fact.
When I called Sylvia with the idea of forming a national organization to help the millions of people in the United States that have had their lives impacted by bladder cancer and to spread awareness, she did not hesitate. She had from the time of her diagnosis been reaching out and trying to help other survivors of bladder cancer through her writing, website, and public speaking. We both realized that the job was bigger than any one person could fill and that it would take all of our voices combined to be heard and to help those in need.
The American Bladder Cancer Society became a reality in 2008. We became a 501(c) (3) and our original website was launched. The heart of our organization is support of people that have had their lives impacted by bladder cancer and its life’s blood is awareness and advocacy."You can find Sylvia at: http://love-faith-and-guts.blogspot.com/ http://wwwthouhtfulreflections.blogspot.com/ and http://www.authorsden.com/sylvialramsey1

3 comments:

  1. Wonderful interview! Thank you for sharing your heart! I love inspirational stories like this.

    Blessings,
    Melissa~

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Melissa. I love inspirational stories like this as well. I'm glad Sylvia Ramsey shared her story on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?

    Thanks,

    Cameron

    cameronvsj(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete