Spending “Quality Times” With Author Gayle Ramage

Good news! It looks like the Author Spotlight is going to become a recurring feature here on GNMB! I’m excited because I’ve met so many wonderful writers on my journey and I’m happy to share these friends with the rest of my world.

Today’s featured author is Gayle Ramage, a talented writer with a quirky sense of humor and a fascination for Doctor Who. You know me, I can’t resist anyone who says they want to grow their own TARDIS (check out her Bio down towards the bottom)! I invited Gayle over to kick off her blog tour celebrating the launch of her new release THE WHISPERING TOMBS – A Quality Times Novella.

So, (settling in with some fish fingers and custard) Gayle, tell me about yourself.

I’m a life-long resident of Scotland, having been born in Edinburgh almost thirty-one years ago and have lived in various places in the lowlands since then. I’m “living in sin” with my partner, and we have two children – a girl and a boy – under ten. I’m currently a stay at home mum while writing, but during my working life I’ve been a shops assistant, admin assistant, and also a Reprographic Assistant for a large law firm.

In other words, typical writer with a diverse background… oddly enough, sounds like a typical background for a Doctor’s Companion, too… hmmm… (shaking myself back to the interview at hand)

Why Science Fiction? What is it about the genre that attracts you?

I think mainly for the time travel aspect, though it’s so much fun and freeing to create worlds and populate them with non-human beings. I think with science fiction, to a certain degree, you can make up the rules.

Where did the idea for Quality Times come from?

Two words. Doctor Who.

Of course (eye roll.) Why did I even bother to ask?

I’m such a huge fan and wanted to be able to write my own ‘space and time adventurer’ story, but obviously I couldn’t use the idea of the TARDIS (bigger on the inside) so I came up with a shrinkable time machine.

Which I think is a really cool twist, btw.

There are also elements of Doctor Who spin-off “Iris Wildthyme” in there, too. (Wildthyme is a mature lady timelord whose TARDIS is a red double-decker bus. Her companion is a talking toy panda, while Iris herself enjoys a drink or twelve. The stories are also very humorous.)

I got particular enjoyment out of the overt Doctor Who homage, and the influence certainly shows.

Like the Doctor Who series, you originally published QUALITY TIMES AND THE WHISPERING TOMBS as a serial. How did that work out for you?

It started well. Especially as I’d made the individual parts free to download. Unfortunately, there was a problem with Smashwords, and I had to unpublish the parts there. I did have them up on my own website for a while, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to tell how many people downloaded them.

Qez or Bluey, made quite an impression on me when I first read THE WHISPERING TOMBS. Love the “sexy police siren” description. How do you come up with Quality’s off-beat observations?

I suppose I tend not to overthink what she will say, in some situations. Just like real life, sometimes you just blurt out things without really thinking about what you’re saying. For the “sexy police siren”, it was the first thing that came to me when I was needing Quality to liken Qez to something.

The overall tone of the story really grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. It’s all very tongue-in-cheek. Is this a departure for you from your other work?

I suppose, to a certain degree, it is a bit of a departure. The Quality Times series is a lot more humorous and, as you say, tongue-in-cheek than my other work. Cigs, Bolan and Strange Men With  Guns had a bit of humour in it, as did my christmas short story collection, Three French Hens, but they weren’t as quirky as Quality Times.

What comes next for Gayle and Quality Times?

Well, the second book in the series, The Grandparent Trap, is still in its first draft but I have the overall plot sorted out so I need to get that completed, edited, etc. However, with that story, it’s being written in third-person narrative instead of first. Also, we get to meet Quality’s granny, Necessity, who is mentioned in The Whispering Tombs. I also have a few plot lines for another couple of books, so that will keep me going, writing wise, for the foreseeable future.

Thanks, Gayle, for stopping by and best of luck with THE WHISPERING TOMBS.

***

If you haven’t had the pleasure yet of discovering the works of Gayle Ramage, I strongly recommend THE WHISPERING TOMBS. I’ve had the good fortune to read and enjoy the serialized version and I’m completely hooked! I can’t wait for the next installment in the QUALITY TIMES series! You can see my abbreviated review on Goodreads.

***

Meet Quality Times, just your average 21st century woman who happens to own a shrinkable time machine. Along on her intergalactic adventures is Tim, a self-confessed sci-fi geek who takes everything in his stride.

In ‘The Whispering Tombs’, Quality and Tim are residing at the luxurious Baala Haven Resort, on an unpronounceable planet, when they’re invited on a quest to find ancient hidden treasure by a wealthy alien archaeologist. Reaching the caves of Azrokaran, however, loyalties are tested to the very limits as those within the group reveal their true colours.

A light-hearted mix of science fiction, adventure and humour.

BIO
Gayle Ramage is a writer, living in the Scottish lowlands. She would love to grow her own TARDIS if only to go back in time to find out if her ancestors were as mad as she is.

LINKS

Living in “The Doctor’s House”

I realized one evening, not too long ago, that I live in “The Doctor’s House.”

At the turn of the twentieth century, Dr. S.E. Sanchez, Sr. built a home for his family and opened a hospital in a tiny town in Rural Georgia. In 1948, his son and namesake, also a physician of some note, carried on the family tradition by building another, more modern facility. Fast Forward to the twenty-first century – a writer and her husband buy the home known locally as “The Doctor’s House” and move their growing family in to take part in its history.

Even though I’m a Geek Goddess, I never really noticed the SF connection to living in “The Doctor’s House” until a friend of mine… hmmm… I often wonder what the etiquette is for referring to friends one has only met online. Some of the people I most look forward to seeing are on Facebook and Twitter. I like to call them “some of the best friends I’ve never met.”

Where was I? Oh yeah…  I commented that I wanted to build a TARDIS for my camellia garden. I know just the place to put it. There is a little goldfish pond beside the front porch. I figured I could christen the pond “AMY,” repaint my front door blue and stick a TARDIS in amongst the camellias and sit back to see who noticed and made the connection…kind of a Geek version of a conversation starter.

In response to my off-handed comment, my friend Jennifer, (another SF Geek Goddess,) posted a link on my Facebook page that had me howling. This YouTube video has been making the rounds of Geek sites everywhere.

So now, I’m looking around my little mini-farm and haunted hospital, scouting for wibbly wobbly timey wimey bits and pieces to use in TARDIS construction, and surfing the Internet… only to find that I am not the only Who-vian with an itch to entertain and mystify the neighbors. There are countless pages devoted to plans, discussion boards, how-to videos, and more. Dedicated Timelord wannabes share information freely.

So don’t be surprised if you’re driving along a rural Georgia road one afternoon and stumble across a gracious old house with a white picket fence, a camellia garden with a fish pond bearing a sign that simply reads “AMY” and happen to see a bright blue police box tucked in among the greenery.

That could be my house. I’ll be the one playing the nose flute while wearing a “Bag of Shame.”

Links to TARDIS construction:
http://tardisboard.proboards.com/index.cgi
http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/~trekker/policeboxes/myplans.html
http://www.blueboxproject.com/
http://www.instructables.com/community/Building-a-TARDIS-Doctor-Who/
http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-TARDIS-Replica